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I use games, contemporary and standard song repertoire, and traditional techniques to teach an instrument and my approach to music. As a NY State certified teacher I tend to use progressive music pedagogue, tiered lesson plans, and practical objectives to engage students in challenging and rewarding musical experiences.
In Russia, I was a concert pianist as well as a teacher of classic piano theory and performance. I was a soloist who performed with a full orchestra as well as being a chamber musician, accompanist for singers and for strings. Since I came to the United States, I have concentrated more on teaching. I have taught piano at many music schools and have also given private lessons, both at students' homes and at my music studio. My piano students have won multiple awards at music competitions in Russia and the United States. In 2006, a student of mine won first prize at the West Chester University Music Competition. Then in 2011, my students won prizes in the International Music Competition, the National League Competition and the Tri-County Competition.
I base my lessons around the student, not a cookie cutter method. I look for three crieteria: a student's interests, ability level, and time they have to practice. I am very interested in what the student thinks of the lessons, and ask for feedback frequently. I encourage them to bring their own ideas and songs into the lessons. I am very keen on review; if someone doesn't understand what we did last week, they won't progress to what we are doing now. I do not use a heavy handed method of teaching or discipline, though I do impart the importance of practice, diligence, attention to detail, and creativity. At times I incorporate methods, such as the Suzuki method for violin, or Mel Bay for guitar. I love to get students to be creative, so encourage them to write their own music, and spend time working on expressive interpetations of other's music. I also encourage them to play with others, as it is one of the best ways to practice and learn.
I love sharing my knowlege and passion of music with my students. Its always rewarding to go on the journey of learning and developing the skills needed to be the best a student can be musically. Each student is unique and I tailor our time together to fit their needs. I am dedicated to maximizing their potential to obtain their goals in a supportive and nuturing environment. Lets get the fun started!
I began teaching saxophone when I was 15, to beginning players at local middle schools and quickly built a full studio of young saxophonists, clarinetists, and flutists. Since then, I have taught at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, led masterclasses in San Jose, Costa Rica, Orange County, CA, Rochester, NY, and the Dallas/Fort Worth area. In 2015 I served as Adjunct Instructor of Applied Saxophone at New York University, developing and implementing a curriculum for undergraduate saxophonists that spanned from early jazz to modern pop. I enjoy engaging with students of all experience levels and help them develop facility on their instrument and an understanding of how music works.
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Piano lessons in your home offer a convenient option for learning to play an instrument. 90% of our students take their lessons in their home, and this is a practical and time-saving way to learn the technique of the instrument. Think of all the time you can save by not having to transport your student to a class every week! In-home lessons are structured the same way as in-studio lessons are, and in addition, a younger student may feel more comfortable at an in-home lesson, as they are already familiar with the surroundings.
As piano lessons are customized to the needs of each individual student, we are able to better help you to achieve your goals. Beginning students may just want to learn an instrument out of interest and for fun, so the basics will be covered to get you up and running. This tends to include music theory and technical exercises, such as hand position, fingering, and playing scales and chords. Intermediate students may be working towards an exam, recital or performance, so will cover playing, performance and stylistic techniques such as legato, staccato, glissando, sight reading, working on speed, runs, fills, and solos. Other topics that may be covered in your piano lessons are things like expanding your repertoire, developing improvisation and jamming skills, and studying the various types of genre-based playing techniques and styles, such as Jazz, Ragtime, Blues, Rock, or Classical piano.
"We have many adult students taking lessons with us. Whether you have 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 our teachers are also able to relate to you and instruct you in a way you can understand."
If purchasing an acoustic piano is not an option, we recommend that students look to buy a keyboard or digital piano for their lessons and practice. When buying a keyboard or digital piano, look to purchase one with 61 or more keys, as well as one with weighted hammer action. Having more keys, as well as weighted keys, will most resemble the responsiveness and feel of an acoustic piano. Typically, keyboards are a cheaper option, they take up less space, are portable and can be played with headphones. Some of the most popular brands of keyboard or digital piano are Yamaha, Roland, and Casio.
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.
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 Kate Thomas
My son enjoys his viola lesson each week with Martina. She is disciplined in her approach to teaching but always makes my son's learning experience enjoyable. She knows how to challenge him and develop excellent form. Martina is always punctual and professional. We both highly recommend her as an instructor.
Review by Julie Buranelli
My daughter really enjoys her lessons with Pavel. She is an absolute beginner and Pavel is right with her as she learns the basics. She is completely engaged and always looks forward to her lesson. He packs a lot of learning into their 30 minute time slot - he gets right to it as soon as he walks in the door! He is a great teacher - we highly recommend!
Review by Jaima Woodiwiss
Having taken 6 years of piano lessons myself when I was young, I am very happy with Osmond teaching my daughter. He is very personable and helping her to enjoy piano. My daughter loves the fun songs she gets to play and I really appreciate how he is integrating even in the first month fingering, chords, beats, and hearing the music. She's getting a very well rounded training and she's loving it!
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 Jane A.
I started taking voice lessons from Ali when I was 19 and a sophomore in college. Though I was hesitant to be starting "late", I felt very comfortable with Ali and her teaching style. We identified several key issues that really made a difference and improved my voice technique. It was fun to sing popular, beautiful songs in our recital! If only I lived in Los Angeles, I would still be a student. Highly recommended!
Review by Gillian
Vince is a great drum teacher for my 8 year old son. We go to his house where he has a studio setup with a huge drum set. He has been very patient but really holds my son responsible for learning the right way to play. After about 5 lessons, my son is playing some rhythms on the drums and reading music. He looks forward to his lessons with Vince.
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 Maria
My daughter has been taking piano lessons through her school district program for the last two years. She had learned a lot in that class but I noticed that she needed advanced classes at this point. After reviewing several websites I decided to enroll my daughter for the trial at MUSIKA. We got Mrs. Veronica B., and I am more than happy we got her as my daughter's teacher. Mrs. Veronica B. was very professional and very knowledgeable at the trial day. She was able to assess my daughter skill's level, and then she was able to give suggestions about how to improve those skills. My daughter has taken 5 classes with Mrs. Barker, and I can see she enjoys each class and she's improved a lot since day one. I can picture my daughter playing her favorites songs on the piano very soon!!! :-)
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