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As a youngster, I had many negative experiences learning in government schools, resulting from teachers who in retrospect were clearly knowledgeable, but lacking in skills at communicating their knowledge to a wide range of individuals. This led me to spend a great deal of time thinking about the dual subjects of teaching and communication, and to learn how to simplify complex subject matter and effectively communicate it, learning to identify what various individuals know, and use that knowledge as a bridge of communication to use what they know to define and communicate that which they don't know. In short, learning from my experiences with bad teachers enabled me to become a good -and eventually excellent- teacher. My approach stresses a thorough understanding of "the basics"... thoroughly defining the essential knowledge and skill(s) upon which everything else depends, and is built. In general, this approach emphasizes utilizing the language and concepts of "classical", jazz and blues -as these provide a very comprehensive "toolbox" of knowledge and skill(s) that enable students to gradually master their instruments while acquiring a broad range of musical knowledge that enables them to "go whereever they choose."
For my teaching goals I like to help my students learn the instrument from the basic fundamentals. I believe music is like building a house and it is important to start with fundamentals in order to construct a strong foundation for musical knowledge. I like to teach proper technique and playing standards so my students will learn correctly and not have to go back and relearn things and relearn their technique. I like to teach them the correct way so they have the proper foundation to branch out and broaden their musical horizon. Every student is slightly different so I like to assess each student on their needs, goals, skill level, and preferred teacher's style.
I grew up and went to high school on Long Island , New York, and started playing guitar around 12 years old. I began by teaching myself and playing in rock and metal bands all through high school. We played local venues and battle of the band in the city. My first teacher was the excellent eletric guitarist , Jeff Denny, a great, well known local player. He taught me joe satriani and yngwie malmsteen , solo shredding guitar riffs and also introduced me to Eric Johnson , a guitarist that capitvated me and got me excited about playing. Upon entering college I began studies with Michael Belajoas in classical guitar. This style was new to me , so many new techniques and sounds , it made theory fun ! Michael has been my biggest influence and mentor. I also enjoy reading and writing , and believe in using any and all resources available to become a better player. We should always keep learning !
For beginning piano students, I use Alfred's basic Piano Library. This works well with young children as it has colorful pictures and easy to understand language. For Adults who are just starting to learn piano I like Alfred's basic Adult Piano Course. This course comes with audio CD's to accompany the student each step of the way. It makes it fun. For beginning Guitar students, we go over the parts of the guitar and learn how to tune the instrument. From there we learn a series of basic chords and start to implement them into songs. My voice students will find my approach is intuitive and responsive to their individual needs. I have studied many different techniques over the years and I use them as a collective resource from which to teach.
Reading music is essential. To me musicians who don't know how to read music are like people who speak without undertsanding the meaning of the words they say. I also focus on ear training and understanding the instrument naturally, being that I feel its best for the player to have a mulititude of approaches to their understanding of their craft. Books I use in my methods are Carmine Appice Realistic Rock, Rockin Bass volumes 1 and 2, Mel Bay's Killer Fills, and Buddy Rich Snare Drum Rudiments.
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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.
Students can start their guitar lessons as young as 6 years of age. We recommend that younger students begin by playing a half size classical guitar with nylon strings, as the smaller guitar and softer strings will be more comfortable to play. By the age of 7 or 8, most students are able to start forming chords, and can learn to play and sing along to their favorite songs. Around the ages of 10-12, most students are able to start playing a full sized guitar, and they generally become interested in learning to play rock music on an electric guitar.
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.
For young beginner students, it is recommended that they start their guitar lessons by playing on a half or three-quarter sized acoustic guitar. If they can do so comfortably, older students may like to start off with a full-sized acoustic or electric guitar. There are a variety of different student model guitars available that from new, will cost between $150 - $200. This price does not include the costs of amplification or guitar cables, which will also need to be purchased for those wanting to play electric guitar. Students are more likely to have fun learning the guitar if they find it easy to play. Consider purchasing the highest quality instrument possible as these often feel nicer to use and are easier to play.
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!
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 Maurice Romero
This is the 1st time I've ever taken lessons, and Robert has been a pleasure to work with. I've made quick progress and have enjoyed the process. I'm always listening for those tips that you can't find in a book. I can count on Robert to be strict on the fundamentals and am clear it will make a difference in the long run.
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 Ro J.
“My son has been instructed by Mark for almost four years. Mark is an outstanding teacher. His credentials are by themselves impressive, but his ability to relate his knowledge to kids is even more so. Connor's ability to understand and read music is fantastic. Mark also knows the performance side of playing drums and has encouraged Connor to actually incorporate his knowledge to play alone and in a band. He is patient and encouraging which is what motivates Connor to work and practice. He is a mentor as well as a teacher. He is superior at what he does and we highly recommend him.” Ro J.
Review by Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
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 William Klepatsky
Very knowledgeable on every aspect of music theory. I listen to recording artists playing various classical pieces, Dan's playing is much like a recording artist's playing. Always on time. Winning happy personality, a great role model. Puts me at ease when I am playing. Have two friends who hold music degrees, I count him a third, something special about the minds and personalities of good pianists. Thanks Dan.
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 Jennifer
Lindsey has been coming to our house to give saxophone lessons to our 12 year old daughter for about a month. She is an absolute joy. She is extremely knowledgeable, flexible with her schedule, and my daughter thinks she is "fun" and "cool". We would highly recommend her to anyone wanting music lessons. A+
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