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Emphasis on fundamentals and the basics. Beginning Lessons in Reading and Writing Music, as well as Sight-reading exercises and instruction on Jazz Theory for the more advanced students.
I teach to the strengths and weaknesses of my students. If something doesn't work for them, I find other innovative ways to teach them so that learning is fun as well as educational.
I inspire other students to pursue their dreams. If they want to pursue music as a full time career, I will encourage that as well. If they are interested in learning or writing a song, I wil assist with that.
My teaching experience dates back to my college days, I began teaching private lessons part time and tutoring both theory and piano for beginners. I was a music teacher from kindergarten to 4th grade at the Isaac Newton School in Costa Rica. I've found that encouraging practice as one the most important elements in music is key my student's success.
Welcome and thanks for choosing this Musical Path: stay positive, make beautiful music. This music program is based on the philosophy that play is the central basis for learning with young children and adults too. We will learn“technical skills” (50% of everyday practice must be on Technique and Method), but at the same time keeping in mind that music is not just about pyro-technical skills but also interpretation, story-telling, musicality, dynamics, nuance, and phrasing. I hope that we can also learn to apply “piano lessons as life lessons” (e.g. how to apply musical terms such as “harmony”, “countrapuntal voices”, “polyvocality” and so on, in everyday life). We will explore music theory (e.g. Scales and Arpeggios, Key Signatures and the Circle of Fifths; Note Values and Rhythmic Precision), preparation for music performance (solo, duet, and ensemble), and learn about music history (from Bach, Beethoven and Brahms to Southeast Asian music/s). Some of the thematic issues we will learn about and practice include: Technique and Method: 50% of everyday practice. For piano and cello: Scales and Key Signatures Books for piano: “A Dozen a Day”; Czerny; Isidor Phillip; Hanon (all available from the teacher or if not, from the website International Music Score Library Project or IMSLP). Books for cello: Dotzauer; Rick Mooney’s Position Pieces. Music Theory Students will be given hand-outs (by the teacher) every lesson or worksheets can be downloaded and printed from internet websites on: Note Values and Rhythmic Precision: if you don’t already have a METRONOME, please make sure to get one. Until you get one, you can ask the teacher to borrow hers. Key Signatures and Scales (with Arpeggios and Chords): very important not only for technique and ear training, but also for composing. Phrasing Reading Notes (Sight-reading) Dynamics (the meaning of Italian and other musical terms): please try to get a comprehensive MUSIC DICTIONARY ( in order to understand the terms “legato”, “dolce”, “sforzando” and so on). Interpretation Ear Training, Tonalization, and Listening Students are strongly encouraged to listen to their songs/pieces everyday (either from a music disc or in youtube). It is very important that you are not just sight-dependent, but can play and compose music too by “playing it by ear”. This is a very useful skill to have specially when playing music and with musicians who are not familiar with printed texts or cannot sight-read (e.g. Timorese music, some Philippine music, jazz, some hymns and spirituals, folk songs). Learning how to cooperate with others by playing duets, ensemble work: This is a very important life lesson. You cannot just be a “soloist”. Our goal is to build a community of talented musicians in Timor Leste. Music History (from different countries and cultures) and Reading the Biographies of Composers and Musicians Students are strongly encouraged to read widely about music history and the lives of musicians. You can download composer’s biographies from Wikipedia or order books via amazon.com. I also have a “rotating library” of books I brought to Timor which I can lend to each of you and can rotate, please ask me: Highly recommended (you can borrow from me): Eric Siblin’s “The Cello Suites: J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece.” Richard Powers, “The Time of our Singing.” J. Siapno, “A Society with Music is a Society with Hope: Musicians as Survivor-Visionaries in Post-war Timor Leste,” in Southeast Asia Journal. London, 2013. See link: https://www.academia.edu/4513125/_A_society_with_music_is_a_societywith_hope_musicians_as_survivor-visionaries_in_post-war_Timor_Leste_
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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 in the same way as a studio lesson, and in addition, a younger student may feel more comfortable at an in-home lesson, as they are already familiar with the surroundings.
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.
Musika recommends that children start piano lessons no earlier than age 4 or 5. The attention span and personality of the child are something 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 generally learn how to read music, the fundamentals of musicianship and sight reading, music theory techniques, and ear training.
Provided you do not have the space or budget to purchase an acoustic piano, such as an upright or baby grand, then a keyboard is a perfectly acceptable alternative. Keyboards with a weighted hammer action are the best option, as the key touch sensitivity is comparable to that of an acoustic piano. As a rule, more keys are better and at least 61 key pianos are advised. The most popular brands of keyboard are Casio, Roland, and Yamaha and can be purchased from most musical instrument retailers. Keyboards offer great convenience due to their price, portability, and headphones option.
Review by Queen Natalia
Lara is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in her profession. She is cheerful and personable, and has established a good rapport with students and staff alike. I have found Lara to be a highly competent, personable, patient, kind-hearted, and deeply caring person who is skilled professionally and interpersonally.
Review by Kristen Draughn
Mr. Lou M. is a God-send! With the various needs that our organization requires from our education partners in order to provide enrichment services to our students, Mr. Lou M. has always gone above and beyond in meeting all of those needs. Our students are learning, our caregivers are happy and satisfied, and we couldn't be more pleased with his performance.
Review by Jennifer
Dave is a fantastic teacher. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to students that I think is invaluable. At the same time, this does not limit him from working with beginning students. He is very communicative with the parents as far as schedule changes. We are so grateful to have found him!!
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 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 Ericcharlton
Rahsaan is an extremely talented player who relates really well with my teenagers. He has them both interested in learning. Given Rahsaan's expertise, it's clear that even though they are beginners now, they can learn from him for a long time to come. He's a real nice laid-back guy and both the boys really enjoy their time with him. I've been very impressed and pleased with the experience.
Review by Ginger
Unbelievably Awesome. My daughter is a beginner and has some special needs. Justin is more than patient and helpful while being completely thorough and pushing her (in a good way) to try harder. He is encouraging and teaches effectively. I am very pleased. More important, so is my daughter. Thank you Musika! So grateful we found your service and connected with Justin. We highly recommend him.
Review by Alamu Vinai
Usually I don't write reviews. I am compelled to write for Feng. I've experience finding/working with many music teachers over the years for different instruments (piano, flute, sax) for kids. I think Feng is the best, he is so passionate about music, he encourages the kids. He teaches thoroughly - you can tell he knows lot about saxophone. I would definitely recommend Feng!!
Review by Terri
Caitlyn is friendly, helpful and still holds my high-school aged daughter accountable for practicing. She also makes sure the music technique is mastered correctly during the lessons - they work hard and still have a good time together. I can highly recommend her as a flute teacher. My daughter is very happy & grateful to have found Caitlyn as a teacher.
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