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As a teacher, I emphasize a positive-focused teaching method. I work with each student as an individual, based on their goals and learning styles. In lessons, I focus on relaxed, correct posture and playing position, in addition to ensuring rhythms, pitch-reading, and theory are understood. I also spend time with students focusing on expressive aspects of music, with the goal of performing in a studio recital or other venue.
I began as a formal teacher during my senior year at The University of New Haven, teaching private instrumental lessons as well as tutoring existing students in theory and other music classes. I have taught students as young as 5 years old as well as adults much older than myself with incredible results. My primary instruments are guitar and drums/percussion. I have also taught numerous piano and bass guitar students all whom have recieved a great start to their musical journey. I also have formed great relationships with my students and have had a majority of them stay with me for many years.
For beginning students, I usually start with a reputable method book that will allow them to advance in "grades" as the skills get better. At earlier stages of learning, the focus is on the technique towards learning the instrument. As a student progresses into intermediate and advanced stages, several pieces from the solo repertoire (and if available ensemble pieces) become part of the curriculum. Throughout the advancement in levels, I try to focus on selecting pieces that the indivdual student will have interest in while balancing pieces necessary for learning more difficult musical techniques. Artistry becomes the main point when pitches, rhythms, and basic elements are mastered.
Ten years ago in Washington DC, I began teaching classes at various studios and non profit organizations as well as privately at students' homes and my studio. Four years ago I moved to Austin, TX to complete post-production on a feature film, which I composed and performed the score for. Inspired by the city's rich music scene, I stayed and quickly picked up students all over Austin. In other words, I teach north, south, east, west, and central Austin, hosting at least three percussion rectials a year at popular music venues, usually two studio recording sessions a year where students can build their video and audio reels, as well as many other opportunities for showcasing students' original compositions, such as producing music videos.
Ever since I picked up a guitar at the age of 15, I have been passionate about performing. Earning a music degree came naturally to me, as I have a great appreciation for all genres of music. My band, The Hollowmen, and I have performed at several venues around San Antonio as we work to make our mark in the rock-n-roll scene.
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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. In fact, adult students represent around 50% of our student base. The instructors in our network generally offer an individually tailored lesson plan to the needs of an adult student. You will learn the technique of the instrument, specific repertoire suited to your skill level, as well as learning how to read music and sight read.
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.
Piano lessons for children will focus on learning fundamentals of the technique of the instrument and learning to read music and rhythm. We suggest beginning piano lessons no earlier than age four due to the attention span of the child, as well as the strength in their hands for playing. Piano lessons offer an excellent introduction to learning music for a child. Music theory and musical skills will also be taught during the lessons. Piano lessons are a great choice for introducing the art of music to your child!
The content of each lesson is determined by the ability and experience level of each individual student. For beginner students who are new to the piano, lessons will be devised to give students the fundamentals of good piano playing. Students will learn the correct posture, hand position, and fingering techniques for playing scales and chords. Intermediate players can start to increase their playing speed in order to perform runs, fills, and solos, they can broaden their chord playing to things like augmented and diminished chords, they develop their sight reading, learn music theory such as time signatures, and work on applying these skills to more complex compositions. Advanced players may want to study a particular genre or composer. Pianists who enjoy Classical music may like to study the compositions of Bach or Mozart, or maybe develop their Jazz or Blues playing. Teachers can also help prepare students for exam, auditions, performances, or recitals.
A keyboard or digital piano is a perfectly acceptable alternative to an acoustic piano for the purposes of lessons and practice. The major advantages of keyboards are the cheap price, portability, and the possibility of playing with headphones, which means being able to practice without disturbing others. When buying a keyboard, look to get one with a weighted hammer action and as many keys as possible although a minimum of 61 should suffice. Weighted keys will most resemble the touch sensitivity of a real piano. The most common brands are Casio, Korg, and Yamaha. If possible, look to purchase an upright or baby grand piano.
Review by Marlo
Danette is a delightful instructor. She always brings a wealth of knowledge, excitement, and enthusiasm to piano lessons with my daughter. She is not only skilled at piano, but she has a wonderful voice quality that she uses to help convey certain techniques and to highlight various points where she intends to draw the students attention.
Review by Roberta
My 4 year old son is quite energetic. Another piano teacher tried to teach him before Peter and could not get my son to listen to him at all. That teacher told me that my son had no interest and that we needed to wait before having my son take lessons. Peter started teaching my son a few weeks later. He quickly developed a great rapport with my son. I was astounded when my son sat down and listened to Peter during the first lesson. Peter has remarkable patience and is a natural working with children. He knows when to follow the child's lead. My son is very interested in how the piano works, so Peter takes the time to teach him about this. He is able to use my son's interests (superheroes, Lego, Star Wars, etc.) to refocus him back to playing the piano. Between lessons, he brainstorms on how he can teach my son better. For example, my son was playing the notes, but not understanding rhythm, so Peter looked into it and came back the next week with a new plan which helped. My son looks forward to his lesson every week. When he hears the doorbell ring on lesson day, he exclaims, "Yay! Peter's here!"
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 Jeremy
Dr. Nedra C is incredible. She knows her craft in and out, it truly shows in her teaching. As well, she cares a great deal about the student, and preps plenty of material outside of the lesson for those that she teaches. I've had many different music teachers and am aware who's talented and cares, and who isn't. Dr. Nedra C is true phenomenal, and any student would be lucky to have her.
Review by Cameron D.
After signing up for lessons with David L. I knew I made the right choice. Just after a couple of weeks I didn't see him as a teacher but as a best friend. There was always a relaxed atmosphere during the lessons. He was very easy to talk to and he really listen to you. If I ever had a question he would answer. He tailors to what ever you want to do in that lesson. David L. is a great teacher and a friend. I totally recommend him for anyone
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 Bradford Putt
Angela has been a perfect match-up for me. She is warm and welcoming, and also serious about teaching - she keeps our time focused and on track. What I truly appreciate, as a new singer anxiously preparing for an event, is the confidence she gives me. Angela is very encouraging. I enjoy coming to class.
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 Maria
My daughter has been taking piano lessons through her school district program for the last two years. She had learned a lot in that class but I noticed that she needed advanced classes at this point. After reviewing several websites I decided to enroll my daughter for the trial at MUSIKA. We got Mrs. Veronica B., and I am more than happy we got her as my daughter's teacher. Mrs. Veronica B. was very professional and very knowledgeable at the trial day. She was able to assess my daughter skill's level, and then she was able to give suggestions about how to improve those skills. My daughter has taken 5 classes with Mrs. Barker, and I can see she enjoys each class and she's improved a lot since day one. I can picture my daughter playing her favorites songs on the piano very soon!!! :-)
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