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Anda Szilagyi is a singer and multi instrumentalist composer who hails from Harlem, NYC. Born to 2 classical concert pianists, she began playing piano from a very young age, followed by classical guitar. In high school she took up jazz trumpet, which she continued to study at the New School, earning her degree in Jazz Performance and Composition. During college she began touring regularly and became a founding member of what would later become the Dap Kings, touring with Sharon Jones and Lee Fields. It was also during this time that she became a founding member of the Afrobeat sensation Antibalas while becoming heavily involved in the New York Ska and Reggae scene. Anda then decided to explore other genres of music, eventually moving to Brazil, where she performed as a vocalist and keyboardist with Afrobeat artist IFA and MPB artist Kalu. Throughout her musical career, Anda has always been a prolific composer. She has released a number of singles that she has written or co-written, working with artists such as Binky Griptite, DJ Lamplight (Chicago) and Alap Momin (Harlem) and Daniel D’Errico (Queens) , Telefunksoul (Brazil), Buscrates (Pittsburg). She is currently prepping a new set of her own brand of funk, Brazilian and electronic beats to tour this Spring.
I have been a teacher since I was 17 when I began teaching for some after school programs. Since then I have taught many different aspects of music on many different instruments, but no matter what I am teaching, my approach is the same. My focus is 2-fold when I create a lesson plan: to cover the knowledge required to accomplish student's goals and to maintain the level of fun and enjoyment on the way there. I find that a mix of classic technique with something more modern such as pop, rock or jazz can ignite the inspiration to actually want to learn more of the complex yet essential aspects of music. My students are encouraged to compose their own music as well as collaborate with other students to create and share their work. I also offer classes in audio software and beat making in addition to more specialized instrumental classes such as piano or guitar for singers.
Each student is given a customized lesson plan according to their level, abilities and goals. If they are absolute beginners, I like to give a general layout of the map of the instrument and its parts, how they function, where middle C is, and give them a first piece to learn that encompasses a bit of these ideas, slowly incorporating and building their understanding. Each student has unique goals, strengths and challenges. I take all these elements into consideration when formulating our plan of action. They need to feel that what they are doing today is leading them towards their goals. In order for a student to become inspired, they must be challenged and have fun doing it.
Generally, I sit down with the student and we set a goal. From there I can break down this goal into little Milestones and from there, the material for each lesson springs forth. Some of it may be from books, some may be a customized adaptation of a song they want to learn made for their specific level. Generally, I shoot for a mix of basic musical foundation such as theory, ear training, technique, mixed with a particular song they want to learn. Sometimes I also get singers who are looking to learn the basics of piano accompaniment in which case we would focus on objectives such as reading lead sheets.
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