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PIANO, FLUTE, SAXOPHONE and VOICE I have been active in the music industry for over 40 years as a teacher and performer, along with holding positions as musical director, arranger, accompanist, and in show production. Growing up near New York City gave me a wealth of opportunities for musical studies and experiences. I first studied with concert pianist Frank Giampolo for many years in Bridgeport, CT. He recognized my love of jazz and incorporated it, along with a classical repertoire, theory, harmony and arranging into my private studies. I then attended Housatonic College where the Costanzo brothers, Sonny and Sam, headed the music department. Sonny is a renowned trombonist in the New York City area who has played over the years with Clark Terry’s big band and now leads his own. One of the highlights into my ventures with jazz was to study under John Mehegan, noted scholar, author and educator. John set into motion the study of jazz theory and improvisation with his four book series on the subject, which is still highly recognized today. Over the years he held posts at the Manhattan School of Music, Julliard and Yale.
My lessons are usually 30 minutes long for beginners. On top of learning from a piano series, I like to incorporate songs and styles that the student is insterested in learning. Theory and technique are also very important aspects of the lesson. Most importantly, I want the student to find their lesson time enjoyable, and make them excited to learn more.
Perhaps the most beautiful thing about the teaching is sharing the knowledge with the students. Acquiring a new knowledge can be compared to making new big and small discoveries almost every day. It always has been rewarding and inspiring for me. (I believe it’s the most important part of my motivation). If the teacher has enough teaching skills, techniques, and personal charisma for showing the students how interesting, thrilling and inspiring every small discovery is, she/he is very happy teacher who can motivate the students well. And both sides share the joy of these discoveries. It is very important for me to be friendly, open and patient with the students. I believe that the educators are to do their best to build up and maintain the sense of acceptance in all students. Interaction between students and teacher is fertile with opportunities to sow the seeds of acceptance. Another important parts of teacher’s mission are nourishing students’ natural curiosity and helping them to develop their problem-solving abilities.
My teaching experience dates back to my high school days, as I was the section leader in my school band. Many of my peers had difficulties reading and counting music so I was in charge of helping them count, memorize and perform the music to help our band as a whole succeed. I've always had a heart for this!! After high school, I then decided to broaden my teaching skills to teach kids and adults. I started inviting my friend's kids over to teach them basic piano skills. From there I began to teach a wide spectrum of students- ranging from 4 years of age to 62 years!! At any age, I find this career to be very rewarding!
I have always been more interested in the teaching side of playing music rather than strictly performance. I love seeing my students develop a passion and appreciation for music. I encourage them to play musically, and I set goals for students that are realistic and attainable. I focus on the positive and encourage them to observe their own progress. By trying to find what inspires the student, I can tailor my instruction to their wants and needs. I operate under the philosophy that you can always be improving and progressing, and celebrate even the smallest improvements.
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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.
We recommend that students get either a full size piano, or an 88-key, weighted hammer action keyboard for their lessons and practice. A real acoustic piano will provide the most satisfying learning experience, however, due to the cost and size of the instrument, a keyboard is often the more convenient option. Weighted keys will respond most like those of an acoustic piano, and keyboards have the added bonus of being portable and compatible with headphones. The most popular brands of keyboard or digital piano are Yamaha, Casio, Korg and Roland.
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.
Piano lessons for children generally focus on learning the fundamentals of the technique of the instrument and learning to read music and rhythms. We suggest beginning piano lessons no earlier than age 4, due to the attention span of the child, as well as the strength they have in their hands for playing. Piano Lessons will offer an excellent introduction to learning music for a child. Music theory and musicianship skills will also be taught during the lessons. Piano lessons are a great choice for introducing the art of music to your child!
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.
Review by Wendy
Bill has been great with my 2 young children (age 3 & 6). He has integrated games into the lessons - they have enjoyed showing us how to play the games when it is time to practice piano. Bill has been easy to contact and rescheduling has not been a problem if we have a conflict at our regular lesson time.
Review by Brianne Hancock
Martina has been teaching our daughter violin since early 2015. Every time our daughter has a lesson she comes away in such a great mood - she really enjoys her lessons! Martina is positive and encouraging and adjusts her teaching to help our daughter learn the best way for her learning needs. We were curious about how online lessons would work, and it turns out that they work really well. The 1:1 time and ability to teach from a distance make it work just as well as in person. We've had moves and schedule changes and Martina has been very flexible for us - which made such a big difference in making violin lessons accessible. Absolutely recommend her!
Review by Jeff N.
Travis is an extremely knowledgeable guitarist and teacher. Travis is equally comfortable in playing/teaching jazz, rock, blues, or classical styles. I really like the way he explains things and he has the ability to make difficult material seem simpler. Travis is very likeable, enthusiastic, and always very professional. I think Travis would be great teaching either children or adults because he's very patient. My learning experience with Travis has been outstanding. He taught me some great techniques for chord substitution and for soloing. I'll continue to work with Travis because he inspires me to be a better guitarist. I think he could really help me with composing because he writes some great songs too! Thanks Travis!
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 Susan
My daughter is extremely happy and comfortable with Rachel, and looks forward to her piano lessons every week. She is a very kind and patient teacher, always using positive reenforcement with my daughter, which makes all the difference in the world to children. We definitely are looking forward to continued piano lessons with her. So glad we found her.
Review by William Klepatsky
Very knowledgeable on every aspect of music theory. I listen to recording artists playing various classical pieces, Dan's playing is much like a recording artist's playing. Always on time. Winning happy personality, a great role model. Puts me at ease when I am playing. Have two friends who hold music degrees, I count him a third, something special about the minds and personalities of good pianists. Thanks Dan.
Review by Chrystal
I was skeptical at first not knowing what I was getting my self into.. I am very happy that I forced myself to get into voice lessons because Eli is an awsome voice coach.. Very skillful and he helps you reach the goal you are trying to reach.. He is also very helpful with getting you to open up and come out of your shell and being heard.. I would and I already have recommended friends and family to sign up with Eli if they're serious about singing..
Review by Andy Snyder
Giorgi has made learning cello even more fun. From the sympathetic, "It is hard" to the precise, "Be careful about the curve of the thumb" he has strengthened learning in every lesson, without being overwhelming. He started playing a little duet on only the 3rd lesson or so, which made me feel, even as a beginner, that I'm already starting to make (occasionally screachy) music. He has suggested a variety of drills and practice techniques which have also sped up the process a lot. And he has a good sense of humor and surprising amount of patience.
Review by Robert Stallone
I am in my 60s and decided to get back into playing my guitar. I thought taking lessons would be a good way to formalize the endeavor. I did have some concern about whether working with a teacher would work out as I've behave only played for my own enjoyment for a long time. Peter and I have had a few lessons together and I am truly enjoying the experience. He is very supportive and flexible. We arrived at a three gold approach that is really working for me. We focus on developing a playlist, learning some of the more iconic tunes from leading artist that I would have a hard time learning on my own and developing some technical skills related to style and music theory. Now I look forward to my next lesson and am already playing better and enjoying the journey. Peter is a great teacher I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.