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Melissa began singing in a church choir at the age of four and has been "hooked" ever since. After years of performing in various choirs and taking lessons herself, she went on to earn her Bachelor's degree in vocal performance at Illinois Wesleyan University and her Master's at Illinois State University. Meanwhile, Melissa was also studying piano from childhood through college. Now in her 21st year of playing, Melissa loves to teach beginner and intermediate pianists in addition to young singers. She is a newcomer to the DC area, and has previously lived, sung, and taught in Illinois, Indiana, and Vienna, Austria. Melissa has performed on both the undergraduate and graduate level (and beyond). Her experience includes operas, operettas, recitals, musicals, and choirs. She has performed in venues ranging from the Indianapolis Opera to the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Over the years she has performed in the United States, Canada, England, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. She also studied piano for many years, and has experience as an accompanist and vocal coach. Other than her pedagogy training and the typical university diction and literature curriculum, she also took 14 years of French, and lived in a German-speaking country for the better part of a year studying the language. Her knowledge of diction and language issues is extensive. This, combined with her comprehensive training in music theory, history, and repertoire, gives her a vast reserve of knowledge and resources for her teaching.
My teaching experience dates back to my college days,more than 40 years,including 25 years of teaching in the USA.I worked at several music schools and have also given private lessons in New York and Rhode Island.I've found that a combination of classical and modern music can go hand in hand in helping students enjoy the piano and motivate them to practice,gaining passion for the instrument.My students are encouraged to enter competitions and recitals.
I always emphasize fundamental musical skills—reading, repertoire, and technique—regardless of the student's specific aspiration. Whether it be a rock star, hobbyist or concert hall performer, the core of my approach is the same. Though old school, I'm a big advocate of flashcards. I use them to teach note-reading, rhythms and musical symbols. During lessons with younger students, my most kinesthetic learners, I can also be found singing, role-playing or even jumping around on a giant hopscotch mat (shaped like a treble staff). For all my students, young and old, I make sure to cultivate effective practice habits. We discuss specifically what goes on outside of class, and as a result, our lessons become exponentially more productive and rewarding.
Since I took my first piano lessons as a child, I've dedicated my life to learning as much as I can about music both inside and outside of school and spreading the joy to others. I have been performing consistently with groups since my teen years: first jazz combos, ensembles and University orchestras, and more recently rock and metal acts. I have extensive experience touring, and encourage students to draw on my knowledge as both a studio and live performer. My home studio is well furnished, and has a selection of electric guitars and basses, a full-size upright piano, and a 5-piece Pearl drum kit.
I've been teaching more than 10 years. All ages, all levels. School and private setting. Customize teaching methods, which depends on individuals personality and learning style. I accomplished and dedicated professional with extensive experience and a passion for Music. I have two master degrees, master of Music Education and master of Music Therapy. Experience in music theory and history, playing instruments, singing, coordinating selections, preparing annual performances, leading choirs and rehearsals, accompaniment, and teaching others. Effective and multi- lingual communicator, fluent in English, Mandarin, and Taiwanese, able to build cohesive and productive working relationships with people of diverse backgrounds in group and individual settings.
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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.
Taking piano lessons from the comfort of your own home is the most convenient way of learning to the play the instrument. Finding the additional time out of a busy schedule to transport your child to and from their lessons can be difficult, making home lessons a convenient, time and money saving option. The only thing necessary for home lessons is a keyboard or piano to play on! There is no difference between the lesson content of studio or home lessons- only the location is different. Home lessons help provide a safe, familiar, and comfortable learning environment for students.
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.
Our piano lessons take place in a one-on-one setting and are customized to the requirements of each individual student. To get started, beginners may cover aspects of piano playing such as posture, hand positions, fingering technique, scales, chords, and applying these things to simple songs. They will also start to develop their knowledge of music theory, reading chord charts and sheet music. As their dexterity, co-ordination and speed progresses, they can start broadening their musical horizons. They can learn new chords, playing and performance techniques and styles, such as legato, staccato, glissando, runs, and fills, as well as work on their sight reading and general theory (time signatures, modes, modulation, etc.). Advanced players often want to study a particular genre or composer, or work on certain aspects of their playing and repertoire. This may include improvisation, or exploring different genres or styles, such as Avant Garde, Jazz, or Classical piano.
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.
Review by Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
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 Emily
Steve gets you started right away with songs but also goes into music theory and reading music which adds to understanding and appreciation of the music. He is very approachable and you can tell that he absolutely loves music and teaching. It is hard not to be excited about the process of learning with Steve. If you are considering lessons I highly recommend Steve for any level of student.
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 Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
Review by Roselynbrown
After moving from NY and parting from our amazing piano instructor, we thought we couldn't find a piano teacher close to what we knew. We are happy to say Musika matched us up with someone professional and friendly who enjoys teaching younger students. Thank you! We definitely recommend Kuan as a piano instructor :)
Review by Stevengournay
There are only a handful of people I count in my life who were great teachers, and Laura is one of them. Her musicianship is so secure as are her technique and personality that she zeros in on my weaknesses and devises exercises to strengthen them, and during the lesson it is not "Do this, no, do that" which is unnerving to a novice. She understands the most important part of study is relaxation, so that is easy to achieve with such a confident and compassionate human. Music is her life and she is eager to share her talent with everyone. A rare find, indeed!
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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