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I absolutely teach songs that a student is interested in upon request though I find the best results come from learning how to play an instrument before focusing on the tunes!
I use what some have called the “target approach.” With this method you are working on one concept at a time, and you should always have one concept in mind while you practice. Some examples of beginning concepts are 1) keeping a steady beat, 2) sound quality, or 3) smooth finger technique. In one practice session using the “target approach” you may spend 10 minutes on target 1) and 15 minutes on target 2). What is important, however, is that you continue to work on a target every day until you find yourself performing that single concept flawlessly and effortlessly. When you find yourself day dreaming while playing a concept perfectly, you know you have hit your target!
Very individualized instruction. The focus of the lessons depends on the student. The goal is to use the guitar or bass as a vehicle of self expression. Bringing creativity, in the form of writing or improvising, to the lessons enriches the experience of playing any music. I believe in music as an aural language. I believe there is equal benefit in transcribing recorded music as from reading from the printed page.
For young beginners, I typically start with keyboard exercises and basic lessons in music theory fundamentals and ear training. Upon mastery of a few fundamental skills, students are introduced to a range of compositions that they can choose to learn to study and to play. For all my students at various levels, I assess their abilities and consistently challenge them to sharpen their skills.
I have had over 20 years of teaching experience in voice and guitar. In addition to my private teaching practice, I've taught at The Little Red School House in Manhattan as well as the Groove Academy in Edison, NJ. Although I have had the opportunity to teach to classes in the past, I much prefer one on one teaching. I feel that the student gains so much more by individualized lessons and can improve so much more quickly. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my students easily sing or play something that they initially felt was impossible for them to do!
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As a preference, younger students should start off by learning on a half size or three-quarter sized acoustic guitar. If they are able to hold it comfortably, older students could start off using an electric guitar. A brand new student model guitar can be purchased for about $150 to $200. An electric guitar will also need accompanying amplification as well as guitar cables, which will incur additional costs. It is important a student enjoys playing their instrument, so higher quality guitars are recommended as they are easier to play.
For students looking to start learning to play the guitar, we recommend that you do so with a specific goal in mind. This goal may be to learn to play your favorite song, learn to write music, or brush up on your current skills. Whatever your goals may be, the experienced teachers in our network can help you achieve them with their expert knowledge. For beginners, learning to co-ordinate the various new techniques you will be learning can take time, usually a few months. To maximize your progression, there is no better way than regular lessons and practice.
Students can start taking their lessons as young as 6 years old with a half size classical guitar (with nylon strings) by playing simple melodies on the top strings. Every child learns and develops at their own pace, but by age 7-8, students will be forming and playing various guitar chords and learning simple songs that they can sing along to. Older students will graduate to being able to comfortably handle a full size guitar around the ages of 10-12, which is when many students become more interested in learning rock guitar and want to get an electric model.
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!
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.
Review by Timothyfullard
We've only had a few lessons with Elisa, but so far we really like her. She has a lot of great suggestions for solo pieces as well as orchestral music that involves all 3 of my boys, while also including some Christian music that we can play at church. She is very patient in explaining the lessons and encouraging!
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 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 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 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 Brooklyn
Laura is a fabulous teacher. She explains concepts to me using concrete examples so that I can understand changes that I need to make to my posture, breathing, phrasing, etc. She makes warm-up exercises fun, and she's got a great sense of humor over all. Her teaching style is collaborative, more egalitarian (she respects what I already know and meets me at my level), tailored to my particular interests and strengths, and I always look forward to our lessons!
Review by Elsahatzipavlou
Erin has been a wonderful voice/piano teacher for our 7 year old daughter. She is talented, patient, and has a wonderful demeanor. She has been consistent with her teaching in piano and voice. She keeps record of where the students leave off so that they know what to expect the following week. I would definitely recommend Erin to anyone looking for a skilled piano/voice teacher.
Review by Robert Stallone
I am in my 60s and decided to get back into playing my guitar. I thought taking lessons would be a good way to formalize the endeavor. I did have some concern about whether working with a teacher would work out as I've behave only played for my own enjoyment for a long time. Peter and I have had a few lessons together and I am truly enjoying the experience. He is very supportive and flexible. We arrived at a three gold approach that is really working for me. We focus on developing a playlist, learning some of the more iconic tunes from leading artist that I would have a hard time learning on my own and developing some technical skills related to style and music theory. Now I look forward to my next lesson and am already playing better and enjoying the journey. Peter is a great teacher I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.
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.
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