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Choral Experience: As a member of the Westminster Choir (Joseph Flummerfelt, conductor), I performed with major East coast orchestras. Representative works include: Mozart, Coronation Mass, Requiem; Beethoven, Fifth Symphony, Missa Solemnis; Berlioz, Roméo et Juliette, Te Deum, La Damnation de Faust; Mahler, Eighth Symphony; Wagner, Das Liebesmahl der Apostel; Stravinsky, Symphony of Psalms; Kodály, Psalmus Hungaricus; Bernstein, Chichester Psalms Ballet Accompanist: Princeton Ballet Workshop, The Agnes DeMille Studios (New York), School of the Pennsylvania Ballet (Philadelphia), The Scottish-American Ballet at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland Organist/Choirmaster:Church of the Epiphany (Episcopal), Thousand Oaks, California; The Church of St. Mary in Palms (Episcopal), Los Angeles, California; All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Orange, New Jersey; St. Clement’s Episcopal Church, Hawthorne, New Jersey; Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, West Orange, New Jersey; St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Harrington Park, New Jersey; All Saints’ Church (Episcopal), Bergenfield, New Jersey; St. Elizabeth’s Church (Episcopal), Jacksonville, Florida
I began teaching private lessons part-time when I was still in high school on Long Island. I have taught in elementary day care in the early 1990's and taught in public schools elementary general music and chorus, beginning instrumental music at the elementary level, as well as middle school orchestra in the San Lorenzo Unified School District. After a vocal chord injury, I left the public schools to create my indie record label, produce new projects and allow healing. Several years ago, I went back to teaching private lessons through a music store, and have since relocated my studio to my home. I love the positive energy my students bring to their lessons, and enjoy encouraging them to be the best they can be in music, and in their lives. I love to work with students of all ages who really want to learn!
I am a very patient, knowledgeable and experienced music instructor who loves working with students of all ages. I graduated from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education and a lifetime California state teaching credential. I also graduated from the Naval School of Music with top honors and I served in the Marine Corps as a bandsman playing the French Horn. I have taught music in many public, private and charter schools in California for over 30 years. I also taught music in primary schools in Edinburgh, Scotland for five years. I am currently teaching music at Cinnabar Charter School in Petaluma. I am also an accomplished pianist and songwriter having won awards for song writing in the children's music category.
I have no hard strict rules when it comes to teaching, because every student is different and they all learn at different speeds in different ways. For brand new never-played-before students I have a couple different series of books to get started. For more advanced students, I'm open to spending on time on whatever concepts they most want to cover. I also have a broad repetoire of jazz and classical as well as modern pop, rock, and even country and TV Themes to select from if the student has a specific style or song in mind.
For beggining students and especially children I will start with books such as the Hal Leonard's Essential Elements. Once the student has graped the fundamentals of musical theory and scales , we will begin to introduce a solo repertoire appropriate for skill set and age. For adults I simply try to find what the studenet is interested in, and guide my instruction accordinglu to keep the lessons fun and engaging, no matter their ability level!
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Piano lessons are usually structured around a series of method books which are recommended by the teacher, and can be purchased at a local music store or online. Lessons for a beginner usually start with familiarizing the student with the piano as well as beginner level technique. This can include learning the notes on the piano, and learning basic scales, like major and minor scales. Beginners may start by learning how to play scales using the correct finger techniques with both hands until they develop their speed and co-ordination. Eventually students will start playing simple melodies, often nursery rhymes, that put the fingering techniques into practice. Students will also learn the various types of chord, from simple major and minor chords, through to 7th chords, slash chords, and diminished chords. Students will also develop their sight reading and music theory knowledge throughout their lessons.
We have many adult students taking lessons. Whether you studied music as a child, or are wanting to learn a new skill, music lessons are a great avenue to go with! Not only do they keep you young and energized, but the teachers in our network are also able to teach in a way that makes sense for you.
We suggest students purchase a piano or keyboard for their lessons, as they will need to practice every day in order to develop their skills on the instrument. We recommend a keyboard with weighted keys, as this will feel most similar to an actual piano. An actual piano will have 88 keys, but most keyboards start from 61 keys and go up from there. Common keyboard brands found at music stores are Yamaha, Casio, and Korg. Many keyboard sets will come with a case, stand, headphones, and may even offer recording features for recording your own playing.
Piano is a great starting instrument for children who have never studied music before. The instructors in our network specialize in teaching younger children, and will develop an individual lesson plan for your child. The youngest age we recommend starting on piano lessons is age 4. The instructor will be able to teach your child how to read music and develop a love of playing piano, as well as beginning music theory.
Music lessons in your home offer a convenient option to learning music! Most of our students request in home lessons for this reason. As long as you have a piano or keyboard in your home, then you should be all set to start your lessons! Children who have never played an instrument before may feel more comfortable studying in their own home, as it may be less intimidating than going somewhere else. In-home lessons decrease the time and gas money spent traveling to a different location.
Review by Tuvana
He is incredibly patient and really customizes his teaching style to the child. Both of my children are learning piano with him; they have learned so much and really enjoy the lessons. In fact, my daughter asked to learn another instrument (guitar) with him and is making great progress with that, too.
Review by Alex A.
Travis rocks. My 7-year-old son and I both take lessons with him. Travis has moved me off the plateau I was on with lessons that focus on theory and technique. And for my son, he's been able to instill a desire and interest that were missing when he previously took piano lessons. With Travis teaching us, the limits are the ones we impose on ourselves. Needless to say, Travis himself plays a mean guitar to boot!
Review by Yury
I would like to thank Polina for the series of classical piano lessons I've taken recently. Polina is a fantastic teacher and a high class performer, and I'm really happy I had a chance to meet her! I believe anyone can benefit from the teaching method Polina is practicing regardless of the student proficiency - from beginners to advanced performers. It was a pleasure for me to study classical piano courses under the guidance of such an intelligent & professional teacher! Without doubt, my playing technique has improved a lot and I have signed up for the new classes online already.
Review by Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
Review by Bradford Putt
Angela has been a perfect match-up for me. She is warm and welcoming, and also serious about teaching - she keeps our time focused and on track. What I truly appreciate, as a new singer anxiously preparing for an event, is the confidence she gives me. Angela is very encouraging. I enjoy coming to class.
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 Richardpoplawski
I feel she is a very professional teacher and I have already recommended your company and her to my friends who have children that play musical instruments. My 8 year old son has never been so enthusiastic to play his violin. His skills have improved almost exponentially since we have began lessons with Lauren. Your company has exceeded my expectations and I am very happy to have found it online.
Review by Jennifer
Lindsey has been coming to our house to give saxophone lessons to our 12 year old daughter for about a month. She is an absolute joy. She is extremely knowledgeable, flexible with her schedule, and my daughter thinks she is "fun" and "cool". We would highly recommend her to anyone wanting music lessons. A+
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
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