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I have played cello for 25 years.I have performed and recorded with a variety of different groups in Southern California and Texas including the Claremont Symphony Orchestra in Claremont, California, the Point Loma Nazarene University Orchestra in San Diego, California, the Sinfonietta of Fort Worth in Texas, various independent solo artists and alternative bands. I am currently the praise team leader for a church in Fort Worth, where I sing and play guitar.
My teaching dates back to my high school days, as I began teaching middle school during my off period. I have been succesfully and consistently teaching students in my studio for 6+ years.
Nothing is more rewarding than seeing one of my students develop a passion for music! Therefore, it's importat that each student progresses at his/her own pace. I encorage them by setting realistic goals and by reinforcing the improtance of individual study practice. By trying out what inspires the student, I can successfully tailor my instruction to their wants and needs.
Ever since I was first starting piano lessons I knew I was to share my gift. As I started college my desire was not just to play but to also share my gift and teach as well. My passion is to pass on the ability to express ones self through music whether it be flute or piano. It gives me great joy to see my students excel and see their confidence increase as they progress in their playing ability. My teaching approach is to emphasize a strict adherence to improving technical skills through practice as well as customizing choice of music to suit their desires and goals.
I have been playing the piano since I was old enough to reach the keys. My mother, an avid musician herself, taught me my earliest lessons in piano and has been an inspiration to me throughout my life as an accomplished vocalist and cellist. My father is a professional violinist based out of Santa Fe, NM and has provided me invaluable guidance in navigating the business side of music. I began studio lessons with Joanne Kersting at the age of 6 and spent the majority of my childhood into my late teens focusing on self teaching, and improvisation. Since that time I have studied piano with several other teachers, played saxophone for award winning bands, and performed with multiple groups in Classical, Rock, Jazz, Blues, and other genres. In addition to being a musician, I am also a father of two, a roller skater, and have a love of learning anything and everything.
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The content of each lesson is determined by the ability and experience level of each individual student. For students just starting off, the foundations of piano playing will start to be laid. This includes learning to read music and chord charts, learning their way around the piano, and learning simple scales and chords. Students can put these new skills to use through simple, entry level compositions. For intermediate pianists, they will develop some of the finer arts to piano playing, such as modulation, developing speed, and combining a wider array of chords, such as augmented and slash chords. They will also get to work on their sight reading and playing more challenging songs. Advanced students may wish to work on their improvisational skills, develop their repertoire, or study a specific genre or style of playing, such as Jazz, Baroque, or Blues. Regardless, all students will experience the joys of piano playing.
Some of the most popular keyboard or digital piano brands are Casio, Yamaha, Korg, and Roland. When buying a keyboard, look for ones that have 61 to 88 keys, and have weighted hammer action. This means your keyboard will most closely resemble the playability of a real piano. Keyboards are convenient as they are cheap, space saving, portable, and can be played with headphones. If it is within your means, we highly recommend investing in an acoustic piano, such as an upright, as they are better built and more satisfying to play.
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 in the same way as a studio lesson, and in addition, a younger student may feel more comfortable at an in-home lesson, as they are already familiar with the surroundings.
At Musika, we highly recommend that students looking to learn to play the piano do so with a clear goal in mind. Whether your goal is to learn to play your favorite tunes, reacquaint yourself with the piano, or just to play for fun, the experienced teachers in our network can help you make those goals a reality. Learning, developing, and improving technique, co-ordination, and theory can actually be quicker during adulthood as the complex thought processes and theory are easier to understand. Adults can also help maintain their fine-motor skills, concentration, and listening skills into later life.
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 Jennifer
Dave is a fantastic teacher. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to students that I think is invaluable. At the same time, this does not limit him from working with beginning students. He is very communicative with the parents as far as schedule changes. We are so grateful to have found him!!
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 Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
Review by Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
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 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 Steve Newman
My daughter began learning sax in her school band, but she didn't begin PLAYING sax until she started lessons with Debra. From scales and exercises to actual pieces, Debra coached my daughter with real insight, sensitivity, and patience. Her knowledge of the instrument and feeling for music - along with her easy-going,"kid friendly" personality - make Debra the ideal teacher and musical mentor.
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.
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