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I've taught voice at Northwest University for the past 5 years. In 2010, I joined the faculty of the Bellevue School of Music, and last fall began teaching at the Gene Nastri Community School of the Arts in Mukilteo. I also conduct a church choir. I believe strongly that it is important for anyone who sings to study classical technique, regardless of what style of singing they wish to do. It is the best way to maximize the potential of the voice, and to keep it healthy in the long run. I enjoy teaching very much!
My method is to help students play the music they want to play, whether it's Miles Davis or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I like to start my lessons by working on a song of the students choice to spark their interest. From there, I move to focusing on the students needs technically, rhythmically and theoretically. Additionally, I have my students practice improvisation, in some capacity, at each lesson. I want my students to feel comfortably making music on the fly and I set up low stakes environments for them to hone this skill. My lessons are rather free form and adapt easily to what is interesting my students at the time. However, at the end of every lesson, the student and myself set practice goals as well as goals for the next lesson. I strongly believe in short and long term goals to help keep students focused.
My teaching style is structured primarily on learning to play by ear with light theory instruction. For advanced and more serious minded students, I am a huge theory nerd and I really enjoy teaching a more technical approach as well. My philosophy is to improve a student's skills by nurturing each person's specific interest and goals. I try to build confidence and show students that music is for everyone and is really fun! From there we can take it as far as you want.
I have been a professional teacher and performer for ten years, touring nationally with funk, soul, and latin bands. The diversity of my experience as a performer has directly impacted my view on teaching. Excitement about practicing music comes directly from passion for music in general, and a key philosophy to my teaching method is to not only instill correct practices and technique, but to attempt to foster a life-long desire for musical exploration in my students. Exposing new musical ideas, exciting modern musicians and cutting edge genres to aspiring performers is essential in maintaining passion and focus for learning any instrument.
For all of my students, I try to incorporate a sense of body awareness and finding ways of learning that are the most comfortable and fitting for their specific needs. I believe strongly in practicing efficiently and relaxed. For beginning flute students, I am to work on developing a sound, using Trevor Wye's Omnibus Books 1-5 and my own long tones: later moving on to scales and basic short pieces and etudes. For more intermediate and advanced students I like to focus strongly on music fundamentals, assigning regular etudes and finding pieces fit for the students skill and interest! For beginning guitar students, I focus on learning the pedagogy of the guitar : string names, basic care and maintenance and finger placement, later moving on to open chords and melodic playing. My intermediate players will focus on developing their chord vocabulary, melodic playing and introduction into new styles of music ; rock, jazz, classical.
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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.
Students aged as young as 6 years old are able to start taking guitar lessons with the expert teachers in Musika's network. At this age, students will find it easiest to play a half-sized classical guitar with nylon strings, and will learn how to play the top strings of the guitar and simple melodies. As they advance, they will start to form a range of different chords and learn to play more challenging songs. Usually by the age of 10-12 years old, students are capable of playing a full sized guitar and want to progress onto the electric guitar.
At Musika, we recommend that adult students looking to start guitar lessons have a clear goal in mind. Whether your goal is to learn to play your favorite song, write your own music, develop a certain technique, or join a band, the experienced teachers in our network can help you make those goals a reality! It can take time, often months, to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the guitar to a good level. The best and quickest way to learn the fundamental skills is to take regular lessons and practice your guitar playing as often as possible.
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.
At Musika, the teachers in our network create lesson plans that are specifically customized to meet the needs of each individual student. These experienced teachers can develop the skills of a complete beginner, or help to take an advanced players skills to the next level. Students can expect to learn such things as how to correctly hold the guitar, learning the notes on the fret board, and how to tune their instrument. Students will also learn techniques such as fretting, fingering and strumming, and will learn to play various scales and chords, such as open chords, power chords, and barre chords. They will learn how to combine these elements of guitar playing to create or cover complete compositions, as well as learning music theory and how to read music. Last but not least, teachers will help students to realize the joys and fun that learning to play the guitar can bring!
Review by Jeremy
Dr. Nedra C is incredible. She knows her craft in and out, it truly shows in her teaching. As well, she cares a great deal about the student, and preps plenty of material outside of the lesson for those that she teaches. I've had many different music teachers and am aware who's talented and cares, and who isn't. Dr. Nedra C is true phenomenal, and any student would be lucky to have her.
Review by Carol A
“Lynn is my music hero! She can listen to any song and write down the chords. She will adjust to make it easier or harder whatever your abilities. I have a busy schedule and often don't have time to practice between lessons and she is cool with that. She also will adjust lesson times when she is able which fits my hectic schedule. I'm glad my first guitar teacher "fired" me ....that allowed me to meet Lynn.” - Carol A., M.D., Aug 2015
Review by Christopher Perrone
Mike has been working with my son Robert for over a year and has just started working with my daughter Kate. Mike is both a great musician and a good teacher. He connects with the kids and keeps them engaged. He is able to tailor the lesson to focus on music that is interesting to each child. He also encourages the students to participate in a public setting which is great. I would highly recommend Mike.
Review by Richardpoplawski
I feel she is a very professional teacher and I have already recommended your company and her to my friends who have children that play musical instruments. My 8 year old son has never been so enthusiastic to play his violin. His skills have improved almost exponentially since we have began lessons with Lauren. Your company has exceeded my expectations and I am very happy to have found it online.
Review by Cameron D.
After signing up for lessons with David L. I knew I made the right choice. Just after a couple of weeks I didn't see him as a teacher but as a best friend. There was always a relaxed atmosphere during the lessons. He was very easy to talk to and he really listen to you. If I ever had a question he would answer. He tailors to what ever you want to do in that lesson. David L. is a great teacher and a friend. I totally recommend him for anyone
Review by Ryan Piveteau
Amber is personal and cares about her students. She is flexible in her schedule and maintains a professional attitude in her lessons. Her want for her students to succeed makes her excel as a teacher. She is very knowledgeable about music and extremely experienced. Additionally, she includes external activities aside from lessons for the students who wish to advance themselves externally. Really a great teacher who offers great opportunity.
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 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 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
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