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I have been teaching students of all ages on saxophone, flute, and clarinet since 2007. During my time at Oberlin, I taught flute and saxophone lessons to non-music majors in the college. When I lived in Shanghai, I worked for one year at an international school where I was an adjunct woodwind instructor. I taught students from grades 5 to 12 on saxophone, flute, and clarinet. And during my time at Eastman I was a teaching assistant for the undergraduate level jazz improvisation class.
The first thing I do with every student is observe them. I see how they set up their instrument, if they play or warm up in any way, or how they approach the waters, so to speak: do they dive in headfirst, or do they need me to splash them with some pool water. Next, I gauge what they already are aware of musically. If they know how to play three notes, I have them learn a song based on those notes. To do this I play a measure and then ask that they repeat me exactly in the following measure. This develops their ears and time. If they cannot yet produce sound on the instrument, I help them accomplish that. My teaching method functions exponentially, the more I meet with a student, the faster they will learn. My goal with every lesson is that by the end of our time together, they learn a specific exercise, approach, technique, song or piece of music. I then give them a task associated with that piece for the following lesson. The student will have their lesson plan and everything learned that day in their personal notebook, and, if they wish, an audio recording of the lesson.
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.
My teaching style is not rigid. I like to get to know the student and personalize the lesson plans so that they best fit the personality and needs of the pupil. I encourage hardwork and try to be prodding by making it clear that practicing is the only way to retain the concepts but I am not "strict." Ultimately I want musical learning to be a fun and self-fufilling experience for the student.
For begining student I typically start with a book called Essential Elements. I supplement some of the things in the book with other literature and hand written exercise to help enhance learning experience. For Adults I try to find what genre and music style they would like to work on. This then allows me to plan a custom learning experience that best suits them and what they're looking to gain from the experience.
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In home clarinet lessons offer a convenient option for learning to play the instrument for most students. The lessons will be structured the same way as in-studio lessons and will generally be once a week.
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.
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.
It is never too late to play an instrument, and we have many adult students playing clarinet for the first time. The teachers in our network can work with you whether you are a beginner or advanced player. Many of our adult students notice significant progress in just a short time! It is important to practice every day between your lessons to notice the most progress.
Students can purchase a wooden or plastic clarinet for their use. Wooden clarinets are more durable and longer lasting. Most clarinets will come with a sturdy case. We suggest that students visit a local music store for tips on buying a clarinet, as clarinets come in different sizes and types. Prices and quality will vary. A clarinet kit comes with the bell, the lower joint, the upper joint, and barrel. A mouthpiece is also a necessary purchase.
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 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 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.
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 Al
Pavel is doing a great job with my 6 year old son. Pavel is doing a great job helping my son focus on technique and rhythm, which is something previous instructors weren't so successful with. Pavel is organized / structured / systematic, which is what my son needs now, but I hope he relaxes a bit as the lessons continue so that more "joy" comes through.
Review by Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
Review by Roberta
My 4 year old son is quite energetic. Another piano teacher tried to teach him before Peter and could not get my son to listen to him at all. That teacher told me that my son had no interest and that we needed to wait before having my son take lessons. Peter started teaching my son a few weeks later. He quickly developed a great rapport with my son. I was astounded when my son sat down and listened to Peter during the first lesson. Peter has remarkable patience and is a natural working with children. He knows when to follow the child's lead. My son is very interested in how the piano works, so Peter takes the time to teach him about this. He is able to use my son's interests (superheroes, Lego, Star Wars, etc.) to refocus him back to playing the piano. Between lessons, he brainstorms on how he can teach my son better. For example, my son was playing the notes, but not understanding rhythm, so Peter looked into it and came back the next week with a new plan which helped. My son looks forward to his lesson every week. When he hears the doorbell ring on lesson day, he exclaims, "Yay! Peter's here!"
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 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!
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