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I have been experiencing the love of playing and performing music for 40 years and still find it challenging to this day. Music is a journey of the senses which can open and expand our minds. For the first 11 years of my musical journey, I journeyed hours and hours in the discovery of the rhythms, notes and expression but I journeyed in solitude. What a wonderful joy was awaiting me when I discovered how much fun it was to make music as part of an ensemble or as I like to think of it, a team. A musical team can be a band, an orchestra, a chorus, a church choir, a quartet, or a duet, and in all cases it is exhilarating to make music with other people. I hope that I can guide and encourage my students to learn to enjoy this journey that can provide a life time of adventure, social interaction and creativity.
For me, it is easier for me to hear a rhythm or melody while looking at it. It is easier for me to grasp and understand the rhythm and melody in terms of the context of the piece. Same with my teaching. I will always demonstrate a scale or rhythm or chord for a student before having the student attempt it by themselves. After we work through the example together, I will have them try playing it alone and if a particular area needs to be fixed I will address it, make sure the student understands, and move on from there.
I began teaching when I was in college, teaching piano lessons to students in the community. Since then, I've taught in every church I've been a part of, and at several studios in the larger community. First and foremost, I believe that learning music should be fun! While I strive to encourage excellence, students should enjoy what they are learning. My students are encouraged to practice regularly and participate in public performace, be it studio recitals or in other venues. I was taught that sharing music is just as important as making it!
I want my students to succeed in their studies with me. I will reflect and make accommodations so that my students will understand the concepts I am teaching.
I am a very committed Vocal Performance and Piano Technique teacher. I graduated from the South Carolina Governors School for the Arts and Humanities in 2005, and have sent two students there myself since then. I received my Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance from the College of Charleston in 2009 and then my Masters Degree in Choral Conducting in 2013 respectively. I moved to the Charlotte area where I am the Staff Soprano at St. Patricks Cathedral in Dillworth, a full time music education teacher, and am active in the performing community in the Greater Charlotte areas. I am also an avid student of Vocal Pedagogy, and have presented at State Music Educators Conference in 2013 and 2014.
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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.
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.
Musika recommends that children start piano lessons no earlier than age 4 or 5. The attention span and personality of the child are something to consider when thinking of taking lessons. Even if your child has no evident musical inclinations, piano lessons offer a great option for introducing your child to music. During their lessons children generally learn how to read music, the fundamentals of musicianship and sight reading, music theory techniques, and ear training.
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.
Musika deals primarily with home lessons for students. The location is the only difference between our in-home lessons and our studio lessons. As they do not have to travel to their lessons, home piano lessons can be highly convenient for those parents and students with a busy schedule. Students will need a keyboard to practice on, however. For younger students in particular, having piano lessons in the comfort of their own home can be of great benefit. They will feel more safe and relaxed in familiar surroundings, allowing them to focus on learning and enjoying playing the piano.
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 Ginger
Unbelievably Awesome. My daughter is a beginner and has some special needs. Justin is more than patient and helpful while being completely thorough and pushing her (in a good way) to try harder. He is encouraging and teaches effectively. I am very pleased. More important, so is my daughter. Thank you Musika! So grateful we found your service and connected with Justin. We highly recommend him.
Review by Wendy
Bill has been great with my 2 young children (age 3 & 6). He has integrated games into the lessons - they have enjoyed showing us how to play the games when it is time to practice piano. Bill has been easy to contact and rescheduling has not been a problem if we have a conflict at our regular lesson time.
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 Brooklyn
Laura is a fabulous teacher. She explains concepts to me using concrete examples so that I can understand changes that I need to make to my posture, breathing, phrasing, etc. She makes warm-up exercises fun, and she's got a great sense of humor over all. Her teaching style is collaborative, more egalitarian (she respects what I already know and meets me at my level), tailored to my particular interests and strengths, and I always look forward to our lessons!
Review by Brianne Hancock
Martina has been teaching our daughter violin since early 2015. Every time our daughter has a lesson she comes away in such a great mood - she really enjoys her lessons! Martina is positive and encouraging and adjusts her teaching to help our daughter learn the best way for her learning needs. We were curious about how online lessons would work, and it turns out that they work really well. The 1:1 time and ability to teach from a distance make it work just as well as in person. We've had moves and schedule changes and Martina has been very flexible for us - which made such a big difference in making violin lessons accessible. Absolutely recommend her!
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!
Review by Roberta
My 4 year old son is quite energetic. Another piano teacher tried to teach him before Peter and could not get my son to listen to him at all. That teacher told me that my son had no interest and that we needed to wait before having my son take lessons. Peter started teaching my son a few weeks later. He quickly developed a great rapport with my son. I was astounded when my son sat down and listened to Peter during the first lesson. Peter has remarkable patience and is a natural working with children. He knows when to follow the child's lead. My son is very interested in how the piano works, so Peter takes the time to teach him about this. He is able to use my son's interests (superheroes, Lego, Star Wars, etc.) to refocus him back to playing the piano. Between lessons, he brainstorms on how he can teach my son better. For example, my son was playing the notes, but not understanding rhythm, so Peter looked into it and came back the next week with a new plan which helped. My son looks forward to his lesson every week. When he hears the doorbell ring on lesson day, he exclaims, "Yay! Peter's here!"
Review by Chad H.
"Mr. Richard has been absolutely perfect for our very active two boys. He has been an excellent fit for gauging and keeping their interest far beyond what we had imagined. Our boys actually argue over who gets to go first. Mr. Richard knocks it out of the park when it comes to exceeding our expectations"
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