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I'm a multi-instrumentalist, improvisor, composer and educator who takes great joy in teaching and sharing music with people of all ages. I've been deeply fortunate to have studied closely with multiple master musicians of various traditions. Perhaps the teacher who has had the deepest impact on my teaching methods is W.A. Mathieu, former arranger and bandmember of the Duke Ellington and Stan Kenton orchestras. I studied with Mathieu for three years. I've performed up and down the west coast and am an active player in the Bay Area music scene.
I was born and raised in Oakland. I have been playing guitar for over 15 years and congas for over 10 years. I went to Berkeley High School where I played guitar in the BHS Jazz Ensemble. I then attended the New School in New York City, majoring in jazz guitar studies. I have studied guitar with Steve Erquiaga, Dave Creamer and Jack Wilkins, and congas with Josh Jones, Sandy Perez and other Cuban percussionists. I have also studied voice with Jane Sharp and piano with Ellen Wasserman. I as the guitarist for the Cal State East Bay Jazz Ensemble and was also a member of the CSUEB Percussion Ensemble. Jacob graduated from Cal State Monterey Bay with a B.A. in music recording technology and from Cal State East Bay with a M.A. in music composition. Over the years I have performed with musicians such as Josh Jones, Michael Aaberg, Dayna Stephens, Ambrose Akinmusere, Jonathan Finlayson, Geoff Brennan, and Ray Brown. Mr. Kessel has performed at the Montreux, Umbria, and Vienne Jazz Festivals. I currently play guitar, congas and sing in a variety of performance settings around the Bay Area. I am also a music producer and songwriter, as well as a designer. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my dogs and exploring new restaurants and music venues. I also like studying computer programming.
I've been fascinated with the guitar since I was about 10 years old, having been influenced by all the great rock guitar gods of the sixties and seventies. As I got into high school I became interested in jazz, and started to study jazz guitar. I enjoy many styles of music. I like music that is very passionate and moves and grooves you in various ways. I'm very creative and innovative. I like to be oirginal and put my own style into my playing. I enjoy teaching and sharing my knowledge with my students. I've been playing for many years. I know and understand the guitar completely from top to bottom and teach my students to completely understand what they're playing.
I'm a passionate and motivated teacher with a background in many styles of music. I recently relocated to the Bay Area and can't wait to help students here pursue their passion and develop their talents. I have performed musical theater, orchestral music, jazz, chamber music, and recorded with rock and hip hop groups. I owe so much of what I've accomplished to the great teachers in my life, especially my private lesson instructors. Teaching is very rewarding for me and I love to share my passion for music.
I have been paying guitar for over 15 years. My love of improvisation brought me to the California Jazz Conservatory where I have been studying since 2012. In fall 2016 I will graduate with a B.M. in Jazz Studies, focusing on guitar. I play in a local rock/funk band, The Electic Soul Factory, and I am a founder a of The Moldy Fig Improvised Music Collective, for which I compose and arrange the material.
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Once you’ve met with your teacher for your risk free trial lesson, continuing with Musika is easy! If you are satisfied with your lesson, all you have to do is register with us to continue! The trial will count as your first lesson if you continue, however, with our Great Match Guarantee™ if for any reason you decide not to continue then the trial is FREE. Go ahead give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.
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At Musika, we suggest that adult learners begin their guitar lessons with a clear and achievable goal to work towards. For beginners, this might be to learn to play a few of their favorite songs, or maybe to develop their own compositional skills! Advanced players may have a specific technique they wish to improve or to take their general playing to the next level. Learning to play the guitar can take time, and it may take months before you start to realize your goals. With regular lessons and practice, the teachers in our network can ensure you achieve those goals.
Young children will start out by learning how to fret notes with one hand, and how to pluck or strum the strings with the other. This will allow them to play simple, familiar songs on one string. Students will also be taught to read music, and will eventually learn how to play the common open guitar chords. Once students are more familiar with the guitar fret board, they can start learning barre chords, movable scales, as well as get introduced to music theory. Advanced students might decide to study classical guitar repertoire, rock or blues solos, or even jazz improvisation.
A half size (or three-quarter size) acoustic guitar is highly recommended for younger students. For older students, an electric guitar may be suitable, provided they can hold it correctly and with comfort. A good student model guitar can be obtained brand new for about $150 to $200. Electric guitar players will also need an amplifier as well as guitar cables, which will cost extra. Generally speaking, the higher the quality of the instrument, the easier it is to play. The ease of which an instrument plays is particularly important for young learners, as they will take to it quicker and enjoy their playing and practice more.
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.
At Musika, we offer guitar lessons to students as young as 6 years of age. Students in this age category will start off by learning to play simple tunes on the top strings of the guitar. It is most comfortable for students of this age to start off by playing a half sized acoustic guitar with nylon strings. By about 7-8 years old, students will be forming different chords and playing along to their favorite songs. When students get to about 10-12 years old, they may become interested in a specific genre (usually rock) and decide to learn on a full-sized electric guitar.
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 Debbie E.
I had always wanted to take vocal lessons, but was very nervous about it until I had the opportunity to have Ali as my instructor. She made me feel very comfortable and helped me realize my strengths while giving me other areas to work on and strengthen. I liked how Ali had me sing out of my "comfort" zone to realize my vocal range. It is obvious that Ali loves music and sharing that love with her students. She is very good at what she does and works well with both male and female voices. I highly recommend Ali and give her solid 5 stars
Review by PJ Williams
My daughter, Valarie is one of the original members of the Enrichment Center Percussion Ensemble under the guidance of Aaron. He patiently worked with Valarie as well as the other five members individually and as a group to produce music that has been shared and enjoyed locally as well as nationally. He has the ability to seek out the strengths of each student while building confidence. Through his teachings, not only had Valarie learned how to produce and enjoy music, but also responsibility and so many life skills for everyday living.
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 James F.
After my first piano lesson, Polina is easily the best teacher I could have hoped for. Extremely charismatic and excited to help YOU learn the piano. She puts a lot of effort into evaluation your learning style and will no doubt help you make tremendous strides! I'm stoked to continue taking lessons!
Review by Al
Pavel is doing a great job with my 6 year old son. Pavel is doing a great job helping my son focus on technique and rhythm, which is something previous instructors weren't so successful with. Pavel is organized / structured / systematic, which is what my son needs now, but I hope he relaxes a bit as the lessons continue so that more "joy" comes through.
Review by Nancy Fritsch
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach.
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 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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