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It really depends on needs and desires of student! I create custom lesson plans for each student depending on their current ability level, age, and future goals. For drums -topics include: various Snare books to teach students sight reading basics while focusing on technique, transcriptions of drum grooves and solos, learning and playing along to recordings, etc. For Piano, I combine a traditional note reading approach/music theory with the "by ear" Suzuki Method.
I find each student unique and they response differently to my requests or questions. I feel that I very often need to react spontaneously to their responses. We usually treat the word “fun” as an opposite to “serious”. When it comes to learning I believe they are the synonyms. Although I try to make the learning process as easy as possible, it is hard to have a fun unless you get focused and serious about what you learn. With the beginners I mainly focus on reading musical notes and learning correct rhythms. Even with the beginners I incorporate basic theory and phrasing in the lessons because it makes them understand the underlying structure of the music and give them a better idea how to play certain phrases. As they advance beyond the basics I emphasize the appropriate tone color and expression of musical phrases by various articulations through proper use of fingers, hands and arms. There is a saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I sometimes play for them to show how some passages should be played. Some of my students pick it up right away.
Yuji has been teaching flute and piano since 1990s in Japan, and continue to teaching in US since 1998. Beginner to professinal level are always welcome.
I started to play the piano in 2007 and as soon as I started to learn the basics, I wanted other people to know about it too. So everything I learned, I would teach to anyone who was interested. I did not do it for money, but because it was such an amazing concept to me, and I thought everyone should know about it. I started formally teaching in 2012 where I was employed as a tutor at Holyoke Community College, where I received my Associates Degree. While tutoring there, I learned much about how different students learn, and what I can do to help them learn better and more easily. I have experienced that if I cannot find the best way to teach a student, they tend to get bored and unmotivated, however, I have gained experience in keeping it all interesting based on my students and their views on music.
I blend the tried-and-true poise of classical technique with holistic approaches to satisfy two purposes: 1) the traditional desire to hone skill with practice and discipline, and 2) the psychological development of the student's independent musicianship. Music without expression is only sport. While technique, exercise, rigor, and history are essential in order to develop the deepest possible understanding of music, I aim to go beyond this to shape the independent expressionism of each student.
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We recommend that students get either a full size piano, or a weighted keyboard for their lessons. It is very important to set up a practice schedule every day. You can purchase a basic keyboard at a local music store or online. Some students may also wish to rent a piano if they do not wish to invest in buying one right away. Digital keyboards are good choice for the beginning student because they are portable and easily stored in your home. Keyboards will start at 61 keys and increase to a full size keyboard of 88 keys. The most common brands of keyboard are Casio, Yamaha, and Korg.
All students start their lessons at different levels of experience and with different aims and goals in mind. For beginner students who are new to the piano, lessons will be devised to give students the fundamentals of good piano playing. Students will learn the correct posture, hand position, and fingering techniques for playing scales and chords. Students can develop these skills through practicing scales, arpeggios, and simple melodies using both hands. For advanced students, topics that may be covered include more intricate skills, such as creating runs and fills to add interest and variation to their playing, to develop their repertoire of pieces they can play, and to develop their sight reading. Some students may have a specific genre that they are interested in learning, such as jazz piano. Students will learn the musical theory and techniques that underlay a host of musical genres. The teachers in Musika's network are able to recommend books or specific areas of additional study that they feel will advance each individual student and help to achieve their goals.
Music lessons in your home offer a convenient option to learn music! Most of our students request in-home lessons for this reason. As long as you have a piano or keyboard in your home, then you should be all set to start your lessons! Children who have never played an instrument before may feel more comfortable studying in their own home, as it may be less intimidating than going somewhere else. In-home lessons also decrease the time and gas money spent traveling to a different location.
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. In fact, adult students represent around 50% of our student base. The instructors in our network generally offer an individually tailored lesson plan to the needs of an adult student. You will learn the technique of the instrument, specific repertoire suited to your skill level, as well as learning how to read music and sight read.
Musika recommends that children start piano lessons no earlier than age 4 or 5. The attention span and personality of the child are something 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 generally learn how to read music, the fundamentals of musicianship and sight reading, music theory techniques, and ear training.
Review by William Klepatsky
Very knowledgeable on every aspect of music theory. I listen to recording artists playing various classical pieces, Dan's playing is much like a recording artist's playing. Always on time. Winning happy personality, a great role model. Puts me at ease when I am playing. Have two friends who hold music degrees, I count him a third, something special about the minds and personalities of good pianists. Thanks Dan.
Review by Alamu Vinai
Usually I don't write reviews. I am compelled to write for Feng. I've experience finding/working with many music teachers over the years for different instruments (piano, flute, sax) for kids. I think Feng is the best, he is so passionate about music, he encourages the kids. He teaches thoroughly - you can tell he knows lot about saxophone. I would definitely recommend Feng!!
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 Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
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 Natalie Kretcher
I really like her. And as an adult student, a good teacher who keeps the pace up but still keeps it reasonable in terms of difficulty is really hard to find. She does a great job of explaining little detail things in terms I (as a musically challenged human) can understand. I'm having a blast! 10/10 would recommend!
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 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 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!
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