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I want to help every student achieve their personal goals in music, whether it is to work on school music, learn a new instrument or become a professional musician. I encourage structure in the lessons, but am flexible to work on the students needs. I want my students to perform and experience live performances. I provide serval venues and ensembles where I perform as well as other performances happening in the Pittsburgh area.
My teaching experience dates all the way back to highschool when I was in charge of coaching the flute section on difficult parts as section leader in wind ensemble. During college, I took on my first private students, and I have now been teaching flute, piano, and violin in the greater Pittsburgh area for four years now. My teaching locations have included Batavia Studios in Mars, PA and Waddell's Music Center in Wexford, PA. At both of these locations, I have welcomed students from ages 4 to 60 and gained experience teaching piano, flute, violin, and music theory.
I use the John Schaum piano method course and theory and harmony lessons and supplement it with other music which the student may choose. The theory lessons provide a means to drill on the essentials by means of a work-book style in optional detached pages so that the teacher can take the papers and correct them before the next lesson. I prefer to correct them instantly and correct misunderstandings so that future assignments will be approached correctly. The harmony lessons benefit any students who wish to pursue music in college. But all can find them useful in understanding the composers intent and general harmonic structure of the selection to aid in memorization.
I am a passionate music educator who loves working with students and sharing the joy of music. I graduated in May 2015 from Westminster College with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education with a Concentration in Clarinet. I have enjoyed playing with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra on Bass Clarinet and playing in other ensembles. I have also enjoyed teaching saxophones and clarinet sections in Pittsburgh area marching bands.
Every student learns differently, and I believe that it's important not to rush their development. Because playing music gets increasingly complicated, it's important that students are comfortable with their current skill level so that they can realistically challenge themselves to attempt the next one. This enables them to find their own strength and encourages autonomy in their creative experience.
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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 offers piano lessons in the comfort of your home. Provided you have a piano or keyboard to practice on, you have everything needed to start learning straight from home! Taking lessons in the home is a great way to save time and money traveling to your piano lessons. There is no difference in the content of the lessons, whether they take place at home or in the studio. Home piano lessons are a particularly good option for younger students. It is a big advantage for young students to learn in a familiar, comfortable, and supportive environment.
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.
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.
Piano is a great first instrument for children who have never studied music before. The instructors in our network specialize in teaching younger children, and can develop an individual lesson plan for your child. The youngest age that we recommend starting piano lessons is age 4. The instructor will be able to teach your child to read music, beginning music theory and musicianship skills, and how to develop a love for playing the instrument.
Review by Kate Thomas
My son enjoys his viola lesson each week with Martina. She is disciplined in her approach to teaching but always makes my son's learning experience enjoyable. She knows how to challenge him and develop excellent form. Martina is always punctual and professional. We both highly recommend her as an instructor.
Review by Bradford Putt
Angela has been a perfect match-up for me. She is warm and welcoming, and also serious about teaching - she keeps our time focused and on track. What I truly appreciate, as a new singer anxiously preparing for an event, is the confidence she gives me. Angela is very encouraging. I enjoy coming to class.
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 Natalie Kretcher
I really like her. And as an adult student, a good teacher who keeps the pace up but still keeps it reasonable in terms of difficulty is really hard to find. She does a great job of explaining little detail things in terms I (as a musically challenged human) can understand. I'm having a blast! 10/10 would recommend!
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 Karl B
“My son and I have been taking lessons with Lynn for 5 or 6 years now. She is very patient with younger students (& older students having "senior moments"). She is also flexible in her lessons in that if we want to work on theory, jazz, rock, blues, she will cater to our requests.” – Karl B., C.P.A., Aug 2015
Review by Brad Schimmer
I have been playing the drums for about 5 years and I have to say that Alvaro is very patient. He has opened me up to new styles of music and I can now play a Songo groove! What I liked most was that he was flexible in what I wanted him to teach me and would also bring in new material specifically to what I wanted him to show me. Overall, great patient teacher and would highly recommend! Thanks Alvaro!
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 Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
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