About Us

The Piano Power Approach

Piano Power teacher and student having fun at recital

Too often, a budding musician loses interest due to mediocre instruction. Weekly lessons, instead of being a time to explore music, become a forced march through a tired method book. Piano Power is the antidote. We’ve assembled a team of energetic, engaging instructors. After consulting with our families, we select a great match and create a personalized approach for each student. We want to know which songs are playing in their headphones. We write out arrangements by request, and we nurture the art of original composition. Besides holding impressive academic pedigrees, the Piano Power team is active in Chicago’s live-music scene. We love what we do and we can’t wait to share our enthusiasm with your student.

Whom and Where We Serve

We work with students of all ages, including teenagers and adults. For young children, we recommend they be at least five years old before starting private lessons.

Our piano, guitar, drum, and voice lessons are offered in the following North Shore suburbs: Deerfield, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Golf, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Lincolnwood, Northbrook, Northfield, Riverwoods, Skokie, Wilmette, and Winnetka; and in the following Chicago neighborhoods: Albany Park, Andersonville, Avondale, Bucktown, Edgebrook, Edgewater, Gold Coast, Humboldt Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Near North, North Center, Ravenswood, River North, Rogers Park, Roscoe Village, Uptown, West Rogers Park, West Town, and Wicker Park.

If you don’t see your neighborhood or suburb listed here we may still be able to serve you. Please contact us.

The Piano Power Story

Piano Power founder Abraham Levitan and Piano Power student Rebecca

The early years

Piano Power was founded by Abraham Levitan, who returned to Chicago in 2000 to pursue music and teaching after graduating from Yale. From a small group of core students, Abraham quickly built up an enthusiastic following in Highland Park, Deerfield, and Lake Forest. The students were engaged and inspired, playing songs they knew and loved, and even writing their own music. They were progressing rapidly, and they loved showing their achievements in recitals. Meanwhile, their parents loved the hassle-free experience of having lessons at home. Sometimes they took lessons as well.

Growing up

By 2007, a growing number of students began clamoring to learn “the Piano Power method” — and they wanted instruction in guitar, voice, and drums, too. The time had come to evolve Piano Power into an inspired team. In selecting and training this team of great instructors, Abraham adhered to the core tenets of the Piano Power method:

  • A flexible approach to repertoire, giving students the opportunity to play what they want.
  • Dynamic, engaged instructors who are excited about teaching.
  • A special focus on original composition.
  • A holistic understanding of the culture of each Piano Power family — what they want for their kids, and how music instruction supports these goals.
  • An emphasis on fostering a lifelong love of music.

Taking off

At this point, Piano Power was off and running. Since 2007, Piano Power has grown into an active, engaged community of students in Chicago and the North Shore. Some companies merely match students with independent operators. Piano Power, however, hires only instructors who have undergone an extensive interview and audition process, and who submit to ongoing teaching evaluations. As a result, we vouch for the quality of our instruction, and the character of our instructors, with tremendous confidence. Thanks for taking the time to learn more about Piano Power. For other perspectives, check out this great article from Wilmette Life, or this profile of Abraham in the Chicago Reader’s 2013 People issue. We would love to welcome you to the Piano Power family!

Our Staff

Marla Egert

Office Manager

Marla Egert

Marla Egert

Marla has a business administration degree from the University of Illinois. Upon graduation, she worked for Automatic Data Processing for 17 years. While working, she completed her MBA in finance at DePaul University in Chicago. A mother of three, Marla joined Piano Power in 2009 after taking time off to raise her family.

As the only non-musical member of Piano Power, Marla’s instrument of choice is the calculator. She is the mystery woman behind the many emails for invoices, scheduling, and general reminders.

Abraham Levitan

Founder & Director

Abraham Levitan

Abraham Levitan

Abraham is the founder and director of Piano Power. He began offering at-home piano lessons in 2001, continuously refining an engaging teaching style. He was proud to see students thriving through his curriculum, which mixed fundamentals, collaborative original compositions, classical repertoire, and the latest hits from top-40 radio. In 2007 he founded Piano Power, building a talented and enthusiastic team of instructors with this curriculum at its core.

A graduate of Yale University, Abraham has studied piano — jazz, classical, and rock — since 1984. While at Yale, he received the Selden Memorial Award for undergraduate contributions to the arts, and he toured the world as a member of the Whiffenpoofs, an a cappella singing group. For ten years Abraham fronted the Chicago pop-rock band Baby Teeth, which recorded four full-length albums.

In 2010 Abraham created the live music comedy game show Shame That Tune with co-host Brian Costello, garnering an enthusiastic cult following during a five-year run at Chicago’s beloved Hideout nightclub. On his podcast Nerds On Tour, Abraham interviews music people about money, motivation, and the rest of life, and in October of 2016 Abraham released Spontaneity, a collection of pop rock songs uniquely devised with musician Devin Davis under the moniker Teletype.

Abraham serves on the board of Foundations of Music, a non-profit bringing music education and opportunities for creative expression to Chicago children.

Lara Levitan

Marketing Director

Lara Levitan

Lara Levitan

As Marketing Director for Piano Power, Lara manages all of Piano Power’s marketing initiatives including advertising, promotion, and digital communications, but her favorite part of the job is creating programs for the bi-annual Piano Power recital!

Lara has an eclectic background, with experience as a marketing coordinator, a muralist, a greeting card artist, and a copyright permissions specialist. When she’s not editing her first novel or caring for her baby daughter, Lara works as a freelance writer and as a StoryBooth facilitator at StoryCorps’ newest branch at the Chicago Cultural Center. View LaraLevitan.com for more.

Beth McDonald

Scheduling & Logistics Manager

Beth McDonald

Beth McDonald

Beth McDonald is a classically trained tuba player gone awry. As a musician, she works mainly in the genres of electroacoustic music and contemporary classical music, but also performs jazz, pop, and anything else she can. Her solo CD, “Still,” features new works and improvisations for tuba with electronics. Beth received music degrees from New England Conservatory and the University of Kentucky, where she also studied political science. As a classical musician, she has performed with the Lucerne Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, and as a soloist with the Johnson City Symphony.

Beth also enjoys organizing concerts, assisting with community projects, and working with technology. In Boston, she was the Artistic Director of August Noise JP concert series, which brought unexpected music into public spaces. Over the course of four seasons, August Noise presented 29 concerts, giving over 115 local musicians a chance to engage with and give back to their community. Beth also helped to organize Make Music Boston 2014 – part of the annual, worldwide Make Music Day festivities.