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Kokila grew up constantly learning and playing music. She started Recorder and Piano and Harp and early ages and continued her studies for many years, playing in concerts and Baroque groups till this day. She performs widely in the New York area to a variety of venues. She is also a composer and was signed to a major New Age Music label in 1995, for her first album 'Celtic Angels', which came out to rave reviews.
Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia. I graduated from Rider University with Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Piano Performance, with Bachelor of Music (BM) in Music Theory & Composition, and with Master of Music (MM) in Piano Performance & Pedagogy. I have performed at Carnegie Hall in 2009 and in 2012, as well as given concerts throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maine. In April of 2014, I have performed Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with Princeton Community Orchestra.
I have been passionate about music ever since I was a young child. I graduated with a Bachelor in Music in Classical Voice from William Paterson University. I have been lucky enough to sing in some of the greatest venues around the world. Including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Chicago Orchestra Hall, and abroad to Bulgaria, London, and Prague.
I'm an enthusiastic and patient instructor who loves imparting my love of music to students. In 2008, I graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Music. While at Yale, I was Music Director of the Yale Spizzwinks, the nation's 2nd-oldest a cappella singing group. Since graduating, I've played piano on Broadway for "Wicked" and "Motown," and conducted and music directed Off-Brodway and regionally at venues including The Public Theatre, La Mama, Soho Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera and the Kennedy Center. My original musical, "Anthem," received critical acclaim at the NY Fringe Festival in 2014 ("...a musical that did everything 100% right," NY Theatre Guide). I continue to play for "Wicked" and write my own music.
Music has been apart of my life since I was a baby, and I have always been drawn to its captivating allure. I started saxophone when I was eleven and began playing in jazz bands when I was thirteen. But it wasn't until my freshman year of college that my musical journey really started. While at the University of Wyoming, I was the lead alto in the top Jazz Ensemble for three years in a row, and I was in the top jazz combo both my junior and senior year. I was fortunate enough to share the stage with jazz legends such as Dave Douglas, Bob Mintzer and the Yellojackets, Eric Reed, and Dave Pietro. When I moved to New York, I was introduced to another world of music and jazz. Purchase College and the New York City jazz scene has introduced me to some of the greatest musicians in the world. I now perform in some of the Purchase College ensembles, and I lead my own Quintet made up of fellow Master's students that performs at Jazz Clubs in New York City.
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Musika piano lessons can be tailored to suit students of all abilities, whether they are beginning, intermediate, or advanced level players. For beginners, the basics will be taught. This can include learning the correct posture, hand position, and fingering technique as well as learning the notes and scales of the piano, learning basic chords and chord progressions, developing the musical ear, and learning to apply these things to simple songs. 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 chords, diminished chords, slash chords and so on as well as working on their sight reading, music theory, such as learning different time signatures, and applying these skills to more complex songs. For advanced players, they will be adding an edge to their playing, such as improvisational skills, repertoire and genre-specific work, like learning Jazz or Romantic piano.
Musika offers customized one-on-one music lessons in your home - a smart and simple solution for busy parents and students, who may be looking to save time by not traveling to and from instruction. You can maximize the benefits of your busy schedule, while learning in a familiar environment.
As students will need to practice the content taught during their lessons, they will need to invest in a digital piano or a keyboard. There are a number of different keyboards on the market, however we suggest looking to buy one with 61 keys or more. Keyboards with weighted action keys are most like that of a real piano, and are recommended. Keyboards are often a cheaper and more convenient option than digital pianos or real acoustic pianos, as they can be transported around and played using headphones. That said, if buying an acoustic piano is within your budget, it will provide the most satisfying learning experience.
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.
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 Jane A.
I started taking voice lessons from Ali when I was 19 and a sophomore in college. Though I was hesitant to be starting "late", I felt very comfortable with Ali and her teaching style. We identified several key issues that really made a difference and improved my voice technique. It was fun to sing popular, beautiful songs in our recital! If only I lived in Los Angeles, I would still be a student. Highly recommended!
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 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 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 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 Venessea Gilbert
Rebecca has been super with my son! He is 8yrs old and has mild aspergers. He has never played an instrument before but after one lesson with his teacher he could keep a beat on his drums. She is able to keep his attention and really makes it fun! She is flexible and easy going. I highly recommend her for any lessons. Very nice teacher! Thank you Rebecca for your outstanding service!!
Review by Steven G.
Laura is the kind of teacher you wish you had in all your studies: gracious, easy-going, light-hearted, yet behind the easy going exterior is an excellent musical mind with everything at her fingertips. I've had about 5 teachers in my life who count as really influential people, and Laura easily fits that category. She lets you be yourself so that you are fully present rather than old-school doctrinaire style, what I call "stiff as a German, sig-heil" teachers. She's the polar opposite. Brava, Laura! Thank you so much!
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 Marcia Hecht
Karleen has really turned it around for me. My previous teacher (not from Musika) had me feeling anxious, upset, and incapable...NOT the desired result! Karleen's method is clear, appropriate for my beginning level, and (best of all) actually lets me achieve some progress! I'm actually looking forward to my lessons now!