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Band director for 15 years, Prarie Central HS
I always held passionate teaching as the key to passionate artists. My teaching career began early, while I was still a university student, teaching privately. Later I was the Clarinet instructor at Carl Sandburg High School and A.A. Stagg High school. In Los Angeles I was again a private instructor, but also a faculty member at the Beverly Hills Conservatory of Music. The variety of students and locations provided valuable lessons in tailoring my teaching to the needs of student. While living in Japan I had the opportunity to present masterclasses in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, teaching using only Japanese language. This experience taught me the value of words, and also the importance of ensuring that students are able to comprehend all discussed material. Last year, I was invited to teach a masterclass in Seoul, Korea, working with Choongheon Lee, Principal Clarinet of the CheongJu City Symphony. Throughout my teaching career, I have had students succeed in All-District Band, All-District Orchestra, All-State Honors Band, and some to continue as Clarinet Performance Majors.
I have been teaching formally for the past 17 years in university, high school, and community music school settings. I have taught students at all levels of ability from highly diverse cultural backgrounds. The most exciting moment for me is when a student catches on to a new concept and overcomes a fear or limitation. I try to incorporate each student's outside interests into the study of music, relating everything from computer science, history, skateboarding, you-name-it to the practice of music. I have taught not only clarinet over the years, but also music technology, multimedia, and general music. There is not a subject I find boring, and I try to instill that love of learning in my students as well.
My teaching approach focuses primarily on tone production - I think this is the most important fundament to teach young students. I like to use the Hal Leonard Essential Elements or equivalent beginner book (Hovey, Rubank for clarinet) to start the student off, but as they become more advanced, it's important to introduce repertoire to them. I allow the student some individuality here - what kind of music would they like to play? Young students love playing the pop tunes, so I whole-heartedly accept them finding a book of broadway or pop tunes and brining it to lessons. For the older students, I always go to the Rose 32 Etudes for Clarinet, focusing primarily on the slower etudes to continue developing tone. Scales are also a must for all ages - I stress the importance of tone with these exercises because it's not just about the fingers.
I'm a certified music and French teacher who loves helping students progress towards their musical goals! I graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Illinois State University. I have over a decade of musical training, both vocal and instrumental. I am also fluent in French and have a lot of experience with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which means I greatly enjoy helping students to learn music in foreign languages! Some of my favorite musical experiences include singing operatic roles, performing in Carnegie Hall in NYC and Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and singing solos and descants with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra!
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Teachers create a custom lesson plan for each student, focused on learning how to hold and care for the instrument, how to read music, and basic musicianship skills. Students will may also explore various genres in which the instrument is utilized.
Children are recommended to start the clarinet at age 7 or 8. A student needs to be able to hold and support the weight of the instrument for extended periods, have long enough fingers to reach the different positions, and also have enough lung capacity to support the sound.
There are usually two types of clarinets available, wood and plastic. Plastic clarinets are less expensive, but a wood clarinet is certain to be more durable and has a longer lifespan as a result. A wood clarinet will also produce a warmer and more professional sound. We suggest visiting your local music store and speaking to the professionals there to find out which instrument would best suit the needs of your student and your current budget. Once you are working with a clarinet teacher in Musika's network, the teacher can also provide suggestions as to the best clarinet models or the best stores to get your instrument locally. Every clarinet should come with 5 basic parts: the bell, the lower joint, the upper joint, and the barrel. A mouthpiece will need to be purchased as well. Make sure to inspect the instrument and be sure it includes these things.
Clarinet lessons in home are a convenient way to learn an instrument. In home lessons are structured the same way as in-studio and there is no additional travel time. Our teachers generally teach students one lesson a week.
Many of our adult clarinet students are complete beginners, while others haven't played their instrument in over 10 years. We also have teachers who can work with more advanced students looking to take their skills in both advanced classical repertoire and/or jazz improvisation to the next level. The teachers in our network have proven methods to get you the results you desire.
Review by Brad Schimmer
I have been playing the drums for about 5 years and I have to say that Alvaro is very patient. He has opened me up to new styles of music and I can now play a Songo groove! What I liked most was that he was flexible in what I wanted him to teach me and would also bring in new material specifically to what I wanted him to show me. Overall, great patient teacher and would highly recommend! Thanks Alvaro!
Review by Kaleen Todoroff
Noel is amazing. She is helping me to work toward my vocal goals for auditions to several musical theaters. She has helped me choose strong audition pieces and is teaching excellent ways to get the sound I need in a safe and healthy way. She works outside our lessons on new warm ups and new music pieces. She is the best.
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 Queen Natalia
Lara is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in her profession. She is cheerful and personable, and has established a good rapport with students and staff alike. I have found Lara to be a highly competent, personable, patient, kind-hearted, and deeply caring person who is skilled professionally and interpersonally.
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 Tuvana
He is incredibly patient and really customizes his teaching style to the child. Both of my children are learning piano with him; they have learned so much and really enjoy the lessons. In fact, my daughter asked to learn another instrument (guitar) with him and is making great progress with that, too.
Review by Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
Review by Jeremy
Dr. Nedra C is incredible. She knows her craft in and out, it truly shows in her teaching. As well, she cares a great deal about the student, and preps plenty of material outside of the lesson for those that she teaches. I've had many different music teachers and am aware who's talented and cares, and who isn't. Dr. Nedra C is true phenomenal, and any student would be lucky to have her.
Review by Mythili Lahiri
My son is truly enjoying his lessons with Chris. He looks forward to them and is motivated to practice. Chris is conscientious and shows up on time and whenever he is supposed to. He communicates clearly if rescheduling is ever required and is accommodating when we need to change the day. I would recommend Chris to anyone.
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