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The methods I use for Voice are of my own development. Largely based on the Italian Style, but none the less are my own. I use the Alfred method for Piano I use the Breeze Easy / Rubank Method for Flute.
I am a 20 year musician with 11 years teaching experience. Born and raised in New York City, I attended Laguardia high school for music and art and afterward Queens College majoring in music. My main instruments are Clarinet, Drums, and Saxophone, but i also have a strong background in Piano, Trumpet, and Flute. I've taken private music lessons for the past 15 years with world class musicians, among them David Weber and Howard Hirsch. I've performed in every major concert hall in New York City, including Carnegie Hall when i was only 11 years old. I performed alongside many famous musicians, including the late Tito Puente.
I have over 30 years of experience teaching both private and group lessons. I have taught several special needs students, and have successfully incorporated many of these students into mainstream settings. My students range in age for 6-80, and I am capable of teaching all styles and levels. My focus is on individualized lesson plans that address the particular students needs and interests.
I believe that technique and musicality go hand in hand. I do not believe that one is more important than the other; instead, you cannot truly have one without the other. The most important aspect of playing music, is that, in and of itself, music! I like to foster an environment with any student where creativity and individuality are top priority. Especially with young students who are still self conscious, if they feel safe with their instrument in hand to create freely, I have no doubt they will be able to perform with greater ease later on in life. With adult students I love hearing what they think the meaning of a piece is. I want to help them gain the technical ability to portray their thoughts through music. My job when teaching young students is to show them that playing the flute should be, above all else, enjoyable. However, it is not something that comes easy, or without effort. Dedication is crucial to success, and consistent practice is something I like to instill in my students. Goals are incredibly important to keep focused. Whether someone is preparing for a NYSSMA exam, an audition of any sort, a performance, or a competition, having a clear understanding of how long something will take to learn and how long you have is crucial! I am an advocate of teaching a student as early as possible how to practice to be successful. I like to use a method book as well as a book of short pieces to get a student started. Because I feel like you can't learn technique without musicality, I think it is important to begin with that in mind and apply the skills we learn in the method book to the piece and visa versa. Some of my favorites are the Trevor Wye: A Beginner's Book of the Flute (there are 4 volumes), as well as the succession of Louis Moyse Flute Series beginning with Forty Little Pieces (these are in progressive order). All flutist should become proficient in Taffanel and Gaubert 17 Daily Exercises (once a certain level and ability is obtained, this is a requirement for my studio). There are many etude books for any level, and etudes are also a requirement (etudes act as a continuation of method books, which focus on specific technical aspects in each etude). Specifically for students who show a clear interest in pursuing music professionally (at least though a collegiate level), and definitely for any adult student, I will recommend these books to read as study material to help truly understand the physics of playing the flute, and how that relates to being musical: Michel Debost's The Simple Flute, Thomas Nyfenger's Music and the Flute, and Arthur Weisberg's The Art of Wind Playing.
“Art Exists for the human species. I think that all of the people who love art, those who teach art, and all of you should burn with the obligation to save the world” -Shinichi Suzuki I believe in encouraging my students and teaching one step at a time, which they can succeed and become confident musicians. I will also encourage them to listen to recordings of famous artists and make listening and practicing a part of their day. For beginning flutists, I actually will teach them to spit (with aim) one grain of rice before they use their head joint for the first time. It is pretty funny but works like a gem. Toshio Takahashi came up with this way to have a concrete way to teach begiiners embouchure and sound production. When the student practices with the rice, they produce a powerful"toot" the first time the headjoint reaches their lips! I like to use the Suzuki materials for flute and also mix it up with favorite duet books and classic repetoire. I always encourage my students to find pieces that are their favorites that they would like to play, an extra motivation. For piano, we will work on the basics with fingering. Start with playing melodies using the right and left hands and then introducing the bass line and chords. I have a number of method books which I make use of and visual aids for the keyboard and the staff.
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While flutes are relatively inexpensive compared to the other woodwinds, Musika suggests renting an instrument for beginning players. As the player becomes more advanced the student can consider purchasing a more advanced model with open-hole keys and a B foot joint.For young players who are smaller in size, the student can consider using a curved head joint (called a ""candy cane"" head joint) to facilitate playing.
Each lesson is personalized to the student. The teacher will concentrate on the needs and goals of the individual. However, general topics will be covered, such as: how to clean, put together, and hold the flute; how to blow correctly into the instrument to develop a nice tone in all register;, how to finger the notes; slurring and tonguing; and how to read music!
Flute lessons can occur in your home for the same price as in-studio lessons. The student lets Musika know what days and times work best, and we arrange for an instructor to come to your home, at no extra cost to you!
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.
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.
Review by Wendy
Bill has been great with my 2 young children (age 3 & 6). He has integrated games into the lessons - they have enjoyed showing us how to play the games when it is time to practice piano. Bill has been easy to contact and rescheduling has not been a problem if we have a conflict at our regular lesson time.
Review by Pat
Henry has been a great piano teacher since I started lessons about a month ago, and he is helping me realize a lifelong dream. He is patient, plays beautifully, is easy to learn from and a very nice person. I took lessons as a child for a year or so, but never followed up over the years. I always said that I would once I retired and found the right instructor. That time is now. Thank you Henry and Musika!
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 Terri
Caitlyn is friendly, helpful and still holds my high-school aged daughter accountable for practicing. She also makes sure the music technique is mastered correctly during the lessons - they work hard and still have a good time together. I can highly recommend her as a flute teacher. My daughter is very happy & grateful to have found Caitlyn as a teacher.
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 Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
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 Natalie Kretcher
I really like her. And as an adult student, a good teacher who keeps the pace up but still keeps it reasonable in terms of difficulty is really hard to find. She does a great job of explaining little detail things in terms I (as a musically challenged human) can understand. I'm having a blast! 10/10 would recommend!
Review by John
When I started with Darrell, I didn't know anything bout music. Nothing. We started with basic music theory & moved into scales and reading. It hasn't been very long at all, but my confidence is growing quickly. He does ask a lot from you and he expects you to keep up. But I can honestly say that if you are willing to work hard and spend the time at home doing what he asks, you will see the results. He wants you to succeed and takes pride in watching you grow. If you want it as bad as he does, you will see the result very quickly.
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