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I have been a musician almost my whole life, starting out as a singer in a children's church choir when I was five. I started playing cello in the fourth grade through the public school system in California. I am classically trained, but I love all different styles of music. One of my strengths as a string player is improvisation. I have played with many different pop, rock, and folk bands over the years and that's the kind of music I enjoy playing the most. I teach from age 8 up and while I love teaching all ages, I especially love teaching adult beginners. My personal philosophy is that it's never too late to learn! I currently work as a full-time Academic Librarian, and teach music on nights and weekends.
I have been involved in music for as long as I can remember, singing in church choirs and leading contemporary worship. I graduated from McMurry University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance in 2004. Having decided that performing was not my #1 passion I then pursued a Masters of Music degree, specializing in Music Therapy, from Colorado State Univeristy. I have been a professional music therapist for the past 6 years, working with children and adolescents with developmental disabilities as well as mental health populations.
I am a composer who plays several instruments, and my primary instrument is piano. From 2010 to 2012, I was a full-time, self-employed piano tutor serving the Paris, TX area, with several loyal clients. What makes me stand out as an educator are two things: 1. My strong personal conviction that anything may be taught to anyone, provided that there is a willingness to learn, and that the educator is able to effectively break down the given subject into its logical components, and 2. My ability to create piano exercises on the spot, tailored to my students particular technical needs.
I am a very experienced music teacher. I teach all ages and teach and play all styles. In addition to teaching reading and conventional piano, I teach what most music teacher's don't - improvisation and playing by ear. This is not music that came from a printed page - it relies on the students ears and creativity. I believe without both aspects of learning - traditional music theory, reading and training, plus learning how to play from your heart and soul, and by ear - one is not a complete musician. I do not teach by one standard method. All students are unique and have different ways of learning and different interests. I am also an active performer playing every type of music. Lessons will be fun - especially if the student practices.
My musical experiences started at church in the 80's when I discovered that I could sing really high notes imitating Christian artists like Sandy Patty and the late puertorican soprano Yolanda Vadiz. Those experiences motivated me to consider studying music seriously not just like another hobby. I started studying voice techniques at the age of 20 at the Sacred Music Institute in the Methodist Church in Hato Rey, PR. There I took classes with tenor Jose Torres and baritone Rafael Cotto who prepared me for the audition at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. Immediately accepted at the audition, I went on to begin my musical journey singing professionaly in choirs and as a soloist in different concert halls. Fine Arts of Puerto Rico, Carnegie Hall at NY, Episcopal Churches, Methodist Churches and also University Halls like the Interamerican University of PR and the Conservatory of Music of PR. I took master classes with tenor Alfredo Krauss, bass Justino Diaz and other famous opera singers. Later during my studies, I decided to change my main studies to Voice Education to fulfill the void of helping other singing aspirers to perfectionate their abilities mainly in music ministries at church.
Since We Started
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Once you’ve met with your teacher for your risk free trial lesson, continuing with Musika is easy! If you are satisfied with your lesson, all you have to do is register with us to continue! The trial will count as your first lesson if you continue, however, with our Great Match Guarantee™ if for any reason you decide not to continue then the trial is FREE. Go ahead give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.
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Background checks available on instructors. Instructor can opt to have a background check on file. You can request to only be connected with teachers that have a check. The choice is yours.
Musika teachers do not adhere to one specific method for all their students. Most teachers will customize their lesson plans to the individual needs and skill level of the student. If you are looking for any specific teaching styles or methods to be used in your lessons, please let us know during the matching process and we can try to assign you to the teacher who will best suit your needs. Generally all lessons will cover topics focused on learning to read music, practice skills, music theory and musicianship, ear training, and rhythm skills.
We offer piano lessons for students of all ages, including adults. Whether you are a complete beginner on the instrument, or you have not played the piano in many years, the knowledgeable instructors in our network can definitely assist you in your journey of developing your musical skills.
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 in the same way as a studio lesson, and in addition, a younger student may feel more comfortable at an in-home lesson, as they are already familiar with the surroundings.
The best instrument to get would be an upright or baby grand piano. However, if your finances are limited we suggest looking into a digital keyboard. Go with the best quality keyboard that you can afford. We suggest a keyboard with weighted keys so that there is more resistance on the keys than a toy piano. Most digital keyboards start at 61 keys, and go up to full size at 88 keys. You have to consider which keyboard would fit best in your home and your budget. A beginning student should get the keyboard before or immediately after beginning lessons, so that they may begin practicing as soon as the lessons commence.
Learning to play the piano as a child is fun, rewarding, and vastly beneficial to their overall development. Children can develop their motor-skills, dexterity, and coordination through technical piano playing such as learning scales, chords, and correct fingering. Young students can also develop their concentration, listening skills, and ability to master complex thought processes through theory, repertoire, and student-teacher feedback. Learning to play the piano can also be character building by instilling a hard-working attitude, developing self-discipline and confidence through practice, taking exams, entering competitions or performing recitals.
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 Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
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 Michelle S.
"My daughter has been a student with Mark for over a year. She has come so far and has learned so much in such a short time. Mark is extremely talented and knowledgeable. He is very serious, patient and super nice. If your child or if you really WANT to learn the drums, then I highly recommend Mark. He is our third instructor and the best one yet! You will not be disappointed." Michelle S.
Review by Violetking
Bill has been a great teacher for both my 6 yr. old and my 8 yr. old. He is always on time, keeps them engaged, and gives them just enough of a challenge for the next week. They are both beginners, but I am surprised by how much they already know after just a month or so of lessons. Both kids are practicing willingly and look forward to lesson.
Review by Bradford Putt
Angela has been a perfect match-up for me. She is warm and welcoming, and also serious about teaching - she keeps our time focused and on track. What I truly appreciate, as a new singer anxiously preparing for an event, is the confidence she gives me. Angela is very encouraging. I enjoy coming to class.
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 Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
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.
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