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I actually began teaching under my teacher when I was about 14 years of age. Since that time I've worked with young and old and done my best to give them the joys of music that everyone should have at some point. I've been very fortunate to have had a good number of students who have enjoyed great success with music as a profession. I try to impart my wisdom and experience to assist students in achieving their musical goals, whatever they may be.
My lessons are very structured, but within the structure is a lot of freedom. An hour long lesson might look something like this: First 10 min.: Warm-ups, discussion about posture, hand position and muscular/skeletal health while playing. Next 10 min.: Performance of previous weeks assignments, with discussion about whether preparation was adequate, what was missed (usually dynamics and other articulations) and what could be done to improve. Next 10 min.: Based half on performance and half on my own ideas, work on a number of techniques to strengthen the weaknesses the student is facing. This could range from working on a particular scale to solidify thumb crossover, to working on the use of a pick on guitar. Next 10 min.: Discuss assignment for next week and choose songs that would be beneficial. Assignment usually consists of 1 technical work, 1 musical work and 1 free choice. Next 10 min.: Monitored practice time. This a chance for me to see how the student is practicing when I'm not there and correcting mistakes before they can become habits. Usually involves forcing student to use a metronome, teaching the student to slow down when a piece is too difficult a tempo, and making sure the student is addressing problem areas of a piece rather than starting at the beginning every time. Last 10 min.: Improvisation. This covers a broad range of subject matter. It might involve me playing something like chords while the student improvises. This is a chance for me to try and hear the student's natural musical voice. I also use this opportunity to explain to more advanced students, which scales can go with which chords. This includes pentatonic scales, blues scales and for the most advanced, different modal scales. For a shorter lesson, usually these would be cut relatively. For 30 minute lessons (which I don't recommend) certain steps get combined which gets the job done, but not in the most ideal manner.
With over 10 years of teaching experience, I am a professional and pssionate piano teacher who firmly believe in cultivating a civilized, well-rounded mind through music education. Besides my own private studio, I have also taught in numerous music schools including Kids' N Keyboard Music Center (CA), Cherry Kids' Children Center (CA), Northern California School of Music (CA), Perrysbury Music Center (OH), Ip Piano School (MA), and Mozart Academy of Music (MA). I have worked with countless students in any level, including students as young as 3, students as old as 60+, and students with special needs. Under my flexible and unique way of teaching, my students acquire not only piano skills, but also critical thinking skills, analytic skills, independence, sensibility, and enthusiasm to express deep human emotions. Regarded as one of the most dedicated, creative, diligent, artistic, and knowledgeable pianists by many students' parents and college professors, I see teaching as not only a great pleasure and joy of my life, but also my responsibility - music is one of the most noble forms of communication, and it gives life such a layer of meaning that everyone deserves such opportunity to discover and explore in the realm of music. I could never cease to emphasize how thankful and grateful I am to be an educator and a musician.
For younger students, I believe in the importance of solidifying technique and understanding of the piano along with developing an excitement for music. With older students, I guide the lessons based on their interests. I believe strongly in the importance of ear training for students of all ages to provide a deeper understanding of the music.
I teach classical music exclusively. My strategy for utterly inexperienced students is to remove from the equation the difficulty of reading a music score, and just allow the hands to "learn" the keyboard by having the student repeating short musical sentences (either preexisting or improvised by me on the spot). Once familiarity with the keyboard has been achieved, or if the student already reads music, we move on to his or her first book, and I tend to favor Nancy and Randall Faber's Piano Adventures. Then, as the student's ability grows and confidence builds, we move on to Carl Czerny's short and easy Études and easy pieces by J. S. Bach and other composers.
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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.
Learning to play the piano as a child is fun, rewarding, and vastly beneficial to their overall development. Children can develop their motor-skills, dexterity, and coordination through technical piano playing such as learning scales, chords, and correct fingering. Young students can also develop their concentration, listening skills, and ability to master complex thought processes through theory, repertoire, and student-teacher feedback. Learning to play the piano can also be character building by instilling a hard-working attitude, developing self-discipline and confidence through practice, taking exams, entering competitions or performing recitals.
Piano lessons are usually structured around a series of method books which are recommended by the teacher, and can be purchased at a local music store or online. Lessons for a beginner usually start with familiarizing the student with the piano as well as beginner level technique. This can include learning the notes on the piano, and learning basic scales, like major and minor scales. Beginners may start by learning how to play scales using the correct finger techniques with both hands until they develop their speed and co-ordination. Eventually students will start playing simple melodies, often nursery rhymes, that put the fingering techniques into practice. Students will also learn the various types of chord, from simple major and minor chords, through to 7th chords, slash chords, and diminished chords. Students will also develop their sight reading and music theory knowledge throughout their lessons.
In many ways adult learners have an advantage over young students. Adults have better self-discipline with regards to practice, are more patient, and have higher levels of concentration. This allows them to develop the basic skills at a reasonably quick rate. Learning the piano is also a great way of remaining mentally active during adulthood, and helps students to improve their hand-eye co-ordination and develop a critical ear. Learning to play the piano in adulthood can be beneficial health-wise, is a great way of harnessing creativity and stimulating the brain and it can be immensely satisfying when achieving set goals.
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.
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 Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
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 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 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.
Review by Chrystal
I was skeptical at first not knowing what I was getting my self into.. I am very happy that I forced myself to get into voice lessons because Eli is an awsome voice coach.. Very skillful and he helps you reach the goal you are trying to reach.. He is also very helpful with getting you to open up and come out of your shell and being heard.. I would and I already have recommended friends and family to sign up with Eli if they're serious about singing..
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 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 Queen Natalia
Lara is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in her profession. She is cheerful and personable, and has established a good rapport with students and staff alike. I have found Lara to be a highly competent, personable, patient, kind-hearted, and deeply caring person who is skilled professionally and interpersonally.
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