In-Person Lessons 

My studio is arranged so that lessons can be done socially distanced using two pianos (one for the student, one for the teacher), with masks optional, hand sanitizing before lessons, and sanitizing of all surfaces a student has touched between lessons. Contact me today at music4lifepiano@gmail.com for availability.

Online Lessons

I have the latest tech to provide the best quality experiences in online lessons. Extra audio equipment, multiple cameras, hard-wired internet, new hardware and software, and experience teaching online prior to Covid-19 gives you the best possible virtual lesson experience. Contact me today at music4lifepiano@gmail.com for online openings.

customized

Lessons are tailored to meet individual student needs. I focus on student goals and help students play the music they love. Students can select from a variety of ‘Pathways’ in my studio to focus on a particular genre or skill, or I can develop a custom pathway, or we can do tradtional piano lessons. Regardless, everyone learns all the great basic skills!

Flexible

As your world changes, so can I. If you need to change from in-person to online lessons I have the ability to be flexible all the time. No long-term contracts that you are locked into; Pay monthly. A variety of performance experiences are offered, along with group classes, master classes, festivals, and fun studio events through the year to choose from.

“Not your typical piano teacher…”

I take great care in developing healthy, supportive relationships with my students and their families. I offer so much more than the ‘typical’ 30-minute lesson experience. My lessons are filled with activities, music, games, and experiences which build musicality, confidence, joy, and discovery through singing, audiation, improvisation, movement, and modeling emotional health and support. By expanding my training well beyond teaching piano to include Differentiated Instruction, Social-Emotional Learning, Audiation and How Children Learn Music, and Healthy Piano Techniques to Prevent Injury I am able to support students in feeling safe while learning new things and in being free to grow at their own musical pace. 

Social Emotional Learning & Growth Mindset

I continue to support students in their social and emotional development by using SEL and Growth Mindset strategies throughout my teaching. By incorporating these strategies I help build confidence when approaching new skills and affirm progress made toward goals. Growing self-esteem while learning keeps students engaged and wanting to learn more.

Differentiated Instruction Strategies

Differentiated Instruction Strategies are an underlying part of almost everything I do to meet students where they are uniquely at when it comes to learning. I am always evaluating how students are learning new information and skills so that I can vary the learning processes, environment, content, or product to support, enhance, or challenge their learning.

Healthy techniques with Taubman ApProach

By continuine to learn healthy Taubman Approach techniques for piano, I can offer my students the best foundation for being able to play for their whole lives. Preventing injury at the piano may not seem like an issue, but it is just as important to know proper technique at the piano as it is in sports in order to prevent injuries and stay healthy. 

Audiation Strategies to Develop the Whole Musician

Audiation is not as widely known about as applied to piano, but children who listen to, sing with, and audiate music are more confident musicians, performers, and improvisors.

Strategies from Music Therapy to Support the Whole Musician

More and more our young people need support for all they deal with. Using simple tools to help students express or release their emotions through music and in healthy ways improves their overall well-being.

Music Lesson Pathways

In my studio, Music Lesson Pathways can be chosen by students based on their goals and musical interests. Music Lesson Pathways are based on the strategies in Differentiated Instruction to optimize student learning. Here are just a few examples of the Pathways students can choose. I can also create a custom Pathway for a student who has a different interest.

Classical and Competitive Pathway

Students get to focus exclusively on Classical Repertoire always improving technique and leveling up in repertoire. Students perform in competitions and festivals as well as studio recitals.

Pop and Improv Pathway

This popular pathway helps students learn to play their favorite Pop songs. Using full notation, lead sheets, chord charts, and ear training students explore chord progressions, music theory, improvisation, transposing and much more.

Composing and Improv Pathway

Students learn the basics of composing while also composing original pieces. Students keep an idea journal or notebook and learn how to take improvisational ideas to create full pieces or songs. Music theory, improv, ear training, staff notation and more are part of this creative pathway.

Music History Pathway

Students who already appreciate world history will love exploring music history from the 1500’s forward covering the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern Eras of music. 

Jazz, Blues & Improv Pathway

Students who select this pathway will learn more advanced chording and improvisation as well as fun blues scales and rhythms. 

30 Piece Challenge

Based on Elissa Milne’s 40 Piece Challenge this Pathway allows students to play music from 10 different genres at all levels of difficulty from easy to at level to above level music. The intent of the pathway is to give students greater breadth of music playing ability and improve sightreading.

Testimonials

Melissa is professional and makes everything so easy! She is wonderful to work with! She [my daughter] has learned that all music doesn’t have to be classical. She can play what she loves!

~ Jessica

I’m happy to share with you that Diya religiously practices her piano every single day. It’s nice to see her so absorbed playing the piano. This is a dream come true for my husband. We enjoy so much as a family listning to her play the piano. It sounds so beautiful. Thank you so much for being her teacher.

P.M.

The music education and development that came from [in studio piano lessons] is priceless. It also led an interest in joining band and chorus in middle school and it was a breeze given her musical experience. Pathways are great. Really enjoyed seeing her (daughter) joy of learning and the overall experience as she was moving through the structure that a Pathway provides.

~ Ramona

I have been incredibly fortunate to have you as my piano teacher and I will always remember all the great memories I have made in your studio. Thank you.

~ Sara

Thank you so much for all you have given me and for all the support that you have given your students! I am so lucky to have you as my teacher and I cannot be more grateful!

~ Allie

Melissa puts so much into her lessons. She really personalizes lessons to each student. She is very creative in applying different things to make lessons fun. Beyond just learning to play the piano, I believe it has helped my youngest son with his fine motor skills. I think the Pathways is another way of keeping students engaged with piano. Melissa takes her role as a teacher very serioulsy. She is very organized, kind and fun. I don’t know if my children would have played as long as they have if it wasn’t for Melissa.

~Lisa

Melissa is a professional and gifted teacher who will foster the love of music with your child. She will develop an individual experience for your child to take them where they want to grow in music. Our daughter has been playing for 6 years and has developed a creative passion for playing piano that is her own. She has learned to take pieces of music and create something new. She has gained determination, patience, and the understanding of working harder to get where you wish to be. 

~ Pam

Melissa Slocum

My passion is to provide individualized, quality lessons in a positive environment. Students who engage with me learn all the skills they need to enjoy music for a lifetime. Teaching is a joy for me, and I am always looking for fresh approaches in teaching while also improving my own skills. I am a life-long learner. I thrive on the challenges of finding new ways to make my teaching and my studio better.
I keep current memberships in national, state, and local music teacher associations where I actively pursue continuing education opportunities. I keep a large and diverse network of contacts from around the world so that I can participate in master classes, webinars and forums with some of today’s leading teachers, professors, coaches, and composers. I also have my Certification in Piano Pedagogy through Valley City State University (part of the North Dakota University system).

I developed Music Lesson Pathways which is an application of Differentiated Instruction for Music Teachers. I use Pathways in my own studio but also train other music teachers about DI and Pathways. 
I also continue my Professional Development in areas of Taubman Technique, Social-Emotional Learning, Audiation, and Music Therapy.
Formal, classical piano lessons from age 5 to 18 gave me a solid foundation for performing, adding multiple instruments (clarinet, handbells, voice, guitar), conducting, and leading worship groups. As a student in a traditional piano studio with classical training, I performed in many local and state piano competitions and recitals each year. Concert Bands and Marching Band added to my enjoyment of all types of music.


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