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I love the art of communicating or telling a story through music. I am a professional performer and vocal instructor, and have sung on professional stages such as Mount Baker Theater's repertory theater and the Whatcom Symphony opera series in Bellingham, Washington. I am a classically trained musician and relish singing folk, jazz, and other popular styles of singing. After graduating with my masters in voice performance from University of Nebraska - Lincoln, I decided that the Twin Cities would a fantastic place to extend my love for teaching and get back on the stage.
I'm a very passionate and energetic teacher who loves working with students. I have been a musician for 15 years and teaching for over 10 years. I majored in music as a flautist and learned piano, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings while I was in college. My performance experiences have only strenthened my belief that music should be a part of every person's life.
There is nothing in the world quite like seeing a students eyes light up when they play their favorite song for the first time. In order to achieve progress there must be a pace established that is special to the student, and at no point should the student ever feel pressured to play something they don't understand. To say teaching has brought joy to my life would be an understatement, and I thank God and my family for this gift of music. I believe we never stop learning and that applies especially to music.
I began taking piano and ballet lessons at age ten, and flute at age eleven. I poured myself into practice and competitions in these fields, earning scholarships and recognition in all. From 1979 - 1981, I was a member of the Missouri Symphony Society Performance Arts Center combined student-professional orchestra, on full scholarship. I also participated in Missouri State and District Solo Competitions and Band auditions, and was awarded highest ratings and first chair flute. -- When I am in the zone, the dialogue between notes I have played and notes yet to come is rapid and coherent. I actively listen to myself as I play, while simultaneously holding a desired sound in my mind's ear, essentially matching the creative real-time activity to my intended outcome. Often my initial plans are improvised and amended mid-phrase, leading to pleasant discoveries and novel and creative musical expression.
Confidence is the key to any artistic endeavor. I like to try and develop the way that students feel about themselves, because music involves a lot of detail and a lot of repetitive practice in order to gain the basic skills needed to be proficient. If a student is not confident, they have a hard time with the motivation needed to keep at the skill practice that is necessary. I prefer to do some work that doesn't involve music because that keeps the fire burning, which is a major concern especially with younger kids.
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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.
Our piano lessons take place in a one-on-one setting and are customized to the requirements of each individual student. To get started, beginners may 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. As their dexterity, co-ordination and speed progresses, they can start broadening their musical horizons. They can learn new chords, playing and performance techniques and styles, such as legato, staccato, glissando, runs, and fills, as well as work on their sight reading and general theory (time signatures, modes, modulation, etc.). Advanced players often want to study a particular genre or composer, or work on certain aspects of their playing and repertoire. This may include improvisation, or exploring different genres or styles, such as Avant Garde, Jazz, or Classical piano.
Due to the attention span of very young children, we advise that students begin their piano lessons no younger than age 4 or 5. Piano lessons are a great way to introduce an instrument for the first time to a younger child. Learning piano will teach them basic musical skills such as rhythm and harmony, as well as how to read sheet music and chords.
As students will need to practice the content taught during their lessons, they will need to invest in a digital piano or a keyboard. There are a number of different keyboards on the market, however we suggest looking to buy one with 61 keys or more. Keyboards with weighted action keys are most like that of a real piano, and are recommended. Keyboards are often a cheaper and more convenient option than digital pianos or real acoustic pianos, as they can be transported around and played using headphones. That said, if buying an acoustic piano is within your budget, it will provide the most satisfying learning experience.
Taking piano lessons from the comfort of your own home is the most convenient way of learning to the play the instrument. All you need for your lessons is a piano or keyboard to play on! Home lessons remove the hassle of transporting your child to and from their lessons, and can be fitted around busy work schedules more readily. Whether the lesson takes place in-home or in the studio, the content remains the same. Home piano lessons are a particularly good option for younger students. It is a big advantage for young students to learn in a familiar, comfortable, and supportive environment.
Review by Stevengournay
There are only a handful of people I count in my life who were great teachers, and Laura is one of them. Her musicianship is so secure as are her technique and personality that she zeros in on my weaknesses and devises exercises to strengthen them, and during the lesson it is not "Do this, no, do that" which is unnerving to a novice. She understands the most important part of study is relaxation, so that is easy to achieve with such a confident and compassionate human. Music is her life and she is eager to share her talent with everyone. A rare find, indeed!
Review by Venessea Gilbert
Rebecca has been super with my son! He is 8yrs old and has mild aspergers. He has never played an instrument before but after one lesson with his teacher he could keep a beat on his drums. She is able to keep his attention and really makes it fun! She is flexible and easy going. I highly recommend her for any lessons. Very nice teacher! Thank you Rebecca for your outstanding service!!
Review by Maria
My daughter has been taking piano lessons through her school district program for the last two years. She had learned a lot in that class but I noticed that she needed advanced classes at this point. After reviewing several websites I decided to enroll my daughter for the trial at MUSIKA. We got Mrs. Veronica B., and I am more than happy we got her as my daughter's teacher. Mrs. Veronica B. was very professional and very knowledgeable at the trial day. She was able to assess my daughter skill's level, and then she was able to give suggestions about how to improve those skills. My daughter has taken 5 classes with Mrs. Barker, and I can see she enjoys each class and she's improved a lot since day one. I can picture my daughter playing her favorites songs on the piano very soon!!! :-)
Review by Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
Review by Bradford Putt
Angela has been a perfect match-up for me. She is warm and welcoming, and also serious about teaching - she keeps our time focused and on track. What I truly appreciate, as a new singer anxiously preparing for an event, is the confidence she gives me. Angela is very encouraging. I enjoy coming to class.
Review by John
When I started with Darrell, I didn't know anything bout music. Nothing. We started with basic music theory & moved into scales and reading. It hasn't been very long at all, but my confidence is growing quickly. He does ask a lot from you and he expects you to keep up. But I can honestly say that if you are willing to work hard and spend the time at home doing what he asks, you will see the results. He wants you to succeed and takes pride in watching you grow. If you want it as bad as he does, you will see the result very quickly.
Review by Carol A
“Lynn is my music hero! She can listen to any song and write down the chords. She will adjust to make it easier or harder whatever your abilities. I have a busy schedule and often don't have time to practice between lessons and she is cool with that. She also will adjust lesson times when she is able which fits my hectic schedule. I'm glad my first guitar teacher "fired" me ....that allowed me to meet Lynn.” - Carol A., M.D., Aug 2015
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 Emily
Steve gets you started right away with songs but also goes into music theory and reading music which adds to understanding and appreciation of the music. He is very approachable and you can tell that he absolutely loves music and teaching. It is hard not to be excited about the process of learning with Steve. If you are considering lessons I highly recommend Steve for any level of student.
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