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I've been playing the piano since the age of four. Music has always been my passion, and I love passing this wonderful knowledge on to others. I love teaching younger children, but I also enjoy working with people of all ages, including adults. I believe that music is not a "one size fits all" experience and that it is important to focus on the needs, aspirations, and desires of the individual. I also believe that performance is a great way to motivate students, as well as reward them. However, considering the fact that some students may be uncomfortable with going on stage in front of people, performance is not required. Overall, I'm very excited to work with new and interesting people and I always look forward to connecting with others using the power of music.
By customizing each student's instruction I make sure they acquire the basic fundamentals first,emphasizing theory,hand placement,posture,etc. I especially like utilizing the Bastien beginner method books but have also used Faber and Alfred. I also include the Music Theory workbook for all age levels. Praise goes a long way and I believe encouragement is a big key every little step of the way. Each student has their own way of expression so I try to teach to that avenue. For intermediate to advanced students I prefer Czerny and Hanon exercises along with the Scale Skills books.
I teach to the student's wants, desires, abilities, time and goals. I understand that some people want to just download chords of their favorite classic rock songs from the internet, and play them as quickly as possible, without learning to read and write music. Another student is interested in studying music theory, classical music's greatest hits, and how to read and write music. Obviously, it would be absurd to try to teach these two students with the same method. However there are good methods to teach both of these students. The key to learning any musical instrument is practice. If the student doesn't practice, they will not improve very much. Just like anything else in life... what you get back equals what you put in.
I have three areas of emphasis in my teaching: provide the student with a balanced repertoire, demand correct technique, and require a solid foundation in music theory. I will provide my students with opportunities to participate in recitals, festivals, contests, and state theory exams.
I am a music educator, performer, and recording artist with more than 40 years of experience. I studied classical music at The Peabody Consevatory of Music and Jazz at Berklee College of Music. I have studied with and taken private lessons from many great musicians. I have performed with and opened for numerous national acts such as James Brown, Patti Labelle, Chaka Khan, Chick Corea, The Rippingtons, and many more. I currently perform as a freelance musician and music educator in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
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Children are recommended to start piano lessons no earlier than age 4 or 5. The attention span and personality of the child are factors 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 will learn sight reading, music theory techniques, ear training as well as fundamentals of music.
Musika deals primarily with home lessons for students. The location is the only difference between our in-home lessons and our studio lessons. As they do not have to travel to their lessons, home piano lessons can be highly convenient for those parents and students with a busy schedule. Students will need a keyboard to practice on, however. For younger students in particular, having piano lessons in the comfort of their own home can be of great benefit. They will feel more safe and relaxed in familiar surroundings, allowing them to focus on learning and enjoying playing the piano.
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.
The teachers in Musika's network design their piano lessons around the needs and abilities of each student. This means that lessons cater to a wide range of ability and experience levels, from those just starting to play the piano for the very first time, to students with already established skills and experience. For new learners, the aim is to get them playing simple songs as quickly as possible. To do so means teaching them the basics, such as scales, hand position, fingering technique, and chords. These are the essential skills for playing simple material. Beyond this, students can learn to develop their musical ear, sight read, read sheet music and chord charts, and general music theory. They will start to learn more complex chords and start applying them to more advanced compositions as they advance in lessons. Some students will already be excellent players, but want to develop particular skills, such as improvisational skills, or to study one specific type of piano playing, such as Blues or Classical piano.
Some of the most popular keyboard or digital piano brands are Casio, Yamaha, Korg, and Roland. When buying a keyboard, look for ones that have 61 to 88 keys, and have weighted hammer action. This means your keyboard will most closely resemble the playability of a real piano. Keyboards are convenient as they are cheap, space saving, portable, and can be played with headphones. If it is within your means, we highly recommend investing in an acoustic piano, such as an upright, as they are better built and more satisfying to play.
Review by Lauren Segal
Ed is THE best instructor I've ever had and I've had many instructors over the years in various fields of study. Ed met us at a music store to help choose a guitar, this is after he first called and asked all the right questions. He's supplied my daughter with just the right amount of paper work and just the right amount of new techniques. By this I mean to say that Ed connects with the pace my daughter learns at. I highly recommend Ed AND Musika.
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 Steven G.
Laura is the kind of teacher you wish you had in all your studies: gracious, easy-going, light-hearted, yet behind the easy going exterior is an excellent musical mind with everything at her fingertips. I've had about 5 teachers in my life who count as really influential people, and Laura easily fits that category. She lets you be yourself so that you are fully present rather than old-school doctrinaire style, what I call "stiff as a German, sig-heil" teachers. She's the polar opposite. Brava, Laura! Thank you so much!
Review by Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
Review by Julie Buranelli
My daughter really enjoys her lessons with Pavel. She is an absolute beginner and Pavel is right with her as she learns the basics. She is completely engaged and always looks forward to her lesson. He packs a lot of learning into their 30 minute time slot - he gets right to it as soon as he walks in the door! He is a great teacher - we highly recommend!
Review by Jeremy
Dr. Nedra C is incredible. She knows her craft in and out, it truly shows in her teaching. As well, she cares a great deal about the student, and preps plenty of material outside of the lesson for those that she teaches. I've had many different music teachers and am aware who's talented and cares, and who isn't. Dr. Nedra C is true phenomenal, and any student would be lucky to have her.
Review by Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
Review by Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
Review by Shilpa
"Richard is a very talented and a patient teacher. He teaches my 6 year old daughter in the comfort of our home and he is very regular. He follows a learning book and mixes his lessons to bring difficulty and technicality while keeping it interesting for my daughter. My daughter was difficult to work with at the beginning but he was able motivate her in every possible way. As a parent I make an effort to learn with my daughter so that when my daughter practices I am able to guide and correct her and Richard is very generous to take the time to give provide me concepts. I am extremely happy with Richard and his ability to teach children."
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