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I am a passionate and motiviated pianist and instructor and love sharing my love of music with my students! I have been playing piano for 22 years, and graduated from Taylor University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management Systems and Piano Performance. I also earned a minor in music recording technology. I love playing piano for my church's worship services, and have had an opportunity to serve as an accompianist for a wide variety of musicians. I also perform at gigs across the region to promote my self-recorded album and singles, recorded here in my home studio!
My master's degree in trumpet performance at the University of Denver included a teaching assistantship: I taught trumpet lessons, coached brass quintets, trumpet ensembles, and more. I had a private studio in Denver and again in Cleveland, where I was before relocating to DC. In Cleveland I taught full-time and ended up with over fifty private students. My students there received such honors as entrance into the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and Youth Wind Symphonies. My primary goal with teaching is to showcase everything that learning an instrument can teach someone about life, including patience, dedication, and habit building, and how these things add up to a lot of fun.
For younger students I usually recommend a method book or I make copies from my own library for the student. I usually will teach fundamentals through a book, but I always look for opportunities to convey musical principles in a more natural way, and especially for kids, fun is the most important method there is. Often times a student will stumble upon something interesting unintentionally and I use these moments to teach, because it both encourages them to recognize their natural talent and helps the student to make connections from their limited technical skills to greater conceptual knowledge. In essence it helps to build basic musical vocabulary using skills they already have, but may not know that they have them. For intermediate, advanced, and older students in general I have a more flexible approach that is based upon their goals or lack thereof. For all students I always emphasize knowledge of music theory and real life application of their musical education toward realizing their own musical goal or dream, as humble or as grand as it may be.
As far as books go, I prefer the Hal Leonard method, especially for beginner musicians. I combine visual, audio and kinesthetic learning methods to tailor to anyone's needs. After the basics are taught or they're already learned, I assess the student's level and teach the student what they wish to learn to the best of my ability.
My teaching experience began during college as I was a section leader for my colligate choir. I started offering private lessons to students interested in learning privately but were not music majors. I continued after graduating to build a strong studio that celebrates each students' individual talent and sound. I have been teaching full time for over three years. My students come from all types of backgrounds, ability and age. The youngest student, is 6 and the oldest is 76. Musical learning never ends and it certainly is not limited to the young!
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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.
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.
Piano is a great starting instrument for children who have never studied music before. The instructors in our network specialize in teaching younger children, and will develop an individual lesson plan for your child. The youngest age we recommend starting on piano lessons is age 4. The instructor will be able to teach your child how to read music and develop a love of playing piano, as well as beginning music theory.
For adults who are looking to learn to play the piano, we recommend that they do so with some clear goals in mind. Maybe you want to learn to play some of your favorite songs, pass an exam, or write your own music. Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. It can take time to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the piano to a competent level. However, playing the piano is a great stress reliever, keeps you mentally active, and can help with your hearing and fine-motor skills.
Piano lessons in your home offer a convenient option for learning to play an instrument. 90% of our students take their lessons in their home, and this is a practical and time-saving way to learn the technique of the instrument. Think of all the time you can save by not having to transport your student to a class every week! In-home lessons are structured in the same way as a studio lesson, and in addition, a younger student may feel more comfortable at an in-home lesson, as they are already familiar with the surroundings.
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 Stan
My two daughters wanted to study piano fore some time now and just recently I found Musikalessons website and teacher Milica. I can only say that my daughters are very happy with their piano lessons and simply adore Milica. They already made a great progress and we're all happy with what they learned in this short period. Thank you Musikalessons and Milica.
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 Terri
Caitlyn is friendly, helpful and still holds my high-school aged daughter accountable for practicing. She also makes sure the music technique is mastered correctly during the lessons - they work hard and still have a good time together. I can highly recommend her as a flute teacher. My daughter is very happy & grateful to have found Caitlyn as a teacher.
Review by Tuvana
He is incredibly patient and really customizes his teaching style to the child. Both of my children are learning piano with him; they have learned so much and really enjoy the lessons. In fact, my daughter asked to learn another instrument (guitar) with him and is making great progress with that, too.
Review by Travis Dalenberg
Travis is the greatest. He knows his music and how to teach it. He gives you time to learn, but will not allow student time to get lazy. I know he teaches all age groups. Young pre-teens to us old folks 78 years young. I have been taking lessons from him since early December 2014. He is a true professional. You can't go wrong with him.
Review by Violetking
Bill has been a great teacher for both my 6 yr. old and my 8 yr. old. He is always on time, keeps them engaged, and gives them just enough of a challenge for the next week. They are both beginners, but I am surprised by how much they already know after just a month or so of lessons. Both kids are practicing willingly and look forward to lesson.
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 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!
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