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I graduated from McNally Smith College of Music magna cum laude in 2011 with a bachelors in vocal performance. I played everywhere from Duluth. Minnesota to Lima, Peru: sharing the stage with artists as diverse as Andres Prado and Judi Donaghy. In addition to my McNally Smith Degree, I received master classes from Bobby McFerrin and the New York Voices. Passionate about giving back to the community, I instructed voice and piano students at the Urban Hub, a community center for inner city youth in Minneapolis MN. I spent the last 6 months of 2011 as an instructor at Jazz Jaus in Lima, Peru. I taught music theory, history, songwriting, and applied voice at ex'treme Institute by Nelly in St. Louis, MO for 3 years. I've recently moved back to the Twin Cities to perform and teach.
I firmly believe in the fact that each student possesses his/her optimal way of learning, and I strive to discover that method and tailor my approach as such. I also believe in tried and true method books and use just the right one for each student, based, on his/her age, ability level, etc. I also believe in helping each student get the most out of lessons, including pure enjoyment and fun. I try to ensure that each student will be able to play the styles of music and pieces that he/she wants in order that each student will be able to achieve his/her musical goals.
While learning piano at University, I began to teach students in my home studio. Working in Musical theater, I gained experience teaching piano and voice, accompaniment to balllet classes and theatrical plays. My students participate in award and honors recital throughout year. I have taught piano and voice lessons for over 20 years.
Lesson plans are catered to the needs and level of each individual student. For younger students with maturing voices, I generally work on basic technique like breathing and posture. I will teach solfege and simple songs that help develop the young singer's ear and a relationship to their voice. For more mature voices, typically above the age of 16, I begin to approach more technical areas of singing like vowel formation, breath energy and management, agility, legato, vocal registration, and a more detailed understanding of the physical anatomy behind singing. I use art songs that will guide singers through these areas of their voices, and will often allow the singer to bring in material of their own choosing within reason. At any age I put a large focus on how to practice outside of lessons. Lessons are for learning new vocal exercises and exploring new facets of the voice in a safe space. Outside of lessons are where substantial growth occurs.
I firmly believe that the most important ingredient in any creative process is a real sense of involvement, for which genuine interest is an absolute prerequisite. Motivation and emotion share the same Latin root: movere, which means to move Thus, it all starts with what moves you. I consider my primary responsibility as a music educator to be the active engagement of each student in an individualized approach to their learning of music. In short, it is my job to figure out how best to genuinely motivate them: before, during and after our classroom encounter. There are many concepts and techniques I have to share with all my students, but before this happens, I must forge a reliable connection with each.- - Before I meet any new student, I carefully plan specific approaches, based both on my past experience and the current goals at hand. My first interaction with each new student is designed to acquire and sustain their attention, since my primary goal is to pique curiosity: the mother of all thinking. And, according to Einstein, it is Play which is the highest form of research. Playing the flute is the specific form research I furnish, here.- - From here, I encourage as much autonomy in the learning process as possible. The point is not that I know the answer; the point is that students recognize, understand, learn and remember the what, the how and the why, for themselves. Instead of telling them what is amiss in their music playing, I guide them towards comprehension of these issues on their own. Once rapport and consensus is established, I use cognitive science, classical pedagogy and other systems of problem-solving to help students develop effective thinking in the very moment / act of music -playing. I foster critical thinking, elicit technical mastery through both constructive review and real-time instruction, and I encourage discovery and exploration in all my students. Experimentation is the root of growth. But its cultured soil is intelligent preparation (Burne Hogarth). - - I have used the Trivium of Classical Pedagogy to improve the various curricula I have built over the years. Grammar is the art of letters, (here: notes), Logic, or how we come to know is arrived at through both the analytical study of the relationship between things (such various notes on the page), as well as the mindful combination of these things through synthesis (forming a coherent phrase). Rhetoric is the final third of the Trivium. It is all about effective expression, and takes form when the student matures a bit and is ready to share some of what has been learned. The public speaker (and the musician, alike) persuades the audience through reasoned discourse (Logos: for musicians that would be articulation), appeals to emotion (Pathos: for musician that would be expressive phraseology), and a display of moral character (Ethos: for musicians that would be peformance with creative, expression. The means by which all this is achieved, involves the employment of the five canons of rhetoric, which neatly double as the natural steps of creative problem-solving. My more advanced students follow this systematic approach, when polishing a professional piece for performance and/or competition:---xe2x80xa2x9Inventio xe2x80x93 (research: learn about the piece and the composer) -xe2x80xa2x9Disposito xe2x80x93 (outline: with my guidance, create a strategic template for practice sessions) -xe2x80xa2x9Elocutio xe2x80x93 (technical mastery: development of musical skill, specific to the instrument and piece/s) -xe2x80xa2x9Memorio xe2x80x93 (practice: commitment to memory / internalization- individual expression of piece/s)-xe2x80xa2x9Pronuntiatio xe2x80x93 (performance)- x9--- After presenting initial problem-solving tasks to entice students, I then engage them in deeper and more meaningful creative learning of their instrument and the possibilities contained in the studies and piece/s at hand. Along the way, I explain that we can all learn to play music, and that we all have different and valuable ideas about how. I teach them that music is a language which all can gain fluency in, and that the processes behind becoming a musician involve problem-solving which everyone can engage in. I am a guide on this path of many.--
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A keyboard or digital piano is a perfectly acceptable alternative to an acoustic piano for the purposes of lessons and practice. The major advantages of keyboards are the cheap price, portability, and the possibility of playing with headphones, which means being able to practice without disturbing others. When buying a keyboard, look to get one with a weighted hammer action and as many keys as possible although a minimum of 61 should suffice. Weighted keys will most resemble the touch sensitivity of a real piano. The most common brands are Casio, Korg, and Yamaha. If possible, look to purchase an upright or baby grand piano.
