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Because I have had voice training and have taught using many different methods, my students find much more quickly what works for them and their goals. They also have enjoyed the freedom of being able to tell me the sound they are wanting to make and receiving instruction how to make that sound, rather than being told they can only sing in a certain genre (usually classical) with a certain kind of sound (also usually classical).
Students who are beginning with me are presented with two methods and may choose based upon the Theory book. Generally, I present Faber's Piano Adventures, Hal Leonard, and at times, Succeeding at Piano by Helen Marlais. I use Frances Clark's Music Tree for students younger than five years of age. I follow the Lessons and Theory pairing from a student's method of choice. Once students can read the grand staff, I use A Dozen A Day by Edna Mae Burnam to teach keyboard geography and help lay the foundation for developing technique. For voice, I use simple vocal exercises that I have written. For adults who wish to learn to sing, I begin with basics of technique and introduce them to various styles unless they have expressed specific interest, ie, popular, musical theater, or classical. I encourage summer study and use that time to teach out of an anthology in order to allow students to apply their skills with expressive or character pieces. I teach duets in order to help students become comfortable with jazz and blues. I have held service recitals at local retirement homes in order to foster a love of sharing music with others.
I keep my lessons very relaxed. I want the student to feel comfortable. This does not mean, however, that I do not hold high expectations for my students. I hold the students responsible for their own progress. If they don't practice, they do not improve. I make sure they and their parents (if applicable) know exactly what they should be working on each week, as well as areas that need improvement.
It's a great pleasure to teach beginner students for over a year and help them develop those first fundamentals of music. I try to find a method book that suits their skill level and focus initially on learning simple songs suitable for performance, as well as some initial ear training and improvisation. Adults will find that I cater to their musical interests and do my best to make each lesson as fun as possible. I often like to play with my students, either on saxophone and piano, so they get the enjoyment -- and experience -- of playing in a group.
Honestly, there are very few things in life that get me as excited as when I get the opportunity to share my knowledge with someone else. I've taught private music lessons since I was 11 -- over 20 years ago -- and I wake up every day wanting to do more teaching! I'm patient, I connect well with people of all walks of life, and as a father of three, I absolutely love kids. I teach everything from beginning piano, saxophone, and bass students through university level musicians seeking more advanced composition, improvisation, and theory knowledge.
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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 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!
A keyboard or digital piano is a perfectly acceptable alternative to an acoustic piano for the purposes of lessons and practice. The major advantages of keyboards are the cheap price, portability, and the possibility of playing with headphones, which means being able to practice without disturbing others. When buying a keyboard, look to get one with a weighted hammer action and as many keys as possible although a minimum of 61 should suffice. Weighted keys will most resemble the touch sensitivity of a real piano. The most common brands are Casio, Korg, and Yamaha. If possible, look to purchase an upright or baby grand piano.
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 the same way as in-studio lessons are, 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 for children will focus on learning fundamentals of the technique of the instrument and learning to read music and rhythm. We suggest beginning piano lessons no earlier than age four due to the attention span of the child, as well as the strength in their hands for playing. Piano lessons offer an excellent introduction to learning music for a child. Music theory and musical skills will also be taught during the lessons. Piano lessons are a great choice for introducing the art of music to your child!
Review by Debbie E.
I had always wanted to take vocal lessons, but was very nervous about it until I had the opportunity to have Ali as my instructor. She made me feel very comfortable and helped me realize my strengths while giving me other areas to work on and strengthen. I liked how Ali had me sing out of my "comfort" zone to realize my vocal range. It is obvious that Ali loves music and sharing that love with her students. She is very good at what she does and works well with both male and female voices. I highly recommend Ali and give her solid 5 stars
Review by Queen Natalia
Lara is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in her profession. She is cheerful and personable, and has established a good rapport with students and staff alike. I have found Lara to be a highly competent, personable, patient, kind-hearted, and deeply caring person who is skilled professionally and interpersonally.
Review by Kristin
Ted S. is teaching clarinet to one of my children, and piano to two others. He is extremely knowledgeable, and very encouraging. His teaching methods are keeping my children enthused about their lessons, and without that, you have nothing. Two of my children were taking piano lesson from another teacher for the past year, and not progressing. Ted has been able to evaluate their skills individually, determine what was missing in their music education, and begin again with some early basics they seem to have missed. I am convinced we are finally moving forward, and am very happy about that. I wish I would have made this change much earlier.
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 Ro J.
“My son has been instructed by Mark for almost four years. Mark is an outstanding teacher. His credentials are by themselves impressive, but his ability to relate his knowledge to kids is even more so. Connor's ability to understand and read music is fantastic. Mark also knows the performance side of playing drums and has encouraged Connor to actually incorporate his knowledge to play alone and in a band. He is patient and encouraging which is what motivates Connor to work and practice. He is a mentor as well as a teacher. He is superior at what he does and we highly recommend him.” Ro J.
Review by Violetking
Bill has been a great teacher for both my 6 yr. old and my 8 yr. old. He is always on time, keeps them engaged, and gives them just enough of a challenge for the next week. They are both beginners, but I am surprised by how much they already know after just a month or so of lessons. Both kids are practicing willingly and look forward to lesson.
Review by Jennifer
Lindsey has been coming to our house to give saxophone lessons to our 12 year old daughter for about a month. She is an absolute joy. She is extremely knowledgeable, flexible with her schedule, and my daughter thinks she is "fun" and "cool". We would highly recommend her to anyone wanting music lessons. A+
Review by Alex A.
Travis rocks. My 7-year-old son and I both take lessons with him. Travis has moved me off the plateau I was on with lessons that focus on theory and technique. And for my son, he's been able to instill a desire and interest that were missing when he previously took piano lessons. With Travis teaching us, the limits are the ones we impose on ourselves. Needless to say, Travis himself plays a mean guitar to boot!
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.
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