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I began teaching private lessons part-time when I was still in high school on Long Island. I have taught in elementary day care in the early 1990's and taught in public schools elementary general music and chorus, beginning instrumental music at the elementary level, as well as middle school orchestra in the San Lorenzo Unified School District. After a vocal chord injury, I left the public schools to create my indie record label, produce new projects and allow healing. Several years ago, I went back to teaching private lessons through a music store, and have since relocated my studio to my home. I love the positive energy my students bring to their lessons, and enjoy encouraging them to be the best they can be in music, and in their lives. I love to work with students of all ages who really want to learn!
I am a very motivated instructor who loves giving musical instruction to anyone that is excited about music. I love teaching and talking about all different genres of music and learning about other people's influences and musical experiences. I graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2012 and have been teaching guitar lessons in the East Bay area since moving back. I've been fortunate enough to study with some world class musicians and to perform with professional bands since I was 16 years old. Whether you want to dig into learning the history of the blues or you want to get starting on learning some jazz standards or even just picking up some Metallica riffs/solos, I can get you started from whichever starting point you choose. From there I always make sure to assess a student's needs and tastes, then try to apply music theory along with nudging the student into new musical territory. I believe that any student is capable of learning any type of music with the right attitude and carefully guided instruction. Also if a student wants to develop his or her ear training on the guitar, I can help unlock the secrets to developing relative or even perfect pitch. Since the ear is perhaps the most important factor to anyone's musicianship, this will be an immense help to any student. Most importantly, my goal is to have fun and to share my love for music with anyone who is willing to learn and listen!
I like to use familiar songs as vehicles to teach. In my UCSC class, I start with Beatles songs because everyone knows them and they're well-liked. I always like students to suggest songs they want to learn as well, since they will be more likely to practice and be more engaged in practice if the song is something they enjoy. I use these as vehicles to teach chord voicings, theory, intervals and technique. I do not use notation but prefer guitar-centric language such as chord charts and tablature.
One of my mentors used to say "you don't teach music, you teach kids." Every student is an individual and I try to tailor my approach to each student, depending on their learning style. Music is very much a personal journey. The learning occurs when students come to realizations on their own, with the guidance of a teacher. I try to give the student the tools they need to make breakthroughs in their playing. Along the way, I try to expose them to different styles of music. It is important to me that they become a great musician overall, not just a trumpet player.
I have been teaching Guitar/Music Theory for almost 20 years. I have a Certificate of Music Industry Studies from the Diablo Valley College, which was completed in 2014. As for now, I'm a music/composition major at the Diablo Valley College, transferring from a 2 year college to get my bachelor degree. Besides composing for my band, I write orchestrated instrumental music from classical to soundtracks, etc. I believe that each student require a different approach, depending on their level. For example: if they want to be a professional musician, or if they just want to learn music as a hobby. I also believe that music should be fun, no matter the path the student want to follow. And it is my responsibility to find a way to inspire my students.
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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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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.
The earliest recommended age that students can start their guitar lessons is 6 years old. At this age, students will find it easiest to play a half-sized classical guitar with nylon strings, and will learn how to play simple melodies on the top strings of the guitar. Students can begin to form chords, as well as play and sing along to songs, by about ages 7 to 8. When students get to the ages of 10-12, they should be able to comfortably handle a full-sized guitar. At this point, they may acquire a taste for rock music and want to progress to the 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!
Before purchasing a guitar, it may be beneficial to get the advice of a teacher, friend or relative who has experience with guitar. Their experiences with local reputable music stores may be invaluable and save you a lot of time. The first options to consider are whether to buy a new or used instrument, and whether you want to buy an acoustic or electric guitar. Student models for either can usually be purchased for around $150-200. Used instruments do not always cost less, as some instruments retain their value; notably higher quality American made guitars like Fender or Gibson.
For adults who are looking to learn to play the guitar, we recommend that they do so with some clear goals in mind. Maybe you want to learn to play some of your favorite songs, join a band, or write your own music? Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. It can take time, often months, to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the guitar at a competent level. The most effective way to progress with your playing is to take regular lessons and practice often.
Review by Maurice Romero
This is the 1st time I've ever taken lessons, and Robert has been a pleasure to work with. I've made quick progress and have enjoyed the process. I'm always listening for those tips that you can't find in a book. I can count on Robert to be strict on the fundamentals and am clear it will make a difference in the long run.
Review by Jeff N.
Travis is an extremely knowledgeable guitarist and teacher. Travis is equally comfortable in playing/teaching jazz, rock, blues, or classical styles. I really like the way he explains things and he has the ability to make difficult material seem simpler. Travis is very likeable, enthusiastic, and always very professional. I think Travis would be great teaching either children or adults because he's very patient. My learning experience with Travis has been outstanding. He taught me some great techniques for chord substitution and for soloing. I'll continue to work with Travis because he inspires me to be a better guitarist. I think he could really help me with composing because he writes some great songs too! Thanks Travis!
Review by Lea G
Kevin was such a fun, smart and innovative voice teacher to work with. I had the pleasure of taking lessons with him for over a year and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my time under his training. In just a few weeks I noticed my voice was stronger and I was able to apply his teaching and see the results. He explains his techniques in a way that the student is able to actually hear and feel the changes he is referring to. This allows the student to efficiently practice outside of lessons. Even further, he believed in me and truly cared about my progress. He was always energetic and focused in lessons and was continually surprised how far a song could come in just one hour of his time. Under his teaching I developed a stronger belt in my higher range, learned how to color my voice for different sounds and improved my stage presence. I wholeheartedly trust Kevin’s musical insight and was grateful that he challenged me with a wide variety of songs and styles that I hadn’t considered trying before.
Review by Elsahatzipavlou
Erin has been a wonderful voice/piano teacher for our 7 year old daughter. She is talented, patient, and has a wonderful demeanor. She has been consistent with her teaching in piano and voice. She keeps record of where the students leave off so that they know what to expect the following week. I would definitely recommend Erin to anyone looking for a skilled piano/voice teacher.
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 Queen Natalia
Lara is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in her profession. She is cheerful and personable, and has established a good rapport with students and staff alike. I have found Lara to be a highly competent, personable, patient, kind-hearted, and deeply caring person who is skilled professionally and interpersonally.
Review by Julie Buranelli
My daughter really enjoys her lessons with Pavel. She is an absolute beginner and Pavel is right with her as she learns the basics. She is completely engaged and always looks forward to her lesson. He packs a lot of learning into their 30 minute time slot - he gets right to it as soon as he walks in the door! He is a great teacher - we highly recommend!
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 Anita
Our daughter has only been playing the piano since March. Tony replaced our other teacher who had a job transfer and could no longer teach. Tony is fun and encouraging. My daughter is playing Taylor Swift and Christmas songs and is playing the piano more than ever before. Very happy so far with Mr Tony
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