Find top-rated Service Providers

Find Top-Rated Minneapolis Piano Lessons

There are 0 top-rated piano lessons in your area and 92 to avoid.

After 20 years, it's now free to join.

  • More than 10 Million Verified Reviews
  • Nationwide Coverage
  • Trusted Ratings

Explore Our Solution Center for Helpful Music Lesson Instructor Articles

Go to the article: 

5 tips for learning guitar

.
Go to the article: 

Music Lessons, Music Instruction, Best Teachers

.
Angie's List

Music Instruction reviews in Minneapolis

Real People ~ Real Reviews ~ Real Results

  • We paid Joe Walls for guitar lessons for our two daughters for once a week for over a year. During that time we repeatedly tried to address issues such as his lack of communication when they had questions about a confusing aspect of the lesson. We have a string of unanswered texts on their phone which shows his lack of response. Calls went unanswered as did texts. He would say to let him know if they had questions & then wouldn't respond. It made it hard for the girls to advance their skills & they supplemented the lessons heavily through finding help on the internet..mostly YouTube. When we tried to address issues he would put it back on us as clients & come up with excuses or flip the story around. The situation didn't improve. He made it extraordinarily difficult to ask questions & would skew the events that had occurred & put it back on us rather than professionally correcting the situation. As lessons were on a Monday, one time my daughter texted & called until the next Sunday & then he was mad that she called on Sunday .(That's when he finally answered) yet he hadn't explained his lack of communication. Nor did he inform us that there are only specific times when texts were allowed. Very unprofessional & difficult for those of us w/ hectic schedules. Since both daughters had the lesson at the same time, I would hear the same story. He also was unprepared for several lessons & the girls began to find & chart their own music as the pace of his curriculum was either too slow for them or confusing without clarification. He was good at teaching the basics but not good at adapting the material for the speed of the girls. And definitely abysmal at handling those client/professional exchanges when things need to be changed. He then abruptly canceled all lessons & a performance the girls had when I accidentally dialed him at 1:00 a.m. while checking to see if he had left a text. I sincerely apologized for that but to no avail. He's friendly until there was a snafu. And the onus was put on us as clients to try to solve. His anger when attempting to solve issues & some of his inappropriate comments to the girls are what led us to discuss this as a family & to write this review.
    - Paula and David B.
  • I began taking lessons from Mike at the beginning of June. I
    am retired and have always wanted to learn to play guitar but didn?t have the
    time. Being a beginner at my age, I was a little concerned about finding a
    teacher with whom I would be comfortable. I did a lot a research, called a few
    potential teachers and decided to try Mike. I could tell from his website and
    video that he could play the guitar (and wow, can he play!), but is he a good
    teacher? Well, I want to tell you he is an excellent teacher. He is a patient, experienced teacher who
    has a good sense of humor and who really cares about his students. After the
    first lesson he gave me a questionnaire asking about my musical tastes, what
    bands I like and my goals. This helped me and Mike to be clear about what I
    expected from the lessons. At the next meeting we talked about the questionnaire,
    and then Mike tailored the lessons to my ability level and goals. I have a lot
    of fun and make good progress every week and I really look forward to my time with Mike.  Besides beginners, Mike also has students who
    have played for years and are very advanced. He has an encyclopedic knowledge
    of music and he can play and teach different styles. Mike is an excellent
    teacher and musician, and I would highly recommend him to anyone.


    - John S.
  • As a complete beginner to the guitar, I was looking for someone patient, dependable and cost-effective. I've definitely found that in Mike. He may be an expert guitar player and teacher, but I have not felt in my first four lessons overwhelmed at all. He really gets to know what kind of music you like and tailors your experience to that. Glad I found him - I would definitely recommend him.
    - Dave C.
  • Congrats if you've found Mike! If you want to improve your guitar skills he has a world of knowledge and experience to offer you. He's not just a great player, he knows how to teach, and knows how to help you get what YOU want out of the music, vs. trying to make you sound like him. He always puts thought into your lessons beforehand, and runs things on time, so you get the most value from your lesson time. He will encourage and push you as needed, but also take it at your pace, so you can enjoy the music you love playing and grow as a musician.
    - Andrew H.
  • He is great. He has been able to already teach my daughter a few songs. When my daughter broke her arm, I called him and told him I would pay him a retainer until she was able to play again. Instead, he had her come over and he taught her about writing music and the history of music. He gives her weekly lessons. He tends to my daughter well. She has a lot of questions, and he will answer them, and then redirect her. He is very effective. He knows what he is talking about.
    - Jody G.

