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Guitar: For children, I begin with simple folk songs to teach them chords and strums. From there, we progress to picking patterns. For teens and adults, I use both folk songs and easy pop music. For both age groups, I encourage note reading and some classical work. For classical guitar, I use technique books by Aaron Shearer. Voice: I put a great deal of focus on breathing, open throat and support. I pick repertoire that facilitates the learning of these skills, including folk songs, musical theatre, opera and art song. I use music in English, Italian, French and German, and I incorporate the works of numerous different composers and eras. I have been strongly influenced by Lamperti technique.
I'm a fun loving musician who enjoys sharing my passion for music with my students. I graduated from the College of Wooster with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and then Florida State University with a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting. Music has opened many doors both professionally and personally. I have had the opportunity to tour up and down the east coast while performing with 16 voice professional choir and met my wife through a choir we both were singing in.
I have 15 years in child age education. Classical guitar student UC Santa Cruz minor in Jazz Studies. Played, recorded written produced music for over 10 years.
I have been teaching private and group lessons for the past 10 years beginning in college. My lessons focus on encouraging practice, exploration through improvisation, creation, and basic techinque. Keeping lessons exciting and fun is a key to motivation for all ages and I have found teaching a combination of modern songs that the student knows and classical literature for learning technique keep the lessons fresh and interesting.
For beginning guitar students, I use the Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book 1 as supplemental material. For beginning bass students I use the Hal Leonard Bass Method Book 1 also as supplemental material. For advanced and intermediate students, the supplement material will vary depending on their experience and what they specifically want to get out of music lessons.
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Young students are encouraged to start their guitar lessons by playing half size or three-quarter size acoustic guitars. Using an electric guitar is a viable alternative for older students who are able to hold the instrument with comfort. A student model guitar bought from new will cost in the vicinity of $150 - $200. For electric guitar players, amplification and guitar cables are required, which will need to be purchased at an additional cost. As a general rule, the higher the quality of the instrument, the easier it is to play. This is important as it affords the student the best possible chance of enjoying playing and learning the guitar.
We recommend that older students looking to take up guitar lessons have a clear goal in mind, such as learning some of their favorite songs or learning to write their own compositions. At Musika, the experienced teachers in our network can help you to achieve your guitar playing goals, whether you are a novice, intermediate, or advanced level player. It takes time, dedication, and patience to acquire the co-ordination, techniques, and skills necessary to meet your aims. Those who commit to taking regular lessons and daily practice will see the fastest progression in their guitar playing abilities.
Students are able to start taking guitar lessons with Musika at age 6. For students this young, we recommend that they start off by using a half-sized classical guitar with nylon strings. Students in this age group will start by learning to play simple melodies using the top strings of the guitar, and will be able to progress on to forming chords and playing more advanced songs by the age of 7-8 years old. Students are able to graduate to using a full sized guitar by ages 10-12, and will likely want to learn to play rock on an electric guitar.
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 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 Andy Snyder
Giorgi has made learning cello even more fun. From the sympathetic, "It is hard" to the precise, "Be careful about the curve of the thumb" he has strengthened learning in every lesson, without being overwhelming. He started playing a little duet on only the 3rd lesson or so, which made me feel, even as a beginner, that I'm already starting to make (occasionally screachy) music. He has suggested a variety of drills and practice techniques which have also sped up the process a lot. And he has a good sense of humor and surprising amount of patience.
Review by Kaleen Todoroff
Noel is amazing. She is helping me to work toward my vocal goals for auditions to several musical theaters. She has helped me choose strong audition pieces and is teaching excellent ways to get the sound I need in a safe and healthy way. She works outside our lessons on new warm ups and new music pieces. She is the best.
Review by Blaine Vaz
“I took drum lessons from Mark for about 7 months. I have been playing for 38 years but always thrive to learn more. He was able to provide me alternative exercises and help me gain a better understanding of my opportunities. I have been able to take my playing to another level. His approach to teaching is perfect for any level of student, beginner or advanced. He is a true professional and an outstanding person. You won't go wrong with Mark!” Blaine Vaz
Review by Maria
My daughter has been taking piano lessons through her school district program for the last two years. She had learned a lot in that class but I noticed that she needed advanced classes at this point. After reviewing several websites I decided to enroll my daughter for the trial at MUSIKA. We got Mrs. Veronica B., and I am more than happy we got her as my daughter's teacher. Mrs. Veronica B. was very professional and very knowledgeable at the trial day. She was able to assess my daughter skill's level, and then she was able to give suggestions about how to improve those skills. My daughter has taken 5 classes with Mrs. Barker, and I can see she enjoys each class and she's improved a lot since day one. I can picture my daughter playing her favorites songs on the piano very soon!!! :-)
Review by Kate Thomas
My son enjoys his viola lesson each week with Martina. She is disciplined in her approach to teaching but always makes my son's learning experience enjoyable. She knows how to challenge him and develop excellent form. Martina is always punctual and professional. We both highly recommend her as an instructor.
Review by Shelonda
Henry is teaching my daughter how to play piano. Henry is an excellent teacher, we really like and appreciate him. His teaching style works very well for my daughter, she is comfortable which makes learning enjoyable. Henry is very patient and I can see that he is passionate about teaching music. Great teacher for sure.
Review by Venessea Gilbert
Rebecca has been super with my son! He is 8yrs old and has mild aspergers. He has never played an instrument before but after one lesson with his teacher he could keep a beat on his drums. She is able to keep his attention and really makes it fun! She is flexible and easy going. I highly recommend her for any lessons. Very nice teacher! Thank you Rebecca for your outstanding service!!
Review by Howard
We value Chelsea for the quality of her lessons, but also for the flexibility of her schedule. She has worked around family vacations, impromptu summer camps and the upcoming school year. Emily is better prepared to start middle school band this year due to flute lessons from Chelsea and we plan to continue the lessons for the foreseeable future.
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