Piano Lessons

Study Classical or Jazz Piano with one of the leading Chicago based teachers with over 45 years experience!

Playing the piano requires the mastering of two separate elements: the technical act of playing the instrument, coupled with the knowledge and ability to use that technique to express yourself musically and emotionally.  Regardless of your level, Mr. Lisker will determine the best plan, specifically catered to your level and needs, to ensure that you learn the piano effectively and efficiently, while having fun along the way!

Starting from the Beginning
In order to play any of the glorious pieces that you dream of, you must first have a thorough understanding of the basics.  This will be your foundation which will help you learn the more difficult works more easily.  These fundamentals include but are not limited to:

  • Properly sitting on the bench
  • Correctly holding your hands over the instrument considering the shape of your palm and angle of your elbows
  • Understanding the theory behind producing a strong a rich sound without banging or tension which may lead to pain or injury
  • Learning basic music theory including names and locations of notes and being able to determine lengths of notes in order to play correct rhythms


You’ve learned how to sit on a bench, what’s next?!

There are two equally important elements in playing the piano: the Physical (Technique), and the Emotional (Musicality). If one focuses solely on one or the other, we are left with an unfinished, and often unrefined product. The idea is to divide and conquer; isolate the various elements within the two categories, bring them to a high level individually, and finally combine everything resulting in a performance that is both technically brilliant and musically inspiring.

Technical Elements Include:
• Establishing a practice routine
• Finger Strenth and Dexterity
• Establishing hand coordination
• Gravity Drop, Chord Practice, and Relaxation
• Learning, Memorizing, Mental Play
• Building Accurate Tempo and the Metronome
• Building Endurance, Breathing
• Correct usage of pedals
Musical Elements Include:
• inspiration
• interpretation
• intensity
• variety of tone colors
• creativity in phrasing
• exploring your own imagination

How to Develop Technique
Every person is different, therefor there is no one method or strategy that will work universally. After the first lesson, a plan will be outlined on what etudes, technique books, scales, and pieces would be best fitting for your specific needs.

Some examples of technique building etudes for various levels are:

Faber Piano Adventures
Hal Leanard Student Piano Library
Alfred’s Basic Piano Course
Bastien Piano Basics
Suzuki Piano Method
Hanon Exercises
Czerny Exercises
Burgmuller Etudes
Heller Etudes
Gedike Exercises
Czerny School of Velocity
Mackdowell 12 Etudes
Bertini op. 29 and 32
Köhler Etudes
Chopin Etudes
Rachmaninoff Etudes
Liszt Transendental Etudes
Mackdowell 12 Virtuoso Etudes
Moszkowski Etudes
Scriabin Etudes
Debussy Etudes

**Needless to say, it is not expected that students play all of these etudes, it is just an idea of the literature that is available. Furthermore, many of these books belong in multiple columns, so using simplistic labels as Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced is actually meaningless.

The Role of a Good Teacher
Many people view piano playing as something otherworldly, or abstract. Although music definitely has those qualities, the actual process of playing the violin is quite simple to put into words if one knows the correct vocabulary.

A good teacher should:

  • Make sure that the student has all the pertinent information they need in order to succeed in the objective they’ve been assigned.
  • Treat each student as an individual, providing instruction catered to their specific needs, technical abilities, schedule, etc.
  • Teach the student what to listen for, transforming them in to their own teacher.
  • Provide constructive criticism with an ever-present underlying positive reinforcement
  • Not only describe what and how to do something, but why.
  •  Finish each lesson with a clear understanding as to what is expected of the student for the coming week.

Benefits of Learning Music:

“Music has a power of forming the character and should therefore be introduced into the education of the young.”Aristotle

1. Musical training helps develop language and reasoning: Students who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. The left side of the brain is better developed with music, and songs can help imprint information on young minds.
2. A mastery of memorization: Even when performing with sheet music, student musicians are constantly using their memory to perform. The skill of memorization can serve students well in education and beyond.
3. Increased coordination: Students who practice with musical instruments can improve their hand-eye coordination. Just like playing sports, children can develop motor skills when playing music.
4. Emotional development: Students of music can be more emotionally developed, with empathy towards other cultures they also tend to have higher self-esteem and are better at coping with anxiety.
5. Music builds imagination and intellectual curiosity: Introducing music in the early childhood years can help foster a positive attitude toward learning and curiosity. Artistic education develops the whole brain and develops a child’s imagination.
6. Music can be relaxing: Students can fight stress by learning to play music. Soothing music is especially helpful in helping kids relax.
7. Musical instruments can teach discipline: Kids who learn to play an instrument can learn a valuable lesson in discipline. They will have to set time aside to practice and rise to the challenge of learning with discipline to master playing their instrument.
8. Development in creative thinking: Kids who study the arts can learn to think creatively. This kind of education can help them solve problems by thinking outside the box and realizing that there may be more than one right answer.
9. Music can develop spatial intelligence: Students who study music can improve the development of spatial intelligence, which allows them to perceive the world accurately and form mental pictures. Spatial intelligence is helpful for advanced mathematics and more.
10. Better self-confidence: With encouragement from teachers and parents, students playing a musical instrument can build pride and confidence. Musical education is also likely to develop better communication for students.