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I have played in over 20 different groups, performed on over 30 professional studio recordings, as well as having taught professionally for over 7 years. I have played in a professional musical setting since the age of 16. Played in various Rock/Pop bands, Jazz bands, Classical ensembles, Marching bands, Studio groups, World music ensembles, Contemporary ensembles, as well as also performing Solo Shows. I am capable of catering to any form/level of musical skill, and pride myself on being able to provide a wide array of services for any student seeking musical teachings.
My teaching experience dates all the way back in high school. Our director gave us the opportunity to teach small group as well as large group at times. It was this experience that set the stage for what I would be doing the rest of my life. I have taught all the way through my college years and then as a director of bands and orchestras. I am currently taking a brief break from teaching at the high school and middle school levels. I am currently intending on pursuing a doctorate. I encourage regular focused practice, even if it is for 5 minutes. I have found 10-15 minutes of focused practice produces better results than unfocused playing around. This is especially true of all middle school players. I tend to use a balance of classical etudes(for development) and modern(film score/popular/jazz) to keep a student interested. One of the first lessons I always teach is goal setting. This is one of the most important life building skills that I know and is applicable to every area outside of music.
Most of my students use Alfred's Piano Course. After just a few lessons, we add in additional books and songs to expose the student to as much music as possible. I believe that the more music a student is exposed to, the better a musician he or she becomes. With the exception of recital pieces, I rarely spend more than a few weeks on one song, but instead focus on guiding students to play a wide variety of music at their level. Piano lessons should be engaging and exciting, no matter a student's level!
I am a very passionate musician who loves all aspects of music. I love sharing music with others and with my students, and I like to instill a knowledge with deep appreciation of music. Performing, composing, listening, and practicing are elements that I like to emphasize to students, while maintaining a fun and progressive attitude toward learning. As a performer and composer, I have the most fun, yet as a teacher, I recieve immense satisfaction in opening the eyes and ears of musicians and students of all ages and levels. With a degree in Music Education and studies in jazz piano, I feel that I have a wide background to bring to the studio for students.
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Students at different levels of their piano playing will require different aspects of piano playing to be covered during their lessons. Beginners typically start out learning the basics, intermediate players will be applying the foundations to more complex compositions, and advanced players will want to hone a few specific skills or styles. The basic things that beginner students will work on tend to be learning the notes of the piano, posture and playing technique, scales, and chords. At this level, students will learn simple scales and chords, such as major and minor chords, and start to put some of the basic techniques into practice via simple songs. Intermediate players will work on more exotic chords and playing such as diminished chords, 7th chords, and applying these things to more challenging compositions. Advanced players can improve sight reading, improvisational abilities, or work on genre specific techniques, such as Jazz or Blues. Throughout, students can develop their musical ear, reading, and theory.
Adults take up piano lessons for a number of different reasons. Some people want to reintroduce themselves to the instrument having once played it in the past, while others are looking for a new hobby or just to learn a new skill for fun! Whatever the reason, there are major benefits to learning the piano during adulthood. Learning piano technique can help retain fine motor skills and co-ordination, it can keep the mind sharp due to the complex thought processes, and has shown to be good for preserving your hearing. Learning to play the piano can also be therapeutic, and is a great stress reliever.
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.
We recommend that students get either a full size piano, or a weighted keyboard for their lessons. It is very important to set up a practice schedule every day. You can purchase a basic keyboard at a local music store or online. Some students may also wish to rent a piano if they do not wish to invest in buying one right away. Digital keyboards offer a good choice for the beginning student because they are portable and easily stored in your home. Keyboards will start at 61 keys at the smallest amount and increase to a full size keyboard of 88 keys. The most common brands of keyboard are Casio, Yamaha, and Korg.
In-home lessons are what the majority of our students request. Not only does this provide a convenient means to study music, but there is no difference in the quality of lessons done in-home or in-studio as they are typically structured the same. The main benefit of in-home lessons is the reduction in travel time to another location, and additionally the student may be able to focus better in their own home since they are familiar with it. Piano lessons in the home offer a practical choice for your family for learning the skill of playing a musical instrument.
Review by Dylan Jacinto
Jessie is the finest musician I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I find her overall concept of approaching an instrument to be both comprehensive and effective. Each technique she has acquired has made it possible for her to tailor her method to a variety of ages and individuals. I cannot speak more highly of Miss Jessie's abilities. Her lengthy and impressive cradecials speak for themselves. I recommend no hesitation in seeking her services!
Review by Gillian
Vince is a great drum teacher for my 8 year old son. We go to his house where he has a studio setup with a huge drum set. He has been very patient but really holds my son responsible for learning the right way to play. After about 5 lessons, my son is playing some rhythms on the drums and reading music. He looks forward to his lessons with Vince.
Review by Justin
I've been taking lessons from Michael once a week for eight weeks now, and with his help I have made dramatic improvements with my sax. Michael is a funny, nice, patient and all around great instructor. I'd recommend Michael, as an instructor, to anyone who wants to improve their skills and have fun while doing it.
Review by Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
Review by Sharon
My 4-year-old has had several lessons with Martina now, and he has learned a lot. Obviously, it is challenging to teach such a young child, and he has learned quite a lot in a short time, and is very excited to learn about violin and for his lessons. I think Martina is doing an excellent job, is quite patient, and is teaching him in such a way that he can really remember his new skills from week to week. We look forward to many more lessons with Ms. Martina!
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 Nicole V.
"My daughter is 10 years old and has been taking piano lessons with Mr. Dale J. for almost 4 years now. She is progressing nicely. His kind and gentle way make for a very positive learning experience. Mr. Dale J. is encouraging without being harsh or belittling. He is patient and the ideal instructor for my daughter."
Review by Jaima Woodiwiss
Having taken 6 years of piano lessons myself when I was young, I am very happy with Osmond teaching my daughter. He is very personable and helping her to enjoy piano. My daughter loves the fun songs she gets to play and I really appreciate how he is integrating even in the first month fingering, chords, beats, and hearing the music. She's getting a very well rounded training and she's loving it!
Review by Steve Newman
My daughter began learning sax in her school band, but she didn't begin PLAYING sax until she started lessons with Debra. From scales and exercises to actual pieces, Debra coached my daughter with real insight, sensitivity, and patience. Her knowledge of the instrument and feeling for music - along with her easy-going,"kid friendly" personality - make Debra the ideal teacher and musical mentor.
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