Welcome to the all-new Creative Sky Music School temporary home page 🙂
As you may know, I have been teaching piano, music theory, and songwriting for over a decade. I’ve come to know what works and what doesn’t work with unconventional learners – a.k.a. creative people, ‘right brainers,’ anyone who doesn’t fit the traditional educational mold. Which is a surprisingly HUGE amount of people!
For instance, did you try piano lessons, find them too difficult, and give up, assuming you’re ‘not good at piano?” NONSENSE. You are just perhaps not a linear ‘left-brained’ thinker, who can handle learning big-picture concepts in a VERY slow systematic way over 10+ years.
I LOVE teaching fast minds, impatient people, people with bizarre learning styles, even short-attention spans, know-it-alls, bossy people, opinionated people, people who ‘know themselves,’ people who get frustrated, bored, annoyed at / by rules, the list goes on.
Over the past decade, I have evolved a teaching method that is incredibly personalized and trial-by-error oriented. When teaching privately, I’m able to tailor my knowledge to each student – and it’s my favorite thing in the world to provide a 100% encouraging, enthusiastic, adaptable, flexible teaching style to your dream of learning to play piano (or write songs, or sing and play chord based pop songs, or try ukulele one week, or pick my brain about the indie music path, how to release music online, etc)
And all of this applies to very traditional ‘method book’ based (including classical music) piano lessons too! Which is over half my current students.
My way of teaching falls into 3 categories:
1) Traditional: I can take you through all method books to learn piano – primer through level 5+, including post method-book sequencing into classical literature, plus some sheet-music-based new age hits like Yiruma, etc. This is a common way I teach, and despite the linear nature of it, I’m still inventive in explanation, and 100% non-shaming 🙂
2) Pop piano / chord-based music theory via ultimate-guitar.com and my own handwritten literature (sent via text/email): this is common for my older students, usually high school and up. Anyone who doesn’t feel they ‘have time’ to learn in a traditional way. One of my students sounds like a level 5 / year 5+ student, but started pop piano lessons only 2 years ago. This is because pop piano is something I can teach with broad strokes and big-picture thinking, including how to play in all 12 major keys plus relative minors, and how to sound more advanced than you are, via patterns and other piano hacks 🙂 This approach is best for anyone wanting to self-accompany quickly (2 years or less), a.k.a. sing and play.
3) Hybrid: this is a mix of the two approaches. Also quite common 🙂 And nothing that needs to be decided up front. Basically I tell all my students about all 3 approaches, and we sort of dance between them as motivation and inspiration leads us.
I love teaching. Or, more accurately, I love enthusiastically passing on what I know – and getting to know each student’s different learning style.
There are about 30 private spots in my schedule, which are usually full – but openings do happen, especially with a handful of high school seniors in my school currently. So please write me anytime at email@example.com to get on the waiting list (or to start next week, if I’m able!) – and in the meantime, please follow my ALL-NEW Instagram account for free tips about piano-based music theory – @creativeskymusicschool ❤ ❤ ❤
**since March 2020, all lessons are VIRTUAL (FaceTime or Facebook messenger) until further notice – a.k.a. now accepting students WORLDWIDE!!!
It’s surprisingly simple.
I have perfect pitch, so you can just put your phone or iPad on your keyboard or piano, and I can listen to your work and let you know what you can improve… if you have a tablet or phone that can point from the side at your hands and face, even better! But not absolutely necessary (just if you want feedback on technique, curved fingers, etc).
Payments can be made via Venmo, PayPal, or mailing a check.
My guess is that you will LOVE the freedom and flexibility of being able to video chat with me from the comfort of your own home (rather than travel to lessons each week).
For QUALIFICATIONS (including B.A. in Music with Piano Performance emphasis, and M.F.A in Musical Theatre Writing from Tisch School of the Arts in New York City, followed by a decade of piano performance jobs in theatre in NYC, Chicago, and the Midwest + 10 years teaching experience and dozens of original albums released on Bandcamp 🙂 please view my resume.
