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Raluca has established a strong career in the disciplines of piano performance and pedagogy. She is in her third year at the University of St. Thomas, pursuing a Master of Art degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Piano Pedagogy. She is studying piano with Dr. Vanessa Cornett-Murtada. She works with all students, regardless of level, interests and ability, striving to instill courage and confidence. She carefully prepares for the piano lessons, providing the information step-by-step, following a lesson plan that helps student to learn incrementally and successfully. She knows how to balance the knowledge with the kindness and the humor. She believes that a supportive learning environment promotes a positive attitude toward music. Testimonials: "I wanted to thank you for being such a good person/teacher to my girls. I so very much appreciate your patience with our schedule. I value your talent so much and feel that you have impacted us in such a positive manner." Paula, Lakeville, MN "Thanks so much for all your work with our children this year. They really learned a lot with you!" Monica, St. Paul, MN "Thank you Raluca for your infinite patience with my daughter’s attitude. I appreciate your creativity to adapt the lessons each week to find her interests." Mary, St. Paul, MN
I am passionate about music and having individuals find their strengths in playing any instrument. I look forward to start working with you!
I love the art of communicating or telling a story through music. I am a professional performer and vocal instructor, and have sung on professional stages such as Mount Baker Theater's repertory theater and the Whatcom Symphony opera series in Bellingham, Washington. I am a classically trained musician and relish singing folk, jazz, and other popular styles of singing. After graduating with my masters in voice performance from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, I decided that the Twin Cities would a fantastic place to extend my love for teaching and get back on the stage.
My philosophy in teaching is that a good understanding of the foundation of music and the instrument will lead to self sufficiency in learning. I aim to teach my students not just to be dependant on myself as the instructor, but to be able to problem solve and learn on their own if they run into a question and an instructor is unavailable. I regularly practice sight reading with my students and keep them critically thinking about their music and what makes it up. Once I feel that the student is at a level to make critical decisions about the music they're making I will ask them to make their own interpretations of the music and help them along depending on style and appropriateness.
In addition to teaching private lessons, I also maintain a career as a freelance cellist. I studied under the tutelage of Dr. Erik Anderson from 2006-2011 while performing in symphonies, jazz combos, and rock bands. During my time as his student I was encouraged to explore as many different avenues to music as possible. Through my experience in a wide variety of genres, I have been fortunate to travel and meet fantastic musicians from all around the country. I enjoy allowing my students to cultivate a passion for a variety of musical styles.
Since We Started
Cities with Students
Teachers in Network
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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The teachers in Musika's network design their piano lessons around the needs and abilities of each student. This means that lessons cater to a wide range of ability and experience levels, from those just starting to play the piano for the very first time, to students with already established skills and experience. For new learners, the aim is to get them playing simple songs as quickly as possible. To do so means teaching them the basics, such as scales, hand position, fingering technique, and chords. These are the essential skills for playing simple material. Beyond this, students can learn to develop their musical ear, sight read, read sheet music and chord charts, and general music theory. They will start to learn more complex chords and start applying them to more advanced compositions as they advance in lessons. Some students will already be excellent players, but want to develop particular skills, such as improvisational skills, or to study one specific type of piano playing, such as Blues or Classical piano.
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.
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.
Musika deals primarily with home lessons for students. The location is the only difference between our in-home lessons and our studio lessons. As they do not have to travel to their lessons, home piano lessons can be highly convenient for those parents and students with a busy schedule. Students will need a keyboard to practice on, however. For younger students in particular, having piano lessons in the comfort of their own home can be of great benefit. They will feel more safe and relaxed in familiar surroundings, allowing them to focus on learning and enjoying playing the piano.
Piano is a great first instrument for children who have never studied music before. The instructors in our network specialize in teaching younger children, and can develop an individual lesson plan for your child. The youngest age that we recommend starting piano lessons is age 4. The instructor will be able to teach your child to read music, beginning music theory and musicianship skills, and how to develop a love for playing the instrument.
Review by Pat
Henry has been a great piano teacher since I started lessons about a month ago, and he is helping me realize a lifelong dream. He is patient, plays beautifully, is easy to learn from and a very nice person. I took lessons as a child for a year or so, but never followed up over the years. I always said that I would once I retired and found the right instructor. That time is now. Thank you Henry and Musika!
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 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 Olivia
Andrew is very encouraging and uplifting, but also isn't afraid to tell you your weaknesses. Andrew also is super awesome with scheduling. Fits around your schedule all the time. He really knows what he is doing and can help you reach your goal in the time you would like to. Couldn't have gotten a better teacher, who continually helps me grow and pushes me.
Review by Jennifer
Dave is a fantastic teacher. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to students that I think is invaluable. At the same time, this does not limit him from working with beginning students. He is very communicative with the parents as far as schedule changes. We are so grateful to have found him!!
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 Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
Review by Bradford Putt
Angela has been a perfect match-up for me. She is warm and welcoming, and also serious about teaching - she keeps our time focused and on track. What I truly appreciate, as a new singer anxiously preparing for an event, is the confidence she gives me. Angela is very encouraging. I enjoy coming to class.
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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