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Hello! I am a performer and teacher who loves musical variety. I am classically trained as a singer, pianist, and clarinetist, and have also appeared on-stage playing everything from tuba to pipe organ! Professionally, I have sung with Lyric Opera KC, Michigan Opera Theatre and Toledo Opera choruses, and have performed leading roles with Opera in the Ozarks, BGSU's Theatre and Opera Theatre, and Indiana University Opera Theatre. I have performed as a soloist with a myriad of ensembles, medieval to modern. As a member of Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, I have performed around the world. I look forward to working with you here in the KC metro..
I'm very friendly and patient. Learning music should be enjoyable, and never a burden. My students learn at their own pace and have fun doing it. I'm happy to work with youngters, providing they have a basic grasp of letters and numbers. Older beginners are some of my favorites, those who may have always wanted to learn and never had time before. It's never too early or late to bring music into your life, as it helps with concentration, dexterity, and relaxation!
I began teaching private piano during my undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley. My students were aged from 9-14. After I obtained my bachelor's degree, I then attended San Francisco State University to obtain my music education teaching credential. During this time, I worked as a private piano instructor at Green Octave School of Music in San Carlos. I prepared students for school recitals and concerts. I also prepared a student to take the ABRSM piano exam test. I encourage my students to perform at recitals because that will give them experience like none other. I also encourage some parent involvement with their child's music studies and practices. My goal is to guide the student into learning piano at their own pace and with their own interests in mind.
I have performed all over the globe for communities from San Francisco to New York to Ykaterinburg, Russia. My main instruments are bass, electric bass and French horn and have a background in all forms of improvised music as well as classical and orchestral repoertoire. My experience in the Air Force Band from 2006-2014 reinforced the skills necessary for professional musicianship that I cultivated at several fine music schools. Some famous venues I've played include Avery Fischer Hall, NY, and Shoreline Amphitheater, CA.
Being a teacher is by far one of the most rewarding choices that I have ever made. Seeing a students growth and development is absolutely astounding. I believe that each student is very individualized, and no student learns exactly the same as another. As a teacher, I believe that I need to constantly be adaptable and adjustable to each student's needs. I also want the student to enjoy the learning process; it is important that the student knows that he or she is making achievements and enjoys the rewards of his or her hard work.
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We recommend that students get either a full size piano, or an 88-key, weighted hammer action keyboard for their lessons and practice. A real acoustic piano will provide the most satisfying learning experience, however, due to the cost and size of the instrument, a keyboard is often the more convenient option. Weighted keys will respond most like those of an acoustic piano, and keyboards have the added bonus of being portable and compatible with headphones. The most popular brands of keyboard or digital piano are Yamaha, Casio, Korg and Roland.
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.
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.
The content of each lesson is determined by the ability and experience level of each individual student. 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. Intermediate players can start to increase their playing speed in order to perform runs, fills, and solos, they can broaden their chord playing to things like augmented and diminished chords, they develop their sight reading, learn music theory such as time signatures, and work on applying these skills to more complex compositions. Advanced players may want to study a particular genre or composer. Pianists who enjoy Classical music may like to study the compositions of Bach or Mozart, or maybe develop their Jazz or Blues playing. Teachers can also help prepare students for exam, auditions, performances, or recitals.
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.
Review by Alamu Vinai
Usually I don't write reviews. I am compelled to write for Feng. I've experience finding/working with many music teachers over the years for different instruments (piano, flute, sax) for kids. I think Feng is the best, he is so passionate about music, he encourages the kids. He teaches thoroughly - you can tell he knows lot about saxophone. I would definitely recommend Feng!!
Review by Lea G
Kevin was such a fun, smart and innovative voice teacher to work with. I had the pleasure of taking lessons with him for over a year and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my time under his training. In just a few weeks I noticed my voice was stronger and I was able to apply his teaching and see the results. He explains his techniques in a way that the student is able to actually hear and feel the changes he is referring to. This allows the student to efficiently practice outside of lessons. Even further, he believed in me and truly cared about my progress. He was always energetic and focused in lessons and was continually surprised how far a song could come in just one hour of his time. Under his teaching I developed a stronger belt in my higher range, learned how to color my voice for different sounds and improved my stage presence. I wholeheartedly trust Kevin’s musical insight and was grateful that he challenged me with a wide variety of songs and styles that I hadn’t considered trying before.
Review by Ro J.
“My son has been instructed by Mark for almost four years. Mark is an outstanding teacher. His credentials are by themselves impressive, but his ability to relate his knowledge to kids is even more so. Connor's ability to understand and read music is fantastic. Mark also knows the performance side of playing drums and has encouraged Connor to actually incorporate his knowledge to play alone and in a band. He is patient and encouraging which is what motivates Connor to work and practice. He is a mentor as well as a teacher. He is superior at what he does and we highly recommend him.” Ro J.
Review by PJ Williams
My daughter, Valarie is one of the original members of the Enrichment Center Percussion Ensemble under the guidance of Aaron. He patiently worked with Valarie as well as the other five members individually and as a group to produce music that has been shared and enjoyed locally as well as nationally. He has the ability to seek out the strengths of each student while building confidence. Through his teachings, not only had Valarie learned how to produce and enjoy music, but also responsibility and so many life skills for everyday living.
Review by Roselynbrown
After moving from NY and parting from our amazing piano instructor, we thought we couldn't find a piano teacher close to what we knew. We are happy to say Musika matched us up with someone professional and friendly who enjoys teaching younger students. Thank you! We definitely recommend Kuan as a piano instructor :)
Review by Heather Berest
I started my 5 yr old daughter with Karleen this Fall. Karleen has a calm and honest disposition. My daughter adores her and cannot wait for her arrival. I was concerned because my daughter is not so willing to "practice" during the week. Karleen advised me to allow her habits of practicing to evolve naturally as her love and understanding of piano increases. She emphasized how nurturing my daughter's love of music is most important. This was music to my ears :)
Review by Natalie Kretcher
I really like her. And as an adult student, a good teacher who keeps the pace up but still keeps it reasonable in terms of difficulty is really hard to find. She does a great job of explaining little detail things in terms I (as a musically challenged human) can understand. I'm having a blast! 10/10 would recommend!
Review by Gisellesoldati
Cory is simply the greatest instructor ever! His 30 year plus teaching experience along with his knowledge of ever longer in music composition and performance make a real difference if you're in for learning the right way. Thank you Cory for teaching me not only the chords but also the history behind it and awesome tricks on getting better faster ;)
Review by Debbie E.
I had always wanted to take vocal lessons, but was very nervous about it until I had the opportunity to have Ali as my instructor. She made me feel very comfortable and helped me realize my strengths while giving me other areas to work on and strengthen. I liked how Ali had me sing out of my "comfort" zone to realize my vocal range. It is obvious that Ali loves music and sharing that love with her students. She is very good at what she does and works well with both male and female voices. I highly recommend Ali and give her solid 5 stars
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