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I am a huge music enthusiast, and love almost every discipline from classical to pop. I am primarily a classical pianist, and I have been taking lessons for about 10 years from an adjunct professor at Tulane University, but I also enjoy playing jazz/blues and pop. In addition to playing, I compose many of my own piano pieces, as well as create arrangements of popular songs and produce music electronically. My musical education at Tulane University includes music theory, advanced harmony, jazz theory, choir, and music digital sound processing.
I'm passionate about music and the guitar, and I strive to communicate and instill that passion in my students. I like my students to have lesson-to-lesson and long-term goals, and firmly believe in pushing my students to be the best they can be. I like to constantly ask my students questions so I'm more receptive to their thoughts and needs.
My teaching experience goes back 9 years. Before I moved to Chicago for school, I lived with my parents in Springfield, IL and taught private drum lessons out of their basement. Although I did not have a lot of experience teaching, I realized how rewarding it was to see a student learn and gain confidence on their instrument. It was something that I wanted to do more and saw a future in teaching. After I graduated from Roosevelt University I had more time outside of academics to start a teaching practice. In 2011, I worked at Lynn Marcel School of Fine Arts in Hillside, IL. As a drum instructor I helped design a corruculum plan and taught younger students ages 8-14. In 2013 and 2014, I worked at School of Rock in Oark Park, IL teaching drum set, voice, and piano for students of all age groups. This was an interesting and new way of teaching for me because at School of Rock the students not only took private lessons, they got to perform in groups and played a recital at the end of each season. Also in 2014, I worked at The People's Music School in Chicago teaching music theory and group drum lessons for kids ages 5-14 and class sizes of 30+.
I'm a lifelong musician and lover of teaching. Besides being a member of the New Orleans Opera Chorus you can often catch me singing on my pedicab around the French Quarter. I've been playing music since I was a toddler and graduated in 2009 from Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of the Arts in Music Performance and Composition. I received high honors for my rock opera, Black Friday, which was performed as a part of my senior thesis.
I begin with the fundamentals of music theory that you will need to begin playing your instrument, and then I like to get straight into learning songs as quickly as possible. The student may choose what songs to learn (recommended) or I can make suggestions. You will learn a range of skills including tuning, instrument care, song struture, chords, soloing, and MUCH MORE. My goal is for you not just to learn to play certain notes or chords, but also understand why that note or chord fits where it does. This knowledge will be key to your success in composition and collaboration.
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At Musika, we offer guitar lessons to students as young as 6 years old. A nylon stringed, half-size classical guitar will be the easiest and most comfortable model for younger students to play, and at this age students will be learning to play simple tunes on the top strings. By about 7-8 years old, students will be forming different chords and playing along to their favorite songs. For students in the 10-12 age range, they are likely to want to learn how to play rock music on an electric guitar, and should be comfortable playing a full sized guitar.
Young children will start out by learning how to fret notes with one hand, and how to pluck or strum the strings with the other. This will allow them to play simple, familiar songs on one string. Students will also be taught to read music, and will eventually learn how to play the common open guitar chords. Once students are more familiar with the guitar fret board, they can start learning barre chords, movable scales, as well as get introduced to music theory. Advanced students might decide to study classical guitar repertoire, rock or blues solos, or even jazz improvisation.
Younger students who are just starting their guitars lessons will find it much easier to play on a half size or three-quarter sized acoustic guitar. Playing on an electric guitar may be an alternative option for older students, so long as they find gripping the guitar to be comfortable. Brand new student model guitars can be purchased for around the $150 - $200 price range. Electric guitar players will need to invest in an amplifier and guitar cables, which will generate additional costs. Higher quality instruments are often easier to play than their cheaper counterparts, which will impact positively on the enjoyment and progression of playing the instrument for students.
Adults wanting to learn how to play the guitar may find it beneficial to have a clear goal in mind when starting their lessons. Beginner students may wish to learn to play a few of their favorite songs, or an advanced player might like to develop a specific technical aspect of their guitar playing. Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. Learning and improving technique, co-ordination, and theory can take time, but with regular lessons and practice, you will gradually start to see improvements in your guitar playing, and be well on your way to achieving your goals.
Taking in home guitar lessons saves you time, energy, and money. There is no need to pack up the guitar or amp to take to the teachers' studio, since a qualified, talented teacher can travel directly to your home. We make finding a teacher easy by matching you with a teacher in our network who fits your needs and schedule.
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 Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
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 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 Jennifer
Dave is a fantastic teacher. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to students that I think is invaluable. At the same time, this does not limit him from working with beginning students. He is very communicative with the parents as far as schedule changes. We are so grateful to have found him!!
Review by Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
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 Michelle S.
"My daughter has been a student with Mark for over a year. She has come so far and has learned so much in such a short time. Mark is extremely talented and knowledgeable. He is very serious, patient and super nice. If your child or if you really WANT to learn the drums, then I highly recommend Mark. He is our third instructor and the best one yet! You will not be disappointed." Michelle S.
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.
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