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I began teaching over three years ago, after many years of playing instruments solo and in groups. I teach in most styles of guitar, and also beginner piano and bass guitar. I also love teaching music theory and consider it to be an essential part of any music lesson. I taught extensively for a music store in New York and after returning to Madison recently, I am looking to continue my work as a music teacher.
For beginning piano students who are children, I typically start with the Alfred series, and supplement with basic vocabulary, flash cards, and ear training. At a first lesson, I assess the student's skill level and/or natural aptitude, then test for the most effective learning style (drawing, vocabulary, spelling, videos, games, hands-on with the piano, singing, clapping, etc.) At a beginner level for children, I believe the most important thing in music lessons is to make the lesson fun and engaging, and find the most effective way for the student to absorb the key concepts rather than push one set of books or method. We always get through the books as well, we just have more fun doing it if the child is engaged via other methods. For intermediate and advanced students in piano, I have a large repetoire of classical, jazz, pop, rock, showtunes, and musical theater pieces to help the student learn new music, styles, and grow their skill level. For beginning students who are adults in piano, I like to focus on bigger picture music concepts first because I think it's the most valuable. We focus on notes, chords, ear training, theory, and learn to play some popular songs with chord charts first, and then shift focus to reading music. This approach is often more valuable for adult students as I teach how to play popular songs and how to write songs first. This is often more enjoyable for a student who may not be interested in playing classical music. But I am flexible and open to whatever the student is interested in, regardless of ability or age. Recital performance for all students are optional and flexible. I believe that performing in front of other people, and the preparation aspect of performance is key if the student wants to perform, but there are so many other aspects of learning and appreciating music that last a lifetime without performing too, so that is always up to the student. For guitar, I teach basic techniques, strum patterns, chords, solo-ing, scales, and theory. You will be able to play popular songs, perform your own solos, and write your own songs on either acoustic or electric guitar. For voice, I teach basic techniques so you don't hurt your vocal chords, I teach how to increase your range and your power, how to warm-up your voice, good breath support, how to achieve good diction, and how to scream properly! I am not qualified to train vocalists interested in classical or operatic performance, only rock/pop/punk and musical theater. I can show you how to belt high and add rasp to your voice. I also teach how to riff, growl, and scream.
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Each lesson is tailored to the student's individual needs. No single teaching method is used by all teachers, and while some instructors will recommend certain method books, the lessons will be taught depending on the needs of the student. Generally, lessons will cover aspects of how to technically play the instrument correctly, how to work on overall musicianship skills, and how to read music. However if the student has any personal goals, the teacher will focus more attention on helping the student accomplish them.
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.
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.
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.
We recommend starting bass lessons around age 10, and usually no earlier than age 8. Bass strings are thicker and heavier than guitar strings, so the student's hands must be strong enough to fret the notes, and be able to carry the bass comfortably. The bass is a great instrument for teens, and skills learned during lessons can lead students to playing in school Jazz band.
Review by Yury
I would like to thank Polina for the series of classical piano lessons I've taken recently. Polina is a fantastic teacher and a high class performer, and I'm really happy I had a chance to meet her! I believe anyone can benefit from the teaching method Polina is practicing regardless of the student proficiency - from beginners to advanced performers. It was a pleasure for me to study classical piano courses under the guidance of such an intelligent & professional teacher! Without doubt, my playing technique has improved a lot and I have signed up for the new classes online already.
Review by Ryan Piveteau
Amber is personal and cares about her students. She is flexible in her schedule and maintains a professional attitude in her lessons. Her want for her students to succeed makes her excel as a teacher. She is very knowledgeable about music and extremely experienced. Additionally, she includes external activities aside from lessons for the students who wish to advance themselves externally. Really a great teacher who offers great opportunity.
Review by Julie Buranelli
My daughter really enjoys her lessons with Pavel. She is an absolute beginner and Pavel is right with her as she learns the basics. She is completely engaged and always looks forward to her lesson. He packs a lot of learning into their 30 minute time slot - he gets right to it as soon as he walks in the door! He is a great teacher - we highly recommend!
Review by Jeff N.
Travis is an extremely knowledgeable guitarist and teacher. Travis is equally comfortable in playing/teaching jazz, rock, blues, or classical styles. I really like the way he explains things and he has the ability to make difficult material seem simpler. Travis is very likeable, enthusiastic, and always very professional. I think Travis would be great teaching either children or adults because he's very patient. My learning experience with Travis has been outstanding. He taught me some great techniques for chord substitution and for soloing. I'll continue to work with Travis because he inspires me to be a better guitarist. I think he could really help me with composing because he writes some great songs too! Thanks Travis!
Review by Ruslan
She is the most amazing teacher ever. She is not only w great teacher but she's so fun to work with. She has taught me so many things in such little amount of time things I didn't even know I could do. I recommend Andrea to everyone. She is an amazing singer and cares a lot about her students. She's the best!!
Review by Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.
Review by Gillian
Vince is a great drum teacher for my 8 year old son. We go to his house where he has a studio setup with a huge drum set. He has been very patient but really holds my son responsible for learning the right way to play. After about 5 lessons, my son is playing some rhythms on the drums and reading music. He looks forward to his lessons with Vince.
Review by Stevengournay
There are only a handful of people I count in my life who were great teachers, and Laura is one of them. Her musicianship is so secure as are her technique and personality that she zeros in on my weaknesses and devises exercises to strengthen them, and during the lesson it is not "Do this, no, do that" which is unnerving to a novice. She understands the most important part of study is relaxation, so that is easy to achieve with such a confident and compassionate human. Music is her life and she is eager to share her talent with everyone. A rare find, indeed!
Review by Carol A
“Lynn is my music hero! She can listen to any song and write down the chords. She will adjust to make it easier or harder whatever your abilities. I have a busy schedule and often don't have time to practice between lessons and she is cool with that. She also will adjust lesson times when she is able which fits my hectic schedule. I'm glad my first guitar teacher "fired" me ....that allowed me to meet Lynn.” - Carol A., M.D., Aug 2015
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