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I have seventeen years of experience teaching piano. I teach musical expression through the instruction of sequential musical skills, varied repertoire, sight reading, ear-training, music theory and technique. My purpose is to help each student develop a love and appreciation of music. I hope that music will be an avenue of fulfillment and a source of joy that will last them a lifetime.
I am a dedicated and inspiring instructor from the New Orleans/South Mississippi area. In addition to absorbing the great feel and culture of New Orleans and its music, I studied with many great drum set artists including the legendary Alan Dawson (3 years), Henrique De Almeida (Berklee Staff), Dave DiCenso (Berklee Staff), and Ricky Sebastian (Drummers Collective). I am a professional touring drummer who works with Grammy Artist Chris Thomas King, New Orleans Brass Band Bonerama, Mississippi Blues Ambassador Vasti Jackson, and the Atlanta-based Lefty Williams Band. In addition to touring the United States, I have recently been to Norway, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and Thailand. In 2010-2012, while managing a busy touring schedule, I completed my Masters in Music Education studying with Dr. John Wooton (vibraphone/marimba) and maintaining a drum set teaching studio in the percussion department as a graduate assistant.
I am a second generation musician who has the passion and desire to share the art of piano playing to my students. My love for the piano stems from my family's musical history, where my father and aunt introduced the classics to me at the tender age of 5. As I discover the beauty of piano playing throughout my high school years, I decided to enroll in the music education program at the University of the Virgin Islands. There, I performed with the university's concert choir, concert band, and jazz band in many musical programs. I also participated in the music department tutorial program, where I assisted students who enrolled in beginning courses; such as music theory I, II; and intro to keyboarding I, II.
It is important to me that my students enjoy the lessons and progress at their own speed. I want them to learn music that they enjoy.
My teaching experience goes way back to when I was a senior in high school. I was the assistant band teacher. I was leading band and sectionals in almost every instruments since I played 20 instruments. I end up volunteering for two years while I was in college and taught beginning band for freshmens in my high school. At the same time, I was teaching private lessons part-time. I have been teaching private and group lessons for more than 20 years. Consistency is the key. I try to make my lessons fun. I want all my students to enjoy music as much as I did.
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Many older students are fulfilling a life-long dream by taking piano lessons. Some students may have had lessons when they were younger and want to re-learn and others are simply looking for a new hobby. Whatever the aim or reason, there are many benefits to piano lessons for older students. Learning the piano can keep you mentally active, help maintain dexterity, improve your hearing, and stimulate the brain in a creative way. Older students can develop basic technique and music theory quite quickly, as their concentration, thinking skills, and self-discipline are more advanced than that of children.
Musika deals primarily with home lessons for students. The location is the only difference between our in-home lessons and our studio lessons. As they do not have to travel to their lessons, home piano lessons can be highly convenient for those parents and students with a busy schedule. Students will need a keyboard to practice on, however. For younger students in particular, having piano lessons in the comfort of their own home can be of great benefit. They will feel more safe and relaxed in familiar surroundings, allowing them to focus on learning and enjoying playing the piano.
If purchasing an acoustic piano is not an option, we recommend that students look to buy a keyboard or digital piano for their lessons and practice. When buying a keyboard or digital piano, look to purchase one with 61 or more keys, as well as one with weighted hammer action. Having more keys, as well as weighted keys, will most resemble the responsiveness and feel of an acoustic piano. Typically, keyboards are a cheaper option, they take up less space, are portable and can be played with headphones. Some of the most popular brands of keyboard or digital piano are Yamaha, Roland, and Casio.
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.
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!
Review by Chrystal
I was skeptical at first not knowing what I was getting my self into.. I am very happy that I forced myself to get into voice lessons because Eli is an awsome voice coach.. Very skillful and he helps you reach the goal you are trying to reach.. He is also very helpful with getting you to open up and come out of your shell and being heard.. I would and I already have recommended friends and family to sign up with Eli if they're serious about singing..
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 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 Tuvana
He is incredibly patient and really customizes his teaching style to the child. Both of my children are learning piano with him; they have learned so much and really enjoy the lessons. In fact, my daughter asked to learn another instrument (guitar) with him and is making great progress with that, too.
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 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 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 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 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.
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