"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything." ~ Plato
Samuel is currently accepting piano students of all ages and abilities at his private teaching studio at Patchen Music Studios in South Burlington, Vermont!
A graduate with honors of the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam, Samuel received his M.M. (2014) and B.M. (2005) in piano performance with concentrations in piano pedagogy and a minor in jazz studies. Samuel has enthusiastically taught piano privately to a wide variety of students in upstate New York and Central Vermont for over 10 years.
Well-versed in classical and jazz piano, Samuel has experience performing in other musical styles as well including gospel, pop, blues, rock, Latin, blues, ragtime and contra dance!
Samuel's teaching style is eclectic, pulling from many different resources and influences. He aims to inspire students through lessons that are creative, exciting, engaging, and fun!
Lessons are individually tailored to meet the needs and interests of each student. Depending on a student's interests and background, lessons may be geared towards anything ranging from learning foundational basics to performing songs by popular artists such as Adele and the Beatles, working together on blues and jazz improvisation, or studying masterpieces by Mozart and Chopin!
An initial evaluation lesson is offered free of charge to provide the opportunity to meet with Samuel and work a bit together to get a sense of the suitability of the student/teacher fit.
Samuel is currently a member in good standing of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the Vermont Music Teachers Association (VMTA), and the Burlington Branch Vermont Music Teachers Association (BBVMTA).
"We have known Sam for the past several years as the very accomplished pianist at FUUSB - it has been like going to a concert every week! When we saw that he had openings in his teaching schedule, we jumped at his offer for a trial lesson. From the first moment of the lesson, Sam graciously worked his magic with my 'shy' 8-year old son, finding ways to connect and engage him on a personal level before even sitting at the piano. When they did begin to play, Sam offered very lighthearted and engaging options for my son to try - as a result, we were both hooked! From that first day, Sam has continued to offer encouragement and appropriate challenges through an effective teaching style and welcoming persona. Highly recommend." ~ Christine, parent of student
"A fantastic piano teacher who is patient, persistent and an amazing inspiration, Sam Whitesell has been teaching our daughter piano for two years and he has brought piano lessons and even practice alive for her. I highly recommend him and he's also just a great human. If you, your child or someone you know is looking to begin, continue or take your piano playing in a new and inspired direction, the humble and talented Sam is your man." ~ Rebecca, parent of student
"Sam has been a great, clear and patient teacher for me as I've taken up the piano, post-retirement. I'm brand new to both organized music instruction as well as the piano. Sam has really helped me feel comfortable, I'm having fun and I'm actually learning how to play! What could be better!!" ~ Ted, adult student
"We have been taking weekly lessons with Sam for the past year and 1/2. We are amazed by the progress our 10 year old son has made in such a short time. Sam uses a variety of lesson strategies to keep my son engaged and interested. This approach has supported his learning and love of music. Sam is professional and patient and brings good energy and cheer to each lesson. He is a skilled teacher and a gifted musician. Our son has expressed feeling a great sense of accomplishment as a result of taking lessons with Sam. Thank you, Sam!" ~ Nina & Paul, parents of student
"Samuel is a great teacher with a wonderful disposition and I highly recommend." ~ Ben, parent of student
"I came to Sam for piano lessons with a large list of skills that I hoped to acquire including playing scales and chords, improvising and playing classical piano. Not only did I hope to learn all of these techniques, but I also only had 6 months time to do so before graduate school applications were due! Sam graciously set to work with all of my requests by gradually introducing technique, music theory, improvisation exercises and by choosing a classical piece that I would be able to play within 6 months time. Sam was able to provide enough information for me to have plenty to work on between lessons, however, he was also mindful of my beginner student status and never overloaded me to the point of overwhelm.
After 6 months time I have learned basic blues improvisation, scales and fingering, a short classical piano piece with pedal work and a number of helpful home practice techniques thanks to Sam’s skilled teaching. I am grateful to Sam for both inspiring and pushing my piano practice and for graciously balancing his curriculum with my personal goals for piano." ~ Liana, adult student