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Erika S In StudioStudio
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Instruments: Piano, Guitar, Voice, Saxophone, Clarinet, Ukulele, Recorder, Keyboard, Electric Guitar, Djembe, Acoustic Guitar
Styles: Classical, Pop, Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, Musical Theater, Electronic, Showtunes, Spirituals, Reggae, Swing, Marching Band

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Erika S In Studio
Instruments: Piano, Guitar, Voice, Saxophone, Clarinet, Ukulele, Recorder, Keyboard, Electric Guitar, Djembe, Acoustic Guitar
Styles: Classical, Pop, Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, Musical Theater, Electronic, Showtunes, Spirituals, Reggae, Swing, Marching Band

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:
PhD. in Psychology, University of California Santa Barbara; BA in Psychobiology, University of California Santa Cruz
Awards:

I was awarded Most Outstanding Band Member at Atascadero High School in 1980 (clarinet).  

I achieved a perfect score on the final exam of my Music Theory course at UCSC in 1982.

Overview:
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.
EXPERIENCE
Since high school, I have taught music lessons off and on. I was awarded Most Outstanding Band Member at Atascadero High School in 1980 (clarinet). I achieved a perfect score on the final exam of my Music Theory course at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1982. In 2002, I combined my passion for music with my expertise in brain science and education.  I served as the music teacher in a small, alternative elementary school for 7 years, and also taught group piano and guitar in after-school programs, and summer camps. I began offering music lessons full-time in 2003. I love making music with all kinds of people, but I now specialize in gifted and twice-exceptional children, adults who are re-starting an instrument after many years, family lessons in which each member has different a learning need or even a different instrument, and facilitating interactive musical events (such as community sing-alongs, drum circles, and eclectic ensemble performances.)
METHODS USED
Different methods for different needs is how I help each person learn for maximum enjoyment and success. I include stretching, finger exercises, focusing tools, and relaxation techniques. Music pieces and techniques may include portions of method books, classical pieces, popular songs, and self-written songs. I teach beginners to read music (even if they cannot read words yet) and to play creatively, by ear (even if they can already read music.) But most importantly, I help students learn to play music for FUN. "Practicing" is called "Playing at Home," and I encourage finding non-stressful ways of sharing one's love of music with others.
LESSON STYLE
We get a lot done and touch on many topics in every lesson, but the most important thing is that students will feel like 'work is play'. Smiles and laughter are helpful tools for musicians. Warming up, relaxation and focus, exercises, sharing familiar songs, learning new pieces and techniques, sight reading, playing by ear, duets, music theory, dancing/stretching, rhythm games, singing, and improvisation are also included. I inspire learning by finding out about each person's interests and reasons for wanting to play music and customizing their lesson. I bring unusual instruments to try, find simplified versions of your favorite songs, and share information about music history and musicians' lives.
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