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My name is Cara and I am a graduate from Grove City College. Music is my life: I teach & perform so I know what it takes to prepare for performing and auditioning. I hold 2 recitals per year for my students: summer & Christmas. Recitals give a great opportunity to get up in front of people, which is definitely scary at first. It gives students a reason to feel very proud of themselves.
I went to college for music because I love singing. As a teacher I want to provide my students with the same opportunity to play or perform on their instrument and get that same sense of joy and fulfillment that I do with my voice. I have traveled on national and European choir tours, performed in musicals and operas, and performed in small groups and individually. Some of those opportunities would not have been possible for me with out music teachers and private voice teachers who invested in my musical growth and ambition. I therefore want to invest my knowledge and passion for music into students to help them achieve goals or dreams of their own.
I am an experienced and enthusiastic instructor who has been working with music students in the Pittsburgh area for over ten years. As a young child, my grandmother introduced me to the piano and it's been a life long passion ever since. Music has been a source of great opportunity for me, and has allowed me to work with wonderful musicians such as Ralph Zitterbart and Hanna Wu Li, who I worked closely with at Carnegie Mellon University. Piano teaching has also given me the chance to work with wonderful families from around the world, and I have found that I often learn many things from my students, as they learn from me. Learning music has been a creative outlet, a great source of joy, and has provided me the confidence and skills to learn other subjects. My hope is to share my gifts with my students so that they can develop a love and appreciation for music, as well as opportunities to grow and learn artistically.
I am a dedicated and passionate musician and educator who has been teaching in the Greater Pittsburgh Area since 2008. I earned my BFA and MM from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008 and 2010, respectively. I perform regularly all over Pittsburgh, Erie and West Virginia and my career has taken me to performances at Carnegie Hall, the Leipzig Gewandhaus and concert halls all over Europe and the United States. I perform many genres of music, from Classical to Broadway and everything in between!
I am a passionate music educator who loves working with students and sharing the joy of music. I graduated in May 2015 from Westminster College with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education with a Concentration in Clarinet. I have enjoyed playing with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra on Bass Clarinet and playing in other ensembles. I have also enjoyed teaching saxophones and clarinet sections in Pittsburgh area marching bands.
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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.
Whether you have an interest in learning to play Rock, Jazz, Ragtime, or Classical piano, the piano teachers in Musika's network can help develop your playing through one-on-one lessons. Teachers can also prepare you for exams, recitals, and performances. For beginners, the basics will be taught. This may include learning the correct posture, hand position, and fingering technique along with learning the notes and scales of the piano, learning basic chords and chord progressions, developing the musical ear, and learning to apply these things to simple songs. Intermediate players may work on more exotic chords and playing such as diminished and 7th chords, and applying these things to more challenging compositions. All students can develop their sight reading and ability to interpret sheet music and chord charts. Advanced students can study a particular composer or genre, can develop their repertoire, or work on their improvisational skills.
In-home lessons are what the majority of our students request. Not only does this provide a convenient means to study music, but there is no difference in the quality of lessons done in-home or in-studio as they are typically structured the same. The main benefit of in-home lessons is the reduction in travel time to another location, and additionally the student may be able to focus better in their own home since they are familiar with it. Piano lessons in the home offer a practical choice for your family for learning the skill of playing a musical instrument.
Most students start out with a keyboard or digital piano. We recommend a full size keyboard with 88 weighted keys - weighted keyboards will have a touch response similar to a real piano. However, if purchasing a real piano is in your budget, we think that an acoustic piano provides students with the higher level of satisfaction during practice time.
Learning to play the piano as a child is fun, rewarding, and vastly beneficial to their overall development. Children can develop their motor-skills, dexterity, and coordination through technical piano playing such as learning scales, chords, and correct fingering. Young students can also develop their concentration, listening skills, and ability to master complex thought processes through theory, repertoire, and student-teacher feedback. Learning to play the piano can also be character building by instilling a hard-working attitude, developing self-discipline and confidence through practice, taking exams, entering competitions or performing recitals.
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 Elsahatzipavlou
Erin has been a wonderful voice/piano teacher for our 7 year old daughter. She is talented, patient, and has a wonderful demeanor. She has been consistent with her teaching in piano and voice. She keeps record of where the students leave off so that they know what to expect the following week. I would definitely recommend Erin to anyone looking for a skilled piano/voice teacher.
Review by Jeff N.
Travis is an extremely knowledgeable guitarist and teacher. Travis is equally comfortable in playing/teaching jazz, rock, blues, or classical styles. I really like the way he explains things and he has the ability to make difficult material seem simpler. Travis is very likeable, enthusiastic, and always very professional. I think Travis would be great teaching either children or adults because he's very patient. My learning experience with Travis has been outstanding. He taught me some great techniques for chord substitution and for soloing. I'll continue to work with Travis because he inspires me to be a better guitarist. I think he could really help me with composing because he writes some great songs too! Thanks Travis!
Review by Debbie E.
I had always wanted to take vocal lessons, but was very nervous about it until I had the opportunity to have Ali as my instructor. She made me feel very comfortable and helped me realize my strengths while giving me other areas to work on and strengthen. I liked how Ali had me sing out of my "comfort" zone to realize my vocal range. It is obvious that Ali loves music and sharing that love with her students. She is very good at what she does and works well with both male and female voices. I highly recommend Ali and give her solid 5 stars
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 Brad Schimmer
I have been playing the drums for about 5 years and I have to say that Alvaro is very patient. He has opened me up to new styles of music and I can now play a Songo groove! What I liked most was that he was flexible in what I wanted him to teach me and would also bring in new material specifically to what I wanted him to show me. Overall, great patient teacher and would highly recommend! Thanks Alvaro!
Review by James F.
After my first piano lesson, Polina is easily the best teacher I could have hoped for. Extremely charismatic and excited to help YOU learn the piano. She puts a lot of effort into evaluation your learning style and will no doubt help you make tremendous strides! I'm stoked to continue taking lessons!
Review by Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
Review by Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.
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