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For me it is really important to see students learning and advancing in music. Understanding every student needs and abilities allows me to set up clear and objective goals for every lesson. Keeping motivating the students through certifying their progress helps them to keep learning. It is also important for me that each student has fun, otherwise I do not feel like I am doing my job!
I'm a passionate and inspiring piano instructor, and I love teaching to all levels of students. I am a recent graduate from Berklee College of Music with diploma in Film Scoring, also have degree in Composition from Shobi Music College in Japan. I have played piano since the age of three and have experience playing violin and french horn for years as well when I was a child. My careers include releasing my own piano albums, scoring and piano performance for short films (see the youtube link for reference), orchestration for educational projects, score preparation for films and a planetarium show at Boston Science of Museum and so on. Additionally, I am going to release my new album through a record label in Los Angels this summer and continuously working as a pianist and composer both internationally and locally. I apply those careers and experiences to teaching as well. My home studio is located in Jamaica Plain, there is a keyboard with 88 keys for piano lessons, and all the equipments for writing music as well.
For beginning students who are children, I typically start with Alfred's Prep Course Level A which provides strong basic skills in all relevant areas; such as, note reading, rhythm, piano theory etc. I normally advice students to follow Alfred's recommended steps until they reach Level 2. Then, in preparation for basic and more advanced classical pieces, I will introduce students with fingers practice "Hanon" and other fun yet effective program.
Music has been my passion since grade school. I began teaching in the fall of 2006 and have engaged with students of all ages. I welcome the wide eyed enthusiastic child who can't wait to learn and perform, as well as the reluctant, but determined adult who just wants to play for fun or take on a new challenge. After attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston for 2 years, I joined Merrimack Valley's favorite local band the B. Street Bombers where I performed all over New England playing trombone, piano, percussion and vocals from 1986 to 2005. In 2006 my wife and I moved to California where I was Music Director at the Rock Church from 2007 to 2014. After a brief stint in San Diego my wife and I recently moved back to Bradford, Mass which is the location of my teaching and recording studio. You can catch me playing locally with the B. Street Bombers, the River City Band and the Lakes Region Big Band. My main instrument in trombone in which I can teach beginner to advanced. However I also teach, bass, drums piano, trumpet, baritone horn and tuba where I am able to teach at a beginner to intermediate level.
I'm an experienced singer and teacher and love sharing the joy of discovery of sound and music with children and young people. My degree is in classical vocal performance and I've lived all over the U.S. and maintained a teaching studio over the last 20+ years. I've taught early childhood music, led choirs for children, teens and women and have worked with many schools and churches. My students become a family and we enjoy putting together group classes and small recital performances, including an annual Christmas Sing Along.
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Keyboards are a convenient option for practice and lessons as they afford students the options of portability and the use of headphones for practice. They are also cheaper and more space-conscious than an acoustic piano. Look to buy a keyboard that has a minimum of 61 keys, and a weighted hammer action. This will ensure your keyboard closest resembles the playability of a real piano. The most popular brands are Roland, Yamaha, and Korg. If it is possible, buying an acoustic piano will offer the most rewarding learning experience for students, and provides market resale value.
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.
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.
Learning a new musical skill as an adult is a great way to keep your brain fresh! We have many adult students actively taking lessons with us, and they make up around 50% of our student base. The instructors in our network offer individually tailored lesson plans based on the needs of the adult student. You will learn the technique of the instrument, specific repertoire suited to your skill level, and learn how to sight read.
Our recommended starting age for piano is 4 or 5, when students are capable of playing the keys properly and have sufficient strength in the fingers and hands. Young students also should have begun learning to count and to read. No matter what your age may be, the piano is an excellent introduction to the fundamentals of music, including music theory and basic composition techniques.
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 Venessea Gilbert
Rebecca has been super with my son! He is 8yrs old and has mild aspergers. He has never played an instrument before but after one lesson with his teacher he could keep a beat on his drums. She is able to keep his attention and really makes it fun! She is flexible and easy going. I highly recommend her for any lessons. Very nice teacher! Thank you Rebecca for your outstanding service!!
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 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 Nancy Fritsch
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach.
Review by Paula Chacon
I've always said, "It's all about the teacher." That skillful, effective teacher who can reach that child and ignite her passion, is truly a gift. Ric does that for my daughter. As a former music teacher myself, the most challenging thing in working with children is how to build their fundamental musical skills while letting them have fun and be expressive. The teacher must create a safe, supportive environment, and Ric does that. Ric immediately focuses on fundamentals of tone and technique, giving my daughter succinct instruction on how to improve, thus she can sense the improvement immediately. Ric seems extremely easy going; even when lighting a fire under her sometimes under-achieving butt, Ric never criticizes, judges or blames. He works with my child, understanding her, helping her problem solve, and even giving her the quick answer sometimes so she can move quickly and stay motivated. Ric balances fundamentals with fun and expressiveness, so my child feels as though she can 'play' and they truly make music in every lesson. I am thankful we found a good match with Ric.
Review by Kristen Draughn
Mr. Lou M. is a God-send! With the various needs that our organization requires from our education partners in order to provide enrichment services to our students, Mr. Lou M. has always gone above and beyond in meeting all of those needs. Our students are learning, our caregivers are happy and satisfied, and we couldn't be more pleased with his performance.
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 Mythili Lahiri
My son is truly enjoying his lessons with Chris. He looks forward to them and is motivated to practice. Chris is conscientious and shows up on time and whenever he is supposed to. He communicates clearly if rescheduling is ever required and is accommodating when we need to change the day. I would recommend Chris to anyone.
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