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I first taught guitar at the unlikely age of ten. To my surprise, my first student became very proficient very quickly and still plays today. The idea that anyone has the potential to do something well really sold me on teaching. There are standard ways to learn this instrument, but when a reliable method falls short, it's up to a qualified teacher to get their students to achieve their goals. The guitar has a poor reputation as a serious instrument, when it fact it is quite difficult, even physically un-natural to play. Bad habits can not only set you back, but take a great deal of time and effort to un-do, and can even cause physical pain or damage. I can't understate the importance of selecting a guitar teacher who has extensive experience with physical technique, and how it can free the guitarist from sluggish learning, frustration and most musical limits in their playing.
For any student, my primary desire is to see them love what they learn. Rather than teaching to a standardized curriculum and following a textbook, I like spending the first class getting to know the student and why he decided to play the instrument in the first place. I want to learn who his favourite artists are and what inspires him. After that, I can craft an individualized course of study that ensures the student will learn to play in the style that he wants to play. While catering to their specific interests, I also find it very important to spend part of each lesson broadening their musical horizons and introducing them to styles of music/playing they wouldn't generally listen to. This is a great way to enhance musical understanding and gain a deeper appreciation for the diverse musical languages that exist.
The most rewarding part of teaching for me is seeing how much my students have progressed after each lesson. There is nothing more I could ask for than having a student realize that when he/she walked into their first lesson, they had absolutely no idea where to even begin.. but now they can play a whole song (or even a whole album!) I make sure my students are clearly understanding the material we had gone over. This is a very important aspect as the student must understand what he/she is practicing. My lessons always end with an outline of what we covered, how well he/she has covered the passages and what needs improvement. The main vision I have at all times as a teacher is my student satisfying the goals they had before they picked up lessons. I want my students to accomplish their dreams and goals they never thought were possible. For a student to realize what they thought was impossible was now possible to me is a successful student.
I've been teaching guitar lessons for 5 years, starting when college began, and I have 15 years playing experience. I've found that the biggest part of teaching music is understanding what exactly your students want to get out of their lessons and tailoring their lesson plan to their goals and needs. I remember my biggest issue when I was learning: my teachers would just teach me whatever they wanted without actually understanding my goals. For me, that created a lot of boredom and disinterest at times, so I just can't really think of any good reason to avoid that way of doing things. The teacher is the one giving the service, and I personally believe that this specific type of service should be defined by the student and not curated by the teacher! I believe in short, consistent, daily practice times, but I think practice can be useless if it isn't done correctly. One of the most important things in learning an instrument is not only practicing, but knowing HOW to practice.
I am a professional musician and educator in New York City, I love talking about anything related to music, I am constantly challenging myself to learn new things about music and the greatest process to learn more about music is to share it with others. I've arguably learned more from my students over the years than they have from me. I went to Berklee College of Music on a full-ride scholarship, I graduated in 2013 with an honors diploma in music education and performance from the Global Jazz Institute. After Berklee I moved directly to NYC, I have performed extensively with my own band in Europe and the United States and also with other groups as a sideman in Central America, Africa, Europe and across the United States. I have studied and performed closely with many Grammy Award winning and renowned artists such as Danilo Perez, Wayne Shorter, Brian Blade (drummer for norah jones), Ben Stree, John Patitucci and many others.
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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.
For students looking to start learning to play the guitar, we recommend that you do so with a specific goal in mind. This goal may be to learn to play your favorite song, learn to write music, or brush up on your current skills. Whatever your goals may be, the experienced teachers in our network can help you achieve them with their expert knowledge. For beginners, learning to co-ordinate the various new techniques you will be learning can take time, usually a few months. To maximize your progression, there is no better way than regular lessons and practice.
Students are able to start taking guitar lessons with Musika at age 6. For students this young, we recommend that they start off by using a half-sized classical guitar with nylon strings. Students in this age group will start by learning to play simple melodies using the top strings of the guitar, and will be able to progress on to forming chords and playing more advanced songs by the age of 7-8 years old. Students are able to graduate to using a full sized guitar by ages 10-12, and will likely want to learn to play rock on an electric guitar.
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!
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 Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
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 Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
Review by Yury
I would like to thank Polina for the series of classical piano lessons I've taken recently. Polina is a fantastic teacher and a high class performer, and I'm really happy I had a chance to meet her! I believe anyone can benefit from the teaching method Polina is practicing regardless of the student proficiency - from beginners to advanced performers. It was a pleasure for me to study classical piano courses under the guidance of such an intelligent & professional teacher! Without doubt, my playing technique has improved a lot and I have signed up for the new classes online already.
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.
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 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 Roselynbrown
After moving from NY and parting from our amazing piano instructor, we thought we couldn't find a piano teacher close to what we knew. We are happy to say Musika matched us up with someone professional and friendly who enjoys teaching younger students. Thank you! We definitely recommend Kuan as a piano instructor :)
Review by Lea G
Kevin was such a fun, smart and innovative voice teacher to work with. I had the pleasure of taking lessons with him for over a year and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my time under his training. In just a few weeks I noticed my voice was stronger and I was able to apply his teaching and see the results. He explains his techniques in a way that the student is able to actually hear and feel the changes he is referring to. This allows the student to efficiently practice outside of lessons. Even further, he believed in me and truly cared about my progress. He was always energetic and focused in lessons and was continually surprised how far a song could come in just one hour of his time. Under his teaching I developed a stronger belt in my higher range, learned how to color my voice for different sounds and improved my stage presence. I wholeheartedly trust Kevin’s musical insight and was grateful that he challenged me with a wide variety of songs and styles that I hadn’t considered trying before.
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