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I provide direction and knowledge and the student has to put in the effort. I offer incentives for great work and the lesson is motivating and fun. I get out my instrument and we play duets together and learn together.
I have always loved teaching, and have garnered consistent praise from my students and mentors. With beginning musicians both instrumental and vocal, I like to balance an introduction to "proper" technique and music reading with a healthy dose of play (improvisation and composition - all musicians should have the opportunity to create!). With advanced classical singers, I have the experience to coach style, diction, and presentation, and I foster the student's ability to teach her/himself. I am particularly interested in working with non-classical singers. There are unique challenges to rock, metal, pop, and other non-operatic singing, and I enjoy working with these musicians to help foster an efficient, versatile vocal instrument.
All students learn at different paces and have different interests. I believe that it is important for a teacher to really tune in and learn about their student. That way, they are better informed to prepare lessons for that particular student. I encourage some parent participation and sitting-in during lessons to understand the basic concepts of what to practice and how to practice. Students should also be given a bit of leverage and autonomy when choosing music and what works for them.
I hope to emulate some of my great teachers including Robert Hurst, Cecil McBee, John Lockwood and others. Of course regular practice is necessary, but listening is also key to advancement. Besides regular warmups and technical workouts, I encourage every student to transcribe, sing and play along with music they like. My students will not only learn the ins and outs of their instruments, but also will learn to make their own music through improvising and composing.
For young and beginning vocalists, I will typically start with assigning and working on American Art song, spirituals, folk music, songs from 24 Italian Songs, and musical theatre repertoire. I tailor my choices to each student, as each student has a different voice and way of learning. For the more advanced or experienced vocalists, I will assign classical and romantic art song of different languages and operatic arias. Once again, my choices will be tailored to each individual student. I also am a strong believer in technique. All of my vocal students will be working on breathing technique. When you are a vocalist, your body is your instrument, and you must know how to produce sound correctly and healthily in order to be as successful as possible. As for pianists, my teaching ability is for beginner and intermediate students only. I truly believe that theory is a very important aspect of piano playing, and I will probably begin with a book that has a theory aspect to match the playing assignments, as I did with my past piano students.
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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.
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.
Students at different levels of their piano playing will require different aspects of piano playing to be covered during their lessons. Beginners typically start out learning the basics, intermediate players will be applying the foundations to more complex compositions, and advanced players will want to hone a few specific skills or styles. The basic things that beginner students will work on tend to be learning the notes of the piano, posture and playing technique, scales, and chords. At this level, students will learn simple scales and chords, such as major and minor chords, and start to put some of the basic techniques into practice via simple songs. Intermediate players will work on more exotic chords and playing such as diminished chords, 7th chords, and applying these things to more challenging compositions. Advanced players can improve sight reading, improvisational abilities, or work on genre specific techniques, such as Jazz or Blues. Throughout, students can develop their musical ear, reading, and theory.
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.
Taking piano lessons from the comfort of your own home is the most convenient way of learning to the play the instrument. Finding the additional time out of a busy schedule to transport your child to and from their lessons can be difficult, making home lessons a convenient, time and money saving option. The only thing necessary for home lessons is a keyboard or piano to play on! There is no difference between the lesson content of studio or home lessons- only the location is different. Home lessons help provide a safe, familiar, and comfortable learning environment for students.
Review by Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
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 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 Yury
I would like to thank Polina for the series of classical piano lessons I've taken recently. Polina is a fantastic teacher and a high class performer, and I'm really happy I had a chance to meet her! I believe anyone can benefit from the teaching method Polina is practicing regardless of the student proficiency - from beginners to advanced performers. It was a pleasure for me to study classical piano courses under the guidance of such an intelligent & professional teacher! Without doubt, my playing technique has improved a lot and I have signed up for the new classes online already.
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
Review by Timothyfullard
We've only had a few lessons with Elisa, but so far we really like her. She has a lot of great suggestions for solo pieces as well as orchestral music that involves all 3 of my boys, while also including some Christian music that we can play at church. She is very patient in explaining the lessons and encouraging!
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 Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.
Review by Jacob Solomon
Ileen is a very attentive instuctor. she is patient and works hard to see her student succeed. if a concept is unclear she expains it in other ways to ensure understanding. I would highly recommend ileen to students of all levels who want to learn guitar and music theory to thoroughly enjoy the instrument and music
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