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From the very beginning of my work, I believe in positive reinforcement because I find that we all need our hopes and beliefs in our ability to accomplish something to be nurtured before we take on any challenge, objective or goal. This is very important because I also believe that presenting students with challenges and goals allows them to experience adventure, fun, and rewards- particularly in the context of music. Music provides students with both expression and community, both of which I believe students- and all people- need. As a teacher, I believe that my strongest commitment and my best effort are the birthright of each and every one of my students. Just as I believe that students who struggle should be given the additional help that they need in order to continue and eventually learn, I believe that students who excel should be offered the avenues that they crave in order to satiate their desires for greater challenges. No matter what goal the student has before them, it's my belief that my job is to use every tool that I have to help the student accomplish, achieve, and grow.
As a teacher, I believe one of my greatest responsibilites is to foster a love and care for music. If the student is not caring about music,then why are they studying? How will they progress? The best students are the ones who teach themselves. I can show the student the door, but he or she must walk through it. My second greatest responsibility is to teach the craft of music - including all the disciplines it needs. Tone, Pitch, Rhythm, Musicality, and how to practice with efficiency.
I have loved music from a very early age and I have been fortunate to study a variety of instruments and musical styles. I grew up studying the drums, piano, guitar, voice, and songwriting. I have been in a cover bands, original bands, jazz bands, choirs, a country band, a steel drum band, marching band, opera, a pop orchestra, a hip hop ensemble, and musical theatre productions. In college I took my studies further by learning music theory and aural skills while still performing in ensembles and writing lots of music. Now I teach and perform around Chicago! My studio is equipped with a keyboard, acoustic and electric guitars, and a cajon, as well as various percussion instruments.
One of the most valuable things I learned from Jim Campbell, my main professor/teacher/mentor during my undergraduate career at the University of Kentucky, is that a great teacher does not necessarily need to have already mastered the art form themselves - in fact, as it is said that the best leaders are great followers, I strongly believe that the best teachers are great students, even in a private lesson setting. I have been fortunate to learn more than I ever thought I could by this point in my life, but I am still eager to learn more, and I strongly believe that giving my students the chance to teach back what they learn helps them understand information and skills significantly better than they would otherwise, boosts self-confidence, encourages independent study, and ultimately helps them retain what they have learned better than many other approaches. I also strongly believe in the power of performance and having the opportunity to share what you learn and enjoy with others, so depending on the age I always strongly encourage finding performance opportunities of any kind, playing/practicing with friends, studying abroad, etc. However, as I said, every student is different, so these approaches have to be flexible in order to successfully accommodate my instruction to each individual student.
When a student starts taking lessons with me, I first try to get a sense of the student's past musical experiences and current musical skills so that I can develop an individualized plan for the student, also taking into account the student's interests and goals. I believe every student is unique and hope to optimize the time we spend together through lessons that are customized to use their strengths to help build up their weaknesses. I use a variety of techniques, strategies, and mediums so that my students can become well-rounded musicians. When a student takes lessons with me, they will be learning how to play their instrument of choice, but they will also be learning music theory, music history, ear training, sight reading, technical skills, musical interpretation skills, and many more!
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We offer piano lessons for students of all ages, including adults. Whether you are a complete beginner on the instrument, or have not played the piano in many years, the knowledgeable instructors in our network can definitely assist you on your journey of developing your musical skills.
Musika offers customized one-on-one music lessons in your home - a smart and simple solution for busy parents and students, who may be looking to save time by not traveling to and from instruction. You can maximize the benefits of your busy schedule, while learning in a familiar environment.
There are several different, but vey important elements to becoming a good piano player. It takes time to master the basic skills that will set you on your way to excellence. For beginners, the lessons will focus on elementary piano knowledge and technique, such as learning all the notes of the piano, hand and finger techniques for playing, learning scales and chords, as well as some music theory like reading sheet music, chord charts etc. These basic skills can then be applied to simple songs. Students with these foundations in place can expect to cover things like, diminished and other chord types, sight reading, and playing more challenging compositions. Lessons for advanced students might cover topics such as improvisation, glissando, or the study of a specific genre of playing or composer, such as Jazz piano or Johann Sebastian Bach.
For the sake of lessons and practice, a keyboard is often a much more viable option than buying a piano. Pianos are space consuming and expensive, as well as being very loud. Keyboards are perfect, especially for beginners, as they are more diverse in their functionality. Most keyboards come with a range of different sounds and effects (FX), such as chorus, reverb, and synthesizer sounds. Another great feature common to many keyboards is a record function. This allows students to hear things back after they have played them, such as practicing scales... or to record ideas they are composing!
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 Steven G.
Laura is the kind of teacher you wish you had in all your studies: gracious, easy-going, light-hearted, yet behind the easy going exterior is an excellent musical mind with everything at her fingertips. I've had about 5 teachers in my life who count as really influential people, and Laura easily fits that category. She lets you be yourself so that you are fully present rather than old-school doctrinaire style, what I call "stiff as a German, sig-heil" teachers. She's the polar opposite. Brava, Laura! Thank you so much!
Review by La from Issaquah
thank you musika and ed. I never thought of looking for an in-home lesson until I found musika. I have absolutely no hesitation that Ed is beyond capable. He's even offered to meet us at a music store to purchase the correct fitting instrument. how fabulous is that! We've also decided to extend the lesson time from 30 to 45 minutes. All this and just one lesson under our belt. He quickly understood where my daughter is at in level and her style of music. I'm thrilled as can be.
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 Gillian
Vince is a great drum teacher for my 8 year old son. We go to his house where he has a studio setup with a huge drum set. He has been very patient but really holds my son responsible for learning the right way to play. After about 5 lessons, my son is playing some rhythms on the drums and reading music. He looks forward to his lessons with Vince.
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 Jennifer
Lindsey has been coming to our house to give saxophone lessons to our 12 year old daughter for about a month. She is an absolute joy. She is extremely knowledgeable, flexible with her schedule, and my daughter thinks she is "fun" and "cool". We would highly recommend her to anyone wanting music lessons. A+
Review by Marlo
Danette is a delightful instructor. She always brings a wealth of knowledge, excitement, and enthusiasm to piano lessons with my daughter. She is not only skilled at piano, but she has a wonderful voice quality that she uses to help convey certain techniques and to highlight various points where she intends to draw the students attention.
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.
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