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I grew up in a musical family. My mother is a professional violinist and teacher and all of my sisters and brother and I learned to play various instruments from a very early age. My mother and father sacrificed a lot for their children to have music lessons as they are quite expensive for the lower middle class family But they believed it was worth it as music lessons boost brain power and help with the development of fine motor skills and mathematics, even speech. I loved music from the beginning and being a shy child, I found solace in music and could play for nature in the park or in the fields and just be myself. I hope that I can help share the joy and beauty that music brings to life with you or your child.
I'm a very motivated cellist and private teacher who loves developing the talents of my students. I have had the opportunity to study at some of the worlds best schools of music including: Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, University of South Florida's School of Music, and was accepted into the Longy School of Music in Boston. At these institutions I have had the chance to study with some of the worlds leading solo and orchestral cellists including: Helga Winold, Emilio Colon, Janos Starker, Scott Kluksdahl and Lowell Adams. In 2010 I was given the opportunity to join the St. Petersburg Opera Orchestra as their Assistant Principle Cellist where I performed in productions of Marriage of Figaro, Sampson and Delilah, Die Fletermause, and other various operatic works.
There is nothing I like better than to teach and also to play the violin and the piano. It has been my pleasure to do this for 50 years and to have played in a number of orchestras. At Bob Jones University I received a B.S. degree in Elementary Music Education. In Dothan, Alabama I taught in the Dothan School of Music and also a private school. In a private school in Ft. Lauderdale, FL I taught K-6 elementary music classes and also private lessons. In Largo, Florida I taught at the School of Performing Arts. I am extemely qualified to teach with a warm and caring approach. One year I volunteered to teach violin in a YMCA string program to disadvantaged students. The highlight of my career was being part of a professional "Broadway quality" orchestra and putting on 19 performances in a row for a televised Christmas Extravaganza in Ft. Lauderdale.
A native of Florida, I recently graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa under the tutelage of Scott Kluksdahl, an internationally renowned cellist and pedagogue. My other primary cello teachers include Loran Stephenson (National Symphony Orchestra), Helga Winold (Indiana University) and John Kaboff (Arlington, VA). I have participated in masterclasses with David Requiro and the Baumer String Quartet, Noreen-Cassidy Polera, Rhonda Rider, Jan Müller-Szeraws, Joshua Gordon, Carol Ou, Rupert Thompson, Robert Jesselson, Ross Harbaugh, Rebecca Penneys and Norman Fischer. As a strong advocate of new music, I have actively participated in numerous student composer concerts that have presented new and viable works from USF's esteemed composition program. I have also participated in the Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival (2012 and 2013) and the annual Tennessee Cello Workshop (2009). I was the principal cellist of the 2009 National Philharmonic Summer String Institute under the direction of maestro Piotr Gajewski and I was recently the Assistant Principal of the University of South Florida Symphony Orchestra. Throughout my high school career, I taught and performed actively as a guitarist and pianist in many varying ensembles ranging from improvisatory ensembles to rock and roll groups. As a motivated instructor, I focus on building depth of experience and knowledge regarding music and all of its aspects in students of all ages. Furthermore, I proclaim the importance of the fact that musicians create and communicate directly through their presentation of musical works at any level and on any instrument.
First of all, thank you for taking the time to look at my profile! I know you have many choices when it comes to string instructors in the area, so I appreciate your time to find out a little about me. After earning an AA in Music from HCC in 2011, I transferred to the University of South Florida, where I studied music education and orchestral conducting. I graduated from USF with my BA in Music Studies in 2013. I have played as a soloist and in several string quartets around the Tampa Bay area since 2008. I am also a published composer, and some of the pieces I have written have been specifically for my students to be performed at recitals and other events.
Since We Started
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All students are different. That means all lessons will be different. Each teacher tailors their lesson plans around a student's specific needs and goals, while teaching them the most important aspects of their instrument. Students will learn how to read music and develop their own unique style all while practicing proper technique. No two lessons will be the same as everyone's progression is timed differently. 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.
Children can start violin as early as age 4. Though there is a standard size for violins, they also come in smaller sizes that best fit their frame. As the students grow, they can move up in size and rental can facilitate the frequent change in instrument size. Being one of the smallest members of the string family, the violin lends itself well to younger students. Any teacher or music store professional can help you choose the correct size. During violin lessons, children will begin to learn how to handle the instrument correctly, read music, and develop their overall skills as a musician.
As you start violin lessons, there are a couple different options you can choose as a way to obtain an instrument. Some students can choose to purchase rather than rent, which would be most useful for advanced players. Renting can be done on a monthly basis and will provide you will almost everything you need for your lessons, as far as the instrument is concerned. It is best for young students to rent, as they will need to start with a smaller instrument, and work up in size as they grow.
When you choose in home lessons, you are choosing the most convenient way to include music to your life. By having the instructor come to your home you are saving time, money, and energy! Not only is this a convenient option for busy schedules, but it allows you to learn your instrument in the familiar, comfortable space of your own home.
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 further your skills and reach any goals you may have. With customized lesson plans, and our convenient in-home lessons option, adult students find lessons with Musika to be both successful and rewarding.
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 Cameron D.
After signing up for lessons with David L. I knew I made the right choice. Just after a couple of weeks I didn't see him as a teacher but as a best friend. There was always a relaxed atmosphere during the lessons. He was very easy to talk to and he really listen to you. If I ever had a question he would answer. He tailors to what ever you want to do in that lesson. David L. is a great teacher and a friend. I totally recommend him for anyone
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 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 Angie Ignazzitto
Stephanie is an excellent voice teacher! Our 10-year-old daughter enjoys her lessons with Stephanie each week. She has an amazing way of connecting with our daughter through music. Stephanie knows how to offer constructive feedback in a positive way that keeps our daughter interested and wanting to learn more. I would recommend Stephanie without hesitation.
Review by Steven G.
Laura is the kind of teacher you wish you had in all your studies: gracious, easy-going, light-hearted, yet behind the easy going exterior is an excellent musical mind with everything at her fingertips. I've had about 5 teachers in my life who count as really influential people, and Laura easily fits that category. She lets you be yourself so that you are fully present rather than old-school doctrinaire style, what I call "stiff as a German, sig-heil" teachers. She's the polar opposite. Brava, Laura! Thank you so much!
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 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 Kristin
Ted S. is teaching clarinet to one of my children, and piano to two others. He is extremely knowledgeable, and very encouraging. His teaching methods are keeping my children enthused about their lessons, and without that, you have nothing. Two of my children were taking piano lesson from another teacher for the past year, and not progressing. Ted has been able to evaluate their skills individually, determine what was missing in their music education, and begin again with some early basics they seem to have missed. I am convinced we are finally moving forward, and am very happy about that. I wish I would have made this change much earlier.