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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.
I use a variety of books, recordings, and online resources for all levels- transcriptions of classic styles and newer artists , scale and chord reference books, solo pieces for different genres, beginning guitar methods by traditional publishers such as Hal Leonard and Warner Bros. plus newer books. Online video and audio content and recording software such as garageband are also valuable resources to work with. Learning to read and write music opens up great potential for communication and creativity- theory and improvisation are other topics that I like to teach. I have lots of experience designing individual lesson plans and materials - using recordings and written music that the student has a specific interest in. I've transcribed thousands of songs, riffs, solos, and other musical passages for students to help create customized lessons and meaningful material that's fun and challenging
For beginning students, I use the Piano Adventure Series by Nancy Faber and Randall Faber. I also use the A Thousand Stories for a Little Pianist by Katrin Arefy. My special methods in teaching young students include stories, easy duets, and singing familiar folk songs. For intermediate level students, I use different method books according to the student's interests. However, I encourage them to play Classical music, which is very useful in developing good techniques in piano playing. I also encourage students to pick their own music. The most important goal is that students are learning music from different time periods, and is having fun.
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.
Constructing good habits is key. So very much of every instrument is muscle memory, which means developing good habits or weeding out bad ones is extremely important. I customize my lesson plan for each student in order to maximize the learning curve and to keep things interesting. If the student is a beginner, I make sure to show them a (not the) correct way to approach a goal and keep focus. If the student is further along, I evaluate and monitor their progress to ensure proficiency. Most importantly, I make sure they are having FUN!
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Our guitar students will typically learn how to hold, tune, and familiarize themselves with the components and notes of the guitar, basic playing techniques such as fretting, fingering, and strumming, and learn the various chord-types that they will need in order to play their favorite songs, such as power chords, open chords, and barre chords. Students will also get to learn music theory, and will cover aspects such as reading music, learning different scales, and how to apply these different elements together as part of a full composition. Students will learn the theory and techniques that underlie a wide range of musical genres, and will have fun developing their guitar playing during their lessons. Eventually, students will get to enjoy learning and playing along to their favorite songs!
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.
When a student shows lots of interest in playing the guitar, they can begin learning at the age of 6. Younger students can play on a half or three-quarter size guitar, while kids 12 and older can learn on a full size acoustic or electric guitar. If you students begin learning at a very young age, they do need a minimum amount of hand strength and ability to practice every day!
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.
Need to save time because of your busy schedule? Why not try in-home guitar lessons? A qualified instructor in our network can travel to you and provide excellent quality instruction in the comfort and convenience of your own home.
Review by Jane A.
I started taking voice lessons from Ali when I was 19 and a sophomore in college. Though I was hesitant to be starting "late", I felt very comfortable with Ali and her teaching style. We identified several key issues that really made a difference and improved my voice technique. It was fun to sing popular, beautiful songs in our recital! If only I lived in Los Angeles, I would still be a student. Highly recommended!
Review by Mythili Lahiri
My son is truly enjoying his lessons with Chris. He looks forward to them and is motivated to practice. Chris is conscientious and shows up on time and whenever he is supposed to. He communicates clearly if rescheduling is ever required and is accommodating when we need to change the day. I would recommend Chris to anyone.
Review by Justin
I've been taking lessons from Michael once a week for eight weeks now, and with his help I have made dramatic improvements with my sax. Michael is a funny, nice, patient and all around great instructor. I'd recommend Michael, as an instructor, to anyone who wants to improve their skills and have fun while doing it.
Review by Angie Ignazzitto
Stephanie is an excellent voice teacher! Our 10-year-old daughter enjoys her lessons with Stephanie each week. She has an amazing way of connecting with our daughter through music. Stephanie knows how to offer constructive feedback in a positive way that keeps our daughter interested and wanting to learn more. I would recommend Stephanie without hesitation.
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 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 Kristen Draughn
Mr. Lou M. is a God-send! With the various needs that our organization requires from our education partners in order to provide enrichment services to our students, Mr. Lou M. has always gone above and beyond in meeting all of those needs. Our students are learning, our caregivers are happy and satisfied, and we couldn't be more pleased with his performance.
Review by Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
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.
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