  • I studied voice under the same teacher for four years: from 2006 through April 2010. During that time, I was always led to believe that both my teacher and I enjoyed a positive student-teacher relationship: one based on mutual professional trust and respect, as described above.
    On March 30 2010, at the encouragement of my teacher, I and one other voice student staged a private recital in MacPhail's beautiful Antonello Recital Hall. I invited an octet of singers from my community choir to join, and my oldest son joined me on his clarinet. By most accounts, including that of my partner, the recital was a success.
    At my next lesson following following the recital, my teacher gave me her feedback to my performance. Her feedback was: and quot;I couldn't stand to watch you, you were so nervous. I thought you were going to loose it, but you didn't. I don't know how, but you managed to keep it together, and your voice was there for you. I would not have been able to sing through those phrases if I was that nervous. You sounded fine; but I just couldn't stand to look at you.and quot;
    She then went on to say that it (being so nervous that your teacher couldn't stand to watch her student perform) was and quot;no big deal.and quot; Those two remarks contained a mixed message that I could not reconcile in my mind. Then she brought up a whole list of things that I had done over the years that annoyed her, but that she had never previously made mention of. We did no singing, or any other work the entire hour.
    A week later, I sent an email to my teacher, telling her how that lesson made me feel. I asked her for some positive feedback about the recital; anything at all. That request ultimately went unanswered. But she did respond with an offer to a face-to-face meet outside of lesson to clarify what she described as a miscommunication. Her contention was that email was not an appropriate venue to resolve this. (and quot;Our relationship is important to me, and I want to have an effective conversation about thisand quot; were her exact words in her reply.)
    I accepted her offer, but I requested a 3rd party presence, just to keep the discussion professional, and to prevent any more miscommunication. The teacher agreed, and asked of my availability. I replied back with a list of available dates and times, and I awaited confirmation on a time and location. This communication was all via email.
    24 hours later, the teacher completely reneged. Via email no less (how ironic, since her offer to have a face-to-face discussion was that she felt that email was not the appropriate format to resolve this), the teacher cancelled the remaining lessons of the semester, and deferred me to the director of student services to find another teacher for the remainder of the semester. And with that, our work was done: on a negative note; mid-semester; after one bad lesson, after an acknowledged but yet-unresolved miscommunication; and after we had just staged a recital, the whole purpose of which was to showcase and celebrate our work together. She would have absolutely nothing further do do with me, her now-former student. Furthermore, in that final email, the teacher offered no apology for her remarks, nor would she accept any responsibility for her part in the communications breakdown. Instead, she placed the entire blame on the student.
    To call this unprofessional would be an understatement. It was an unconscionable way for any MacPhail teacher to treat a long-term student! I was devastated. I failed like I had completely failed: as a student, as a singer, as a musician. To their credit, MacPhail did place me with another teacher for the remainder of the semester, and a very good one at that; one in many ways much better for me than my former. But beyond that, they considered their obligation to the student to be met. They flat-out refused to offer any explanation for the teacher's behavior, or what I, as a student, did that justified it. By taking that position, MacPhail was effectively condoning the teacher's conduct.
    I tried earnestly to end our student-teacher relationship on more peaceful, graceful terms, but sadly neither the teacher nor MacPhail would co-operate in that effort.
    It took MacPhail four months to offer an apology. On July 30th 2010, I was called into a meeting with Paul Babcock, the Chief Operating Officer and Kristin Blue, the Director of Human Resources. At this meeting, I was handed a letter warning me to attempt no contact with my former teacher, and not to discuss with other MacPhail faculty or staff what happened, or I would be asked to leave. In return, I asked for a refund of the last lesson. Their initial response was tentative, that they would need to first consult with their attorney. (How strange that the Chief Operating Officer could not offer a very loyal customer a mere $80 refund without having to ask his lawyer!)
    Ultimately they issued me a check for $80, the cost of a one-hour lesson with a Level-2 instructor at MacPhail. With that, I ended my relationship with MacPhail. I have since returned to college, where I am a year away from earning an AFA degree in music.
    One family member continues to take piano at MacPhail. Our rationale was that he likes his teacher, and his teacher likes him, and we decided that my situation should not be allowed to interfere with their relationship or his musical development.
    MacPhail is not a conservatory, nor is it a degree-granting institution. It isn't even accredited; it is merely a community music school, whose stated mission is to help students of all ages discover the joy of making music. Yet to this very day, MacPhail refuses to account for why my former voice teacher suddenly, out of nowhere, turned against her student, or what I did that justified any of it.
    - Mark C.
  • She has an excellent background in all kinds of music.  She is very talented in more than one style, which counts for something.  She has a good teaching style.  She is very insightful and helpful.
    - bruce l.
  • She comes to your house which is nice. She is excellent in being flexible with the student as far as what it is that they want to learn. She teaches more than just how to use a piano, she teaches music theory. In this way the skill set will transfer to a different instrument, if the student chooses to pick up a second instrument. The other thing that stands out about her is her flexibility with the schedule. She is an all around very good teacher.
    - CARLOS & JESSICA M.
  • THEY ARE NICE WHEN U WANT TO SING UP BUT ONCE THEY HAVE YOUR CREDIT CARD THEY WILL KEEP CHARGING IT WITH OUT YOUR CONSENT, AFTER CALLING OVER 30 TIMES AND SENDING 10 EMAILS, THE WORST COMMUNICATION I HAVE DELT WITH, THE OWNER "JOHN" (PROBABLY NOT HIS REAL NAME)  WILL CALL YOU, YELL AT YOU ON THE PHONE, WILL TELL YOU IN YOUR FACE THAT THIS IS HOW THEY MAKE THERE MONEY AND THEN HANG UP ON YOU. A COMPANY LIKE THIS SHOULD BE CLOSED AND A PERSON LIKE THAT SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DO BUSINESS. THE BIGGEST WAIST OF MONEY I HAVE DONE.
    - Yaron N.
  • In November 2009, following a voice department recital, my teacher encouraged me to do a solo recital. I agreed, and she paired me with one other of her students. We picked a date for March 30 2010, in MacPhail's beautiful Antonello Recital Hall, and this recital became our project for the spring 2010 semester. I worked very hard to prepare for it. I invited an octet of singers from my community choir to join, and when the evening came, I gave the performance 150%. By most accounts, including that of my partner, the recital was success. We received a standing ovation.

