Sometimes you're looking for ways to improve musically that aren't necessarily specific to an instrument. A number of the subjects listed below are traditionally only learned in class format or through a college but not as private lessons. At Madison Music Foundry we place a high value on the one-on-one time provided in private lessons, and we feel that individual study is an effective way to learn areas of music that are not necessarily specific to an instrument. Lesson subjects are listed below.
Specialty lessons can be on a limited basis or ongoing. Students can also have a trial lesson in order to help determine an appropriate lesson plan.
MUSICAL THEATER & OPERA
--Manuscript software (i.e. Finale, Sibelius, MuseScore)
--Beat making software
--Gear (i.e. pedals, processors)
**To get the most of technical lessons, the instructor may suggest you own the software or gear used in lessons, though you may also use lessons to help better understand what equipment is best for you.
Alison Margaret’s relationship with music is both deep and broad, spanning the continuum between performance and formal education. She hails from Chicago, where she studied at the prestigious Columbia College, earning a degree in vocal jazz performance. She has a master’s of music with a focus on jazz performance and education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ms. Margaret has been a music educator for over 15 years. In addition to holding a private studio of approximately 25 students, she also teaches group piano and music theory courses at Madison College. Her educational philosophy is rooted in inclusive schooling concepts and she welcomes students with unique learning styles and music interests.
Ms. Margaret is an accomplished classical and jazz pianist. Throughout 2009 and 2010, she performed Keith Jarrett's 1975 Koln Concert in Madison, Rockford, and Syracuse. As a vocalist, Ms. Margaret leads the “Alison Margaret Jazz Quartet.” The group has performed at Madison’s Jazz at 5 Festival, Milwaukee's 3rd Ward Jazz Festival, Monona Terrace, the Brink Lounge, Opus Lounge, and a host of other venues. Alison has also performed at many famous Chicago jazz haunts and festivals, including the Green Mill, the Hot House, Jazz Showcase, and the Navy Pier.
Nick is an educator, electric guitarist, and composer that decided to pursue music after he first heard Metallica when he was fifteen. Nick has been described as a “rising star” [The Kansas City Star] and a composer with “powerful ideas” that “expresses them confidently” [The Straits Times]. In addition to having been awarded many national and international honors, Nick has received residencies at Copland House, Willapa Bay AiR, and was a finalist for the Rome Prize.
Nick has performed with orchestras, wind ensembles, rock bands, jazz combos, and experimental music groups. In 2019, Nick performed as a soloist with the Singapore Symphony and in 2018 with the classical comedy duo, Igudesman and Joo. He specializes in rock, metal, classical, and fusion musical styles. Nick enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities—whether learning basic fundamentals, jazz theory, or how to shred, Nick’s extensive background and singular teaching approach can help you accomplish your goals. Many of Nick’s students have gone on to have careers as performing artists, composers, or study music formally.
As a composer, Nick’s music has been performed all over the world. He has composed for some of the leading ensembles of today such as the Berkeley Symphony, l’Orchestre de la francophonie, Alarm Will Sound, and the Jasper String Quartet, among others. Nick has received commissions by the Wellesley Composers Conference, the Aspen Music Festival and School, Shouse Institute at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, National Arts Centre in Canada, and Le Domaine Forget.
Nick holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (DMA, MM) where he was a Preparing Future Faculty Fellow and at Heidelberg University (BM). Nick previously taught at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Central Missouri.
Rockwell teaches music theory and can specialize it to fit individual needs and styles. So, if you would like to gain a deeper understanding of what you or your favorite artists are doing, don't hesitate to contact Rockwell and let him know what you are looking for. Lessons will be geared towards your specific interests whether that is just a general overview of theory or if you want to focus on understanding specific concepts.
Rockwell also has experience working with the Ableton Live Digital Audio Workstation. He can help to acquaint you with the program by providing an overview of its functions, and he can also give detailed instruction of specific features. More detailed lessons can include mixing and mastering your own projects or learning to design your own sounds to use with your music.
Nancy Rost is a songwriter’s songwriter with both literary and musical backgrounds. A musician for four decades, Nancy also studied English literature at the University of Wisconsin and received the Academic Excellence Award in creative writing. She has written hundreds of songs, written with a wide variety of collaborators, and had songs recorded by folk, rock, jazz, adult contemporary and children’s artists. In addition to private songwriting and music theory lessons and classes at Madison Music Foundry, she teaches songwriting classes and workshops through Wisconsin Youth Company and the Madison Songwriters Guild, and introduces young students to music theory and group songwriting as a band coach and instrument instructor at Girls Rock Camp. An active performing songwriter, she continues to write with and for others, and serves on steering committees for two international songwriting organizations, February Album Writing Month and 50 Songs In 90 Days.
Songwriting lessons are highly customized and can include exercises in composition and lyrical techniques, feedback on songs-in-progress, and coaching for ongoing creativity . Nancy offers music theory lessons as applied to composition/songwriting or improvisation, as well as a more general course. Music theory can also be combined with piano instruction as needed.
Nancy also teaches piano.
Chris has been surrounded with music most of his life. His grandparents were music educators and had him start piano lessons at age 6. Then, at 13, after listening to arguably too much Metallica, he was inspired to take up the guitar, and start a band. Chris has toured the Midwest and shared the stage with bands ranging from Mudvayne, Disturbed, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. He currently plays music ranging from acoustic to aggressive metal in several Madison based bands and understands the details of dynamic, aggressive music.
As an instructor, Chris has taught all styles and ages. He prefers an individualized approach (everyone's different, right?), teaching everything from note reading, tablature, popular music, song writing, beginning to advanced theory and technique. Above all, he believes having fun can be the greatest motivator and is the most important part of playing music. Full Bio (pdf)
Chris also teaches guitar.