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My name is Berthe, I started taking piano lessons at the age of four and performed for the first time at the age of 8 at the Assembly Hall of the American University of Beirut. After graduating from High School in 1978, I attended the Faculty of Music of the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik/Lebanon, where I pursued musical studies toward a Ph. D. in Music education and an advanced piano diploma.
I'm a very motivated cellist and private teacher who loves developing the talents of my students. I have had the opportunity to study at some of the worlds best schools of music including: Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, University of South Florida's School of Music, and was accepted into the Longy School of Music in Boston. At these institutions I have had the chance to study with some of the worlds leading solo and orchestral cellists including: Helga Winold, Emilio Colon, Janos Starker, Scott Kluksdahl and Lowell Adams. In 2010 I was given the opportunity to join the St. Petersburg Opera Orchestra as their Assistant Principle Cellist where I performed in productions of Marriage of Figaro, Sampson and Delilah, Die Fletermause, and other various operatic works.
A native of Florida, I recently graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa under the tutelage of Scott Kluksdahl, an internationally renowned cellist and pedagogue. My other primary cello teachers include Loran Stephenson (National Symphony Orchestra), Helga Winold (Indiana University) and John Kaboff (Arlington, VA). I have participated in masterclasses with David Requiro and the Baumer String Quartet, Noreen-Cassidy Polera, Rhonda Rider, Jan Müller-Szeraws, Joshua Gordon, Carol Ou, Rupert Thompson, Robert Jesselson, Ross Harbaugh, Rebecca Penneys and Norman Fischer. As a strong advocate of new music, I have actively participated in numerous student composer concerts that have presented new and viable works from USF's esteemed composition program. I have also participated in the Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival (2012 and 2013) and the annual Tennessee Cello Workshop (2009). I was the principal cellist of the 2009 National Philharmonic Summer String Institute under the direction of maestro Piotr Gajewski and I was recently the Assistant Principal of the University of South Florida Symphony Orchestra. Throughout my high school career, I taught and performed actively as a guitarist and pianist in many varying ensembles ranging from improvisatory ensembles to rock and roll groups. As a motivated instructor, I focus on building depth of experience and knowledge regarding music and all of its aspects in students of all ages. Furthermore, I proclaim the importance of the fact that musicians create and communicate directly through their presentation of musical works at any level and on any instrument.
I am a very versatile and easy going instructor who loves working with music enthusiasts of all age and ranges; I believe you are never too young or old to start learning an instrument. I recently graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and an Entrepreneurship minor. I play 6/7 instruments proficiently and am teaching myself another 5/6, and I know how to speak Hindi, English, and Gujarati, and am teaching myself basic Spanish. I am a big movie and TV watcher and love the outdoors along with teaching and performing as part of my hobbies.
I am new to the teaching community and extremely excited to start making music with my students! I graduated from the University of Tampa Dec 2013 with a degree in Performing Arts, concentrating in Musical Theatre. While in college I was very involved with the music and theatre departments. I served on the board of officers every year with Alpha Psi Omega (national theatre honor society) and was musical director of Sigma Alpha Iota (national music fraternity for women) for 2 years. I was also honored to be a member of the highly regarded Chamber Singers of UT, as well as a musical theatre ensemble of singers called OPUS. Since graduating, I have been working full time at a local tea company (my second passion) and traveling through Europe this past summer!
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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.
The piano is a great instrument for beginners of all ages. We have adults who are novices, some who haven't played their instrument in 10 years, and some who are more advanced students looking to take their skills to the next level. The teachers in our network have proven methods to get you the results you desire.
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 offer a good choice for the beginning student because they are portable and easily stored in your home. Keyboards will start at 61 keys at the smallest amount and increase to a full size keyboard of 88 keys. The most common brands of keyboard are Casio, Yamaha, and Korg.
As piano lessons are customized to the needs of each individual student, we are able to better help you to achieve your goals. Beginning students may just want to learn an instrument out of interest and for fun, so the basics will be covered to get you up and running. This tends to include music theory and technical exercises, such as hand position, fingering, and playing scales and chords. Intermediate students may be working towards an exam, recital or performance, so will cover playing, performance and stylistic techniques such as legato, staccato, glissando, sight reading, working on speed, runs, fills, and solos. Other topics that may be covered in your piano lessons are things like expanding your repertoire, developing improvisation and jamming skills, and studying the various types of genre-based playing techniques and styles, such as Jazz, Ragtime, Blues, Rock, or Classical piano.
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 Timothyfullard
We've only had a few lessons with Elisa, but so far we really like her. She has a lot of great suggestions for solo pieces as well as orchestral music that involves all 3 of my boys, while also including some Christian music that we can play at church. She is very patient in explaining the lessons and encouraging!
Review by Angie Ignazzitto
Stephanie is an excellent voice teacher! Our 10-year-old daughter enjoys her lessons with Stephanie each week. She has an amazing way of connecting with our daughter through music. Stephanie knows how to offer constructive feedback in a positive way that keeps our daughter interested and wanting to learn more. I would recommend Stephanie without hesitation.
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.
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 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 Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
Review by Jonathan
Angela is a phenomenal teacher. She is full of charisma and is a joy to work with. Most of my experience with her has been focused on working in the Alexander Technique and she seems very knowledgeable in this study. I would highly recommend her to any prospective student. I have seen myself improve dramatically in a few short weeks with her guidance (and much practice of course!)
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.