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I use a mix of method books and my own personalized exercises depending on the student.
I'm a motivated educator and music therapist who has an intense love for music. I want my students to experience the joy that making music can bring! I believe that an early love for music can help motivate students to learn and excel on their instruments. I love working with students of all ages.My primary instrument is voice and I also teach piano, guitar, and ukulele. I excel and enjoy working with students with special needs! Music can do wonders for them and I am uniquely qualified to understand their challenges and needs while taking music lessons because of my work in music therapy.
I began teaching as soon as I felt I had a comfortable grasp on my instrument(s) as a teenager in high school. While in college I briefly stopped teaching but resumed before graduating, and have been teaching in home lessons again since completion. For new students, nothing will help you progress as a musician more than consistent practice; there is no shortcut. But with that consistent practice will come a sense of pride and motivation at what has been accomplished and the desire to continue. Recitals are encouraged but by no means mandatory and I'm always happy to help a student interesting in composing their own work; composition is an extremely rewarding process.
As a teacher, my main goal is to see my students succeed and grow as a musician at their own pace. I focus on improvement and progress. I like to challenge my students with new material every week and new techniques. Even though every week we will be learning new things, I help my students grasp the concepts that I teach before we move to the next step. Nothing is more gratifying than seeing students experience the joy of making music and playing.
For all beginner students, I start with Berklee Music Theory Book 1 and a few selections from one of my Real Books to begin to apply some theory techniques. Once I feel that the student has a firm understanding of fundamentals of theory I usually have the student select one piece from the Real Book selections and we then begin working on playing the piece as well as analyzing the piece. A synthesis of performance and analysis is one of my core philosophies with all my lessons. For more advanced students, I usually either have them select a piece of music they wish to learn or assign a piece I find to be most useful and challenging based upon their ability.
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At Musika, we offer guitar lessons to students as young as 6 years of age. Students in this age category will start off by learning to play simple tunes on the top strings of the guitar. It is most comfortable for students of this age to start off by playing a half sized acoustic guitar with nylon strings. By about 7-8 years old, students will be forming different chords and playing along to their favorite songs. When students get to about 10-12 years old, they may become interested in a specific genre (usually rock) and decide to learn on a full-sized electric guitar.
Young students will benefit by starting off playing on a half size or three-quarter size acoustic guitar. If an older student finds it comfortable enough to do so, they may wish to begin playing on an electric guitar. There are many different student model guitars, which can be purchased for between $150-$200. Additional costs will be incurred for those wanting to play electric guitar, as amplification and cables will need to be bought. Consider that higher quality instruments are easier to play, and will increase the chances of the student liking it.
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.
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!
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.
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 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 Marcia Hecht
Karleen has really turned it around for me. My previous teacher (not from Musika) had me feeling anxious, upset, and incapable...NOT the desired result! Karleen's method is clear, appropriate for my beginning level, and (best of all) actually lets me achieve some progress! I'm actually looking forward to my lessons now!
Review by Pat
Henry has been a great piano teacher since I started lessons about a month ago, and he is helping me realize a lifelong dream. He is patient, plays beautifully, is easy to learn from and a very nice person. I took lessons as a child for a year or so, but never followed up over the years. I always said that I would once I retired and found the right instructor. That time is now. Thank you Henry and Musika!
Review by Julie Buranelli
My daughter really enjoys her lessons with Pavel. She is an absolute beginner and Pavel is right with her as she learns the basics. She is completely engaged and always looks forward to her lesson. He packs a lot of learning into their 30 minute time slot - he gets right to it as soon as he walks in the door! He is a great teacher - we highly recommend!
Review by Violetking
Bill has been a great teacher for both my 6 yr. old and my 8 yr. old. He is always on time, keeps them engaged, and gives them just enough of a challenge for the next week. They are both beginners, but I am surprised by how much they already know after just a month or so of lessons. Both kids are practicing willingly and look forward to lesson.
Review by Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
Review by Vanessa
Eduard is an amazing teacher. (Coming from someone who previously knew the basics of playing and music.) He is not to harsh with his words and is extremely nice. Eduard has a great amout of experience and displays it through his teachings. Specifically by making it easy to follow along with his words to actions. As a person with a wondering mind whom is distracted easily, it is easy to pay attention.
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.
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