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I have always had a passion for music and have worked hard to be able to enjoy playing it today. I understand what it takes to get enjoyment out of music and above all else I try to get my students to enjoy it as well. After studying at American University and Amsterdam Conseratory of Music I graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Music Performance in 2013. While studying in school and since graduating I have never stopped teaching, and I have the proper combination of experience and skill needed to make fun and informative lessons for students.
I have been playing guitar and singing for 20 years. I have formal guitar training from John Jennings (of Mary Chapin Carpenter) and Tom Giata (One Life to Live, All My Children, etc.). I also have had formal vocal training from Matt Kramer (Saigon Kick). I am certified to teack Piano, Guitar and Voice beginner and intermediate levels.
Music has been a part of my life since I was six years old--I have played piano for 23 years. I graduated from James Madison University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Industry. I studied piano with a member of the piano faculty at James Madison while I also studied music production and the music business. After graduating, I wrote music for George Mason University TV, student films, and a number of freelance clients. Music is how I really express myself and I love to share that with others.
Since I took my first piano lessons as a child, I've dedicated my life to learning as much as I can about music both inside and outside of school and spreading the joy to others. I have been performing consistently with groups since my teen years: first jazz combos, ensembles and University orchestras, and more recently rock and metal acts. I have extensive experience touring, and encourage students to draw on my knowledge as both a studio and live performer. My home studio is well furnished, and has a selection of electric guitars and basses, a full-size upright piano, and a 5-piece Pearl drum kit.
I am an enthusiastic and talented music instructor who loves working with students and sharing my passion for music. I graduated from the University of Mary Washington in the Fall of 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music. I have a wide variety of musical talents, including theory, performance and composition. My primary instrument is flute and I am comfortable teaching any age group and any skill level. I am also well-versed in piano.
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As piano lessons are customized to the needs of each individual student, we are able to better help you to achieve your goals. Beginning students may just want to learn an instrument out of interest and for fun, so the basics will be covered to get you up and running. This tends to include music theory and technical exercises, such as hand position, fingering, and playing scales and chords. Intermediate students may be working towards an exam, recital or performance, so will cover playing, performance and stylistic techniques such as legato, staccato, glissando, sight reading, working on speed, runs, fills, and solos. Other topics that may be covered in your piano lessons are things like expanding your repertoire, developing improvisation and jamming skills, and studying the various types of genre-based playing techniques and styles, such as Jazz, Ragtime, Blues, Rock, or Classical piano.
Taking piano lessons from the comfort of your own home is the most convenient way of learning to the play the instrument. All you need for your lessons is a piano or keyboard to play on! Home lessons remove the hassle of transporting your child to and from their lessons, and can be fitted around busy work schedules more readily. Whether the lesson takes place in-home or in the studio, the content remains the same. Home piano lessons are a particularly good option for younger students. It is a big advantage for young students to learn in a familiar, comfortable, and supportive environment.
At Musika, we highly recommend that students looking to learn to play the piano do so with a clear goal in mind. Whether your goal is to learn to play your favorite tunes, reacquaint yourself with the piano, or just to play for fun, the experienced teachers in our network can help you make those goals a reality. Learning, developing, and improving technique, co-ordination, and theory can actually be quicker during adulthood as the complex thought processes and theory are easier to understand. Adults can also help maintain their fine-motor skills, concentration, and listening skills into later life.
For students just starting out, a keyboard or digital piano is a great entry level alternative to a real acoustic piano. We suggest trying to buy a keyboard with 88 keys. Keyboards with a weighted hammer action are recommended as their touch response and general feel will be most similar to that of an acoustic piano as this will provide students with a greater level of satisfaction during their practice time. Popular keyboard brands include Yamaha, Casio and Roland. If it is at all possible, consider buying an acoustic piano. Upright models are less space consuming, while a grand piano will provide the best sound.
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 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 Kaleen Todoroff
Noel is amazing. She is helping me to work toward my vocal goals for auditions to several musical theaters. She has helped me choose strong audition pieces and is teaching excellent ways to get the sound I need in a safe and healthy way. She works outside our lessons on new warm ups and new music pieces. She is the best.
Review by Jonathan
Angela is a phenomenal teacher. She is full of charisma and is a joy to work with. Most of my experience with her has been focused on working in the Alexander Technique and she seems very knowledgeable in this study. I would highly recommend her to any prospective student. I have seen myself improve dramatically in a few short weeks with her guidance (and much practice of course!)
Review by Susan
My daughter is extremely happy and comfortable with Rachel, and looks forward to her piano lessons every week. She is a very kind and patient teacher, always using positive reenforcement with my daughter, which makes all the difference in the world to children. We definitely are looking forward to continued piano lessons with her. So glad we found her.
Review by Anita
Our daughter has only been playing the piano since March. Tony replaced our other teacher who had a job transfer and could no longer teach. Tony is fun and encouraging. My daughter is playing Taylor Swift and Christmas songs and is playing the piano more than ever before. Very happy so far with Mr Tony
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 Stevengournay
There are only a handful of people I count in my life who were great teachers, and Laura is one of them. Her musicianship is so secure as are her technique and personality that she zeros in on my weaknesses and devises exercises to strengthen them, and during the lesson it is not "Do this, no, do that" which is unnerving to a novice. She understands the most important part of study is relaxation, so that is easy to achieve with such a confident and compassionate human. Music is her life and she is eager to share her talent with everyone. A rare find, indeed!
Review by Emily
Steve gets you started right away with songs but also goes into music theory and reading music which adds to understanding and appreciation of the music. He is very approachable and you can tell that he absolutely loves music and teaching. It is hard not to be excited about the process of learning with Steve. If you are considering lessons I highly recommend Steve for any level of student.
Review by Dylan Jacinto
Jessie is the finest musician I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I find her overall concept of approaching an instrument to be both comprehensive and effective. Each technique she has acquired has made it possible for her to tailor her method to a variety of ages and individuals. I cannot speak more highly of Miss Jessie's abilities. Her lengthy and impressive cradecials speak for themselves. I recommend no hesitation in seeking her services!
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