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I am a music instructor and performer (as Min. of Music), with a passion for music, the fun in musicianship the a collaboration of musical instruments. I began teaching myself at the age of 9. Then furthered my understanding of music through high school, and college. I believe music should be fun to learn, while leaving a proud feeling after you have acheived playing a complete musical piece - which will turn into performance (your chance to get audience to feel your passion with admiration). I enjoy seeing complete groups come together in sync with each other as their music becomes the conversation.
Hello! My name is Natasha and I am pretty well known in the Baltimore area having taught hundreds of young musicians over the last 20 years. I love to play music and teach it. Some of my favorite activities are playing in an orchestra or a quartet, fiddling for dances or jamming with friends, playing piano, practicing, touring and performing. I grew up in Moscow, Russia and have been playing violin since the age of 5 and piano since the age of 4. I studied violin, viola, cello and piano Performance and Pedagogy in college. I graduated from Towson University with degrees in Music Performance and Education, and then studied Music Education at Peabody Conservatory. I completed Suzuki teacher-training on violin, cello and piano with SAA. I hold an Advanced Professional Certification in Music from MSDE. Currently I teach orchestra and general music in Baltimore area Public Schools.
Music has been a part of my life since I was six years old--I have played piano for 23 years. I graduated from James Madison University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Industry. I studied piano with a member of the piano faculty at James Madison while I also studied music production and the music business. After graduating, I wrote music for George Mason University TV, student films, and a number of freelance clients. Music is how I really express myself and I love to share that with others.
I'm an ardent instructor and music lover that believes in the saying that music is the soundtrack of our lives. Through my studies, lessons, and performances, I have learned to appreciate the rich diversity found in music. A joy that I love sharing with all of my students. In 2016, I enjoyed participating in an international competition that served to further my experiences as a musician. All in all, I believe the study of music should always be an enjoyable experience no matter what your musical aspirations may be.
I am an active teacher, concert artist, church pianist, and accompanist in the metropolitan DC area. I am a member of the Piano Faculty at the Montgomery College and perform regularly through the Friday Morning Music Club. After earning a Doctorate degree in Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, I founded my piano teaching studio in Gaithersburg, MD, where I have guided many pianists along their musical paths. A native of Taiwan, I started my music training at age 4 with the Yamaha method. At age 8 and continuously till 18, I participated in an intensive music training program sponsored by the national government that was offered exclusively to certified “exceptionally gifted” students. I won top prizes in various young artist competitions and appeared in solo concerts and with orchestras. I continued my music training in the United States, starting at the prestigious Indiana University School of Music, where I was a featured soloist in the Mozart Festival commemorating the bicentennial of Mozart’s death. At Indiana I received both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Piano Performance in only five years, with the Highest Distinction. My experience during these years of music training ultimately shaped my teaching philosophy. To be sure, I received a well-rounded and rigorous music training throughout my formative years. However, a remarkable event at age 16 dramatically broadened my musical horizon and enlightened me with a vision. It was an attendance at a profoundly moving opera performance that ignited my passion for music and led me to discover my own authentic musical “voice”. I was truly fortunate to have already been equipped with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge when this epiphany ultimately propelled me to a life dedicated to music. Thanks to my parents’ and teachers’ foresight, tenacity, and years of patient guidance, I was ready to continue, finally in my own determination, my musical quest in the United States. Having realized my dream, I am passionate about helping my students fulfill their desires and make music a source of their joy and pleasure.
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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.
We suggest students purchase a piano or keyboard for their lessons, as they will need to practice every day in order to develop their skills on the instrument. We recommend a keyboard with weighted keys, as this will feel most similar to an actual piano. An actual piano will have 88 keys, but most keyboards start from 61 keys and go up from there. Common keyboard brands found at music stores are Yamaha, Casio, and Korg. Many keyboard sets will come with a case, stand, headphones, and may even offer recording features for recording your own playing.
Piano is a great first instrument for children who have never studied music before. The instructors in our network specialize in teaching younger children, and can develop an individual lesson plan for your child. The youngest age that we recommend starting piano lessons is age 4. The instructor will be able to teach your child to read music, beginning music theory and musicianship skills, and how to develop a love for playing the instrument.
Students at different levels of their piano playing will require different aspects of piano playing to be covered during their lessons. Beginners typically start out learning the basics, intermediate players will be applying the foundations to more complex compositions, and advanced players will want to hone a few specific skills or styles. The basic things that beginner students will work on tend to be learning the notes of the piano, posture and playing technique, scales, and chords. At this level, students will learn simple scales and chords, such as major and minor chords, and start to put some of the basic techniques into practice via simple songs. Intermediate players will work on more exotic chords and playing such as diminished chords, 7th chords, and applying these things to more challenging compositions. Advanced players can improve sight reading, improvisational abilities, or work on genre specific techniques, such as Jazz or Blues. Throughout, students can develop their musical ear, reading, and theory.
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.
Review by Leslyn
Steve is an excellent instructor. My son has really connected with him and he is learning the guitar quickly. Steve is patient and never rushes through a lesson in order to make it fit within the session time limit. In addition, before he leaves, he writes notes and instructions for my son to follow. By the next lesson, my son is confident in what Steve has taught him. Most importantly, Steve builds my son's confidence in his own own ability and progress after each lesson.
Review by Marlo
Danette is a delightful instructor. She always brings a wealth of knowledge, excitement, and enthusiasm to piano lessons with my daughter. She is not only skilled at piano, but she has a wonderful voice quality that she uses to help convey certain techniques and to highlight various points where she intends to draw the students attention.
Review by Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
Review by Robert Stallone
I am in my 60s and decided to get back into playing my guitar. I thought taking lessons would be a good way to formalize the endeavor. I did have some concern about whether working with a teacher would work out as I've behave only played for my own enjoyment for a long time. Peter and I have had a few lessons together and I am truly enjoying the experience. He is very supportive and flexible. We arrived at a three gold approach that is really working for me. We focus on developing a playlist, learning some of the more iconic tunes from leading artist that I would have a hard time learning on my own and developing some technical skills related to style and music theory. Now I look forward to my next lesson and am already playing better and enjoying the journey. Peter is a great teacher I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.
Review by Nicole V.
"My daughter is 10 years old and has been taking piano lessons with Mr. Dale J. for almost 4 years now. She is progressing nicely. His kind and gentle way make for a very positive learning experience. Mr. Dale J. is encouraging without being harsh or belittling. He is patient and the ideal instructor for my daughter."
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 Shelonda
Henry is teaching my daughter how to play piano. Henry is an excellent teacher, we really like and appreciate him. His teaching style works very well for my daughter, she is comfortable which makes learning enjoyable. Henry is very patient and I can see that he is passionate about teaching music. Great teacher for sure.
Review by Nancy Fritsch
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach.
Review by Jane A.
I started taking voice lessons from Ali when I was 19 and a sophomore in college. Though I was hesitant to be starting "late", I felt very comfortable with Ali and her teaching style. We identified several key issues that really made a difference and improved my voice technique. It was fun to sing popular, beautiful songs in our recital! If only I lived in Los Angeles, I would still be a student. Highly recommended!
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