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I have been teaching private lessons since 1979. There is no greater joy for me than to see that spark of learning ignite and grow as my students discover that they can make music too. I tailor my lessons to match the goals of the student. Many of my students aspire to become professionals and others simply want to have fun with music.
As a composer and multi-instrumentalist, I have put myself in a position that brings me across an extremely wide and dense variety of music that I've been only too happy to explore. In addition to my long-running classical training with piano, clarinet and composition, I've explored jazz, world, rock, fusion, electronic and avant-garde music through the acquisition of my composition degree and through extensive research and self-teaching with saxophone and guitar. A very important aspect to my enjoyment of all of these pursuits is the degree to which they actually connect and overlap with many other topics and disciplines- science, mathematics, visual art, language and sociology all intersect with music at one point or another. This indiscriminate enthusiasm that I have for all music and all topics is something that I am very excited to share with and impart upon my future students- and that I have every intention of carrying with me into each lesson that I teach.
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 am a passionate instructor who loves to share in his excitement and enthusiasm for music and bringing joy to peoples' lives. In 2012, I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Tuba/Low Brass performance from Saint Joseph's College in IN. Following the music, I have been blessed to share in this universal language on stages small and large, near and far; from the streets of Austin, TX, to the largest churches in Rome, Italy. Whether I am performing on low brass in an ensemble, playing world drums for a benefit concert, or conducting a youth choir, I take comfort knowing that I am sharing in the music making experience with those around me.
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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.
Taking clarinet lessons in your home offers a great way to master your skills on the instrument without ever leaving your home! Many students and parents find this very convenient as there is no additional time for travel.
Our recommended starting age for clarinet is around age 8 or 9. The clarinet has many keys, so the most significant factor to keep in mind is whether or not the student's hands are large enough to facilitate playing. It is also important that the student has developed the lung capacity to play. The clarinet is also a great choice for musicians already familiar with other wind instruments.
Taking clarinet lessons is a great way for a child to get started learning music. The clarinet is very portable, so as long as you have a nice sturdy case, it can be transported to and from school and rehearsals with ease. Many students who are studying in band or wind ensemble in their school program, will also wish to take private lessons to enhance their playing. In lessons students will learn how to read music, rhythms, and the technique of playing clarinet.
Many adult students choose to take the clarinet, even with no previous experience. Clarinet can be a wonderful instrument to learn for the first time and a lot of progress can be made as long as the student is practicing! Clarinet can be a very satisfying instrument to learn as an adult because of the rich sound and various genres in which it is used.
Review by Michelle S.
"My daughter has been a student with Mark for over a year. She has come so far and has learned so much in such a short time. Mark is extremely talented and knowledgeable. He is very serious, patient and super nice. If your child or if you really WANT to learn the drums, then I highly recommend Mark. He is our third instructor and the best one yet! You will not be disappointed." Michelle S.
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 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 Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
Review by Kate Thomas
My son enjoys his viola lesson each week with Martina. She is disciplined in her approach to teaching but always makes my son's learning experience enjoyable. She knows how to challenge him and develop excellent form. Martina is always punctual and professional. We both highly recommend her as an instructor.
Review by Jenn
My son and I both take lessons with Micheal. My son started on the ukulele and recently started the guitar. He is excellent with children. Very patient and very intuitive to the child's ability. He is also an excellent teacher for adults. I had not touched my guitar in several years and in a couple months not only to I remember everything I forgot but I'm learning many new techniques and am a much better player than I've ever been.
Review by John
When I started with Darrell, I didn't know anything bout music. Nothing. We started with basic music theory & moved into scales and reading. It hasn't been very long at all, but my confidence is growing quickly. He does ask a lot from you and he expects you to keep up. But I can honestly say that if you are willing to work hard and spend the time at home doing what he asks, you will see the results. He wants you to succeed and takes pride in watching you grow. If you want it as bad as he does, you will see the result very quickly.
Review by Stan
My two daughters wanted to study piano fore some time now and just recently I found Musikalessons website and teacher Milica. I can only say that my daughters are very happy with their piano lessons and simply adore Milica. They already made a great progress and we're all happy with what they learned in this short period. Thank you Musikalessons and Milica.
Review by Elsahatzipavlou
Erin has been a wonderful voice/piano teacher for our 7 year old daughter. She is talented, patient, and has a wonderful demeanor. She has been consistent with her teaching in piano and voice. She keeps record of where the students leave off so that they know what to expect the following week. I would definitely recommend Erin to anyone looking for a skilled piano/voice teacher.
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