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Teaching music theory and aural technique while encouraging creative exploration.
I play piano for dance classes and dance majors, both modern and ballet, at the University of Washington, Cornish, and other dance schools in the Puget Sound Area. I am a composer, songwriter, piano player, recording artist, and producer. I have released ten CDs since the year 2000. Two of the releases are with the Monroe Institute which makes Hemi-Sync music to balance brain wave patterns and assist with learning, focus, creativity, and ADD. I have released electronic music under my own name, and pop music under the name Bloom. I currently release music on Blessoteric Records.
I'm cranky, strict, and impatient. Just Kidding! Contrary to many stereotypical views of old-style piano teachers, I try to stay upbeat, fresh, and FUN! I feel successful if my students are progressing, if they have fun, and I can motivate them.
When I teach teenagers or adults I usually start with Alred’s Basic Adult Piano Course Book, as well as a music theory book that is suited to the student. I like Alfred’s series for the young beginner as well, but have also used the Bastien series. For voice students I use a warm up book and a sight singing book. My students keep a music notebook of the week’s assignments in which I also make music theory notes and explanations. In addition to the instruction books, I find out particular songs that the student would like to learn and include them in the lesson. If the student wants to compose music, I also teach songwriting skills, and playing by ear.
I began teaching a small handful of students just before I entered college. It wasn't until after college I decided to teach on a more consistent basis for the last 2 years. Life with music is not only a journey but a lifestyle. I encourage and enrich my students in the hope they take their studies with them for life. I train my students classically with a mix of modern and childrens music. As they progress and have come to me with realistic goals, I tailor their studies to help meet their needs. I also work in the Montessori setting, which I absolutely love, and I have incorportated some of the movement into younger students lessons to make learning fun and interesting. Students are encouraged to perform in recitals and to reach out to their communities musically.
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The best instrument to get would be an upright or baby grand piano. However, if your finances are limited we suggest looking at a digital keyboard. Go with the best quality keyboard that you can afford. We suggest a keyboard with weighted keys so that there is additional resistance on the keys than a toy piano would provide. Most digital keyboards start at 61 keys, and go up to a full size 88 keys. You have to consider which keyboard would fit best in your home and your budget. A beginning student should get the keyboard before or immediately after beginning lessons, so that they may begin practicing as soon as the lessons commence.
Children are recommended to start piano lessons no earlier than age 4 or 5. The attention span and personality of the child are factors to consider when thinking of taking lessons. Even if your child has no evident musical inclinations, piano lessons offer a great option for introducing your child to music. During their lessons children will learn sight reading, music theory techniques, ear training as well as fundamentals of music.
There is no specific teaching method that all Musika teachers adhere to. All students will have lessons customized to their needs and goals as lessons progress. If there is a specific teaching style you are looking for, we will keep that in mind as we make your teacher match. Many teachers will have a few method books that they use for lessons, which will include exercises and techniques for practicing. All lessons will cover aspects of learning notes, proper technique, ear training, and how to read music.
"We have many adult students taking lessons with us. Whether you have studied music as a child, or are wanting to learn a new skill, music lessons are a great avenue to go with! Not only do they keep you young and energized, but our teachers are also able to relate to you and instruct you in a way you can understand."
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.
Review by Yury
I would like to thank Polina for the series of classical piano lessons I've taken recently. Polina is a fantastic teacher and a high class performer, and I'm really happy I had a chance to meet her! I believe anyone can benefit from the teaching method Polina is practicing regardless of the student proficiency - from beginners to advanced performers. It was a pleasure for me to study classical piano courses under the guidance of such an intelligent & professional teacher! Without doubt, my playing technique has improved a lot and I have signed up for the new classes online already.
Review by Jenn
My son and I both take lessons with Micheal. My son started on the ukulele and recently started the guitar. He is excellent with children. Very patient and very intuitive to the child's ability. He is also an excellent teacher for adults. I had not touched my guitar in several years and in a couple months not only to I remember everything I forgot but I'm learning many new techniques and am a much better player than I've ever been.
Review by Brooklyn
Laura is a fabulous teacher. She explains concepts to me using concrete examples so that I can understand changes that I need to make to my posture, breathing, phrasing, etc. She makes warm-up exercises fun, and she's got a great sense of humor over all. Her teaching style is collaborative, more egalitarian (she respects what I already know and meets me at my level), tailored to my particular interests and strengths, and I always look forward to our lessons!
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 Elsahatzipavlou
Erin has been a wonderful voice/piano teacher for our 7 year old daughter. She is talented, patient, and has a wonderful demeanor. She has been consistent with her teaching in piano and voice. She keeps record of where the students leave off so that they know what to expect the following week. I would definitely recommend Erin to anyone looking for a skilled piano/voice teacher.
Review by John
When I started with Darrell, I didn't know anything bout music. Nothing. We started with basic music theory & moved into scales and reading. It hasn't been very long at all, but my confidence is growing quickly. He does ask a lot from you and he expects you to keep up. But I can honestly say that if you are willing to work hard and spend the time at home doing what he asks, you will see the results. He wants you to succeed and takes pride in watching you grow. If you want it as bad as he does, you will see the result very quickly.
Review by Jeremy
Dr. Nedra C is incredible. She knows her craft in and out, it truly shows in her teaching. As well, she cares a great deal about the student, and preps plenty of material outside of the lesson for those that she teaches. I've had many different music teachers and am aware who's talented and cares, and who isn't. Dr. Nedra C is true phenomenal, and any student would be lucky to have her.
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 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.
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