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From the first lesson, the most important aspect of teaching is ensuring that the student is attaining the goals he/she is most excited about. If the student is enthusiastic and driven, the rest falls into place naturally. That's the way it's been for the students I've taught, and the way it began for myself. I make sure to celebrate the student's accomplishments and victories, but also address any points or facets of their performance that they could improve upon. Listening to, appreciating, and eventually understanding artists, be it Handel, Miles Davis, Elvis, or Coldplay, is a vital part of my teaching style. Inspiration is born from interest, and practice from passion.
The most important elements of my teaching style are patience and consistency. It takes time and a great deal of repetition to become a good musician, as my own experience attests to. I encourage my students to set goals that start small and gradually increase over time, and are consistent with their time commitment. I am very flexible, and can adapt to each student's particular needs with ease. My methods are best demonstrated in person though!
I start all beginning brass players in the Tradition of Excellence method (Kjos Music) as well as individually designed drills and warm-ups. Intermediate students progress to the Rubank Intermediate Method as well as the beginning of the Arbans Method and grade 1 -3 solos. Depending on the individual, advanced students move on to grades 4-6 solos and method books that are specific to their instrument. All students, starting with "advanced beginners" are encouraged to play on studio recitals in a positive, supportive setting. Constructive feedback, as well as a social support network of like-minded students, are important elements in my studio. For adult students, the lesson material and methods are guided by their personal interests and goals, as well as specific technical challenges.
My master's degree in trumpet performance at the University of Denver included a teaching assistantship: I taught trumpet lessons, coached brass quintets, trumpet ensembles, and more. I had a private studio in Denver and again in Cleveland, where I was before relocating to DC. In Cleveland I taught full-time and ended up with over fifty private students. My students there received such honors as entrance into the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and Youth Wind Symphonies. My primary goal with teaching is to showcase everything that learning an instrument can teach someone about life, including patience, dedication, and habit building, and how these things add up to a lot of fun.
For students just starting out the focus is always on the fundamentals. Hal Leonard has some great Essential Elements books. When students show progress with these types of instruction manuals we'll usually jump to specific pieces of music that focus on the elements that we learned about in our method books. Lessons are tailored to the student and his or her needs and goals. All students aren't shooting to play at Carnegie Hall or tour the World. Some of my students just want to be able to learn a song from the radio whenever they want. I'm happy to teach them all the fundamentals so that that is not only possible but fun.
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There are different types of trumpets usually categorized as student, intermediate, and professional models. Most of the time, student trumpets are appropriate for beginning players. The pieces included in a trumpet are the rim, the cup, the mouthpiece, the shank, the lead pipe, the valve, and the valve casings. When purchasing a trumpet, it is important to visit a music store or speak with a trumpet expert to make sure you get the best value and the highest quality instrument for your budget. A large majority of students may choose to rent their instrument before purchasing. If you decide to go this route, you will need to purchase your own mouthpiece to use with the trumpet.
In home trumpet lessons offer a convenient option for learning to play the instrument for most students. The lessons will be structured the same way as in-studio lessons and usually take place once a week. However the goals and abilities of students differ, and as such the teachers in our network can work with the student in determining frequency of lessons.
Many adult students choose to take the trumpet, even without any previous experience. Trumpet can be a wonderful instrument to learn for the first time and a lot of progress can be made as long as the student is practicing! It takes a lot of lung capacity and skill to play trumpet making it a fun and challenging instrument to learn.
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.
Children generally begin to learn the trumpet at age 8 or 9. We suggest this age, because the student needs to be able to hold the instrument correctly and support its weight. The student's fingers need to be the right size to play instrument, and the child needs to have enough lung capacity to support the sound of this instrument.
Review by Robert Stallone
I am in my 60s and decided to get back into playing my guitar. I thought taking lessons would be a good way to formalize the endeavor. I did have some concern about whether working with a teacher would work out as I've behave only played for my own enjoyment for a long time. Peter and I have had a few lessons together and I am truly enjoying the experience. He is very supportive and flexible. We arrived at a three gold approach that is really working for me. We focus on developing a playlist, learning some of the more iconic tunes from leading artist that I would have a hard time learning on my own and developing some technical skills related to style and music theory. Now I look forward to my next lesson and am already playing better and enjoying the journey. Peter is a great teacher I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.
Review by Kate Thomas
My son enjoys his viola lesson each week with Martina. She is disciplined in her approach to teaching but always makes my son's learning experience enjoyable. She knows how to challenge him and develop excellent form. Martina is always punctual and professional. We both highly recommend her as an instructor.
Review by Kristen Draughn
Mr. Lou M. is a God-send! With the various needs that our organization requires from our education partners in order to provide enrichment services to our students, Mr. Lou M. has always gone above and beyond in meeting all of those needs. Our students are learning, our caregivers are happy and satisfied, and we couldn't be more pleased with his performance.
Review by Bradford Putt
Angela has been a perfect match-up for me. She is warm and welcoming, and also serious about teaching - she keeps our time focused and on track. What I truly appreciate, as a new singer anxiously preparing for an event, is the confidence she gives me. Angela is very encouraging. I enjoy coming to class.
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 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 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.
Review by Ashley S.
Ali was an amazing voice coach! She taught in a way that made sense to me, and helped me find the voice placements I needed. I didn't know I could sound like that! My development with her was leaps and bounds rather than tiny dreadful steps that happen when you don't know what's going on! Ali was dedicated to helping me work on an audition for a music scholarship and I nailed it all thanks to her, seriously. I can't thank her enough! She helped me with the tools and confidence I needed to sing in the real world alone rather than just back row in a large choir.
Review by Mythili Lahiri
My son is truly enjoying his lessons with Chris. He looks forward to them and is motivated to practice. Chris is conscientious and shows up on time and whenever he is supposed to. He communicates clearly if rescheduling is ever required and is accommodating when we need to change the day. I would recommend Chris to anyone.
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