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I began teaching as a Freshman in college and had a few students throughout college. Since graduating I have added students. I have taught over 10 students in the last 5 years and am adding more almost every week. I have the ages 7 to 45 and am open to teaching anyone. My main goal in these lessons is making sure the student is learning what they want to learn and also having fun.
I have 15 years in child age education. Classical guitar student UC Santa Cruz minor in Jazz Studies. Played, recorded written produced music for over 10 years.
First lesson: talk a bit about students' goals or if they don't know, or if they're just trying it out, it's all fine, and we'll go from there. I want to know what kind of music somebody likes and what gets them excited. Favorite songs can be goals for new students, so they can see results pretty early on. I had great teachers that showed me chords for my favorite Beatles and Beach Boy songs and that let me have fun while building up dexterity. As a guitar teacher, I don't emphasize note reading early on, unless that is desired, in which case there's few good books we can work through. But I found learning how to play yankee doodle over and over was a lot more tedious and frustrating, then getting that initial feeling of "I can play a song! This is what it feels like to play music!" that I got from learning songs early on. My guitar teacher had some great ways of introducing scales that I can pass along too, for those are interested in solos. I am really interested in improvistion and so for those who want to be a lead guitar player, I have lots to share in those areas. Essentially, I try go by the student, and give lessons that will make someone push throught the challenging bits because it will be worth it for them. I want you to discover what's fun about music to you! Advanced players: more in depth talks, jamming together, and sharing ideas and philosophies. I have some excellent and sort of out of the box practice strategies that I learned from taking a few lessons with Julian Lage (which I hope to do more of, and pass along anything else that I learn). I am certainly not a theory master general, but if you want to talk about feel, improv, how emotion relates to music and look at things from a fresh perspective I think I could help out loads.
My experience teaching begins even before my college days and I have taken students on and off throughout the last 25 years. I enjoy sharing what I know and love being a part of someone else's learning experience.
My motto is my students create their own lesson. I formulate lesson plans off of the styles of music you are most interested in. If my student has a more "just for fun" attitude, the lesson will inevitably be a more light hearted feel. If the student would like to focus on more technicalities, that as well is a different approach. However, I do have a more structured plan for younger students. This being said, all of my students should expect to learn proper exercises and scales to move along progress. All students will learn basics of music theory as well as musicality. I choose appropriate repertoire and/or allow my students to choose to meet their own goals. I also drive my students to experiment with improv as well as create their own music.
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For younger students, it is recommended that they use a half size, or three-quarter size acoustic guitar. Provided they are able to hold it comfortably, older students may wish to start out on an electric guitar. A reasonable price for a new student model guitar would be between $150 - $200, although for electric guitar players, an amplifier and guitar leads/cables will need to be bought separately at an extra cost. The higher the quality of the instrument, the easier it is to play. This will make learning and playing more enjoyable for the student.
At Musika, we recommend that adult students looking to start guitar lessons have a clear goal in mind. Whether you are a beginner looking to get started and learn the basics, or an advanced player looking to push their skills that little bit further, the experienced teachers in our network can help you to achieve those goals. It can take several months before you start to see serious progress towards your goals, as you slowly develop the techniques and skills over time. The quickest and most efficient way to achieve your guitar playing goals is to take regular lessons and practice diligently.
At Musika, we offer guitar lessons to students as young as 6 years of age. Students in this age category will start off by learning to play simple tunes on the top strings of the guitar. It is most comfortable for students of this age to start off by playing a half sized acoustic guitar with nylon strings. By about 7-8 years old, students will be forming different chords and playing along to their favorite songs. When students get to about 10-12 years old, they may become interested in a specific genre (usually rock) and decide to learn on a full-sized electric guitar.
Musika specializes in individually tailored, one-on-one guitar lessons in the comfort of your home. Whether your child learns in the studio or at home, the quality and content of each lesson will remain exactly the same. Home guitar lessons reduce the burden on parents to transport their children and equipment to their lesson, which saves time and money and helps to integrate lessons into busy work schedules. Musika prides itself on creating fun, engaging guitars lessons in an environment that students feel comfortable and familiar with, important conditions for their musical development.
The teachers in our network create a customized lesson plan for every student, so no two students' lesson plans will be identical. Topics covered during Musika's guitar lessons may include, but are not limited to: learning the notes on guitar, proper fretting, fingering, and strumming technique, how to read music, learning all open chords, how to play barre chords, how to tune a guitar, music theory, and most importantly, how to have fun playing the guitar!
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!
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 Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
Review by Howard
We value Chelsea for the quality of her lessons, but also for the flexibility of her schedule. She has worked around family vacations, impromptu summer camps and the upcoming school year. Emily is better prepared to start middle school band this year due to flute lessons from Chelsea and we plan to continue the lessons for the foreseeable future.
Review by Andy Snyder
Giorgi has made learning cello even more fun. From the sympathetic, "It is hard" to the precise, "Be careful about the curve of the thumb" he has strengthened learning in every lesson, without being overwhelming. He started playing a little duet on only the 3rd lesson or so, which made me feel, even as a beginner, that I'm already starting to make (occasionally screachy) music. He has suggested a variety of drills and practice techniques which have also sped up the process a lot. And he has a good sense of humor and surprising amount of patience.
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 Blaine Vaz
“I took drum lessons from Mark for about 7 months. I have been playing for 38 years but always thrive to learn more. He was able to provide me alternative exercises and help me gain a better understanding of my opportunities. I have been able to take my playing to another level. His approach to teaching is perfect for any level of student, beginner or advanced. He is a true professional and an outstanding person. You won't go wrong with Mark!” Blaine Vaz
Review by Clinton Poskozim
Martina has been a great teacher. Our son is 8 and had taken some piano lessons before starting with Martina. She came right in and got him to improve. She does a great job of giving him just enough of a challenge to make him work and learn but not any pieces that are so overwhelming he can't get them. She has helped him through a lot of early music theory so that he not only can play the piano but understands the music he is reading in all of its complexity.
Review by Jane A.
I started taking voice lessons from Ali when I was 19 and a sophomore in college. Though I was hesitant to be starting "late", I felt very comfortable with Ali and her teaching style. We identified several key issues that really made a difference and improved my voice technique. It was fun to sing popular, beautiful songs in our recital! If only I lived in Los Angeles, I would still be a student. Highly recommended!
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