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I usually spend half the lesson working on music essentials: i.e. reading, improvisation, ear training, and the other half working on the student's favorite music. I always make audition and performance material a priority.
In regards to teaching style, I am persistant with practice, while understanding of ability. This is a method that is applied by setting goals and following a sort of direction that introduces and builds upon ideas, all while taking the student's progress and aptitude into account. I often try to balance out the harder, sometimes tedious work of technique and theory with songs that the student requests or shows interest in playing. I still push for a varied repertoire that informs while improving upon technique and knowledge.
My experience as an educator is from just teaching private lessons and running jazz combos for the past 5 years. I have always felt that being a well trained musician is the most importatnt part about being a teacher. You need to be well versed at your craft to convey what you want to your students. This is the preperation all teachers should hold themselves to. Personally, I play reguraly with groups such as: EBE LA Starz, Swift Technique, The Phonies, Whoaphat BrassBand, etc. I also perform with my own original jazz group in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area. I also write quite a bit which keeps me busy. I think teaching is what motivates me to do all this, so that I can be the best teacher I possibly can!
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.
I was taught primarily in the William Leavitt method, and use these resources to introduce students to the basics of sight-reading, theory, and technique. My personal preference is not to adhere too strictly to any one method however, instead focusing on the application of theory within a more active musical context. Improvisation is extremely important to developing a working understanding of music in my opinion, and much of my lessons are based in actively performing progressions with students, focusing on both comping and soloing. I use jazz standards from the Real Book to enhance improvisation skills.
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Young students are encouraged to start their guitar lessons by playing half size or three-quarter size acoustic guitars. Using an electric guitar is a viable alternative for older students who are able to hold the instrument with comfort. A student model guitar bought from new will cost in the vicinity of $150 - $200. For electric guitar players, amplification and guitar cables are required, which will need to be purchased at an additional cost. As a general rule, the higher the quality of the instrument, the easier it is to play. This is important as it affords the student the best possible chance of enjoying playing and learning the guitar.
Need to save time because of your busy schedule? Why not try in-home guitar lessons? A qualified instructor in our network can travel to you and provide excellent quality instruction in the comfort and convenience of your own home.
Students typically start with the basics, such as how to hold the guitar, how to fret notes with one hand, and how to strum or pluck the strings with the other. The teachers in our network will cover sight reading, guitar chords, and basic music theory. All of which are needed for students to perform and understand the inner-workings of their favorite songs. More advanced students can work on jazz improvisation, classical technique, as well as rock or blues guitar solos.
The earliest recommended age that students can start their guitar lessons is 6 years old. At this age, students will find it easiest to play a half-sized classical guitar with nylon strings, and will learn how to play simple melodies on the top strings of the guitar. Students can begin to form chords, as well as play and sing along to songs, by about ages 7 to 8. When students get to the ages of 10-12, they should be able to comfortably handle a full-sized guitar. At this point, they may acquire a taste for rock music and want to progress to the electric guitar.
For adults who are looking to learn to play the guitar, we recommend that they do so with some clear goals in mind. Maybe you want to learn to play some of your favorite songs, join a band, or write your own music? Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. It can take time, often months, to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the guitar at a competent level. The most effective way to progress with your playing is to take regular lessons and practice often.
Review by John
When I started with Darrell, I didn't know anything bout music. Nothing. We started with basic music theory & moved into scales and reading. It hasn't been very long at all, but my confidence is growing quickly. He does ask a lot from you and he expects you to keep up. But I can honestly say that if you are willing to work hard and spend the time at home doing what he asks, you will see the results. He wants you to succeed and takes pride in watching you grow. If you want it as bad as he does, you will see the result very quickly.
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 Al
Pavel is doing a great job with my 6 year old son. Pavel is doing a great job helping my son focus on technique and rhythm, which is something previous instructors weren't so successful with. Pavel is organized / structured / systematic, which is what my son needs now, but I hope he relaxes a bit as the lessons continue so that more "joy" comes through.
Review by Terri
Caitlyn is friendly, helpful and still holds my high-school aged daughter accountable for practicing. She also makes sure the music technique is mastered correctly during the lessons - they work hard and still have a good time together. I can highly recommend her as a flute teacher. My daughter is very happy & grateful to have found Caitlyn as a teacher.
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 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 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 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 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.
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