Music Education

Our teachers share their music education expertise, including what to expect when you start lessons, practice habits, tips, tricks and how to get the most out of your music lessons.

How to Practice: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers

Kay BarkerMusic EducationLeave a Comment

HOW TO PRACTICE - Guide for Parents and Caregivers

We hear it from parents of young learners all the time: “My child isn’t practicing.” Often parents think it means their child is too young for music lessons, or isn’t interested. But a reluctance to practice is perfectly normal. In fact, it’s expected! The love of music is intrinsic in all of us. But practice habits are not. Think of it this way: We don’t expect daily homework for a five year old, daily sports practice, daily language drills. So we shouldn’t expect daily music practice right away, either. Instead, practice habits should be developed slowly according to your child’s … Read More

Don’t Make These 3 New Year’s Resolution Mistakes

Joseph BarkerMusic EducationLeave a Comment

It’s finally 2021! What are your new year’s resolutions? Every year, millions of people resolve to lose weight, save more, drink less, or learn an instrument (we can help you with that!). If you’re like me, it’ll be a win just to get through the year without having an existential crisis every week. But did you know a third of resolutions don’t even make it through January? I know people who have totally given up on resolutions entirely because they think they’ll inevitably fail, so why try? But resolutions don’t have to fail. Many people succeed in changing their lives, … Read More

I’ll Get To That Later…

Justin T. SwainMusic Education

putting off passion projects like music lessons

How many times have you said to yourself, “I’ll get to that later…” only for that task to drift off into obscurity? If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that time is fleeting and the promise of tomorrow is in fact, not guaranteed.

Musicologie Westerville Welcomes Noah Richelsen!

Patrick SchaeferMusic EducationLeave a Comment

I’m very excited to announce our newest guitar teacher: Noah Richelsen! Originally from Rochester, New York, Noah moved to Columbus in 2014 to pursue his undergraduate studies at Otterbein University. Since graduating in 2018, Noah works as an account associate with communications agency FrazierHelby, in addition to teaching private lessons and co-creating the local eight-piece funk collective, TATTAT. Noah truly believes that music is a gift meant to be shared. Learning as much from his students as they do from him is what excites Noah the most about teaching. “Everyone has music in them – they just need to find … Read More


Kay BarkerMusic Education, Piano3 Comments

Try or Try Not. There Is No Do. Changing your child’s vocabulary towards hard things Yoda said “Do or do not. There is no try.” He was wrong. Sorry, Yoda. There is ONLY try.  So so often, the language our little learners use towards the things they are trying to do, gives them the wrong expectations for themselves. If we tell ourselves that we must do something, and then that something doesn’t happen right away, if feels like failure. And feeling like a failure is not fun. Music should be fun! But practicing can be hard. And definitely frustrating. We … Read More

Meet Nia Dewberry M.M.

Justin T. SwainMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Several studies conducted over the past decade show a disproportionate rate of BIPOC musicians in orchestras, on the conductors podium, in arts administration, and nearly all other areas of the classical music world. Fresh out of completing a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance at The Ohio State University, I’m excited to introduce you all to Dayton, Ohio native Nia Dewberry who continues to make ripples in the classical music world as an artist of color. For the past year, Nia has taught violin at our Lewis Center location, as well as at Ohio State and around Columbus. When … Read More

Everyone’s Very Own TMBG and Weird Al Yankovic!

Patrick SchaeferMusic EducationLeave a Comment

It’s probably not actually that hard to believe, but I was an extremely dedicated fan of both They Might Be Giants and Weird Al Yankovic growing up. I memorized every lyric, went to their concerts, bought their discography, and even learned to sing/play “Birdhouse in Your Soul”, “Ana Ng”, “One More Minute”, “The Saga Begins” along with so many other brilliant songs. But let’s face it, what 11 year old kid DOESN’T love Weird Al or They Might Be Giants?……No? Just me?! Okay… So in going down the YouTube rabbit hole of videos, best of lists, and interviews, I’ve come … Read More

Dublin Student Feature: Introducing Everett, Master of the Keys!

