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Melissa is an active violinist in New York City. With great finesse and versatility, she has performed everywhere from the Boston Symphony Hall with Savion Glover to Lincoln Center to one of the last remaining juke joints in Mississippi. Recent performances have taken Melissa throughout the U.S. accompanying violinist, fiddler, and composer Mark O'Connor on piano, and abroad to Japan, Mexico, Jamaica, and the U.K. Melissa is a dedicated teacher, is certified in both the O'Connor and Suzuki Methods, and is on the faculty at the Third Street Music School Settlement in Manhattan and the Mark O'Connor/Berklee College of Music Summer String Program in Boston.When not rehearsing, performing, recording, or teaching, Melissa can often be found fiddling away at a bluegrass jam session. She resides in Manhattan, where she happily feeds her addictions to coffee and yoga.
I adapt the method to the student. I usually use Nancy Faber series for the young child. I try to familiarize the student with different types of music so he/she is exposed to many styles and periods of music and therefore, can choose what he/she prefers.
For beginning violin and viola students, I use the Essential Elements method books. For my beginner piano students, I use the Faber Piano Adventures Lesson and Theory books. For older and more experienced students of all instruments, we'll work on scales and arpeggios, études, and a solo piece. I have studied the methodologies off Kodaly, Orff, and Dalcroze and will regularly incorporate different aspects from their teachings into my students' lessons.
I am most interested in having students who want to play because they love music, no matter what their skill level. I do not believe in having a "method" or a "technique." The only thing I do believe in is that the student must have a desire to communicate and wish to find the best way to use their instrument to make their instrument "speak" or "sing." Music should be a part of their lives - so if they are beginners, I want them to listen to different kinds music (not just their particular instrument) and find their tastes. I enjoy teaching adults as well as children. If they are more advanced, then I wish to help them find or cultivate their voice and style further. I recommend reading and listening to old musicians - Cortot, Rachmaninoff, Kreisler, etc.
For beginning students I like to focus on the Essential Elements series, such as Essential Elements 2000 for Strings, which is a wonderful way to combine technique and music reading; which I believe are the two most important basic skills. After these building blocks I start to choose reperiotire that reinforces and advances these concepts. For adult students, I like to use the same building blocks -- if necessary -- and supplementing that with their own interests.
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All students are different, and that means all learning methodology will be different and fit to your learning style. Each teacher works to tailor their lesson plans around students specific needs and goals. Students will learn how to read music, develop musicianship, and learn proper technique. No two lessons will be the same as all students have different progression levels from week to week. If the student has a particular style or method they are looking to learn, Musika will match you with a teacher that will be able to accommodate those needs.
Our earliest recommended starting age for violin is 4, although exceptions can certainly be made for younger students who are capable of handling the strings properly and who have sufficient strength in the fingers and hands. A teacher can help you decide which size instrument to choose depending on the age and height of your child.
Musika offers customized one-on-one music lessons at your home - a time saving solution for busy parents and students. The convenience of in-home lessons allows you to save time without having to transport your child to class, allows your child to maximize their busy schedule, and provides a safe and familiar environment in which to learn.
As a student starts lessons they will need to provide their own instrument. While advanced students may choose to buy a violin, it is a good idea for beginners to look into rental programs. By renting, you are able to commit less financially, and you will be equipped with all the accessories you need. Renting also benefits children, as string instruments come in different sizes, and a child will most likely start on a small instrument. As the grow, they will need to increase the instruments size, and this switch can be done very conveniently if you are renting.
Musika works with all ages and skill levels to help students reach their highest potential! Whether you are an adult beginner or an advanced player, our teachers will work with you to enhance your skills and musical comprehension. With customized lesson plans adult students find lessons with Musika to be both successful and rewarding.
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 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 Heather Berest
I started my 5 yr old daughter with Karleen this Fall. Karleen has a calm and honest disposition. My daughter adores her and cannot wait for her arrival. I was concerned because my daughter is not so willing to "practice" during the week. Karleen advised me to allow her habits of practicing to evolve naturally as her love and understanding of piano increases. She emphasized how nurturing my daughter's love of music is most important. This was music to my ears :)
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 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 Julie Buranelli
My daughter really enjoys her lessons with Pavel. She is an absolute beginner and Pavel is right with her as she learns the basics. She is completely engaged and always looks forward to her lesson. He packs a lot of learning into their 30 minute time slot - he gets right to it as soon as he walks in the door! He is a great teacher - we highly recommend!
Review by Wendy
Bill has been great with my 2 young children (age 3 & 6). He has integrated games into the lessons - they have enjoyed showing us how to play the games when it is time to practice piano. Bill has been easy to contact and rescheduling has not been a problem if we have a conflict at our regular lesson time.
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 Leslyn
Steve is an excellent instructor. My son has really connected with him and he is learning the guitar quickly. Steve is patient and never rushes through a lesson in order to make it fit within the session time limit. In addition, before he leaves, he writes notes and instructions for my son to follow. By the next lesson, my son is confident in what Steve has taught him. Most importantly, Steve builds my son's confidence in his own own ability and progress after each lesson.
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