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I majored in classical guitar at the Hartt School of Music where I received my Bachelors degree. I teach most styles of music including rock, blues, metal, and classical. Some of my favorite artist are Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Randy Rhoads. I'm currently playing in the Doors tribute band Riders On The Storm and have played throughout the Northeast as well as in Europe. I also play classical guitar at weddings and professional events.
I try to keep things lighthearted and fun, but also demand a lot from my students and hope for regular practice to push them to new heights. Music is fun, but with hard work the lessons will pay off with the reward of improved music ability. I always incorporate music that the student is interested in and challenge them to be able to play their favorite songs. I tailor my lessons to fit the needs of the student, and cater to all different types of students. I have a lot of experience teaching students with learning disabilities, particularly autism and attention disorders.
I am a life long musician and lover of music. I began learning viola when I was 7 and picked up guitar when I was 9. I taught as a teacher assistant at a Suzuki Strings camp for several summers while I was in high school. I attended the University of Connecticut where I studied viola with Robert Meyer, Steven Larson, and Dr. Solomiya Ivakhiv. I also studied choral conducting with the UConn Choral Director Dr. Jamie Spillane and orchestral conducting with the UConn Symphony Orchestra director Harvey Felder. I graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and am now working towards my Master of Science in Music Education at the University of Bridgeport. I have been giving private lessons for a few years to students of all ages and have worked extensively with middle and high school students in developing their skills as musicians.
I begin my students with the fundamentals of music and the instrument. As we expand our musical knowledge, we also broaden our understanding of technique, because I strongly believe that every musician, no matter the genre they ultimately play, needs a strong foundation of musical knowledge and technical proficiency on the instrument. All the while I take into consideration what style the student is interested in. I try my best to incorporate the students interests from the beginning, and as the student reaches a higher and higher level, we work more concentrated in the direction of their interests.
I cater the lessons towards what the student wants while emphasizing the importance of fundamentals and theory. I incorporate songwriting and improvisation into my lessons, as well as songs the student wants to learn. I believe all students should be encouraged to be creative, while still maintaining a strong emphasis on fundamentals, thus leading to the creation of their unique musical style. I generally tend to split the lessons up into warm up techniques, repertoire, sight reading, listening/dictation, discussing music the student likes/wants to learn, and improvisation and songwriting.
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Students are able to start taking guitar lessons with Musika at age 6. For students this young, we recommend that they start off by using a half-sized classical guitar with nylon strings. Students in this age group will start by learning to play simple melodies using the top strings of the guitar, and will be able to progress on to forming chords and playing more advanced songs by the age of 7-8 years old. Students are able to graduate to using a full sized guitar by ages 10-12, and will likely want to learn to play rock on an electric guitar.
The easiest way for guitar students to find out what kind of guitar to buy is to ask their teacher. Your teacher will know what local shops have fair deals, and which shops do a good job of setting up the instrument. Young students and beginners may find an acoustic guitar easier to play and handle, while teenagers will probably want the power of an electric guitar so they can jam with their friends in the garage.
Students typically start with the basics, such as how to hold the guitar, how to fret notes with one hand, and how to strum or pluck the strings with the other. The teachers in our network will cover sight reading, guitar chords, and basic music theory. All of which are needed for students to perform and understand the inner-workings of their favorite songs. More advanced students can work on jazz improvisation, classical technique, as well as rock or blues guitar solos.
Musika offers customized one-on-one music lessons at your home - a time saving solution for busy parents and students. The convenience of in-home guitar lessons allows you to save time without having to transport your child to class, allows your child to maximize their busy schedule, and provides a safe and familiar environment in which to learn.
For adults who are looking to learn to play the guitar, we recommend that they do so with some clear goals in mind. Maybe you want to learn to play some of your favorite songs, join a band, or write your own music? Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. It can take time, often months, to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the guitar at a competent level. The most effective way to progress with your playing is to take regular lessons and practice often.
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 Debbie E.
I had always wanted to take vocal lessons, but was very nervous about it until I had the opportunity to have Ali as my instructor. She made me feel very comfortable and helped me realize my strengths while giving me other areas to work on and strengthen. I liked how Ali had me sing out of my "comfort" zone to realize my vocal range. It is obvious that Ali loves music and sharing that love with her students. She is very good at what she does and works well with both male and female voices. I highly recommend Ali and give her solid 5 stars
Review by Nancy Fritsch
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach.
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 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 Chrystal
I was skeptical at first not knowing what I was getting my self into.. I am very happy that I forced myself to get into voice lessons because Eli is an awsome voice coach.. Very skillful and he helps you reach the goal you are trying to reach.. He is also very helpful with getting you to open up and come out of your shell and being heard.. I would and I already have recommended friends and family to sign up with Eli if they're serious about singing..
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 Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
Review by Sharon
My 4-year-old has had several lessons with Martina now, and he has learned a lot. Obviously, it is challenging to teach such a young child, and he has learned quite a lot in a short time, and is very excited to learn about violin and for his lessons. I think Martina is doing an excellent job, is quite patient, and is teaching him in such a way that he can really remember his new skills from week to week. We look forward to many more lessons with Ms. Martina!
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