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At this point in time I've been blessed with the opportunities to teach in both private one-on-one tutoring settings as well as with large groups of children through volunteering, student teaching and substitute teaching. It was through the summation of these experiences that I predicted- and have ultimately discovered- that I love being a music educator. The height of what fulfills me about being a music educator is the essence of the work: Exploration and nurturing for both the student and the teacher. The most effective teachers that I have had were teachers who recognized these important factors in the student-teacher relationship- that the best education experiences occur when both the student and the teacher embark on a positively-reinforced exploration together as opposed to the teacher solely dictating negatively to the student. It's with this spirit that I intend to conduct every lesson that I teach, because it is also through making the relationship one of mutual exploration and nurturing that I will give my past experiences of joy to my students.
With beginning and intermediate students, I work a lot with Faber and Faber's Piano Adventures and with the Alfred method. However, I am open to other methods if the student has a preference. With advanced students I strive towards a variety of repertoire. If they are classical players, I will make sure to eventually cover something Baroque, Classical (Mozart, Haydn, etc.), Romantic, and something modern, as well as all the gaps in between. I also like to incorporate improvisation into my teaching method, from very simple improvisational patterns for beginners to jazz improvisation for advanced students. I think teaching beginners that music does not always come off of a page is an important concept and can free them up to be their most creative selves, to feel connected to the music, and to be able to focus on creating a relaxed and natural technique.
I use humor and my own experiences to first establish a caring environment in which the student can be comfortable. Once that connection is established, I like to find out the students interests and make sure a personal goal is set that we can achieve together. There has to be something exciting the student can achieve in order to develop self-motivation. I employ a number of tactics to stimulate self-expression and problem solving skills, as independent work and practice is crucial in any musician's journey. I believe in the tenet work hard, play hard!
For beggining students in guitar or piano, I would have them start with a basic beggining book such as something by hal leonard. With guitar I will teach basic chords and go from there to working on songs. Scales and chords will be a big part of beggining work in these instruments. As for Saxophone, I will usually begin with scales and long tone work- the later being something extremely important. We will then move into some classical work and then do beggining jazz etudes, and simple jazz vocabularly work. This will go very much the same with flute as well. Although I beleive working from books are important, I also am a huge proponent of learning things by ear and learning things through musical interchange within the course of the lesson.
My experience with teaching began in high school, when I taught piano and choir at the pre-k level with a local community group. It was there that I fell in love with helping students learn. Since then, I have privately coached voice and piano, and helped students prepare for auditions or solos. Nothing is more amazing than watching someone achieve their goals and loving every step of the process!
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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.
Due to the attention span of very young children, we advise that students begin their piano lessons no younger than age 4 or 5. Piano lessons are a great way to introduce an instrument for the first time to a younger child. Learning piano will teach them basic musical skills such as rhythm and harmony, as well as how to read sheet music and chords.
"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."
Musika's piano lessons take place in a one-on-one setting and are customized to the requirements of each individual student. Students vary in ability from beginner to advanced, and naturally have different lesson requirements for each stage of their development. Put broadly, beginners will cover aspects of piano playing such as posture, hand positions, fingering technique, scales, chords, and applying these things to simple songs. They will also start to develop their knowledge of music theory, reading chord charts, and sheet music. Intermediate players will start to take these concepts further, by learning different chord variations, such as diminished, augments, slash, and 7th chords, as well as improving their speed and playing more complex compositions. Advanced students can develop playing skills such as glissando, improvisation, and virtuosic playing. They may also like to study a specific genre like Jazz or Blues piano.
Taking piano lessons from the comfort of your own home is the most convenient way of learning to the play the instrument. Finding the additional time out of a busy schedule to transport your child to and from their lessons can be difficult, making home lessons a convenient, time and money saving option. The only thing necessary for home lessons is a keyboard or piano to play on! There is no difference between the lesson content of studio or home lessons- only the location is different. Home lessons help provide a safe, familiar, and comfortable learning environment for students.
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 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 Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
Review by Maria
My daughter has been taking piano lessons through her school district program for the last two years. She had learned a lot in that class but I noticed that she needed advanced classes at this point. After reviewing several websites I decided to enroll my daughter for the trial at MUSIKA. We got Mrs. Veronica B., and I am more than happy we got her as my daughter's teacher. Mrs. Veronica B. was very professional and very knowledgeable at the trial day. She was able to assess my daughter skill's level, and then she was able to give suggestions about how to improve those skills. My daughter has taken 5 classes with Mrs. Barker, and I can see she enjoys each class and she's improved a lot since day one. I can picture my daughter playing her favorites songs on the piano very soon!!! :-)
Review by Jennifer
Lindsey has been coming to our house to give saxophone lessons to our 12 year old daughter for about a month. She is an absolute joy. She is extremely knowledgeable, flexible with her schedule, and my daughter thinks she is "fun" and "cool". We would highly recommend her to anyone wanting music lessons. A+
Review by Stan
My two daughters wanted to study piano fore some time now and just recently I found Musikalessons website and teacher Milica. I can only say that my daughters are very happy with their piano lessons and simply adore Milica. They already made a great progress and we're all happy with what they learned in this short period. Thank you Musikalessons and Milica.
Review by Andy Snyder
Giorgi has made learning cello even more fun. From the sympathetic, "It is hard" to the precise, "Be careful about the curve of the thumb" he has strengthened learning in every lesson, without being overwhelming. He started playing a little duet on only the 3rd lesson or so, which made me feel, even as a beginner, that I'm already starting to make (occasionally screachy) music. He has suggested a variety of drills and practice techniques which have also sped up the process a lot. And he has a good sense of humor and surprising amount of patience.
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 Gisellesoldati
Cory is simply the greatest instructor ever! His 30 year plus teaching experience along with his knowledge of ever longer in music composition and performance make a real difference if you're in for learning the right way. Thank you Cory for teaching me not only the chords but also the history behind it and awesome tricks on getting better faster ;)
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