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I went to college for music because I love singing. As a teacher I want to provide my students with the same opportunity to play or perform on their instrument and get that same sense of joy and fulfillment that I do with my voice. I have traveled on national and European choir tours, performed in musicals and operas, and performed in small groups and individually. Some of those opportunities would not have been possible for me with out music teachers and private voice teachers who invested in my musical growth and ambition. I therefore want to invest my knowledge and passion for music into students to help them achieve goals or dreams of their own.
I have been playing for about 8 years now and in 2014 I became the first graduate from Washington & Jefferson College who specialized on guitar. I am currently seeking a Master's degree but in my spare time I am looking forward to spreading my knowledge by teaching others. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music where I studied and performed the guitar for 4 years and developed a thorough understanding of music theory and composition. I also enjoy playing and performing with a few of my friends who are also musicians.
I am an eager and motivated guitar instructor who loves teaching and sharing my knowledge and passion of music. This past spring, I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. Throughout school, I performed with Pitt's Carpathian Ensemble that explored eastern European styles and tonalities. In addition, I performed with Carnegie Mellon University's Guitar Chamber Ensemble that consisted of all classical guitars that performs arrangements of classical and contemporary pieces. This ensemble also motivated me to become a solo performer.
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 am a young but very experienced instructor and vocalist. I am currently completing my vocal performance degree at Duquesne University. When not teaching, I perform with the Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran Chancel Choir, and I cantor Mass at St. Benedict the Abbot in Peters Township and St. Louise de Marillac in Bethel Park. I have been teaching privately for three years, and have worked with David's Music House and Accelerando Music Conservatory.
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Students are able to start taking guitar lessons with Musika by the age of 6. Students of this age are advised to learn on a half-sized classical guitar with nylon strings, as it will be much easier to play. They will start by learning simple tunes on the top strings of the guitar. By age 7-8, students will have progressed on to learning to play chords and how to play and sing along to some of their favorite songs. At age 10-12, students are often able to hold a full size guitar quite comfortably, and may want to learn rock music on an 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.
Beginners will start working on core skills such as fretting notes, strumming chords, and playing simple songs on one or more strings. Once students learn the basic open chords, they can begin to play their favorite songs! Teachers will cover sight reading, and music theory, and can even teach students how to compose their own songs. More advanced topics might include jazz or blues improvisation, guitar soloing, and/or classical guitar repertoire.
Whatever your current ability level, we recommend that students wanting to take guitar lessons have a clear aim in mind. Beginner students may wish to learn to play a few of their favorite songs, or an advanced player might like to work on a specific aspect of their guitar playing. Regardless of your goals, the experienced teachers in Musika's network can help make them happen. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced student, achieving your goals will take time. Developing the necessary skills can sometimes take months. The only way to ensure you achieve your goals is to dedicate yourself to lessons and practice.
It is recommended that young students begin by learning on smaller, half or three-quarter sized guitars. If they are able to hold it comfortably, older students could start off using an electric guitar. A good student model guitar can be obtained brand new for between $150 to $200. However, this price does not include the cost of buying an amplifier or guitar cables, which are essential for an electric guitar player. Higher quality instruments are often easier to play, which provides the student with a much greater chance to enjoy and develop in their learning.
Review by Steve Newman
My daughter began learning sax in her school band, but she didn't begin PLAYING sax until she started lessons with Debra. From scales and exercises to actual pieces, Debra coached my daughter with real insight, sensitivity, and patience. Her knowledge of the instrument and feeling for music - along with her easy-going,"kid friendly" personality - make Debra the ideal teacher and musical mentor.
Review by Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
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 Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
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 Alamu Vinai
Usually I don't write reviews. I am compelled to write for Feng. I've experience finding/working with many music teachers over the years for different instruments (piano, flute, sax) for kids. I think Feng is the best, he is so passionate about music, he encourages the kids. He teaches thoroughly - you can tell he knows lot about saxophone. I would definitely recommend Feng!!
Review by John
When I started with Darrell, I didn't know anything bout music. Nothing. We started with basic music theory & moved into scales and reading. It hasn't been very long at all, but my confidence is growing quickly. He does ask a lot from you and he expects you to keep up. But I can honestly say that if you are willing to work hard and spend the time at home doing what he asks, you will see the results. He wants you to succeed and takes pride in watching you grow. If you want it as bad as he does, you will see the result very quickly.
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 Violetking
Bill has been a great teacher for both my 6 yr. old and my 8 yr. old. He is always on time, keeps them engaged, and gives them just enough of a challenge for the next week. They are both beginners, but I am surprised by how much they already know after just a month or so of lessons. Both kids are practicing willingly and look forward to lesson.
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