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I have a very patient yet motivating teaching style. I love to help my students cultivate their interest in learning and playing their instruments. Learning how and what makes lessons exciting and effective for my students is a trait that I do have. I help my students set goals to aim for by the next lesson. I remind my students about proper posture and breathing techniques in order to get a good lesson, and help my students incorporate these basics in their practices. I'm a firm believer that all practices should be treated as a performance. We should always perform our very best during "practices," because what we practice is what we perform. :)
I am a saxophonist/flutist/clarinetist and educator based in the DC area. I am passionate about all styles of music, although I specialize in jazz saxophone. I graduated from Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2008 and immediately moved to Shanghai, China where I performed and taught music for two years. When I moved back to the states in 2010 I lived in New York City for a year and then moved to Rochester, NY. to study at the Eastman School of Music. After receiving my master's degree in jazz studies in 2013, I moved to the DC area to perform and teach.
I am a big proponent of ear training. I do a lot of "I play a pattern and you play it after me." I also focus on reading, but it is not nearly as important as having a solid understanding of intervals and language.
In college I took a woodwind pedagogy class because I wanted to focus my teaching on my primary instruments rather than a general knowledge of music. I began teaching professional in the summer of 2013 when I worked for the Bel Air School of Music(now defunct) as a Saxophone and Clarinet teacher. While I believe strongly in the importance of musical fundamentals, I also like to think outside the box as a teacher. I want to tap into the music that the student is interested in and give them an opportunity to explore that style. I have taught adults as well as elementary school aged children and am also flexible in this way in my teaching.
I am a passionate and motivated musician, artist, and educator. I believe God blessed me with the gifts I have in order to be a musical blessing to others and teach instrumental music. I have been a performer since middle school and have carried it into my professional career. I graduated from Coppin State University with a Bachelor of Science in Urban Arts and a minor in music. The Urban arts degree combines vaious art form with the individual focusing on his/her particular art form. I am a strongly dedicated person that loves to teach the joy and fun of playing music.
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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.
We suggest that beginner students rent their instrument to start out. Clarinets come in either wood or plastic varieties, but the wood variety will be more durable and last longer. All clarinets come with a case, bell, lower joint, upper joint, barrel, and the mouthpiece. You would also have to purchase reeds or a reed making kit, as this is a neccesary item for this instrument.
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.
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.
Taking clarinet lessons as an adult is a great way to learn a new skill. Many of our adult students may have played clarinet as a child and want to pick it back up again, however it is still beneficial for students of all levels. Adult students can generally notice a lot of progress in a short time, provided they are practicing every day between their lessons.
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 Carol A
“Lynn is my music hero! She can listen to any song and write down the chords. She will adjust to make it easier or harder whatever your abilities. I have a busy schedule and often don't have time to practice between lessons and she is cool with that. She also will adjust lesson times when she is able which fits my hectic schedule. I'm glad my first guitar teacher "fired" me ....that allowed me to meet Lynn.” - Carol A., M.D., Aug 2015
Review by Brooklyn
Laura is a fabulous teacher. She explains concepts to me using concrete examples so that I can understand changes that I need to make to my posture, breathing, phrasing, etc. She makes warm-up exercises fun, and she's got a great sense of humor over all. Her teaching style is collaborative, more egalitarian (she respects what I already know and meets me at my level), tailored to my particular interests and strengths, and I always look forward to our lessons!
Review by Natalie Kretcher
I really like her. And as an adult student, a good teacher who keeps the pace up but still keeps it reasonable in terms of difficulty is really hard to find. She does a great job of explaining little detail things in terms I (as a musically challenged human) can understand. I'm having a blast! 10/10 would recommend!
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 Sharon
My 4-year-old has had several lessons with Martina now, and he has learned a lot. Obviously, it is challenging to teach such a young child, and he has learned quite a lot in a short time, and is very excited to learn about violin and for his lessons. I think Martina is doing an excellent job, is quite patient, and is teaching him in such a way that he can really remember his new skills from week to week. We look forward to many more lessons with Ms. Martina!
Review by Howard
We value Chelsea for the quality of her lessons, but also for the flexibility of her schedule. She has worked around family vacations, impromptu summer camps and the upcoming school year. Emily is better prepared to start middle school band this year due to flute lessons from Chelsea and we plan to continue the lessons for the foreseeable future.
Review by Justin
I've been taking lessons from Michael once a week for eight weeks now, and with his help I have made dramatic improvements with my sax. Michael is a funny, nice, patient and all around great instructor. I'd recommend Michael, as an instructor, to anyone who wants to improve their skills and have fun while doing it.
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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