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I started teaching in high school about 5 years ago. One of the most important things I can teach my students is teaching them how to learn and how to practice music, and their instrument. My job as a bass player is also to enlighten my students on what the function of our instrument is, and how our decisions effect the music we are playing. My goal is to get all of these points in and make sure that my students are enjoying themselves and the learning process.
I have been a teacher almost as long as I can remember. As one of the more advanced students in class I was often utilized to help other students, even in elementary school. By the time I reached high school, I was sitting in the concertmaster seat (even though I was a violist) and I regularly led sectionals and conducted the orchestra when needed. At that point I also had a small private studio. In college I gained lots of valuable experience teaching in classrooms of all sizes, skill levels and socio-economic statuses, while continuing to maintain a private studio. Since graduating, I've gained additional experience conducting community orchestras. I also acted as a lead teacher at the Explore Music! kids camp in Brainard, MN during their first year in the summer of 2012.
I started teaching in while still in High School through a percussion mentor program and I have always had a few students throughout the 10 years since. Mallet percussion was my first love, but I frequently play hand percussion with a number of small groups and orchectra percussion with local bands and guitar at churches. I always emphaisize the why in teaching so my student's arent mindlessly dirlling exercises, but instead working on their own goals as a musican.
Teaching, for me, began when I was in high school; I taught summer drumset lessons at McQuaid Jesuit and taught Karate at Martial Arts America. This desire to teach was incorporated with my love of music...leading me to pursue a degree in Music Education. I began performing and competing in fourth grade, which continued into my college years. In my third year of undergraduate work, these elements of music led me as well as three of my percussion buddies to performances and clinics (that we taught) at the New York State School Music Association and the New York State Band Director's Association conventions. These were wonderful opportunities to teach peers and those who have been in the music education field much longer than the four of us. Although teaching large groups is exciting, nothing beats one-on-one lessons with a student. I have had and taught plenty of these lessons for several instruments including flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, french horn, euphonium, tuba, percussion, piano, guitar, and bass guitar. These lessons vary quite a bit in skill level, but they all offered challenges for both student and teacher.
Every singer has a unique voice, and therefore every student must have a unique vocal plan of action tailored to fit their voice and personality. To this end, my goal is to always encourage the student's natural voice by applying a healthy and solid technique through a relaxed larynx, free and steady airflow, and active yet elastic support. The larynx should never be put under undue amounts of stress, and to achieve this, I believe in involving the abdomen, back, and sides to support the sound. The result is a warmer, more beautiful sound and a healthy singer. Other technique basics I teach include and open jaw, raised soft palate, and erect yet relaxed posture. I believe in choosing repertoire for the student that they enjoy singing and that will aid the student's current vocal progress. If the student loves singing the pieces, they will practice more and develop their voice faster!
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Most students start out by learning to play on a keyboard or digital piano. The most reputable keyboards brands are Yamaha, Roland and Casio, and can be purchased from most good music instrument retailers. Students should look to buy a keyboard with 88 weighted keys, as this will most resemble the playability of a real piano. At a minimum, 61 keys will suffice for most songs and practice. Keyboards are portable and can be played with headphones, making them highly convenient for practice. That said, if it is within your means to buy an acoustic piano, it will provide the best learning experience.
"We have many adult students taking lessons with us. Whether you have studied music as a child, or are wanting to learn a new skill, music lessons are a great avenue to go with! Not only do they keep you young and energized, but our teachers are also able to relate to you and instruct you in a way you can understand."
Whether you have an interest in learning to play Rock, Jazz, Ragtime, or Classical piano, the piano teachers in Musika's network can help develop your playing through one-on-one lessons. Teachers can also prepare you for exams, recitals, and performances. For beginners, the basics will be taught. This may include learning the correct posture, hand position, and fingering technique along with 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 may work on more exotic chords and playing such as diminished and 7th chords, and applying these things to more challenging compositions. All students can develop their sight reading and ability to interpret sheet music and chord charts. Advanced students can study a particular composer or genre, can develop their repertoire, or work on their improvisational skills.
In-home lessons are what the majority of our students request. Not only does this provide a convenient means to study music, but there is no difference in the quality of lessons done in-home or in-studio as they are typically structured the same. The main benefit of in-home lessons is the reduction in travel time to another location, and additionally the student may be able to focus better in their own home since they are familiar with it. Piano lessons in the home offer a practical choice for your family for learning the skill of playing a musical instrument.
