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Darrell worked at the primary, secondary/preparatory, and tertiary levels at some of the top-rated private schools in New York, conducting and directing since 1986. He has been a professional producer, director, performer and private instructor/mentor in Austin, Texas since 2009. Performing since 1980, Darrell has worked with all levels of musicians, from beginners to professionals in a wide variety of genres in many facets of music production, from center stage to backstage and in the recording studio.
Both of my degrees were in music education, although I did start a second masters degree in jazz studies. Since 1981, I've been teaching in several settings. I was a full time public school band director for four years, and have taught all the way to the college level and adults, teaching classes in jazz studies and private lessons on saxophone. I've done woodwind coaching as well as private teaching since 1985. I enjoy passing on what I have learned as, from experience, I know the pubic school directors do not have the time to give as much individual attention to the student musicians as they would like.
Teaching is not just what I do, it's part of who I am. I gave my first lesson before I knew that's what I was doing: I was just a high school senior helping a handful of freshmen navigate their first classical and jazz repertoire, but even then, I knew I loved seeing that joyous breakthrough when a student plays something -- a musical passage, maybe just one note -- that sounds beautiful. I began teaching professionally during my second year at the University of North Texas, assisting middle school students take those first steps toward understanding their instrument. As I progressed as a saxophone and piano player, I taught high schoolers and adults in jazz improvisation and prepared classical repertoire, and continue to do so today.
Beginners are started using a Essential Elements or a book similar to this one. It has been a successful and useful tool for beginners. Beginners to advanced players will work on technique, range studies, musical styles and solo repertoire. Student interests are an integral part of what is studied in the lesson. Each lesson is specifically tailored for that student.
I'm an enthusiastic and driven teacher who loves to help students realize their personal musical goals. In 2012, I graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from Trinity University and in 2014, I earned an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. I've performed a wide variety of music with everyone from orchestras to pop and folk bands throughout my life. I've also consistently written my own music and performed it in a variety of settings, including recently completing a national US tour of my original songs. My studio reflects these various interests with a clean environment and an organized collection of instruments and books.
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Once you’ve met with your teacher for your risk free trial lesson, continuing with Musika is easy! If you are satisfied with your lesson, all you have to do is register with us to continue! The trial will count as your first lesson if you continue, however, with our Great Match Guarantee™ if for any reason you decide not to continue then the trial is FREE. Go ahead give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.
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Lessons in home are a great way to improve your saxophone skills while saving time and money. Taking lessons in your home reduces travel expenses and allows you to express yourself musically in the space you know best.
It is never too late to begin sax! We have many students who begin as adults. Our teachers have experience working with all ages and can work with you whether you are a beginner just looking to gain exposure or advanced player looking to improve.
Besides renting or purchasing a saxophone, players will also need to purchase reeds. The strength of the reed significantly affects the ease of playing, and so most beginners find it best to begin with a thinner reed. We recommend starting with a 1.5 or 2. Selmer, Jupiter, and Yamaha are solid choices for renting an alto or tenor saxophone.
Each lesson is personalized to the student. The teacher will concentrate on the needs and goals of the individual. However, some topics will always be covered such as: how to clean, put together the instrument, hold the saxophone, develop embouchure, hand placement, and musical comprehension!
Our recommended starting age for saxophone lessons is age 8 or 9. Most school music programs have students start playing saxophone with the band when they are in 4th or 5th grade. The student needs to be big enough to be able to appropriately hold the instrument with the aid of a neck strap, and have the lung capacity to blow properly.
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 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 Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
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 Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
Review by Marcia Hecht
Karleen has really turned it around for me. My previous teacher (not from Musika) had me feeling anxious, upset, and incapable...NOT the desired result! Karleen's method is clear, appropriate for my beginning level, and (best of all) actually lets me achieve some progress! I'm actually looking forward to my lessons now!
Review by Jenn
My son and I both take lessons with Micheal. My son started on the ukulele and recently started the guitar. He is excellent with children. Very patient and very intuitive to the child's ability. He is also an excellent teacher for adults. I had not touched my guitar in several years and in a couple months not only to I remember everything I forgot but I'm learning many new techniques and am a much better player than I've ever been.
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 Nancy
Darrell is A-Maz-Ing! He demands results from his students and therefore results come quickly. The time he spends teaching is intense and packed with great instruction. He is a tough teacher but offers lots of valuable instruction that is applicable for music as well as life in general. I highly recommend Darrell if you are ready for results!
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