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Teaching is not just what I do, it's part of who I am. I gave my first lesson before I knew that's what I was doing: I was just a high school senior helping a handful of freshmen navigate their first classical and jazz repertoire, but even then, I knew I loved seeing that joyous breakthrough when a student plays something -- a musical passage, maybe just one note -- that sounds beautiful. I began teaching professionally during my second year at the University of North Texas, assisting middle school students take those first steps toward understanding their instrument. As I progressed as a saxophone and piano player, I taught high schoolers and adults in jazz improvisation and prepared classical repertoire, and continue to do so today.
My teaching experience dates back to my college days during my sophmore year giving private lesson to children in the surrounding community. I did not relaize the joy of teaching until one of my students performed. Currently two of my high school students have received scholarships for college towards their education. As a educator this is the proudest I ever been in having students major in music and receive scholarships. Being a music teacher gives me such job and I would not trade it for anything.
No matter the age or experience level of the student, I like to get them playing steady, complete sounding music within the first month. It may sound a little daunting at first, but I truly believe anyone is capable of playing music. For the beginning guitarist I typically use Hal Leonard method books, for the beginning pianist, the Alfred series. For the advanced levels I use (and have used myself) the Berklee Guitar Method and for piano, either the Easy Classics to Moderns series or First Lessons in Bach. When I teach double bass I start with the Progressive Repertoire series of method books. For the more advanced double bassist I teach the techniques of Simandl, Rabbath and common orchestral excerpts. I am very fond of teaching solo repertoire for the bassist, such as Eccles, Dragonetti and Bach.
PIANO STUDENTS: For beginners, I prefer the Bastien series. I like a lot of variety but am very careful to not give too much at once. It is better to become excellent at each thing slowly, than try to do a lot and not be that good at any of it. I am a stickler for starting out with scales and theory right away. Understanding rhythm right away is of utmost importance as well. I ALSO TEACH IN PATTERNS & NUMBERS over just notes, this way, one can play any piece in any key much easier! I will paint mental pictures that will help my students to never forget what Im teaching. (Oh and they will BEGIN using both hands). For more advanced students, again, the more variety the better. Depending on what the student’s goals are, I will draw from a wide range of selections. I always make it a point to show my students how to play by ear AND by sight. When you know how to do both, the possibilities are limitless! If a student is wanting help learning how to write a song, that is my specialty as well. I have helped a LOT of people perfect their material. VOICE STUDENTS: After discovering the students strengths and/or weaknesses, I custom create a series of vocal exercises & songs to help develop their talent. I first offer the student the chance to select which songs they want o learn and make their own. If they dont know which songs they want to learn, after learning the students interests and musical inspirations, I will suggest songs to work on, then teach them step by step how to make the songs their own and perform them with confidence and excellence.
The more exposure I've had to teaching, the more I have grown to love the challenge and opportunity that comes with sharing my passion for music with others. In the past few years, I've had students as young as 7 and as old as 55. In each case, I've been careful to craft a curriculum that meets the interest and ability of each student.
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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.
Children are recommended to start piano lessons no earlier than age 4 or 5. The attention span and personality of the child are factors to consider when thinking of taking lessons. Even if your child has no evident musical inclinations, piano lessons offer a great option for introducing your child to music. During their lessons children will learn sight reading, music theory techniques, ear training as well as fundamentals of music.
The best instrument to get would be an upright or baby grand piano. However, if your finances are limited we suggest looking into a digital keyboard. Go with the best quality keyboard that you can afford. We suggest a keyboard with weighted keys so that there is more resistance on the keys than a toy piano. Most digital keyboards start at 61 keys, and go up to full size at 88 keys. You have to consider which keyboard would fit best in your home and your budget. A beginning student should get the keyboard before or immediately after beginning lessons, so that they may begin practicing as soon as the lessons commence.
For adults who are looking to learn to play the piano, we recommend that they do so with some clear goals in mind. Maybe you want to learn to play some of your favorite songs, pass an exam, or write your own music. Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. It can take time to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the piano to a competent level. However, playing the piano is a great stress reliever, keeps you mentally active, and can help with your hearing and fine-motor skills.
One-on-one piano lessons straight from the comfort of your own home is a great way to learn to play the piano. 90% of our students choose to take lessons from home, mostly due to the convenience of not having to make travel arrangements both to and from their lessons. This is great for parents and students with busy schedules. The content of home lessons is exactly the same as studio lessons, however, you will need to have a keyboard or piano at your home. Home lessons provide the best learning environment, as it is a comfortable, familiar surrounding for students to learn in.
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 Mythili Lahiri
My son is truly enjoying his lessons with Chris. He looks forward to them and is motivated to practice. Chris is conscientious and shows up on time and whenever he is supposed to. He communicates clearly if rescheduling is ever required and is accommodating when we need to change the day. I would recommend Chris to anyone.
Review by Christopher Perrone
Mike has been working with my son Robert for over a year and has just started working with my daughter Kate. Mike is both a great musician and a good teacher. He connects with the kids and keeps them engaged. He is able to tailor the lesson to focus on music that is interesting to each child. He also encourages the students to participate in a public setting which is great. I would highly recommend Mike.
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 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 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.
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 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 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.
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