Children are recommended to start piano lessons no earlier than age 4 or 5. The attention span and personality of the child are factors 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 will learn sight reading, music theory techniques, ear training as well as fundamentals of music.
Review by PJ Williams
My daughter, Valarie is one of the original members of the Enrichment Center Percussion Ensemble under the guidance of Aaron. He patiently worked with Valarie as well as the other five members individually and as a group to produce music that has been shared and enjoyed locally as well as nationally. He has the ability to seek out the strengths of each student while building confidence. Through his teachings, not only had Valarie learned how to produce and enjoy music, but also responsibility and so many life skills for everyday living.
Review by Julie Buranelli
My daughter really enjoys her lessons with Pavel. She is an absolute beginner and Pavel is right with her as she learns the basics. She is completely engaged and always looks forward to her lesson. He packs a lot of learning into their 30 minute time slot - he gets right to it as soon as he walks in the door! He is a great teacher - we highly recommend!
Review by Teri Romano
Being I'm a woman, I was a little apprehensive having a male teacher (he knew this), however, after my trial lesson I realized he knows what he's doing and I had nothing to worry about!! He is very knowledgable on the piano and vocal techniques. He has a big vocal range so he is able to hit the high notes to be able to show me how I need to sing it. He is also phenomenal on the piano. I would highly recommend him for vocal and piano. Also, I don't know how to sight read music and he is teaching how to. I've been taking lessons with him for a month (my trial lesson was on 1/11) and I have already seen a huge improvement. I am an intermediate level singer looking to improve my vocal technique, breathing and improve my confidence in my singing abilities, Alex is definitely helping me do that.
Review by Andy Snyder
Giorgi has made learning cello even more fun. From the sympathetic, "It is hard" to the precise, "Be careful about the curve of the thumb" he has strengthened learning in every lesson, without being overwhelming. He started playing a little duet on only the 3rd lesson or so, which made me feel, even as a beginner, that I'm already starting to make (occasionally screachy) music. He has suggested a variety of drills and practice techniques which have also sped up the process a lot. And he has a good sense of humor and surprising amount of patience.
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 Ro J.
“My son has been instructed by Mark for almost four years. Mark is an outstanding teacher. His credentials are by themselves impressive, but his ability to relate his knowledge to kids is even more so. Connor's ability to understand and read music is fantastic. Mark also knows the performance side of playing drums and has encouraged Connor to actually incorporate his knowledge to play alone and in a band. He is patient and encouraging which is what motivates Connor to work and practice. He is a mentor as well as a teacher. He is superior at what he does and we highly recommend him.” Ro J.
Review by Lucinda
Melissa is very encouraging, positive, supportive and patient. She knows how to explain the technical details of flute and music notation to kids in a way that makes sense to them. She has been reliable so far turning up on time and calling if there is a need to reschedule. I would definitely recommend her to others.
Review by Ashley S.
Ali was an amazing voice coach! She taught in a way that made sense to me, and helped me find the voice placements I needed. I didn't know I could sound like that! My development with her was leaps and bounds rather than tiny dreadful steps that happen when you don't know what's going on! Ali was dedicated to helping me work on an audition for a music scholarship and I nailed it all thanks to her, seriously. I can't thank her enough! She helped me with the tools and confidence I needed to sing in the real world alone rather than just back row in a large choir.
Review by Lea G
Kevin was such a fun, smart and innovative voice teacher to work with. I had the pleasure of taking lessons with him for over a year and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my time under his training. In just a few weeks I noticed my voice was stronger and I was able to apply his teaching and see the results. He explains his techniques in a way that the student is able to actually hear and feel the changes he is referring to. This allows the student to efficiently practice outside of lessons. Even further, he believed in me and truly cared about my progress. He was always energetic and focused in lessons and was continually surprised how far a song could come in just one hour of his time. Under his teaching I developed a stronger belt in my higher range, learned how to color my voice for different sounds and improved my stage presence. I wholeheartedly trust Kevin’s musical insight and was grateful that he challenged me with a wide variety of songs and styles that I hadn’t considered trying before.
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