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I am a drummer, composer, and educator born and raised in the Los Angeles area. I have been playing professionally and teaching since I was about 16 years old. Playing the drums and writing music is my life passion. My goal is to pass on my deep love for music by teaching and playing the drums all around the world.
I really work hard to customize the lessons to each student, discussing with them (or their parent) what their goals are. For beginning students who are children, I use a few great books, some of which I even learned out of when I took my first lessons at age 6. For older students, I try to be open to any material they're intrested in. If a student is set on learning to play Beach Boys songs, we don't spend so much time on the classic technique and rudiments BUT over the last 15 years I've developed a system of incorporating fundamentals into practical application that gets my students playing real songs right away while improving technique. Conversley, if a student has a marching band audition coming up, time is spent on preparing that material. I love the variety of this method. Some specifics: Alfred Drum Method The Bastien Series Mel Bay book 1 Stick Control Jim Chapin, Advancing Drummer
I am very passionate and have a deep appreciation for every aspect of music. I have been a musician for a little over 20 years, and like many others, I have grown up surrounded by music. I have been singing for 21 years, playing piano for 18 years, and playing percussion for 15 years. I have been in various choirs (concert, gospel, symphonic, and jazz), and bands (concert, symphonic, jazz, orchestra, percussion ensemble, rock/folk). I graduated from North Central College with a BA in Music with an emphasis on percussion performance and music composition. While there, I performed in various venues with various ensembles. I performed and lectured during my senior composition recital; and I also governed over VOP Gospel Choir as the President for 4 years. Music is my life, and I am thrilled that I am able to share my love of music with others and help them make it a part of their world.
I've taught privately for over 30 years and have been teaching from my home studio in South Pasadena since 1994. Everyone who studies with me deserves as thorough a musical education as I can give them. I discuss both short and long term objectives with all new students (or their parents) before the first lesson. While it’s important for the teacher – not the student – to establish the course of study, I believe that sticking to a rigid ideology is a mistake. I always consider each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and learning style and tailor my lessons accordingly. Some people are visual learners, some auditory, others kinesthetic or experiential. Everyone processes information in his or her own way, and an experienced teacher understands exactly what a student needs when they need it. It takes many years of teaching to learn this, by the way.
For beginning drums students, I typically star with a simple beat that the student feels good about. From then, we start learning important concepts as dynamics, tempo, intensity, groove,... Once the student has a grasp of the fundamentals, we can take a look into learning specific songs that he/she likes, reading, new styles/approcahes, preparation for a recording, composition,... Always keeping the lessons motiviating and fun, no matter the level. For piano students, we start having fun playing a very simple melody, and from there we try to go deeper in terms of music theory, fingers tecnique, songs accompaniment,...wherever the student wants to go.
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Adult drum lessons are a great way to learn a new skill, or perfect your drumming. Our adult students notice significant progress in a very short time, and have fun in the process! The lessons are structured to work with your skill level and musical goals in mind.
Taking drum lessons in-home offers a practical approach for perfecting the art of drumming! Teachers can travel to students for weekly lessons, however students should have an instrument in their home. A lot of progress can be noticed very quickly if the student is practicing daily.
We suggest children start drum lessons at age 7 or 8. The drums require increased physicality in the hands and fingers, so a younger student may find drumming very difficult. Students studying on a drum kit should at the very least be able to reach the pedals of the drums.
Drum lessons will cover drumming techniques, learning to read music, and music theory. The teachers in our network will usually suggest specific method books for the student to use during their drum lessons.
Most students would ideally start with a 5 piece drum kit in addition to 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 on any type of drum, including snare, bongos, conga, or djembe.
Review by Kristin
Ted S. is teaching clarinet to one of my children, and piano to two others. He is extremely knowledgeable, and very encouraging. His teaching methods are keeping my children enthused about their lessons, and without that, you have nothing. Two of my children were taking piano lesson from another teacher for the past year, and not progressing. Ted has been able to evaluate their skills individually, determine what was missing in their music education, and begin again with some early basics they seem to have missed. I am convinced we are finally moving forward, and am very happy about that. I wish I would have made this change much earlier.
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 Kaleen Todoroff
Noel is amazing. She is helping me to work toward my vocal goals for auditions to several musical theaters. She has helped me choose strong audition pieces and is teaching excellent ways to get the sound I need in a safe and healthy way. She works outside our lessons on new warm ups and new music pieces. She is the best.
Review by Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
Review by Cameron D.
After signing up for lessons with David L. I knew I made the right choice. Just after a couple of weeks I didn't see him as a teacher but as a best friend. There was always a relaxed atmosphere during the lessons. He was very easy to talk to and he really listen to you. If I ever had a question he would answer. He tailors to what ever you want to do in that lesson. David L. is a great teacher and a friend. I totally recommend him for anyone
Review by Marcia Hecht
Karleen has really turned it around for me. My previous teacher (not from Musika) had me feeling anxious, upset, and incapable...NOT the desired result! Karleen's method is clear, appropriate for my beginning level, and (best of all) actually lets me achieve some progress! I'm actually looking forward to my lessons now!
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 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 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
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