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I began formal study of piano at age seven, learned to sing by participating choir from seventh through ninth grades, and developed general music skills by being a percussionist in Symphonic Band where I attended high school. From that time, I continued playing repertoire until entering college to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance with an emphasis on research. I took a variety of electives including a course on the life and works of Johann Sebastian Bach, a course in Art Song, a seminar in piano Concerto, and a course in Symphonic literature. I took courses in conducting. My college education has enabled me to perform gigs in small venues including studio work for a local singer/songwriter's demo recording and providing background music for social or fundraising events. Additionally, I have participated in special vocal projects as a composer/reviewer and as a vocal coach to children ages eight through eighteen. I am happy with my choices to accept long term substitute teaching assignments for choir and band as well as engagements in the private sector because I believe I am a more informed instructor and can provide much knowledge for my students.
I prefer the Bastien Piano method for piano instruction when teaching children. I feel it offers a great foundational approach, well rounded, sequential, and motivating for students. When teaching beginning adults, I teach the basics, always keeping their goal and interests in mind. I also have much experience teaching/coaching Worship Leaders who need to play keys and sing, and have many years experience in this role myself. I have conducted numerous children's choirs, and adult choirs as well.
I'm a passionate music educator that loves teaching music to people of all ages not their musical background. In 2011 I graduated for Huston-Tillotson University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. Peforming in various parts of the world has been a experience that I will cherish for a life time as a musician. The opportunity to sing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN with musical legend Shirely Ceaser, Wyonna Judd gave me the encouragement I needed to pursue all aspects of music possible.
As mentioned, I began teaching in my teenage years and to this day, it is one of my greatest passions. Equipping someone with new ways to express their love for music and emotions inside is absolutely thrilling to me! While i have mostly taught private lessons, I have also taught for a couple different music companies as well and had great success with my students! I find it very easy to “find the connection” right off the back with my students and they seem to respond very well to my personality and teaching styles.
It is my philosphopy that all people have the capacity to learn -- although not everyone learns at the same rate or in the same way. I believe in student-centric teaching meaning I try to find out what the student's goals are and then modify my curriculum to their unique learning style. No two lessons are the same!
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Piano lessons for children will focus on learning fundamentals of the technique of the instrument and learning to read music and rhythm. We suggest beginning piano lessons no earlier than age four due to the attention span of the child, as well as the strength in their hands for playing. Piano lessons offer an excellent introduction to learning music for a child. Music theory and musical skills will also be taught during the lessons. Piano lessons are a great choice for introducing the art of music to your child!
"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."
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.
In home lessons are what 90% of our students request. Not only is it a convenient means to study music, but we also notice no difference in the quality of lessons done in-home or in-studio since they are typically structured the same. The main benefit of in-home lessons is the reduction in travel time to another location. 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.
Musika piano lessons can be tailored to suit students of all abilities, whether they are beginning, intermediate, or advanced level players. For beginners, the basics will be taught. This can include learning the correct posture, hand position, and fingering technique as well as 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 can start to increase their playing speed in order to perform runs, fills, and solos, they can broaden their chord playing to things like augmented chords, diminished chords, slash chords and so on as well as working on their sight reading, music theory, such as learning different time signatures, and applying these skills to more complex songs. For advanced players, they will be adding an edge to their playing, such as improvisational skills, repertoire and genre-specific work, like learning Jazz or Romantic piano.
Review by Pat
Henry has been a great piano teacher since I started lessons about a month ago, and he is helping me realize a lifelong dream. He is patient, plays beautifully, is easy to learn from and a very nice person. I took lessons as a child for a year or so, but never followed up over the years. I always said that I would once I retired and found the right instructor. That time is now. Thank you Henry and Musika!
Review by Emily
Steve gets you started right away with songs but also goes into music theory and reading music which adds to understanding and appreciation of the music. He is very approachable and you can tell that he absolutely loves music and teaching. It is hard not to be excited about the process of learning with Steve. If you are considering lessons I highly recommend Steve for any level of student.
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 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 Ro J.
“My son has been instructed by Mark for almost four years. Mark is an outstanding teacher. His credentials are by themselves impressive, but his ability to relate his knowledge to kids is even more so. Connor's ability to understand and read music is fantastic. Mark also knows the performance side of playing drums and has encouraged Connor to actually incorporate his knowledge to play alone and in a band. He is patient and encouraging which is what motivates Connor to work and practice. He is a mentor as well as a teacher. He is superior at what he does and we highly recommend him.” Ro J.
Review by Justin
I've been taking lessons from Michael once a week for eight weeks now, and with his help I have made dramatic improvements with my sax. Michael is a funny, nice, patient and all around great instructor. I'd recommend Michael, as an instructor, to anyone who wants to improve their skills and have fun while doing it.
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 Ginger
Unbelievably Awesome. My daughter is a beginner and has some special needs. Justin is more than patient and helpful while being completely thorough and pushing her (in a good way) to try harder. He is encouraging and teaches effectively. I am very pleased. More important, so is my daughter. Thank you Musika! So grateful we found your service and connected with Justin. We highly recommend him.
Review by Venessea Gilbert
Rebecca has been super with my son! He is 8yrs old and has mild aspergers. He has never played an instrument before but after one lesson with his teacher he could keep a beat on his drums. She is able to keep his attention and really makes it fun! She is flexible and easy going. I highly recommend her for any lessons. Very nice teacher! Thank you Rebecca for your outstanding service!!
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