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For beginning students, I use the Hal Leonard Basic or Kids Guitar Method because it is such a good introduction to the instrument. For bass and ukulele I also use the beginner Hal Leonard Method books. For more advanced students, I first get a sense for what they want to learn and where they want to go, by asking them some questions about their previous education, what songs they like to listen to, and any problems with practicing or grasping the material, that they may have experienced. Then, I create a custom lesson plan catered to their goals, based on my experience, and various methods gained from Berklee College of Music curricula.
I am a guitar, banjo, and ukulele player who has been teaching and performing music for the past 17+ years. I am a graduate of the Berklee College of music. The music styles which I am most passionate about are the blues, classic rock, pop, funk, and country. I have had the opportuninty to perform with several bands from the MA area, and we have gone on to perform thoughout the eastern United States. I have been influenced by artists such as B.B. King, Steve Cropper, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, Led Zepplin, James Brown, The Rolling Stones, Pete Seeger, and many others.
I want to foster a love and understanding of the instrument in my students. Therefore, I always make sure to pace my lessons with each student according to them. This means I set realistic goals for them and help guide them to accomplishing these goals themselves. These accomplishments will help fuel the desire to progress, and make my students hungry for more. By finding and encouraging the musical interests of my students, I can keep the lessons both fun and informative.
In 2001 I was 14 growing up in Southern Wisconsin and developed a want to play guitar. I saw one for sale in a holiday catalog and asked my parents if I could get it. Luckily they said yes! I began lessons, and regular practice from there on. This new interest in music stoked a fire in my dads soul to begin playing drums again. He'd played regularly in a band til he was 18. After picking up an old drum set that was sitting by a curb waiting for trash, we began a regular music jam. What an anomaly to have a father and son bonding over music! We still gratefully play together regularly when I visit. I went to College at Madison Media Institute in Madison, WI and graduated with an Associates degree in Audio Engineering. I moved to Austin in 2009 after hearing much about it's thriving music scene. I play in a group regularly in Austin named The Gallows Drifters.
I will construct a lesson plan according to each individual students wants or needs.
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Students can start their lessons as young as 6 years old with a half size classical guitar (nylon strings), by playing simple songs on the top strings. Most students are able to form chords by age 7 or 8, and begin learning how to play and sing along with their favorite songs. Older students will graduate to being able to comfortably handle a full size guitar around age 10-12, which is when many students become more interested in learning rock guitar and want to get an electric model.
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.
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.
At Musika, we appreciate that every student learns at their own pace. As such, the experienced teachers in our network produce customized guitar lessons specifically for the requirements of each individual student. Teachers can design lessons for any student, regardless of their age, experience, or ability. Some of the things students can expect to learn during their lessons are learning all the notes of the guitar, playing and rhythmic techniques such as fretting, fingering, and strumming, how to read musical notation and tablature, learning how to play a variety of different chords, such as open and barre chords, and music theory. Over time, as each student progresses, they will learn how to piece everything they have learned together, in order to form complete compositions. Students can learn to play their favorite songs, or even to write their own music!
Save time by having a teacher come to your home! No need to pack up and transport your guitar between lessons, and no need to guzzle gas either. The instructors in our network provide a private, customized one-on-one lesson for each student. Your home will also be both a comfortable and safe environment for your lessons.
Review by Blaine Vaz
“I took drum lessons from Mark for about 7 months. I have been playing for 38 years but always thrive to learn more. He was able to provide me alternative exercises and help me gain a better understanding of my opportunities. I have been able to take my playing to another level. His approach to teaching is perfect for any level of student, beginner or advanced. He is a true professional and an outstanding person. You won't go wrong with Mark!” Blaine Vaz
Review by Violetking
Bill has been a great teacher for both my 6 yr. old and my 8 yr. old. He is always on time, keeps them engaged, and gives them just enough of a challenge for the next week. They are both beginners, but I am surprised by how much they already know after just a month or so of lessons. Both kids are practicing willingly and look forward to lesson.
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 Maureen Young
“Lynn has taught my daughter guitar for 9 years. She has always managed to keep her engaged and provide an exceptional learning experience. She tailors the lesson specifically to the student’s interests and abilities. She provides many opportunities for students to showcase their talents outside of lessons. We love working with Lynn.” Maureen Young, Dir. of Finance, Aug 2015
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 Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.
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 Lucinda
Melissa is very encouraging, positive, supportive and patient. She knows how to explain the technical details of flute and music notation to kids in a way that makes sense to them. She has been reliable so far turning up on time and calling if there is a need to reschedule. I would definitely recommend her to others.
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.
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