Megan RaineyMusic EducationLeave a Comment

This week, we’re featuring one of our youngest students at Musicologie Dublin: the fabulous Everett, who is four years old! Everett started his journey at Musicologie with Miss Kay Barker in our Musicologie Junior class for toddlers and their adults. It was here that he started to develop an interest in the accordion! Now in weekly private lessons, Everett is learning his way around the piano, the accordion, and even the organ. If it has keys, this young man can figure it out! Everett’s mom Kristy had the following to say about their lesson experience so far: “We began classes … Read More

Why I Love Listening to Music

Music Education3 Comments

This summer, I’ve been growing a vegetable garden. My students already know this – I can never resist sharing what kind of tomatoes or peppers have been getting ripe, or what kind of critters have been taking bites out of my lettuce plants. Like any proud plant parent, I wonder every day if I’ve given them enough water. And it got me thinking that, for those of us learning to make music, listening to music is a way we can “water” our growing musical skills. One of the things I enjoy most about teaching virtually is how easily my students … Read More

Sight Reading Isn’t the Enemy!

Megan RaineyMusic Education, PianoLeave a Comment

I have a confession to make: I used to be a terrible sight reader. Reading a new piece of music on the spot, without the aid of my ear, was a special kind of torture for me as a young pianist. My brain would shut down, my hands would freeze, and it felt as though I was trying to read a foreign language. (That 7-year-old pianist in the picture above? That was me in 1999, when learning a new piece at the piano meant doing as much as I could to rely entirely on playing by ear!) I did not … Read More

A Weekend of Student Concerts at Musicologie Lewis Center

Justin T. SwainMusic EducationLeave a Comment

This past weekend we celebrated nearly 40 Musicologie voice and piano students in concerts. Saturday members of my own voice studio presented our Second Annual Summer Musical Theatre Cabaret and Sunday afternoon, voice and piano students of Hannah Bullock came together to present their Summer Recital. Preparing for concerts and recitals under normal circumstances can be challenging, (let alone during the current global crisis we’re facing in the form of combating the pandemic) both for students and for their teachers. There’s the ongoing need to check schedules, confirm performance pieces, and so many other administrative tasks that it easily becomes … Read More

DIY Dice Game

Justin T. SwainMusic Education1 Comment

Developing Musicianship Skills Through Play For years, I struggled with rhythm and basic musicianship skills. As a singer, I heard very early on in college from classmates that “singers are stupid,” because our musicianship skills are typically no where near as developed as our instrumentalist counterparts. Oftentimes, I found that my more successful voice colleagues who were often time whizzes when it came to aural skills (sight-singing and rhythm performances) had studied an instrument (usually piano) as a child, and had quite a bit of music theory, sight-reading, and aural skills incorporated in their instrumental lessons growing up. The past … Read More

“Where is My Mind?” – New video from Musicologie teacher band O.R.B.!

Megan RaineyMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Musicologie Dublin and Grandview teacher Matt Murphy is a musician of many talents; in addition to being an experienced percussion and piano teacher, he also is a prolific composer, arranger, performer, and – most recently – music video creator! Welcome to the wild and wonderful world of O.R.B. (The Obscure Reference Band): a group of music educators who come together to perform video game music, arranged by Matt himself. O.R.B. features Matt on drums, as well as Musicologie teachers Liz Woolley (voice and keyboards), Joe Brenneman (woodwinds and backing vocals) and Nick Terelle (guitar and audio mixing), along with bassist … Read More

Rubber Duck Code Debugging Our Music-Making

Justin T. SwainMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Drawing Parallels Between Music and Code Debugging This month I’ve had the privilege of completing a Performance Psychology course online with Dr. Noa Kageyama of the Bulletproof Musician. I began the class fully anticipating having heard of or used several tactics for addressing performance anxiety – the main area I was hoping to gain knowledge in – but I’ve learned far more than I originally anticipated, and my favorite concept discussed in the course is something that I had been doing for years subconsciously from my other passion: coding websites. It will sound outlandish, but I owned my first .COM … Read More

