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My preferred method for very young students has been the Suzuki method, as I believe a well trained ear continues to be our best musical learning tool later in life as well. When students progress to reading, the full line of Suzuki books can of course be utilized, but it is very advisable to incorporate additional materials and techniques. The Kodaly method is also useful and even more traditional 'reading first' techniques can be used if requested. For older students or professional musicians I take into account their musical goals and ambitions. For instance, students more interested in live band performance or genres of music other than classical, I teach concentrating on the ability to improvise, interact with other members of the group, and even which gear to use.
I approach teaching as an avenue to inspire others. Making mistakes are just as important as playing something perfect. I like to stress that perfection is not the goal but feeling good from playing your instrument is. It is very important for my students to practice outside of lessons. I try to encourage that through positive reinforcements verses just saying you have to practice this lesson over and over. I make my guitar lessons fun which keeps my students coming back.
I'm a graduate of Northwestern's Bienen School of Music and have been playing and performing music since childhood. I hold two degrees, one in Music Performance for Classical Guitar, and the other in Cognitive Science (I know, right?). I have experience playing a wide range of music, from contemporary classical music to metal and nearly everything in between. I believe the best way to learn music is to focus as much on the theory as the physical knowledge of how to play the instrument. I can teach both piano and guitar, but my expertise is guitar.
Every musician has some strength which can be developed and built upon. In some students it can be recognized as talent. In others it is enthusiasm and dedication to study and improve. It can also be curiosity and the joy in discovering new ways to express oneself. I love finding my students where they are and helping them toward mastery of their craft. A good music teacher listens. And listens. And listens. From the first lesson I am very interested to hear where the student is in their own practice. (Not even complete beginners are the same; everybody has a unique perspective and personality that informs how they "speak" in music.) The next task is to hear where the student wants to go. How much, how fast, and how far are they are willing and able to work toward their personal goal? These questions are the starting point of every relationship. It is also the starting point of every session. In lessons, I listen to the student progress through warm ups, exercises, and repertoire. Each of these three elements - warm ups, exercises, and repertoire - can be used for instruction and encouragement.
It is my philosophy that every student is unique and therefore it is necessary to adapt lessons for each student. This individualized approach results with a personalized approach in order to accomplish the specific goals of the student. I teach both formalized and personal methods that guarantee results. I am well versed in music theory and various practice techniques. I believe that learning to read music and tabs can be helpful but not essential to learning how to play an instrument. I am flexible and most importantly passionate about helping students achieve their desire to learn.
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For students looking to start learning to play the guitar, we recommend that you do so with a specific goal in mind. This goal may be to learn to play your favorite song, learn to write music, or brush up on your current skills. Whatever your goals may be, the experienced teachers in our network can help you achieve them with their expert knowledge. For beginners, learning to co-ordinate the various new techniques you will be learning can take time, usually a few months. To maximize your progression, there is no better way than regular lessons and practice.
Musika specializes in individually tailored, one-on-one guitar lessons in the comfort of your home. Whether your child learns in the studio or at home, the quality and content of each lesson will remain exactly the same. Home guitar lessons reduce the burden on parents to transport their children and equipment to their lesson, which saves time and money and helps to integrate lessons into busy work schedules. Musika prides itself on creating fun, engaging guitars lessons in an environment that students feel comfortable and familiar with, important conditions for their musical development.
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.
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.
Review by Pat
Henry has been a great piano teacher since I started lessons about a month ago, and he is helping me realize a lifelong dream. He is patient, plays beautifully, is easy to learn from and a very nice person. I took lessons as a child for a year or so, but never followed up over the years. I always said that I would once I retired and found the right instructor. That time is now. Thank you Henry and Musika!
Review by Jaima Woodiwiss
Having taken 6 years of piano lessons myself when I was young, I am very happy with Osmond teaching my daughter. He is very personable and helping her to enjoy piano. My daughter loves the fun songs she gets to play and I really appreciate how he is integrating even in the first month fingering, chords, beats, and hearing the music. She's getting a very well rounded training and she's loving it!
Review by William Klepatsky
Very knowledgeable on every aspect of music theory. I listen to recording artists playing various classical pieces, Dan's playing is much like a recording artist's playing. Always on time. Winning happy personality, a great role model. Puts me at ease when I am playing. Have two friends who hold music degrees, I count him a third, something special about the minds and personalities of good pianists. Thanks Dan.
Review by Jennifer
Lindsey has been coming to our house to give saxophone lessons to our 12 year old daughter for about a month. She is an absolute joy. She is extremely knowledgeable, flexible with her schedule, and my daughter thinks she is "fun" and "cool". We would highly recommend her to anyone wanting music lessons. A+
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 Queen Natalia
Lara is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in her profession. She is cheerful and personable, and has established a good rapport with students and staff alike. I have found Lara to be a highly competent, personable, patient, kind-hearted, and deeply caring person who is skilled professionally and interpersonally.
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 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 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.
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