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I'm a fun, energetic teacher who enjoys helping students find their inner passion for music. In 2012, I graduated from UNC - Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Mathematics. While studying composition under Dr. Allen Anderson, I premiered and recorded pieces for brass trio, wind quintet, percussion ensemble, and soprano with piano accompaniment. In college, I also had the opportunity to tour with the UNC Men's Glee Club across the country as a soloist. Working with all kinds of musicians - performers, conductors, composers, teachers - has helped me understand what a collaborative and rewarding experience making music can be.
I have been an enthusiastic musician since the time I began to sing at age 3. At 8 I began learning the piano and at 11 I began learning guitar. I graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelors Degree in writing, but my minor was in Music Performance. Inititally, I had planned to major in music but after some career changing decisitions I switched. I continued however, to continue taking music courses through the school. I also took many performance opportunities in the area through the school of music, through a student led A-Cappella group named Higher Ground (which I directed from 2010 to 2011), and through my own private gigging playing guitar and piano. I currently live in the Raleigh area and am employed part time as the Worship Music Director at Hope Presbyterian Church. I have been teaching privately since my time studying at Appalachian State, but I have just recently joined on with Musika. I offer instruction in guitar up to an advanced level, and I also offer instruction in voice, piano, and mandolin to an intermediate level.
I am a dedicated, passoniate, and serious musician who wants to share my love of musical creativity with the rest of the world and the coming generations. I graduated from North Carolina Central University, Magna Cum Laude, in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. I completed my first album, Magna Carta, in 2009. I taught music in Robeson County, North Carolina for four years, but left due the high crime and the lack of support I experienced as a music teacher. As a musician, I have performed several self-financed and self-planned tours through the South, Northeast, and over the East Coast. I have performed over fifty concerts in 11 states, including North Carolina, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Maine, Mississippi, Georgia, and California. Notable artists I have shared concert bills with have included Kayla Nettles, who later became a contestant on "American Idol," and Eli James, who has since become the touring drummer for Julien-K. One of my Reverb Nation fans is none other than 80s heavy metal queen Lita Ford.
Music is my heart felt passion, and I thoroughly enjoy the oppotunities of sharing my musical knowledge and experiences with my students. I am a degreed music teacher, who travels to teach in Raleigh and surrounding areas including Knightdale, Wendel, Garner and Clayton. I first began teaching guitar and piano during my music studies at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. At the university and after receiving my degree in music education, I have taught and performed in various musical settings and venues which has included the genres of classical, jazz, blues, rock, folk and country. Besides teaching and performing, I also am a songwriter who writes songs for my group performances and teach my more advanced students songwriting. Instruments that I teach include guitar, piano, bass guitar, banjo, ukulele and mandolin.
I am a very passionate and goal oriented piano instructor. I talk with students and see what their goals are and what they would like to accomplish. I make sure it is a very fun motivating environment and the student feels comfortable and that they have many strong points. I teach music theory to every student so they understand how to read music and get any answer they need. We work on the style of music they like and figure out a good balance for the lesson. I hope every student no matter what age leaves the lesson feeling good.
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"We have many adult students taking lessons with us. Whether you have studied music as a child, or are wanting to learn a new skill, music lessons are a great avenue to go with! Not only do they keep you young and energized, but our teachers are also able to relate to you and instruct you in a way you can understand."
Music lessons in your home offer a convenient option to learning music! Most of our students request in home lessons for this reason. As long as you have a piano or keyboard in your home, then you should be all set to start your lessons! Children who have never played an instrument before may feel more comfortable studying in their own home, as it may be less intimidating than going somewhere else. In-home lessons decrease the time and gas money spent traveling to a different location.
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.
The content of each lesson is determined by the ability and experience level of each individual student. 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. 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 and diminished chords, they develop their sight reading, learn music theory such as time signatures, and work on applying these skills to more complex compositions. Advanced players may want to study a particular genre or composer. Pianists who enjoy Classical music may like to study the compositions of Bach or Mozart, or maybe develop their Jazz or Blues playing. Teachers can also help prepare students for exam, auditions, performances, or recitals.
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.
Review by Blaine Vaz
“I took drum lessons from Mark for about 7 months. I have been playing for 38 years but always thrive to learn more. He was able to provide me alternative exercises and help me gain a better understanding of my opportunities. I have been able to take my playing to another level. His approach to teaching is perfect for any level of student, beginner or advanced. He is a true professional and an outstanding person. You won't go wrong with Mark!” Blaine Vaz
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 Jenn
My son and I both take lessons with Micheal. My son started on the ukulele and recently started the guitar. He is excellent with children. Very patient and very intuitive to the child's ability. He is also an excellent teacher for adults. I had not touched my guitar in several years and in a couple months not only to I remember everything I forgot but I'm learning many new techniques and am a much better player than I've ever been.
Review by Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
Review by Nicole V.
"My daughter is 10 years old and has been taking piano lessons with Mr. Dale J. for almost 4 years now. She is progressing nicely. His kind and gentle way make for a very positive learning experience. Mr. Dale J. is encouraging without being harsh or belittling. He is patient and the ideal instructor for my daughter."
Review by Marlo
Danette is a delightful instructor. She always brings a wealth of knowledge, excitement, and enthusiasm to piano lessons with my daughter. She is not only skilled at piano, but she has a wonderful voice quality that she uses to help convey certain techniques and to highlight various points where she intends to draw the students attention.
Review by Shilpa
"Richard is a very talented and a patient teacher. He teaches my 6 year old daughter in the comfort of our home and he is very regular. He follows a learning book and mixes his lessons to bring difficulty and technicality while keeping it interesting for my daughter. My daughter was difficult to work with at the beginning but he was able motivate her in every possible way. As a parent I make an effort to learn with my daughter so that when my daughter practices I am able to guide and correct her and Richard is very generous to take the time to give provide me concepts. I am extremely happy with Richard and his ability to teach children."
Review by Al
Pavel is doing a great job with my 6 year old son. Pavel is doing a great job helping my son focus on technique and rhythm, which is something previous instructors weren't so successful with. Pavel is organized / structured / systematic, which is what my son needs now, but I hope he relaxes a bit as the lessons continue so that more "joy" comes through.
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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