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I used customized lesson plans for every student I teach. No two people are alike and no one book can meet the needs and pacing each student requires. With younger students I generally teach them simple power chords and having them playing along to a song within the first lesson. With adults, I identify the roadblocks and create lessons to break out of plateaus. I have an experienced eye for identifiying strategies to take your playing to the next level.
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 have taught private guitar and trombone lessons occasionally since college. I have also been working with high school students in small groups at clinics and while visiting schools since I began studying education. I recently student taught for a total of 17 weeks at Lincoln Center Elementary in South St. Paul and Central High in St. Paul, including classroom music, band and orchestra conducting, and band sectionals. The focus of my teaching has been musical independence. I want my students to be able to play their instruments without a teacher looking over their shoulders, and this means learning good practice habits, practicing good tone, and playing with confidence and joy.
I am primarily an electric guitarist who has a fascination with composing/producing original music of a wide variety of styles. I was born into a musical family; I began taking classical lessons on piano at age six, and later upright bass at eight (guitar being a venture on my own accord that began somewhere in between). Though I consider guitar to be my main instrument, double bass allowed me to achieve considerable success in my high school years. From 2006 to 2010 I sat first chair in the symphonic orchestra at Lees Summit West High School (Lees Summit, MO) and was even a member of the Missouri All-State Orchestra all four years. From 2011 to 2014 I earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Production at the McNally Smith College of Music in Saint Paul, MN. Since then I have had the pleasure of teaching many guitar and bass students of all ages and experience levels, and I hope to continue to do so while I am not composing!
I have passionately studied many styles of guitar playing for 30 years. As a beginner, I enjoyed playing country music and classic rock and roll, and then moved on to classical guitar. For over twenty years, me and my classical guitar played at, coffee houses, restaurants, and music festivals. I also started playing banjo when in high school, as well as the harmonica. I have some skills on piano, but never has formal training. The past ten years I have focused on composition. I have recorded fourteen CD's, and have new material I am composing and recording now.
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Students are able to start taking guitar lessons with Musika at age 6. Students of this age will find it much easier to learn on a half-sized classical guitar with nylon strings, and will start their musical development by learning simple melodies on the top strings. As students advance, they will start to form a range of different chords and learn to play more challenging songs, usually by age 7-8. 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 want to play the electric guitar.
We recommend that older students looking to take up guitar lessons have a clear goal in mind, such as learning some of their favorite songs or learning to write their own compositions. The experienced teachers in our network can help you to develop the necessary skills to attain your musical goals. Learning any instrument can take time, as you will need to develop your co-ordination and muscle memory in order to start playing chords, riffs, and solos. The best and quickest way to learn these fundamental skills is to take regular lessons and practice your guitar playing as often as possible.
Students typically start with the basics, such as how to hold the guitar, how to fret notes with one hand, and how to strum or pluck the strings with the other. The teachers in our network will cover sight reading, guitar chords, and basic music theory. All of which are needed for students to perform and understand the inner-workings of their favorite songs. More advanced students can work on jazz improvisation, classical technique, as well as rock or blues guitar solos.
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 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.
Review by Shelonda
Henry is teaching my daughter how to play piano. Henry is an excellent teacher, we really like and appreciate him. His teaching style works very well for my daughter, she is comfortable which makes learning enjoyable. Henry is very patient and I can see that he is passionate about teaching music. Great teacher for sure.
Review by Lucinda
Melissa is very encouraging, positive, supportive and patient. She knows how to explain the technical details of flute and music notation to kids in a way that makes sense to them. She has been reliable so far turning up on time and calling if there is a need to reschedule. I would definitely recommend her to others.
Review by Tuvana
He is incredibly patient and really customizes his teaching style to the child. Both of my children are learning piano with him; they have learned so much and really enjoy the lessons. In fact, my daughter asked to learn another instrument (guitar) with him and is making great progress with that, too.
Review by John
When I started with Darrell, I didn't know anything bout music. Nothing. We started with basic music theory & moved into scales and reading. It hasn't been very long at all, but my confidence is growing quickly. He does ask a lot from you and he expects you to keep up. But I can honestly say that if you are willing to work hard and spend the time at home doing what he asks, you will see the results. He wants you to succeed and takes pride in watching you grow. If you want it as bad as he does, you will see the result very quickly.
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.
Review by Venessea Gilbert
Rebecca has been super with my son! He is 8yrs old and has mild aspergers. He has never played an instrument before but after one lesson with his teacher he could keep a beat on his drums. She is able to keep his attention and really makes it fun! She is flexible and easy going. I highly recommend her for any lessons. Very nice teacher! Thank you Rebecca for your outstanding service!!
Review by Karl B
“My son and I have been taking lessons with Lynn for 5 or 6 years now. She is very patient with younger students (& older students having "senior moments"). She is also flexible in her lessons in that if we want to work on theory, jazz, rock, blues, she will cater to our requests.” – Karl B., C.P.A., Aug 2015
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 Ryan Piveteau
Amber is personal and cares about her students. She is flexible in her schedule and maintains a professional attitude in her lessons. Her want for her students to succeed makes her excel as a teacher. She is very knowledgeable about music and extremely experienced. Additionally, she includes external activities aside from lessons for the students who wish to advance themselves externally. Really a great teacher who offers great opportunity.
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