Socially Distant But Emotionally Connected

Patrick SchaeferMusic EducationLeave a Comment

My voice student Cynthia Vaughn is an absolute treasure and highlight of my Saturday mornings. Cynthia shines with a bright positivity, great ambition, and willingness to explore, as we work through all facets of her voice. Whether it’s bringing in original material or giving us a heartfelt rendition of “Close to You”, she always has a game plan. And I am always right there with her, to help her in any and every way I possibly can. Since she works an extremely stressful job during the week, Cynthia enrolled in piano and voice lessons with Musicologie to tap into her … Read More

At Home Learning: Insight from a Musicologie Instructor

Lauren NelsonMusic EducationLeave a Comment

With the school year quickly approaching, many parents and students alike are concerned with the challenges at home learning may pose. Regan, a voice and piano instructor at our Grandview and Westerville locations, gave us a bit of insight into her own experience with homeschooling and how it impacted her journey as an individual, a student, and a musician. What do you remember fondly about your homeschooling experience? There are so many things I remember fondly! I think if I had to choose a couple of elements I remember best, they would have to be the fun “outside of the … Read More

What’s In A Space: The Importance of Where We Create

Justin T. SwainMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Anyone who has stepped into my room at the Lewis Center studio (or room 4 at the Grandview studio prior to my embarking on co-ownership of a studio) knows instantly the emphasis that I place on having a space that feels like art is meant to be created inside of it. From gifts that students have given me over the years, to my own original artwork, photos of myself with colleagues and friends, plants, awards and diplomas, and a color scheme that ignites my creativity and helps prepare me for the work I get to do on a daily basis, … Read More

Thinking Beyond the Score: How to Explore Your Favorite Songs by Ear

Megan RaineyMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Learning to read music is an extremely valuable part of learning to play an instrument. But what about learning to play a song you enjoy listening to on the radio? Sure, there are many resources out there where you can find sheet music arrangements of popular songs by professionals and enthusiasts ( and Musescore, to name a few). But what if your favorite song doesn’t have an accessible arrangement? What if the arrangement is too hard, too easy, or… just not quite right? This is where ear training comes in. As part of my lesson curricula, I make it a … Read More

Conquering Performance Anxiety: a Pianist’s Perspective

Megan RaineyMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Performing is one of the most important components of being a musician. It provides a tangible goal for our practice, and it allows us to share and celebrate our art with our loved ones. Although live music may not be so common during the COVID-19 pandemic, at Musicologie, we frequently host Virtual Student Concerts to help our students continue to build their skills and support each other’s hard work. (Pictured above: Dublin voice student Alex Rector sings his rendition of “Anything Goes” at our last Virtual Student Concert.) But sometimes, let’s face it: performing for others can be a little … Read More

Six Days of the Week, You’re Your Own Teacher

Justin T. SwainMusic Education1 Comment

The Importance of Effective Practice Habits from a Voice Teacher’s Perspective, Part One One of the most common questions I find new students asking is, “What should I practice?” or “How should I practice?” The simplest response is, “The songs we’re working on, of course.” But what of practicing where to breathe, or developing consistency in the performance of the music? What if the student isn’t well-versed in reading sheet music and just has access to lyrics? There are a variety of methods one can take, as well as resources to make use of outside of the voice studio. In … Read More

Musicologie Westerville Welcomes Ellen Losey!

Lauren NelsonMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Ellen Losey Musicologie Teacher

Meet Musicologie Westerville’s newest voice and beginning piano instructor, Ellen! With previous experience working with choirs and teaching private lessons, Ellen is a wonderful and exciting addition to our Musicologie team. She received her Bachelor’s of Music from Illinois Wesleyan University and is currently working towards obtaining her Master’s in Voice Pedagogy with a Singing Health Specialization from The Ohio State University. Ellen has appeared in productions with The Ohio State University’s Opera Theatre, as well as with Prairie Fire Theatre in Bloomington, IL. With a background in singing classical and musical theatre repertoire, Ellen enjoys teaching a variety of … Read More

Virtual Concert this Friday: Featuring the Musicologie Dublin Rock Band!

