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My biggest satisfaction when I teach is seeing my students getting better and maintaining their interest, passion, and desire. Once in a while I like to push them or tell them to push themselves, find new challenges, and dare a little more. New challenges bring new goals, and new goals make them keep their eagerness to learn. Since my key point is "be open-minded", I always try to make their interest and needs parallel with my instructions.
My beliefs are very clear in regards to learning and the dissemination of information “ It is impossible to learn effectively in a bubble” learning requires interaction with all forms of life and keeping an open mind. As a teacher I also believe that “in order to teach you must be a student of and for life,” This belief has allowed me to be a good listener and a practitioner of setting new goals and creating new paths with my students regardless of their particular backgrounds, disabilities, cultures or religions. I feel the most important thing in life is acceptance and the quality of allowing others and yourself a peace from within. This state of being or of mind gives everyone an opportunity to be involved and feel that their contribution has great meaning and value. Far to often students experiences from a very young age a sense of not belonging and disassociation caused by economic, ethnic and cultural barriers.
I was born and raised in Oakland. I have been playing guitar for over 15 years and congas for over 10 years. I went to Berkeley High School where I played guitar in the BHS Jazz Ensemble. I then attended the New School in New York City, majoring in jazz guitar studies. I have studied guitar with Steve Erquiaga, Dave Creamer and Jack Wilkins, and congas with Josh Jones, Sandy Perez and other Cuban percussionists. I have also studied voice with Jane Sharp and piano with Ellen Wasserman. I as the guitarist for the Cal State East Bay Jazz Ensemble and was also a member of the CSUEB Percussion Ensemble. Jacob graduated from Cal State Monterey Bay with a B.A. in music recording technology and from Cal State East Bay with a M.A. in music composition. Over the years I have performed with musicians such as Josh Jones, Michael Aaberg, Dayna Stephens, Ambrose Akinmusere, Jonathan Finlayson, Geoff Brennan, and Ray Brown. Mr. Kessel has performed at the Montreux, Umbria, and Vienne Jazz Festivals. I currently play guitar, congas and sing in a variety of performance settings around the Bay Area. I am also a music producer and songwriter, as well as a designer. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my dogs and exploring new restaurants and music venues. I also like studying computer programming.
My experience dates back to when I was excepted into OSA High school, where I auditioned into the school for saxophone and piano officially graduating in 2008. I started working as a music instructor at the age of 14 for the East Oakland Youth Development Center (E.o.y.d.c), summer cultural enrichment program (S.C.E.P.), teaching classes for students from the age of 6 to 18 about music theory, history, instrument technique, and how to play an assorted of instruments. I resigned at the age of 19 at the E.o.y.d.c., to continue my pursue for an accredited degree in biblical studies, where I honed my skills as a scholar, musician, and vocalist. I have traveled throughout the states with different groups, encouraging and inspiring people of all ages with my passion for music through singing and playing for different functions. I just want to be able to impart and mentor the next and upcoming generation of musicians.
I have been teaching Guitar/Music Theory for almost 20 years. I have a Certificate of Music Industry Studies from the Diablo Valley College, which was completed in 2014. As for now, I'm a music/composition major at the Diablo Valley College, transferring from a 2 year college to get my bachelor degree. Besides composing for my band, I write orchestrated instrumental music from classical to soundtracks, etc. I believe that each student require a different approach, depending on their level. For example: if they want to be a professional musician, or if they just want to learn music as a hobby. I also believe that music should be fun, no matter the path the student want to follow. And it is my responsibility to find a way to inspire my students.
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At Musika, we offer guitar lessons to students as young as 6 years of age. Students in this age category will start off by learning to play simple tunes on the top strings of the guitar. It is most comfortable for students of this age to start off by playing a half sized acoustic guitar with nylon strings. By about 7-8 years old, students will be forming different chords and playing along to their favorite songs. When students get to about 10-12 years old, they may become interested in a specific genre (usually rock) and decide to learn on a full-sized electric guitar.
