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I'm very easy going and very understanding. I have a true passion for teaching and helping others and patience is one of my virtues. I have a real undesrstanding as to how much different we can be from one another in our learning abilities, and it is my main goal to tailor each lesson to the specific student and individual at hand. I do my best to get into the position (point of view) of each one of my students and take into consideration every single aspect of their personality when I'm teaching them.
My biggest satisfaction when I teach is seeing my students getting better and maintaining their interest, passion, and desire. Once in a while I like to push them or tell them to push themselves, find new challenges, and dare a little more. New challenges bring new goals, and new goals make them keep their eagerness to learn. Since my key point is "be open-minded", I always try to make their interest and needs parallel with my instructions.
I have for the past twenty-two years been working as a Music Educator, Administrator, Jazz composer and performer. The last eleven of those years have been in the San Francisco Bay area at Oakland School for the Arts, teaching and leading large jazz ensembles, orchestra, small groups and music theory classes for grades 6-12. As Chairman of the Instrumental Music Department, I was responsible for teaching and developing music curricula, developing new programs, recruiting and auditioning new students, presenting and speaking with incoming parent groups, writing and developing the school A-G requirements, and meeting with community schools and faculty to create meaningful collaborations.
I began taking trumpet lessons when I was 11 years old, and I've studied with many teachers. I've been exposed to all of the method books, literature, and repertoire that's out there. I have also studied jazz theory and improvisation extensively. The main thing I teach beginning students is understanding how the instrument works, reading music, proper breathing, and embouchure mechanics. I utilize a number of beginning method books, easy etudes, Stamp exercises, Arban's method, and Clarke technical studies. For more advanced students, I have lots of material to work from depending on the student's needs and goals.
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.
Since We Started
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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 offer guitar lessons to students as young as 6 years old. A nylon stringed, half-size classical guitar will be the easiest and most comfortable model for younger students to play, and at this age students will be learning to play simple tunes on the top strings. By about 7-8 years old, students will be forming different chords and playing along to their favorite songs. For students in the 10-12 age range, they 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 Musika, we suggest that adult students looking to start guitar lessons do so with a specific aim or goal in mind. Beginners may have goals such as learning to play their favorite songs or to write their own music, whereas advanced students might want to develop a particular technique or aspect of their guitar playing. Irrespective of your experience or level, the teachers in our network can help you to achieve your goals. Remember, developing playing skills can take time. The best way to ensure you achieve your goals is through regular lessons and consistent practice.
As a preference, younger students should start off by learning on a half size or three-quarter sized acoustic guitar. If they are able to hold it comfortably, older students could start off using an electric guitar. A brand new student model guitar can be purchased for about $150 to $200. An electric guitar will also need accompanying amplification as well as guitar cables, which will incur additional costs. It is important a student enjoys playing their instrument, so higher quality guitars are recommended as they are easier to play.
Musika offers customized one-on-one music lessons at your home - a time saving solution for busy parents and students. The convenience of in-home guitar lessons allows you to save time without having to transport your child to class, allows your child to maximize their busy schedule, and provides a safe and familiar environment in which to learn.
Beginners will start working on core skills such as fretting notes, strumming chords, and playing simple songs on one or more strings. Once students learn the basic open chords, they can begin to play their favorite songs! Teachers will cover sight reading, and music theory, and can even teach students how to compose their own songs. More advanced topics might include jazz or blues improvisation, guitar soloing, and/or classical guitar repertoire.
Review by Michelle S.
"My daughter has been a student with Mark for over a year. She has come so far and has learned so much in such a short time. Mark is extremely talented and knowledgeable. He is very serious, patient and super nice. If your child or if you really WANT to learn the drums, then I highly recommend Mark. He is our third instructor and the best one yet! You will not be disappointed." Michelle S.
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 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 Natalie Kretcher
I really like her. And as an adult student, a good teacher who keeps the pace up but still keeps it reasonable in terms of difficulty is really hard to find. She does a great job of explaining little detail things in terms I (as a musically challenged human) can understand. I'm having a blast! 10/10 would recommend!
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 Jenn
My son and I both take lessons with Micheal. My son started on the ukulele and recently started the guitar. He is excellent with children. Very patient and very intuitive to the child's ability. He is also an excellent teacher for adults. I had not touched my guitar in several years and in a couple months not only to I remember everything I forgot but I'm learning many new techniques and am a much better player than I've ever been.
Review by Ginger
Unbelievably Awesome. My daughter is a beginner and has some special needs. Justin is more than patient and helpful while being completely thorough and pushing her (in a good way) to try harder. He is encouraging and teaches effectively. I am very pleased. More important, so is my daughter. Thank you Musika! So grateful we found your service and connected with Justin. We highly recommend him.
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 Clinton Poskozim
Martina has been a great teacher. Our son is 8 and had taken some piano lessons before starting with Martina. She came right in and got him to improve. She does a great job of giving him just enough of a challenge to make him work and learn but not any pieces that are so overwhelming he can't get them. She has helped him through a lot of early music theory so that he not only can play the piano but understands the music he is reading in all of its complexity.
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