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I started to teach privately and give group lessons when I was in college. There I have received extensive training and varied teaching experience through including a required music pedagogy course, “Musician as Educator”, participating in the outreach program teaching grade 3 to 5 at the Children’s Storefront in East Harlem, NY, and assisting the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Orchestra for students from grade 3 to 12, where I was responsible for helping students develop individually, leading sectionals, and rehearsing the assigned music. I was invited to the North Carolina Governor’s School in Winton-Salem, NC as a teaching assistant in the summer of 2011 for similar responsibilities that I had with the MSM Pre-College Orchestra as well as giving private lessons and dormitory resident counselor duties. As an recent Master's of Music Degree graduate, I am teaching both privately, and at an after school K-8 group violin and viola program as a substitute teacher for the Harmony Program in Manhattan, and coaching the Stamford Young Artists’ Philharmonic for high school students in Stamford, CT. In April, 2013, I was invited to be an adjudicator for N.Y.S.S.M.A. to evaluate the elementary students’ violin and viola performances.
I usually start my violin students with Essential Elements books, and draw some technical points of beginning lessons from Suzuki method. I like to start students on a real piece of music as soon as possible so they can get a sense of accomplishment sooner than later. For adults, I am more flexible and will ask what it is they would like to learn, then I will use many of the same beginning techniques tailored for their own musical goals. Each of my students gets a journal to record weekly practice notes.
As an active concert violinist, I have appeared with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Brockton Symphony and Quincy Symphony Orchestras, and enjoy frequent guest appearances with the Lowell and Waltham Philharmonic Orchestras. While performing at The Universitat Mozarteum Akademie Salzburg, I was recently named Laureate for my execution of 21st century composer Lera Auerbach's 'T'filah' for Solo Violin. As an orchestral musician, I was Concertmaster of The Juilliard Orchestra, hold the Principal Second position in Solisti Ensemble, and was featured member of the critically acclaimed Axiom Ensemble. As a founding member of The Moirae Ensemble, I design and perform concert programs that feature contemporary women composers, the most recent of which includes two world premieres and will be presented at Barnard Hall as a part of their renowned concert series. I also habitually appear around the Tri-State area with such esteemed ensembles as Concerts on the Slope, New York Classical Players, and The New York Chamber Orchestra. I graduated from The Juilliard School with a Bachelor and Masters Degrees as a student of Glenn Dicterow and Joel Smirnoff.
I base my teaching method on the Suzuki method, though I am not officially certified. The Suzuki method focuses on first learning to play by ear and then later incorporating note reading. There is a lot of time spent in the very beginning on building good posture and technique before learning actual pieces. And the teacher is very involved in the lessons by demonstrating often for the student, playing along with the student, and then later on, accompanying the student on piano or in harmony on the violin.
I try to create a unique and individualized lesson methods and plans. I try to personalize my lessons in a way that best suits a student's personality. Not everyone learns in the same manner. My lessons include theory, technique, solo repertoire, ear training and performance preparation. Performance is an art form and takes preparation and practice. I have tips to help students to get the most out of every chance they have to perform and we practice those ideas throughout the lessons. We start even before any concerto or recitals are even scheduled.
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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.
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.
Most beginning students will start with a violin rental. This is a great option as it allows for flexibility in the size students grow. Students under the age of 18 frequently begin with a smaller size of instrument work their way up to adult sized instruments. When you are beginning the rental process, it is important to have the student present so they can be fit properly. Teachers in our network will also be able to guide you in your instrument selection.
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.
Young students will learn all aspects of playing their new instrument. All children will begin to read music and learn how to handle their instrument properly. Violins are a small instrument that can be comfortable hands. While most adults will play on a standard full size, the violin comes in smaller sizes as well and our network of teachers will be able to assist you on choosing the correct one.
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 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 Jaima Woodiwiss
Having taken 6 years of piano lessons myself when I was young, I am very happy with Osmond teaching my daughter. He is very personable and helping her to enjoy piano. My daughter loves the fun songs she gets to play and I really appreciate how he is integrating even in the first month fingering, chords, beats, and hearing the music. She's getting a very well rounded training and she's loving it!
Review by Nancy Fritsch
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach.
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 Marcia Hecht
Karleen has really turned it around for me. My previous teacher (not from Musika) had me feeling anxious, upset, and incapable...NOT the desired result! Karleen's method is clear, appropriate for my beginning level, and (best of all) actually lets me achieve some progress! I'm actually looking forward to my lessons now!
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 Gillian
Vince is a great drum teacher for my 8 year old son. We go to his house where he has a studio setup with a huge drum set. He has been very patient but really holds my son responsible for learning the right way to play. After about 5 lessons, my son is playing some rhythms on the drums and reading music. He looks forward to his lessons with Vince.
Review by Debbie E.
I had always wanted to take vocal lessons, but was very nervous about it until I had the opportunity to have Ali as my instructor. She made me feel very comfortable and helped me realize my strengths while giving me other areas to work on and strengthen. I liked how Ali had me sing out of my "comfort" zone to realize my vocal range. It is obvious that Ali loves music and sharing that love with her students. She is very good at what she does and works well with both male and female voices. I highly recommend Ali and give her solid 5 stars
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