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I do like to lean on the Berklee methods but do supplement these materials with a good deal of additional material in theory and chords. Everyone is different so the approach depends on the individual.
For beginners I go through the mechanics of the instrument and I try to select easy songs that help in basic instrument navigation. I also use basic sight reading as a method to get to know the instrument. I encourage playing along with recorded music. After basic mastery of the instrument is acheived I try to bring new concepts to the lesson each time. I make personalized backing tracks for each student to practice with. Also, I try to work on repertoire, but often times make references to overarching concepts so the student can create in his/her own capacity. I also encourage asking questions and generally ask what it is the student wants to work on.
I like to start my lessons with basic introduction to the guitar as an instrument and its components. String names, how to tune, and how to change your strings are included. Scales improve finger dexterity and teach the students about moving up and down the fretboard of a guitar. Learning basic chords is crucial for learning most modern day music. (unless it's avant garde, or experimental) We will go through basic chords one by one and chord structures. A weekly homework assignment of memorizing the chord or chords learned in the days lesson will be given. After three chords or so are feeling good, we can move on to learning a basic song! Many songs are just three chords. (my first was knockin' on heavens door) Pace of learning is respected and different for each student. I am fully open to pace and speed of learning. It takes time! It is also encouraged and fun for a student to think of a handful of songs that they enjoy, that we can focus on learning together.
see: METHODS (above)
I'm a fun and free-spirited instructor who strives to inspire students with the same joy I receive from music. I graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Business/Management (principal instruments: violin and voice). My career in the music industry has ranged from artist management, record labels, and recording studio management all while teaching violin and voice in my spare time. Since 2008, I have run a high-end classical recording studio in which I have the pleasure to work with world-class artists every day.
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For younger students, it is recommended that they use a half size, or three-quarter size acoustic guitar. Provided they are able to hold it comfortably, older students may wish to start out on an electric guitar. A reasonable price for a new student model guitar would be between $150 - $200, although for electric guitar players, an amplifier and guitar leads/cables will need to be bought separately at an extra cost. The higher the quality of the instrument, the easier it is to play. This will make learning and playing more enjoyable for the student.
At Musika, we recommend that the earliest age at which students start to take guitar lessons is about 6 years old. A nylon stringed, half-size classical guitar will be the easiest and most comfortable instrument for younger students to play. In this age group, students will learn to play simple songs on the top strings. By the age of 7-8, students can start to form chords and play and sing along to some of their favorite songs. Students in the 10-12 age bracket, are likely to want to learn how to play rock music on an electric guitar, and should be comfortable playing a full sized guitar at this stage.
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!
Many adults take guitar lessons! Your teacher will develop an individualized lesson plan in accordance with your musical tastes and goals. Adults taking guitar lessons for the first time can expect to learn a lot of new things, and have fun in the process!
Need to save time because of your busy schedule? Why not try in-home guitar lessons? A qualified instructor in our network can travel to you and provide excellent quality instruction in the comfort and convenience of your own home.
Review by Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
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 Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
Review by Stevengournay
There are only a handful of people I count in my life who were great teachers, and Laura is one of them. Her musicianship is so secure as are her technique and personality that she zeros in on my weaknesses and devises exercises to strengthen them, and during the lesson it is not "Do this, no, do that" which is unnerving to a novice. She understands the most important part of study is relaxation, so that is easy to achieve with such a confident and compassionate human. Music is her life and she is eager to share her talent with everyone. A rare find, indeed!
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 Dylan Jacinto
Jessie is the finest musician I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I find her overall concept of approaching an instrument to be both comprehensive and effective. Each technique she has acquired has made it possible for her to tailor her method to a variety of ages and individuals. I cannot speak more highly of Miss Jessie's abilities. Her lengthy and impressive cradecials speak for themselves. I recommend no hesitation in seeking her services!
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 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 Terri
Caitlyn is friendly, helpful and still holds my high-school aged daughter accountable for practicing. She also makes sure the music technique is mastered correctly during the lessons - they work hard and still have a good time together. I can highly recommend her as a flute teacher. My daughter is very happy & grateful to have found Caitlyn as a teacher.
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