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I've been actively teaching for nearly 35 years. Teaching children as well as adults. I graduated from Drake University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Music Education. While in college I played professionally in the Des Moines Symphony and was the winner of the Young Artist Contest which afforded me the privilege of featured soloist with the Drake Symphony Orchestra. I've travelled Europe performing in America's Youth in Concert and have played at Carnegie Hall, Notre Dame. I've taught in the public schools for 20 years and have taught from my private studio for nearly 35 years. My joy is seeing my student's dream realized.
Theo is no newcomer to the music scene. The veteran keyboardist/composer was born in Portland Oregon, the third of five boys that each pursued musical careers. His forays into classical, rock, jazz, country, new age and film music form a musical bridge between the styles of his two older brother’s rock & country backgrounds and his younger sibling’s classical talents. Theo grew up in Boise Idaho playing in rock bands and earning a degree in classical piano from Boise State University. This multitalented keyboard artist has won multiple competitions and after testing his hand at a variety of musical crafts and styles, eventually gravitated toward a career as a performer and songwriter.
I have taught beginning-advanced students privately and in small group settings for over 25 years to students of all ages and levels, and I'm the the founder of Spencer Music and Artist Development located in Belmont Shore area of Long Beach, CA. I have also taught music on faculty of local community colleges and universities, and private and parochial schools. As an artist developer and agent, many of my more advanced students perform professionally with local opera and musical theatre companies, are recording artists, or are on tv or with local playhouses. I teach the following: piano, digital keyboards, harpsichord and organ (in students homes within a 12 mile radius only), voice, violin, viola, mandolin, kindermusik, music theory/ear training, music therapy, music industry and songwriting/composiiton. As a classical and jazz pianist I have performed throughout the US and Canada in solo and chamber/combo settings as well as a guest artist with orchestras. Credits include: Pacific Symphony (Costa Mesa, CA), San Francisco Baroque Camerata, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and Honolulu Symphony. As a musical theatre and opera lyric baritone/actor, I have performed in productions throughout the US. Role Credits: Chip in On The Town, Billy Flynn in Chicago, Chuck in Promises Promises, M.C. in Cabaret, Papageno in Die Zauberflote, and Sky in Guys and Dolls. My music studio is conveniently located 1 block from the ocean in the beautiful Bluff Park area of Belmont Shore, Long Beach. My studio has a keyboard, full music library, instruments, music stands, music software, audio archive, a comfortable sitting area for parents and students, an outdoor balcony and street parking.
For beginning drums students, I typically star with a simple beat that the student feels good about. From then, we start learning important concepts as dynamics, tempo, intensity, groove,... Once the student has a grasp of the fundamentals, we can take a look into learning specific songs that he/she likes, reading, new styles/approcahes, preparation for a recording, composition,... Always keeping the lessons motiviating and fun, no matter the level. For piano students, we start having fun playing a very simple melody, and from there we try to go deeper in terms of music theory, fingers tecnique, songs accompaniment,...wherever the student wants to go.
I have done musical theatre professionally since I was 17 years old. I have musically directed over 80 productions working with people from 5-85 years of age. I have taught piano, French horn, and voice privately. I have done school productions, community theatre, and Equity productions. I have played in professional orchestras. I have taught choral music, Music Theory, AP Music Theory, IB Music, Music Appreciation, Drama, IB Theatre, IB CAS and IB Extended Essay. My favorite teaching is one-on-one teaching and coaching with interested students.
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We suggest students purchase a piano or keyboard for their lessons, as they will need to practice every day in order to develop their skills on the instrument. We recommend a keyboard with weighted keys, as this will feel most similar to an actual piano. An actual piano will have 88 keys, but most keyboards start from 61 keys and go up from there. Common keyboard brands found at music stores are Yamaha, Casio, and Korg. Many keyboard sets will come with a case, stand, headphones, and may even offer recording features for recording your own playing.
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.
In many ways adult learners have an advantage over young students. Adults have better self-discipline with regards to practice, are more patient, and have higher levels of concentration. This allows them to develop the basic skills at a reasonably quick rate. Learning the piano is also a great way of remaining mentally active during adulthood, and helps students to improve their hand-eye co-ordination and develop a critical ear. Learning to play the piano in adulthood can be beneficial health-wise, is a great way of harnessing creativity and stimulating the brain and it can be immensely satisfying when achieving set goals.
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.
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!
Review by Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
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 Julie Buranelli
My daughter really enjoys her lessons with Pavel. She is an absolute beginner and Pavel is right with her as she learns the basics. She is completely engaged and always looks forward to her lesson. He packs a lot of learning into their 30 minute time slot - he gets right to it as soon as he walks in the door! He is a great teacher - we highly recommend!
Review by Jermain
Mrs. Regnarene is an awesome teacher!!! She found musical aids that appealed to my 5 year old daughter and used them to help teach her piano. She has a lot of patience and I could tell she puts in the work before class to have a lesson ready for my daughter. She is always punctual, friendly and respectful. I would recommend her to any parents who want to start their kids off with a good foundation in piano. Jermain T. Riverview, FL
Review by Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
Review by Jeremy
Dr. Nedra C is incredible. She knows her craft in and out, it truly shows in her teaching. As well, she cares a great deal about the student, and preps plenty of material outside of the lesson for those that she teaches. I've had many different music teachers and am aware who's talented and cares, and who isn't. Dr. Nedra C is true phenomenal, and any student would be lucky to have her.
Review by Susan
My daughter is extremely happy and comfortable with Rachel, and looks forward to her piano lessons every week. She is a very kind and patient teacher, always using positive reenforcement with my daughter, which makes all the difference in the world to children. We definitely are looking forward to continued piano lessons with her. So glad we found her.
Review by La from Issaquah
thank you musika and ed. I never thought of looking for an in-home lesson until I found musika. I have absolutely no hesitation that Ed is beyond capable. He's even offered to meet us at a music store to purchase the correct fitting instrument. how fabulous is that! We've also decided to extend the lesson time from 30 to 45 minutes. All this and just one lesson under our belt. He quickly understood where my daughter is at in level and her style of music. I'm thrilled as can be.
Review by Jeff N.
Travis is an extremely knowledgeable guitarist and teacher. Travis is equally comfortable in playing/teaching jazz, rock, blues, or classical styles. I really like the way he explains things and he has the ability to make difficult material seem simpler. Travis is very likeable, enthusiastic, and always very professional. I think Travis would be great teaching either children or adults because he's very patient. My learning experience with Travis has been outstanding. He taught me some great techniques for chord substitution and for soloing. I'll continue to work with Travis because he inspires me to be a better guitarist. I think he could really help me with composing because he writes some great songs too! Thanks Travis!
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