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I'm a guitar and piano player who has been teaching students of all ages since 2011. I started playing guitar 17 years ago and it has been my constant companion since then. I got my music degree from Carleton College, and my senior project was on jazz guitar arranging. I have played in bands, both on guitar and bass, for many years and I love performing live. I have taught most styles of guitar, and also beginner piano and bass guitar.
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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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.
We make it easy for adult students of any skill level to begin lessons with us. Bass is a great instrument for beginners and advanced students alike, as beginners will be able to learn new skills and apply it to playing along to their favorite music. Advanced students will be able to work on developing skills, and advancing their technique. Our in home lessons also offer a a very convenient option for adults with busy schedules, as there is no travel time, and no travel expenses.
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.
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.
Review by Cameron D.
After signing up for lessons with David L. I knew I made the right choice. Just after a couple of weeks I didn't see him as a teacher but as a best friend. There was always a relaxed atmosphere during the lessons. He was very easy to talk to and he really listen to you. If I ever had a question he would answer. He tailors to what ever you want to do in that lesson. David L. is a great teacher and a friend. I totally recommend him for anyone
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 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 Blaine Vaz
“I took drum lessons from Mark for about 7 months. I have been playing for 38 years but always thrive to learn more. He was able to provide me alternative exercises and help me gain a better understanding of my opportunities. I have been able to take my playing to another level. His approach to teaching is perfect for any level of student, beginner or advanced. He is a true professional and an outstanding person. You won't go wrong with Mark!” Blaine Vaz
Review by Terri
Caitlyn is friendly, helpful and still holds my high-school aged daughter accountable for practicing. She also makes sure the music technique is mastered correctly during the lessons - they work hard and still have a good time together. I can highly recommend her as a flute teacher. My daughter is very happy & grateful to have found Caitlyn as a teacher.
Review by Nancy
Darrell is A-Maz-Ing! He demands results from his students and therefore results come quickly. The time he spends teaching is intense and packed with great instruction. He is a tough teacher but offers lots of valuable instruction that is applicable for music as well as life in general. I highly recommend Darrell if you are ready for results!
Review by Leslyn
Steve is an excellent instructor. My son has really connected with him and he is learning the guitar quickly. Steve is patient and never rushes through a lesson in order to make it fit within the session time limit. In addition, before he leaves, he writes notes and instructions for my son to follow. By the next lesson, my son is confident in what Steve has taught him. Most importantly, Steve builds my son's confidence in his own own ability and progress after each lesson.
Review by Howard
We value Chelsea for the quality of her lessons, but also for the flexibility of her schedule. She has worked around family vacations, impromptu summer camps and the upcoming school year. Emily is better prepared to start middle school band this year due to flute lessons from Chelsea and we plan to continue the lessons for the foreseeable future.
Review by Kristen Draughn
Mr. Lou M. is a God-send! With the various needs that our organization requires from our education partners in order to provide enrichment services to our students, Mr. Lou M. has always gone above and beyond in meeting all of those needs. Our students are learning, our caregivers are happy and satisfied, and we couldn't be more pleased with his performance.
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