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I'm a creative and motivated educator who loves sharing my passion for music with my students. I hold degrees in music performance from Eastern Michigan University and the University of Texas at Austin. I've been teaching privately and in the public school system in Austin for 7 years. Performing and teaching are my life's work and sharing the experiences I've had with my students helps them realize how music can positively impact their life.
Both of my degrees were in music education, although I did start a second masters degree in jazz studies. Since 1981, I've been teaching in several settings. I was a full time public school band director for four years, and have taught all the way to the college level and adults, teaching classes in jazz studies and private lessons on saxophone. I've done woodwind coaching as well as private teaching since 1985. I enjoy passing on what I have learned as, from experience, I know the pubic school directors do not have the time to give as much individual attention to the student musicians as they would like.
I prefer a direct, open, creative approach to teaching. I like to get to know my students well, and try to appeal to their greatest areas of interest. I aim to teach the loving and fun nature of music, to expand students' minds, and to provide them with food for thought and methods for improving. I customize each lesson for the student and our mutual expectations. I love to play with my student, finding that aural learning is very effective and allows the student to become comfortable with performance.
For beginners I generally use Rubank method. I feel this text is complete and covers all of the material that beginning woodwind players need. The intermediate method has even more material as well as repertoire to start the important process of learning longer pieces of music. I stress the fundamentals as this is the basis of all good playing. For my jazz students I use texts by Keller, Weiskopf, Fishman and transcriptions. My thesis topic is on using jazz solo transcriptions to gain technical proficiency on the saxophone.
My love of music began in first grade when I took my first music lesson, and it has only grown since! My greatest joy is connecting to others through music, and my goal is to cultivate a positive, inspiring, and creative teaching environment for students of any age or experience level. For the past 6 years, I have studied techniques to improve breathing, posture, and expression while reducing discomfort and minimizing the effects of performance anxiety. These techniques draw from Body Mapping, the Alexander Technique, the Feldenkrais Method and more, and have extensively improved my own performance and have helped my students improve immensely. Additionally, I have enjoyed a range of performance experiences in solo, chamber, and large ensemble settings, performing in casual concerts, formal recitals, auditions, master classes, and competitions.
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For a new flutist, Musika recommends renting initially and buying an instrument later on if the student has demonstrated some commitment. Reliable brands include Yamaha, Armstrong, and Gemeinhardt. More advanced players should consider a flute with open hole keys and a B foot joint. Very young players can use a curved head-joint to assist playing.
The flute can be an incredibly rewarding instrument to study as an adult. Of the woodwind instruments, it can relatively easy to learn to play and most adults notice progress right away! The flute can be a wonderful instrument to play as a soloist or with fellow musicians.
During flute lessons the student will learn how to properly care for the instrument. This is critical to the long term performance of any instrument the student decides to buy or rent. From there, lessons will focus on correct embouchure formation, developing a good tone in all registers, articulation, fingering, and basic musicianship.
Our recommended age for beginning flute lessons is age 8. Most school music programs begin introducing the woodwind instruments in 4th grade. If a young student is eager to begin flute lessons early, consider recorder lessons. The fingering on the recorder is the same as the flute, but the instrument is much easier to hold and produce a sound.
On of Musika's unique offers is that we provide in-home lessons for no additional cost. This allows the student to save the time and money that would normally be spent traveling to a studio.
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 Jacob Solomon
Ileen is a very attentive instuctor. she is patient and works hard to see her student succeed. if a concept is unclear she expains it in other ways to ensure understanding. I would highly recommend ileen to students of all levels who want to learn guitar and music theory to thoroughly enjoy the instrument and music
Review by Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
Review by Jennifer
Lindsey has been coming to our house to give saxophone lessons to our 12 year old daughter for about a month. She is an absolute joy. She is extremely knowledgeable, flexible with her schedule, and my daughter thinks she is "fun" and "cool". We would highly recommend her to anyone wanting music lessons. A+
Review by Venessea Gilbert
Rebecca has been super with my son! He is 8yrs old and has mild aspergers. He has never played an instrument before but after one lesson with his teacher he could keep a beat on his drums. She is able to keep his attention and really makes it fun! She is flexible and easy going. I highly recommend her for any lessons. Very nice teacher! Thank you Rebecca for your outstanding service!!
Review by Heather Berest
I started my 5 yr old daughter with Karleen this Fall. Karleen has a calm and honest disposition. My daughter adores her and cannot wait for her arrival. I was concerned because my daughter is not so willing to "practice" during the week. Karleen advised me to allow her habits of practicing to evolve naturally as her love and understanding of piano increases. She emphasized how nurturing my daughter's love of music is most important. This was music to my ears :)
Review by Jermain
Mrs. Regnarene is an awesome teacher!!! She found musical aids that appealed to my 5 year old daughter and used them to help teach her piano. She has a lot of patience and I could tell she puts in the work before class to have a lesson ready for my daughter. She is always punctual, friendly and respectful. I would recommend her to any parents who want to start their kids off with a good foundation in piano. Jermain T. Riverview, FL
Review by Dylan Jacinto
Jessie is the finest musician I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I find her overall concept of approaching an instrument to be both comprehensive and effective. Each technique she has acquired has made it possible for her to tailor her method to a variety of ages and individuals. I cannot speak more highly of Miss Jessie's abilities. Her lengthy and impressive cradecials speak for themselves. I recommend no hesitation in seeking her services!
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!
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