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Robert S In HomeHome In StudioStudio Teaches OnlineOnline
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Instruments: Piano, Guitar, Voice, Drums, Synthesizer, Conga, Latin Percussion, Music, Keyboard, Djembe, Acoustic Guitar
Styles: Jazz, Pop, Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, R&b, Gospel, Latin, Funk, Hip Hop, Electronic, Showtunes, Reggae, Swing, New Age, Bossa Nova, Soul, Punk

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Robert S In Home In Studio Teaches Online
Instruments: Piano, Guitar, Voice, Drums, Synthesizer, Conga, Latin Percussion, Music, Keyboard, Djembe, Acoustic Guitar
Styles: Jazz, Pop, Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, R&b, Gospel, Latin, Funk, Hip Hop, Electronic, Showtunes, Reggae, Swing, New Age, Bossa Nova, Soul, Punk

Where I Teach:
In Your Home My Studio Online
Ages Taught: 3-80
Levels Taught:

EMAIL US OR CALL 877-687-4524

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ABOUT
Degrees / Training / Special Info:

BA, Arts And Humanities, The Open University (UK)

Distinction in Performance (2008), Trinity Guildhall, UK

 

Awards:

BMI Certified Silver Record

 

 

Overview:
Born in South Africa and raised in Oxford, UK, I began my career as a professional touring and recording musician at the age of sixteen. As a member of the band Stornoway, I had the incredible privilege of touring the world and playing some of it’s most renowned stages, performing live on the UK’s biggest music television program, “Later...with Jools Holland”, alongside Jay Z, Foo Fighters, Norah Jones, and Sting, recording live sessions in the infamous Abbey Road studios for mainstream BBC Radio programs, being interviewed by top music journalists as well as performing on some of the BBC’s main prime-time radio and television political programs including Andrew Marr’s talk-show, and receiving a silver record from BMI for record sales - all before the age of 25. I don't believe that there is any single "right" way to make or produce music. Music is an international language that transcends boundaries of statehood, culture, and identity. As a South African, I was raised on the drumbeats and rhythms of traditional Zulu and Xhosa folk music. Upon moving to the UK, I received classical "western" training in drum kit, chorus, and piano. In my professional career, I learned the "rules" of recording and production, mastering Pro Tools under the tutelage of some of the finest producers in the business. Now, as a tutor, I blend these very different approaches into a unique teaching methodology that emphasizes self-discipline and enjoyment and encourages creative rule-breaking. I believe that this approach empowers my students to find their own musical voices inside and outside of the learning environment.
EXPERIENCE
Beyond my extensive experience as a professional in the Music Industry, I have held positions in a diverse range of teaching situations beyond private instruction. I was most recently employed as a Lead Music Teacher for Success Academy Charter Schools and worked full-time at an Elementary School in the South Bronx. In this position, I was responsible for creating and implementing a rigorous K-4 curriculum and delivering it to 500+ students each week, as well as leading a daily reading Roots Reading group and conducting weekly reading assessments. Before that, I was employed by New York Edge (formerly Sports And Arts In Schools Foundation) as a Teaching Artist/Mentor. I was placed in an Alternative High School in Manhattan called City As High School where I worked with students aged 16-21. Specifically, I worked with a program within the school called MAD (Music, Art, and Design) Academy. In this program, I mentored an incredibly creative and diverse group of young artists as they pursued careers in the arts. I ran drum circles, songwriting workshops, and production and engineering workshops. I also mentored students in recording sessions in professional studios and rehearsals and live performances around NYC. This extensive professional experience has given me a deep understanding of educational pedagogy, and my students are better served because of it.
METHODS USED
I approach every lesson with every student with a focus on patience, empathy, dedication to excellence for myself and my student, and a big dose of fun! For younger students and for beginners, I spend a good amount of time on laying out the basics of the instrument, the foundational techniques of playing, basic music theory, and discussions that allow the student to tell me what influences them and what they most want to achieve in music. Once the student has progressed to an intermediate level, I like to start introducing more advanced music theory and musical references to enable the student to start finding their own unique style. For advanced students, our focus is on perfecting playing technique and style, as well as continuing to expand our knowledge of music as an art form and an industry, and I speak with my students about the ways that they can use their talent beyond home, school, and the local gig venue.
LESSON STYLE
I am an intuitive teacher: I have learned how to observe my students, their moods, their energy levels, and adjust my lesson plan on the fly. For instance, one student has ADHD, which I manage by injecting exciting new rhythms for him to mimic when I see his attention wander. I then harness that renewed focus towards the original goal of the lesson, whether it’s learning a new time signature or a complex cross-rhythm. This one-on-one work is particularly rewarding because I see my students develop from session to session and watch them find the freedom of self-expression that comes from playing music.
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