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I allow students to work at their own pace while also setting realistic attainable goals. I want students to feel relaxed during their lessons so I try to establish an atmosphere that's both informal yet studious. One of my top priorities as a teacher is to understand what a student is most interested in and then focus our lessons on what they love. The best way to understand technique and theory is to apply it to something that you enjoy so I always try to attain this!
I began teaching private lessons and ensemble rehearsals in 1999, having since taught everything from elementary music and concert band to marching band and college-level drum corps. I love it all, as it's all about sharing the positive experience of performance and excellence with the next generation of musicians. In addition to teaching instrumental skills and technique, I also enjoy coaching music theory and composition, and often encourage students to bring in their own compositions to review or perform. As a performer, I have played bass guitar, drum set, hand drums, marching percussion and orchestral percussion with a multitude of bands/ensembles over the years, from cover bands and church groups to jazz trios and orchestras, and all points in between.
For beginning students I like to start with proper technique and basic music theory such as reading music and key signatures. Once the student is comfortable with the instrument we will begin to work or more advance techniques and music theory. I use various instructional books depending on the students level and interest in order to teach them theory and keep them interested and enjoying learning. For adults, I like to find out what their goals with music are, whether it is just a hobby, or something they plan on doing professionally and how in depth they are looking to learn, and then guide my instruction accordingly.
I am an active member of the Austin music scene;I play lead guitar in several bands,play general business gigs and teach guitar and bass lessons.I have a degree in Guitar performance from Berklee College of music and compose music of my own.
I have been playing the bass since 1986 and teaching since 1997. My focus was classical and jazz upright studies and electric basses. Ages of my past students have ranged from child to adult. I have performed on 4 continents with bands, orchestras, singers, artists, and entertainers from all over the globe.
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Bass is a great instrument for older children to begin with. Due to the size of the instrument, and the weight of the heavier strings, younger children will not be able to work with the bass comfortably. If students are interested in playing with groups such as a school jazz band, the bass is a great option.
The most popular instrument with beginning bass students is a standard 4-string bass. This will be more than sufficient for you to learn and develop your skills as you begin and continue on with lessons. Most music stores will have a variety to choose from such as instruments made by Ibanez, Fender, or Gibson. If you are going into lessons with the goal to play heavy metal, or rock music, you may want to look into a 5 string bass. This extra string allows the student access to lower notes that are used in those genres.
All lessons will be comprised of learning to read music, how to play with correct technique, and advance your musicianship. Depending on the instrument, lessons may also include skills such as proper fretting, plucking technique, and how to improvise bass lines for different genres. All lessons are customized for the student's skill level and ambitions.
In home lessons are the most convenient way to bring music into your life. By not having to add another destination to your busy schedule, you are maximizing your time, not to mention your budget by not having to pay for travel expenses. You will receive the same custom lessons as our in studio lessons, except in the the comfort of your own home.
The bass is a really fun instrument for adults who have no prior experience with music. Students of any age can learn to listen for the bass lines in their favorite songs and learn how to play along.
Review by Mythili Lahiri
My son is truly enjoying his lessons with Chris. He looks forward to them and is motivated to practice. Chris is conscientious and shows up on time and whenever he is supposed to. He communicates clearly if rescheduling is ever required and is accommodating when we need to change the day. I would recommend Chris to anyone.
Review by Jacob Solomon
Ileen is a very attentive instuctor. she is patient and works hard to see her student succeed. if a concept is unclear she expains it in other ways to ensure understanding. I would highly recommend ileen to students of all levels who want to learn guitar and music theory to thoroughly enjoy the instrument and music
Review by Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
Review by Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
Review by Michelle S.
"My daughter has been a student with Mark for over a year. She has come so far and has learned so much in such a short time. Mark is extremely talented and knowledgeable. He is very serious, patient and super nice. If your child or if you really WANT to learn the drums, then I highly recommend Mark. He is our third instructor and the best one yet! You will not be disappointed." Michelle S.
Review by Alex A.
Travis rocks. My 7-year-old son and I both take lessons with him. Travis has moved me off the plateau I was on with lessons that focus on theory and technique. And for my son, he's been able to instill a desire and interest that were missing when he previously took piano lessons. With Travis teaching us, the limits are the ones we impose on ourselves. Needless to say, Travis himself plays a mean guitar to boot!
Review by Kate Thomas
My son enjoys his viola lesson each week with Martina. She is disciplined in her approach to teaching but always makes my son's learning experience enjoyable. She knows how to challenge him and develop excellent form. Martina is always punctual and professional. We both highly recommend her as an instructor.
Review by James F.
After my first piano lesson, Polina is easily the best teacher I could have hoped for. Extremely charismatic and excited to help YOU learn the piano. She puts a lot of effort into evaluation your learning style and will no doubt help you make tremendous strides! I'm stoked to continue taking lessons!
Review by Jenn
My son and I both take lessons with Micheal. My son started on the ukulele and recently started the guitar. He is excellent with children. Very patient and very intuitive to the child's ability. He is also an excellent teacher for adults. I had not touched my guitar in several years and in a couple months not only to I remember everything I forgot but I'm learning many new techniques and am a much better player than I've ever been.
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