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Just as every player has their own musical personality and voice, so too does every lesson that Nicholas gives. In a supportive, patient environment, every lesson is custom tailored to the student. Being musical is inherent to being human, so when a students’ musical abilities fail to progress, it is the teaching method that has failed, not the student. While my educational background allows me to offer my students a high level of instruction in instrumental technique, my first priority with every student is to foster their love and understanding of music through playing their instrument.
I believe patience and consistency are key to successful learning. I try to model these qualities for my students. My goal is to create an environment in which effective student practice becomes a part of the daily routine, so that once students come to lessons we can work together to solve the musical problems the piece presents. Students bring their enthusiasm and I bring my support—together, we learn to interpret and create the music.
I gained my teaching experience over the last 3 years in a variety of settings. For the 2011-2012 school year I was a Music Project Coordinator at a high school in Montreal, where I gave private lessons (drums, guitar, piano), coached bands, assisted students and ran rehearsals in ensemble classes, and co-organized the school's winter and fall concerts. Since moving to Detroit in 2012 I have been teaching private lessons to students of all ages in studios and in students' homes, and as a substitute teacher have led ensemble rehearsals at all grade levels. My diverse teaching experience has made me very sensitive to the different needs and interests that students bring to the table. To watch students' musical growth both on a broad scale and in small increments - the excitement of finally executing an exercise, piece, or idea that they have been working through, for instance - is something that brings me great joy and inspires me to motivate them to develop further still.
For beginning students, I start with the traditional Mel Bay beginner books that focus on the fundamentals while building strength and coordination and just build from there. For students with a little more experience, I like to focus on more challenging exercises and concepts while nurturing their knowledge of music theory and performance. Each student is different and knowing what motivates them motivates me. My goal is to have them want to pick up their instrument and play.
I have 15 years experience in bass, 13 years experience in guitar, 13 years experience in singing, 11 years experience in piano, not to mention fluency in double bass, drum set, and hand drums. I have performing experience in almost every category you can imagine, including rock bands, opera, pop music, top choirs, indie bands, musical theatre, concert band, country music, worship bands, jazz bands & combos, and even 2 years in steel drum ensemble! I can be a band leader and frontman or an instrumentalist in the rhythm section, and I will teach you to be the same!
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One-on-one piano lessons straight from the comfort of your own home is a great way to learn to play the piano. 90% of our students choose to take lessons from home, mostly due to the convenience of not having to make travel arrangements both to and from their lessons. This is great for parents and students with busy schedules. The content of home lessons is exactly the same as studio lessons, however, you will need to have a keyboard or piano at your home. Home lessons provide the best learning environment, as it is a comfortable, familiar surrounding for students to learn in.
All students start their lessons at different levels of experience and with different aims and goals in mind. For beginner students who are new to the piano, lessons will be devised to give students the fundamentals of good piano playing. Students will learn the correct posture, hand position, and fingering techniques for playing scales and chords. Students can develop these skills through practicing scales, arpeggios, and simple melodies using both hands. For advanced students, topics that may be covered include more intricate skills, such as creating runs and fills to add interest and variation to their playing, to develop their repertoire of pieces they can play, and to develop their sight reading. Some students may have a specific genre that they are interested in learning, such as jazz piano. Students will learn the musical theory and techniques that underlay a host of musical genres. The teachers in Musika's network are able to recommend books or specific areas of additional study that they feel will advance each individual student and help to achieve their goals.
Learning a new musical skill as an adult is a great way to keep your brain fresh! We have many adult students actively taking lessons with us, and they make up around 50% of our student base. The instructors in our network offer individually tailored lesson plans based on the needs of the adult student. You will learn the technique of the instrument, specific repertoire suited to your skill level, and learn how to sight read.
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.
For students just starting out, a keyboard or digital piano is a great entry level alternative to a real acoustic piano. We suggest trying to buy a keyboard with 88 keys. Keyboards with a weighted hammer action are recommended as their touch response and general feel will be most similar to that of an acoustic piano as this will provide students with a greater level of satisfaction during their practice time. Popular keyboard brands include Yamaha, Casio and Roland. If it is at all possible, consider buying an acoustic piano. Upright models are less space consuming, while a grand piano will provide the best sound.
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 Maurice Romero
This is the 1st time I've ever taken lessons, and Robert has been a pleasure to work with. I've made quick progress and have enjoyed the process. I'm always listening for those tips that you can't find in a book. I can count on Robert to be strict on the fundamentals and am clear it will make a difference in the long run.
Review by Kristen Draughn
Mr. Lou M. is a God-send! With the various needs that our organization requires from our education partners in order to provide enrichment services to our students, Mr. Lou M. has always gone above and beyond in meeting all of those needs. Our students are learning, our caregivers are happy and satisfied, and we couldn't be more pleased with his performance.
Review by Al
Pavel is doing a great job with my 6 year old son. Pavel is doing a great job helping my son focus on technique and rhythm, which is something previous instructors weren't so successful with. Pavel is organized / structured / systematic, which is what my son needs now, but I hope he relaxes a bit as the lessons continue so that more "joy" comes through.
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 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 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 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 Lucinda
Melissa is very encouraging, positive, supportive and patient. She knows how to explain the technical details of flute and music notation to kids in a way that makes sense to them. She has been reliable so far turning up on time and calling if there is a need to reschedule. I would definitely recommend her to others.
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