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I believe in a hands on approach. Although I do use books to help reinforce and practice music concepts, I find that children learn through doing, so I use a hand over hand approach. I believe that one does not learn unless one wants to learn and therefore see myself less as a teacher and moreso a creator of an environment in which the student is able to teach themselves. I prefer to use the Bastien Piano Basics books in my lessons, however if a child has had experiences and prefers a different method I am willing to work with that method as well.
I have been playing viola for almost 20 years and each day I grow more and more passionate for my instrument. I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and began my musical studies on viola at the age 4. I graduated from Baylor University in 2013. While at Baylor University I was Principal of the Baylor Symphony and played with the Waco Symphony, Brazos Valley Symphony, and the San Angelo Symphony orchestras. I now attend the University of Maryland pursing my Masters degree in Viola Performance.
My teaching experience spans my entire life and involves ALL AGES. In addition, I have been teaching consistently in my home studio as well as in The Arlington School District for the past 5 years in both group and private classes. I have 3 specialties: 3 & 4 year olds have their own unique curriculum complete with lovable animals and characters with ecstatic games so that they never know that they are learning. Elementary students learn through a hysterical curriculum complete with unique personalities, ghosts and animals. And in Church training for all ages I even have special 1 day seminars to help jumpstart playing and get you on the right track quickly. And all have the flexibility to adapt to the goals and personality of the learner.
I'm a Fort Worth native with many years of performing and teaching experience. Throughout my musical development, I received extensive training in voice, piano, trombone, guitar, electric bass and percussion. I graduated from Texas Wesleyan University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance and was recognized as the Most Outstanding Music Major of the Year for performance as a vocalist and jazz bassist, an honor usually awarded separately to a vocal student and an instrumental student. I spent a few years in graduate school studying Vocal Jazz at the University of North Texas where I toured with the renowned UNT Jazz Singers in Atlanta and Los Angeles and performed with such acclaimed artists as Janis Siegel of the Manhattan Transfer and Peter Eldridge of the New York Voices. I was a featured soloist on many occasions including their 2015 album, "Can't Help It." I now perform widely throughout Texas and beyond as a jazz singer and bandleader at live music venues and private events and am frequently contracted as a commercial studio vocalist at the Axcess Group Studios in Dallas.
I have three areas of emphasis in my teaching: provide the student with a balanced repertoire, demand correct technique, and require a solid foundation in music theory. I will provide my students with opportunities to participate in recitals, festivals, contests, and state theory exams.
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All students start their lessons at different levels of experience and with different aims and goals in mind. For beginner students who are new to the piano, lessons will be devised to give students the fundamentals of good piano playing. Students will learn the correct posture, hand position, and fingering techniques for playing scales and chords. Students can develop these skills through practicing scales, arpeggios, and simple melodies using both hands. For advanced students, topics that may be covered include more intricate skills, such as creating runs and fills to add interest and variation to their playing, to develop their repertoire of pieces they can play, and to develop their sight reading. Some students may have a specific genre that they are interested in learning, such as jazz piano. Students will learn the musical theory and techniques that underlay a host of musical genres. The teachers in Musika's network are able to recommend books or specific areas of additional study that they feel will advance each individual student and help to achieve their goals.
We recommend that students get either a full size piano, or a weighted keyboard for their lessons. It is very important to set up a practice schedule every day. You can purchase a basic keyboard at a local music store or online. Some students may also wish to rent a piano if they do not wish to invest in buying one right away. Digital keyboards are good choice for the beginning student because they are portable and easily stored in your home. Keyboards will start at 61 keys and increase to a full size keyboard of 88 keys. The most common brands of keyboard are Casio, Yamaha, and Korg.
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.
We offer piano lessons for students of all ages, including adults. Whether you are a complete beginner on the instrument, or have not played the piano in many years, the knowledgeable instructors in our network can definitely assist you on your journey of developing your musical skills.
Musika deals primarily with home lessons for students. The location is the only difference between our in-home lessons and our studio lessons. As they do not have to travel to their lessons, home piano lessons can be highly convenient for those parents and students with a busy schedule. Students will need a keyboard to practice on, however. For younger students in particular, having piano lessons in the comfort of their own home can be of great benefit. They will feel more safe and relaxed in familiar surroundings, allowing them to focus on learning and enjoying playing the piano.
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 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 Kristin
Ted S. is teaching clarinet to one of my children, and piano to two others. He is extremely knowledgeable, and very encouraging. His teaching methods are keeping my children enthused about their lessons, and without that, you have nothing. Two of my children were taking piano lesson from another teacher for the past year, and not progressing. Ted has been able to evaluate their skills individually, determine what was missing in their music education, and begin again with some early basics they seem to have missed. I am convinced we are finally moving forward, and am very happy about that. I wish I would have made this change much earlier.
Review by Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
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.
Review by Alamu Vinai
Usually I don't write reviews. I am compelled to write for Feng. I've experience finding/working with many music teachers over the years for different instruments (piano, flute, sax) for kids. I think Feng is the best, he is so passionate about music, he encourages the kids. He teaches thoroughly - you can tell he knows lot about saxophone. I would definitely recommend Feng!!
Review by Natalie Kretcher
I really like her. And as an adult student, a good teacher who keeps the pace up but still keeps it reasonable in terms of difficulty is really hard to find. She does a great job of explaining little detail things in terms I (as a musically challenged human) can understand. I'm having a blast! 10/10 would recommend!
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 Howard
We value Chelsea for the quality of her lessons, but also for the flexibility of her schedule. She has worked around family vacations, impromptu summer camps and the upcoming school year. Emily is better prepared to start middle school band this year due to flute lessons from Chelsea and we plan to continue the lessons for the foreseeable future.
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