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17 years of teaching private piano lessons, 3 years of being a teacher assistant at North Central University
I've found the best way to teach is to cater to each student's interest. While early or beginning players may require some fundamental grunt work, there is always a way to assure that it's fun too. Earlier students would need to start learning the basics: rhythm, learning to read, developing technique through scales etc. of which there are many methods. As students mature, I feel the Suzuki method for aspiring classical students is the best route (there are multiple books in this series) along with some other extensive and more challenging works. As far as adults, I feel like assessing their interests - whether classical, jazz, pop, rock, hip-hop etc. - to assure they get the most out of their lesson experience.
I teach using Alfred's Basic Lesson Book series for sight-read pieces and Fingerpower exercise books for technique. All students are also welcome to bring music they would like to learn (movie pieces, pop songs etc.) to help enhance their learning and performance experience.
I will focus on your musical passion and help you set goals based on the musician you would like to be. I will likely use a method book for piano or strings while voice students will develop repertoire from a variety of sources. I can help you learn to sing by reading music or by rote. I will help you seek opportunities for performance to build your confidence and experience.
For younger children, my methods involve using the Alfred series as the staple of the course, but I also incorporate games and some other things into the lesson to make it fun. For intermediate and Advanced students, it is a completely customized lesson plan to the individual so I can't really say what direction we take before I have had the chance to sit down and analyze their individual needs. In general, I try to have a curriculum that balances music theory, ear training, sight reading, and song structure into the lesson plan. The only common trait you will see with my method is progress!!!
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For adults who are looking to learn to play the piano, we recommend that they do so with some clear goals in mind. Maybe you want to learn to play some of your favorite songs, pass an exam, or write your own music. Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. It can take time to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the piano to a competent level. However, playing the piano is a great stress reliever, keeps you mentally active, and can help with your hearing and fine-motor skills.
Piano lessons in your home offer a convenient option for learning to play an instrument. 90% of our students take their lessons in their home, and this is a practical and time-saving way to learn the technique of the instrument. Think of all the time you can save by not having to transport your student to a class every week! In-home lessons are structured in the same way as a studio lesson, and in addition, a younger student may feel more comfortable at an in-home lesson, as they are already familiar with the surroundings.
The best instrument to get would be an upright or baby grand piano. However, if your finances are limited we suggest looking at a digital keyboard. Go with the best quality keyboard that you can afford. We suggest a keyboard with weighted keys so that there is additional resistance on the keys than a toy piano would provide. Most digital keyboards start at 61 keys, and go up to a full size 88 keys. You have to consider which keyboard would fit best in your home and your budget. A beginning student should get the keyboard before or immediately after beginning lessons, so that they may begin practicing as soon as the lessons commence.
Whether you have an interest in learning to play contemporary, jazz, blues, or classical piano, piano teachers in the Musika network can help develop your playing through one-on-one lessons. Throughout your piano lessons, you will cover a wide range of skills ranging from basic playing, to music theory, all the way through more advanced piano study. For those just starting out, the essential elements of piano such as hand position and fingering technique are generally taught before moving on and applying these skills to playing major and minor scales and simple songs using one hand. Students then typically progress to learning chords, such as major chords, and start to put these into practice by learning simple songs. Lessons may also cover the theory side of piano, such as reading music, sight reading, and chord charts. Experienced players can work on certain aspects of their playing, such as improvisational skills, genre-specific playing such as jazz, or developing their repertoire.
Piano is a great starting instrument for children who have never studied music before. The instructors in our network specialize in teaching younger children, and will develop an individual lesson plan for your child. The youngest age we recommend starting on piano lessons is age 4. The instructor will be able to teach your child how to read music and develop a love of playing piano, as well as beginning music theory.
Review by Justin
I've been taking lessons from Michael once a week for eight weeks now, and with his help I have made dramatic improvements with my sax. Michael is a funny, nice, patient and all around great instructor. I'd recommend Michael, as an instructor, to anyone who wants to improve their skills and have fun while doing it.
Review by Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
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 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 Paula Chacon
I've always said, "It's all about the teacher." That skillful, effective teacher who can reach that child and ignite her passion, is truly a gift. Ric does that for my daughter. As a former music teacher myself, the most challenging thing in working with children is how to build their fundamental musical skills while letting them have fun and be expressive. The teacher must create a safe, supportive environment, and Ric does that. Ric immediately focuses on fundamentals of tone and technique, giving my daughter succinct instruction on how to improve, thus she can sense the improvement immediately. Ric seems extremely easy going; even when lighting a fire under her sometimes under-achieving butt, Ric never criticizes, judges or blames. He works with my child, understanding her, helping her problem solve, and even giving her the quick answer sometimes so she can move quickly and stay motivated. Ric balances fundamentals with fun and expressiveness, so my child feels as though she can 'play' and they truly make music in every lesson. I am thankful we found a good match with Ric.
Review by Ryan Piveteau
Amber is personal and cares about her students. She is flexible in her schedule and maintains a professional attitude in her lessons. Her want for her students to succeed makes her excel as a teacher. She is very knowledgeable about music and extremely experienced. Additionally, she includes external activities aside from lessons for the students who wish to advance themselves externally. Really a great teacher who offers great opportunity.
Review by Roberta
My 4 year old son is quite energetic. Another piano teacher tried to teach him before Peter and could not get my son to listen to him at all. That teacher told me that my son had no interest and that we needed to wait before having my son take lessons. Peter started teaching my son a few weeks later. He quickly developed a great rapport with my son. I was astounded when my son sat down and listened to Peter during the first lesson. Peter has remarkable patience and is a natural working with children. He knows when to follow the child's lead. My son is very interested in how the piano works, so Peter takes the time to teach him about this. He is able to use my son's interests (superheroes, Lego, Star Wars, etc.) to refocus him back to playing the piano. Between lessons, he brainstorms on how he can teach my son better. For example, my son was playing the notes, but not understanding rhythm, so Peter looked into it and came back the next week with a new plan which helped. My son looks forward to his lesson every week. When he hears the doorbell ring on lesson day, he exclaims, "Yay! Peter's here!"
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 Claudiaaustin
Our kids love Mr. Lynwood. Mr. Lynwood is very patient and skillful teaching our kids both music theory and guitar/piano. He keeps them engaged and motivated during their lessons and we are seeing -or rather hearing- fast improvement in the kids' dexterity playing their respective instruments. We would recommend this good natured instructor to anybody.
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