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I love people. I love music. I delight in delving into the riches of different musical cultures and expressions, and to pass on what I know. I have performed all over Germany, in Switzerland, Israel, in Pennsylvania, Ohio, NYC, and Canada, both as a soloist and as a member of the German Klezmer Quartet “Sing Your Soul“, of the Ortner-Roberts Duo with pianist Tom Roberts, and the klezmer duo Klez&Morim with Bulgarian accordionist Vladimir Mollov. I also collaborate with US jazz musicians such as guitarist John Marcinizyn (Pittsburgh), trumpeter Charlie Caranicas (NYC), drummer Tom Elrick, drummer Roger Humphries (Pittsburgh), as well as multi-instrumentalist Vince Giordano (NYC). I am a serious researcher of Eastern European music, and offer Klezmer Workshops. Besides master classes and lectures at the University of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne University, I instructed the klezmer band at the Agency for Jewish Learning, was the interim director of the Carpathian Ensemble at The University of Pittsburgh, and have been coaching the CMU/Hillel klezmer band. I currently holds an adjunct teaching position at Washington & Jefferson College. I have arranged and composed music for many theatrical productions including “Mazel” by Amy Hartman (Jewish Theatre Pittsburgh), and “Our Class” by Tadeusz Slobodzianek (Pittsburgh Irish And Classical Theatre). I appear on several CDs, including “A Trip To America” and “Hot World Chamber Music” (Ortner-Roberts Duo), “A Tribute to Teenie Harris” (Manchester Craftsmen’s Guilde), “Khosn Kale Mazl-Tov” (Sing Your Soul), and have done book and film projects. I am also the subject of the recent book “Living the Dream” – Für die Musik nach Amerika” (Wissner Verlag Augsburg, 2011), written by German Television journalist Helge Fuhst.
I have been teachng music since I was in high school. Often working with younger students to help them in audition materials, I was given the opportunity to try out excercises and techniques for helping young singers develop their voices. As I went through college I continued to work with students but also began my interactions with adult students. My experiences as a music student in a Conservatory setting gave me the the priveledge of experiencing excellent teachers interacting with great students. I was inspired by my teachers to help my future student reach their fullest potential. Since graduating I have sung with multiple a capella groups, continued to teach, and have sung with the Pittsburgh Opera Company. I am excited to begin working with you to reach your goals!
My teaching experience dates all the way back to highschool when I was in charge of coaching the flute section on difficult parts as section leader in wind ensemble. During college, I took on my first private students, and I have now been teaching flute, piano, and violin in the greater Pittsburgh area for four years now. My teaching locations have included Batavia Studios in Mars, PA and Waddell's Music Center in Wexford, PA. At both of these locations, I have welcomed students from ages 4 to 60 and gained experience teaching piano, flute, violin, and music theory.
For my beginning students, I teach the INstrument first. What each knob does, the names of the strings and the names of every note on the Bass/Guitar/Keyboard.The Major and Minor scales come next but examples of each are played for the student so that the color of the scales become familiar. I teach how to communicate with other musicians. Charts, Tabs and Nashville number systems are included. A full knowledge of the instrument and how it is used and played is my goal for each student. Keeping their individual gifts and approaches to the instrument must be recognized and enhanced.
I believe that the first step to singing is confidence. Therefore, I focus on building up my students confidence and knowledge to give them the ability to face performances and auditions. I love working with students of all ages and it is extremely rewarding to watch them flourish as the months go by. Having a classical background will prepare you for any type of music you'd like to play down the road, so I believe in teaching the basics first and then encouraging my students to branch out, according to their own interests. I take an individual approach to each student and each lesson. Every time I see you, we'll review and then take a step forward. I strongly believe in going at the right pace for you and your goals.
