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I am a good balance between being fun, yet pushing my students to always strive to get better.
I've been teaching for over 2 years full time. But I've been involved with teaching and leading musical groups and bands for nearly 8 years. I have thought kids from 3 years of age to teens to young adults to elders over 80 years old. I have ample experience teaching piano, voice, guitar, drums, bass guitar, strings (violin, viola, cello, contrabass, etc.), flute, organ, and more.
I was born and raised in Oakland. I have been playing guitar for over 15 years and congas for over 10 years. I went to Berkeley High School where I played guitar in the BHS Jazz Ensemble. I then attended the New School in New York City, majoring in jazz guitar studies. I have studied guitar with Steve Erquiaga, Dave Creamer and Jack Wilkins, and congas with Josh Jones, Sandy Perez and other Cuban percussionists. I have also studied voice with Jane Sharp and piano with Ellen Wasserman. I as the guitarist for the Cal State East Bay Jazz Ensemble and was also a member of the CSUEB Percussion Ensemble. Jacob graduated from Cal State Monterey Bay with a B.A. in music recording technology and from Cal State East Bay with a M.A. in music composition. Over the years I have performed with musicians such as Josh Jones, Michael Aaberg, Dayna Stephens, Ambrose Akinmusere, Jonathan Finlayson, Geoff Brennan, and Ray Brown. Mr. Kessel has performed at the Montreux, Umbria, and Vienne Jazz Festivals. I currently play guitar, congas and sing in a variety of performance settings around the Bay Area. I am also a music producer and songwriter, as well as a designer. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my dogs and exploring new restaurants and music venues. I also like studying computer programming.
My teaching experience is not as extensive as some other musicians, but I do have a lot of knowledge to share. I taught as a Drum Line Instructor for 2 years at South Walton High School. I have also had a few private lessons taught out of my house when I lived with my parents.
My experience dates back to when I was excepted into OSA High school, where I auditioned into the school for saxophone and piano officially graduating in 2008. I started working as a music instructor at the age of 14 for the East Oakland Youth Development Center (E.o.y.d.c), summer cultural enrichment program (S.C.E.P.), teaching classes for students from the age of 6 to 18 about music theory, history, instrument technique, and how to play an assorted of instruments. I resigned at the age of 19 at the E.o.y.d.c., to continue my pursue for an accredited degree in biblical studies, where I honed my skills as a scholar, musician, and vocalist. I have traveled throughout the states with different groups, encouraging and inspiring people of all ages with my passion for music through singing and playing for different functions. I just want to be able to impart and mentor the next and upcoming generation of musicians.
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Our recommended starting age for drums is around 8 for students wishing to play a drum kit. For the snare drum, the youngest recommended age is 5 or 6, as playing can prove tiresome on younger hands. The drum is an instrument that is great for all ages and skill levels, whether it's a complete beginner at age 5 or an experienced musician who wishes to study rhythm firsthand.
A drum kit usually includes a high hat, crash, ride cymbal, and a pair of drum sticks. If you are taking another style of drumming, you may purchase a snare, bongos, conga, or djembe. Most students will also purchase a drum practice pad at a music store, which is a portable way to practice the beats and techniques of drumming at a lower volume.
Teachers will focus on learning rhythms, drum patterns, techniques and will help expose the student to various types of drumming styles. You will be recommended various types of drumming method books which will help you improve on the instrument.
Drum lessons are a wonderful way to learn a new skill as an adult. Many of our adult drum students have never played the drums before, and they remark about just how fun it is! Our adult drum lessons are tailor-made for you skill level and desired musical style.
In home drum lessons are a convenient option for improving your musical skills. In home lessons are virtually the same in every aspect as lessons taught in a studio. Lessons are taught once a week and significant progress can be made in a short time, especially if students are practicing every day.
Review by Stevengournay
There are only a handful of people I count in my life who were great teachers, and Laura is one of them. Her musicianship is so secure as are her technique and personality that she zeros in on my weaknesses and devises exercises to strengthen them, and during the lesson it is not "Do this, no, do that" which is unnerving to a novice. She understands the most important part of study is relaxation, so that is easy to achieve with such a confident and compassionate human. Music is her life and she is eager to share her talent with everyone. A rare find, indeed!
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 Robert Stallone
I am in my 60s and decided to get back into playing my guitar. I thought taking lessons would be a good way to formalize the endeavor. I did have some concern about whether working with a teacher would work out as I've behave only played for my own enjoyment for a long time. Peter and I have had a few lessons together and I am truly enjoying the experience. He is very supportive and flexible. We arrived at a three gold approach that is really working for me. We focus on developing a playlist, learning some of the more iconic tunes from leading artist that I would have a hard time learning on my own and developing some technical skills related to style and music theory. Now I look forward to my next lesson and am already playing better and enjoying the journey. Peter is a great teacher I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.
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 Suzette
She is amazing! My daughter, Isabella (7 yrs) is totally engaged in the lesson. Lilly's definitely has a gift with teaching young children!!! A great talent of hers is making the content interesting, current to today's music and most of all fun! She has a knack for taking the material and translating it in a way that is relatable to Isabella. My daughter really enjoys her lesson's and has moved along rather quickly with the material. Thanks Lilly!
Review by Jeff N.
Travis is an extremely knowledgeable guitarist and teacher. Travis is equally comfortable in playing/teaching jazz, rock, blues, or classical styles. I really like the way he explains things and he has the ability to make difficult material seem simpler. Travis is very likeable, enthusiastic, and always very professional. I think Travis would be great teaching either children or adults because he's very patient. My learning experience with Travis has been outstanding. He taught me some great techniques for chord substitution and for soloing. I'll continue to work with Travis because he inspires me to be a better guitarist. I think he could really help me with composing because he writes some great songs too! Thanks Travis!
Review by La from Issaquah
thank you musika and ed. I never thought of looking for an in-home lesson until I found musika. I have absolutely no hesitation that Ed is beyond capable. He's even offered to meet us at a music store to purchase the correct fitting instrument. how fabulous is that! We've also decided to extend the lesson time from 30 to 45 minutes. All this and just one lesson under our belt. He quickly understood where my daughter is at in level and her style of music. I'm thrilled as can be.
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 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
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