Megan RaineyMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Last month, Musicologie Dublin’s Rock Band got the chance to reunite for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a series of socially distanced rehearsals (complete with masks, open doors, and a ton of space between each member – the whole shebang!), the band will be giving their very first performance at this Friday’s Virtual All-Star Student Concert! Musicologie’s Rock Band is led by bass instructor Bruce MacLaughlin (pictured above), and features violin instructor Kristen Elliott alongside Dublin students Ted Elliott and Tom Allenbaugh. Our Virtual All-Star Concert will also feature fabulous performances from students from … Read More

What It’s Like to Be A Black Small Business Owner

Justin T. SwainMusic Education2 Comments

What is it like being a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) small business owner? So many things, but to fully understand the magnitude of what it means to me, I want to share with you my story. I grew up on the westside of Columbus (Hilltop), where breaking the cycle of poverty and substance abuse just didn’t seem possible for people like me. But I knew from a very young age that I didn’t want to be in the same circumstances I was born into. Living with a drug-dealing father with substance issues all the while being a … Read More

Teacher Feature: Hannah Bullock

Justin T. SwainMusic EducationLeave a Comment

This week we’re featuring the multi-talented vocalist, pedagogue, pianist, and voice actress, Hannah Bullock! Hannah completed her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance & Pedagogy at Ohio University in Athens where she served as a graduate teaching associate and accompanist, and she also possesses a Bachelor of Music in Music Technology from Capital University. Most recently, Hannah has been seen around Columbus performing as part of Opera Columbus’ The Voice of Freedom: Civil Rights cast. During her studies in graduate school, she performed the role of First Lady in Ohio University Opera Theater’s production of Die Zauberflöte and as … Read More

Teacher Feature: Matt Patti

Patrick SchaeferMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Matt Patti Teacher at Musicologie

Matt Patti is an absolute treasure of our Grandview location. A vocalist and pianist hailing from Dublin, Ohio, Matt holds degrees in both Music and Computer Engineering from The Ohio State University. With an extensive background in classical voice, studying under Professor Loretta Robinson, Matt is also our go-to for his breadth of knowledge, passion and experience in musical theatre and pop music. Matt has performed in several productions with OSU’s Opera & Lyric Theatre including “Sixteen By Sondheim”, “Candide” and “Operatic Hors D’Ouevres”. He has also music directed and performed alongside OSM A Cappella (The Ohio State of Mind). … Read More

From accordion to marimba – we teach more than piano at Musicologie Dublin!

Megan RaineyMusic EducationLeave a Comment

While we’re still your number one source for awesome piano, voice, guitar and drum lessons in Dublin, we also offer a variety of less common instruments! We have teachers who specialize in woodwinds, brass, marimba/percussion, and even accordion! Pictured above: accordion student Barb works on a new song to play for Columbus’s renowned German singing society, the Columbus Maennerchor. We’d love to help you reach your musical goals. Sign up for virtual lessons or physically-distanced in-person lessons today at !

Teacher Feature: Erik Meininger

Lauren NelsonMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Meet Erik, one of our incredible piano, percussion, and drum set instructors here at Musicologie Westerville! Erik studied music at Ohio Northern University and has been the principal percussionist with the New Albany Symphony Orchestra since 2010 and is also a percussionist with the Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra. He is an active performer in Central Ohio and performs with groups such as The Ghost Town Railroad and The Neighbors Kids. Over the years, Erik has performed in jazz bands, wind bands, and marching bands, as well as with individuals like Louis Bellson, Clark Terry, Arturo Sandoval, Janos Starker, Hillary Hahn, Bill … Read More

Teacher Feature: Renée Holzmeier

Lauren NelsonMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Renee Holzmeier

