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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.
I graduated from Camden County College with a degree in Music and attending Rowan University for three years studying Music. I currently perform with a number of bands and occasionally travel with bands. I have experience playing at several venues in Philadelphia including the Electric Factory, TLA, and World Cafe.
My lesson methods are dependent on the instrument, experience level, age, and specific wants/needs that the student has. For beginner students on piano, reading is required and the books I suggest depend on the student's age. Reading music is highly recommended for guitar and bass students to learn as well, but it is not as strictly taught. In each lesson I make sure to deal with technique or basic music theory/musicianship concepts. I prefer to leave the repertoire selections (what songs we learn) up to the student so we can apply concepts in a familiar context. I can always suggest repertoire based on the skill level of the student and what musical genre he/she is pursuing. In my experience, most adult students approach lessons with specific goals in mind. I make sure to gear each lesson towards those goals in a way that is efficient and fun.
For all beginner students, I start with Berklee Music Theory Book 1 and a few selections from one of my Real Books to begin to apply some theory techniques. Once I feel that the student has a firm understanding of fundamentals of theory I usually have the student select one piece from the Real Book selections and we then begin working on playing the piece as well as analyzing the piece. A synthesis of performance and analysis is one of my core philosophies with all my lessons. For more advanced students, I usually either have them select a piece of music they wish to learn or assign a piece I find to be most useful and challenging based upon their ability.
My teaching experience started back in 2008. Before I even went to college for music. I learned a lot of theory on my own but I went to college to further my knowledge. I have studied orchestra arrangement, Serialism, as well as Classical, Jazz and Rock music. I am most experiences in Rock / Metal music. I've been playing Metal since I was about 13 and I started to look at more complex music when I was about 16. Once I graduated college I started to teach full time at various music stores. I later started my online teaching.
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For students looking to start learning to play the guitar, we recommend that they do so with a particular goal in mind. You may wish to learn how to play your favorite songs, develop your compositional abilities, or learn music theory. Maybe you are an advanced player wanting to take their playing to the next level? Whatever the goal, the experienced teachers in our network can help bring these wishes to life. It takes time to learn and develop your guitar playing, and may take a couple of months before you start to achieve your aims. The best way to guarantee you meet your goals is through regular practice and lesson time.
At Musika, the teachers in our network create lesson plans that are specifically customized to meet the needs of each individual student. These experienced teachers can develop the skills of a complete beginner, or help to take an advanced players skills to the next level. Students can expect to learn such things as how to correctly hold the guitar, learning the notes on the fret board, and how to tune their instrument. Students will also learn techniques such as fretting, fingering and strumming, and will learn to play various scales and chords, such as open chords, power chords, and barre chords. They will learn how to combine these elements of guitar playing to create or cover complete compositions, as well as learning music theory and how to read music. Last but not least, teachers will help students to realize the joys and fun that learning to play the guitar can bring!
Students are able to start taking guitar lessons with Musika at age 6. Students of this age will find it much easier to learn on a half-sized classical guitar with nylon strings, and will start their musical development by learning simple melodies on the top strings. As students advance, they will start to form a range of different chords and learn to play more challenging songs, usually by age 7-8. 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 want to play 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.
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.
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."
Review by Paula Chacon
I've always said, "It's all about the teacher." That skillful, effective teacher who can reach that child and ignite her passion, is truly a gift. Ric does that for my daughter. As a former music teacher myself, the most challenging thing in working with children is how to build their fundamental musical skills while letting them have fun and be expressive. The teacher must create a safe, supportive environment, and Ric does that. Ric immediately focuses on fundamentals of tone and technique, giving my daughter succinct instruction on how to improve, thus she can sense the improvement immediately. Ric seems extremely easy going; even when lighting a fire under her sometimes under-achieving butt, Ric never criticizes, judges or blames. He works with my child, understanding her, helping her problem solve, and even giving her the quick answer sometimes so she can move quickly and stay motivated. Ric balances fundamentals with fun and expressiveness, so my child feels as though she can 'play' and they truly make music in every lesson. I am thankful we found a good match with Ric.
Review by Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
Review by Heather Berest
I started my 5 yr old daughter with Karleen this Fall. Karleen has a calm and honest disposition. My daughter adores her and cannot wait for her arrival. I was concerned because my daughter is not so willing to "practice" during the week. Karleen advised me to allow her habits of practicing to evolve naturally as her love and understanding of piano increases. She emphasized how nurturing my daughter's love of music is most important. This was music to my ears :)
Review by Carol A
“Lynn is my music hero! She can listen to any song and write down the chords. She will adjust to make it easier or harder whatever your abilities. I have a busy schedule and often don't have time to practice between lessons and she is cool with that. She also will adjust lesson times when she is able which fits my hectic schedule. I'm glad my first guitar teacher "fired" me ....that allowed me to meet Lynn.” - Carol A., M.D., Aug 2015
Review by Shelonda
Henry is teaching my daughter how to play piano. Henry is an excellent teacher, we really like and appreciate him. His teaching style works very well for my daughter, she is comfortable which makes learning enjoyable. Henry is very patient and I can see that he is passionate about teaching music. Great teacher for sure.
Review by Claudiaaustin
Our kids love Mr. Lynwood. Mr. Lynwood is very patient and skillful teaching our kids both music theory and guitar/piano. He keeps them engaged and motivated during their lessons and we are seeing -or rather hearing- fast improvement in the kids' dexterity playing their respective instruments. We would recommend this good natured instructor to anybody.
Review by Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
Review by Andy Snyder
Giorgi has made learning cello even more fun. From the sympathetic, "It is hard" to the precise, "Be careful about the curve of the thumb" he has strengthened learning in every lesson, without being overwhelming. He started playing a little duet on only the 3rd lesson or so, which made me feel, even as a beginner, that I'm already starting to make (occasionally screachy) music. He has suggested a variety of drills and practice techniques which have also sped up the process a lot. And he has a good sense of humor and surprising amount of patience.
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