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After over twenty five years of teaching, I have combined the use of numerous books into my own method. Much of what I have learned also comes from on the job training. I use audio tracks I record in my studio to give students the experience of playing with other musicians. They practice with their instrument in the track, and I also give them a track without their instrument so they get the feel of being the drummer, or the keyboard player, or the guitarist. No matter what instrument they are studying, they learn music theory, and how to read.
Structurally, my teaching methods revolve around the Piano Adventure series of instructional workbooks. I use the workbooks as a springboard into my personally developed educational plan that emphasizes rhythm and ear training. After a solid foundation of basic musical theory has been established, I begin to find out what the student is interested in and guide my instruction accordingly, as to keep the lessons fun and engaging. I welcome each experience level and musical background.
I have been playing piano since age 6 and clarinet since age 10. During my time at university I was taught to play all of the woodwinds, focused on pedagogy and music technology, and achieved many awards and recognition. My clarinet/woodwind pedagogy instructor was a student of Himie Voxman, author of many woodwind teaching method books. My university band was, at that time, considered one of the best in the state of SC, and was invited to play at the state music educators' convention in 2003. In high school I had the great privilege of being selected as the Principal clarinetist in the Minnesota All-State Band. We performed at the summer camp designed for these groups and recreated our performance at Orchestra Hall, home of the Minnesota Orchestra, the following spring. Clarinet is my primary instrument and first love. I also teach saxophone and beginning flute and hope to add other woodwinds in the future. Piano has always been an important influence in my musical performances and I believe it is a gateway to interest in other instruments, so I truly enjoy teaching it!
I think music making is the most appealing part of learning to play a new instrument. This is why I try to make every new concept I teach as appealing and as fun as possible. For example, if in day one I am teaching two notes, I like to have as much fun with those two notes by making a song or a game out of them. In this way my students are able to engage in music and have fun while they are learning. I like to make my lesson plans tailored to each student's abilities, progress, and musical preference.
I have worked with many music methods and numerous curriculums: Alfred, Hal Leonard, Bastian, Eric Steiner Rice, Faber, Dogs and Birds, Mr. Everybody's Musical Apt., Sandy Hoffman, Carol Tournquist etc. to name a few. I start out with a general introduction and progress to choosing the core curriculum according to the student's ability and desire in music. Music is a vast Science and lessons plans will be created around your goal in music rather than a rigid method, though we will adhere to curriculum to be sure that we are thorough and you receive a complete music education. I have general curriculum, genre' specific curriculum such as Jazz, Blues etc. as well as curriculum geared toward training Church Musicians.
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Provided you do not have the space or budget to purchase an acoustic piano, such as an upright or baby grand, then a keyboard is a perfectly acceptable alternative. Keyboards with a weighted hammer action are the best option, as the key touch sensitivity is comparable to that of an acoustic piano. As a rule, more keys are better and at least 61 key pianos are advised. The most popular brands of keyboard are Casio, Roland, and Yamaha and can be purchased from most musical instrument retailers. Keyboards offer great convenience due to their price, portability, and headphones option.
Music lessons in your home offer a convenient option to learning music! Most of our students request in home lessons for this reason. As long as you have a piano or keyboard in your home, then you should be all set to start your lessons! Children who have never played an instrument before may feel more comfortable studying in their own home, as it may be less intimidating than going somewhere else. In-home lessons decrease the time and gas money spent traveling to a different location.
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.
Many older students are fulfilling a life-long dream by taking piano lessons. Some students may have had lessons when they were younger and want to re-learn and others are simply looking for a new hobby. Whatever the aim or reason, there are many benefits to piano lessons for older students. Learning the piano can keep you mentally active, help maintain dexterity, improve your hearing, and stimulate the brain in a creative way. Older students can develop basic technique and music theory quite quickly, as their concentration, thinking skills, and self-discipline are more advanced than that of children.
There is no specific teaching method that all teachers in the Musika network adhere to. All students will have lessons customized to their needs and goals as lessons progress. If there is a specific teaching style you are looking for, we will keep that in mind as we make your teacher match. Many teachers will have a few method books that they use for lessons, which will include exercises and techniques for practicing. All lessons will cover aspects of learning notes, proper technique, ear training, and how to read music.
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.
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 Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
Review by Paula Chacon
I've always said, "It's all about the teacher." That skillful, effective teacher who can reach that child and ignite her passion, is truly a gift. Ric does that for my daughter. As a former music teacher myself, the most challenging thing in working with children is how to build their fundamental musical skills while letting them have fun and be expressive. The teacher must create a safe, supportive environment, and Ric does that. Ric immediately focuses on fundamentals of tone and technique, giving my daughter succinct instruction on how to improve, thus she can sense the improvement immediately. Ric seems extremely easy going; even when lighting a fire under her sometimes under-achieving butt, Ric never criticizes, judges or blames. He works with my child, understanding her, helping her problem solve, and even giving her the quick answer sometimes so she can move quickly and stay motivated. Ric balances fundamentals with fun and expressiveness, so my child feels as though she can 'play' and they truly make music in every lesson. I am thankful we found a good match with Ric.
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 Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
Review by Clinton Poskozim
Martina has been a great teacher. Our son is 8 and had taken some piano lessons before starting with Martina. She came right in and got him to improve. She does a great job of giving him just enough of a challenge to make him work and learn but not any pieces that are so overwhelming he can't get them. She has helped him through a lot of early music theory so that he not only can play the piano but understands the music he is reading in all of its complexity.
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 Blaine Vaz
“I took drum lessons from Mark for about 7 months. I have been playing for 38 years but always thrive to learn more. He was able to provide me alternative exercises and help me gain a better understanding of my opportunities. I have been able to take my playing to another level. His approach to teaching is perfect for any level of student, beginner or advanced. He is a true professional and an outstanding person. You won't go wrong with Mark!” Blaine Vaz
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