Music Lessons

Private Piano Instruction in Oak Park, Illinois

Beginner Piano Lessons:

New students at any age are familiarized with the keyboard.  The musical alphabet of A-G is discussed and found in repeating patterns along 88 keys.  White and Black Keys are identified and pitch from high to low is discovered through exploring the entire range of the keyboard.

The Musical Staff is illustrated with Treble and Bass Clefs. 

Notes, the symbol for various pitches are identified by their shapes and corresponding time values are assigned. Notes are placed on the lines and spaces of each clef for identification as letter names.

Sitting at the piano, basic hand position, identification of finger numbers 1-5 for each hand and learning how piano keys respond to our touch and produce higher and lower pitches are explored from the first lesson.

The goal of beginning piano at the Cappelli Institute is to make clear the basic Elements of Music for students at any age and to establish a solid fundamental basis for ongoing study. 

We use a variety of professionally written Piano Series to provide weekly lessons, assigned pieces and worksheets.  These may include John Thompson, Michael Aaron, Helen Curtiss, Faber & Faber and other methods.  Adult use corresponding Adult Method Books.  Supplemental materials include our own written worksheets for note reading, note time values, Staff and Clef symbols, Flash Cards and Notespeller Books.

Intermediate Piano Lessons:

Further exploration of Time and Key Signatures, introduction of Music Scales, an expanded note range with further octaves is explored.  Independence of the hands, melody and accompaniment and a differentiation between the tone or total sound of the melody as compared to the accompaniment, chords or notes which are not the primary melody.  Note reading and rhythm and counting skills are further developed.

A discussion, careful demonstration and assignment of scales including correlation of flats and sharps as they appear in various key signatures and the scale patterns and fingerings needed to realize them.  Students associate the importance and understanding of key signatures, and the pieces within their assigned repertoire.  Facility and the development of muscle control and finger independence is ongoing. Exercises are presented as a means of further development and facility.

Repertoire is developed so that students have many pieces that they can play and share with family and others.  Assignments may still be generated from Method Books however new solo repertoire is chosen at times from Music Anthologies or other sources.  Popular Piano works are also encouraged, and students may offer ideas of pieces they would like to study and play.  These pieces can also be from current pop artists, theater works, plays or musicals.

Introduction of the sustain pedal.

With developed repertoire, Recital Participation is offered.

Advanced Piano Lessons:

A continuation of work with Major and minor Scales in all forms and further work with exercises, more advanced Repertoire selected from Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic, 20th Century, and building of a wide ranging repertoire with representative works from all eras is offered.  Popular Piano Works are also incorporated as desired by the student.

Instructors use their performance skills to demonstrate proper performance posture, relaxation of arms, wrists and hands.  Further development of meaningful musical tone and the total touch which involves freedom of motion, a completion of touch to the bottom of the keystroke. 

Phrasing Structure, use of dynamics, a full discussion of the wide dynamic range of the piano, anticipation of the musical line, imagination of the direction of notes to form meaningful presentation of broader and more advanced works are presented and studied.

More careful study of pedals and pedaling, incorporation and use of the Una-Corde (left) pedal and careful attention to the sustain pedal are ongoing.

The Cappelli Institute of Music 

Music For Life 

Making Music An Important Part of Your Life


Lessons With Working Professional Musicians.


Daytime Lessons Are Available.


A Focus On Fundamentals.


An Individualized Lesson Approach.

Your Musical Journey Begins here.