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I'm a positive and encouraging teacher. When I've worked with children and with special needs high school students, I have always tried to be supportive and positive rather than negative as my way of teaching lessons or guiding them. When it comes to teaching voice and guitar, I'm the same way. I want to bring out the best possible singer or guitarist in my student, and so my approach is a totally supportive one, and I bring a lot of enthusiasm to my lessons.
I just recently moved to New York City from Denver, Colorado. Up until the day before I moved, I was working as a music teacher at Neighborhood Music Stapleton- a private music school in Denver. I was an instructor for over 50 different students weekly, in-studio and in-home lessons, ages varying from as young as 2 to adult. My primary student base was ages 4-16. I also had several adult students where I taught advanced vocal performance. I also taught two different hour long group vocal classes twice a week, one for ages 3-6, and the other for 7-10 year olds. On average, I teach around 30 lessons a week, mostly 30 minute sessions and several hour long sessions in addition to my group classes. I specialize in advanced vocal instruction and talent development. I can also teach theory, guitar, beginner piano, songwriting, ukulele, bass, and basic acting instruction and audition skills.
My long career and passion for music has given me an unique understanding of teaching. I have been called a savant and my musical life started young playing violin at age 6, drums at 7, picked up the guitar at 8 and piano at 10. I cut my Freshman year in High School to play Frank Zappa's music with 30 year old's and already had my first serious band and was performing regularly in clubs with “Meridian”, a 6-piece jazz fusion band Featuring Frankie Valli’s daughter, Francine on Vocals. I then went on to land the 1986 “Electra Records Undiscovered Artist of the Year Award, by Composing, arranging and performing all instruments on entry, “Sparks”. After that Columbia Records recording artists, The Burns Sisters Band, picked me up as their lead guitarist. During my term, The Burns Sisters Band, had 2 hits. “Listen to the Beat of a Heart” charted #11 nationwide on adult contemporary radio and “I Wonder Who’s Out Tonight” top ten hit on many radio stations across the country. I opened shows for bands like; Huey Lewis & The News, Govt. Mule, Stray Cats, Orleans, John Cafferty, Billy Squire and the Psychedelic Furs among others. I then went on to Composing, music for movies such as, MGM film “Crooked Hearts” and John Candy’s film “Delirious”. Now this recent CD release, "Solo Journey" has just recently been released.
I began teaching in Highschool and I have not been able to stop in the 8 years since. It is my utmost desire for my students to be able to take what I teach them and be able to play it and have music at their disposal as an instrument for self expression for the rest of their lives. I encourage a regular practice schedule but also aknoledge the realities of other commitments outside of music. For children I mix method structure and 'fun' music (pop songs, kids' songs, TV show themes) so as to keep them interested and engaged without a struggle. In addition to a 'custom' approach, I have a curriculum that I follow to make sure every student gets all the basics and consistency in intermediate and advanced educationI have coached students through auditions into school bands, through music theater productions and though auditions for bands and taught them how to excel when placed in all the aforementioned positions. For adults I really like to explore whatever the student is interestd in and I propose songs/techniques relating to or around the subject matter that the student may not be aware of and ultimatly find interesting, exciting and fun.
I have been teaching private lessons in my home studio for over 25 years.
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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.
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.
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 one-on-one, in-home guitar lessons that are designed specifically for each individual student. Whether your lesson takes place in a teacher's studio or at home, students will get the exact same lesson content, with the only difference being the location. Parents will find home guitar lessons a much more convenient option for their child, as it saves the time and costs of transporting their children to and from a studio. Younger students will find that learning to play the guitar in the comfort of their own home greatly benefits their development as they are learning in a supportive, secure, and familiar environment.
At Musika, we offer guitar lessons to students as young as 6 years old. A nylon stringed, half-size classical guitar will be the easiest and most comfortable model for younger students to play, and at this age students will be learning to play simple tunes on the top strings. By about 7-8 years old, students will be forming different chords and playing along to their favorite songs. For students in the 10-12 age range, they are likely to want to learn how to play rock music on an electric guitar, and should be comfortable playing a full sized guitar.
Review by Leslyn
Steve is an excellent instructor. My son has really connected with him and he is learning the guitar quickly. Steve is patient and never rushes through a lesson in order to make it fit within the session time limit. In addition, before he leaves, he writes notes and instructions for my son to follow. By the next lesson, my son is confident in what Steve has taught him. Most importantly, Steve builds my son's confidence in his own own ability and progress after each lesson.
Review by Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
Review by Teri Romano
Being I'm a woman, I was a little apprehensive having a male teacher (he knew this), however, after my trial lesson I realized he knows what he's doing and I had nothing to worry about!! He is very knowledgable on the piano and vocal techniques. He has a big vocal range so he is able to hit the high notes to be able to show me how I need to sing it. He is also phenomenal on the piano. I would highly recommend him for vocal and piano. Also, I don't know how to sight read music and he is teaching how to. I've been taking lessons with him for a month (my trial lesson was on 1/11) and I have already seen a huge improvement. I am an intermediate level singer looking to improve my vocal technique, breathing and improve my confidence in my singing abilities, Alex is definitely helping me do that.
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 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 Timothyfullard
We've only had a few lessons with Elisa, but so far we really like her. She has a lot of great suggestions for solo pieces as well as orchestral music that involves all 3 of my boys, while also including some Christian music that we can play at church. She is very patient in explaining the lessons and encouraging!
Review by Roselynbrown
After moving from NY and parting from our amazing piano instructor, we thought we couldn't find a piano teacher close to what we knew. We are happy to say Musika matched us up with someone professional and friendly who enjoys teaching younger students. Thank you! We definitely recommend Kuan as a piano instructor :)
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.
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