Renée is one of our amazing voice and beginning piano instructors here at Musicologie Westerville! She began taking voice and piano lessons at a young age from the Cincinnati Music Academy and later graduated from Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music where she received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. While at CCM, Renée was awarded the John Lehman Award for Excellence in Leadership and Musicianship for her ensemble work. She has also performed and studied with the Opera Theatre of Lucca, Italy and the Moores Opera Center in Houston, Texas. Before settling in Columbus, Renée spent 9 years in New … Read More

Student Feature: Jeffrey Book of First Cognate

Justin T. SwainMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Since March of 2019, Jeffrey Book has made continuous progress as a student at Musicologie — first at our Grandview studio, and now at our Lewis Center location studying with Community Manager and Teacher of Voice & Piano, Justin Swain. Earlier this year, Jeffrey released a music video for his single, “One Good Day” and today made his Spotify debut as he released his latest song “One Last Thought.” Listen to One Last Thought on Spotify This afternoon we interviewed Jeffrey about his journey in releasing his music: Congratulations on releasing another song, this time on Spotify! How does it … Read More

Teacher Feature: Regan Tackett

Patrick SchaeferMusic EducationLeave a Comment

We are so lucky to have voice/piano teacher Regan Tackett with us! In addition to teaching at our Grandview and Westerville locations, Regan performs weekly at Broad Street Presbyterian Church as a Soprano soloist and section leader. Regan got her Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance from Oakland University, and her Masters in Voice Pedagogy from The Ohio State University. Some of her all-time favorite performances were the Queen of the Night in “The Magic Flute” with Opera Coumbus, as well as Cunegonde in “Candide” with Ohio State Opera & Lyric Theatre. Regan enjoys a variety of musical genres and performs … Read More

Keeping it safe during in-studio lessons!

Megan RaineyMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Our Musicologie Dublin teachers are hard at work making sure everyone has a great lesson experience – whether in-person or online. For our in-person students, we are sanitizing all instruments and shared surfaces between every lesson, and all instructors are wearing masks and maintaining a safe distance while teaching. Pictured above: Our awesome piano and voice student Noni keeps it safe while playing Beethoven’s Sonata No. 15. Keep the music going, everyone! Ready to start your musical journey? Sign up for an online or in-person assessment today at

Teacher Feature: Robert Mason

Patrick SchaeferMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Our piano teacher Robert Mason, has been with Musicologie since we opened in 2014! Here he is teaching an online lesson with one of his students! ✌️ Robert has a background in jazz piano, graduating from OSU with a BM in Jazz Studies and a minor in Music, Media and Enterprise. Robert has studied privately with legends Mark Flugge, Dave Powers, and Bobby Floyd and apprenticed with local greats such as Shawn Wallace, Cedric Easton, Chris Brown, Milton Ruffin, James Gaiters, Jerry Powell, and Gregory Pearson. Robert currently performs with a number of groups in Columbus including Mojoflo, and his … Read More

Dublin Teacher Feature: Welcome, Doug Neel!

Megan RaineyMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Doug Neel Musicologie Guitar Teacher

Musicologie Dublin is thrilled to welcome our newest guitar instructor, Doug Neel! He will also be joining the staff at our Westerville sudio. Doug has over 17 years’ experience as a university guitar professor and specializes in both performance and education, for beginners and seasoned professionals alike. He is well-versed in a plethora of styles including jazz, classical, and rock, and he has played alongside world-famous acts such as Melissa Manchester, Ernie Krivda and Aretha Franklin! Doug also is an active performing trombonist and bassist. For more information on Doug’s experience, check out his biography on our teacher homepage. Interested … Read More

Musicologie Westerville Welcomes Doug Neel!

Lauren NelsonMusic Education1 Comment

Doug Neel Musicologie Guitar Teacher

We are excited to welcome Doug Neel, our newest guitar, bass, and brass teacher, to the Musicologie Westerville team! Doug teaches at our Dublin location and we are thrilled to have him at Westerville as well. With an extensive background in performance and education, Doug is an incredible addition to our team. He attended the Capital University Conservatory of Music and Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts. Doug is currently a faculty member at both Capital University and Otterbein University and performs throughout the region as a trombonist, 7-string guitarist, and bassist. He has performed with touring Broadway … Read More

We’re Back in the Studio!