    My next scheduled voice lesson was April 15th, 2010. The lesson plan was to go over the recital, and then begin study of the International Phonetic Alphabet. At this lesson, my teacher made remarks that I took to be explicitly negative, exaggerated, pedagogically unprofessional for a teacher to say to a student, and downright hurtful. (and quot;I couldn't stand to watch you, you were so nervousand quot; she said. and quot;I thought you were going to lose it, but you didn't. I don't know how, but you kept it together, your voice was there for you. I would not have been able to sing through those phrases if I was that nervous. You sounded fine; I just could not stand to look at you.and quot;) She then went on to say that it (being so nervous that your teacher can't even look at you) was and quot;no big deal.and quot; Those two comments contained a mixed message that I simply could not reconcile in my mind. She had never been this negative toward me before. We did no singing nor any other work at all the entire hour.

    Six days later, I sent an email to my teacher telling how I felt about that lesson and her remarks. It was, from my perspective, our first bad lesson ever. I asked my teacher to explain what she was really trying to communicate, and to say something positive, anything at all, about my performance. That request ultimately went unanswered.

    However she did reply back within a few hours, and in her first response she was very eager to resolve this amicably. She offered to meet face-to-face to clarify the conversation that was had during lesson, citing that email may not be the best venue to try and resolve this. (“I wish to clarify, correct and defend the statements you mention” and “Our relationship is important to me and I want to have an effective conversation about this” were the exact words in her reply). I accepted her offer, but I requested the Director of Student Services be present as a neutral third-party, just to prevent any further miscommunication, and to keep the discussion professional.

    The teacher agreed, and asked of my availability. I replied back with a list of available dates and times, and I was waiting for confirmation on a time and location. Thus we had an agreement to meet to resolve a miscommunication, with a neutral 3rd party presence, and we had an agreed-upon meeting agenda. This communication was all via email.

    Then for reasons unknown, 24 hours later the teacher COMPLETELY RENEGED. Via email no less (ironic, since the teacher’s offer to a face-to-face meet to straighten things out was because she felt that email was NOT the appropriate venue), the teacher then cancelled the two remaining semester lessons (one hour each), unilaterally ended the student-teacher relationship, and refused to have any further communication with her now-former student.

    And with that, our work was done. This ended a 4-year student-teacher relationship:
    *On a negative note; *Mid-semester;
    *After one bad lesson (our first ever);
    *After an acknowledged but-yet-unresolved miscommunication;
    *After we had just staged a recital, the whole intent of which was to showcase and celebrate our work together.

    The teacher refused to accept any responsibility for her remarks, nor for the lesson she delivered, nor for what she herself called a communications problem. Instead, in that final email, the teacher placed fault for the communications breakdown 100% squarely on the student (me). No other reason was given as to where I, the student, had failed pedagogically (i.e.—was a “bad” student) or what I did wrong that justified it, only that and quot;we have a communications problemand quot;.

