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I teach primarily guitar lessons. I have been teaching guitar lessons since Jan 2003. I am formally trained, know extensive music theory, and can read (and will teach, if desired) standard notation (a.k.a. "sheet music"). I have played in all kinds of bands for over 2 decades (rock, metal, classic rock, pop, funk, reggae, disco, oldies, and more). I know literally thousands and thousands of songs. Even though there are many guitar players out there with much stronger technical skills and agility than myself, I am honestly one of the best guitar teachers out there. I say this for several reasons: For one, because I have had numerous students tell me that out of multiple previous guitar teachers they had in the past, I was the only one who ever explained it in a way that made sense to them. Also, with most other guitar teachers, they had "natural" talent and it came much easier to them than it did with me, so they didn't have to struggle nearly as hard as I did. So because I had struggled with many of the same things as a large percentage of my students do, I can still truly understand the problem and offer my own insights and solutions to these problems, which other more naturally talented players simply can not do because they never experienced any of those problems themselves firsthand. A third reason is because I have a knack for explaining things, no matter how complex, in very simple terms and break down the seemingly complex stuff into tiny pieces which they can grasp and master. A fourth reason is because I am completely flexible with my lessons, teaching exactly what the student (or parent) wants (them) to learn, anything from the standard traditional approach (i.e reading music) to the rock approach just teaching them how to play their favorite songs, which I figure out by ear on the spot from the recording which the student asks me to listen to. Add to all that, I am very patient, friendly, humorous, approachable and humble/modest in demeanor, where many other teachers have a huge ego and "God complex", where they talk down to the student and make them feel uneasy and overly self-conscious. As I have been a lead singer and studied voice formally for a number of years, I have taught voice on occassion (rock only). But since my voice has not been up to par for some time now, I no longer will teach any voice students.
I began teaching the summer before my last year of my undergrad (summer of 2012) I worked at a few studios outside Pittsburgh (Batavia Studios in Mars, PA and Manella Guitars in Monroeville.) Since moving to NJ I got a couple more gigs as a teacher through recommendations (Westerhoff School of Music and Art in Metuchen and Music Tech in South Brunswick.) I also have a few private students. Last summer I worked at the Rutgers Summer Jazz Institute, a one week summer camp for high school kids. I TA'ed for some of the faculty members and helped out with their ensembles and also worked privately with some of the campers on the ensemble music.
At the start of the first lesson, I give each new student a questionniare to fill out that tells me their musical background, influences, goals for the instrument and what music they are interested in learning. If the new student is a younger child, I begin them with Hal Leonard's Guitar Method Book One. Once they have grasped the simple chords and melodies of the book, I begin to introduce simple songs that they are interested in learning. I encourage students to practice "perfect practice", which means they are as relaxed as possible when practicing (mentally and physically).This type of practicing is also known as deliberate practice, which I have found to be the most efficient type of practice(which can be applied to any instrument or skill) for students to progress quickly on the instrument.
Nothing is more rewarding than experiencing a student develop a style and passion for guitar! I would say that my style of teaching leaves a lot of room for growth, but doesn't neglect the fundamentals. I'm also going to encourage you, push you, let you grow on your own, open your ears to new sounds and ways of thinking, be disappointed in you (for not practicing!), be proud of you (always, of course), and many other fun things.
I am very passionate and love teaching and sharing my knowledge of music. After graduating college in 2011, I started to teach full-time and during this time I learned so much on how to go about teaching people of all ages and different musical backgrounds. I taught in various music stores, I later started my online teachings. I later moved to Philadelphia from Alabama, since I've been here I've started online teaching and playing music gigs with various bands. I will continue to push myself to be the best I can be.
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Young students are advised to start off by learning to play on a half sized or three-quarter sized acoustic guitar. Older students may wish to start on an electric guitar, as long as they can hold the guitar comfortably and competently. There are many different student model guitars, which will set you back $150 - $200. This does not include the price for cables and an amplifier, which will be a necessary purchase for electric guitar players. Higher quality instruments are often easier to play, which provides the student a greater chance to enjoy their learning.
At Musika, we recommend that the earliest age at which students start to take guitar lessons is about 6 years old. Students in this age category will start of by learning to play simple tunes on the top strings of the guitar and are recommended to use a half-sized classical guitar with nylon strings. By about 7-8 years old, students will be forming different chords and playing and singing along to their favorite songs. When students get to about 10-12 years old, they may become interested in rock music and decide to learn on a full-sized electric 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.
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.
Whether your goal is to learn to play your favorite tunes, learn to compose your own music, develop a new technique, or just to play for fun, the experienced teachers in our network can help you make those goals a reality! Musika recommends that adult students begin lessons with a clear goal or two in mind, which can greatly help a teacher create a customized lesson plan just for your own lessons. By sticking to the teacher's lesson plan during your weekly practice sessions, you'll see faster results and have more fun while playing the guitar.
Review by William Klepatsky
Very knowledgeable on every aspect of music theory. I listen to recording artists playing various classical pieces, Dan's playing is much like a recording artist's playing. Always on time. Winning happy personality, a great role model. Puts me at ease when I am playing. Have two friends who hold music degrees, I count him a third, something special about the minds and personalities of good pianists. Thanks Dan.
Review by Angie Ignazzitto
Stephanie is an excellent voice teacher! Our 10-year-old daughter enjoys her lessons with Stephanie each week. She has an amazing way of connecting with our daughter through music. Stephanie knows how to offer constructive feedback in a positive way that keeps our daughter interested and wanting to learn more. I would recommend Stephanie without hesitation.
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
Review by Kristin
Ted S. is teaching clarinet to one of my children, and piano to two others. He is extremely knowledgeable, and very encouraging. His teaching methods are keeping my children enthused about their lessons, and without that, you have nothing. Two of my children were taking piano lesson from another teacher for the past year, and not progressing. Ted has been able to evaluate their skills individually, determine what was missing in their music education, and begin again with some early basics they seem to have missed. I am convinced we are finally moving forward, and am very happy about that. I wish I would have made this change much earlier.
Review by Wendy
Bill has been great with my 2 young children (age 3 & 6). He has integrated games into the lessons - they have enjoyed showing us how to play the games when it is time to practice piano. Bill has been easy to contact and rescheduling has not been a problem if we have a conflict at our regular lesson time.
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.
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 Pat
Henry has been a great piano teacher since I started lessons about a month ago, and he is helping me realize a lifelong dream. He is patient, plays beautifully, is easy to learn from and a very nice person. I took lessons as a child for a year or so, but never followed up over the years. I always said that I would once I retired and found the right instructor. That time is now. Thank you Henry and Musika!
Review by Karl B
“My son and I have been taking lessons with Lynn for 5 or 6 years now. She is very patient with younger students (& older students having "senior moments"). She is also flexible in her lessons in that if we want to work on theory, jazz, rock, blues, she will cater to our requests.” – Karl B., C.P.A., Aug 2015
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