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I have been teaching private lesson on and off since I was in college. I have taken the last few years off to complete my graduate education and begin my formal teaching career. I believe that encouraging my students to find fun in practice by choosing music that keeps the students interested. This means taking music from both the classical and popular repertoires.
I have been a professional teacher and performer for ten years, touring nationally with funk, soul, and latin bands. The diversity of my experience as a performer has directly impacted my view on teaching. Excitement about practicing music comes directly from passion for music in general, and a key philosophy to my teaching method is to not only instill correct practices and technique, but to attempt to foster a life-long desire for musical exploration in my students. Exposing new musical ideas, exciting modern musicians and cutting edge genres to aspiring performers is essential in maintaining passion and focus for learning any instrument.
I believe anyone has the ability to learn music. I feel it is my duty to help my students discover their own musical path. It is my passion to show you, you have the ability to overcome any obstacles you may face in music. On May 1st I graduated from Weber State University with my Bachelors in K-12 Music Education. I got the chance to be instructed by great minds like Viktor Uzur (known worldwide for the Richter/Uzur Duo) and work along side talented students like Fan Ya Lin (pianist with a professorship at Julliard). This upcoming fall I will be attending the School of Music of University of Washington to get my masters in composition.
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.
There is not one method that fits all students and all styles. Young children and beginners on the guitar need to slowly develop strength and control of finger movements, while still being motivated when they learn how to play along with their favorite songs. Intermediate players often need help to get into a smooth flowing groove, to lock in with a rhythm or to phrase melodies. Advanced players might consider a few hints, tricks and exercises to improve their techniques or apply music theory to a deeper understanding of a music piece.-A major component of student success is continuity which I can provide as a teacher with lesson and practice plans. There will always be a goal to achieve or a project to work on. The lesson plan is the path to a successful project.-I consider myself to be successful as a teacher when a student graduates and moves on. Then they prove that they can apply the skills and techniques they have learned and they continue their journey of music of the music they love and create themselves. -
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At Musika, we recommend that the earliest age at which students start to take guitar lessons is about 6 years old. Students in this age category will start of by learning to play simple tunes on the top strings of the guitar and are recommended to use a half-sized classical guitar with nylon strings. By about 7-8 years old, students will be forming different chords and playing and singing along to their favorite songs. When students get to about 10-12 years old, they may become interested in rock music and decide to learn on a full-sized electric guitar.
Whatever your current ability level, we recommend that students wanting to take guitar lessons have a clear aim in mind. Maybe there is a song you have always wanted to be able to play? Or maybe you want to develop your songwriting skills? Whatever your goals may be, the experienced teachers in our network can help you achieve them with expert knowledge. Whether it be learning to play a sequence of chords, jamming a cool riff, or mastering that guitar solo, developing the required skills and co-ordination can take time. Taking regular lessons and practicing on a daily basis is the best way to achieve your goals.
For younger students, it is recommended that they use a half size, or three-quarter size acoustic guitar. Provided they are able to hold it comfortably, older students may wish to start out on an electric guitar. A reasonable price for a new student model guitar would be between $150 - $200, although for electric guitar players, an amplifier and guitar leads/cables will need to be bought separately at an extra cost. The higher the quality of the instrument, the easier it is to play. This will make learning and playing more enjoyable for the student.
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!
Musika specializes in individually tailored, one-on-one guitar lessons in the comfort of your home. Whether your child learns in the studio or at home, the quality and content of each lesson will remain exactly the same. Home guitar lessons reduce the burden on parents to transport their children and equipment to their lesson, which saves time and money and helps to integrate lessons into busy work schedules. Musika prides itself on creating fun, engaging guitars lessons in an environment that students feel comfortable and familiar with, important conditions for their musical development.
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 Leslyn
Steve is an excellent instructor. My son has really connected with him and he is learning the guitar quickly. Steve is patient and never rushes through a lesson in order to make it fit within the session time limit. In addition, before he leaves, he writes notes and instructions for my son to follow. By the next lesson, my son is confident in what Steve has taught him. Most importantly, Steve builds my son's confidence in his own own ability and progress after each lesson.
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 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 Gillian
Vince is a great drum teacher for my 8 year old son. We go to his house where he has a studio setup with a huge drum set. He has been very patient but really holds my son responsible for learning the right way to play. After about 5 lessons, my son is playing some rhythms on the drums and reading music. He looks forward to his lessons with Vince.
Review by Nancy
Darrell is A-Maz-Ing! He demands results from his students and therefore results come quickly. The time he spends teaching is intense and packed with great instruction. He is a tough teacher but offers lots of valuable instruction that is applicable for music as well as life in general. I highly recommend Darrell if you are ready for results!
Review by Nancy Fritsch
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach.
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 Al
Pavel is doing a great job with my 6 year old son. Pavel is doing a great job helping my son focus on technique and rhythm, which is something previous instructors weren't so successful with. Pavel is organized / structured / systematic, which is what my son needs now, but I hope he relaxes a bit as the lessons continue so that more "joy" comes through.
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