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I have been teaching bass and guitar professionally for the last 14 years. In that time I have had the privilege of working with a very diverse group of students. I enjoy helping them all find their niche and develop their skills as they not only become technically proficient on their chosen instrument, but also become better all around musicians. I'm proud to say that I have seen some of my students go on to study music at prestigious colleges.
My goal as a teacher is to avoid any type of dogmatic "one size fits all" curriculum. I always want to know what music the student enjoys and build my lesson plans based on their tastes. Chords can be physically challenging for beginners so I like to work with single-note melodies early on so that the student isn't quickly discouraged. Learning chords becomes the medium-term goal. As for the long-term, I will then use specific songs as examples for how music theory works in the context of their favorite bands. I am always prepared to adjust my lesson plans based on the students progress and overall comfort zone.
I use String Builder and Suzuki Methods for strings and essential elements for clarinet. I emphasize good posture, holding the instrument and bow properly and correct finger placement. Also learning to play scales and music to prepare for auditions and a recital.
While a student is developing hand coordination, I like to keep them interested in other aspects of music. Scales can be boring, but they are needed. I encourage the students to read and write music. It's important to get good at notation early on. I also like to bring songwriting into the mix. Creative people have ideas that they want to get out. I try to develop ideas and show the options that most students don't realize they have.
No matter the level of student, I always work with the genre of music they are interested in. I choose specific songs the student likes to facilitate the skills they need to learn. Therefore, they are playing songs (in their skill level) that they enjoy while mastering important skills needed to improve and enable practicing. Practice is important and my teaching style essentially teaches my students how to practice. I institute a goal-oriented program tailored for each student. Some students may just want to play songs for their own enjoyment. If they have or develop loftier goals such as recording a video in my studio for their relatives/friends, playing in a band, writing their own music, playing at my showcases and open mic events, or all of the above, then I work hand-in-hand with my student to reach that goal.
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Adults wanting to learn how to play the guitar may find it beneficial to have a clear goal in mind when starting their lessons. Beginner students may wish to learn to play a few of their favorite songs, or an advanced player might like to develop a specific technical aspect of their guitar playing. Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. Learning and improving technique, co-ordination, and theory can take time, but with regular lessons and practice, you will gradually start to see improvements in your guitar playing, and be well on your way to achieving your goals.
Young children will start out by learning how to fret notes with one hand, and how to pluck or strum the strings with the other. This will allow them to play simple, familiar songs on one string. Students will also be taught to read music, and will eventually learn how to play the common open guitar chords. Once students are more familiar with the guitar fret board, they can start learning barre chords, movable scales, as well as get introduced to music theory. Advanced students might decide to study classical guitar repertoire, rock or blues solos, or even jazz improvisation.
Students can start their guitar lessons as young as 6 years of age. A half sized classical guitar will be easier to hold for young students, and nylon strings are softer on the fingers than steel strings. By the age of 7 or 8, most students are able to start forming chords, and can learn to play and sing along to their favorite songs. Often students will progress on to using a full size guitar by the ages of 10-12. During these years, students usually develop a taste for rock music and will want to learn the electric guitar.
Musika deals primarily with home lessons for students. The location is the only difference between our in-home lessons and our studio lessons. As they do not have to travel to their lessons, home guitar lessons can be highly convenient for those parents and students with a busy schedule. For younger students in particular, having guitar lessons in the comfort of their own home can be of great benefit. They will feel more safe and relaxed in familiar surroundings, allowing them to focus on learning and enjoying playing the guitar.
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.
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 Wendy
Bill has been great with my 2 young children (age 3 & 6). He has integrated games into the lessons - they have enjoyed showing us how to play the games when it is time to practice piano. Bill has been easy to contact and rescheduling has not been a problem if we have a conflict at our regular lesson time.
Review by Marlo
Danette is a delightful instructor. She always brings a wealth of knowledge, excitement, and enthusiasm to piano lessons with my daughter. She is not only skilled at piano, but she has a wonderful voice quality that she uses to help convey certain techniques and to highlight various points where she intends to draw the students attention.
Review by Emily
Steve gets you started right away with songs but also goes into music theory and reading music which adds to understanding and appreciation of the music. He is very approachable and you can tell that he absolutely loves music and teaching. It is hard not to be excited about the process of learning with Steve. If you are considering lessons I highly recommend Steve for any level of student.
Review by Olivia
Andrew is very encouraging and uplifting, but also isn't afraid to tell you your weaknesses. Andrew also is super awesome with scheduling. Fits around your schedule all the time. He really knows what he is doing and can help you reach your goal in the time you would like to. Couldn't have gotten a better teacher, who continually helps me grow and pushes me.
Review by Ro J.
“My son has been instructed by Mark for almost four years. Mark is an outstanding teacher. His credentials are by themselves impressive, but his ability to relate his knowledge to kids is even more so. Connor's ability to understand and read music is fantastic. Mark also knows the performance side of playing drums and has encouraged Connor to actually incorporate his knowledge to play alone and in a band. He is patient and encouraging which is what motivates Connor to work and practice. He is a mentor as well as a teacher. He is superior at what he does and we highly recommend him.” Ro J.
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 Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
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!
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