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A lifelong music student who began piano lessons at the age of seven. He sang in church long before that. He studied at the Birmingham Southern University Conservatory at age fourteen in classical music. It was then that he became a church pianist as well. He loves to play different styles of music including show tunes, gospel, and pop. He has accompanied school choirs, and churches on the piano for several years. He is also a singer and had a choral focus as a music education major.
I have seventeen years of experience teaching piano. I teach musical expression through the instruction of sequential musical skills, varied repertoire, sight reading, ear-training, music theory and technique. My purpose is to help each student develop a love and appreciation of music. I hope that music will be an avenue of fulfillment and a source of joy that will last them a lifetime.
I design my own curriculum for all of my voice students, which usually comprises of basic piano and theory skills and vocal technique. Dependent upon the students interest level and personal goals, I determine the extent of the materials and the pace of the lessons. Since I only teach beginner piano for children and teens, I usually stick to the basic beginner books (i.e. Hal Leonard or John Thompson) and slowly Incorporate solo repertoire.
My favorite thing about teaching music is seeing my students connect with the instrument and come to life with their first song. While I am a big fan of theory and the science behind music we always start with trying to make music. I try to make the joy of music the only reward you will ever want from your lessons and practice time. Also, since I do play various instruments I try to incorporate other sounds into lessons as often as possible to help you keep an open perspective on the music world. Finally, as a writer/composer I always encourage the creation of new music so some lessons will be all about trying to play something brand new that you have never done before. Nothing is greater in music than being able to share something that you created though your own hard work and creativity!
I LOVE when a student finally plays a piece beautifully after working on it for a while--and their face says they realize their hard work is paying off! I encourage each student to reach achievable goals and I expect them to work on it during the week during their practice time at home. Giving praise, high-fives, stickers, and compliments when students accomplish their practice goals or a difficult section of music leaves the student feeling motivated to keep learning. It's all about positive reinforcement! I know from experience that building a great relationship with the student results in them being eager to learn more about playing the piano.
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Children are recommended to start piano lessons no earlier than age 4 or 5. The attention span and personality of the child are factors to consider when thinking of taking lessons. Even if your child has no evident musical inclinations, piano lessons offer a great option for introducing your child to music. During their lessons children will learn sight reading, music theory techniques, ear training as well as fundamentals of music.
As piano lessons are customized to the needs of each individual student, we are able to better help you to achieve your goals. Beginning students may just want to learn an instrument out of interest and for fun, so the basics will be covered to get you up and running. This tends to include music theory and technical exercises, such as hand position, fingering, and playing scales and chords. Intermediate students may be working towards an exam, recital or performance, so will cover playing, performance and stylistic techniques such as legato, staccato, glissando, sight reading, working on speed, runs, fills, and solos. Other topics that may be covered in your piano lessons are things like expanding your repertoire, developing improvisation and jamming skills, and studying the various types of genre-based playing techniques and styles, such as Jazz, Ragtime, Blues, Rock, or Classical piano.
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.
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 the same way as in-studio lessons are, and in addition, a younger student may feel more comfortable at an in-home lesson, as they are already familiar with the surroundings.
If purchasing an acoustic piano is not an option, we recommend that students look to buy a keyboard or digital piano for their lessons and practice. When buying a keyboard or digital piano, look to purchase one with 61 or more keys, as well as one with weighted hammer action. Having more keys, as well as weighted keys, will most resemble the responsiveness and feel of an acoustic piano. Typically, keyboards are a cheaper option, they take up less space, are portable and can be played with headphones. Some of the most popular brands of keyboard or digital piano are Yamaha, Roland, and Casio.
Review by PJ Williams
My daughter, Valarie is one of the original members of the Enrichment Center Percussion Ensemble under the guidance of Aaron. He patiently worked with Valarie as well as the other five members individually and as a group to produce music that has been shared and enjoyed locally as well as nationally. He has the ability to seek out the strengths of each student while building confidence. Through his teachings, not only had Valarie learned how to produce and enjoy music, but also responsibility and so many life skills for everyday living.
Review by Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
Review by Marcia Hecht
Karleen has really turned it around for me. My previous teacher (not from Musika) had me feeling anxious, upset, and incapable...NOT the desired result! Karleen's method is clear, appropriate for my beginning level, and (best of all) actually lets me achieve some progress! I'm actually looking forward to my lessons now!
Review by Dylan Jacinto
Jessie is the finest musician I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I find her overall concept of approaching an instrument to be both comprehensive and effective. Each technique she has acquired has made it possible for her to tailor her method to a variety of ages and individuals. I cannot speak more highly of Miss Jessie's abilities. Her lengthy and impressive cradecials speak for themselves. I recommend no hesitation in seeking her services!
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 Ryan Piveteau
Amber is personal and cares about her students. She is flexible in her schedule and maintains a professional attitude in her lessons. Her want for her students to succeed makes her excel as a teacher. She is very knowledgeable about music and extremely experienced. Additionally, she includes external activities aside from lessons for the students who wish to advance themselves externally. Really a great teacher who offers great opportunity.
Review by Richardpoplawski
I feel she is a very professional teacher and I have already recommended your company and her to my friends who have children that play musical instruments. My 8 year old son has never been so enthusiastic to play his violin. His skills have improved almost exponentially since we have began lessons with Lauren. Your company has exceeded my expectations and I am very happy to have found it online.
Review by James F.
After my first piano lesson, Polina is easily the best teacher I could have hoped for. Extremely charismatic and excited to help YOU learn the piano. She puts a lot of effort into evaluation your learning style and will no doubt help you make tremendous strides! I'm stoked to continue taking lessons!
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!
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