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I tailor my lessons to the needs of the individual student. I use a combination of lesson books, solos and exercises to bring out the best performances my students can achieve at the time. I feel it is important for us to have fun while learning. I also use practice sheets as a motivational tool for children, so they can earn stickers and small prizes for putting the practice time in required to learn the skills needed to continue moving to the next level. No matter what level, we work together to attain the best results possible.
My experience in teaching is not only in the musical aspect. I was also a Spanish teacher for Centro Latino in Berkeley. Teaching music is like teaching another languages. In my specialties, clarinet and saxophone, the pause, breathing and acentuation have a very important part in phrasing the notes. The melody should flow "as we speak", in a normal way and with the right entonation. I have two children who are also musicians, an 11 year old daughter and a 13 year old son. They both play clarinet and piano, and my daughter is now starting in violin. Even though I am not a violin player, THE METHOD IS THE SAME!
I first started teaching at age 17, whilst in the UK, and continued to do so through college and University, I am also now a working Musical Director, which involves musicianship instruction and voice technique.
I have been teaching music for over 15 years and have extensive experience teaching children with special needs. I am experienced in teaching private 1:1 lessons as well as directing small ensembes.
For beginning students I like to start in the Standard of Excellence Series as well as the Rubank Method Books. I also try to allow my students a chance to play something they want at the end of lessons. Older students and adults we can fgure out what you want from the lessons. I try to work it so it is enjoyable for you yet not as elementary.
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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.
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.
In home clarinet lessons are extremely convenient for parents and students alike. Studying in home is no different than studying in a studio. Lessons are generally once a week.
Each student will have a custom lesson plan created for them by their instructor. Our teachers will generally recommend specific method books that students can purchase for use in their lessons. Students will learn how to read music, how to sight read, musicianship skills, and the specific skills needed to play the clarinet and support the sound.
Children generally begin to learn the clarinet at age 7 or 8. We suggest this age because the student needs to be able to hold the instrument correctly and support its weight. More importantly, students fingers need to be the right size to play instrument, and the child needs to have enough lung capacity to support the sound of this instrument.
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 Timothyfullard
We've only had a few lessons with Elisa, but so far we really like her. She has a lot of great suggestions for solo pieces as well as orchestral music that involves all 3 of my boys, while also including some Christian music that we can play at church. She is very patient in explaining the lessons and encouraging!
Review by William Klepatsky
Very knowledgeable on every aspect of music theory. I listen to recording artists playing various classical pieces, Dan's playing is much like a recording artist's playing. Always on time. Winning happy personality, a great role model. Puts me at ease when I am playing. Have two friends who hold music degrees, I count him a third, something special about the minds and personalities of good pianists. Thanks Dan.
Review by Jane A.
I started taking voice lessons from Ali when I was 19 and a sophomore in college. Though I was hesitant to be starting "late", I felt very comfortable with Ali and her teaching style. We identified several key issues that really made a difference and improved my voice technique. It was fun to sing popular, beautiful songs in our recital! If only I lived in Los Angeles, I would still be a student. Highly recommended!
Review by Teri Romano
Being I'm a woman, I was a little apprehensive having a male teacher (he knew this), however, after my trial lesson I realized he knows what he's doing and I had nothing to worry about!! He is very knowledgable on the piano and vocal techniques. He has a big vocal range so he is able to hit the high notes to be able to show me how I need to sing it. He is also phenomenal on the piano. I would highly recommend him for vocal and piano. Also, I don't know how to sight read music and he is teaching how to. I've been taking lessons with him for a month (my trial lesson was on 1/11) and I have already seen a huge improvement. I am an intermediate level singer looking to improve my vocal technique, breathing and improve my confidence in my singing abilities, Alex is definitely helping me do that.
Review by Marlo
Danette is a delightful instructor. She always brings a wealth of knowledge, excitement, and enthusiasm to piano lessons with my daughter. She is not only skilled at piano, but she has a wonderful voice quality that she uses to help convey certain techniques and to highlight various points where she intends to draw the students attention.
Review by Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
Review by Jeff N.
Travis is an extremely knowledgeable guitarist and teacher. Travis is equally comfortable in playing/teaching jazz, rock, blues, or classical styles. I really like the way he explains things and he has the ability to make difficult material seem simpler. Travis is very likeable, enthusiastic, and always very professional. I think Travis would be great teaching either children or adults because he's very patient. My learning experience with Travis has been outstanding. He taught me some great techniques for chord substitution and for soloing. I'll continue to work with Travis because he inspires me to be a better guitarist. I think he could really help me with composing because he writes some great songs too! Thanks Travis!
Review by Ro J.
“My son has been instructed by Mark for almost four years. Mark is an outstanding teacher. His credentials are by themselves impressive, but his ability to relate his knowledge to kids is even more so. Connor's ability to understand and read music is fantastic. Mark also knows the performance side of playing drums and has encouraged Connor to actually incorporate his knowledge to play alone and in a band. He is patient and encouraging which is what motivates Connor to work and practice. He is a mentor as well as a teacher. He is superior at what he does and we highly recommend him.” Ro J.
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