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Michael is a musical director, lyricist/composer, and music producer with an extremely varied background. He formed a medieval ensemble to perform at the premier of ROBIN AND MARIAN, and a Country-Western band for the South African equivalent of the Kentucky Derby. He’s a former musical director for National Lampoon's live shows and television specials, including CLASS OF '86, for which he also wrote several songs. Other television work includes the soundtrack for PBS BIOGRAPHY, LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS, CNN TRAVEL SERIES, and the Jane Leeves sitcom THROB. During its original New York run, he conducted LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. He has appeared in several Broadway and off-Broadway shows as an actor/musician. These include PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES and SONG OF SINGAPORE. During the Toyota Comedy Festival, he was musical director and a contributing writer for FIRESIGN THEATRE. He has performed, produced, or written music and lyrics for numerous corporate clients, such as Bayer, Nike, Verizon, Kraft, CNN, Chase Manhattan, Scholastic, Hallmark, and many others. He continues playing both recording and club dates, and has performed with artists ranging from Jimmy Dean to Richard Gere to Shawn Colvin to MA$E, for whom he arranged and played keyboards on the platinum-selling I’M NO KILLAH. He is a contributing writer to CHILDREN’S MUSIC JOURNAL, NATIONAL LAMPOON, and THE SECOND SPRING (St Augistine’s Press). He was profiled in YOUR OWN WAY IN MUSIC (St. Martin’s Press).
Education is an ongoing process of learning and experiencing. Students’ experiences should be based upon their individual potentials and maximum capabilities.
I am a professional trumpet player in the New York area. I am a versatile and adaptable player equally comfortable playing small group jazz, lead trumpet, salsa, funk, classical and theater. I am originally from Vancouver Island, Canada and have also lived in Toronto. I moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Juilliard School. I enjoy having a lot of diversity in my schedule, and I am often juggling many different projects. I lead my own quartet as well as the genre-defying Heavyweights Brass Band. Artists and groups I have performed with include Dave Douglas, Seamus Blake, Paquito D'Rivera, Giovanni Hidalgo, Nikki Yanofsky, Kermit Ruffins, and the Toronto production of Jersey Boys. These days I play regularly at New York venues such as Dizzy's Club, Birdland, Smalls, Smoke and the Jazz Gallery.
I have taught all ages from third grade to elderly adult and can adapt to any situation. I love to instill a love for music in a young person so they can enjoy it for many years and possibly go on to biggerr and better things. I have Bergen students who have gone on to 4 year colleges to continue their studies.
I have been a musician for most of my life and I've learned a lot. After college, I moved to LA and had a successful 20+ year career as a composer and music editor for film and tv. Commercial writing gives you another way to study and learn music as you are asked to write whatever style the production needs. I took each opportunity to explore a new style, a new instrument, and new technology. I also played all of the instruments on the music I wrote. I now live in New York and write my own music, but once in a while I still get a call to write for a Hollywood production.
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With Musika, instructors give customized lessons to each student. They work with the students to determine their strengths and weaknesses, and then develop the best lesson plan for their individual success. Lessons will usually incorporate practicing the instrument's fundamentals, learning the proper technique for performing, and music theory to understand the piece, ultimately creating a well-rounded and skilled musician.
Before getting an instrument, consider the level of the student and the amount you are willing to spend. In the short term it will be cheaper to rent a trombone, but serious students should consider purchasing their own instrument. Most new students should choose a small bore, straight trombone that is designed for beginners. More advanced students might consider F-rotor trombones that allow for greater range, but the advantages afforded and the needs of the student should be discussed with your teacher before purchasing.
In-home trombone lessons are a convenient option for improving your musical skills. In-home lessons are virtually the same in every aspect as lessons taught in a studio. You can let Musika know what days and times work best and a teacher from our network will arrange to teach lessons in your home for the same price as in-studio lessons.
Adult trombone students may wish to study classical, jazz, blues, or even trombone versions of their favorite pop songs. What matters most is that the student is serious and dedicated to practicing every day! A teacher from our network will create a custom lesson plan for an adult student that focuses on fundamentals, while keeping the lessons fun and informative.
The skills needed to play the trombone are usually only able to be achieved by children 8 and older. The instrument takes physical strength as the student must be able to move the slide valve, maintain proper embouchure to produce quality tone and have a large enough lung capacity to sustain proper breath control.
Review by Ginger
Unbelievably Awesome. My daughter is a beginner and has some special needs. Justin is more than patient and helpful while being completely thorough and pushing her (in a good way) to try harder. He is encouraging and teaches effectively. I am very pleased. More important, so is my daughter. Thank you Musika! So grateful we found your service and connected with Justin. We highly recommend him.
Review by Gillian
Vince is a great drum teacher for my 8 year old son. We go to his house where he has a studio setup with a huge drum set. He has been very patient but really holds my son responsible for learning the right way to play. After about 5 lessons, my son is playing some rhythms on the drums and reading music. He looks forward to his lessons with Vince.
Review by Marlo
Danette is a delightful instructor. She always brings a wealth of knowledge, excitement, and enthusiasm to piano lessons with my daughter. She is not only skilled at piano, but she has a wonderful voice quality that she uses to help convey certain techniques and to highlight various points where she intends to draw the students attention.
Review by Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
Review by Brooklyn
Laura is a fabulous teacher. She explains concepts to me using concrete examples so that I can understand changes that I need to make to my posture, breathing, phrasing, etc. She makes warm-up exercises fun, and she's got a great sense of humor over all. Her teaching style is collaborative, more egalitarian (she respects what I already know and meets me at my level), tailored to my particular interests and strengths, and I always look forward to our lessons!
Review by Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
Review by Justin
I've been taking lessons from Michael once a week for eight weeks now, and with his help I have made dramatic improvements with my sax. Michael is a funny, nice, patient and all around great instructor. I'd recommend Michael, as an instructor, to anyone who wants to improve their skills and have fun while doing it.
Review by Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.
Review by Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
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