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As a composer and multi-instrumentalist, I have put myself in a position that brings me across an extremely wide and dense variety of music that I've been only too happy to explore. In addition to my long-running classical training with piano, clarinet and composition, I've explored jazz, world, rock, fusion, electronic and avant-garde music through the acquisition of my composition degree and through extensive research and self-teaching with saxophone and guitar. A very important aspect to my enjoyment of all of these pursuits is the degree to which they actually connect and overlap with many other topics and disciplines- science, mathematics, visual art, language and sociology all intersect with music at one point or another. This indiscriminate enthusiasm that I have for all music and all topics is something that I am very excited to share with and impart upon my future students- and that I have every intention of carrying with me into each lesson that I teach.
For beginning students of any age I start out with basic open chords and how to switch between them. We'll eventually try out different picking patterns with these chords and some simple songs that utilize them. For more experienced students I will present some chords and scales and determine what level they are on and take it from there. Once my students have a grasp on some chords and scales I like to have them take turns soloing while the other plays rhythm. This helps to build improvisation skills and apply scales to chords. I always like to teach the student what they are interested in and stick to that style.
I began teaching back in 2001. Mostly to friends and friends of friends which later inspired me to pursue owning a business. I have always loved to teach and interact with all levels of musicians. I have 2yrs of college level Classical guitar performance and study. I also have two years of study with a college Jazz Ensemble. I was an everyday Rock n roller before College and still love to jam on some new or classic rock. My experience with these two very different styles of music has helped me to become a better teacher and musician.
I am passionate about music and its ability to change the lives of its players and listeners, and I aim to inspire this passion in my students by creating a positive, welcoming environment where students feel comfortable to ask questions and make mistakes, and are encouraged to push themselves to be the best players and writers they can be. I work with my students to help them reach their own goals as musicians, and act as a friendly, encouraging support system to aid them in their learning process. After a few months of lessons with me, students can expect to have a clear goal in mind about their music, specific weekly assignments to help them improve in their proficiency of their instrument, and most importantly, a more confident sense of self in their musicianship.
I’ve been playing Guitar and Singing since I was 9 years old. Almost all of this was self-taught until I attended Columbia for Music theory and Composition after high school. There, I was ranked the top rated guitarist on fret-board jury for two semesters in a row, I was an examplary student and began my journey towards becoming and an accomplished pianist. Starting at the age of 12, I founded my first band and have played in a variety of original and cover bands ever since. Included in these experiences was Chicagoland regular rotation play on XRT's local music showcase and an interview on the Flabby Hoffman Show. While attending UIC I even dabbled in theatre, and though I I had little to no experiece as an actor, I achieved a lead role in three out of the four productions I was cast in. Of these four, two were rock musicals, including the Who's "Tommy." As you can see, my whole life is music. I love to teach, perform and compose music. Although I love all these elements of music, I would have to say that my greatest joy comes from seeing my students progress towards becoming accomplished musicians. Whatever your goals may be, I take great pride in helping you attain them.
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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.
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 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.
At Musika, we recommend that adult students looking to start guitar lessons have a clear goal in mind. Whether you are a beginner looking to get started and learn the basics, or an advanced player looking to push their skills that little bit further, the experienced teachers in our network can help you to achieve those goals. It can take several months before you start to see serious progress towards your goals, as you slowly develop the techniques and skills over time. The quickest and most efficient way to achieve your guitar playing goals is to take regular lessons and practice diligently.
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.
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 Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.
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!
Review by Howard
We value Chelsea for the quality of her lessons, but also for the flexibility of her schedule. She has worked around family vacations, impromptu summer camps and the upcoming school year. Emily is better prepared to start middle school band this year due to flute lessons from Chelsea and we plan to continue the lessons for the foreseeable future.
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 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 Nicole V.
"My daughter is 10 years old and has been taking piano lessons with Mr. Dale J. for almost 4 years now. She is progressing nicely. His kind and gentle way make for a very positive learning experience. Mr. Dale J. is encouraging without being harsh or belittling. He is patient and the ideal instructor for my daughter."
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 PJ Williams
My daughter, Valarie is one of the original members of the Enrichment Center Percussion Ensemble under the guidance of Aaron. He patiently worked with Valarie as well as the other five members individually and as a group to produce music that has been shared and enjoyed locally as well as nationally. He has the ability to seek out the strengths of each student while building confidence. Through his teachings, not only had Valarie learned how to produce and enjoy music, but also responsibility and so many life skills for everyday living.
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