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For beginners, I use Rebecca Simonfalvi's called "Potential Contender." It is geared for young children starting out in band. For adults, I generally move between Trevor Wye's "Beginners book for the flute" or the Rubank Elementary Method. If needed, especially with the young, I generally have my students take notes of lessons. I also teach basic theory to give students a deeper understanding of the music. For the advanced student, the focus becomes about fine-tuning fundamentals, and learning repertoire that will propel them forward to the next level.
Sound is the most important aspect of trumpet playing, and the good thing is you can practice pretty much anything and still focus on your sound. For beginners I usually supplement their beginner band book with some simple drills from Schlossberg's Daily Drills or some I wrote myself. The Clarke's Technical Studies and Arban's Complete Conservatory Method are great books as well that I use with most of my intermediate/advanced students. A few other etude books I useinclude the Getchell's Practical Studies, Hering's 40 Progressive Etudes, and Bousquet's 36 Celebrated Studies.
I have been playing viola for almost 20 years and each day I grow more and more passionate for my instrument. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and began my musical studies on viola at the age 4. I graduated from Baylor University in 2013. While at Baylor University I was Principal of the Baylor Symphony and played with the Waco Symphony, Brazos Valley Symphony, and the San Angelo Symphony orchestras. I now attend the University of Maryland pursing my Masters degree in Viola Performance.
For the beginners, hold a correct gesture, good hand position, or firm embouchure, and air support are some of the main requirements. When the students start to learn, adding up more etude books, like Rubank Method, Rose Etude, Kell, Thompson, Byer, Just the Fact, Sonata, Concertos, Etudes...., and music from different genre would be presented at different timings. During the lessons, fine hand positions, great tone quality, good embouchure, fine posture and position would be the fundamental requirements and will be reminded at all time. Making progress in technique, playing habit, and also looking for fun in playing are what we will have between start and end of the lessons.
I have always had a deep appreciation for music. This led me to learn to play piano, beginning at age 5. By age 7, I was writing pieces of my own. In highschool, I found that I enjoyed teaching piano to others. After college, I opened my own business, which I ran from the end of my first deployment, until the beginning of my second deployment (I am a National Guardsman), called CMPPC. My primary source of income in this business was as a piano tutor.
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Music helps develop a well rounded person. As a result of taking lessons, students develop a deeper appreciation of many types of music and the arts in general. Additionally, it has been proven that they also tend to score higher on language, maths, and science tests.
Review by Jane A.
I started taking voice lessons from Ali when I was 19 and a sophomore in college. Though I was hesitant to be starting "late", I felt very comfortable with Ali and her teaching style. We identified several key issues that really made a difference and improved my voice technique. It was fun to sing popular, beautiful songs in our recital! If only I lived in Los Angeles, I would still be a student. Highly recommended!
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 Kristin
Ted S. is teaching clarinet to one of my children, and piano to two others. He is extremely knowledgeable, and very encouraging. His teaching methods are keeping my children enthused about their lessons, and without that, you have nothing. Two of my children were taking piano lesson from another teacher for the past year, and not progressing. Ted has been able to evaluate their skills individually, determine what was missing in their music education, and begin again with some early basics they seem to have missed. I am convinced we are finally moving forward, and am very happy about that. I wish I would have made this change much earlier.
Review by Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
Review by Karl B
“My son and I have been taking lessons with Lynn for 5 or 6 years now. She is very patient with younger students (& older students having "senior moments"). She is also flexible in her lessons in that if we want to work on theory, jazz, rock, blues, she will cater to our requests.” – Karl B., C.P.A., Aug 2015
Review by Heather Berest
I started my 5 yr old daughter with Karleen this Fall. Karleen has a calm and honest disposition. My daughter adores her and cannot wait for her arrival. I was concerned because my daughter is not so willing to "practice" during the week. Karleen advised me to allow her habits of practicing to evolve naturally as her love and understanding of piano increases. She emphasized how nurturing my daughter's love of music is most important. This was music to my ears :)
Review by Howard
We value Chelsea for the quality of her lessons, but also for the flexibility of her schedule. She has worked around family vacations, impromptu summer camps and the upcoming school year. Emily is better prepared to start middle school band this year due to flute lessons from Chelsea and we plan to continue the lessons for the foreseeable future.
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 Paula Chacon
I've always said, "It's all about the teacher." That skillful, effective teacher who can reach that child and ignite her passion, is truly a gift. Ric does that for my daughter. As a former music teacher myself, the most challenging thing in working with children is how to build their fundamental musical skills while letting them have fun and be expressive. The teacher must create a safe, supportive environment, and Ric does that. Ric immediately focuses on fundamentals of tone and technique, giving my daughter succinct instruction on how to improve, thus she can sense the improvement immediately. Ric seems extremely easy going; even when lighting a fire under her sometimes under-achieving butt, Ric never criticizes, judges or blames. He works with my child, understanding her, helping her problem solve, and even giving her the quick answer sometimes so she can move quickly and stay motivated. Ric balances fundamentals with fun and expressiveness, so my child feels as though she can 'play' and they truly make music in every lesson. I am thankful we found a good match with Ric.
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