Piano Lessons

“Check her out!"

"My daughters and I have been taking lessons with Cheri for almost six years and are amazed at both the breadth and the depth of her ability.

The things she has taught us have ranged from classical fare to jazz, improvisation skills (in a variety of musical styles), theory and ear training and lead sheet reading. We have participated in the MMTA contests and both my daughters have received "high distinction" as their result.

I love that she is so willing to work with each student on their own musical priorities. My 14 year old daughter was asked to be on the worship team at church as the piano player. Cheri … helped her get the confidence she needed. My other daughter loved the fact that Cheri was able to add in guitar lessons.

Cheri has been worth every penny that our lessons cost.  Her knowledge of piano technique/styles, as well as her ability to teach the material geared to the individual taking the lesson, makes her worth both the price of the lesson and the travel time it takes us to get to her studio.”  M.E.


Discover and pursue your musical passion!  Lessons are custom-tailored to YOU. You can learn not only classical repertoire and technique, but also jazz, pop, and rock idioms.  Cheri’s mastery of diverse keyboard styles, and cutting-edge approach, will pave the way.  Develop your ability to play by ear, improvise, sight-read, and compose.   Emphasis on theory and ear-training is the key. 

Adults, children, and teens are all welcome; Cheri enjoys the singular challenges of each age group. Today’s keyboard is the COMPLETE instrument.  You will be exposed to the widest range of keyboard possibilities. Your creative options are endless!  Cheri’s studio employs today’s exciting technology to learn theory, technique, and ear-training.   You can also learn music notation software and experience multi-track recording.

Students have the option to participate in exams sponsored by Minnesota Music Teachers Association, useful benchmarks of progress and great motivators.  Sykes Piano Studio itself offers two annual recitals. Many further opportunities are available in the area for recital experiences throughout the year, allowing the opportunity to finely tune your repertoire and performing abilities, as desired. 

Visit Sykes Piano Studio on Facebook for more stories of positive musical experiences by our students.

Because of her stylistic versatility and cutting-edge approach, Cheri is able to take you where YOU want to go!


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"I just wanted to say thank you for the great recital experience.  S. was very nervous, but ecstatic on the way home.  She was bubbling over with enthusiasm for music again.  Thank you so much for the gift you are giving her!”  J.J.

“She even helped me write a song that included guitar and vocals that we performed with some fellow students at a recent recital.” B.R.

"A. before studio class:  “Do I hafta go? I don’t want to.”  A. after studio class:  “That was fun! I wonder when we get to do it again”  He had a good time.  Thanks!”  A. H.

“The best teachers care about their students, and it is evident how you care and how hard you work with us.” J.L.

"The ear-training computer programs have helped me excel in my choir class.  I can really understand what I need to be singing.”  A.T.

“Had I not taken lessons from Cheri Sykes I wouldn’t have the confidence to pursue a career in music education, and I definitely would not be where I am today.”  A. T.


"La Caroline" (classical piece by CPE Bach), performed by Katie

"Tonight, Tonight," pop song recorded by Nicholas on Garageband

"Up On the Housetop", recorded by Andrew on Garageband, original arrangement by Cheri

Video:  E-Sister Boogie (original arrangement)  https://youtu.be/RorLR3KHM7s   

Amelia’s original song, recorded on Garageband




Preparing his original song for the recital rock band.

Catherine and Katri

Preparing their duet for recital.


Dressed up for her lesson.


At the MMTA Honors Recital.


Jim is a pro guitarist who always wanted to learn piano.


Practices while his sibling takes a lesson.


  • $109/monthly for weekly 30-minute lessons 
  • $164/monthly for weekly 45-minute lessons
  • Flex Option (Adults only, each lesson freely scheduled at your discretion):
    • $33/30 minutes 
    • $49/45 minutes




Studio Policies and Rates:  Studio Policies 2017-2018

2017-2018 Studio Calendar: Studio Calendar 2017-2018

Cheri earned her B.A. in piano, 1979, from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where she was steeped in Bach and Chopin. Her Masters work at Emory University in Atlanta further deepened her knowledge of classical performance practice and music history.  Regarding contemporary styles, Cheri was involved in UW-EC’s jazz program, and subsequently refined her improvisational skills with jazz pianists Laura Caviani  of Minneapolis and Sean Turner of McNally-Smith College in St. Paul.   Today she is an active jazz performer in the Twin Cities, including arranger/keyboardist for her own five-piece jazz group.

Cheri has received statewide air-play performing Bach on Minnesota Public Radio.  At the other end of the spectrum, her gospel-jazz performing group Wild Honey and the Locusts, has been featured on KBEM Jazz 88 FM’s program, “Jazz and the Spirit,” as well as KARE-11 Television’s morning program, “Minnesota Showcase.

Master Certified with the Minnesota Music Teachers Association (MMTA), she helped write the groundbreaking  MMTA Popular Styles Syllabus. She is a recipient of the Maureen Conway Award for Inspiring Teaching, from the Keys 4/4 Kids non-profit in St. Paul. 

Cheri began as a music instructor in the 1970s.  Before establishing the Sykes Piano Studio in 2009, she was a private instructor for Schmitt Music.

Cheri Sykes’ professional resume: Sykes resume


Sykes Piano Studio



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