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Nothing is more rewarding than helping someone discover their musical personality. Again, my style of teaching is partially dependent on what a student hopes to gain from lessons, but I first like to develop a rapport with the musicians I work with in order to foster a comfortable environment and healthy ambition. I think it is also necessary to set realistic goals to allow students to actively see their own progress. Most importantly, I believe learning to play music should be fun. Practicing scales and rudiments must be cerebral and disciplined, however music at its core is a joy, and keeping this in mind is fundamental to my style of teaching.
I have played in many venues with many groups in Connecticut, Boston, New York City, and Portland, Oregon. Genres I enjoy include jazz, bossanova, classic rock, blues and pop. Genres I enjoy teaching include most anything that the student wants to learn. If students would like to perform a song in front of other peers, I offer opportunities for that as well in local venues; however, there's no pressure to perform in front of people unless the student wishes to! Almost anyone can learn how to play the guitar, and I have the ability to provide instruction from a few different angles. Let's play the guitar!
My teaching experience has showed me that there is no one "correct" approach to learning guitar or any musical instrument for that matter. There are certainly valuable techniques that can be adopted by every student to help them progress, however each student presents their unique personality and tastes in music. In order to help bring out the student's musical "voice" on his or her particular instrument, my approach to teaching will vary. I have worked with young kids, adults, special needs individuals, and my own peers!
I am a student at CCSU, set to graduate in May 2016 with a Bachelor's Degree in Management Information Systems and a minor in Music.Why did I not pursue a music degree? All musician are different. Some dream of becoming a music teacher in a classroom setting, and others want to become professional, classical performers. I did not fit into either of those categories. As someone who is already skilled enough to be a professional performer, but who has no interest in teaching an entire classroom (which basically requires getting an education degree), I decided that my secondary education was better invested in a degree that can help me support music as a hobby. Any money that I make musically helps too. Private lessons give me a chance to spread the valuable knowledge that I have gained while performing with many different groups of many different styles. I have a deep understanding of musical concepts on both a technical and spiritual level.
I am a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut music department holding a bachelor's degree in music - vocal performance. I currently sing for a number of professional choirs, and teach private voice, piano, and guitar. I took voice lessons for 8 years, piano for 15, and guitar for 9. I have been grateful to perform in venues such as Carnegie Hall, as well as travel and perform in various locations in the US and abroad. My professional goals involve continuing private coaching as well as becoming a certified full-time music teacher.
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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.
Musika deals primarily with home lessons for students. The location is the only difference between our in-home lessons and our studio lessons. As they do not have to travel to their lessons, home guitar lessons can be highly convenient for those parents and students with a busy schedule. For younger students in particular, having guitar lessons in the comfort of their own home can be of great benefit. They will feel more safe and relaxed in familiar surroundings, allowing them to focus on learning and enjoying playing the guitar.
Many adults take guitar lessons! Your teacher will develop an individualized lesson plan in accordance with your musical tastes and goals. Adults taking guitar lessons for the first time can expect to learn a lot of new things, and have fun in the process!
At Musika, we recommend that the earliest age at which students start to take guitar lessons is about 6 years old. A nylon stringed, half-size classical guitar will be the easiest and most comfortable instrument for younger students to play. In this age group, students will learn to play simple songs on the top strings. By the age of 7-8, students can start to form chords and play and sing along to some of their favorite songs. Students in the 10-12 age bracket, are likely to want to learn how to play rock music on an electric guitar, and should be comfortable playing a full sized guitar at this stage.
It is highly recommended that young students begin by learning on smaller, half or three-quarter sized acoustic guitars. For older students, an electric guitar may be suitable, on the basis that they can hold it correctly and with comfort. For between $150 - $200, many student model guitars can be bought from new. Electric guitar players will also need to purchase an amplifier and guitar cables, at additional costs. Remember, higher quality instruments are often easier to play, which will likely enhance the students enjoyment and development on the instrument.
Review by Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
Review by Maurice Romero
This is the 1st time I've ever taken lessons, and Robert has been a pleasure to work with. I've made quick progress and have enjoyed the process. I'm always listening for those tips that you can't find in a book. I can count on Robert to be strict on the fundamentals and am clear it will make a difference in the long run.
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 Jeff N.
Travis is an extremely knowledgeable guitarist and teacher. Travis is equally comfortable in playing/teaching jazz, rock, blues, or classical styles. I really like the way he explains things and he has the ability to make difficult material seem simpler. Travis is very likeable, enthusiastic, and always very professional. I think Travis would be great teaching either children or adults because he's very patient. My learning experience with Travis has been outstanding. He taught me some great techniques for chord substitution and for soloing. I'll continue to work with Travis because he inspires me to be a better guitarist. I think he could really help me with composing because he writes some great songs too! Thanks Travis!
Review by Ashley S.
Ali was an amazing voice coach! She taught in a way that made sense to me, and helped me find the voice placements I needed. I didn't know I could sound like that! My development with her was leaps and bounds rather than tiny dreadful steps that happen when you don't know what's going on! Ali was dedicated to helping me work on an audition for a music scholarship and I nailed it all thanks to her, seriously. I can't thank her enough! She helped me with the tools and confidence I needed to sing in the real world alone rather than just back row in a large choir.
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 Tuvana
He is incredibly patient and really customizes his teaching style to the child. Both of my children are learning piano with him; they have learned so much and really enjoy the lessons. In fact, my daughter asked to learn another instrument (guitar) with him and is making great progress with that, too.
Review by Brad Schimmer
I have been playing the drums for about 5 years and I have to say that Alvaro is very patient. He has opened me up to new styles of music and I can now play a Songo groove! What I liked most was that he was flexible in what I wanted him to teach me and would also bring in new material specifically to what I wanted him to show me. Overall, great patient teacher and would highly recommend! Thanks Alvaro!
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+
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