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Craig is a professional pianist/keyboardist who is comfortable working in many different types of performance settings and has done so throughout the Atlanta and Dallas areas as a soloist and accompanist for over 10 years. Most notably he’s served as Music Director of Destiny Worship Church a 6,000 member church just north of Atlanta in Marietta, Ga and currently serves as Worship Director of Northeast Bible Church in Plano, Texas.
I received a Bachelor’s of Music degree in Voice and Music Theater from the University of Texas at Arlington, where I appeared in several productions such has Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (Gianni Schicchi); Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma (Judd Fry) and South Pacific (Emile de Beque) and as Tevey in Fiddler on the Roof by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. Professional credits include the Fort Worth Opera; Cincinnati Opera and Shreveport Opera Company and many local area concerts.
I have been a musician almost my whole life, starting out as a singer in a children's church choir when I was five. I started playing cello in the fourth grade through the public school system in California. I am classically trained, but I love all different styles of music. One of my strengths as a string player is improvisation. I have played with many different pop, rock, and folk bands over the years and that's the kind of music I enjoy playing the most. I teach from age 8 up and while I love teaching all ages, I especially love teaching adult beginners. My personal philosophy is that it's never too late to learn! I currently work as a full-time Academic Librarian, and teach music on nights and weekends.
I am a composer who plays several instruments, and my primary instrument is piano. From 2010 to 2012, I was a full-time, self-employed piano tutor serving the Paris, TX area, with several loyal clients. What makes me stand out as an educator are two things: 1. My strong personal conviction that anything may be taught to anyone, provided that there is a willingness to learn, and that the educator is able to effectively break down the given subject into its logical components, and 2. My ability to create piano exercises on the spot, tailored to my students particular technical needs.
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.
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Many older students are fulfilling a life-long dream by taking piano lessons. Some students may have had lessons when they were younger and want to re-learn and others are simply looking for a new hobby. Whatever the aim or reason, there are many benefits to piano lessons for older students. Learning the piano can keep you mentally active, help maintain dexterity, improve your hearing, and stimulate the brain in a creative way. Older students can develop basic technique and music theory quite quickly, as their concentration, thinking skills, and self-discipline are more advanced than that of children.
We recommend that students get either a full size piano, or an 88-key, weighted hammer action keyboard for their lessons and practice. A real acoustic piano will provide the most satisfying learning experience, however, due to the cost and size of the instrument, a keyboard is often the more convenient option. Weighted keys will respond most like those of an acoustic piano, and keyboards have the added bonus of being portable and compatible with headphones. The most popular brands of keyboard or digital piano are Yamaha, Casio, Korg and Roland.
Musika offers one-on-one, in-home guitar lessons that are designed specifically for each individual student. Whether your lesson takes place in the studio or at home, students will get the exact same lesson content, with the only difference being the location. Parents will find home guitar lessons a much more convenient option for their child, as it saves the time and costs of transporting their children to and from the studio. Younger students will find that learning to play the guitar in the comfort of their own homes greatly benefits their development as they are learning in a supportive, secure and familiar environment.
Piano lessons are usually structured around a series of method books, which are recommended by the teacher and can be purchased at a local music store or online. Lessons for beginners usually start with learning the notes of the piano, and progress to learning to sight read using songs the student is familiar with. As the lessons progress, more focus is placed upon proper technique, fingering, and posture. Basic music theory is also introduced. However, whatever direction a student decides to go towards, the instructor will work to make lessons fun and enjoyable!
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 Jonathan
Angela is a phenomenal teacher. She is full of charisma and is a joy to work with. Most of my experience with her has been focused on working in the Alexander Technique and she seems very knowledgeable in this study. I would highly recommend her to any prospective student. I have seen myself improve dramatically in a few short weeks with her guidance (and much practice of course!)
Review by Paula Chacon
I've always said, "It's all about the teacher." That skillful, effective teacher who can reach that child and ignite her passion, is truly a gift. Ric does that for my daughter. As a former music teacher myself, the most challenging thing in working with children is how to build their fundamental musical skills while letting them have fun and be expressive. The teacher must create a safe, supportive environment, and Ric does that. Ric immediately focuses on fundamentals of tone and technique, giving my daughter succinct instruction on how to improve, thus she can sense the improvement immediately. Ric seems extremely easy going; even when lighting a fire under her sometimes under-achieving butt, Ric never criticizes, judges or blames. He works with my child, understanding her, helping her problem solve, and even giving her the quick answer sometimes so she can move quickly and stay motivated. Ric balances fundamentals with fun and expressiveness, so my child feels as though she can 'play' and they truly make music in every lesson. I am thankful we found a good match with Ric.
Review by Clinton Poskozim
Martina has been a great teacher. Our son is 8 and had taken some piano lessons before starting with Martina. She came right in and got him to improve. She does a great job of giving him just enough of a challenge to make him work and learn but not any pieces that are so overwhelming he can't get them. She has helped him through a lot of early music theory so that he not only can play the piano but understands the music he is reading in all of its complexity.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
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