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I began my music training during the age of 5 at the School for Musically Gifted Children. I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Music, summa cum laude, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and received my Master's Degree (also summa cum laude) from the Moscow Conservatory. In addition, I was very fortunate to study with renowned teachers at the Music Conservatory in St. Petersburg. In 1995, I came to the United States and am blessed to be a citizen.
I have always been a musician first and everything else second. I have found fulfillment in sharing music with others as a teacher, performer and music therapist. I graduated in May with my master's in voice from the Eastman School of Music. I hold bachelor's degrees and certifications in music education and music therapy. Currently, I am teaching all levels of voice, beginning to intermediate piano and violin and beginner guitar while I pursue a career in opera performance. I have experience with students of all ages including those with disabilities and on the autism spectrum.
I've loved piano playing and performance since I attended a piano recital in college. I love to practice, and have developed methods to make practice more efficient and fun. I encourage students to attend recitals and performances whenever possible, since this can provide motivation and familiarity with the piano literature. I encourage students to choose the music they want to play, and don't impose my preferences on them, though classical literature and basic harmonic theory are important. I've performed numerous times, mostly in informal situations such as church, parties, rest homes, and hotels.
I am a fourth-year doctoral student, pursing a Voice Performance degree at Temple University, who enjoys instructing students of all ages and of all levels. I have been teaching piano and voice for over ten years. With a strong interest in chamber music and songs, I also delight in discovering and promoting lesser-known composers’ works. Recently in November of 2014, I portrayed the role of Gretel in Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel with the Temple University Opera Theater. This past April, I was a soprano soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass that was performed with Temple University combined choirs and Symphony Orchestra in Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center. In the past year, I performed with Temple University Symphony Orchestra featuring six Orchestral Lieder by Richard Strauss. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from Arizona State University, graduating summa cum laude, and received my Master’s degree from Temple University.
Music is the "bread" of life. What would life be without it? I believe everyone should be a participant. Everyone should play an instrument and that anyone can do it. My favorite is the piano and organ although I have played clarinet and sax in bands. Why the piano? It is definitely the most complete form of expression. Name any other instrument in an orchestra and as an individual creation of rhythm or melody it is incomplete without one or more other instruments to play with it. While the piano is usually a part of an orchestra it can be played and be complete without any other instrument participating. Let me offer you a challenge: wake up that sleeping piano in your living room! The first old movies may have been silent but no respectable piano should be. Let me give you the benefit of 20+ years of teaching and performing experience. At the end of 10 easy lessons I guarantee you will be playing songs with both hands. Playing so well you will beg for more. So dust off that piano! Let's make music.
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Musika offers one-on-one, in-home guitar lessons that are designed specifically for each individual student. Whether your lesson takes place in the studio or at home, students will get the exact same lesson content, with the only difference being the location. Parents will find home guitar lessons a much more convenient option for their child, as it saves the time and costs of transporting their children to and from the studio. Younger students will find that learning to play the guitar in the comfort of their own homes greatly benefits their development as they are learning in a supportive, secure and familiar environment.
As students will need to practice the content taught during their lessons, they will need to invest in a digital piano or a keyboard. There are a number of different keyboards on the market, however we suggest looking to buy one with 61 keys or more. Keyboards with weighted action keys are most like that of a real piano, and are recommended. Keyboards are often a cheaper and more convenient option than digital pianos or real acoustic pianos, as they can be transported around and played using headphones. That said, if buying an acoustic piano is within your budget, it will provide the most satisfying learning experience.
Piano lessons are usually structured around a series of method books, which are recommended by the teacher and can be purchased at a local music store or online. Lessons for beginners usually start with learning the notes of the piano, and progress to learning to sight read using songs the student is familiar with. As the lessons progress, more focus is placed upon proper technique, fingering, and posture. Basic music theory is also introduced. However, whatever direction a student decides to go towards, the instructor will work to make lessons fun and enjoyable!
Our recommended starting age for piano is 4 or 5, when students are capable of playing the keys properly and have sufficient strength in the fingers and hands. Young students also should have begun learning to count and to read. No matter what your age may be, the piano is an excellent introduction to the fundamentals of music, including music theory and basic composition techniques.
"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."
Review by Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
Review by Marcia Hecht
Karleen has really turned it around for me. My previous teacher (not from Musika) had me feeling anxious, upset, and incapable...NOT the desired result! Karleen's method is clear, appropriate for my beginning level, and (best of all) actually lets me achieve some progress! I'm actually looking forward to my lessons now!
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 Elsahatzipavlou
Erin has been a wonderful voice/piano teacher for our 7 year old daughter. She is talented, patient, and has a wonderful demeanor. She has been consistent with her teaching in piano and voice. She keeps record of where the students leave off so that they know what to expect the following week. I would definitely recommend Erin to anyone looking for a skilled piano/voice teacher.
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 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 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 Jennifer
Dave is a fantastic teacher. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to students that I think is invaluable. At the same time, this does not limit him from working with beginning students. He is very communicative with the parents as far as schedule changes. We are so grateful to have found him!!
Review by Teri Romano
Being I'm a woman, I was a little apprehensive having a male teacher (he knew this), however, after my trial lesson I realized he knows what he's doing and I had nothing to worry about!! He is very knowledgable on the piano and vocal techniques. He has a big vocal range so he is able to hit the high notes to be able to show me how I need to sing it. He is also phenomenal on the piano. I would highly recommend him for vocal and piano. Also, I don't know how to sight read music and he is teaching how to. I've been taking lessons with him for a month (my trial lesson was on 1/11) and I have already seen a huge improvement. I am an intermediate level singer looking to improve my vocal technique, breathing and improve my confidence in my singing abilities, Alex is definitely helping me do that.
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