"Liz Lacroix has been a superb piano teacher for my daughter for six years, teaching her sound technique, theory, and musicality in such a way that was joyful, gentle, and encouraging. My daughter always came away from her lessons feeling enthusiastic and motivated to practice and work hard. As a parent I always appreciated the high expectations Liz placed on my child while instilling a passion and love for music." Liesl S.
Aside from his robust musical qualifications, Mike is so good at dealing with small kids--no small thing! He was so good with my squirrely little boys...the perfect mix of letting them squirm on the bench and also asking them to focus. My kids loved learning piano with Mike. Yael H.
Mr. Mike made the background of music come to life for my kids. During his time at our house each week, they enjoyed interacting with Mr. Mike as much as they enjoyed playing music with him. The LaCroix's always had many technically advanced students but he encouraged the love of music most importantly. The kids would clamor to show Mr. Mike their musical creations in addition to their technically prepared selections. Terri B.
From Carolina (10): "He made it fun to learn piano!"
We started with Michael for piano after my friend who has been teaching my daughters since they were 3 moved away. The girls, ages 11 and 6 at the time, instantly connected with Michael. They progressed so much and were able to have excellent recitals in very little time. Michael also conducted workshops where kids came together and played piano and guitar and violin together; me, as a parent, seeing how well the kids worked together, how engaged Michael and Liz were with all the students, how they payed extra attention to each student and brought out the best of each of the students was miraculous. Then my older daughter started guitar with Michael; and that was even more exceptional as she was able to play classical guitar in just several months. Michael is an exceptional teacher, he is always calm but firm, guide but make sure the kids do learn on their own too; it is simply exceptional that my 2 girls went to the piano and guitar without any encouragement from me, especially the 6 (now 9) year old. When Michael moved from Chicago we really mourn our piano lessons. I really do not think that we will find a better teacher than Michael; we really miss him, his lessons, the workshops, the recitals, the exceptional teachings and the astute musician that he and his wife Liz are. He is really an outstanding teacher, one in a million. We miss you Michale and Liz.
Magda A, Chicago, daughters 9 and 14, 3 years with Michael
Although I always hated practicing piano every week, I looked forward to my lessons with Mr. Mike because I knew I was learning something awesome. I was learning to play PIANO! He was always very encouraging and helped me learn something cool. My two favorite parts of lessons with Mr. Mike were when I could show off the piece that we only STARTED the week before that I now was confident and good at. And at the end of every lesson when he gives you about three choices of awesome fun music that he MEMORIZES (and is AMAZING at) and you get to play along any notes you want. It may sound terrible to your ears, but BOY is it fun! I was really sad when he moved, but in the time I had him Mr. Mike was great.
--Miriam (age 11, Chicago)
My children studied piano with Michael LaCroix for a little more than one year. Their growth and development were extraordinary, in terms of both their technical skills and their enjoyment at making music. Michael took great care to learn their musical interests and styles, and to connect with them at a level that really inspired thoughtful reflection, personal commitment to practice, and a genuine interest in performance. His personalized approach really helped develop my children's interest in music!
My two daughters studied with Mike for more than 5 years. I was impressed by his sensitivity to their individual interests and learning styles, and how he adapted his approach as they each grew as musicians. Mike taught them to love music by helping them play music they wanted to play, rather than just the next song in the lesson book. As a skilled composer himself, he actively cultivated their skills in improvisational play and song writing. My daughters especially benefited from this aspect of his teaching -- they still regularly sit down and play whatever comes out of their fingers. His willingness to really get to know each student and his flexibility in combining many approaches (from Suzuki style, to traditional, to improv) make him a wonderful teacher. We (along with many families in Chicago) miss his weekly visits to our home. Aretha F.
Our family had the pleasure of working with Michael LaCroix for piano instruction for nearly four years. My son started with him at age five having no knowledge of piano at all, and I worked with Mike as well to try to bring back some rusty basics I had learned as a child. Mike came to our home to work with us, which allowed us to be in our comfort zone and get started on learning right away. He was able to adapt his teaching seamlessly to our temperaments and styles, and consistently gave constructive feedback that allowed us to fine-tune our skills and simultaneously feel positive about our progress. When working with my son, Mike had a good balance of progressing through a prescribed method while also allowing and assisting him in choosing pieces that he knew from pop culture or other musical exposures. Mike was also very encouraging when my son wanted to try composing his own songs. Something that stands out in particular towards the end of our time working with Mike was his dedication in helping my son acquire a suitable arrangement for a specific piece of music that he really wanted to play. My son had heard Grieg's Norwegian Dances played by a professional pianist and wanted to learn to play number three, and I searched in vain for an arrangement at his level. Mike looked for him as well, and actually ended up personally writing out an arrangement of his own at the appropriate level. What a gift this was for my son!
Mike and his wife Liz were well-respected teachers here in our neighborhood for many years. Their studios were always booked full to the point of having to turn down students for lack of openings. Prospective families are sure to be happy with making the choice to begin lessons with the LaCroix studio!