For young beginners, it is suggested that they start their guitar lessons by playing half or three-quarter sized acoustic guitars. Older students may be able to start off using an electric guitar, under the condition that they find it comfortable to hold. A student model guitar can be purchased in the $150 -$200 price range new, however, extra costs will need to be considered for electric guitar players, as amplification and cables will need to be purchased as well. Higher quality instruments tend to be easier to play, which will facilitate students enjoyment and progression in learning to play the guitar.
At Musika, we highly recommend that students looking to learn to play the guitar do so with a clear goal in mind. Whether your goal is to learn to play your favorite tunes, learn to compose your own music, develop a new technique, or just to play for fun, the experienced teachers in our network can help you make those goals a reality! Learning, developing, and improving technique, co-ordination, and theory can take time. With regular lessons and plenty of practice, you will gradually start to see improvements in your guitar playing, and will be well on your way to achieving your goals.
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.
At Musika, we appreciate that every student learns at their own pace. As such, the experienced teachers in our network produce customized guitar lessons specifically for the requirements of each individual student. Teachers can design lessons for any student, regardless of their age, experience, or ability. Some of the things students can expect to learn during their lessons are learning all the notes of the guitar, playing and rhythmic techniques such as fretting, fingering, and strumming, how to read musical notation and tablature, learning how to play a variety of different chords, such as open and barre chords, and music theory. Over time, as each student progresses, they will learn how to piece everything they have learned together, in order to form complete compositions. Students can learn to play their favorite songs, or even to write their own music!
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 Roberta
My 4 year old son is quite energetic. Another piano teacher tried to teach him before Peter and could not get my son to listen to him at all. That teacher told me that my son had no interest and that we needed to wait before having my son take lessons. Peter started teaching my son a few weeks later. He quickly developed a great rapport with my son. I was astounded when my son sat down and listened to Peter during the first lesson. Peter has remarkable patience and is a natural working with children. He knows when to follow the child's lead. My son is very interested in how the piano works, so Peter takes the time to teach him about this. He is able to use my son's interests (superheroes, Lego, Star Wars, etc.) to refocus him back to playing the piano. Between lessons, he brainstorms on how he can teach my son better. For example, my son was playing the notes, but not understanding rhythm, so Peter looked into it and came back the next week with a new plan which helped. My son looks forward to his lesson every week. When he hears the doorbell ring on lesson day, he exclaims, "Yay! Peter's here!"
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 Ashley S.
Ali was an amazing voice coach! She taught in a way that made sense to me, and helped me find the voice placements I needed. I didn't know I could sound like that! My development with her was leaps and bounds rather than tiny dreadful steps that happen when you don't know what's going on! Ali was dedicated to helping me work on an audition for a music scholarship and I nailed it all thanks to her, seriously. I can't thank her enough! She helped me with the tools and confidence I needed to sing in the real world alone rather than just back row in a large choir.
Review by Marcia Hecht
Karleen has really turned it around for me. My previous teacher (not from Musika) had me feeling anxious, upset, and incapable...NOT the desired result! Karleen's method is clear, appropriate for my beginning level, and (best of all) actually lets me achieve some progress! I'm actually looking forward to my lessons now!
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"
Review by Shilpa
"Richard is a very talented and a patient teacher. He teaches my 6 year old daughter in the comfort of our home and he is very regular. He follows a learning book and mixes his lessons to bring difficulty and technicality while keeping it interesting for my daughter. My daughter was difficult to work with at the beginning but he was able motivate her in every possible way. As a parent I make an effort to learn with my daughter so that when my daughter practices I am able to guide and correct her and Richard is very generous to take the time to give provide me concepts. I am extremely happy with Richard and his ability to teach children."
Review by Tuvana
He is incredibly patient and really customizes his teaching style to the child. Both of my children are learning piano with him; they have learned so much and really enjoy the lessons. In fact, my daughter asked to learn another instrument (guitar) with him and is making great progress with that, too.
Review by Jermain
Mrs. Regnarene is an awesome teacher!!! She found musical aids that appealed to my 5 year old daughter and used them to help teach her piano. She has a lot of patience and I could tell she puts in the work before class to have a lesson ready for my daughter. She is always punctual, friendly and respectful. I would recommend her to any parents who want to start their kids off with a good foundation in piano. Jermain T. Riverview, FL
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