Since We Started
Cities with Students
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Once you’ve met with your teacher for your risk free trial lesson, continuing with Musika is easy! If you are satisfied with your lesson, all you have to do is register with us to continue! The trial will count as your first lesson if you continue, however, with our Great Match Guarantee™ if for any reason you decide not to continue then the trial is FREE. Go ahead give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.
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Background checks available on instructors. Instructor can opt to have a background check on file. You can request to only be connected with teachers that have a check. The choice is yours.
Studying music facilitates learning in other subjects such as math and English, helps promote language development, and can even possibly result in increased IQ! Musical activity can also involve a high level of hand-eye coordination and can improve a student's spatial temporal skills while giving them a skill they can have for the rest of their lives. It's important to remember that the biggest benefit of studying music is the development of a lifetime love of diverse types of music.
In home lessons are a convenient option for improving your musical skills, and are virtually the same in every aspect as lessons taught in a studio. Lessons are usually taught once a week and significant progress can be made in a short time. Of course, teachers will suggest that students practice every day for the best results.
Musika understands that students want to feel safe before having a teacher come into their home, or before going to a teachers studio. Therefore, Musika hand screens all teachers and performs background checks using Intellicorp, a leading provider of screening solutions.
Musika offers every student a risk free trial lesson to make sure you are comfortable with the teacher. The trial is a chance to meet the teacher, experience their lesson style, and to start planning a custom lesson plan with the teacher. If you aren't satisfied after your trial lesson, it will be no charge, and we can match you with another teacher - no questions asked.
When you take lessons with Musika, you are eligible to participate in our yearly recital held in the Spring. Students of all ages and levels are welcome to perform, and show off their hard work and talent. Live performances are very exciting for musicians, and they help to enhance the students joy and love of making music.
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 Queen Natalia
Lara is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in her profession. She is cheerful and personable, and has established a good rapport with students and staff alike. I have found Lara to be a highly competent, personable, patient, kind-hearted, and deeply caring person who is skilled professionally and interpersonally.
Review by Ginger
Unbelievably Awesome. My daughter is a beginner and has some special needs. Justin is more than patient and helpful while being completely thorough and pushing her (in a good way) to try harder. He is encouraging and teaches effectively. I am very pleased. More important, so is my daughter. Thank you Musika! So grateful we found your service and connected with Justin. We highly recommend him.
Review by Wendy
Bill has been great with my 2 young children (age 3 & 6). He has integrated games into the lessons - they have enjoyed showing us how to play the games when it is time to practice piano. Bill has been easy to contact and rescheduling has not been a problem if we have a conflict at our regular lesson time.
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.
Review by Shilpa
"Richard is a very talented and a patient teacher. He teaches my 6 year old daughter in the comfort of our home and he is very regular. He follows a learning book and mixes his lessons to bring difficulty and technicality while keeping it interesting for my daughter. My daughter was difficult to work with at the beginning but he was able motivate her in every possible way. As a parent I make an effort to learn with my daughter so that when my daughter practices I am able to guide and correct her and Richard is very generous to take the time to give provide me concepts. I am extremely happy with Richard and his ability to teach children."
Review by Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
Review by Ashley S.
Ali was an amazing voice coach! She taught in a way that made sense to me, and helped me find the voice placements I needed. I didn't know I could sound like that! My development with her was leaps and bounds rather than tiny dreadful steps that happen when you don't know what's going on! Ali was dedicated to helping me work on an audition for a music scholarship and I nailed it all thanks to her, seriously. I can't thank her enough! She helped me with the tools and confidence I needed to sing in the real world alone rather than just back row in a large choir.
Review by La from Issaquah
thank you musika and ed. I never thought of looking for an in-home lesson until I found musika. I have absolutely no hesitation that Ed is beyond capable. He's even offered to meet us at a music store to purchase the correct fitting instrument. how fabulous is that! We've also decided to extend the lesson time from 30 to 45 minutes. All this and just one lesson under our belt. He quickly understood where my daughter is at in level and her style of music. I'm thrilled as can be.
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