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I have played and taught a wide range of styles throughout my life. I graduated from the University of Washington in 2010, majoring in Guitar performance. I have had the opportunity to play in rock bands, jazz ensembles and as a solo performer. I am currently getting my music ed credential at SJSU. I still play frequently in town with my jazz ensemble.
I tailor each lesson to the unique self and stage of musical development of the student and actively create custom lesson plans and materials to best suit their progress and musical curiousities. Improvisation and rhythm games, music theory essentials, and instrumental basics are core components of my teaching practice.
I have studied music for over 25 years. I graduated from California State University, East Bay in 2010, and have completed 1 year of my M.M. in Trombone Performance from the University of North Texas. I am currently based in the SF Bay Area and plan to continue my studies here. I have extensive experience playing in many ensembles in many different styles, such as: orchestra, brass quintet, jazz band, rock band, horn sections, chamber music, as well as numerous others. I have participated in Masterclasses with reknowned conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel. I have studied Music History and Music Education in depth as well, and I have a deep understanding of musical styles and form.
I have been giving private lessons since I graduated high school. I received my master's in trumpet performance from the University of Wyoming, where I taught applied trumpet lessons, directed jazz ensembles, and lectured jazz theory and history courses. I enjoy working with students of all ages and ability levels. I believe that the concepts we cover in music lessons extend to other aspects of a student's life, and I love to see the positive impact I have on people. I was someone who was certainly not a natural when it came to playing the trumpet, and the struggles I've gone through on the instrument have given me the knowledge to accurately address these issues in student's playing.
My teaching experience goes back to late high school, as I began teaching beginner upright bass to young students part time. As my passion and dedication to music developed throughout college, I expanded to teaching more advanced students, in a wider range of styles and instruments. I also tutored theory, composition, and ear training in more academic settings. To me the fundamental job of the teacher is to foster a student's passion for music, as I believe the most effective way to learn how to play and create is to marry the practical issues of learning to the joy that that learning brings.
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Kids just want to have one thing when they are learning how to play the guitar - FUN! Our teachers will work with you to make it as easy as possible to start learning the guitar, but it does take a lot of hard work and daily practice to improve. Students typically begin by playing easy songs on one or two strings while learning to read music. Only then, do they move on to learning how to strum chords and read chord charts.
We recommend that students looking to start guitar lessons have a clear goal in mind - such as learning to play a few of their favorite songs. When you start lessons, your teacher will help you unlock the skills required to reach your goals. Keep in mind that you might not be able to start off with the exact song you want to learn - it could take months of study and practice to learn all of the notes and chords required to turn your dream into a reality.
If possible, it is beneficial for younger students to begin their learning on a smaller sized guitar. Half or three-quarter sized acoustic guitars are most suitable for young learners. Provided they are comfortable with holding the guitar, older students can start on an electric model. There are a range of different model guitars that are suitable for students, and can be found between the $150 to $200 price range. Remember though, that electric guitarists will need amplification and cables, which need to be purchased at additional costs. The best chance a student will have of liking and enjoying their guitar playing is to invest in good, high quality instruments, as they tend to be easier to play.
Musika specializes in individually tailored, one-on-one guitar lessons in the comfort of your home. Whether your child learns in the studio or at home, the quality and content of each lesson will remain exactly the same. Home guitar lessons reduce the burden on parents to transport their children and equipment to their lesson, which saves time and money and helps to integrate lessons into busy work schedules. Musika prides itself on creating fun, engaging guitars lessons in an environment that students feel comfortable and familiar with, important conditions for their musical development.
The most important thing students learn is how to have fun when they are playing the guitar! It can be a challenge to master the basics, and it can take a lot of practice but with the proper teacher, students can be playing their favorite songs without too much trouble. Topics covered during guitar lessons include: learning notes, open chords, barre chords, finger picking, sight reading techniques, music theory as well as how to strum and pluck with the fingers.
Review by Shilpa
"Richard is a very talented and a patient teacher. He teaches my 6 year old daughter in the comfort of our home and he is very regular. He follows a learning book and mixes his lessons to bring difficulty and technicality while keeping it interesting for my daughter. My daughter was difficult to work with at the beginning but he was able motivate her in every possible way. As a parent I make an effort to learn with my daughter so that when my daughter practices I am able to guide and correct her and Richard is very generous to take the time to give provide me concepts. I am extremely happy with Richard and his ability to teach children."
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 Pat
Henry has been a great piano teacher since I started lessons about a month ago, and he is helping me realize a lifelong dream. He is patient, plays beautifully, is easy to learn from and a very nice person. I took lessons as a child for a year or so, but never followed up over the years. I always said that I would once I retired and found the right instructor. That time is now. Thank you Henry and Musika!
Review by Sharon
My 4-year-old has had several lessons with Martina now, and he has learned a lot. Obviously, it is challenging to teach such a young child, and he has learned quite a lot in a short time, and is very excited to learn about violin and for his lessons. I think Martina is doing an excellent job, is quite patient, and is teaching him in such a way that he can really remember his new skills from week to week. We look forward to many more lessons with Ms. Martina!
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 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 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 Angie Ignazzitto
Stephanie is an excellent voice teacher! Our 10-year-old daughter enjoys her lessons with Stephanie each week. She has an amazing way of connecting with our daughter through music. Stephanie knows how to offer constructive feedback in a positive way that keeps our daughter interested and wanting to learn more. I would recommend Stephanie without hesitation.
Review by Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
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