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For beginning students, I use the Hal Leonard Basic or Kids Guitar Method because it is such a good introduction to the instrument. For bass and ukulele I also use the beginner Hal Leonard Method books. For more advanced students, I first get a sense for what they want to learn and where they want to go, by asking them some questions about their previous education, what songs they like to listen to, and any problems with practicing or grasping the material, that they may have experienced. Then, I create a custom lesson plan catered to their goals, based on my experience, and various methods gained from Berklee College of Music curricula.
My lessons are very structured, but within the structure is a lot of freedom. An hour long lesson might look something like this: First 10 min.: Warm-ups, discussion about posture, hand position and muscular/skeletal health while playing. Next 10 min.: Performance of previous weeks assignments, with discussion about whether preparation was adequate, what was missed (usually dynamics and other articulations) and what could be done to improve. Next 10 min.: Based half on performance and half on my own ideas, work on a number of techniques to strengthen the weaknesses the student is facing. This could range from working on a particular scale to solidify thumb crossover, to working on the use of a pick on guitar. Next 10 min.: Discuss assignment for next week and choose songs that would be beneficial. Assignment usually consists of 1 technical work, 1 musical work and 1 free choice. Next 10 min.: Monitored practice time. This a chance for me to see how the student is practicing when I'm not there and correcting mistakes before they can become habits. Usually involves forcing student to use a metronome, teaching the student to slow down when a piece is too difficult a tempo, and making sure the student is addressing problem areas of a piece rather than starting at the beginning every time. Last 10 min.: Improvisation. This covers a broad range of subject matter. It might involve me playing something like chords while the student improvises. This is a chance for me to try and hear the student's natural musical voice. I also use this opportunity to explain to more advanced students, which scales can go with which chords. This includes pentatonic scales, blues scales and for the most advanced, different modal scales. For a shorter lesson, usually these would be cut relatively. For 30 minute lessons (which I don't recommend) certain steps get combined which gets the job done, but not in the most ideal manner.
I've been teaching for about 8 years now. I've taught privately and with different institutions. I've taught at the University of Miami's young musicians camp, and at New England Conservatory's Jazz Lab. I've had many private students over time, many who have been with me for years and some that have gone on to great schools like Berklee. I encourage getting out there and playing and putting onself in situations that push your understanding. I find that playing with others is when people really get into music and get "hooked". It feels great to create with others, and the validation from understanding "I can do this" is invaluable. I try to keep a modern approach to things as well, focusing on how people make music today as opposed to 20 years ago. When a student feels he is creating at his highest level and learning in the process that's when I know my mission is accomplished.
I will construct a lesson plan according to each individual students wants or needs.
I love sharing music. It is probably our greatest gift as human beings, and the most fun activity. I run my own music camp and love nature. I have performed in jazz, folk, rock and original music bands as a first call session player and arranger. I also lead my own original music bands. I graduated Berklee undergrad in 2005 and have taught all levels and ages since then. I came back to the US to attend the first Master's Program at Berklee College of Music and I love sharing my knowledge with both beginners and advance musicians. My greatest asset is taking the student to the next level.
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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!
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.
As you look into buying an instrument for bass lessons, you will want to keep in mind what your goals are. If you are a beginner who is going to be starting off with the basics, a standard 4-string bass will be all you need for lessons. You can choose from brands such as Gibson, Fender, or Ibanez. If you are using the bass for a specific purpose such as heavy metal, or hard rock music, you may want to look into purchasing a 5-string bass, which will give you access to lower notes used in these genres.
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.
An appropriate age to begin playing bass is around 10 years old. Younger children are typically not comfortable working with the instrument, as it is larger than some young students. Bass students must have strong hands to deal with the heavier, thicker strings. Playing the bass allows the student to play with all different types of ensembles, including jazz and rock styled groups.
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 PJ Williams
My daughter, Valarie is one of the original members of the Enrichment Center Percussion Ensemble under the guidance of Aaron. He patiently worked with Valarie as well as the other five members individually and as a group to produce music that has been shared and enjoyed locally as well as nationally. He has the ability to seek out the strengths of each student while building confidence. Through his teachings, not only had Valarie learned how to produce and enjoy music, but also responsibility and so many life skills for everyday living.
Review by Steve Newman
My daughter began learning sax in her school band, but she didn't begin PLAYING sax until she started lessons with Debra. From scales and exercises to actual pieces, Debra coached my daughter with real insight, sensitivity, and patience. Her knowledge of the instrument and feeling for music - along with her easy-going,"kid friendly" personality - make Debra the ideal teacher and musical mentor.
Review by Brianne Hancock
Martina has been teaching our daughter violin since early 2015. Every time our daughter has a lesson she comes away in such a great mood - she really enjoys her lessons! Martina is positive and encouraging and adjusts her teaching to help our daughter learn the best way for her learning needs. We were curious about how online lessons would work, and it turns out that they work really well. The 1:1 time and ability to teach from a distance make it work just as well as in person. We've had moves and schedule changes and Martina has been very flexible for us - which made such a big difference in making violin lessons accessible. Absolutely recommend her!
Review by Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
Review by Lucinda
Melissa is very encouraging, positive, supportive and patient. She knows how to explain the technical details of flute and music notation to kids in a way that makes sense to them. She has been reliable so far turning up on time and calling if there is a need to reschedule. I would definitely recommend her to others.
Review by Wendy
Bill has been great with my 2 young children (age 3 & 6). He has integrated games into the lessons - they have enjoyed showing us how to play the games when it is time to practice piano. Bill has been easy to contact and rescheduling has not been a problem if we have a conflict at our regular lesson time.
Review by Ashley S.
Ali was an amazing voice coach! She taught in a way that made sense to me, and helped me find the voice placements I needed. I didn't know I could sound like that! My development with her was leaps and bounds rather than tiny dreadful steps that happen when you don't know what's going on! Ali was dedicated to helping me work on an audition for a music scholarship and I nailed it all thanks to her, seriously. I can't thank her enough! She helped me with the tools and confidence I needed to sing in the real world alone rather than just back row in a large choir.
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.
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