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Stefanie completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Clarinet Performance at Arizona State University in May 2011. She has studied with and performed in master classes for Robert Spring, Eddy Vanoosthuyse, Jorge Montilla, William O. Smith, Larry Combs, Robert Riseling, Ronald Van Spaendonck, Maurita Mead, Nathan Williams, and Marie Picard. She has performed in a wide variety of ensembles including ASU’s Chamber Players, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, Clarinet Choir, and several chamber ensembles. She won the 2007 Concerto Competition at ASU and was a finalist in 2006, and has been featured as soloist with many community bands in the Southern United States. She is a member of Trio de Café and has performed with several Phoenix area organizations including Arizona Opera, Symphony of the Southwest, Paradise Winds, the Mill Avenue Chamber Players, and the Fountain Hills Chamber Players. Stefanie is on the faculty at Mesa and Glendale Community Colleges and maintains a large private studio in the Phoenix area. Many of her students have participated in Regional and All-State honor ensembles, won chamber and concerto competitions, and received music scholarships at prestigious music schools. She was awarded a teaching assistantship by the Music History and Literature area in the ASU School of Music during the academic years 2008-2010 and also was Manager of lnstrumental Ensembles. In addition to performing and teaching, she has a strong interest in woodwind pedagogy. Her doctoral dissertation, “An Investigation of Finger Motion and Hand Posture during Clarinet Performance,” applies scientific research to pedagogy in an effort to improve performance. She has guest lectured for Hadassah (the Women's Zionist Organization of America) and ASU’s CUbiC department. Recently, she won first place in the 2012 International Clarinet Association Research Competition. Stefanie currently resides in Ahwatukee, AZ, with her husband, Josh, who is also an accomplished clarinetist.
For younger students who are in a school band program, I like to use the materials they use in class and to add outside material they find interesting. I find students are more motivated to practice and develop when we start with something that interests them, and then to expose them to other styles of music later on. For older or more advanced students, I like to focus on aspects of musicianship that will help them be successful musicians, such as ear-training, theory, composition, performance practice, improvisation (if the student wishes) and transcribing.
My teaching style varies from student to student because all students learn differently. What does not change from student to student is the exitement and enthusiasm I bring to every lesson. I genuinely love to teach and if my students are not loving to learn, I need to change my approach. I also believe in strong communication, so students and parents are always aware of my expectations. Above all else, students should be learning in their lessons, cultivating a love and appreciation for music, and enjoying their lessons. Music lessons should always be a positive experience!
For piano students, I like to use the Alfred courses. This method is great because they have courses of study for all ages and levels, and students can progress through several courses throughout their study. For flute/clarinet students, I like to start with either Hal Leonard's Essential Elements or the Rubank methods books. Once students have moved beyond the basics, I like to introduce solo repertoire that is appropriate for their level. I will also pair the solo material with technique exercises designed to solidify their fingerings, scales, rhythm reading, etc, that will enhance their ability to play their solo pieces.
My ultimate goal as a teacher is to create independent musicians capable of creative thinking and musicality long after they have left my studio. While reading the notes and rhythms is obviously important, understanding why those notes, rhythms or markings are in the music will help students develop and learn musicianship skills that are often overlooked. Providing students with performance opportunities and sharing my passion for music help students stay encouraged and become creative and independent thinkers not just in music, but other areas of life as well.
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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 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.
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.
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.
Adult clarinet lessons will provide information on proper technique as well as different styles in which the clarinet is employed. Students can expect to learn a lot within the first few weeks of lessons, and teachers will encourage students to practice every day to achieve the most progress.
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 Debbie E.
I had always wanted to take vocal lessons, but was very nervous about it until I had the opportunity to have Ali as my instructor. She made me feel very comfortable and helped me realize my strengths while giving me other areas to work on and strengthen. I liked how Ali had me sing out of my "comfort" zone to realize my vocal range. It is obvious that Ali loves music and sharing that love with her students. She is very good at what she does and works well with both male and female voices. I highly recommend Ali and give her solid 5 stars
Review by Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.
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 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 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 Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
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.
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