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As a composer and multi-instrumentalist, I have put myself in a position that brings me across an extremely wide and dense variety of music that I've been only too happy to explore. In addition to my long-running classical training with piano, clarinet and composition, I've explored jazz, world, rock, fusion, electronic and avant-garde music through the acquisition of my composition degree and through extensive research and self-teaching with saxophone and guitar. A very important aspect to my enjoyment of all of these pursuits is the degree to which they actually connect and overlap with many other topics and disciplines- science, mathematics, visual art, language and sociology all intersect with music at one point or another. This indiscriminate enthusiasm that I have for all music and all topics is something that I am very excited to share with and impart upon my future students- and that I have every intention of carrying with me into each lesson that I teach.
My methods start with building individual plans for each student. Whether this is from scratch or from a method book I try to see what each student is successful in and struggling with to guide my teaching. While I attempt to be fun, understanding, and motivating this doesn't mean I am lackadaisical with my lessons. I expect the best my students can put forth while they should expect the same from me.
I started teaching in college as part of a class taught by Floyd Cooley, former tubist of the chicago symphony orchestra, geared towards studio teaching for the active performer. As he taught, and as I have steadily implemented more and more as my private studio has grown in the past five years, every student has a different learning style and as such best responds to a different style of teaching. I aim to find the best way of communicating with every individual student, so that they have a good time while making steady progress. Music should be fun!
I have been singing since I was 6, playing trumpet since I was 10, and I picked up guitar in my early 20's. I am now 49 and have taught voice, guitar, & trumpet for over 7 years from my cozy home. I have been part of many musical ensembles (in many genres) in my 30 year career and have session work that's currently located in the Seattle Rock & Roll museum. I have performed in varying capacities over 2,000 times in my career, and my emphasis is to help musicians prepare for live performances.
For beginners, I advise them to purchase Essential Elements or another book of equivalent level, and we would be able to work through these basic exercises and melodies so that the student can learn fundamentals. I also ask beginners what song they would like to play, and I would transcribe the notes for them so that we can work towards something they want to achieve in the near future. For players who are intermediate level and above, I think it is important to point out what people do well, and then as a teacher provide feedback on how they can get better. I have had many private teachers and done reading on all aspects of trumpet playing and performance, so for every struggle someone has in their playing I am able to come up with multiple solutions that I have learned over the years.
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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.
We suggest starting trumpet lessons at age 7 or 8. A student should be able to hold the instrument correctly and their fingers should be large enough to properly push up and down on the valves. Playing trumpet also requires significant lung capacity, which can be difficult for a younger child.
We have many adult students taking trumpet lessons. Learning this instrument is a great way for many adults to learn a new skill, and have fun in the process! In just a few lessons, our teachers can help you notice significant progress.
A standard trumpet includes many pieces: the rim, the cup, the mouthpiece, the shank, the leadpipe, the valve pistons, and the valve casings. We recommend that when you are purchasing your first trumpet that you visit a music store and speak with a trumpet expert. Prices for trumpets can vary widely, so it is best to have a budget in mind. The majority of students choose to rent a trumpet before purchasing. As the mouthpiece of the trumpet is a very personal part of the instrument, if you are renting, you will need to invest in the mouthpiece portion.
The teachers in our network can create a custom lesson and technique plan for each student. For the most part, lessons will focus on learning how to hold and care for the instrument, and prepare it for playing. Students will also focus on mouth position, breath support and the location of the valves. Sight reading along with music theory will also be taught.
Review by Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
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.
Review by Steve Newman
My daughter began learning sax in her school band, but she didn't begin PLAYING sax until she started lessons with Debra. From scales and exercises to actual pieces, Debra coached my daughter with real insight, sensitivity, and patience. Her knowledge of the instrument and feeling for music - along with her easy-going,"kid friendly" personality - make Debra the ideal teacher and musical mentor.
Review by Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
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 Suzette
She is amazing! My daughter, Isabella (7 yrs) is totally engaged in the lesson. Lilly's definitely has a gift with teaching young children!!! A great talent of hers is making the content interesting, current to today's music and most of all fun! She has a knack for taking the material and translating it in a way that is relatable to Isabella. My daughter really enjoys her lesson's and has moved along rather quickly with the material. Thanks Lilly!
Review by Pat
Henry has been a great piano teacher since I started lessons about a month ago, and he is helping me realize a lifelong dream. He is patient, plays beautifully, is easy to learn from and a very nice person. I took lessons as a child for a year or so, but never followed up over the years. I always said that I would once I retired and found the right instructor. That time is now. Thank you Henry and Musika!
Review by Paula Chacon
I've always said, "It's all about the teacher." That skillful, effective teacher who can reach that child and ignite her passion, is truly a gift. Ric does that for my daughter. As a former music teacher myself, the most challenging thing in working with children is how to build their fundamental musical skills while letting them have fun and be expressive. The teacher must create a safe, supportive environment, and Ric does that. Ric immediately focuses on fundamentals of tone and technique, giving my daughter succinct instruction on how to improve, thus she can sense the improvement immediately. Ric seems extremely easy going; even when lighting a fire under her sometimes under-achieving butt, Ric never criticizes, judges or blames. He works with my child, understanding her, helping her problem solve, and even giving her the quick answer sometimes so she can move quickly and stay motivated. Ric balances fundamentals with fun and expressiveness, so my child feels as though she can 'play' and they truly make music in every lesson. I am thankful we found a good match with Ric.
Review by Ericcharlton
Rahsaan is an extremely talented player who relates really well with my teenagers. He has them both interested in learning. Given Rahsaan's expertise, it's clear that even though they are beginners now, they can learn from him for a long time to come. He's a real nice laid-back guy and both the boys really enjoy their time with him. I've been very impressed and pleased with the experience.
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