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I am very flexible with my teaching methods and put together the best style matching the student's learning strengths. Furthermore, I update and change my methods if I feel the current method is becoming ineffective. I keep my lessons interactive with the student because the time is for the student to retrieve as much information as he/she can regarding their instrument and they can build a stronger week of preparation heading into the next lesson.
I'm a knowledgable instructor looking to share my passion for music. In 2012, I graduated from Musicians Institute with an Associates of Arts in Guitar Performance and Sound Engineering. I have played with several musicians of all styles, and have played many popular venues including the House of Blues, The Roxy, and The Whisky-a-Go-Go.
I have been teaching on and off for a few years. It started with two students and grew up to 5. What I want to help the student is that is music is enjoyable to learn. It is a way to help them grow as a person. I love sharing new ideas with people while we are in our lesson too! My students are highly encouraged to enter any contest or solo or audition.
My first taste of teaching came in middle school, when my orchestra director asked me to teach the class a new technique (left hand pizzicato). I've never looked back, and now have over 10 years of experience teaching in both individual and group settings. In high school, I led group rehearsals and taught individual lessons to string players. By college, I knew teaching would play a significant role in my life, so I chose to focus on education during my undergraduate studies. I gained valuable experience leading ensembles, teaching in elementary and middle school classrooms, and expanding my instrumental knowledge and teaching ability. I am proud to offer quality instruction in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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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Modern day keyboards have a wide range of functions that make them perfect for learning to play the piano. Many keyboards have in-built lessons and songs of varying difficulties to play along to, which can act as a great supplement to lessons. Keyboards also come with a range of different instrument sounds and FX, such as percussive sounds, string sounds, synthesizer-type sounds and brass and horn sections, which can be fun to play with. They also usually have a record function and can be synchronized to a personal computer, which is great for hearing your progress or writing your own music!
Whether you have an interest in learning to play contemporary, jazz, blues, or classical piano, piano teachers in the Musika network can help develop your playing through one-on-one lessons. Throughout your piano lessons, you will cover a wide range of skills ranging from basic playing, to music theory, all the way through more advanced piano study. For those just starting out, the essential elements of piano such as hand position and fingering technique are generally taught before moving on and applying these skills to playing major and minor scales and simple songs using one hand. Students then typically progress to learning chords, such as major chords, and start to put these into practice by learning simple songs. Lessons may also cover the theory side of piano, such as reading music, sight reading, and chord charts. Experienced players can work on certain aspects of their playing, such as improvisational skills, genre-specific playing such as jazz, or developing their repertoire.
Adults take up piano lessons for a number of different reasons. Some people want to reintroduce themselves to the instrument having once played it in the past, while others are looking for a new hobby or just to learn a new skill for fun! Whatever the reason, there are major benefits to learning the piano during adulthood. Learning piano technique can help retain fine motor skills and co-ordination, it can keep the mind sharp due to the complex thought processes, and has shown to be good for preserving your hearing. Learning to play the piano can also be therapeutic, and is a great stress reliever.
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!
Musika deals primarily with home lessons for students. The location is the only difference between our in-home lessons and our studio lessons. As they do not have to travel to their lessons, home piano lessons can be highly convenient for those parents and students with a busy schedule. Students will need a keyboard to practice on, however. For younger students in particular, having piano lessons in the comfort of their own home can be of great benefit. They will feel more safe and relaxed in familiar surroundings, allowing them to focus on learning and enjoying playing the piano.
Review by Steve Newman
My daughter began learning sax in her school band, but she didn't begin PLAYING sax until she started lessons with Debra. From scales and exercises to actual pieces, Debra coached my daughter with real insight, sensitivity, and patience. Her knowledge of the instrument and feeling for music - along with her easy-going,"kid friendly" personality - make Debra the ideal teacher and musical mentor.
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 Stan
My two daughters wanted to study piano fore some time now and just recently I found Musikalessons website and teacher Milica. I can only say that my daughters are very happy with their piano lessons and simply adore Milica. They already made a great progress and we're all happy with what they learned in this short period. Thank you Musikalessons and Milica.
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 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 Lauren Segal
Ed is THE best instructor I've ever had and I've had many instructors over the years in various fields of study. Ed met us at a music store to help choose a guitar, this is after he first called and asked all the right questions. He's supplied my daughter with just the right amount of paper work and just the right amount of new techniques. By this I mean to say that Ed connects with the pace my daughter learns at. I highly recommend Ed AND Musika.
Review by Carol A
“Lynn is my music hero! She can listen to any song and write down the chords. She will adjust to make it easier or harder whatever your abilities. I have a busy schedule and often don't have time to practice between lessons and she is cool with that. She also will adjust lesson times when she is able which fits my hectic schedule. I'm glad my first guitar teacher "fired" me ....that allowed me to meet Lynn.” - Carol A., M.D., Aug 2015
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 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.
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