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My teaching experience dates back to my undergraduate studies at Berklee College of Music. Since, 2008 I have worked many singers, flutists, and beginning pianists and have been consistently teaching ever since. I like to have fun in my music lessons and strive to set up a supportive environment where my students can feel comfortable to play with music but learn in the process. I place a large emphasis on technique in my lessons within the chosen genre of the student. Whether you want to sing or play pop, rock, classical, or jazz... technique is important and I like to show students that working on technique can be fun and exciting! It is my belief that if a student is enjoying their lessons and seeing their own improvement, they will be motivated to keep up the practice. My favorite part of being a teacher is seeing a student's individual growth on his or her instrument and having them realize how much their efforts are paying off!
My teaching approach is to match repertoire to the student's current needs. For example, a student who needs to work on building dexterity will be working on technical exercises while another student may be focusing on tone or dynamic expression in their weekly exercises. I typically start my beginning piano students with the Alfred's piano series in conjunction with the Finger Power series for building technique. For more advanced students, I prefer to use the Hanon Virtuoso Pianist series as well as scale practice and classical repertoire. New flute and violin students will start with the Essential Elements series or for more mature beginners, the Rubank series for flute and the Suzuki series for violin. Duet books will also be added as the student grows. On the other hand, if a student comes to lessons having already begun a series of repertoire they prefer, I will be happy to accomadate. I believe the most important part of teaching is to tailor each lesson to the individual student. What works for one student may not work for another, and it is essential to be open to new teaching methods and grow with one's students.
I started teaching while I was a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University. I taught part time private lessons and worked for a Saturday Morning music program teaching Strings and Music Theory. I have taught in public schools for 12 years teaching strings/orchestra to elementary, middle and high school students. I have taught students individually, in small groups and in large groups and orchestras. I have adjudicated at competitions and festivals and taught private lessons in violin, cello and viola over the last 20 years. I started in Music Education due to my love of music and children and have pursued my degrees in performance because I believe I cannot be a successful teacher if I do not know my craft. I have successfully combined my performance experience and my teaching experience to provide high quality lessons to all of my students.
Every student learns differently, and I believe that it's important not to rush their development. Because playing music gets increasingly complicated, it's important that students are comfortable with their current skill level so that they can realistically challenge themselves to attempt the next one. This enables them to find their own strength and encourages autonomy in their creative experience.
I began studying piano at the age of 5 and shortly after picked up the violin. The combination of these two have made me a better musician. I studied at multiple institutions and have been a part of multiple orchaestras including Bryn Mawr summer music camp, Luzerne music camp, and Ithaca Suzuki camp. As for voice, I have taken on many roles in musical theatre and have performed many arias. I received much of my training from my mother, Valerie Girard, Sandy Greciano, and Ingrid Zeldin. I attended Manhattan School of Music for pre college to study voice in my junior year of high school, where I was given much classical performance opportunity.
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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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Your introductory lesson is a chance for you to meet your teacher, and ask any questions you have before committing to registering for lessons. Only after you have decided to continue with your teacher would you provide any billing information for Musika. This trial lesson is a great time to discuss your current skill level and goals so the teacher will be able to work out a customized lesson plan for you.
Students taking lessons will have the chance to share their new found skills with family and friends at one of our various recital locations. Performing for a live audience enhances the student's excitement and joy for playing. Performers include a wide range of Musika's students from beginners to advanced, and ages 4 through adult.
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.
Everyone has a busy schedule these days. With the option of in home lessons from Musika, we allow you to add studying an instrument into your day without the hassle of traveling to another place! In home lessons allow you to study in the comfort and security of your own home. This is a great option for both busy children and adults.
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.
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 Roberta
My 4 year old son is quite energetic. Another piano teacher tried to teach him before Peter and could not get my son to listen to him at all. That teacher told me that my son had no interest and that we needed to wait before having my son take lessons. Peter started teaching my son a few weeks later. He quickly developed a great rapport with my son. I was astounded when my son sat down and listened to Peter during the first lesson. Peter has remarkable patience and is a natural working with children. He knows when to follow the child's lead. My son is very interested in how the piano works, so Peter takes the time to teach him about this. He is able to use my son's interests (superheroes, Lego, Star Wars, etc.) to refocus him back to playing the piano. Between lessons, he brainstorms on how he can teach my son better. For example, my son was playing the notes, but not understanding rhythm, so Peter looked into it and came back the next week with a new plan which helped. My son looks forward to his lesson every week. When he hears the doorbell ring on lesson day, he exclaims, "Yay! Peter's here!"
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.
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 Nancy
Darrell is A-Maz-Ing! He demands results from his students and therefore results come quickly. The time he spends teaching is intense and packed with great instruction. He is a tough teacher but offers lots of valuable instruction that is applicable for music as well as life in general. I highly recommend Darrell if you are ready for results!
Review by Gillian
Vince is a great drum teacher for my 8 year old son. We go to his house where he has a studio setup with a huge drum set. He has been very patient but really holds my son responsible for learning the right way to play. After about 5 lessons, my son is playing some rhythms on the drums and reading music. He looks forward to his lessons with Vince.
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 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"
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