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Piano- Bastien method
I have been very fortunate to study under master musicians Sophocles Papas and Patrick O'Brien, and bring my passion for music to all my teaching. I work to understand each student as an individual and craft lessons to the student's specific needs and interests. Former students include successful concert artists and amateurs who have found great fulfillment in their guitar playing. For children I offer my own method derived from over 30 years of teaching, uniquely suited to their age and level and a wonderful foundation for very solid skills applicable to academic success as well as their music.
I began providing private instruction back in early 2009 with local friends and family for free. In 2011 I started to take teaching more seriously and had several students over Skype and in my own studio. I am currently an educator at a music school in Litchfield County and teach in-home private lessons throughout the Hartford area. I fell in love for teaching while attending the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee after being offered a teaching assistant position for a beginner level class of 120+ students. I had helped each student tune, prepare for exams/homework assignments and offered free extra help whenever needed. I was titled "the best teaching assistant" in this class only after two semesters of experience. Since then, I have been teaching consistently with several different companies and independantly in my own home.
My methods vary depending on age and ability level, but my ultimate goal is for the student to have a pleasant and engaging experience with music. I want my students to enjoy the process of improving their ability, which I consider a huge role to the overall effectiveness of their time commitment to practice.
I started playing the guitar at the age of 17, after seeing a few live concerts in New Haven (Blues Traveler, Allman Brothers Band, and Phish). I remember sitting and watching in amazement and was inspired to go out, purchase a guitar and attempt to learn some of this music. It was a struggle at first, but with some hard work, determination and willingness I was able to play a few songs fairly well. I began taking lessons and eventually studied music at the University of Vermont and took my first lesson with a well-known jazz instructor, Steve Blair at UVM. Learning jazz techniques and the Berkley Guitar Method allowed me to understand complex music, making rock, blues, and folk fairly easy to grasp. After 20 plus years of playing guitar and performing live, I continue to study with a private teacher, which helps me stay focused and on track! Playing guitar is a life-long passion of mine, and I enjoy helping student’s find their own success and talent.
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Many adults take guitar lessons! Your teacher will develop an individualized lesson plan in accordance with your musical tastes and goals. Adults taking guitar lessons for the first time can expect to learn a lot of new things, and have fun in the process!
The most important thing students learn is how to have fun when they are playing the guitar! It can be a challenge to master the basics, and it can take a lot of practice but with the proper teacher, students can be playing their favorite songs without too much trouble. Topics covered during guitar lessons include: learning notes, open chords, barre chords, finger picking, sight reading techniques, music theory as well as how to strum and pluck with the fingers.
Students can start as young as age 6 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 handle a full size guitar around ages 10-12, which is when many students become interested in learning rock guitar and want to get an electric.
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.
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.
Review by Natalie Kretcher
I really like her. And as an adult student, a good teacher who keeps the pace up but still keeps it reasonable in terms of difficulty is really hard to find. She does a great job of explaining little detail things in terms I (as a musically challenged human) can understand. I'm having a blast! 10/10 would recommend!
Review by John
When I started with Darrell, I didn't know anything bout music. Nothing. We started with basic music theory & moved into scales and reading. It hasn't been very long at all, but my confidence is growing quickly. He does ask a lot from you and he expects you to keep up. But I can honestly say that if you are willing to work hard and spend the time at home doing what he asks, you will see the results. He wants you to succeed and takes pride in watching you grow. If you want it as bad as he does, you will see the result very quickly.
Review by Susan
My daughter is extremely happy and comfortable with Rachel, and looks forward to her piano lessons every week. She is a very kind and patient teacher, always using positive reenforcement with my daughter, which makes all the difference in the world to children. We definitely are looking forward to continued piano lessons with her. So glad we found her.
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 Jonathan
Angela is a phenomenal teacher. She is full of charisma and is a joy to work with. Most of my experience with her has been focused on working in the Alexander Technique and she seems very knowledgeable in this study. I would highly recommend her to any prospective student. I have seen myself improve dramatically in a few short weeks with her guidance (and much practice of course!)
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 Brooklyn
Laura is a fabulous teacher. She explains concepts to me using concrete examples so that I can understand changes that I need to make to my posture, breathing, phrasing, etc. She makes warm-up exercises fun, and she's got a great sense of humor over all. Her teaching style is collaborative, more egalitarian (she respects what I already know and meets me at my level), tailored to my particular interests and strengths, and I always look forward to our lessons!
Review by Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
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.
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