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I have spent my entire adult life as a working musician. I came to teaching after a lengthy career as a performer & recording artist. I am very well versed in jazz, pop and R&B and bring an extraordinary amount of knowledge to the table. My background is quite eclectic and includes a thorough grounding in classical piano literature as well. As a performer first, I bring knowledge (and shortcuts) that most teachers do not. Music has been good to me and I feel an obligation to pass it on to others. Most importantly, I can impart the information effectively to children as well as adults. Don't Just Listen to Music… Play It!
I have enjoyed teaching and helping students of all ages for 24 years in achieving their goals in learning to play their instruments. Educated at Columbus State University with a Music Education degree, I teach many instruments including piano, guitar, including Classical style, banjo, saxophone, clarinet and flute. If you would like to start on the trumpet or trombone, I can help you as well. I specialize in working with the novice musician, giving them a solid foundation in instrumental technique and musical knowledge. I can also help the more accomplished player advance to the level he or she desires.
I love music and have studied piano since I was six years old. I also studied organ and clarinet briefly. My degrees are in Psychology and Communications. I worked for state and federal government agencies and was a writer and producer for CNN/Atlanta for ten years. I enjoy teaching piano and now have six students ranging in age from 4 to 36 years of age. I also enjoy tennis and am a former law student, but found the latter not to my liking. I prefer my range to be in Vinings, Chastain Park, and Buckhead, but will consider teaching outside these areas.
I absolutely love teaching music and watching my students grow in their musical skills and confidence! I graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and studied clarinet with Dr. Theodore Jahn and piano with Margaret Strahl. While at UGA, I played with the Redocat Marching Band, Symphonic Band and various woodwind ensembles. Recently I have been playing clarinet and piano with the Gwinnett Community Band and volunteer with different homeshool band groups. I have also played piano for church and weddings and volunteered with the children's music ministry.
I am a second generation musician who has the passion and desire to share the art of piano playing to my students. My love for the piano stems from my family's musical history, where my father and aunt introduced the classics to me at the tender age of 5. As I discover the beauty of piano playing throughout my high school years, I decided to enroll in the music education program at the University of the Virgin Islands. There, I performed with the university's concert choir, concert band, and jazz band in many musical programs. I also participated in the music department tutorial program, where I assisted students who enrolled in beginning courses; such as music theory I, II; and intro to keyboarding I, II.
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For students just starting out, a keyboard or digital piano is a great entry level alternative to a real acoustic piano. We suggest trying to buy a keyboard with 88 keys. Keyboards with a weighted hammer action are recommended as their touch response and general feel will be most similar to that of an acoustic piano as this will provide students with a greater level of satisfaction during their practice time. Popular keyboard brands include Yamaha, Casio and Roland. If it is at all possible, consider buying an acoustic piano. Upright models are less space consuming, while a grand piano will provide the best sound.
Whether you have an interest in learning to play contemporary, jazz, blues, or classical piano, piano teachers in the Musika network can help develop your playing through one-on-one lessons. Throughout your piano lessons, you will cover a wide range of skills ranging from basic playing, to music theory, all the way through more advanced piano study. For those just starting out, the essential elements of piano such as hand position and fingering technique are generally taught before moving on and applying these skills to playing major and minor scales and simple songs using one hand. Students then typically progress to learning chords, such as major chords, and start to put these into practice by learning simple songs. Lessons may also cover the theory side of piano, such as reading music, sight reading, and chord charts. Experienced players can work on certain aspects of their playing, such as improvisational skills, genre-specific playing such as jazz, or developing their repertoire.
Musika recommends that children start piano lessons no earlier than age 4 or 5. The attention span and personality of the child are something 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 generally learn how to read music, the fundamentals of musicianship and sight reading, music theory techniques, and ear training.
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.
Many older students are fulfilling a life-long dream by taking piano lessons. Some students may have had lessons when they were younger and want to re-learn and others are simply looking for a new hobby. Whatever the aim or reason, there are many benefits to piano lessons for older students. Learning the piano can keep you mentally active, help maintain dexterity, improve your hearing, and stimulate the brain in a creative way. Older students can develop basic technique and music theory quite quickly, as their concentration, thinking skills, and self-discipline are more advanced than that of children.
Review by Nancy Fritsch
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach.
Review by Timothyfullard
We've only had a few lessons with Elisa, but so far we really like her. She has a lot of great suggestions for solo pieces as well as orchestral music that involves all 3 of my boys, while also including some Christian music that we can play at church. She is very patient in explaining the lessons and encouraging!
Review by Andy Snyder
Giorgi has made learning cello even more fun. From the sympathetic, "It is hard" to the precise, "Be careful about the curve of the thumb" he has strengthened learning in every lesson, without being overwhelming. He started playing a little duet on only the 3rd lesson or so, which made me feel, even as a beginner, that I'm already starting to make (occasionally screachy) music. He has suggested a variety of drills and practice techniques which have also sped up the process a lot. And he has a good sense of humor and surprising amount of patience.
Review by PJ Williams
My daughter, Valarie is one of the original members of the Enrichment Center Percussion Ensemble under the guidance of Aaron. He patiently worked with Valarie as well as the other five members individually and as a group to produce music that has been shared and enjoyed locally as well as nationally. He has the ability to seek out the strengths of each student while building confidence. Through his teachings, not only had Valarie learned how to produce and enjoy music, but also responsibility and so many life skills for everyday living.
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 Stevengournay
There are only a handful of people I count in my life who were great teachers, and Laura is one of them. Her musicianship is so secure as are her technique and personality that she zeros in on my weaknesses and devises exercises to strengthen them, and during the lesson it is not "Do this, no, do that" which is unnerving to a novice. She understands the most important part of study is relaxation, so that is easy to achieve with such a confident and compassionate human. Music is her life and she is eager to share her talent with everyone. A rare find, indeed!
Review by Maurice Romero
This is the 1st time I've ever taken lessons, and Robert has been a pleasure to work with. I've made quick progress and have enjoyed the process. I'm always listening for those tips that you can't find in a book. I can count on Robert to be strict on the fundamentals and am clear it will make a difference in the long run.
Review by Jenn
My son and I both take lessons with Micheal. My son started on the ukulele and recently started the guitar. He is excellent with children. Very patient and very intuitive to the child's ability. He is also an excellent teacher for adults. I had not touched my guitar in several years and in a couple months not only to I remember everything I forgot but I'm learning many new techniques and am a much better player than I've ever been.
Review by Heather Berest
I started my 5 yr old daughter with Karleen this Fall. Karleen has a calm and honest disposition. My daughter adores her and cannot wait for her arrival. I was concerned because my daughter is not so willing to "practice" during the week. Karleen advised me to allow her habits of practicing to evolve naturally as her love and understanding of piano increases. She emphasized how nurturing my daughter's love of music is most important. This was music to my ears :)
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