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I am a very patient, knowledgeable and experienced music instructor who loves working with students of all ages. I graduated from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education and a lifetime California state teaching credential. I also graduated from the Naval School of Music with top honors and I served in the Marine Corps as a bandsman playing the French Horn. I have taught music in many public, private and charter schools in California for over 30 years. I also taught music in primary schools in Edinburgh, Scotland for five years. I am currently teaching music at Cinnabar Charter School in Petaluma. I am also an accomplished pianist and songwriter having won awards for song writing in the children's music category.
I have studied music for over 25 years. I graduated from California State University, East Bay in 2010, and have completed 1 year of my M.M. in Trombone Performance from the University of North Texas. I am currently based in the SF Bay Area and plan to continue my studies here. I have extensive experience playing in many ensembles in many different styles, such as: orchestra, brass quintet, jazz band, rock band, horn sections, chamber music, as well as numerous others. I have participated in Masterclasses with reknowned conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel. I have studied Music History and Music Education in depth as well, and I have a deep understanding of musical styles and form.
I'm a lover of music and want those who pursue music to be as well! I am passionately motivated as a musician, minister of music, and singer. I have performed throughout this nation as a guest musician and in my own backyard as a vocalist and musician. Even though my college was not specifically a school of music but of biblical academics, I as highly involved in anything that music was apart of eventually graduating and becoming the schools minister of worship. I have lived my life as a professional musician and singer and believe others can do the same if they are fully committed. I desire to help impart all of my experiences to the next upcoming generation of musicians and those who weren't able to pursue it in their earlier years, its never to late to chase a passion.
I've been fascinated with the guitar since I was about 10 years old, having been influenced by all the great rock guitar gods of the sixties and seventies. As I got into high school I became interested in jazz, and started to study jazz guitar. I enjoy many styles of music. I like music that is very passionate and moves and grooves you in various ways. I'm very creative and innovative. I like to be oirginal and put my own style into my playing. I enjoy teaching and sharing my knowledge with my students. I've been playing for many years. I know and understand the guitar completely from top to bottom and teach my students to completely understand what they're playing.
Since I was 8, I studied cello and chamber music with several teachers all over Europe, and I performed intensely in festivals and seasons as a chamber and orchestra musician - particularly in Italy and Sweden - between 2008 and 2011. In 2010 I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Cello and Chamber Music. In the meantime, I studied singing at pop-star Silvia Mezzanotte’s School, as well as with Opera Singers from Italy, Canada and Israel. The diverse methods I’ve studied from these masters of voice have allowed me to expand my range and repertoire by adapting their techniques into a wide variety of genres. I’ve been lead singer at Renato Giorgi’s Midi Recording Studio since I was 12. In my life I have had so many unbelievable music teachers and experiences, that it’s now an honor and a pleasure to share my learning lessons with students of all ages!
Since We Started
Cities with Students
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Once you’ve met with your teacher for your risk free trial lesson, continuing with Musika is easy! If you are satisfied with your lesson, all you have to do is register with us to continue! The trial will count as your first lesson if you continue, however, with our Great Match Guarantee™ if for any reason you decide not to continue then the trial is FREE. Go ahead give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.
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Students can start their guitar lessons as young as 6 years of age. A half sized classical guitar will be easier to hold for young students, and nylon strings are softer on the fingers than steel strings. By the age of 7 or 8, most students are able to start forming chords, and can learn to play and sing along to their favorite songs. Often students will progress on to using a full size guitar by the ages of 10-12. During these years, students usually develop a taste for rock music and will want to learn the electric guitar.
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 recommend that adult students looking to start guitar lessons have a clear goal in mind. Whether your goal is to learn to play your favorite song, write your own music, develop a certain technique, or join a band, the experienced teachers in our network can help you make those goals a reality! It can take time, often months, to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the guitar to a good level. The best and quickest way to learn the fundamental skills is to take regular lessons and practice your guitar playing as often as possible.
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!
Younger students who are just starting their guitars lessons will find it much easier to play on a half size or three-quarter sized acoustic guitar. Playing on an electric guitar may be an alternative option for older students, so long as they find gripping the guitar to be comfortable. Brand new student model guitars can be purchased for around the $150 - $200 price range. Electric guitar players will need to invest in an amplifier and guitar cables, which will generate additional costs. Higher quality instruments are often easier to play than their cheaper counterparts, which will impact positively on the enjoyment and progression of playing the instrument for students.
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 Maria
My daughter has been taking piano lessons through her school district program for the last two years. She had learned a lot in that class but I noticed that she needed advanced classes at this point. After reviewing several websites I decided to enroll my daughter for the trial at MUSIKA. We got Mrs. Veronica B., and I am more than happy we got her as my daughter's teacher. Mrs. Veronica B. was very professional and very knowledgeable at the trial day. She was able to assess my daughter skill's level, and then she was able to give suggestions about how to improve those skills. My daughter has taken 5 classes with Mrs. Barker, and I can see she enjoys each class and she's improved a lot since day one. I can picture my daughter playing her favorites songs on the piano very soon!!! :-)
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 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 Gillian
Vince is a great drum teacher for my 8 year old son. We go to his house where he has a studio setup with a huge drum set. He has been very patient but really holds my son responsible for learning the right way to play. After about 5 lessons, my son is playing some rhythms on the drums and reading music. He looks forward to his lessons with Vince.
Review by Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
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 Richardpoplawski
I feel she is a very professional teacher and I have already recommended your company and her to my friends who have children that play musical instruments. My 8 year old son has never been so enthusiastic to play his violin. His skills have improved almost exponentially since we have began lessons with Lauren. Your company has exceeded my expectations and I am very happy to have found it online.
Review by Nicole V.
"My daughter is 10 years old and has been taking piano lessons with Mr. Dale J. for almost 4 years now. She is progressing nicely. His kind and gentle way make for a very positive learning experience. Mr. Dale J. is encouraging without being harsh or belittling. He is patient and the ideal instructor for my daughter."