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I am a lifelong musician from a musical family. I majored in biology and music in college, graduating with honors, and then earned a PhD. in cognitive science, the study of how people think, learn, read and remember. I use my understanding of how the brain works to customize music lessons for each student's learning needs. I am a friendly, outgoing person and my students often hear me encouraging them to play or sing LOUDER! I live in beautiful Golden, Colorado with my musician son, two dogs, and one cat. I love to swim, hike, play racquetball, ski, grow organic vegetables in my backyard, read, watch movies, and of course play, sing and dance with other musicians. My home music studio is called the Rainbow Room because there is a rainbow on the ceiling, and I am the director of the Golden Learning Institute where all ages can study music, individually or in groups.
I started playing clarinet in the school band at age six. My father was a musician, and he thought that playing in the school band would help me overcome my extreme shyness. I remember my first music lesson. I really liked my teacher. He came to my house, and he helped me to care for my clarinet and make some sounds on it. I thought playing the clarinet was wonderful. Once in awhile my mom would have to urge me to practice, but I was so drawn to playing the clarinet from the start that I would practice a lot on my own. I was the youngest member of the grade school band, but my music lessons helped me to keep up with the older kids. I had found a niche, and my niche helped me open up to other students in school and make friends. I participated in band programs through middle school and high school. In middle school I began studying saxophone and flute so I could play in the jazz band. As a high school junior and senior I also got the opportunity to play in the Denver University Concert Band, and I was first chair clarinet in Colorado All-State Band and Orchestra. I attended the University of Denver on a swimming scholarship as an Accounting Major and Music Minor. I was first clarinet in the 1st Infantry Army Band at Ft. Meade, Maryland and then I toured Europe as first chair flute in the 3rd Army Band based in Wurzburg, Germany. I was honorably discharged after a three year tour. I returned to the states and enrolled in Metropolitan State College as a Music Performance Major. I started teaching and playing professionally during college and have done so ever since. In the course of my career I have performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (CSO) on clarinet and saxophone, on second clarinet with the Central City Opera, and as a soloist for the Littleton and Jefferson Symphony Orchestras on clarinet and saxophone. I have performed on woodwinds for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Denver Municipal Band. I have played shows at the Boulder Dinner Theater, the Country Dinner Playhouse, the Littleton Town Hall Center for the Arts, the Schwayder Theater, and the new Lone Tree Center for the Arts and with PHAMLY (the Physically Handicapped Actors & Musical Artists League) and Magic Moments. I have played professionally many styles of music (jazz, blues, pop, ethnic, klezmer, polkas) for clubs, parties, weddings, and concerts with the Benny Goodman Band, Tommy Dorsey Band, Jay Wieder Dance Orchestra, Moments Notice, Rave Reviews, and Ad Hoc Entertainment in big band, quartet, trio and duo settings. I have been featured on many CDs for such artists as Mary Stribling, Georgeann Low, Neil Haverstick, Big Junior, Scott Smith, Martha Yordy and Ben Cohen. I also perform concerts and record with Combo Amazo, a band that plays original jazz, blues, bluegrass, and klezmer. We were featured on the several NPR radio shows including E-town with Richie Havens. I lead a strolling duo on clarinet with guitar that played in the Denver International Airport Concert Series for 20 years and is available for any event. I decided to teach because I wanted to share the enthusiasm and joy I have for music with students. I feel passionate about helping develop a child’s talents as a musician. I relate to well kids and can provide an atmosphere where kids are motivated to learn. I also enjoy teaching adults. I help the student build good fundamentals. I customize lessons to define and reach realistic goals and address students’ school band needs or other musical activities. I respect students’ other interests and pursuits. I am an experienced professional musician well versed in woodwinds and a variety of styles. I can offer students a broad spectrum of musical knowledge. I can teach all levels from a young beginner to an adult professional. I have given clinics at many local high schools. I would love to share my skills and expertise with students.
14 years of public school instrumental music teaching in the Denver area. More than 20 years private music instruction. Performed around the metro area with many orchestras, community bands and jazz bands.
My love of teaching begins years ago from being a beginner student and helping my peers understand their instruments. In high school I was a section leader in marching and concert band for two years, leading sectional rehearsals and helping students one-on-one. Many of my peers started coming to me for costructive criticism and I would help them in a private lessons setting. In college this continued as I was in the studio with other saxophonists and in methods classes with other musicians. We would all co teach each other in lessons, studio performances, and practices to learn the best ways to communicate effectivelt while teaching. I think every musician is different and we all need different approaches. That's why I'm interested in teaching musicians of all ages and skill levels.
I like to put all my saxophone students in the book The Universal Method For Saxophone by Paul Deville, it is the bible of the saxophone and I still play in it as well For jazz I like The Concept of jazz by Lenny Neihaus, 3 volumes For elementary students they can use their school book or the Hal Leonard methods
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The saxophone is a fairly durable instrument and can be a great instrument for a young player. However, the student does need to be big enough to hold the instrument and have the lung capacity to create quality tone. New players should start on alto sax.
Musika recommends renting a saxophone. The student will also need to regularly purchase reeds. The thickness of reed is measure of a scale of 1-4, 1 being with the thinnest, 4 being the thickest. We recommend starting with a softer reed, a Rico 1.5 or 2.
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.
Adults students often notice significant progress on saxophone. Our network of instructors work with all skill levels and ages. Most students are surprised to find how quickly it all comes back!
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!
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!
Review by Kate Thomas
My son enjoys his viola lesson each week with Martina. She is disciplined in her approach to teaching but always makes my son's learning experience enjoyable. She knows how to challenge him and develop excellent form. Martina is always punctual and professional. We both highly recommend her as an instructor.
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 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 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 Howard
We value Chelsea for the quality of her lessons, but also for the flexibility of her schedule. She has worked around family vacations, impromptu summer camps and the upcoming school year. Emily is better prepared to start middle school band this year due to flute lessons from Chelsea and we plan to continue the lessons for the foreseeable future.
Review by Maurice Romero
This is the 1st time I've ever taken lessons, and Robert has been a pleasure to work with. I've made quick progress and have enjoyed the process. I'm always listening for those tips that you can't find in a book. I can count on Robert to be strict on the fundamentals and am clear it will make a difference in the long run.
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 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.
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