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I approach my teaching and lead discussions with both a concert pianist's passion and a scholarly rigor. The objective of my teaching in the classroom is to strengthen my students' pianistic skills and to nurture them as leaders in the field of musicology, music education, and professional performance. My teaching style continually adapts to students' career paths and needs. For a student who is willing to become a leader in musicology and music theory, I prepare a pop quiz and a test on transposition and score reading for each group piano class. I explain and rephrase concepts until each student understands the concepts completely. For a potential professional concert pianist, I aim to inspire passion for the piano and challenge him or her to explore a variety of repertoires. I also want to strengthen their understanding of musical character and have them associate literary figures with music such as Liszt's piano transcription of Mozart's Don Giovanni and Zelina, who both sing "La ci darem la mano". For teaching at the university level, I usually arrive to the classroom early because most of students are eager to practice before class. In the beginning of the class, I tend to invite students to share their teaching and learning experiences. For example, a music education student might share how she had to assess her student's repertoire level to scaffold her curriculum. Through listening to their errors, I hope to improve my teaching skills so my students can achieve the most favorable outcome. Toward the end of the class, I sum up the most important theme. Then, I usually stay longer because I am delighted to answer student's questions.
I have been using the Alfred Method Books for my beginning piano students, as they provide a well-rounded program incorporating theory, technique and performance. pieces. Intermediate students should, in my opinion, begin to choose the music they want to work on. I like my students to learn how to read music as well as play by ear, how to practice and how to incorporate theory into performance. Most of all, I want all my students to deeply feel the joy of music making, and discover the vast universe of music that we all can share and enjoy.
My experience as a voice teacher dates back to 1995. I was invited to teach several Masterclasses over the course of twenty years. The invitations came from institutions such as: The Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute, The Guildhall School of Music (London), The Cleveland Institute of Music, The Royal College of Music (London) and The Royal Conservatory of The Hague. I began teaching private lessons in my home studio in 2008 and in September of that year I was invited to join the music faculty at Oundle School, UK. I taught at Oundle School for six years.
If you are looking for a Classic teacher with classic teaching methods, you are looking in the wrong spot. I teach with an instant gratification method. You will still be just as skilled (if not more) as the rest of any other musicians out there but what you will have and develop is your own artistry and your own path as a musician. So many teaching styles try to make music more of a science rather than a passion. This is not a problem for some people however, for me that teaching style added a lot of unnecessary pressure to what is supposed to be a fun thing to do!
I started playing bass at 11, playing in rock bands with friends. We gained a lot of experience performing in those days. I extended to guitar shortly after bass and began practicing other styles and improvising. Around age 16 I started getting into jazz and that is when I started to get serious about music. I went to salem state university and studied jazz and classical guitar as well as piano and ukulele. At Salem I got a great education which extended to ear training, singing, performance, music history and just a lot of great advice from teachers. I have been teaching guitar, bass, piano and ukulele since 2010. I will always be a student. I continue to study by transcribing songs and going to Barry Harris jazz workshops.
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All students start their lessons at different levels of experience and with different aims and goals in mind. 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. Students can develop these skills through practicing scales, arpeggios, and simple melodies using both hands. For advanced students, topics that may be covered include more intricate skills, such as creating runs and fills to add interest and variation to their playing, to develop their repertoire of pieces they can play, and to develop their sight reading. Some students may have a specific genre that they are interested in learning, such as jazz piano. Students will learn the musical theory and techniques that underlay a host of musical genres. The teachers in Musika's network are able to recommend books or specific areas of additional study that they feel will advance each individual student and help to achieve their goals.
Our recommended starting age for piano is 4 or 5, when students are capable of playing the keys properly and have sufficient strength in the fingers and hands. Young students also should have begun learning to count and to read. No matter what your age may be, the piano is an excellent introduction to the fundamentals of music, including music theory and basic composition techniques.
The piano is a great instrument for beginners of all ages. We have adults who are novices, some who haven't played their instrument in 10 years, and some who are more advanced students looking to take their skills to the next level. The teachers in our network have proven methods to get you the results you desire.
An upright or grand piano is often too expensive or large for the home. For lessons and practice, keyboards are a great alternative. Many keyboards can be powered via battery, making them portable, and can also be played with headphones which makes late night practice possible. Many keyboards also have built-in lessons that students can play along to, as well as having many sounds available, such as violin, cello, viola, horn sounds, and percussive sounds. This makes keyboards more diverse than a piano, and a fun alternative for practicing on. Many keyboards are also compatible with home computers, which is great for uploading recordings.
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.
Review by Clinton Poskozim
Martina has been a great teacher. Our son is 8 and had taken some piano lessons before starting with Martina. She came right in and got him to improve. She does a great job of giving him just enough of a challenge to make him work and learn but not any pieces that are so overwhelming he can't get them. She has helped him through a lot of early music theory so that he not only can play the piano but understands the music he is reading in all of its complexity.
Review by Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
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!
Review by Jonathan
Angela is a phenomenal teacher. She is full of charisma and is a joy to work with. Most of my experience with her has been focused on working in the Alexander Technique and she seems very knowledgeable in this study. I would highly recommend her to any prospective student. I have seen myself improve dramatically in a few short weeks with her guidance (and much practice of course!)
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 PJ Williams
My daughter, Valarie is one of the original members of the Enrichment Center Percussion Ensemble under the guidance of Aaron. He patiently worked with Valarie as well as the other five members individually and as a group to produce music that has been shared and enjoyed locally as well as nationally. He has the ability to seek out the strengths of each student while building confidence. Through his teachings, not only had Valarie learned how to produce and enjoy music, but also responsibility and so many life skills for everyday living.
Review by Alex A.
Travis rocks. My 7-year-old son and I both take lessons with him. Travis has moved me off the plateau I was on with lessons that focus on theory and technique. And for my son, he's been able to instill a desire and interest that were missing when he previously took piano lessons. With Travis teaching us, the limits are the ones we impose on ourselves. Needless to say, Travis himself plays a mean guitar to boot!
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 James F.
After my first piano lesson, Polina is easily the best teacher I could have hoped for. Extremely charismatic and excited to help YOU learn the piano. She puts a lot of effort into evaluation your learning style and will no doubt help you make tremendous strides! I'm stoked to continue taking lessons!
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