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I am a knowledgable musician who enjoys teaching classical guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar and musical theory. I graduated from Bloomsburg University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Guitar Performance. During my time there I performed in the annual guitar ensemble recitals, honors recitals and my own senior recital.
I teach primarily guitar lessons. I have been teaching guitar lessons since Jan 2003. I am formally trained, know extensive music theory, and can read (and will teach, if desired) standard notation (a.k.a. "sheet music"). I have played in all kinds of bands for over 2 decades (rock, metal, classic rock, pop, funk, reggae, disco, oldies, and more). I know literally thousands and thousands of songs. Even though there are many guitar players out there with much stronger technical skills and agility than myself, I am honestly one of the best guitar teachers out there. I say this for several reasons: For one, because I have had numerous students tell me that out of multiple previous guitar teachers they had in the past, I was the only one who ever explained it in a way that made sense to them. Also, with most other guitar teachers, they had "natural" talent and it came much easier to them than it did with me, so they didn't have to struggle nearly as hard as I did. So because I had struggled with many of the same things as a large percentage of my students do, I can still truly understand the problem and offer my own insights and solutions to these problems, which other more naturally talented players simply can not do because they never experienced any of those problems themselves firsthand. A third reason is because I have a knack for explaining things, no matter how complex, in very simple terms and break down the seemingly complex stuff into tiny pieces which they can grasp and master. A fourth reason is because I am completely flexible with my lessons, teaching exactly what the student (or parent) wants (them) to learn, anything from the standard traditional approach (i.e reading music) to the rock approach just teaching them how to play their favorite songs, which I figure out by ear on the spot from the recording which the student asks me to listen to. Add to all that, I am very patient, friendly, humorous, approachable and humble/modest in demeanor, where many other teachers have a huge ego and "God complex", where they talk down to the student and make them feel uneasy and overly self-conscious. As I have been a lead singer and studied voice formally for a number of years, I have taught voice on occassion (rock only). But since my voice has not been up to par for some time now, I no longer will teach any voice students.
I have a love for teaching students of all levels and ages. My specialty as a guitarist is in jazz, but I bring that love for improvised music to a number of other styles: blues, rock, funk, acoustic/fingerstyle, country, folk, ska, reggae, R&B etc. I graduated from Duquesne University in 2013 with a degree in jazz performance. Pittsburgh is a great jazz town with a fantastic local scene, which was a very fun and nurturing environment for me as a student. Now I am in my second and last year at Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts, working towards my masters in jazz studies. Rutgers has made me a part of a network of excellent, young jazz players, which has been a huge help to my performance career.
I have always been a musician first and everything else second. I have found fulfillment in sharing music with others as a teacher, performer and music therapist. I graduated in May with my master's in voice from the Eastman School of Music. I hold bachelor's degrees and certifications in music education and music therapy. Currently, I am teaching all levels of voice, beginning to intermediate piano and violin and beginner guitar while I pursue a career in opera performance. I have experience with students of all ages including those with disabilities and on the autism spectrum.
I am an individual focused on helping people reach their goals. My biggest pleasure is seeing my students succeed in their musical jorney and have a great time in the process. I graduated from UNC-Charlotte in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. I recently moved to the north east part of the US. I considered myself a multicultural individual since I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela when I was a kid. I am fluent in Spanish as well. Through my journey of teaching a wide variety of students, I've been able to help students with their challenges and overcome them.
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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.
At Musika, we suggest that adult students looking to start guitar lessons do so with a specific aim or goal in mind. Beginners may have goals such as learning to play their favorite songs or to write their own music, whereas advanced students might want to develop a particular technique or aspect of their guitar playing. Irrespective of your experience or level, the teachers in our network can help you to achieve your goals. Remember, developing playing skills can take time. The best way to ensure you achieve your goals is through regular lessons and consistent practice.
If possible, it is beneficial for younger students to begin their learning on a smaller sized guitar. Half or three-quarter sized acoustic guitars are most suitable for young learners. Provided they are comfortable with holding the guitar, older students can start on an electric model. There are a range of different model guitars that are suitable for students, and can be found between the $150 to $200 price range. Remember though, that electric guitarists will need amplification and cables, which need to be purchased at additional costs. The best chance a student will have of liking and enjoying their guitar playing is to invest in good, high quality instruments, as they tend to be easier to play.
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.
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.
Review by Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
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 Heather Berest
I started my 5 yr old daughter with Karleen this Fall. Karleen has a calm and honest disposition. My daughter adores her and cannot wait for her arrival. I was concerned because my daughter is not so willing to "practice" during the week. Karleen advised me to allow her habits of practicing to evolve naturally as her love and understanding of piano increases. She emphasized how nurturing my daughter's love of music is most important. This was music to my ears :)
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 Alex A.
Travis rocks. My 7-year-old son and I both take lessons with him. Travis has moved me off the plateau I was on with lessons that focus on theory and technique. And for my son, he's been able to instill a desire and interest that were missing when he previously took piano lessons. With Travis teaching us, the limits are the ones we impose on ourselves. Needless to say, Travis himself plays a mean guitar to boot!
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
Review by Howard
We value Chelsea for the quality of her lessons, but also for the flexibility of her schedule. She has worked around family vacations, impromptu summer camps and the upcoming school year. Emily is better prepared to start middle school band this year due to flute lessons from Chelsea and we plan to continue the lessons for the foreseeable future.
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.
Review by Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
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