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Mary has been playing and studying music over twenty years. She lives in the Philadelphia area, where she freelances and teaches. She received her Master of Music degree from the Music Conservatory of Purchase College in 2011 and her B.A. in music performance from SUNY Geneseo in 2005.
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'm an enthusiastic instructor who loves teaching and making a difference in students' lives. In 2013, I graduated from The University of the Arts with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and in 2014, from The University of the Arts with a Masters in Music degree in Vocal Performance. I've had the opportunity to perform in the Southwest of France, The Academy of Music, The Kimmel Center and various jazz venues in Upstate NY and Philadelphia.
I am an individual focused on helping people reach their goals. My biggest pleasure is seeing my students succeed in their musical jorney and have a great time in the process. I graduated from UNC-Charlotte in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. I recently moved to the north east part of the US. I considered myself a multicultural individual since I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela when I was a kid. I am fluent in Spanish as well. Through my journey of teaching a wide variety of students, I've been able to help students with their challenges and overcome them.
Since We Started
Cities with Students
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Learning to play the piano as a child is fun, rewarding, and vastly beneficial to their overall development. Children can develop their motor-skills, dexterity, and coordination through technical piano playing such as learning scales, chords, and correct fingering. Young students can also develop their concentration, listening skills, and ability to master complex thought processes through theory, repertoire, and student-teacher feedback. Learning to play the piano can also be character building by instilling a hard-working attitude, developing self-discipline and confidence through practice, taking exams, entering competitions or performing recitals.
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.
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.
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!
For adults who are looking to learn to play the piano, we recommend that they do so with some clear goals in mind. Maybe you want to learn to play some of your favorite songs, pass an exam, or write your own music. Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. It can take time to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the piano to a competent level. However, playing the piano is a great stress reliever, keeps you mentally active, and can help with your hearing and fine-motor skills.
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 Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
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.
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!
Review by Suzette
She is amazing! My daughter, Isabella (7 yrs) is totally engaged in the lesson. Lilly's definitely has a gift with teaching young children!!! A great talent of hers is making the content interesting, current to today's music and most of all fun! She has a knack for taking the material and translating it in a way that is relatable to Isabella. My daughter really enjoys her lesson's and has moved along rather quickly with the material. Thanks Lilly!
Review by Jenn
My son and I both take lessons with Micheal. My son started on the ukulele and recently started the guitar. He is excellent with children. Very patient and very intuitive to the child's ability. He is also an excellent teacher for adults. I had not touched my guitar in several years and in a couple months not only to I remember everything I forgot but I'm learning many new techniques and am a much better player than I've ever been.
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 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 Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.