    I was devastated. I felt like I had completely failed. To label this behavior unprofessional would be an understatement. It was a breach of trust on the deepest level, a violation of the Code of Ethics as laid out by the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), a terrible way for any teacher to treat a long-term student, and quite immature. (Since when has a problem in communications EVER been resolved by one party slamming the door shut and refusing to communicate with the other?)

    On Thursday, April 29th 2010, I met with the Director of Student Services along with the HR Director. Together they placed me with a new instructor for the remainder of the semester, and a very good one at that--one in many ways much better for me than the former. After all, lessons are paid for in advance, and they did not want to have to issue a refund or lose a loyal “customerand quot;. But beyond that, they considered their obligations toward the student to be met. They flat-out refused to explain the teacher's conduct, nor would they tell me what I did, as a student, that justified any of this.

    But the worst was yet to come. Read on....

    I continued through the summer 2010 working with my new teacher. But I still needed closure to a student-teacher relationship that ended so badly, and so to that end, in June I contacted the Chief Operating Officer, the Student Services Director, and the HR Director. I asked if they would be willing to meet with me to discuss what might have gone wrong with my former teacher, now that some time had passed. I explained that whatever I did, I didn't wish to repeat the same mistakes in my new teachers' studio.

    They replied back 11 days later. They refused my request, citing employer-employee confidentiality, but they encouraged me to and quot;continue moving forward with my new teacher.and quot; They offered no written apology or regret for what happened, nor any thank-you for our past or continued patronage to MacPhail.

    I then sent a written letter (via snail mail, sent to MacPhail) to my former teacher. I crafted the kindest, most gentle letter I could write, enclosed in the nicest greeting card that I could find. I thanked my former teacher for 4 years of otherwise excellent teaching, the last lesson notwithstanding. I expressed that she was at once a teacher, mentor and friend, and I invited her to and quot;have the effective conversationand quot; that she first offered to have; not for the purpose of resuming the student-teacher relationship, but only to give it a more peaceful, graceful closure that I felt it needed and deserved. I left it completely open-ended. I earnestly wanted to have better closure, but unfortunately, neither MacPhail nor the teacher would co-operate in that effort.

    That was the only communication I sent since our student-teacher relationship ended two months prior. The letter was postmarked June 28th 2010. I never got any reply, so I tried to let it go.

    But then on July 30th 2010, I was called into a meeting with the Chief Operating Officer and the Director of Human Resources. (Mind you, I had requested just such a meeting one month prior, to which I was refused.) At this meeting, I was handed a letter warning me to cease any further direct communication with my former teacher, and not to discuss what happened with other MacPhail personnel, or else “MacPhail may need to decide whether it is the appropriate place for you to continue your lessons”. In other words, I was being threatened with expulsion. At the bottom of the letter they apologized and quot;that the situation occurred.and quot; After that meeting, I left MacPhail.

    At that meeting, as a compromise I asked that they refund me the one hours' tuition for the April 15th lesson. The response I got was tentative, that they needed to check with their attorney. (How odd that the COO could not authorize a mere $80 refund to a loyal “customer” without first having to consult his lawyer!) Then to my surprise, on or about August 15th 2010, I received a check in the mail for $80, the cost of one hour-long lesson with a Level-2 instructor at MacPhail, along with a second and more sincere letter of apology. This was the FIRST honorable thing that MacPhail had done to address my situation. It was just a little late; that's all. It should have come back in May, and by MacPhail's own volition, not at the student's request.

    In their letter of 07/30/10, MacPhail stated to me: and quot;MacPhail does maintain professional standards for its entire faculty at whatever level.and quot; Yet to THIS DAY, MacPhail has refused to give any explanation or accounting of what I might have done that justified (or at least accounted for) why my former teacher turned on her student. When asked point-blank, their only reply has been: and quot;We Don't Know.and quot;

    MacPhail is not a conservatory. It isn't even a degree-granting institution. It is a community music school whose stated mission is to help students of all ages experience the joy of making music. It also bears mentioning that the student-teacher relationship model is not based equals; it is hierarchical, with the teacher in the position of power. Under this model, it is the teacher's professional responsibility to be an effective communicator, and to do no harm to the student. My teacher was not held up to that task.
    - Mark C.
Join Angie's List to view provider's name.

Piano Lessons in Minneapolis

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order.

To view top rated service providers along with reviews & ratings, JOIN ANGIE'S LIST NOW!