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.
One-on-one piano lessons straight from the comfort of your own home is a great way to learn to play the piano. 90% of our students choose to take lessons from home, mostly due to the convenience of not having to make travel arrangements both to and from their lessons. This is great for parents and students with busy schedules. The content of home lessons is exactly the same as studio lessons, however, you will need to have a keyboard or piano at your home. Home lessons provide the best learning environment, as it is a comfortable, familiar surrounding for students to learn in.
Piano is a great starting instrument for children who have never studied music before. The instructors in our network specialize in teaching younger children, and will develop an individual lesson plan for your child. The youngest age we recommend starting on piano lessons is age 4. The instructor will be able to teach your child how to read music and develop a love of playing piano, as well as beginning music theory.
Taking piano lessons as an adult is a great way to learn a new skill and have fun at the same time. The instructors in our network can help you learn the very basics of piano if you are a beginner, or if you are an advanced player they can help you refine your skills. Adult lessons will focus on learning the technique of the instrument, including how to read music, chords, and learning repertoire
Review by John
When I started with Darrell, I didn't know anything bout music. Nothing. We started with basic music theory & moved into scales and reading. It hasn't been very long at all, but my confidence is growing quickly. He does ask a lot from you and he expects you to keep up. But I can honestly say that if you are willing to work hard and spend the time at home doing what he asks, you will see the results. He wants you to succeed and takes pride in watching you grow. If you want it as bad as he does, you will see the result very quickly.
Review by Heather Berest
I started my 5 yr old daughter with Karleen this Fall. Karleen has a calm and honest disposition. My daughter adores her and cannot wait for her arrival. I was concerned because my daughter is not so willing to "practice" during the week. Karleen advised me to allow her habits of practicing to evolve naturally as her love and understanding of piano increases. She emphasized how nurturing my daughter's love of music is most important. This was music to my ears :)
Review by Robert Stallone
I am in my 60s and decided to get back into playing my guitar. I thought taking lessons would be a good way to formalize the endeavor. I did have some concern about whether working with a teacher would work out as I've behave only played for my own enjoyment for a long time. Peter and I have had a few lessons together and I am truly enjoying the experience. He is very supportive and flexible. We arrived at a three gold approach that is really working for me. We focus on developing a playlist, learning some of the more iconic tunes from leading artist that I would have a hard time learning on my own and developing some technical skills related to style and music theory. Now I look forward to my next lesson and am already playing better and enjoying the journey. Peter is a great teacher I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.
Review by William Klepatsky
Very knowledgeable on every aspect of music theory. I listen to recording artists playing various classical pieces, Dan's playing is much like a recording artist's playing. Always on time. Winning happy personality, a great role model. Puts me at ease when I am playing. Have two friends who hold music degrees, I count him a third, something special about the minds and personalities of good pianists. Thanks Dan.
Review by Richardpoplawski
I feel she is a very professional teacher and I have already recommended your company and her to my friends who have children that play musical instruments. My 8 year old son has never been so enthusiastic to play his violin. His skills have improved almost exponentially since we have began lessons with Lauren. Your company has exceeded my expectations and I am very happy to have found it online.
Review by Lucinda
Melissa is very encouraging, positive, supportive and patient. She knows how to explain the technical details of flute and music notation to kids in a way that makes sense to them. She has been reliable so far turning up on time and calling if there is a need to reschedule. I would definitely recommend her to others.
Review by Shilpa
"Richard is a very talented and a patient teacher. He teaches my 6 year old daughter in the comfort of our home and he is very regular. He follows a learning book and mixes his lessons to bring difficulty and technicality while keeping it interesting for my daughter. My daughter was difficult to work with at the beginning but he was able motivate her in every possible way. As a parent I make an effort to learn with my daughter so that when my daughter practices I am able to guide and correct her and Richard is very generous to take the time to give provide me concepts. I am extremely happy with Richard and his ability to teach children."
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 Emily
Steve gets you started right away with songs but also goes into music theory and reading music which adds to understanding and appreciation of the music. He is very approachable and you can tell that he absolutely loves music and teaching. It is hard not to be excited about the process of learning with Steve. If you are considering lessons I highly recommend Steve for any level of student.
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