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Since high school, I have taught music lessons off and on. I was awarded Most Outstanding Band Member at Atascadero High School in 1980 (clarinet). I achieved a perfect score on the final exam of my Music Theory course at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1982. In 2002, I combined my passion for music with my expertise in brain science and education. I served as the music teacher in a small, alternative elementary school for 7 years, and also taught group piano and guitar in after-school programs, and summer camps. I began offering music lessons full-time in 2003. I love making music with all kinds of people, but I now specialize in gifted and twice-exceptional children, adults who are re-starting an instrument after many years, family lessons in which each member has different a learning need or even a different instrument, and facilitating interactive musical events (such as community sing-alongs, drum circles, and eclectic ensemble performances.)
I believe that a teachers job is to pass on the joy and power of music. In order to do that however the technical execution of music must be easy. Through repertoire and exercises I emphasize a sound technical and mental approach so that playing the guitar is easy, fun, and a form of self expression.
Getting to know my students is what ultimately shapes my teaching style. I keep a positive attitude and use specific feedback as motivation.
I believe in Keeping it Fun! We get to play. Playing is a big part of the creative process, in that it involves experimenting and finding new ideas, thoughts, and processes that work best for each individual and that will lead to the perfect practice and the excitement of performance. When a student is ready, I will encourage them to do some suggested performing opportunities. Nothing is more thrilling to me and sometimes emotional, than to see one of my students progress to the point of loving music as much as I do, and to go on and spread the good to all those who will listen.
Teaching is my favorite thing to do. To help someone grow in their ability to play is really rewarding. I ask the student questions about what they want to learn and structure the lessons around that as well as give them information so they can converse intelligently with other players. The confidence a student gains as they work hard on a challenging assignment and truly get it - this will help them throughout life no matter what they may pursue. For Bass and Guitar students I have written a progressive theory "test" which does 2 things - it tells me what the student knows and it serves as a guide in future lessons. Some theory instruction goes along with whatever playing instruction the student is working on. For Drum students I stick to the aspects of theory that pertain to the drums - meter signatures, note values etc. If a drummer wants to learn more then I can work with him on it.
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At Musika, the teachers in our network create lesson plans that are specifically customized to meet the needs of each individual student. These experienced teachers can develop the skills of a complete beginner, or help to take an advanced players skills to the next level. Students can expect to learn such things as how to correctly hold the guitar, learning the notes on the fret board, and how to tune their instrument. Students will also learn techniques such as fretting, fingering and strumming, and will learn to play various scales and chords, such as open chords, power chords, and barre chords. They will learn how to combine these elements of guitar playing to create or cover complete compositions, as well as learning music theory and how to read music. Last but not least, teachers will help students to realize the joys and fun that learning to play the guitar can bring!
For young beginner students, it is recommended that they start their guitar lessons by playing on a half or three-quarter sized acoustic guitar. If they can do so comfortably, older students may like to start off with a full-sized acoustic or electric guitar. There are a variety of different student model guitars available that from new, will cost between $150 - $200. This price does not include the costs of amplification or guitar cables, which will also need to be purchased for those wanting to play electric guitar. Students are more likely to have fun learning the guitar if they find it easy to play. Consider purchasing the highest quality instrument possible as these often feel nicer to use and are easier to play.
At Musika, we recommend that adult students looking to start guitar lessons have a clear goal in mind. Whether your goal is to learn to play your favorite song, write your own music, develop a certain technique, or join a band, the experienced teachers in our network can help you make those goals a reality! It can take time, often months, to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the guitar to a good level. The best and quickest way to learn the fundamental skills is to take regular lessons and practice your guitar playing as often as possible.
Using a half sized classical guitar with nylon strings, students can start to play guitar at age 6. A half sized guitar is easier to hold, and the nylon strings are softer on the fingers than steel strings. At this age, students will learn simple songs on the top strings. Around the age of 7 or 8, students are able to progress to playing chords. By age 10-12, students can graduate to playing a full sized guitar. Often at this age, students want to learn to play various rock music, and will therefore want to play the electric guitar.
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 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 Andy Snyder
Giorgi has made learning cello even more fun. From the sympathetic, "It is hard" to the precise, "Be careful about the curve of the thumb" he has strengthened learning in every lesson, without being overwhelming. He started playing a little duet on only the 3rd lesson or so, which made me feel, even as a beginner, that I'm already starting to make (occasionally screachy) music. He has suggested a variety of drills and practice techniques which have also sped up the process a lot. And he has a good sense of humor and surprising amount of patience.
Review by Travis Dalenberg
Travis is the greatest. He knows his music and how to teach it. He gives you time to learn, but will not allow student time to get lazy. I know he teaches all age groups. Young pre-teens to us old folks 78 years young. I have been taking lessons from him since early December 2014. He is a true professional. You can't go wrong with him.
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 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 James F.
After my first piano lesson, Polina is easily the best teacher I could have hoped for. Extremely charismatic and excited to help YOU learn the piano. She puts a lot of effort into evaluation your learning style and will no doubt help you make tremendous strides! I'm stoked to continue taking lessons!
Review by Jermain
Mrs. Regnarene is an awesome teacher!!! She found musical aids that appealed to my 5 year old daughter and used them to help teach her piano. She has a lot of patience and I could tell she puts in the work before class to have a lesson ready for my daughter. She is always punctual, friendly and respectful. I would recommend her to any parents who want to start their kids off with a good foundation in piano. Jermain T. Riverview, FL
Review by Michelle S.
"My daughter has been a student with Mark for over a year. She has come so far and has learned so much in such a short time. Mark is extremely talented and knowledgeable. He is very serious, patient and super nice. If your child or if you really WANT to learn the drums, then I highly recommend Mark. He is our third instructor and the best one yet! You will not be disappointed." Michelle S.
Review by Gisellesoldati
Cory is simply the greatest instructor ever! His 30 year plus teaching experience along with his knowledge of ever longer in music composition and performance make a real difference if you're in for learning the right way. Thank you Cory for teaching me not only the chords but also the history behind it and awesome tricks on getting better faster ;)
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