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My lesson style varies depending on the student's learning style, personality, preferences, etc. I usually get a sense of the learning style of a given student within 3 or 4 lessons, and if I don't I have a special test to find out. Students learn best when the teaching favors their learning style and preferred pace. Some students like to take things slow, be methodical, and are very visual. Others may want to apply concepts at a faster pace, respond more to auditory examples, and like to jump around between topics. There are lots of different combinations but what's important is that the teacher can recognize these things, and this is a skill I have developed well but I'm always learning and always surprised :)
Students who are beginning with me are presented with two methods and may choose based upon the Theory book. Generally, I present Faber's Piano Adventures, Hal Leonard, and at times, Succeeding at Piano by Helen Marlais. I use Frances Clark's Music Tree for students younger than five years of age. I follow the Lessons and Theory pairing from a student's method of choice. Once students can read the grand staff, I use A Dozen A Day by Edna Mae Burnam to teach keyboard geography and help lay the foundation for developing technique. For voice, I use simple vocal exercises that I have written. For adults who wish to learn to sing, I begin with basics of technique and introduce them to various styles unless they have expressed specific interest, ie, popular, musical theater, or classical. I encourage summer study and use that time to teach out of an anthology in order to allow students to apply their skills with expressive or character pieces. I teach duets in order to help students become comfortable with jazz and blues. I have held service recitals at local retirement homes in order to foster a love of sharing music with others.
I grew up in Stephens City, VA, where I started playing drum set professionally at age 16. Piano, guitar, and songwriting came soon after, and in 2005 I was awarded the Jazz Studies Scholarship from the University of North Texas to study drum set with the world-renowned educator, Ed Soph. At North Texas, I participated in the 6 O'Clock Lab Band, Advanced AfroCuban Ensemble, Chamber Brass Band and Brazilian Ensemble, and soon after, was commissioned to compose original music for the computer game Wriggle Words.. In early 2008, I began touring nationally with a Denton-based band, and now tour nationally with several Austin-based groups. While not on the road, I play with numerous groups in Austin, write and record original music in my home studio, and teach.. I bring my extensive music industry experience into each lesson. While teaching my students their primary instruments, I also strive to make the lessons well-rounded, incorporating theory, ear training, music culture and history.
For beginning students, I usually start with a reputable method book that will allow them to advance in "grades" as the skills get better. At earlier stages of learning, the focus is on the technique towards learning the instrument. As a student progresses into intermediate and advanced stages, several pieces from the solo repertoire (and if available ensemble pieces) become part of the curriculum. Throughout the advancement in levels, I try to focus on selecting pieces that the indivdual student will have interest in while balancing pieces necessary for learning more difficult musical techniques. Artistry becomes the main point when pitches, rhythms, and basic elements are mastered.
PIANO STUDENTS: For beginners, I prefer the Bastien series. I like a lot of variety but am very careful to not give too much at once. It is better to become excellent at each thing slowly, than try to do a lot and not be that good at any of it. I am a stickler for starting out with scales and theory right away. Understanding rhythm right away is of utmost importance as well. I ALSO TEACH IN PATTERNS & NUMBERS over just notes, this way, one can play any piece in any key much easier! I will paint mental pictures that will help my students to never forget what Im teaching. (Oh and they will BEGIN using both hands). For more advanced students, again, the more variety the better. Depending on what the student’s goals are, I will draw from a wide range of selections. I always make it a point to show my students how to play by ear AND by sight. When you know how to do both, the possibilities are limitless! If a student is wanting help learning how to write a song, that is my specialty as well. I have helped a LOT of people perfect their material. VOICE STUDENTS: After discovering the students strengths and/or weaknesses, I custom create a series of vocal exercises & songs to help develop their talent. I first offer the student the chance to select which songs they want o learn and make their own. If they dont know which songs they want to learn, after learning the students interests and musical inspirations, I will suggest songs to work on, then teach them step by step how to make the songs their own and perform them with confidence and excellence.
