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I've been actively teaching for nearly 35 years. Teaching children as well as adults. I graduated from Drake University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Music Education. While in college I played professionally in the Des Moines Symphony and was the winner of the Young Artist Contest which afforded me the privilege of featured soloist with the Drake Symphony Orchestra. I've travelled Europe performing in America's Youth in Concert and have played at Carnegie Hall, Notre Dame. I've taught in the public schools for 20 years and have taught from my private studio for nearly 35 years. My joy is seeing my student's dream realized.
No two students are ever alike. I've learned that using only one method may not benefit all students. Therefore, I use a variety of methods, some of which include Hanon, the Bastien Series, Suzuki technique for Piano and Violin, and countless others depending on what the student wishes to achieve. I have found that my most successful (and satisfied) students are the ones that express to me their specific musical goals, and then I am able to find a combination of methods to help them practice, rehearse, and refine their style of interest.
I have been teaching for 18 years in Culver City, and most recently I moved to Reseda, CA. I also teach at Bloom School of Music, and I am the Cello Coach for the Open Academy as well. I graduated from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with the best education from professor Jeffrey Solow, and after graduating I was offered a tour in Europe for 8 months. I performed in many Opera Houses, and I was thrilled to be able to perform in the many world class operas houses. Today I also have my own orchestra, and I am Executive Director, and Music Director, and we open our first concert on October 26, 2013 with "Classical Music Meets the Moveis" in Culver City.
I like to start out beginning string students with Essential Elements 2000 by the Hal Leonard company. They have a complete system which includes professionally recorded accompaniments which provide a model for the student to hear how to play with good intonation, tone and rhythm which are the most important basics. In addition I recommend other sheet music with piano accompaniment or books with CD accompaniments that can be performed for friends and family. Students at the intermediate and advanced levels are given books and sheet music that develop skill playing scales, arpeggios, higher positions, etudes and vibrato. For adults I ask what they are interested in and find appropriate music that they find interesting and fun.
As soon as I meet with a student or a group of students, I make sure they are welcomed by an energetic teacher before getting started on their lesson. I try to keep the student(s) engaged by showing them different ways and approaches to music from books and my own personal approaches to help them grow knowing their teacher is well experienced. Since their is a lot for a percussionist than just playing with sticks on a drum, there is no doubt that the endless possibilities in teaching students the various instruments will help keep them engaged as well being more excited about music.
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Once you’ve met with your teacher for your risk free trial lesson, continuing with Musika is easy! If you are satisfied with your lesson, all you have to do is register with us to continue! The trial will count as your first lesson if you continue, however, with our Great Match Guarantee™ if for any reason you decide not to continue then the trial is FREE. Go ahead give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.
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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 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.
When you choose in home lessons, you are choosing the most convenient way to add 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.
Music lessons are tailored to the student's specific needs. The teacher will work with each student individually to develop a lesson plan that teaches them the way they learn best. While working towards the students specific goals, there will be lessons in music theory, how to correctly handle the instrument, and how to develop the students own style. While Musika does not mandate a particular style of teaching, if there is a method you are interested in we will do our best to match you with a teacher that specializes in that particular instructional style.
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.
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 Venessea Gilbert
Rebecca has been super with my son! He is 8yrs old and has mild aspergers. He has never played an instrument before but after one lesson with his teacher he could keep a beat on his drums. She is able to keep his attention and really makes it fun! She is flexible and easy going. I highly recommend her for any lessons. Very nice teacher! Thank you Rebecca for your outstanding service!!
Review by Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
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 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 Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
Review by William Klepatsky
Very knowledgeable on every aspect of music theory. I listen to recording artists playing various classical pieces, Dan's playing is much like a recording artist's playing. Always on time. Winning happy personality, a great role model. Puts me at ease when I am playing. Have two friends who hold music degrees, I count him a third, something special about the minds and personalities of good pianists. