Unflappably friendly and efficient, Sammie has an ideal skill set for the somewhat dry (but nevertheless essential!) world of scheduling and logistics. She’s also a Piano Power teacher in piano, violin, vocals, and guitar.
Hailing from Waukegan and born into a family of musicians, Sammie started studying piano and violin at age five and grew up singing at family parties. She later received pre-collegiate classical training in piano and voice from the Zion Conservatory of Music, where she learned the value of hard work and regular practice. Sammie obtained her bachelor of science in nursing, with a minor in music, from Marquette University.
Sammie is the music director of St. Anastasia Parish in Waukegan, where she has continued the development of the choral program for the last five years and started the parish’s first Teen Choir. Sammie is also the accompanist for the Swedish Glee Club of Lake County and the Filipino Choir of Lake County.
Alex started playing music at five years old, and he has never wanted to do anything else. As he progressed, he explored numerous instruments and genres. He naturally found himself participating in improvised and rehearsed groups, teaching lessons to peers, and honing his sight-reading skills as a church organist.
Alex continued his musical growth at the esteemed Berklee College of Music, where he earned a degree in jazz composition. Since graduating, he has played with touring groups across the world as both a writer and instrumentalist. With over a decade of teaching experience, Alex aims to cultivate creativity while building technique. By incorporating his students’ interests in a comfortable setting, he fosters structure, routine, and confidence.
Alex loves the Piano Power vibe so much that he also helps out the administrative team with various projects. You are sure to hear from him come recital season!
Having abandoned his Silicon Valley aspirations for musical greatness during the first dot-com bust, Andrew has found a perfect home for his tech, interpersonal, and musical skills as Studio Director and Lead Teacher for Piano Power.
After graduating from Sonoma State University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in jazz piano performance, Andrew left California for Chicago to pursue a career in teaching. Andrew has been teaching with Piano Power since 2014, developing strong, yearslong relationships with his students and families. Aside from being a strong advocate for our teachers and trusted confidant to Piano Power founder Abraham Levitan, he also played a crucial role in our rapid and successful pivot to online lessons during the onset of COVID.
Andrew has a knack for helping teachers and families navigate all phases of a great music education, and he loves making great matches between our talented teachers and wonderful students. He looks forward to helping you find the perfect fit.
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 is the founder and executive 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. Abraham also fronts the Chicago pop-rock band Baby Teeth, which has recorded four full-length albums.
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.