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For beginning students who are children, I usually start with the Hal Leonard and FJH young beginner guitar method series book for guitar and ukulele. As soon as they can, I try to move them on to learning and strumming songs that they like. For more advanced guitar students, I also teaching reading and theory out of the Mel Bay guitar book series. For banjo students, I teach out of the Hal Lenoard Banjo Method book.
Every student has different goals in their music lessons. I aim to create a fun and safe learning environment that doesn't put unnecessary pressure on students. No matter what one teaches, the burden to learn ultimately lies on the student. I believe what truly makes a great teacher is the ability to invoke interest in the given topic, so that the student wants to learn more! I strive to help my students find the same joy I get from music and desire to practice/learn more. I don't want practicing to feel like homework for my students, so I try to teach music that they really love.
SEE: about me (above)
I love sharing music. It is probably our greatest gift as human beings, and the most fun activity. I run my own music camp and love nature. I have performed in jazz, folk, rock and original music bands as a first call session player and arranger. I also lead my own original music bands. I graduated Berklee undergrad in 2005 and have taught all levels and ages since then. I came back to the US to attend the first Master's Program at Berklee College of Music and I love sharing my knowledge with both beginners and advance musicians. My greatest asset is taking the student to the next level.
A total beginner will usually start by learning chord progressions that are specifically in a major scale progression (ex. C-Dm-Em-F-G-Am-Bdim). Using chord progressions allows my students to grow accustomed to the feel of the guitar and the fundamental hand strength needed to play, as well as the finger dexterity needed to play certain chords. This fundamental also introduces them to major scales, and the sound of chord progressions in the major scale. I also start my students with memorization of the fret board, starting from the low string down to the high string. After working through these fundamentals, I will have my student tell me a song they like, and I write out a sort of chart or diagram that gives the student the opportunity to play the whole song, which develops the endurance of guitar playing as well as the long term memory needed to play full length songs. Eventually, we go into more advanced topics like playing actual scales, complex chord shapes, refined picking technique, modes, and any other high level topics that a student may introduce in a song or artist of their choosing.
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Due to the large size of acoustic guitars, it is recommended that young students begin by playing half size or three-quarter size guitars. It is possible for older students to use full size acoustic or electric guitars, as long as they find them comfortable to grip. There are many different student model guitars which are available, and can be purchased within the $150 - $200 price bracket from new. These costs do not include the prices of amplification or cables, which will be necessary for those wanting to play electric guitar. Bear in mind that higher quality instruments are often the easiest to play, and that ease of use is a big factor in how much a student enjoys their playing.
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.
Students can start their guitar lessons as young as 6 years of age. We recommend that younger students begin by playing a half size classical guitar with nylon strings, as the smaller guitar and softer strings will be more comfortable to play. By the age of 7 or 8, most students are able to start forming chords, and can learn to play and sing along to their favorite songs. Around the ages of 10-12, most students are able to start playing a full sized guitar, and they generally become interested in learning to play rock music on an electric guitar.
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.
Review by Justin
I've been taking lessons from Michael once a week for eight weeks now, and with his help I have made dramatic improvements with my sax. Michael is a funny, nice, patient and all around great instructor. I'd recommend Michael, as an instructor, to anyone who wants to improve their skills and have fun while doing it.
Review by Steven G.
Laura is the kind of teacher you wish you had in all your studies: gracious, easy-going, light-hearted, yet behind the easy going exterior is an excellent musical mind with everything at her fingertips. I've had about 5 teachers in my life who count as really influential people, and Laura easily fits that category. She lets you be yourself so that you are fully present rather than old-school doctrinaire style, what I call "stiff as a German, sig-heil" teachers. She's the polar opposite. Brava, Laura! Thank you so much!
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 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!
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 Lauren Segal
Ed is THE best instructor I've ever had and I've had many instructors over the years in various fields of study. Ed met us at a music store to help choose a guitar, this is after he first called and asked all the right questions. He's supplied my daughter with just the right amount of paper work and just the right amount of new techniques. By this I mean to say that Ed connects with the pace my daughter learns at. I highly recommend Ed AND Musika.
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 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 Jenn
My son and I both take lessons with Micheal. My son started on the ukulele and recently started the guitar. He is excellent with children. Very patient and very intuitive to the child's ability. He is also an excellent teacher for adults. I had not touched my guitar in several years and in a couple months not only to I remember everything I forgot but I'm learning many new techniques and am a much better player than I've ever been.
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