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I'm a unique and creative teacher who's passionate about developing the all-around musician. In 2012, I graduated from the Eastman School of Music with degrees in Viola Performance and from the highly acclaimed Music Education program. My time in school helped me to understand the necessity of properly developing musicianship as well as the technical skills required to play an instrument. This leads to more valuable and enjoyable lessons for the students. I am also an active performer; my chamber group has performed and competed all around the country, including an appearance on the public radio.
I have had a desire to play and perform music since I was six years old. This interest was sparked by the wonderfully scored film: Tarzan (Disney). The African percussion that Phil Collins incorporated into this movie's score was enough to send me on the path to fulfill a college-level education in music. Initially beginning with percussion, I have expanded my horizons to piano, guitar, and after a degree in music education: every well-known band and orchestra instrument (with the exception of the harp). My strongest instruments (aside from percussion) are piano and guitar, though I am comfortable performing with and teaching all instruments listed at a minimum of beginner-level. As I continue into the world of music, I will further my knowledge of each instrument and abilities to play them.
I am an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher, and I love sharing my love of music with my students. I earned my Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Indiana University and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Brigham Young University. I enjoy singing onstage and have performed the role of Susanna in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro as well as numerous scene programs. I have participated in Dolora Zajick's Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, Chicago Summer Opera, and the Sherrill Milnes VoicExperience Program at the Savannah Voice Festival.
When teaching, I take a very person-centered approach. I believe in meeting my student where they are in the moment, and that music lessons should be a way to foster creativity and creative expression. Through music, I believe that I can make learning fun!
Yes for teaching piano I use Nancy and Randall Faber's books. I have used all of them. For guitar and mandolin I generally do not use a "book". As the lessons progress I might introduce a book if that is what is called for. All orchestral instruments call for the structure of a book and I augment that with my own explanations. This is true for all ages of learners. For singing, at first, I concentrate of vocal formation and physical posture before and songs are introduced. Then we choose music that the learner is excited about. Fun is always the important aspect.
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Piano lessons for children will focus on learning fundamentals of the technique of the instrument and learning to read music and rhythm. We suggest beginning piano lessons no earlier than age four due to the attention span of the child, as well as the strength in their hands for playing. Piano lessons offer an excellent introduction to learning music for a child. Music theory and musical skills will also be taught during the lessons. Piano lessons are a great choice for introducing the art of music to your child!
Studying piano as an adult is a fun and educational experience. You will learn the technique of the instrument, and various selections of repertoire tailored to your needs and goals. Whether you are a beginner or advanced student, our instructor can help you develop or improve your skills on the instrument. Many of our adult students enjoy playing their music at local clubs and venues in their communities.
There is no specific teaching method that all teachers in the Musika network adhere to. All students will have lessons customized to their needs and goals as lessons progress. If there is a specific teaching style you are looking for, we will keep that in mind as we make your teacher match. Many teachers will have a few method books that they use for lessons, which will include exercises and techniques for practicing. All lessons will cover aspects of learning notes, proper technique, ear training, and how to read music.
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.
Most students start out by learning to play on a keyboard or digital piano. The most reputable keyboards brands are Yamaha, Roland and Casio, and can be purchased from most good music instrument retailers. Students should look to buy a keyboard with 88 weighted keys, as this will most resemble the playability of a real piano. At a minimum, 61 keys will suffice for most songs and practice. Keyboards are portable and can be played with headphones, making them highly convenient for practice. That said, if it is within your means to buy an acoustic piano, it will provide the best learning experience.
Review by Mythili Lahiri
My son is truly enjoying his lessons with Chris. He looks forward to them and is motivated to practice. Chris is conscientious and shows up on time and whenever he is supposed to. He communicates clearly if rescheduling is ever required and is accommodating when we need to change the day. I would recommend Chris to anyone.
Review by Yury
I would like to thank Polina for the series of classical piano lessons I've taken recently. Polina is a fantastic teacher and a high class performer, and I'm really happy I had a chance to meet her! I believe anyone can benefit from the teaching method Polina is practicing regardless of the student proficiency - from beginners to advanced performers. It was a pleasure for me to study classical piano courses under the guidance of such an intelligent & professional teacher! Without doubt, my playing technique has improved a lot and I have signed up for the new classes online already.
Review by Howard
We value Chelsea for the quality of her lessons, but also for the flexibility of her schedule. She has worked around family vacations, impromptu summer camps and the upcoming school year. Emily is better prepared to start middle school band this year due to flute lessons from Chelsea and we plan to continue the lessons for the foreseeable future.
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 Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
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 Kristin
Ted S. is teaching clarinet to one of my children, and piano to two others. He is extremely knowledgeable, and very encouraging. His teaching methods are keeping my children enthused about their lessons, and without that, you have nothing. Two of my children were taking piano lesson from another teacher for the past year, and not progressing. Ted has been able to evaluate their skills individually, determine what was missing in their music education, and begin again with some early basics they seem to have missed. I am convinced we are finally moving forward, and am very happy about that. I wish I would have made this change much earlier.
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 Ro J.
“My son has been instructed by Mark for almost four years. Mark is an outstanding teacher. His credentials are by themselves impressive, but his ability to relate his knowledge to kids is even more so. Connor's ability to understand and read music is fantastic. Mark also knows the performance side of playing drums and has encouraged Connor to actually incorporate his knowledge to play alone and in a band. He is patient and encouraging which is what motivates Connor to work and practice. He is a mentor as well as a teacher. He is superior at what he does and we highly recommend him.” Ro J.
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