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In addition, I provide private music instruction each week teaching lessons on a variety of instruments and have even served as a substitute teacher, as well as performing with various bands and ensembles over the years.
I've found that tailoring my instruction to the wants and needs of the student is incredibly important to ensure a lifelong appreciation for playing music. Not every student needs to play Beethoven. I focus on positive reinforcement and helping students become comfortable with their instrument, so that they enjoy playing and practicing every day. Questions are encouraged, and creative impulses are pursued wherever they lead. That way, we can play together and grow together!
I believe that anyone can achieve success when pursuing the study of music! It is the teacher's role to discover strengths and interests and to guide the student in developing their fullest musical potential. As an educator, I understand that students need assignments that are at their independent level of study, and base the lesson experience on that knowledge. I love seeing the joy and confidence that emerges as students progress toward their goal of playing and singing well!
I am a passionate pianist and organist--as well as vocalist--that loves working with students of all ages that are serious about learning their musical craft. In 2004, I graduated from the University of Texas in San Antonio with a Bachelor's in Music Education. My primary instrument is piano, however, I am well versed in my secondary instruments of organ and voice. I frequently serve as an accompanist around the San Antonio area and play a myriad of musical styles from Bach to ZZ Top.
As mentioned, I began teaching in my teenage years and to this day, it is one of my greatest passions. Equipping someone with new ways to express their love for music and emotions inside is absolutely thrilling to me! While i have mostly taught private lessons, I have also taught for a couple different music companies as well and had great success with my students! I find it very easy to “find the connection” right off the back with my students and they seem to respond very well to my personality and teaching styles.
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In home lessons are what 90% of our students request. Not only is it a convenient means to study music, but we also notice no difference in the quality of lessons done in-home or in-studio since they are typically structured the same. The main benefit of in-home lessons is the reduction in travel time to another location. Additionally, the student may be able to focus better in their own home since they are familiar with it. Piano lessons in the home offer a practical choice for your family for learning the skill of playing a musical instrument.
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.
Due to the attention span of very young children, we advise that students begin their piano lessons no younger than age 4 or 5. Piano lessons are a great way to introduce an instrument for the first time to a younger child. Learning piano will teach them basic musical skills such as rhythm and harmony, as well as how to read sheet music and chords.
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.
For adults who are looking to learn to play the piano, we recommend that they do so with some clear goals in mind. Maybe you want to learn to play some of your favorite songs, pass an exam, or write your own music. Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. It can take time to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the piano to a competent level. However, playing the piano is a great stress reliever, keeps you mentally active, and can help with your hearing and fine-motor skills.
Review by Christopher Perrone
Mike has been working with my son Robert for over a year and has just started working with my daughter Kate. Mike is both a great musician and a good teacher. He connects with the kids and keeps them engaged. He is able to tailor the lesson to focus on music that is interesting to each child. He also encourages the students to participate in a public setting which is great. I would highly recommend Mike.
Review by Alex A.
Travis rocks. My 7-year-old son and I both take lessons with him. Travis has moved me off the plateau I was on with lessons that focus on theory and technique. And for my son, he's been able to instill a desire and interest that were missing when he previously took piano lessons. With Travis teaching us, the limits are the ones we impose on ourselves. Needless to say, Travis himself plays a mean guitar to boot!
Review by Nancy Fritsch
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach.
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 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 Sharon
My 4-year-old has had several lessons with Martina now, and he has learned a lot. Obviously, it is challenging to teach such a young child, and he has learned quite a lot in a short time, and is very excited to learn about violin and for his lessons. I think Martina is doing an excellent job, is quite patient, and is teaching him in such a way that he can really remember his new skills from week to week. We look forward to many more lessons with Ms. Martina!
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 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 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.
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