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I started my teaching career in 1996, teaching at the same music studio where I took lessons when I was younger. I try to carry some of the teaching techniques that were shown to me when I was taking lessons into my own style of teaching. This includes making the lesson fun as well as educational for the student. Daily practice is strongly encouraged, as well as playing with other musicians, recitals, and writing their own songs. While studying at Berklee College of Music I was involved with various projects including recording in their amazing studios and playing with musicians and bands of different stylistic backgrounds.
I am a life-long musician [age 5 - present] from a family of musicians who have played with everyone from Fanny Brice (my grandfather) to Benny Goodman (my mother) to Steve Miller (myself). I attended Berklee College of Music in Boston , MA from 1975-1979 and left (5 weeks short of my degree) to perform in a rock band who toured for 5 years in the US and Canada. Having played everywhere from Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Colorado to Elkhorn Resort in Sun Valley, Idaho to Valdez, Alaska to Cobo Hall in Detroit,Michigan, I have lengthy performance credentials and even more varied experience in the styles and situations that I have performed in that include: rock band, orchestra, concert band, jazz combo, folk duo, Big Band, marching band, drum corps, celtic rock band, traditonal gaelic ceili, flute choir, pit band, church choir, chorus, show choir, vocal solo, commercial voice-overs, vocal duet, musical theatre, etc.
I am a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher who loves sharing my passion for music with everyone I can. I graduated from Emmanuel College in Boston, MA in 2013 with a Bachelors Degree in Music Cognition, which is the study of how music affects the brain. During my time there I was able to perform with the jazz band on both guitar and piano, study music composition with the head of the Performing Arts Department, and showcase my original music and research. Since then I've had the opportunity to teach music in public schools, conduct several elementary school bands, and am currently directing a chimes choir. Music has changed my life, and I believe it has the power to change yours too!
Currently I use the Hal Leonard series which I believe is best for beginner and intermediate students. I typically give advanced students a variety of choices that best suites their playing style. It is important to keep the student focused while making lesson time enjoyable as well as educational.
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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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.
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.
Musika's piano lessons take place in a one-on-one setting and are customized to the requirements of each individual student. Students vary in ability from beginner to advanced, and naturally have different lesson requirements for each stage of their development. Put broadly, beginners will cover aspects of piano playing such as posture, hand positions, fingering technique, scales, chords, and applying these things to simple songs. They will also start to develop their knowledge of music theory, reading chord charts, and sheet music. Intermediate players will start to take these concepts further, by learning different chord variations, such as diminished, augments, slash, and 7th chords, as well as improving their speed and playing more complex compositions. Advanced students can develop playing skills such as glissando, improvisation, and virtuosic playing. They may also like to study a specific genre like Jazz or Blues piano.
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.
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.
Review by Kristin
Ted S. is teaching clarinet to one of my children, and piano to two others. He is extremely knowledgeable, and very encouraging. His teaching methods are keeping my children enthused about their lessons, and without that, you have nothing. Two of my children were taking piano lesson from another teacher for the past year, and not progressing. Ted has been able to evaluate their skills individually, determine what was missing in their music education, and begin again with some early basics they seem to have missed. I am convinced we are finally moving forward, and am very happy about that. I wish I would have made this change much earlier.
Review by Alamu Vinai
Usually I don't write reviews. I am compelled to write for Feng. I've experience finding/working with many music teachers over the years for different instruments (piano, flute, sax) for kids. I think Feng is the best, he is so passionate about music, he encourages the kids. He teaches thoroughly - you can tell he knows lot about saxophone. I would definitely recommend Feng!!
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 Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
Review by James F.
After my first piano lesson, Polina is easily the best teacher I could have hoped for. Extremely charismatic and excited to help YOU learn the piano. She puts a lot of effort into evaluation your learning style and will no doubt help you make tremendous strides! I'm stoked to continue taking lessons!
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 Michelle S.
"My daughter has been a student with Mark for over a year. She has come so far and has learned so much in such a short time. Mark is extremely talented and knowledgeable. He is very serious, patient and super nice. If your child or if you really WANT to learn the drums, then I highly recommend Mark. He is our third instructor and the best one yet! You will not be disappointed." Michelle S.
Review by Kaleen Todoroff
Noel is amazing. She is helping me to work toward my vocal goals for auditions to several musical theaters. She has helped me choose strong audition pieces and is teaching excellent ways to get the sound I need in a safe and healthy way. She works outside our lessons on new warm ups and new music pieces. She is the best.
Review by Ginger
Unbelievably Awesome. My daughter is a beginner and has some special needs. Justin is more than patient and helpful while being completely thorough and pushing her (in a good way) to try harder. He is encouraging and teaches effectively. I am very pleased. More important, so is my daughter. Thank you Musika! So grateful we found your service and connected with Justin. We highly recommend him.
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