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I adjust my teaching based on the particular student. For adults I take the lessons in whatever direction they like. Subjects covered are more often than not dictated by the student's interest. For children I do take their interests into account but also guide them towards getting better at their instrument. Reading music is an important thing for all my students.
I always guide my instructions accordingly to my studets needs to keep the lessons engaging and fun. I try to get to know my students as well as possible so I can pick them the right pieces to play. For beginning students I typically use Nancy and Randall Faber's PreTime Piano, however I also put my personal touch in every students program depending on their skill level, age and interests. I always pick pieces that I am sure my students will enjoy learning but also have them gain a new important skill. I also supply visual help such as stickers and drawings to ensure understading of a subject.
I began my teaching career as a private lesson teacher in 2000. Then I advanced into the private schools from grades k-12 from 2001-2003. During this time I taught children that had special needs. They became one of my best students. I taught in public schools as well in 2008. I did private lessons for six years in between from 2003-09.
I believe music is unique because of individuality. I make lesson plans depending on each student's interests and learning progress. For young beginners, I encourage lots of participation from parents because it helps children feel supportive and it is always nice to see how much they grow. I like advanced students to express their ideas about the needs and wants as well as musical ideas. Different opinions would make lessons more interesting and inspiring.
I began teaching people how to play instruments when I was in high school, by teaching new students to the band how to play percussion. I then continued teaching once in college by volunteering at local high schools helping new students to the band programs learn brass and percussion. From there I worked with the Rich South high school band director and the Jack Hille middle school band directors. Once I graduated college I taught choir and instrumental music for the catholic school system for two years. Then I received my current job with Chicago Public Schools as the music director starting the schools first music program.
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Once you’ve met with your teacher for your risk free trial lesson, continuing with Musika is easy! If you are satisfied with your lesson, all you have to do is register with us to continue! The trial will count as your first lesson if you continue, however, with our Great Match Guarantee™ if for any reason you decide not to continue then the trial is FREE. Go ahead give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.
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Background checks available on instructors. Instructor can opt to have a background check on file. You can request to only be connected with teachers that have a check. The choice is yours.
Musika teachers do not adhere to one specific method for all their students. Most teachers will customize their lesson plans to the individual needs and skill level of the student. If you are looking for any specific teaching styles or methods to be used in your lessons, please let us know during the matching process and we can try to assign you to the teacher who will best suit your needs. Generally all lessons will cover topics focused on learning to read music, practice skills, music theory and musicianship, ear training, and rhythm skills.
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.
Our recommended starting age for piano is 4 or 5, when students are capable of playing the keys properly and have sufficient strength in the fingers and hands. Young students also should have begun learning to count and to read. No matter what your age may be, the piano is an excellent introduction to the fundamentals of music, including music theory and basic composition techniques.
Learning a new musical skill as an adult is a great way to keep your brain fresh! We have many adult students actively taking lessons with us, and they make up around 50% of our student base. The instructors in our network offer individually tailored lesson plans based on the needs of the adult student. You will learn the technique of the instrument, specific repertoire suited to your skill level, and learn how to sight read.
Music lessons in your home offer a convenient option to learn music! Most of our students request in-home lessons for this reason. As long as you have a piano or keyboard in your home, then you should be all set to start your lessons! Children who have never played an instrument before may feel more comfortable studying in their own home, as it may be less intimidating than going somewhere else. In-home lessons also decrease the time and gas money spent traveling to a different location.
Review by Al
Pavel is doing a great job with my 6 year old son. Pavel is doing a great job helping my son focus on technique and rhythm, which is something previous instructors weren't so successful with. Pavel is organized / structured / systematic, which is what my son needs now, but I hope he relaxes a bit as the lessons continue so that more "joy" comes through.
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 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 Anita
Our daughter has only been playing the piano since March. Tony replaced our other teacher who had a job transfer and could no longer teach. Tony is fun and encouraging. My daughter is playing Taylor Swift and Christmas songs and is playing the piano more than ever before. Very happy so far with Mr Tony
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 William Klepatsky
Very knowledgeable on every aspect of music theory. I listen to recording artists playing various classical pieces, Dan's playing is much like a recording artist's playing. Always on time. Winning happy personality, a great role model. Puts me at ease when I am playing. Have two friends who hold music degrees, I count him a third, something special about the minds and personalities of good pianists. Thanks Dan.
Review by Steven G.
Laura is the kind of teacher you wish you had in all your studies: gracious, easy-going, light-hearted, yet behind the easy going exterior is an excellent musical mind with everything at her fingertips. I've had about 5 teachers in my life who count as really influential people, and Laura easily fits that category. She lets you be yourself so that you are fully present rather than old-school doctrinaire style, what I call "stiff as a German, sig-heil" teachers. She's the polar opposite. Brava, Laura! Thank you so much!
Review by Roselynbrown
After moving from NY and parting from our amazing piano instructor, we thought we couldn't find a piano teacher close to what we knew. We are happy to say Musika matched us up with someone professional and friendly who enjoys teaching younger students. Thank you! We definitely recommend Kuan as a piano instructor :)
Review by Blaine Vaz
“I took drum lessons from Mark for about 7 months. I have been playing for 38 years but always thrive to learn more. He was able to provide me alternative exercises and help me gain a better understanding of my opportunities. I have been able to take my playing to another level. His approach to teaching is perfect for any level of student, beginner or advanced. He is a true professional and an outstanding person. You won't go wrong with Mark!” Blaine Vaz
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