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I try to have a very positive approach to teaching. I believe that if a student is told what they are doing wrong constantly, they will feel like they aren't good enough for the instrument, or they will lose interest. I instead focus on telling them what they are doing right, and offer suggestions on what they need to improve on.
I have been teaching for about 10 years now, both privately and in various music lesson stores throughout the Tampa Bay area. I have taught students ranging from 5 to 60 years of age. My students have been accepted into Blake Performing Arts High School, All County Orchestras, Tampa Bay Youth Orchestras, Tampa Metropolitan Youth Orchestras, and even Florida's All State Orchestras. I have also been able to develop my students' abilities from being last in their orchestras to first chair in their music programs.
A native of Florida, I recently graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa under the tutelage of Scott Kluksdahl, an internationally renowned cellist and pedagogue. My other primary cello teachers include Loran Stephenson (National Symphony Orchestra), Helga Winold (Indiana University) and John Kaboff (Arlington, VA). I have participated in masterclasses with David Requiro and the Baumer String Quartet, Noreen-Cassidy Polera, Rhonda Rider, Jan Müller-Szeraws, Joshua Gordon, Carol Ou, Rupert Thompson, Robert Jesselson, Ross Harbaugh, Rebecca Penneys and Norman Fischer. As a strong advocate of new music, I have actively participated in numerous student composer concerts that have presented new and viable works from USF's esteemed composition program. I have also participated in the Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival (2012 and 2013) and the annual Tennessee Cello Workshop (2009). I was the principal cellist of the 2009 National Philharmonic Summer String Institute under the direction of maestro Piotr Gajewski and I was recently the Assistant Principal of the University of South Florida Symphony Orchestra. Throughout my high school career, I taught and performed actively as a guitarist and pianist in many varying ensembles ranging from improvisatory ensembles to rock and roll groups. As a motivated instructor, I focus on building depth of experience and knowledge regarding music and all of its aspects in students of all ages. Furthermore, I proclaim the importance of the fact that musicians create and communicate directly through their presentation of musical works at any level and on any instrument.
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Because of the cello's large size, our recommended starting age is seven or eight, although exceptions can certainly be made for a younger student who is capable of handling the instrument properly and who has sufficient strength in the fingers and hands. The cello is also an excellent instrument for older students who have some experience with other members of the string family, or even as a beginning instrument.
Many adult students request cello lessons because of the instrument's sophistication and beautiful tone. Many adult beginners will find the cello slightly easier than the violin, simply because finger placement is farther apart, making it a little easier to distinguish between the correct notes.
No particular style of teaching is taught by the teacher. Students and teachers are all different and will make more progress when the lesson is set up to fit to their particular needs. Many teachers will work with the student based on their own goals while teaching them the technicalities of how to play the instrument as well as read music. If there is a particular method of teaching a student is interested in studying, Musika is more than happy to match to a teacher in our network that specializes in their desired style.
In-home lessons are the most popular choice with Musika students. It allows both beginning and advance students to study their instrument even with very busy schedules. You will not spend time or money on traveling and will have the same quality of lessons with our qualified instructors. Children and adults both love the idea of in-home lessons as it allows learning to occur in the comforts of home.
Most beginners start out with a cello rental, which includes the cello, bow, and case. A high-quality rental will usually cost around $20 to $40 a month. If you are considering buying a cello, student instruments begin at around $500. The instructors in our network can provide recommendations and insight to help you choose the right instrument for your needs. When buying or renting a cello for a young child, make sure they are present to ensure the instrument purchased is the correct size for their height and age.
Review by Travis Dalenberg
Travis is the greatest. He knows his music and how to teach it. He gives you time to learn, but will not allow student time to get lazy. I know he teaches all age groups. Young pre-teens to us old folks 78 years young. I have been taking lessons from him since early December 2014. He is a true professional. You can't go wrong with him.
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 Jaima Woodiwiss
Having taken 6 years of piano lessons myself when I was young, I am very happy with Osmond teaching my daughter. He is very personable and helping her to enjoy piano. My daughter loves the fun songs she gets to play and I really appreciate how he is integrating even in the first month fingering, chords, beats, and hearing the music. She's getting a very well rounded training and she's loving it!
Review by Lauren Segal
Ed is THE best instructor I've ever had and I've had many instructors over the years in various fields of study. Ed met us at a music store to help choose a guitar, this is after he first called and asked all the right questions. He's supplied my daughter with just the right amount of paper work and just the right amount of new techniques. By this I mean to say that Ed connects with the pace my daughter learns at. I highly recommend Ed AND Musika.
Review by Ginger
Unbelievably Awesome. My daughter is a beginner and has some special needs. Justin is more than patient and helpful while being completely thorough and pushing her (in a good way) to try harder. He is encouraging and teaches effectively. I am very pleased. More important, so is my daughter. Thank you Musika! So grateful we found your service and connected with Justin. We highly recommend him.
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 Marcia Hecht
Karleen has really turned it around for me. My previous teacher (not from Musika) had me feeling anxious, upset, and incapable...NOT the desired result! Karleen's method is clear, appropriate for my beginning level, and (best of all) actually lets me achieve some progress! I'm actually looking forward to my lessons now!
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 Anita
Our daughter has only been playing the piano since March. Tony replaced our other teacher who had a job transfer and could no longer teach. Tony is fun and encouraging. My daughter is playing Taylor Swift and Christmas songs and is playing the piano more than ever before. Very happy so far with Mr Tony
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