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SU Prep Program Private Instructor (violin, viola, cello, guitar): 4 years, 20 students and early childhood music class assistant. I led suzuki group classes regularly. Central Oak Heights Music Camp: Camp counselor and private cello, bass teacher, 2 years
I worked various summer jobs and saved up to get my first guitar when I was 12 years old. My friends and I started a band during the first week of middle school and I've always played in a band of some sort since that day. In 2004 I graduated from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry. Since then I've been teaching guitar for over 10 years while releasing a number of internationally distributed albums and touring the world.
I graduated from Camden County College with a degree in Music and attending Rowan University for three years studying Music. I currently perform with a number of bands and occasionally travel with bands. I have experience playing at several venues in Philadelphia including the Electric Factory, TLA, and World Cafe.
I began teaching just over ten years ago at a music school and instrument retailer called The Music Place, where I worked for two years and had many long term students. It was a great experience but I left because the commute became too far so I decided to begin home lessons instead. This turned out to be a wonderful turn of events because home lessons can be much more open and relaxing since were not stuck in a little cube room half-way filled with a piano. My experience teaching for those first few years set the ground work for the methods I like to employ as a teacher. I found that self-expression found through music that the student enjoys, and then later music that they themselves create brings the most joy and magic to the students learning experience. I also have a knack for understanding where a student is confused when dealing with more abstract conceptual problems regarding music theory.
For beginning students, I normally start with Alfred's Drum Method. This book works on the fundamentals of reading snare drum music and basic technique. Once the students grasps the basics on reading and playing with a metronome then we tend to move to Tommy Igoe's Groove Essentials (while still working on the Alfred's Method). After the student has began to play with the audio tracks and have succesfully gone through a few lessons from Groove Essentials then we begin to work on some solo repertoire and personal favorites as well.
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For younger students, it is recommended that they use a half size, or three-quarter size acoustic guitar. Provided they are able to hold it comfortably, older students may wish to start out on an electric guitar. A reasonable price for a new student model guitar would be between $150 - $200, although for electric guitar players, an amplifier and guitar leads/cables will need to be bought separately at an extra cost. The higher the quality of the instrument, the easier it is to play. This will make learning and playing more enjoyable for the student.
Using a half sized classical guitar with nylon strings, students can start to play guitar at age 6. A half sized guitar is easier to hold, and the nylon strings are softer on the fingers than steel strings. At this age, students will learn simple songs on the top strings. Around the age of 7 or 8, students are able to progress to playing chords. By age 10-12, students can graduate to playing a full sized guitar. Often at this age, students want to learn to play various rock music, and will therefore want to play the electric guitar.
Whatever your current ability level, we recommend that students wanting to take guitar lessons have a clear aim in mind. Beginner students may wish to learn to play a few of their favorite songs, or an advanced player might like to work on a specific aspect of their guitar playing. Regardless of your goals, the experienced teachers in Musika's network can help make them happen. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced student, achieving your goals will take time. Developing the necessary skills can sometimes take months. The only way to ensure you achieve your goals is to dedicate yourself to lessons and practice.
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.
Our guitar students will typically learn how to hold, tune, and familiarize themselves with the components and notes of the guitar, basic playing techniques such as fretting, fingering, and strumming, and learn the various chord-types that they will need in order to play their favorite songs, such as power chords, open chords, and barre chords. Students will also get to learn music theory, and will cover aspects such as reading music, learning different scales, and how to apply these different elements together as part of a full composition. Students will learn the theory and techniques that underlie a wide range of musical genres, and will have fun developing their guitar playing during their lessons. Eventually, students will get to enjoy learning and playing along to their favorite songs!
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.
Review by Gillian
Vince is a great drum teacher for my 8 year old son. We go to his house where he has a studio setup with a huge drum set. He has been very patient but really holds my son responsible for learning the right way to play. After about 5 lessons, my son is playing some rhythms on the drums and reading music. He looks forward to his lessons with Vince.
Review by Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
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 Terri
Caitlyn is friendly, helpful and still holds my high-school aged daughter accountable for practicing. She also makes sure the music technique is mastered correctly during the lessons - they work hard and still have a good time together. I can highly recommend her as a flute teacher. My daughter is very happy & grateful to have found Caitlyn as a teacher.
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
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 Dylan Jacinto
Jessie is the finest musician I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I find her overall concept of approaching an instrument to be both comprehensive and effective. Each technique she has acquired has made it possible for her to tailor her method to a variety of ages and individuals. I cannot speak more highly of Miss Jessie's abilities. Her lengthy and impressive cradecials speak for themselves. I recommend no hesitation in seeking her services!
Review by Anita
Our daughter has only been playing the piano since March. Tony replaced our other teacher who had a job transfer and could no longer teach. Tony is fun and encouraging. My daughter is playing Taylor Swift and Christmas songs and is playing the piano more than ever before. Very happy so far with Mr Tony
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