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I began teaching private lessons in Chicago in 2002, and quickly discovered the gratification that comes from teaching music. I've taught students of all ages and abilities and enjoy the variation in the lessons within this scope. I continue to teach private lessons on several instruments, but also work with Jefferson County School District as a music instructor for the Home School Connection (HSC), a free fine arts and enrichment program for homeschoolers in kindergarten through 6th grade. With HSC, I provide small group classes in guitar, piano, music theory, music appreciation and ear training.
Nothing is more rewarding than seeing my students' develop a passion for music. I like to let students develop at their own pace. Realistic goals are set, and we work to meet them with each lesson. I love tailoring instruction to students' needs!
The Suzuki Method is particularly effective with children aged three to seven. A young child’s aural capabilities are greatest in the early years of life, and therefore a method which relies heavily on aural stimulation is most suitable. Three and four year old children do not yet have the mental capacities to read music from a page, but are able to learn to play very well by rote. The pupil will learn to read music after their playing abilities are well established. In the Suzuki program, the parent provides the proper home environment so that the child will succeed. Traditional Methodology is most effective with children aged 8-18. Children in this age range are ready to read notation, so this skill is taught from the beginning. The pupil is taught to identify the notes on the staff and keyboard, to recognize rhythmic structures, basic theory concepts such as key signatures, scales, chords, and forms, and the meanings of musical terms and signs. The different facets of the pupil’s musicianship mature together and produce a well rounded player.
I started teaching in 2008 while still studying at the University of North Florida. Most of my expierence is with children between the ages of 5-13, though I have taught much older as well. The real joy I get from teaching is when the student begins to love what they are doing. Any instrument can be difficult at first but once a love of music is combined with the student's instrument, the greatest strides will be made.
I have been teaching music for the past five years. I think that it is most important to understand how music works, mechanics are instrument specific and come with time and practice. When my students remain engaged and excited about making their own music, through learning and creating we become musicians. My goal is to encourage engagement, creativity and exploration through music. I have been trained classically and have transitioned to a diverse range of outputs. I organize everyone orchestras with people who have not touched an instrument in years, compose and play for a local ten piece funk band.
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In-home lessons are what the majority of our students request. Not only does this provide a convenient means to study music, but there is no difference in the quality of lessons done in-home or in-studio as they are typically structured the same. The main benefit of in-home lessons is the reduction in travel time to another location, and additionally the student may be able to focus better in their own home since they are familiar with it. Piano lessons in the home offer a practical choice for your family for learning the skill of playing a musical instrument.
Piano lessons are usually structured around a series of method books which are recommended by the teacher, and can be purchased at a local music store or online. Lessons for a beginner usually start with familiarizing the student with the piano as well as beginner level technique. This can include learning the notes on the piano, and learning basic scales, like major and minor scales. Beginners may start by learning how to play scales using the correct finger techniques with both hands until they develop their speed and co-ordination. Eventually students will start playing simple melodies, often nursery rhymes, that put the fingering techniques into practice. Students will also learn the various types of chord, from simple major and minor chords, through to 7th chords, slash chords, and diminished chords. Students will also develop their sight reading and music theory knowledge throughout their lessons.
Taking piano lessons as an adult is a great way to learn a new skill and have fun at the same time. The instructors in Musika's network can help you learn from the very basic level if you are a beginner, or if you are an advanced player they can help you refine your skills. Adult lessons generally focus on learning the technique of the instrument, including how to read music, chords, and learning repertoire.
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.
Musika recommends that children start piano lessons no earlier than age 4 or 5. The attention span and personality of the child are something to consider when thinking of taking lessons. Even if your child has no evident musical inclinations, piano lessons offer a great option for introducing your child to music. During their lessons children generally learn how to read music, the fundamentals of musicianship and sight reading, music theory techniques, and ear training.
Review by Suzette
She is amazing! My daughter, Isabella (7 yrs) is totally engaged in the lesson. Lilly's definitely has a gift with teaching young children!!! A great talent of hers is making the content interesting, current to today's music and most of all fun! She has a knack for taking the material and translating it in a way that is relatable to Isabella. My daughter really enjoys her lesson's and has moved along rather quickly with the material. Thanks Lilly!
Review by Steve Newman
My daughter began learning sax in her school band, but she didn't begin PLAYING sax until she started lessons with Debra. From scales and exercises to actual pieces, Debra coached my daughter with real insight, sensitivity, and patience. Her knowledge of the instrument and feeling for music - along with her easy-going,"kid friendly" personality - make Debra the ideal teacher and musical mentor.
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 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 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 Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
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 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.
Review by Christopher Perrone
Mike has been working with my son Robert for over a year and has just started working with my daughter Kate. Mike is both a great musician and a good teacher. He connects with the kids and keeps them engaged. He is able to tailor the lesson to focus on music that is interesting to each child. He also encourages the students to participate in a public setting which is great. I would highly recommend Mike.
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