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I am a 4-time Grammy nominated Music Educator and Progressive Rock Hall of Fame inductee. I have performed with notable acts like Three 6 Mafia, Oran "Juice" Jones, Kreator, Anthrax, and Lady Gaga. I have been featured in Guitar World, Revolver Magazine, Pure Grain Audio, and Relics Magazine. I have been a panelist for SXSW '12, '13, and '14. I am an alumnus from the Berklee College of Music, and am currently a film scorer at Warner Bros. Records and the guitarist for international touring band Seek Irony, from Tel Aviv, Israel. I proudly endorse Ernie Ball, Ernie Ball Music Man, Orion Guitar Gear, Lugville, and Mogami Cables. I have been teaching music professionally for over ten years.
I create custom lesson plans depending on each student's musical background, stylistic preference, as well as age. For children I usually like to teach out of Hal Leonard's Guitar Method 1 and occasionally include songs they like/know as a reward for good work. For adults, it varies depending on their experience level and interests. When I teach, I try to teach not only how to physically play certain parts, but also how to think about music-- how the guitar player arrived playing that, why it works, and how to adopt similar things into one's own playing.
I typically begin with rhythm. The best melodies would not be worth anything if they aren't played with rhythm. After a student gains basic familiarity with their instrument I use a metronome (a musician's best and worst friend. Instead of playing traditional exercises, I teach students their favorite songs and techniques typical of their favorite genres. With my understanding of theory I try to incorporate a tiny bit of theory into every lesson to make an initially intimidating subject more accessible.
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 am a three-time Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist, composer, and teacher. I am proficient on saxophone, clarinet, flute, upright bass, electric bass, and piano. In 2006, I graduated with a degree in Jazz Composition with an emphasis in Saxophone Performance from the University of Texas at Austin. For some time in the mid-2000's, my wife and I had our own big band in Central Texas that played our original compositions exclusively. In 2015, our music was the centerpiece of a Hollywood screenplay with directorial consideration by Clint Eastwood and others.
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Bass lessons are a great option for teenage students. By playing bass, students open themselves up to be able to play in jazz band and other more contemporary groups in addition to classical ensembles. Older children and teenagers work better with the bass as it is a large instrument with heavy, thick strings which require hand strength to play.
A common choice that students have when buying a bass is going with either a 4 string bass or a 5 string bass. A 5 string will be most useful if you are interested in heavy metal or hard rock music, as it will allow you to reach lower pitches. As a beginner student, a 4 string bass is perfectly sufficient. Reliable brands for basses include Ibanez, Gibson, and Fender.
Bass is used in many genres, so it is a great instrument for any adult to pick up and play. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced student, bass lessons can be rewarding at any level. Advanced students will be able to work with their teacher to develop existing skills and learn new ones, while beginners will to start learning the basics and soon enough play along to their favorite songs!
Our teachers understand that every student is different, so each lesson will be different. With customized lesson plans, the teacher will work with you on your own strengths and weaknesses, so you will get as much out of the lessons as possible. You will learn how to read music, play with correct technique, and advance your musicianship, as well as any skills that may be pertinent to your personal goals.
In home lessons are great for both adults and children alike. Everyone has a busy schedule, and by choosing in home lessons, learning an instrument becomes extremely convenient. There is no need to spend time and money traveling to a studio when you can have the teacher come right to your home.
Review by Heather Berest
I started my 5 yr old daughter with Karleen this Fall. Karleen has a calm and honest disposition. My daughter adores her and cannot wait for her arrival. I was concerned because my daughter is not so willing to "practice" during the week. Karleen advised me to allow her habits of practicing to evolve naturally as her love and understanding of piano increases. She emphasized how nurturing my daughter's love of music is most important. This was music to my ears :)
Review by Brooklyn
Laura is a fabulous teacher. She explains concepts to me using concrete examples so that I can understand changes that I need to make to my posture, breathing, phrasing, etc. She makes warm-up exercises fun, and she's got a great sense of humor over all. Her teaching style is collaborative, more egalitarian (she respects what I already know and meets me at my level), tailored to my particular interests and strengths, and I always look forward to our lessons!
Review by Chad H.
"Mr. Richard has been absolutely perfect for our very active two boys. He has been an excellent fit for gauging and keeping their interest far beyond what we had imagined. Our boys actually argue over who gets to go first. Mr. Richard knocks it out of the park when it comes to exceeding our expectations"
Review by Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
Review by Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
Review by Roberta
My 4 year old son is quite energetic. Another piano teacher tried to teach him before Peter and could not get my son to listen to him at all. That teacher told me that my son had no interest and that we needed to wait before having my son take lessons. Peter started teaching my son a few weeks later. He quickly developed a great rapport with my son. I was astounded when my son sat down and listened to Peter during the first lesson. Peter has remarkable patience and is a natural working with children. He knows when to follow the child's lead. My son is very interested in how the piano works, so Peter takes the time to teach him about this. He is able to use my son's interests (superheroes, Lego, Star Wars, etc.) to refocus him back to playing the piano. Between lessons, he brainstorms on how he can teach my son better. For example, my son was playing the notes, but not understanding rhythm, so Peter looked into it and came back the next week with a new plan which helped. My son looks forward to his lesson every week. When he hears the doorbell ring on lesson day, he exclaims, "Yay! Peter's here!"
Review by Tuvana
He is incredibly patient and really customizes his teaching style to the child. Both of my children are learning piano with him; they have learned so much and really enjoy the lessons. In fact, my daughter asked to learn another instrument (guitar) with him and is making great progress with that, too.
Review by Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
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.
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