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Alex A In HomeHome In StudioStudio
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Instruments: Piano
Styles: Classical, Jazz, Rock, Blues, Country, R&b, Gospel, Funk, Soul

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Alex A In Home In Studio
Instruments: Piano
Styles: Classical, Jazz, Rock, Blues, Country, R&b, Gospel, Funk, Soul

Where I Teach:
In Your Home My Studio Online
Ages Taught: 5-80
Levels Taught:

EMAIL US OR CALL 877-687-4524

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ABOUT
Degrees / Training / Special Info:
MA in Music Education, concentration in music theory
Awards:

1987 - Played piano, keyboard and organ tracks on "Thunder & Lightning" for the band One Seed. The recordings were the debut album from my first all-original alternative rock band. 

1986 - Opened up a double bill playing piano with "One Seed" as the first act for the band "Phish."

1978 - Most improved chorister, St. Thomas Choir School, NY NY 

 

 

Overview:
Music has been part of my life from a yound age. I started playing piano when I was five. At age nine I entered St. Thomas Choir School, a boarding choir school in midtown Manhattan. At age fourteen I started studying music theory and composition with a local kappelmeister. In university I continued to study classical theory at Syracuse University and then Jazz Theory at Hampshire College.  I moved to the West coast and played iin the big band jazz ensembles at San Francisco State University which is where I eventually got my degree in Music Ed.  
EXPERIENCE
I have been teaching for twelve years. In that time I've learned how to appeal to my students particular interests. Some students like more folk music, other prefer classical forms or blues structures.   Some students enjoy hearing about the evolution of different composers and their particular genres, while others wish to focus only on the music produced by one niche. I like to create ear training and theory exercises which are unique to the assortment of music that style that inspires the student. I often go over these exercises in relation to the pieces that a student and I are currently working on. 
METHODS USED
For children I use the "Teaching Little Fingers to Play" series by John Thompson. I do this because because the top of each page has a diagram of how the notes on the staves as well as the diacritical marks are played on the piano. When this series is done done I try to find music that is rich in nuance and subtlety if the the student likes classical music such as the "Favorite Classical Melodies" or the "Performance Primer level" series by James Bastien or American classic music ranging all the way from Stephen Foster to St. James Infirmary. The need for the student to feel a passionate connection with the music is paramount. 
LESSON STYLE
As a teacher I constantly monitor things like student posture, fingering, phrasing, dynamics etc.. I choose to work on one aspect of the myriad of struggles wisely. I allow ample time to discuss the emotional responses (both positive and negative) the student is having to a piece. The student must learn to become self-aware in terms of their own emotive response. When I can relate harmonically to the fact that a student is responding to certain chord progressions or certain harmonic style I then make a point of going over these one by one; going over each in different keys if necessary. Music ultimately relies on theory and melody to function. The more comfortable a musician is with the basic theoretical concepts and principles the more natural and intuitive their playing will be.
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