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I am a violinist and string teacher from Augusta, Georgia. I recently moved to Pittsburgh where I am happily continuing my career as a teacher and performer.
My teaching experience dates back to my undergraduate studies at Berklee College of Music. Since, 2008 I have worked many singers, flutists, and beginning pianists and have been consistently teaching ever since. I like to have fun in my music lessons and strive to set up a supportive environment where my students can feel comfortable to play with music but learn in the process. I place a large emphasis on technique in my lessons within the chosen genre of the student. Whether you want to sing or play pop, rock, classical, or jazz... technique is important and I like to show students that working on technique can be fun and exciting! It is my belief that if a student is enjoying their lessons and seeing their own improvement, they will be motivated to keep up the practice. My favorite part of being a teacher is seeing a student's individual growth on his or her instrument and having them realize how much their efforts are paying off!
My teaching approach is to match repertoire to the student's current needs. For example, a student who needs to work on building dexterity will be working on technical exercises while another student may be focusing on tone or dynamic expression in their weekly exercises. I typically start my beginning piano students with the Alfred's piano series in conjunction with the Finger Power series for building technique. For more advanced students, I prefer to use the Hanon Virtuoso Pianist series as well as scale practice and classical repertoire. New flute and violin students will start with the Essential Elements series or for more mature beginners, the Rubank series for flute and the Suzuki series for violin. Duet books will also be added as the student grows. On the other hand, if a student comes to lessons having already begun a series of repertoire they prefer, I will be happy to accomadate. I believe the most important part of teaching is to tailor each lesson to the individual student. What works for one student may not work for another, and it is essential to be open to new teaching methods and grow with one's students.
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New flutists will learn the basics of caring for the instrument, as well as how to hold and properly assemble the flute. Students will learn correct breathing, how to develop a beautiful tone, the ins and outs of articulation, and how to form the proper embouchure. All Musika students will be exposed to music theory and the process of reading music.
For a beginning flutist, Musika suggests renting an instrument at first, and purchasing later on if the student enjoys and wants to continue playing long-term. Yamaha is a really reliable brand, and Armstrong or Gemeinhardt are also solid choices. Once the student progresses, he or she could look into purchasing a more advanced model with open hole keys and a B foot joint.
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.
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 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
Review by Anita
Our daughter has only been playing the piano since March. Tony replaced our other teacher who had a job transfer and could no longer teach. Tony is fun and encouraging. My daughter is playing Taylor Swift and Christmas songs and is playing the piano more than ever before. Very happy so far with Mr Tony
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 Susan
My daughter is extremely happy and comfortable with Rachel, and looks forward to her piano lessons every week. She is a very kind and patient teacher, always using positive reenforcement with my daughter, which makes all the difference in the world to children. We definitely are looking forward to continued piano lessons with her. So glad we found her.
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 Stan
My two daughters wanted to study piano fore some time now and just recently I found Musikalessons website and teacher Milica. I can only say that my daughters are very happy with their piano lessons and simply adore Milica. They already made a great progress and we're all happy with what they learned in this short period. Thank you Musikalessons and Milica.
Review by Violetking
Bill has been a great teacher for both my 6 yr. old and my 8 yr. old. He is always on time, keeps them engaged, and gives them just enough of a challenge for the next week. They are both beginners, but I am surprised by how much they already know after just a month or so of lessons. Both kids are practicing willingly and look forward to lesson.
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 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
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