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As early as I can remember, music has been a passionate focal point in my life. As a child I remember rushing home to study scores and spending all my time learning everything I could about as much music as possible. I started studying jazz trumpet at the San Antonio School of Jazz before being accepted at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy to study classical composition. I have been blessed to have had incredibly generous teachers throughout my development as a professional musician and as a result I have gained a great passion for teaching. Teaching is something that is a core part of my life and the joy that I get from sharing music cannot be measured.
Donald's eclectic approach to music is one best described as unique. Raised in an environment where music was as much a part of life as breathing, Donald developed his musical identity like a child goes through his adolescent years. Growing up in the Ifa tradition, Donald’s first musical experience was with traditional “African Praise Music” playing the drums and singing. Later he learned to play the trumpet through the Cleveland Hts. School system and quickly gravitated toward jazz. By the age of 18 Donald had performed with Terence Blanchard, John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Bobby Watson, and Winard Harper. After graduating Cleveland Hts. High and Cuyahoga Community College simultaneously, Donald was awarded a scholarship at the esteemed Oberlin Conservatory. There he studied with jazz greats like Marcus Belgrave, Billy Hart, and Gary Bartz. While pursuing his studies Donald continued to demonstrate his musical talents. He performed with such greats such as, Gerald Wilson, Billy Hart, Marcus Belgrave, Jimmy Heath, Eric Lewis, Frank Foster, Roscoe Mitchell, Donald Byrd and the Jazz Heritage Orchestra to name a few. It was at this time that Donald became aware of his gift for composition. He was commissioned to compose the piece Stark Winters for the independent film Man Cry. He also composed a four movement suite for the Jazz Heritage Orchestra entitled Spirit of New Orleans. Upon graduating from Oberlin, Donald furthered his education as a graduate student at Rutgers University. There he was mentored by, the legendary William Fielder. Since his move to New York City, Donald has had the honor of performing with such greats as Geri Allen, Victor Lewis, Frank Lacey, Michele Rosewoman, Cecil Brooks III, Mike Mossman, The Drifters, Eddie Palmieri, Conrad Herwig, and Frank Sinatra Jr. Donald, also will be in the new film by producer Michael Hausman (The Firm, Broke Back Mountain, Amadeus) called Downtown Express where his song Juanita from his new album The Mothers will be heard. In March of 2009, Donald released his debut album "Spiritualtiy" with his cutting edge band SIGHT. Here, he has revisited his spiritual roots, combining the music for the Orisha (African deities of the Yoruba people) and jazz. Each song on the album embodies different aspects of the Spirit, be it love, femininity, masculinity, aggression, destiny or wisdom. These energies represent different aspects of God, and through this music, the creator is praised. SIGHT has now recorded their second album that will be released in March 2011 called, "The Mothers".
I believe it is vitally important today to be able to play and read well as well as improvise. That is always been my approach with teaching. Giving the fundamentals and then using them in a creative way. If you are going to be a professional you really need the ability to improvise these days. Many situations demand it now more than ever.
I am a passionate, motivated instructor who takes great pleasure in seeing his students progress. I perform frequently and I encourage my students to perform as much as possible. I record frequently and have several recordings on itunes. I have a background in classical music and I love to teach jazz and blues as well. I play clarinet, bass clarinet, alto/tenor/baritone saxophone, flute, trumpet, keyboards and guitar. I have over twenty five years of experience as a an instructor and my skills have been in demand in both private and public schools. As an instructor, I excel at helping students develop the skills and confidence to make them competitive in today's market. Those skills include: tone production, articulation, phrasing and musicality. A 1986 graduate of Montclair State University, I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. I studied with notable musicians such as: Jonathan Lautman (clarinet), Peter Simenaur (clarinet) and Dan Trimboli (saxophone/flute). I began playing music in school band programs. My high school band played in competitions and appeared in many venues in the New York area including: the Central New Jersey Fourth 4th of July parade in Plainfield NJ, the Pulaski Day Parade in New York City, the Home News Festival in New Brunswick NJ and a special appearance in the 1976 World Series at Yankee Stadium. I am still active in parades, and I have performed in the Memorial Day parade in Scotch Plains NJ for the last ten years. I am a supporter of various charitable organizations such as: the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the Lupus Foundation, the BPOE, and the American Legion.
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It is never too late to play an instrument. We have many adult students playing trumpet. Our teachers can work with you whether you are a beginner or advanced player. Many of our adult students notice significant progress in just a short time! It is important to practice every day between your lessons to notice the most progress.
Trumpet lessons in home are a convenient way to learn the instrument. In home lessons are structured the same way as in-studio and there is no additional travel time. The teachers in our network generally teach students one lesson a week, however frequency of the lessons can vary from student to student and may be scheduled based on recommendation of the instructor.
A trumpet has several parts: the rim, the cup, the mouthpiece, the shank, the lead pipe, the valve, and the valve casings. Make sure all the parts of the trumpet are in good condition. If you're unfamiliar with the instrument it's best to ask an expert or a store employee. Prices for trumpets can vary so it is important to have a budget in mind when shopping around. Usually students will rent the instrument for some time before purchasing. When trying out trumpets many students chose to bring their own mouthpiece, as this is the most personal part of the trumpet.
Children are recommended to start the trumpet at age 7 or 8. A student needs to be able to hold and support the weight of the instrument for extended periods, and have enough lung capacity to support the sound as well.
Each student will have a custom lesson plan created for them by their instructor. The teachers in our network will generally recommend specific method books students can purchase for use in their lessons. Students will learn to sight as well as any specific skills needed to play the trumpet and support the sound.
Review by Jermain
Mrs. Regnarene is an awesome teacher!!! She found musical aids that appealed to my 5 year old daughter and used them to help teach her piano. She has a lot of patience and I could tell she puts in the work before class to have a lesson ready for my daughter. She is always punctual, friendly and respectful. I would recommend her to any parents who want to start their kids off with a good foundation in piano. Jermain T. Riverview, FL
Review by Timothyfullard
We've only had a few lessons with Elisa, but so far we really like her. She has a lot of great suggestions for solo pieces as well as orchestral music that involves all 3 of my boys, while also including some Christian music that we can play at church. She is very patient in explaining the lessons and encouraging!
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 Elsahatzipavlou
Erin has been a wonderful voice/piano teacher for our 7 year old daughter. She is talented, patient, and has a wonderful demeanor. She has been consistent with her teaching in piano and voice. She keeps record of where the students leave off so that they know what to expect the following week. I would definitely recommend Erin to anyone looking for a skilled piano/voice teacher.
Review by Blaine Vaz
“I took drum lessons from Mark for about 7 months. I have been playing for 38 years but always thrive to learn more. He was able to provide me alternative exercises and help me gain a better understanding of my opportunities. I have been able to take my playing to another level. His approach to teaching is perfect for any level of student, beginner or advanced. He is a true professional and an outstanding person. You won't go wrong with Mark!” Blaine Vaz
Review by Jeremy
Dr. Nedra C is incredible. She knows her craft in and out, it truly shows in her teaching. As well, she cares a great deal about the student, and preps plenty of material outside of the lesson for those that she teaches. I've had many different music teachers and am aware who's talented and cares, and who isn't. Dr. Nedra C is true phenomenal, and any student would be lucky to have her.
Review by Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
Review by Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
Review by Queen Natalia
Lara is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in her profession. She is cheerful and personable, and has established a good rapport with students and staff alike. I have found Lara to be a highly competent, personable, patient, kind-hearted, and deeply caring person who is skilled professionally and interpersonally.
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