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Throughout the years, music had undeniably been my source of motivation for everyday life and has taught me skills such as determination and patience that I have been able to apply to every aspect of daily life. Music has helped broaden my horizens and my goal is to take that which I've learned from my music and give that to my students. I attended Miami-Dade College for Music and Music Education with a primary in guitar, and am currently continuing my studies at the Art Institute for Audio Production. I have taught at several schools including one in which I graduated from, and privately on my own as well. I've played with a wide variety of musicians, both experienced and unexperienced, young and old, and have learned from all of my experiences. I look forward to helping create new young musicians that will eventually be the world's leaders in creativity, and those who wish to learn music as a self-rewarding experience.
I have been developing my career as a professional musician for over 20 years, also occasionally performing at a variety of venues such as bars and clubs, concert halls, sporting arenas (including New York City’s Madison Square Garden & Virginia’s Nissan Pavilion) and TV programs. I have collaborated with numerous artists, bands and musical ensembles throughout Colombia and the United States, where I have been residing since 2000.
I'm a passionate and dedicated music educator with 30+ years experience in teaching drums and percussion in the U.S. and abroad. In 1984, I graduated from the Berklee College of Music and since then, I’ve toured the U.S., Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East with many popular artists, in my capacity as a drummer and Latin percussionist. I have been a music educator and performing musician in the south Florida area since 2008.
I am a passionate and fun instructor who loves working with students and sharing my love of music. In 2014 I graduated from Willamette University in Salem, OR with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education. While at Willamette I performed with many ensembles including the Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, many small Jazz Combos, The Willamette Chamber Choir, Male Ensemble Willamette (all male choir), Voce Feminile (all female choir), and The Willamette Singers, a vocal jazz ensemble. While a part of the Willamette Singers I was able to tour up and down the west coast as well as perform in Dallas, TX for the American Choral Director's National Conference. In addition I had the privilege of recording 4 CDs with the group in the famous recording studio, Studio X, in Seattle WA.
My musical background is mostly influenced by Rock, Hip Hop, Metal, Punk and Classic Rock but also enjoy other genres such as Jazz, Pop, Latin Rock, Blues and R&B. Some of my favorite music artists include My Chemical Romance, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Circa Survive, Muse, Led Zeppelin, The Devil Wears Prada and more. I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science degree in Audio Production from Miami International University of Art & Design. My teaching studio is an apartment in Key Biscayne which I have a top of the line Roland electric drum kit (seeing as in an apartment acoustic is too loud). I also have an acoustic kit to easily use at clients location.
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Many adults of all skill levels take drum lessons. Your teacher will develop an individualized lesson plan based on your musical needs and goals. Adults taking drum lessons for the first time can expect to learn a lot of new things about rhythm and music, and have fun in the process!
Most students would ideally start with a 5 piece drum kit complete with a high-hat, crash, and ride cymbal, but any student can start with as little as a drum practice pad and a pair of drum sticks. A student can learn to read and play rhythms using both hands using any type of drum, including snare, bongos, conga, or djembe.
Most children should begin drum lessons at around 7 or 8 years old. The drums are a very physical instrument and require a lot of dexterity on the part of the player. Drum students who are learning on a full drum kit should be big enough to reach the pedals, and should be prepared to use their arms and hands for extended periods of time.
Drum lessons will focus on learning to read music, rhythms, patterns, and the specific drumming techniques relevant to your musical styles and goals. Most teachers suggest specific drum method books for students to use during their lessons.
Drum lessons in your home are a very convenient option for many students. All students would need is to have an instrument available for their lessons in home. Teachers can instruct lessons in home, usually once a week, and students can notice significant progress in just a few short weeks of lessons if they practice daily!
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 Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
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 Angie Ignazzitto
Stephanie is an excellent voice teacher! Our 10-year-old daughter enjoys her lessons with Stephanie each week. She has an amazing way of connecting with our daughter through music. Stephanie knows how to offer constructive feedback in a positive way that keeps our daughter interested and wanting to learn more. I would recommend Stephanie without hesitation.
Review by Lucinda
Melissa is very encouraging, positive, supportive and patient. She knows how to explain the technical details of flute and music notation to kids in a way that makes sense to them. She has been reliable so far turning up on time and calling if there is a need to reschedule. I would definitely recommend her to others.
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 Alamu Vinai
Usually I don't write reviews. I am compelled to write for Feng. I've experience finding/working with many music teachers over the years for different instruments (piano, flute, sax) for kids. I think Feng is the best, he is so passionate about music, he encourages the kids. He teaches thoroughly - you can tell he knows lot about saxophone. I would definitely recommend Feng!!
Review by Olivia
Andrew is very encouraging and uplifting, but also isn't afraid to tell you your weaknesses. Andrew also is super awesome with scheduling. Fits around your schedule all the time. He really knows what he is doing and can help you reach your goal in the time you would like to. Couldn't have gotten a better teacher, who continually helps me grow and pushes me.
Review by Jonathan
Angela is a phenomenal teacher. She is full of charisma and is a joy to work with. Most of my experience with her has been focused on working in the Alexander Technique and she seems very knowledgeable in this study. I would highly recommend her to any prospective student. I have seen myself improve dramatically in a few short weeks with her guidance (and much practice of course!)
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