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I grew up in a musical family. My mother is a professional violinist and teacher and all of my sisters and brother and I learned to play various instruments from a very early age. My mother and father sacrificed a lot for their children to have music lessons as they are quite expensive for the lower middle class family But they believed it was worth it as music lessons boost brain power and help with the development of fine motor skills and mathematics, even speech. I loved music from the beginning and being a shy child, I found solace in music and could play for nature in the park or in the fields and just be myself. I hope that I can help share the joy and beauty that music brings to life with you or your child.
I'm a very motivated cellist and private teacher who loves developing the talents of my students. I have had the opportunity to study at some of the worlds best schools of music including: Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, University of South Florida's School of Music, and was accepted into the Longy School of Music in Boston. At these institutions I have had the chance to study with some of the worlds leading solo and orchestral cellists including: Helga Winold, Emilio Colon, Janos Starker, Scott Kluksdahl and Lowell Adams. In 2010 I was given the opportunity to join the St. Petersburg Opera Orchestra as their Assistant Principle Cellist where I performed in productions of Marriage of Figaro, Sampson and Delilah, Die Fletermause, and other various operatic works.
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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Music lessons are tailored to each students' specific needs. All students are different, and will make progress using different methods. The teachers in our network will work with the students on a case by base basis, ensuring that each student works to their highest ability. All lessons will be comprised of some variation of learning to read music, learning how to play the instrument technically, and learning to progress in their musicianship. While Musika does not mandate a particular style of teaching, if there is a method you are interested in we will do our best to match you with a teacher in our network that specializes in that area.
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.
When you choose in home lessons, you choose convenience. You are able to save time in your day and travel expenses. It may be easier for children to learn when they are in a familiar environment and feel more at ease. For adults, it can be a welcome reprieve from a hectic travel schedule.
There are a couple different options to consider when looking to start cello lessons. Students can either purchase a cello, or they can rent through an instrumental music store. Renting is usually done on a monthly basis, and the instrument will come with almost all the accessories you need. Renting is, more than often, the best option for beginners as it is less of a financial commitment. It also comes in handy when the students under the age of 18 who may be starting with a smaller sized instrument. By renting, you make it easier to change instruments as the student grows into a larger cello.
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.
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 Ericcharlton
Rahsaan is an extremely talented player who relates really well with my teenagers. He has them both interested in learning. Given Rahsaan's expertise, it's clear that even though they are beginners now, they can learn from him for a long time to come. He's a real nice laid-back guy and both the boys really enjoy their time with him. I've been very impressed and pleased with the experience.
Review by Nancy Fritsch
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach.
Review by Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
Review by Alamu Vinai
Usually I don't write reviews. I am compelled to write for Feng. I've experience finding/working with many music teachers over the years for different instruments (piano, flute, sax) for kids. I think Feng is the best, he is so passionate about music, he encourages the kids. He teaches thoroughly - you can tell he knows lot about saxophone. I would definitely recommend Feng!!
Review by Suzette
She is amazing! My daughter, Isabella (7 yrs) is totally engaged in the lesson. Lilly's definitely has a gift with teaching young children!!! A great talent of hers is making the content interesting, current to today's music and most of all fun! She has a knack for taking the material and translating it in a way that is relatable to Isabella. My daughter really enjoys her lesson's and has moved along rather quickly with the material. Thanks Lilly!
Review by Chrystal
I was skeptical at first not knowing what I was getting my self into.. I am very happy that I forced myself to get into voice lessons because Eli is an awsome voice coach.. Very skillful and he helps you reach the goal you are trying to reach.. He is also very helpful with getting you to open up and come out of your shell and being heard.. I would and I already have recommended friends and family to sign up with Eli if they're serious about singing..
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 Robert Stallone
I am in my 60s and decided to get back into playing my guitar. I thought taking lessons would be a good way to formalize the endeavor. I did have some concern about whether working with a teacher would work out as I've behave only played for my own enjoyment for a long time. Peter and I have had a few lessons together and I am truly enjoying the experience. He is very supportive and flexible. We arrived at a three gold approach that is really working for me. We focus on developing a playlist, learning some of the more iconic tunes from leading artist that I would have a hard time learning on my own and developing some technical skills related to style and music theory. Now I look forward to my next lesson and am already playing better and enjoying the journey. Peter is a great teacher I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.