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When not gigging I am a fulltime guitar/bass instructor. For the last five years I have dedicated myself to teaching up and coming rock stars at the Minnesota School of Rock. I have taken students from guitar infancy to opening for 311 and The Offspring on the main stage of the 2010 Taste of Minnesota. My students regularly gig around the Twin Cities and can hold their own with musicians twice their age (and sometimes height!). Gaining confidence through experience is a top priority. I believe that having skills but not using them kills a students desire to learn.
One of the best things about teaching is seeing how much of an impact music can have on a student. One thing that really motivates me as a teacher is pushing for that moment when a student has accomplished something that they might feel to be impossible. As a past student I clearly remember the great feeling of accomplishment and pride I had when my teachers were encouraging and gave me enthusiastic compliments on my playing. More than anyone, my teacher’s opinion really mattered to me and I never hesitate to give a pat on the back to good effort and accomplishment.
I'm a multi-instrumentalist with a very wide range of musical experience. I graduated from Augsburg College in 2006 and have performed professionally on guitar, bass, drums, trombone, and tuba. From 2007 to 2009, I performed on Carnival Cruise Lines as a jazz and pop trombonist. Beginning in 2009, I participated in Twin Cities theater productions as a singer, actor, and musical director. In 2013, I went back to Augsburg to pursue a master's degree in education, including a graduate-level recital on trombone, and this spring I will be licensed as a K-12 music teacher in Minnesota. I have most recently been playing guitar and trombone with local Somali artists.
I've been teaching on some sort of basis since my senior year of high school, when I spent a semester helping the middle school I had previously attended with an upright bass after school program. After high school, my focus was primarily on getting through college, so I taught lessons here and there but not anywhere near full time. When I earned my degree, however, I had some time to begin taking on students on a more regular basis. I'd teach close friends, friends of other family members, and it was then that I began to realize how rewarding teaching can be. When I finally became employed as a teacher at the beginning of 2015, having up to 20 students per week, it became even more clear to me that I could really have been finding some sort of a calling. Very few things feel as amazing as watching another's excitement unfold as he or she makes apparent progress on his or her instrument. My biggest goal is to to help facilitate this kind of progress in the smoothest, most enjoyable way.
If the student is novice, I usually start with basics in music and guitar: meaning of rhythm, beat, chords, strumming, posture, etc. I always demonstrate the possibilities and potential of guitar to students and then ask them if there is a specific style they are interested in. For younger students the best way is to have as much as possible fun and learn through the games and play. For intermediate and advanced students I spend more time on details such as interpretation, licks, style, etc, depending on what their goal is. There are a lot of good method books on the market, so I recommend a few options. In most cases, I teach a "fusion method" where I combine chords, strumming, basic finger-style and theory (scales, intervals, position of notes on the fret-board, etc). This method help student to become more versatile and learn to play many genres of music.
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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.
Most children will start out by playing simple songs on one or two strings, before moving on to play chords. Students will start to learn to read music immediately but will also learn chord charts so they can start learning their favorite songs. Students can learn classical guitar from a young age - preliminary skills are very similar regardless of the style being taught.
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.
A half size (or three-quarter size) acoustic guitar is highly recommended for younger students. For older students, an electric guitar may be suitable, provided they can hold it correctly and with comfort. A good student model guitar can be obtained brand new for about $150 to $200. Electric guitar players will also need an amplifier as well as guitar cables, which will cost extra. Generally speaking, the higher the quality of the instrument, the easier it is to play. The ease of which an instrument plays is particularly important for young learners, as they will take to it quicker and enjoy their playing and practice more.
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.
Review by Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
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 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 Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
Review by Ruslan
She is the most amazing teacher ever. She is not only w great teacher but she's so fun to work with. She has taught me so many things in such little amount of time things I didn't even know I could do. I recommend Andrea to everyone. She is an amazing singer and cares a lot about her students. She's the best!!
Review by Stan
My two daughters wanted to study piano fore some time now and just recently I found Musikalessons website and teacher Milica. I can only say that my daughters are very happy with their piano lessons and simply adore Milica. They already made a great progress and we're all happy with what they learned in this short period. Thank you Musikalessons and Milica.
Review by Jonathan
Angela is a phenomenal teacher. She is full of charisma and is a joy to work with. Most of my experience with her has been focused on working in the Alexander Technique and she seems very knowledgeable in this study. I would highly recommend her to any prospective student. I have seen myself improve dramatically in a few short weeks with her guidance (and much practice of course!)
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 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!
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