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Music lessons in your home offer a convenient option to learning music! Most of our students request in home lessons for this reason. As long as you have a piano or keyboard in your home, then you should be all set to start your lessons! Children who have never played an instrument before may feel more comfortable studying in their own home, as it may be less intimidating than going somewhere else. In-home lessons decrease the time and gas money spent traveling to a different location.
For the sake of lessons and practice, a keyboard is often a much more viable option than buying a piano. Pianos are space consuming and expensive, as well as being very loud. Keyboards are perfect, especially for beginners, as they are more diverse in their functionality. Most keyboards come with a range of different sounds and effects (FX), such as chorus, reverb, and synthesizer sounds. Another great feature common to many keyboards is a record function. This allows students to hear things back after they have played them, such as practicing scales... or to record ideas they are composing!
"We have many adult students taking lessons with us. Whether you have studied music as a child, or are wanting to learn a new skill, music lessons are a great avenue to go with! Not only do they keep you young and energized, but our teachers are also able to relate to you and instruct you in a way you can understand."
Our piano lessons take place in a one-on-one setting and are customized to the requirements of each individual student. To get started, beginners may cover aspects of piano playing such as posture, hand positions, fingering technique, scales, chords, and applying these things to simple songs. They will also start to develop their knowledge of music theory, reading chord charts and sheet music. As their dexterity, co-ordination and speed progresses, they can start broadening their musical horizons. They can learn new chords, playing and performance techniques and styles, such as legato, staccato, glissando, runs, and fills, as well as work on their sight reading and general theory (time signatures, modes, modulation, etc.). Advanced players often want to study a particular genre or composer, or work on certain aspects of their playing and repertoire. This may include improvisation, or exploring different genres or styles, such as Avant Garde, Jazz, or Classical piano.
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.
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 William Klepatsky
Very knowledgeable on every aspect of music theory. I listen to recording artists playing various classical pieces, Dan's playing is much like a recording artist's playing. Always on time. Winning happy personality, a great role model. Puts me at ease when I am playing. Have two friends who hold music degrees, I count him a third, something special about the minds and personalities of good pianists. Thanks Dan.
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 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 Robert Stallone
I am in my 60s and decided to get back into playing my guitar. I thought taking lessons would be a good way to formalize the endeavor. I did have some concern about whether working with a teacher would work out as I've behave only played for my own enjoyment for a long time. Peter and I have had a few lessons together and I am truly enjoying the experience. He is very supportive and flexible. We arrived at a three gold approach that is really working for me. We focus on developing a playlist, learning some of the more iconic tunes from leading artist that I would have a hard time learning on my own and developing some technical skills related to style and music theory. Now I look forward to my next lesson and am already playing better and enjoying the journey. Peter is a great teacher I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.
Review by Brad Schimmer
I have been playing the drums for about 5 years and I have to say that Alvaro is very patient. He has opened me up to new styles of music and I can now play a Songo groove! What I liked most was that he was flexible in what I wanted him to teach me and would also bring in new material specifically to what I wanted him to show me. Overall, great patient teacher and would highly recommend! Thanks Alvaro!
Review by Maureen Young
“Lynn has taught my daughter guitar for 9 years. She has always managed to keep her engaged and provide an exceptional learning experience. She tailors the lesson specifically to the student’s interests and abilities. She provides many opportunities for students to showcase their talents outside of lessons. We love working with Lynn.” Maureen Young, Dir. of Finance, Aug 2015
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 Clinton Poskozim
Martina has been a great teacher. Our son is 8 and had taken some piano lessons before starting with Martina. She came right in and got him to improve. She does a great job of giving him just enough of a challenge to make him work and learn but not any pieces that are so overwhelming he can't get them. She has helped him through a lot of early music theory so that he not only can play the piano but understands the music he is reading in all of its complexity.
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