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For beginning students, I would begin with the Best in Class series, before moving on to the trusty blue books of the Rubank Method. I would then take more advanced students through the Selected series: Selected Studies, Selected Duets, etc... From there, or in tandem with the above, we could explore classical repertoire according to the students needs and interests.
I love to figure out how someone learns, how he responds to music, what methods are the most appropriate. It is a beautiful experience for me as well as for the student to connect to your inner voice, and to be able to express it and love it! In the lessons I like to create a musical vocabulary which then will be used in context. I work with written music, but also by ear. Music is all about communication. I love to train my students in the joy of listening, imitating, creating.
For beginning and intermediate clarinet and saxophone students I like using the Yamaha Advantage books. For beginnig piano students, I use Faber and Faber's Piano Adventures. I like to use these lesson books and supplement with solo and duet material. I always encourage my students to bring in material they'd like to work on, from school band music to popular tunes they are interseted in learning. I think it is important for all aspiring musicians to collaborate with others and make sure to play along with students in our lessons. I ask my students to plan their practice time each week, as I know how busy we all are!
I have been playing and gigging jazz music since I was right around 11. I work to make the saxophone into a multi-dimensional extension of myself. I was exposed to bands like Circa Survive and Lydia around the same time I was getting into monster players like Chris Potter, Kenny Garrett, and Chick Corea. My first love is pop music, so folks like Max Martin, Justin Timberlake and Panic! at the Disco are direct influences. I am a first generation Dominican-American who was born in the Bronx, NY and raised in New Jersey. My entire family is filled with musicians, so picking up music was a natural thing. I moved to Pittsburgh, PA for college to study engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. I'm currently a proud Pittsburgh resident, working and gigging all around the city.
My teaching methods vary depending on the student and the best ways to promote learning. Each method/lesson book has a different approach where one may work better than another. I feel meeting and talking with my students and parents is a great way to determine what is the best fit and approach. In many instances I will begin in one method and progress to another method contingent on the student's needs at that time. Whether a beginner, intermediate, or advanced student, I encourage playing classical or any other genre of music that students find enjoyable. I have on many occasions written repertoire to suit each level so that students can continue to progress.
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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.
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.
Wood clarinets are the usual option for beginning level students. It is common for students to rent the clarinet until they are able to afford to buy one. All clarinets will come with a sturdy case so that the instrument can be transported safely. The pieces included with the instrument are the bell, the lower joint, the upper joint, the barrel, and the mouthpiece. You will also need to invest in reeds, or a reed making kit if you wish to make your own reeds.
The teachers in our network create a customized lesson plan for every student. Topics covered during Musika's clarinet lessons may include, but are not limited to: learning the notes using a clarinet fingering chart, proper embouchure and tonguing technique, how to read music, how to care for your clarinet, which reed strength and mouthpiece to use, music theory, basic form and analysis, musicianship skills, or how to become a better musician, and most importantly, how to have fun playing the clarinet!
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.
Review by Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
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 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 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 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 Jeremy
Dr. Nedra C is incredible. She knows her craft in and out, it truly shows in her teaching. As well, she cares a great deal about the student, and preps plenty of material outside of the lesson for those that she teaches. I've had many different music teachers and am aware who's talented and cares, and who isn't. Dr. Nedra C is true phenomenal, and any student would be lucky to have her.
Review by Anita
Our daughter has only been playing the piano since March. Tony replaced our other teacher who had a job transfer and could no longer teach. Tony is fun and encouraging. My daughter is playing Taylor Swift and Christmas songs and is playing the piano more than ever before. Very happy so far with Mr Tony
Review by Paula Chacon
I've always said, "It's all about the teacher." That skillful, effective teacher who can reach that child and ignite her passion, is truly a gift. Ric does that for my daughter. As a former music teacher myself, the most challenging thing in working with children is how to build their fundamental musical skills while letting them have fun and be expressive. The teacher must create a safe, supportive environment, and Ric does that. Ric immediately focuses on fundamentals of tone and technique, giving my daughter succinct instruction on how to improve, thus she can sense the improvement immediately. Ric seems extremely easy going; even when lighting a fire under her sometimes under-achieving butt, Ric never criticizes, judges or blames. He works with my child, understanding her, helping her problem solve, and even giving her the quick answer sometimes so she can move quickly and stay motivated. Ric balances fundamentals with fun and expressiveness, so my child feels as though she can 'play' and they truly make music in every lesson. I am thankful we found a good match with Ric.
Review by Gillian
Vince is a great drum teacher for my 8 year old son. We go to his house where he has a studio setup with a huge drum set. He has been very patient but really holds my son responsible for learning the right way to play. After about 5 lessons, my son is playing some rhythms on the drums and reading music. He looks forward to his lessons with Vince.
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