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I grew up in Santa Cruz, California, and began playing piano at age 9 with the help of my older sister who also played piano. During my high school years, I focused on composition, which became my main area of study during college. Through my college training at the University of California in Santa Cruz and San Jose State University I supported myself by giving piano lessons, playing organ and piano for churches, and working as a freelance pianist. Currently, I am happy to be spending my time honing my keyboard abilities, teaching others to love the piano and music in general, and composing new pieces of music.
I am a conservatory trained pianist, having studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music where I was a student of Rebecca Penneys. I also spent a year under the tuteledge of Russell Sherman of the New England Conservatory of Music.
I am a passionate, energertic, and motivated piano instructor. In 2011, I graduated from City University of New York at Queens College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. I have been playing piano since 6th grade and have been an accompanist at school chorus. In 2014, I moved to California to pursue master degree in Music Education.
I am an enthusiast and nuturing instructor who cares for the specific needs of students to yield them on the path of success. I've graduated from Jackson State Univeristy with a Bachelors in Music Education degree, and I am currently attending the Academy of Art Unversirty in pursuit of a Masters in Fine Art. I have traveled throughout the U.S. performing with JSU's Chamber Orchestra and "Sonic Boom of the South". One moment that I'm particularly proud to be apart of is performing alongside Mary Mary in an inargural event for President Barack Obama.
I'm a multi-instrumentalist, improvisor, composer and educator who takes great joy in teaching and sharing music with people of all ages. I've been deeply fortunate to have studied closely with multiple master musicians of various traditions. Perhaps the teacher who has had the deepest impact on my teaching methods is W.A. Mathieu, former arranger and bandmember of the Duke Ellington and Stan Kenton orchestras. I studied with Mathieu for three years. I've performed up and down the west coast and am an active player in the Bay Area music scene.
Since We Started
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Teachers in Network
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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We recommend that students get either a full size piano, or an 88-key, weighted hammer action keyboard for their lessons and practice. A real acoustic piano will provide the most satisfying learning experience, however, due to the cost and size of the instrument, a keyboard is often the more convenient option. Weighted keys will respond most like those of an acoustic piano, and keyboards have the added bonus of being portable and compatible with headphones. The most popular brands of keyboard or digital piano are Yamaha, Casio, Korg and Roland.
Musika offers one-on-one, in-home guitar lessons that are designed specifically for each individual student. Whether your lesson takes place in the studio or at home, students will get the exact same lesson content, with the only difference being the location. Parents will find home guitar lessons a much more convenient option for their child, as it saves the time and costs of transporting their children to and from the studio. Younger students will find that learning to play the guitar in the comfort of their own homes greatly benefits their development as they are learning in a supportive, secure and familiar environment.
Studying piano as an adult is a fun and educational experience. You will learn the technique of the instrument, and various selections of repertoire tailored to your needs and goals. Whether you are a beginner or advanced student, our instructor can help you develop or improve your skills on the instrument. Many of our adult students enjoy playing their music at local clubs and venues in their communities.
Due to the attention span of very young children, we advise that students begin their piano lessons no younger than age 4 or 5. Piano lessons are a great way to introduce an instrument for the first time to a younger child. Learning piano will teach them basic musical skills such as rhythm and harmony, as well as how to read sheet music and chords.
The teachers in Musika's network design their piano lessons around the needs and abilities of each student. This means that lessons cater to a wide range of ability and experience levels, from those just starting to play the piano for the very first time, to students with already established skills and experience. For new learners, the aim is to get them playing simple songs as quickly as possible. To do so means teaching them the basics, such as scales, hand position, fingering technique, and chords. These are the essential skills for playing simple material. Beyond this, students can learn to develop their musical ear, sight read, read sheet music and chord charts, and general music theory. They will start to learn more complex chords and start applying them to more advanced compositions as they advance in lessons. Some students will already be excellent players, but want to develop particular skills, such as improvisational skills, or to study one specific type of piano playing, such as Blues or Classical piano.
Review by Lucinda
Melissa is very encouraging, positive, supportive and patient. She knows how to explain the technical details of flute and music notation to kids in a way that makes sense to them. She has been reliable so far turning up on time and calling if there is a need to reschedule. I would definitely recommend her to others.
Review by Ryan Piveteau
Amber is personal and cares about her students. She is flexible in her schedule and maintains a professional attitude in her lessons. Her want for her students to succeed makes her excel as a teacher. She is very knowledgeable about music and extremely experienced. Additionally, she includes external activities aside from lessons for the students who wish to advance themselves externally. Really a great teacher who offers great opportunity.
Review by Shelonda
Henry is teaching my daughter how to play piano. Henry is an excellent teacher, we really like and appreciate him. His teaching style works very well for my daughter, she is comfortable which makes learning enjoyable. Henry is very patient and I can see that he is passionate about teaching music. Great teacher for sure.
Review by Jacob Solomon
Ileen is a very attentive instuctor. she is patient and works hard to see her student succeed. if a concept is unclear she expains it in other ways to ensure understanding. I would highly recommend ileen to students of all levels who want to learn guitar and music theory to thoroughly enjoy the instrument and music
Review by Chad H.
"Mr. Richard has been absolutely perfect for our very active two boys. He has been an excellent fit for gauging and keeping their interest far beyond what we had imagined. Our boys actually argue over who gets to go first. Mr. Richard knocks it out of the park when it comes to exceeding our expectations"
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 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 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 Teri Romano
Being I'm a woman, I was a little apprehensive having a male teacher (he knew this), however, after my trial lesson I realized he knows what he's doing and I had nothing to worry about!! He is very knowledgable on the piano and vocal techniques. He has a big vocal range so he is able to hit the high notes to be able to show me how I need to sing it. He is also phenomenal on the piano. I would highly recommend him for vocal and piano. Also, I don't know how to sight read music and he is teaching how to. I've been taking lessons with him for a month (my trial lesson was on 1/11) and I have already seen a huge improvement. I am an intermediate level singer looking to improve my vocal technique, breathing and improve my confidence in my singing abilities, Alex is definitely helping me do that.
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