Chuck Michaelson started piano lessons at age five with his father, Samuel Michaelson, who was a private piano instructor and church organist in Minneapolis. Chuck attended Wartburg College and York University in Canada studying with Eugene Hudson and Reginald Godden, respectively. He returned to Wartburg College and received his Bachelor of Music degree. After graduating from Wartburg,he attended the University of Iowa and received his Master of Fine Arts degree in piano performance and pedagogy while studying with Kenneth Amada.
While at the University, Chuck gave a series of performances and workshops throughout Iowa as part of the Arts Outreach program. He has performed in the Cedar Rapids area as a member of the duo piano team accompanying the Theater Cedar Rapids production of “Side by Side by Sondheim” and as the accompanist for “Nunsense” with the Old Creamery Theater. Chuck has also been in recital at Jacksonville University in Florida, Bethel University in the Twin Cities, First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids, and Zion Lutheran Church in Iowa City. He recorded a solo classical piano CD in 2004. In addition to his background in classical music, Chuck has maintained an interest in popular music and has played electronic keyboards in several rock and blues bands over the years since high school.
Chuck has had students go on to major in music at colleges and universities such as The University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Valparaiso, St. Olaf College, Luther College, Wartburg College, and the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
Chuck and his wife Barbara have two children: Sarah, a teacher in Lake Forest Illinois, and Erik is a senior software engineer in Brooklyn, New York.
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"I have a fourth grader and a third grader who have been taking lessons from Chuck for three years and a first grader who is closing in on her first year. I love listening to them play.
Prior to having my children begin piano, I was concerned about how much and when to practice given I myself was a frequently sheepish piano student when it was apparent week after week that I had not practiced enough. Chuck meets the kids at their level of weekly preparation and progresses them through the materials accordingly. Chuck is the exact right combination of kindness and expectation mixed with a seemingly limitless amount of patience.
Each week, our family of four kids (ages 10, 9, 6, and 2) utilizes Chuck’s waiting area stocked with old school Nintendo, books, and comfortable furniture as the three oldest cycle through their half hour lessons. On nice days, we make our way outdoors where there is a basketball hoop in the driveway and plenty of space for a quick game of kickball in the front yard.
One of my favorite parts about Chuck’s piano lessons are the January and May recitals. These are wonderful opportunities for the kids to get on stage and perform in front of a crowd and showcase their hard work without too much pressure. For my kids at a more novice level, it’s also a great chance for them to listen to aspirational playing by the older kids, capped off by super aspirational piano playing by Chuck. I highly recommend taking piano lessons from Chuck Michaelson."
— Katie Eastvold