“Our daughter started taking lessons from Jessica and LOVES IT AND LOVES JESSICA!!!!” – Scott, Grand Haven, MI
“Taking lessons with Jessica for so many years was an incredible experience. I love playing the piano, but to keep me interested in the long run, I am someone who needs my piano lessons to be fun and engaging as well. Jessica was so good at doing just this. In addition, she was able to focus in on my strengths and play to those, while also narrowing down my weaker areas to help me improve there too. She was so flexible with my constantly changing mind on what type of music I was in the mood for that week. She was also so understanding about my time and when I was under pressure with school and other activities. Jessica taught me so much in a wide range of music and technique, and I will forever be grateful that she instilled in me a love for playing the piano that still exists to this day, years later.” – Juliet G, Wilmette, IL
“Lessons with you were the best I ever took. That’s comparing one summer to 9 years! You pushed me out of my comfort zone when it came to singing and choosing more difficult [piano] pieces, something I really needed!” -Sara S, Norton Shores, MI
“Jessica is amazing! My tween daughter was bored with piano and ready to give it up when her first instructor retired. Enter Jessica! She brought an amazing balance of musicality coupled with fun, creativity and energy! Even through my daughter’s very busy high school days, she wanted to continue with piano and Jessica was a huge part of that. I miss the sound of their duets flowing through our house. I cannot recommend her highly enough!” – Meg, Wilmette, IL
“Thank you so much for making piano so much fun for Max and Oscar… I think they will love music their whole life because of your enthusiasm.” – Anna P., Chicago
“Jessica is amazing. She has adapted her teaching styles and methods perfectly to work with my 8 year old daughter with no experience AND my 16 year old son with a few years under his belt. Jessica is professional and knows how to motivate kids and speak their language. We’ve only been working with her since September but I am thoroughly impressed! I can’t recommend her highly enough. Get a spot with her before she fills up!!!” -Lauren, Grand Haven, MI
“I thoroughly enjoyed taking lessons from Jessica because she knows how to fake her way through anything. I know, it sounds strange, but she taught me so many ways to play different styles of music in short periods of time. She taught me how to fake my way through a piece of music I don’t necessarily have time to practice for. Jessica also taught me how to play and read chords better than I ever thought I could. She is an awesome contemporary musician, and she helped me become the musician I am today!” – Katie H, Norton Shores, MI
“You have been the perfect teacher for Olivia and you are so conscientious about what works for her…a rare and amazing trait in a piano teacher (or any teacher in general!).” -Dana C, Chicago
“[Our daughter] can be quite difficult and not everyone knows or is good at dealing with her. You have always had that gift!” -(Name confidential for obvious reasons 🙂
“Jessica was a fundamental element of my music development. She was spunky, experienced, and also flexible to work with any kind of student. She wasn’t afraid to take the lessons a step further to incorporate songwriting, sound development, and other techniques beyond basic music.” -Karina B, NYC
“I would have quit piano too early if it hadn’t had been for Jessica. She was – and is – the best piano teacher and I remember every single lesson with happiness. She has a way of drawing out the very best of everything in her students, whether it be natural piano skill or work ethic or laughter. For me, it was all three. I remember the laughs we shared and how Jessica was not only my piano teacher but also a huge role model for me and I’m so grateful for her and her impact on my life.” -Chloe, Wilmette, IL
“We will REALLY miss you. I know Laurel has absolutely loved having you as her piano teacher.” -Julie O, Evanston, IL
“We have thoroughly enjoyed Jessica’s teaching over the past 6 years, and will miss her dearly.” -Rebecca C, Evanston, IL
“Thanks again for everything – you have been such a special and important part of our lives these many years. You really instilled in the girls a love of music and a great enthusiasm for piano, and gave them such a strong foundation on which to grow (which, hopefully, they will)!” -Lauren S, Evanston, IL
“As an instructor, I can tell you that her work with her students goes far beyond just the general teaching level. She knows how to motivate them and how to unlock their abilities by focusing on their interest while correcting foundational concepts and those related to technique. She holds regular recitals for them in which they perform splendidly, and she also helps them with their own creative composition and recording projects. As you can imagine, a teacher with this level of ability and enthusiasm is highly regarded by her families. In fact, Jessica’s teaching schedule is always full and she always has referrals by her families for new students each year. She is incredibly responsible and responsive. She turns in all paperwork in a timely manner, provides make-up lessons as needed and is excellent at record keeping. She is an extremely hard worker and a perfectionist. Jessica has been a wonderful asset to our school …Many students would grow from the opportunity to study with her.” -Christie, Artistic Director for Piano Lessons in Your Home
“My son learned the love of piano from Jessica. She allowed him to follow his own interests, in terms of types of music that he played. Now he is 18 and still plays for pure enjoyment. She always showed up with a smile and he was just as happy to see her.” – Joan, Wilmette, IL
“Thank you so much, regardless of passing or failing, you helped me see and feel differently than I have for my whole life up to now, about this theory stuff. You helped SO MUCH – my knowledge and morale. More valuable than gold, that kind of help.” – Elisabeth, Kalamazoo, MI (regarding music theory tutoring for entrance exams, for Masters in Music Composition program at WMU)
Instagram (free music theory tips! ALL NEW!) @creativeskymusicschool
Private lessons – write to firstname.lastname@example.org