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Cello is my main instrument, but I have also been teaching piano, guitar, and violin for years. I love teaching and the variety of finding the approach that works best for each individual student. On a personal note, I was married in 2010 and had my first child, a boy, a year later. I live in Northfield but commute up to the Eden Prairie/Chanhassen area for lessons every Monday. I am also open to giving lessons at people's homes who are close to Highway 35 on the way to or from the Cities.
I am a passionate instructor who brings real life playing experience to every lesson. I have been playing bass and guitar since I was six years old. I have played classical, jazz, rock, reggae, and funk music on stages around the world. Currently I can be found gigging several nights a week around the Minneapolis area's finest venues, such as: the Fine Line, Famous Daves, and the Dakota. Wether it is jazz bass in a classy venue, or greasy guitar lines in a dancehall, I bring passion and joy to every note played.
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 am very passionate about music, both listening and performing. I perform regularly around the Twin Cities and the midwest. I recently received my Bachelors degree from Winona State University in Music Business and Jazz studies. I have toured with various groups and recorded several albums. I am constantly learning new things on the guitar and mandolin. I am classically trained but also study various forms of popular music. I am proficient in Jazz, Blues, Rock, Funk, and Bluegrass styles but not limited to those.
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!
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Students can start as young as age 6 with a half size classical guitar (nylon strings), by playing simple songs on the top strings. Most students are able to form chords by age 7 or 8, and begin learning how to play and sing along with their favorite songs. Older students will graduate to being able to handle a full size guitar around ages 10-12, which is when many students become interested in learning rock guitar and want to get an electric.
We have many adult students taking guitar lessons for the first time. Guitar lessons for adults are tailor made for your own needs and skill level. After a few weeks, you will increase your finger dexterity and hand strength, which will help you achieve your musical goals.
Musika offers customized one-on-one music lessons at your home - a time saving solution for busy parents and students. The convenience of in-home guitar lessons allows you to save time without having to transport your child to class, allows your child to maximize their busy schedule, and provides a safe and familiar environment in which to learn.
It is recommended that young students begin by learning on smaller, half or three-quarter sized guitars. For older students, they may want to start off on an electric guitar, but only if they find it comfortable enough to hold and play. For $150 - $200, a brand new student model guitar can purchased. However, this price does not include the cost of buying an amplifier or guitar leads, which are essential for an electric guitar player. Consider buying the highest quality instrument your budget will permit, as the better the quality, the easier the instrument will be to play. This makes learning and playing much more enjoyable for the student, and will therefore help them to progress quicker.
Our guitar students will typically learn how to hold, tune, and familiarize themselves with the components and notes of the guitar, basic playing techniques such as fretting, fingering, and strumming, and learn the various chord-types that they will need in order to play their favorite songs, such as power chords, open chords, and barre chords. Students will also get to learn music theory, and will cover aspects such as reading music, learning different scales, and how to apply these different elements together as part of a full composition. Students will learn the theory and techniques that underlie a wide range of musical genres, and will have fun developing their guitar playing during their lessons. Eventually, students will get to enjoy learning and playing along to their favorite songs!
Review by Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
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 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 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 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 Jeff N.
Travis is an extremely knowledgeable guitarist and teacher. Travis is equally comfortable in playing/teaching jazz, rock, blues, or classical styles. I really like the way he explains things and he has the ability to make difficult material seem simpler. Travis is very likeable, enthusiastic, and always very professional. I think Travis would be great teaching either children or adults because he's very patient. My learning experience with Travis has been outstanding. He taught me some great techniques for chord substitution and for soloing. I'll continue to work with Travis because he inspires me to be a better guitarist. I think he could really help me with composing because he writes some great songs too! Thanks Travis!
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 Wendy
Bill has been great with my 2 young children (age 3 & 6). He has integrated games into the lessons - they have enjoyed showing us how to play the games when it is time to practice piano. Bill has been easy to contact and rescheduling has not been a problem if we have a conflict at our regular lesson time.
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.