Justin T. SwainMusic EducationLeave a Comment

? And we’re officially back in our spacious studio for both socially distanced in-person lessons as well as remote online lessons! ? Here Voice & Piano Teacher Hannah Bullock is working with one of her students in an online lesson in her room. ? Ready to start lessons or want to learn more? Visit our website at ??☺️

One Year of Our Lewis Center Studio

Justin T. SwainMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Today marks one year since we received the keys to what would become home to a thriving community of music-explorers in Lewis Center! The past year has been a whirlwind of experiences, full of overcoming challenges through inventive endeavors and having a lot of fun doing so. Over the past year we’ve hosted 20+ free group classes, collectively taught 3,200+ lessons, held five concerts featuring over 50 performers, hired 13 new teachers, volunteered as guest clinicians to help prepare local choral students for upcoming concerts, served as adjudicators for Solo & Ensemble events, and have provided nearly a dozen lesson … Read More

Why Music is Important, Especially During a Crisis

Music Education1 Comment

As music teachers, we are all so fortunate that by the very nature of what we do, we have the opportunity everyday to embody what we believe.  At the very heart of the philosophy that drives Musicologie forward is the idea that music is a critical part of human experience. And learning to make music can be one of the most rewarding things this life has to offer. In recent days, our collective human experience has been drastically knocked off course.  As we find our way through this extremely challenging period together, our purpose and resolve is strengthened because we … Read More

Musicologie Switches to Video Lessons

Joseph BarkerMusic Education, Studio BusinessLeave a Comment

Today we are making the decision to temporarily change how we offer lessons. We think it’s important that we do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, so we are moving exclusively to video lessons. Lessons will no longer be at our studios. Instead, all lessons will be held via Zoom video call. Students should follow these steps to get ready >> We’re making this change because we think it’s the best way to responsibly continue our students’ music education. We are positive that lessons can continue to be a fun, exciting experience in this new format. We hope … Read More

UPDATE: Video Lessons + COVID-19

Joseph BarkerMusic EducationLeave a Comment

Virtual Music Lessons at Musicologie

We know there’s a lot of uncertainly around COVID-19 right now, school are closing and activities are being canceled. We want to make sure you stay healthy and can continue your music education without interruption. Our in-studio one-on-one lessons will continue as usual, but we have new option if you prefer not to come to the studio: Video Lessons Video Lessons at Musicologie Video lessons are now available for both current students, and for new students. If you’re a new student, you can do an Assessment Lesson over video with your teacher from the comfort of your home. To schedule, … Read More

Why I’m Taking a Break From Academia to Open Musicologie Lewis Center

Justin T. SwainMusic Education6 Comments

Musicologie Sign on School Building

Graphic by katemangostar After completing a Bachelor’s degree in music and enrolling as a graduate student at Ohio State to pursue a dual-Masters program in vocal performance and pedagogy, I faced a question every college-trained musician faces: What’s going to happen after I finish graduate school? Apply for a doctoral program? Complete an Artist Diploma? Enter the audition circuit for performances and do the starving artist thing until I land a breakout role? Luckily for me, I was referred to Musicologie by several colleagues who taught in Grandview at the time. After having looked into teaching at several other studios … Read More

What Age Should My Child Start Music Lessons?

Kay BarkerMusic EducationLeave a Comment

When should you start your child in music lessons? There’s a lot of conflicting information out there. In fact, there are many teachers who won’t accept a student who is under the age of 7 – or sometimes even 9. Others begin lessons as early as 3! How can you know what age is right for your child? And which program or curriculum will work best? A Child’s Brain: The Window of Opportunity First, a little science: there is increasing evidence of a “window of opportunity” in music development between birth and age seven. A child’s brain is a learning machine … Read More