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I like to begin with some technical exercises at first, then progress to recital literature. For guitar, I either use Hal Leonard or Mel Bay (I was raised on Mel.) For clarinet, I use Hal Leonard Essential Elements, Klose, Rose, Labanchi, and anything else that seems appropriate.
For beginning students who are children, I typically start with Hal Leonard's Guitar Method as well as learning their favorite songs. For adults, I find out what the students are interested in, and guide my instruction accordinly to keep the lessons engaging and fun, no matter they are beginners, songwriters, blues,jazz, classical, pop, funk, rock, fusion lovers or advanced players.
My choices in books and other resources for the student are based primarily on the students' individual goals, needs, and interests. Generally, I approach the subject matter with firm but relaxed expectations, giving the students freedom but also requiring them to pursue a specified goal. This may include allowing the student to take a break from a challenging piece if necessary, to let their mind calm down and refocus while they practice a different piece with different requirements. For guitar, I prefer the students to use Mel Bay's Chord Book, as it is still the best I have ever been able to find. As the student progresses, I work to assess their various tastes in music, and work towards that direction, while introducing outside material they may enjoy, with the intent of eventually having a recital.
Drawing upon my education and experiences as both performer and teacher, I strive to relate my musical background to my students' learning experiences and progress. As each student comes with his or her individual musical wants and interests, student lessons are designed to meet these needs of a particular student. I have young students of ages 5 to 14 as well as students of upper ages. According to a student's level of musicianship (beginner, advanced or in between), students are taught how to read music, music theory in relation to their progress, chords, scales and how to write/compose their own songs. For example, I have students of ages 7 to 15 that are writing songs (guitar chords and lyrics) about their pets. I have designed a method of teaching which is full of great musical exercises & fun illustrations for the young student to enjoy while learning skills on their instrument.
My foundational methods include Leonard, Krueger, Clarke, Arban, Reinhardt, Rizzetto, Pearson, and Rubank. Solo and ensemble repertoire is introduced at the appropiate time. Time is also spent on improvasational techniques.
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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.
The easiest way for guitar students to find out what kind of guitar to buy is to ask their teacher. Your teacher will know what local shops have fair deals, and which shops do a good job of setting up the instrument. Young students and beginners may find an acoustic guitar easier to play and handle, while teenagers will probably want the power of an electric guitar so they can jam with their friends in the garage.
When a student shows lots of interest in playing the guitar, they can begin learning at the age of 6. Younger students can play on a half or three-quarter size guitar, while kids 12 and older can learn on a full size acoustic or electric guitar. If you students begin learning at a very young age, they do need a minimum amount of hand strength and ability to practice every day!
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.
Students typically start with the basics, such as how to hold the guitar, how to fret notes with one hand, and how to strum or pluck the strings with the other. The teachers in our network will cover sight reading, guitar chords, and basic music theory. All of which are needed for students to perform and understand the inner-workings of their favorite songs. More advanced students can work on jazz improvisation, classical technique, as well as rock or blues guitar solos.
Review by Marcia Hecht
Karleen has really turned it around for me. My previous teacher (not from Musika) had me feeling anxious, upset, and incapable...NOT the desired result! Karleen's method is clear, appropriate for my beginning level, and (best of all) actually lets me achieve some progress! I'm actually looking forward to my lessons now!
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 Bradford Putt
Angela has been a perfect match-up for me. She is warm and welcoming, and also serious about teaching - she keeps our time focused and on track. What I truly appreciate, as a new singer anxiously preparing for an event, is the confidence she gives me. Angela is very encouraging. I enjoy coming to class.
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 Brad Schimmer
I have been playing the drums for about 5 years and I have to say that Alvaro is very patient. He has opened me up to new styles of music and I can now play a Songo groove! What I liked most was that he was flexible in what I wanted him to teach me and would also bring in new material specifically to what I wanted him to show me. Overall, great patient teacher and would highly recommend! Thanks Alvaro!
Review by Suzette
She is amazing! My daughter, Isabella (7 yrs) is totally engaged in the lesson. Lilly's definitely has a gift with teaching young children!!! A great talent of hers is making the content interesting, current to today's music and most of all fun! She has a knack for taking the material and translating it in a way that is relatable to Isabella. My daughter really enjoys her lesson's and has moved along rather quickly with the material. Thanks Lilly!
Review by Nicole V.
"My daughter is 10 years old and has been taking piano lessons with Mr. Dale J. for almost 4 years now. She is progressing nicely. His kind and gentle way make for a very positive learning experience. Mr. Dale J. is encouraging without being harsh or belittling. He is patient and the ideal instructor for my daughter."
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.
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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