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I am a guitarist and composer and just moved to New York from Philadelphia. I teach as an official guitar instructor at the University of Pennsylvania and work as a freelance musician in both cities. I also compose original music and have scored several short films and documentaries. I have been playing guitar for 15 years, and I listen to and play a very broad range of styles, from rock, pop, classical and jazz to Middle Eastern music.
Nicole received her Bachelor's of Music Business degree from Monmouth University. Studying guitar, music theory and song writing for over ten years, Nicole has created several successful original bands that were featured in issues of Billboard Magazine and has worked with Seventeen Magazine and Z100 radio station. Additionally, performances have included sharing the stage with national acts such as Drama Rama and Laura Warshauer. Nicole continues her success by performing in rock, R&B, reggae and contemporary bands as well as musical productions such as Oliver Twist. Nicole has also worked for Def Jam of Universal Music Group and has been teaching music, specifically guitar lessons, for over 9 years to students of various ages and ability levels.
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 am a fun but tough teacher that holds high expectations for the learner as well as myself. My goal is to make sure the learner is exceeding his/her goals as a musician. I graduated from Westminster Choir College with a BM in Music Education, a minor in Musical Theater, and a Masters of Arts in Teaching. I am in my 4th year teaching, and currently work as a middle school band director. I've sang in various choirs, performing Mahler's 7th Symphony at Carnegie Hall as well as Chichester Psalms by Leonard Bernstein.
I am very passionate and love teaching and sharing my knowledge of music. After graduating college in 2011, I started to teach full-time and during this time I learned so much on how to go about teaching people of all ages and different musical backgrounds. I taught in various music stores, I later started my online teachings. I later moved to Philadelphia from Alabama, since I've been here I've started online teaching and playing music gigs with various bands. I will continue to push myself to be the best I can be.
Since We Started
Cities with Students
Teachers in Network
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Students aged as young as 6 years old are able to start taking guitar lessons with the expert teachers in Musika's network. For students of this age, we recommend that they start by using a half-sized classical guitar with nylon strings. They will learn to play simple melodies using the top strings of the guitar. 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, often rock music, and decide to learn on a full-sized electric guitar.
For adults who are looking to learn to play the guitar, we recommend that they do so with some clear goals in mind. Maybe you want to learn to play some of your favorite songs, join a band, or write your own music? Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. It can take time, often months, to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the guitar at a competent level. The most effective way to progress with your playing is to take regular lessons and practice often.
Musika offers one-on-one, in-home guitar lessons that are designed specifically for each individual student. Whether your lesson takes place in a teacher's studio or at home, students will get the exact same lesson content, with the only difference being the location. Parents will find home guitar lessons a much more convenient option for their child, as it saves the time and costs of transporting their children to and from a studio. Younger students will find that learning to play the guitar in the comfort of their own home greatly benefits their development as they are learning in a supportive, secure, and familiar environment.
The teachers in our network create a customized lesson plan for every student, so no two students' lesson plans will be identical. Topics covered during Musika's guitar lessons may include, but are not limited to: learning the notes on guitar, proper fretting, fingering, and strumming technique, how to read music, learning all open chords, how to play barre chords, how to tune a guitar, music theory, and most importantly, how to have fun playing the guitar!
Young students should start on a half size or three-quarter size acoustic guitar. Older students can start on an electric guitar, as long as they are able to hold it comfortably. Many student model guitars can be purchased for $150 to $200 new. An electric guitarist will need an amplifier and cables, at additional cost. Remember, higher quality instruments are easier to play and give the student the best chance of liking it.
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 Roselynbrown
After moving from NY and parting from our amazing piano instructor, we thought we couldn't find a piano teacher close to what we knew. We are happy to say Musika matched us up with someone professional and friendly who enjoys teaching younger students. Thank you! We definitely recommend Kuan as a piano instructor :)
Review by Jacob Solomon
Ileen is a very attentive instuctor. she is patient and works hard to see her student succeed. if a concept is unclear she expains it in other ways to ensure understanding. I would highly recommend ileen to students of all levels who want to learn guitar and music theory to thoroughly enjoy the instrument and music
Review by Chrystal
I was skeptical at first not knowing what I was getting my self into.. I am very happy that I forced myself to get into voice lessons because Eli is an awsome voice coach.. Very skillful and he helps you reach the goal you are trying to reach.. He is also very helpful with getting you to open up and come out of your shell and being heard.. I would and I already have recommended friends and family to sign up with Eli if they're serious about singing..
Review by Christopher Perrone
Mike has been working with my son Robert for over a year and has just started working with my daughter Kate. Mike is both a great musician and a good teacher. He connects with the kids and keeps them engaged. He is able to tailor the lesson to focus on music that is interesting to each child. He also encourages the students to participate in a public setting which is great. I would highly recommend Mike.
Review by Olivia
Andrew is very encouraging and uplifting, but also isn't afraid to tell you your weaknesses. Andrew also is super awesome with scheduling. Fits around your schedule all the time. He really knows what he is doing and can help you reach your goal in the time you would like to. Couldn't have gotten a better teacher, who continually helps me grow and pushes me.
Review by Emily
Steve gets you started right away with songs but also goes into music theory and reading music which adds to understanding and appreciation of the music. He is very approachable and you can tell that he absolutely loves music and teaching. It is hard not to be excited about the process of learning with Steve. If you are considering lessons I highly recommend Steve for any level of student.
Review by Travis Dalenberg
Travis is the greatest. He knows his music and how to teach it. He gives you time to learn, but will not allow student time to get lazy. I know he teaches all age groups. Young pre-teens to us old folks 78 years young. I have been taking lessons from him since early December 2014. He is a true professional. You can't go wrong with him.
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