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I like to divide my lessons in two parts: first we address the most formal aspects of the lesson, most of the times using a method book or given hand-outs or whatever relevant material was suggested to the student; the remainder of the lesson is dedicated to work on the student´s choice of a song or anything less formal suggested by myself. This scheme for lessons might be different regarding the level and commitment of the student, but it is in general the outline I use. There are a few books that I like to use (Alfred Guitar Method, Berklee Guitar Method, and others), because I think they are a great tool and guideline to complement my own notes. I expect the student to have a notebook with staffed paper where I can write the lesson´s summary and topics to be practiced.
I use what some have called the “target approach.” With this method you are working on one concept at a time, and you should always have one concept in mind while you practice. Some examples of beginning concepts are 1) keeping a steady beat, 2) sound quality, or 3) smooth finger technique. In one practice session using the “target approach” you may spend 10 minutes on target 1) and 15 minutes on target 2). What is important, however, is that you continue to work on a target every day until you find yourself performing that single concept flawlessly and effortlessly. When you find yourself day dreaming while playing a concept perfectly, you know you have hit your target!
Fun and Focused
I have been taught guitar by ten different teachers and understand a wide variety of styles as a result. I am two semesters away from graduating William Paterson University with a Music Studies degree, primarily focused in music theory. Though I have spent many hours working very hard at my instrument, I consider myself primarily a songwriter and producer and spend much of my time writing songs for my band or engineering and producing albums for other artists. I personally believe that looking at music of any genre from this perspective allows me to be a more effective teacher.
About 10 years ago I took a brief break from touring and, at a friends insistence, took on a few students. The excitement I would feel as I watched them go from absolute beginners to being proficient and, in some cases, performers themselves is indescribable. I have taught all ages from 6 to giving pro players a few tips and helping them brush up on their techniques. Any opppurtunity to share my knowledge with someone else is always relished. With younger kids I try to focus on keeping things fun and light. We'll learn basic chords and current pop songs depending on their level. With my more intermediate and experienced students I focus more on theory and technique. I believe I have something to offer anyone of any skill level.
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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.
Students can start taking their lessons as young as 6 years old with a half size classical guitar (with nylon strings) by playing simple melodies on the top strings. Every child learns and develops at their own pace, but by age 7-8, students will be forming and playing various guitar chords and learning simple songs that they can sing along to. Older students will graduate to being able to comfortably handle a full size guitar around the ages of 10-12, which is when many students become more interested in learning rock guitar and want to get an electric model.
At Musika, we suggest that adult learners begin their guitar lessons with a clear and achievable goal to work towards. For beginners, this might be to learn to play a few of their favorite songs, or maybe to develop their own compositional skills! Advanced players may have a specific technique they wish to improve or to take their general playing to the next level. Learning to play the guitar can take time, and it may take months before you start to realize your goals. With regular lessons and practice, the teachers in our network can ensure you achieve those goals.
Younger students who are just starting their guitars lessons will find it much easier to play on a half size or three-quarter sized acoustic guitar. Playing on an electric guitar may be an alternative option for older students, so long as they find gripping the guitar to be comfortable. Brand new student model guitars can be purchased for around the $150 - $200 price range. Electric guitar players will need to invest in an amplifier and guitar cables, which will generate additional costs. Higher quality instruments are often easier to play than their cheaper counterparts, which will impact positively on the enjoyment and progression of playing the instrument for students.
Save time by having a teacher come to your home! No need to pack up and transport your guitar between lessons, and no need to guzzle gas either. The instructors in our network provide a private, customized one-on-one lesson for each student. Your home will also be both a comfortable and safe environment for your lessons.
Review by Ericcharlton
Rahsaan is an extremely talented player who relates really well with my teenagers. He has them both interested in learning. Given Rahsaan's expertise, it's clear that even though they are beginners now, they can learn from him for a long time to come. He's a real nice laid-back guy and both the boys really enjoy their time with him. I've been very impressed and pleased with the experience.
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 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 Maurice Romero
This is the 1st time I've ever taken lessons, and Robert has been a pleasure to work with. I've made quick progress and have enjoyed the process. I'm always listening for those tips that you can't find in a book. I can count on Robert to be strict on the fundamentals and am clear it will make a difference in the long run.
Review by Kaleen Todoroff
Noel is amazing. She is helping me to work toward my vocal goals for auditions to several musical theaters. She has helped me choose strong audition pieces and is teaching excellent ways to get the sound I need in a safe and healthy way. She works outside our lessons on new warm ups and new music pieces. She is the best.
Review by Susan
My daughter is extremely happy and comfortable with Rachel, and looks forward to her piano lessons every week. She is a very kind and patient teacher, always using positive reenforcement with my daughter, which makes all the difference in the world to children. We definitely are looking forward to continued piano lessons with her. So glad we found her.
Review by Anita
Our daughter has only been playing the piano since March. Tony replaced our other teacher who had a job transfer and could no longer teach. Tony is fun and encouraging. My daughter is playing Taylor Swift and Christmas songs and is playing the piano more than ever before. Very happy so far with Mr Tony
Review by Chrystal
I was skeptical at first not knowing what I was getting my self into.. I am very happy that I forced myself to get into voice lessons because Eli is an awsome voice coach.. Very skillful and he helps you reach the goal you are trying to reach.. He is also very helpful with getting you to open up and come out of your shell and being heard.. I would and I already have recommended friends and family to sign up with Eli if they're serious about singing..
Review by Natalie Kretcher
I really like her. And as an adult student, a good teacher who keeps the pace up but still keeps it reasonable in terms of difficulty is really hard to find. She does a great job of explaining little detail things in terms I (as a musically challenged human) can understand. I'm having a blast! 10/10 would recommend!
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