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I like my students to bring a small notebook, so that they may write their homework down, and any practice assignments. I expect my students to keep a practice log of how much time they practice per week, in between lessons. I always insist that setting goals and expectations for them, is very important, as well as keeping track of whether they themselves are staying on task. I try and incorporate different ways of practicing or playing music, so that even practicing turns into being fun and exciting and doesn't feel like a chore.
I believe that each student is specific. Lessons depend on what each student needs and what skills they are looking to obtain.
For beginning piano, I use the thompson and bastien books, along with basic theory books. As the student progresses, I introduce them to actual peices of vaying styles, as soon as they are ready. For saxophone and clarinet, I use multiple books, depending on the student's needs and goals and a host of my own materials and methods I have developed from years of teaching. I always concentrate on learning how to breathe corrctly and produce a smooth and constant airflow to produce a nice, steady, controlled tone. This is important for students of all ages and skill levels and is something students can forever practice and improve upon. I also focus part of the lesson on learning various scales, arpeggios, and other theory based materials. Lastly, I like for students to work on real songs that can be used for performance during every lesson. Thus, the 3 areas I focus on are breathing and overall sound, theory and technique, and perfomance repetoire. Of course this will vary from student to student according to their goals and styles of music they wish to learn.
I use the Rubank method of books as a traditonal conservatory approach to early progression. I find their systematic flow efficient and effective to consistent improvement. We would then move to fulfilling repertoire that would qualify the student for collegiate study and competitive performance. For those interested in jazz, pop, and rock, we would proceed to study several instruction books and recorded material that over the years I have found to successfully progress a student in those genres. Since I have my own recording studio, we can even record a student's CD of their own to share with family and freinds.
By using my own educational experience, as well as drawing from today’s trends in teaching, I am able to cater my lessons to your needs. You’ll develop fundamental skills, in addition to becoming a better musician by improving your sight reading, ear training, and knowledge of theory. I have an extremely thorough understanding of music theory, and am happy to incorporate as much or as little of that as the student's interest dictates, nevertheless maintaining the minimal amount of theory necessary to get the most out of learning music and instrument. I am excited to teach any genre you’re interested in, whether it be jazz, blues, rock, hiphop, or classical. I am flexible and open to your needs as a student!
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Saxophone can be an extremely satisfying instrument to study at any age. Most adults, even without experience, find they are able to progress quickly with consistent instruction and focused practice. The saxophone is great instrument for solo playing or in a group setting.
A beginner saxophonist should begin by renting. Reliable models include Yamaha, Jupiter, and Selmer. In addition to renting a sax, students will need to buy reeds to play. New players should start with a softer reed, either a 1.5 or a 2. Musika suggests consulting your teacher before buy reeds in bulk.
The teachers in our network create a customized lesson plan for every student. Topics covered during Musika's sax lessons may include, but are not limited to: correct embouchure formation, how to appropriately shape your lips around the mouthpiece, proper breathing and posture, how to develop a solid tone in low and high registers, how to hold, assemble, and clean the instrument properly, fingerings for notes, techniques for developing quick finger action, how to read music, and most importantly, how to have fun playing the saxophone!
In-home saxophone lessons are a convenient option for improving your musical skills. In-home lessons are virtually the same in every aspect as lessons taught in a studio. You can let Musika know what days and times work best and the teacher will arrange to teach lessons in your home for the same price as in-studio lessons.
Most saxophonists begin in 4th grade. Unlike string instruments, it is not a good idea to start sax before the student enters elementary school. The student does need to have the strength to appropriately hold the instrument and have the lung capacity to provide consistent pitch and tone.
Review by Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
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 Teri Romano
Being I'm a woman, I was a little apprehensive having a male teacher (he knew this), however, after my trial lesson I realized he knows what he's doing and I had nothing to worry about!! He is very knowledgable on the piano and vocal techniques. He has a big vocal range so he is able to hit the high notes to be able to show me how I need to sing it. He is also phenomenal on the piano. I would highly recommend him for vocal and piano. Also, I don't know how to sight read music and he is teaching how to. I've been taking lessons with him for a month (my trial lesson was on 1/11) and I have already seen a huge improvement. I am an intermediate level singer looking to improve my vocal technique, breathing and improve my confidence in my singing abilities, Alex is definitely helping me do that.
Review by Michelle S.
"My daughter has been a student with Mark for over a year. She has come so far and has learned so much in such a short time. Mark is extremely talented and knowledgeable. He is very serious, patient and super nice. If your child or if you really WANT to learn the drums, then I highly recommend Mark. He is our third instructor and the best one yet! You will not be disappointed." Michelle S.
Review by Pat
Henry has been a great piano teacher since I started lessons about a month ago, and he is helping me realize a lifelong dream. He is patient, plays beautifully, is easy to learn from and a very nice person. I took lessons as a child for a year or so, but never followed up over the years. I always said that I would once I retired and found the right instructor. That time is now. Thank you Henry and Musika!
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 Roberta
My 4 year old son is quite energetic. Another piano teacher tried to teach him before Peter and could not get my son to listen to him at all. That teacher told me that my son had no interest and that we needed to wait before having my son take lessons. Peter started teaching my son a few weeks later. He quickly developed a great rapport with my son. I was astounded when my son sat down and listened to Peter during the first lesson. Peter has remarkable patience and is a natural working with children. He knows when to follow the child's lead. My son is very interested in how the piano works, so Peter takes the time to teach him about this. He is able to use my son's interests (superheroes, Lego, Star Wars, etc.) to refocus him back to playing the piano. Between lessons, he brainstorms on how he can teach my son better. For example, my son was playing the notes, but not understanding rhythm, so Peter looked into it and came back the next week with a new plan which helped. My son looks forward to his lesson every week. When he hears the doorbell ring on lesson day, he exclaims, "Yay! Peter's here!"
Review by Nicole V.
"My daughter is 10 years old and has been taking piano lessons with Mr. Dale J. for almost 4 years now. She is progressing nicely. His kind and gentle way make for a very positive learning experience. Mr. Dale J. is encouraging without being harsh or belittling. He is patient and the ideal instructor for my daughter."
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.
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