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I have two years experience teaching private music lessons out of students homes. The music and instruments I have taught in private lessons include general music, voice, piano, guitar, and violin. I really enjoy getting the opportunity to work individually with students to help them achieve what they are hoping to with their music lessons and to make the experience enjoyable for them. I also have experience teaching in public elementary, middle, and high schools. At the elementary level I helped teach general music, chorus, and band. In the middle school setting I taught general music, chorus, special needs classes, and small group lessons. For high school I helped teach music theory, chorus, select chorus, small group and individual lessons.
I will typically start with Hal Leonard's Guitar Method. It is one of the most commonly used books to learn from and spans from the very beginner up to some more advanced techniques. After the beginning lessons I will gauge what the student is interested in and develop the lessons from there. I can also help students prepare for solo recitals as I've performed them myself. I offer both half hour and hour lessons depending on how much the student can handle practicing each week. I can teach from my apartment or I would be willing to travel to you. Online lesson via skype would also be an option.
I typically recommend that all beginner students start with Hal Leonard's guitar method books to learn the essential notes, chords, scales, styles, and music theory. After a student becomes comfortable with the basics, I begin diving into what styles or genres the student enjoys or favors. Tailoring lessons for each individual student is very important to my teaching.
I am a graduate from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Music, and I plan to use my experience and passion for the art to help students reach their performance goals. I've been playing guitar for ten years, and the mandolin & ukulele for five. Over the years, I have performed in large events like the One Young World Summit with the University of Pittsburgh Carpathian Ensemble, and the Passion of Gamelan and Pop Sunda Concert. I've also played smaller, more intimate concerts at venues like Mr. Small's Theater and the Warhol Museum with my own pop-rock band, The Suburban Sellouts. In 2012, I had the incredible opportunity to study Romani music abroad in Central Europe through the Romani Music, Culture, & Human Rights study abroad program, and in 2013 I trained in Balkan music at the East European Folklife Center (EEFC) Balkan Music & Dance Workshop. From punk to musicals and everything in between, I love music and I will work with students to master any style that interests them.
I teach because I love it. My style of teaching largely aims to deepen the student's appreciation for the arts and to impart my own love of music onto them.
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Young guitar students will learn all aspects of how to play their instrument. They will be taught proper technique, and how to read music, all while working at their own individual pace. Our teachers will be able to advise you on what size guitar is best for the student, but typically younger students need a 3/4 or 1/2 size guitar, while teens and adults can play on a full size instrument. Our recommended age for beginning the guitar is around 6 or 7, since a young child needs enough hand strength to be able to play well.
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!
Smaller guitars are easier to play for younger students. It is recommended that young students begin by learning on a half sized or three-quarter sized acoustic guitar. Older students could start off on an electric guitar, as long as they find it natural and comfortable to handle. It is possible to get hold of a brand new student model guitar for around $150 - $200. For those looking to play electric guitar, remember that an amplifier and cables will be needed, which will have to be purchased separately. A student will likely enjoy their playing, the easier it is to do. In general, the higher quality instruments are nicer and easier to play, which will contribute to the student's enjoyment and development.
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.
Whatever your current ability level, we recommend that students wanting to take guitar lessons have a clear aim in mind. Maybe there is a song you have always wanted to be able to play? Or maybe you want to develop your songwriting skills? Whatever your goals may be, the experienced teachers in our network can help you achieve them with expert knowledge. Whether it be learning to play a sequence of chords, jamming a cool riff, or mastering that guitar solo, developing the required skills and co-ordination can take time. Taking regular lessons and practicing on a daily basis is the best way to achieve your goals.
Review by Chad H.
"Mr. Richard has been absolutely perfect for our very active two boys. He has been an excellent fit for gauging and keeping their interest far beyond what we had imagined. Our boys actually argue over who gets to go first. Mr. Richard knocks it out of the park when it comes to exceeding our expectations"
Review by Teri Romano
Being I'm a woman, I was a little apprehensive having a male teacher (he knew this), however, after my trial lesson I realized he knows what he's doing and I had nothing to worry about!! He is very knowledgable on the piano and vocal techniques. He has a big vocal range so he is able to hit the high notes to be able to show me how I need to sing it. He is also phenomenal on the piano. I would highly recommend him for vocal and piano. Also, I don't know how to sight read music and he is teaching how to. I've been taking lessons with him for a month (my trial lesson was on 1/11) and I have already seen a huge improvement. I am an intermediate level singer looking to improve my vocal technique, breathing and improve my confidence in my singing abilities, Alex is definitely helping me do that.
Review by Susan
My daughter is extremely happy and comfortable with Rachel, and looks forward to her piano lessons every week. She is a very kind and patient teacher, always using positive reenforcement with my daughter, which makes all the difference in the world to children. We definitely are looking forward to continued piano lessons with her. So glad we found her.
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.
Review by Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
Review by Roberta
My 4 year old son is quite energetic. Another piano teacher tried to teach him before Peter and could not get my son to listen to him at all. That teacher told me that my son had no interest and that we needed to wait before having my son take lessons. Peter started teaching my son a few weeks later. He quickly developed a great rapport with my son. I was astounded when my son sat down and listened to Peter during the first lesson. Peter has remarkable patience and is a natural working with children. He knows when to follow the child's lead. My son is very interested in how the piano works, so Peter takes the time to teach him about this. He is able to use my son's interests (superheroes, Lego, Star Wars, etc.) to refocus him back to playing the piano. Between lessons, he brainstorms on how he can teach my son better. For example, my son was playing the notes, but not understanding rhythm, so Peter looked into it and came back the next week with a new plan which helped. My son looks forward to his lesson every week. When he hears the doorbell ring on lesson day, he exclaims, "Yay! Peter's here!"
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 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 Cameron D.
After signing up for lessons with David L. I knew I made the right choice. Just after a couple of weeks I didn't see him as a teacher but as a best friend. There was always a relaxed atmosphere during the lessons. He was very easy to talk to and he really listen to you. If I ever had a question he would answer. He tailors to what ever you want to do in that lesson. David L. is a great teacher and a friend. I totally recommend him for anyone
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