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I've been teaching music, in some capacity, since I was 17 and captain of my highschool's drumline. In college I taught drumset lessons to students of all ages and in graduate school I taught a music theory course for 5 semesters as well as classical percussion to 6th - 8th graders. Getting to know my students, what they like and don't like, what they read and listen to, is one of my favorite things and I think it really helps engender a life long passion for music when a teacher takes a personal interest in the students lives. I enjoy playing and listening to so many kinds of music that I may not have even known about had it not been for some of my teachers, and I hope to enrich the lives of my students in the same way.
Understanding the desire of each student is important. What each student wants to do with thier instrument/music can be a very unique experience. Some players want to be able to play chords while they sing, some want to play solos, some want to write songs. Having student talk musically is important to me as a teacher so each lesson envolves me and the student talking about music in a musical way. Weather we are talking about counting the beats, beats in a measure, chord changes, the actual chord being played. Identifying what we are doing is something we consatnly challenge ourselves on.
I want to give the student what they want! I try to understand the students' short and long term goals first, then make a list, so we can check those off. If the student doesn't know what they want, then I go through the basics- chords, scales, rhythm, proper hand posture etc. I try to encourage proper mechanics and fundamentals to beginning students as well. I also try to get students to learn at least one new song or lick to practice over a week, because it really feels good to learn something new!
I began playing guitar at a young age, prompted by my infatuation with classic rock music as I idolized such groups as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Beatles, and many more. This was only the beginning of a life long intimate relationship with music and guitar playing. Since my first introduction to the guitar my musical tastes quickly expanded as I established a love for blues and all of its incarnations, from Chicago Blues to the varying acoustic and electric styles found in New Orleans, Mississippi, and Texas among other places. Through high school I played in rock and blues bands writing original music and getting my first real experiences as a composer and a bandleader. High School was also the place where I discovered my interest in Jazz music as I began playing guitar in the school's Jazz band. Following high school I began playing more jazz music as I attended Bellevue College studying theory and composition with Dr. Brian Cobb and guitar performance with Mark Hillard Wilson. After this I soon met renowned Jazz Guitarist Chris Spencer with whom I studied with for years to follow. I eventually found himself at Cornish College of the Arts where I graduated with a Bachelors degree in Music Composition. While at Cornish I had the opportunity to play guitar and compose for Jazz Orchestra, Latin Jazz ensemble, and Modern Jazz groups while playing under the direction of internationally know musicians and composers such as Wayne Horvitz, Tom Varner, Jovino Santos Neto and Chuck Deardorf. In the realm of composition I studied privately with composers Jarrad Powell and Tom Baker, with a deep focus in contemporary classical music. After college I worked as a composer for a few years writing music for theater and dance as well as doing residencies with different Seattle based companies. Currently I spend my time working as a guitar player in Seattle while also writing chamber music for various ensembles and art groups. I perform on a regular basis with a variety of groups in the Seattle area.
I'm an enthusiastic, patient, and bilingual music teacher that strives to bring out the best in each one of his students. As an active artist that started out as a self taught “play it by ear” type of guitarist in his early teens and worked his way up to college level, It’s my hope that students will find me relatable and inspiring. I think the most important thing for students to keep in mind when they begin learning an instrument is patience and discipline. Many times we’re too focused on the end goal that we forget to appreciate the journey there. My job is to make it easier for you to enjoy the learning process.
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Musika offers one-on-one, in-home guitar lessons that are designed specifically for each individual student. Whether your lesson takes place in a teacher's studio or at home, students will get the exact same lesson content, with the only difference being the location. Parents will find home guitar lessons a much more convenient option for their child, as it saves the time and costs of transporting their children to and from a studio. Younger students will find that learning to play the guitar in the comfort of their own home greatly benefits their development as they are learning in a supportive, secure, and familiar environment.
Young students will benefit by starting off playing on a half size or three-quarter size acoustic guitar. If an older student finds it comfortable enough to do so, they may wish to begin playing on an electric guitar. There are many different student model guitars, which can be purchased for between $150-$200. Additional costs will be incurred for those wanting to play electric guitar, as amplification and cables will need to be bought. Consider that higher quality instruments are easier to play, and will increase the chances of the student liking it.
Young guitar students will learn all aspects of how to play their instrument. They will be taught proper technique, and how to read music, all while working at their own individual pace. Our teachers will be able to advise you on what size guitar is best for the student, but typically younger students need a 3/4 or 1/2 size guitar, while teens and adults can play on a full size instrument. Our recommended age for beginning the guitar is around 6 or 7, since a young child needs enough hand strength to be able to play well.
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.
At Musika, we recommend that adult students looking to start guitar lessons have a clear goal in mind. Whether your goal is to learn to play your favorite song, write your own music, develop a certain technique, or join a band, the experienced teachers in our network can help you make those goals a reality! It can take time, often months, to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the guitar to a good level. The best and quickest way to learn the fundamental skills is to take regular lessons and practice your guitar playing as often as possible.
Review by Yury
I would like to thank Polina for the series of classical piano lessons I've taken recently. Polina is a fantastic teacher and a high class performer, and I'm really happy I had a chance to meet her! I believe anyone can benefit from the teaching method Polina is practicing regardless of the student proficiency - from beginners to advanced performers. It was a pleasure for me to study classical piano courses under the guidance of such an intelligent & professional teacher! Without doubt, my playing technique has improved a lot and I have signed up for the new classes online already.
Review by Stevengournay
There are only a handful of people I count in my life who were great teachers, and Laura is one of them. Her musicianship is so secure as are her technique and personality that she zeros in on my weaknesses and devises exercises to strengthen them, and during the lesson it is not "Do this, no, do that" which is unnerving to a novice. She understands the most important part of study is relaxation, so that is easy to achieve with such a confident and compassionate human. Music is her life and she is eager to share her talent with everyone. A rare find, indeed!
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 Jaima Woodiwiss
Having taken 6 years of piano lessons myself when I was young, I am very happy with Osmond teaching my daughter. He is very personable and helping her to enjoy piano. My daughter loves the fun songs she gets to play and I really appreciate how he is integrating even in the first month fingering, chords, beats, and hearing the music. She's getting a very well rounded training and she's loving it!
Review by Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
Review by Alamu Vinai
Usually I don't write reviews. I am compelled to write for Feng. I've experience finding/working with many music teachers over the years for different instruments (piano, flute, sax) for kids. I think Feng is the best, he is so passionate about music, he encourages the kids. He teaches thoroughly - you can tell he knows lot about saxophone. I would definitely recommend Feng!!
Review by Chrystal
I was skeptical at first not knowing what I was getting my self into.. I am very happy that I forced myself to get into voice lessons because Eli is an awsome voice coach.. Very skillful and he helps you reach the goal you are trying to reach.. He is also very helpful with getting you to open up and come out of your shell and being heard.. I would and I already have recommended friends and family to sign up with Eli if they're serious about singing..
Review by Alex A.
Travis rocks. My 7-year-old son and I both take lessons with him. Travis has moved me off the plateau I was on with lessons that focus on theory and technique. And for my son, he's been able to instill a desire and interest that were missing when he previously took piano lessons. With Travis teaching us, the limits are the ones we impose on ourselves. Needless to say, Travis himself plays a mean guitar to boot!
Review by Dylan Jacinto
Jessie is the finest musician I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I find her overall concept of approaching an instrument to be both comprehensive and effective. Each technique she has acquired has made it possible for her to tailor her method to a variety of ages and individuals. I cannot speak more highly of Miss Jessie's abilities. Her lengthy and impressive cradecials speak for themselves. I recommend no hesitation in seeking her services!
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