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I have been a music educator for over 20 years. I was a middle school band director for 13 years, but left the field when I moved to North Carolina. I have recently moved back to Michigan and I'm looking to build my private lesson studio back up again. I graduated from Western Michigan University in 1995 and finished my Masters degree in 2011.
I'm a lifelong musician, and have been playing piano for 25 years and violin, guitar, and double bass for over 15 years. I taught K-12 band, orchestra, choir, and general music. I was a guitar songleader a camp for 7 summers. I played in orchestras and jazz bands through high school and college. I also play cocktail piano and campfire guitar for weddings and events.
I'm a Music Teacher, Composer, and Arranger.
I love music and I love working with students of all ages. I studied piano from the age of 4, played euphonium in school band, sang in choir, and graduated from Michigan State University with honors in 2005 with a degree in music education. My teaching has taken me from inner-city Chicago, to Bay City, to South Lyon MI. I am looking to spend more time teaching one-on-one, as I feel that creates the most positive experiences for student and teacher.
I began my music career at Berklee College of Music in 1985 and continued my education at WMU and WSU as a Jazz Performance - Composition Major. I have studied privately with Ken Taft, Gene Butler, Mikhal Caldwell and Joe LoDuca. As a performer I have been in a wide variety of bands and am a founding member of the Frank Zappa Tribute 'Ugly Radio Rebellion' and Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute 'CrossFire'. With 30 years experience as a music educator I have done over 20,000 private lessons as well as classes, clinics, College Prep courses and am a member of The American Guild of Music. I am a versatile teacher and motivated performer and fluent in most every style of music.
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Once you’ve met with your teacher for your risk free trial lesson, continuing with Musika is easy! If you are satisfied with your lesson, all you have to do is register with us to continue! The trial will count as your first lesson if you continue, however, with our Great Match Guarantee™ if for any reason you decide not to continue then the trial is FREE. Go ahead give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.
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Musika piano lessons can be tailored to suit students of all abilities, whether they are beginning, intermediate, or advanced level players. For beginners, the basics will be taught. This can include learning the correct posture, hand position, and fingering technique as well as learning the notes and scales of the piano, learning basic chords and chord progressions, developing the musical ear, and learning to apply these things to simple songs. Intermediate players can start to increase their playing speed in order to perform runs, fills, and solos, they can broaden their chord playing to things like augmented chords, diminished chords, slash chords and so on as well as working on their sight reading, music theory, such as learning different time signatures, and applying these skills to more complex songs. For advanced players, they will be adding an edge to their playing, such as improvisational skills, repertoire and genre-specific work, like learning Jazz or Romantic piano.
Most students start out with a keyboard or digital piano. We recommend a full size keyboard with 88 weighted keys - weighted keyboards will have a touch response similar to a real piano. However, if purchasing a real piano is in your budget, we think that an acoustic piano provides students with the higher level of satisfaction during practice time.
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.
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.
At Musika, we highly recommend that students looking to learn to play the piano do so with a clear goal in mind. Whether your goal is to learn to play your favorite tunes, reacquaint yourself with the piano, or just to play for fun, the experienced teachers in our network can help you make those goals a reality. Learning, developing, and improving technique, co-ordination, and theory can actually be quicker during adulthood as the complex thought processes and theory are easier to understand. Adults can also help maintain their fine-motor skills, concentration, and listening skills into later life.
Review by Kate Thomas
My son enjoys his viola lesson each week with Martina. She is disciplined in her approach to teaching but always makes my son's learning experience enjoyable. She knows how to challenge him and develop excellent form. Martina is always punctual and professional. We both highly recommend her as an instructor.
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 Jane A.
I started taking voice lessons from Ali when I was 19 and a sophomore in college. Though I was hesitant to be starting "late", I felt very comfortable with Ali and her teaching style. We identified several key issues that really made a difference and improved my voice technique. It was fun to sing popular, beautiful songs in our recital! If only I lived in Los Angeles, I would still be a student. Highly recommended!
Review by James F.
After my first piano lesson, Polina is easily the best teacher I could have hoped for. Extremely charismatic and excited to help YOU learn the piano. She puts a lot of effort into evaluation your learning style and will no doubt help you make tremendous strides! I'm stoked to continue taking lessons!
Review by Nicole V.
"My daughter is 10 years old and has been taking piano lessons with Mr. Dale J. for almost 4 years now. She is progressing nicely. His kind and gentle way make for a very positive learning experience. Mr. Dale J. is encouraging without being harsh or belittling. He is patient and the ideal instructor for my daughter."
Review by Jaima Woodiwiss
Having taken 6 years of piano lessons myself when I was young, I am very happy with Osmond teaching my daughter. He is very personable and helping her to enjoy piano. My daughter loves the fun songs she gets to play and I really appreciate how he is integrating even in the first month fingering, chords, beats, and hearing the music. She's getting a very well rounded training and she's loving it!
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 Terri
Caitlyn is friendly, helpful and still holds my high-school aged daughter accountable for practicing. She also makes sure the music technique is mastered correctly during the lessons - they work hard and still have a good time together. I can highly recommend her as a flute teacher. My daughter is very happy & grateful to have found Caitlyn as a teacher.
Review by Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
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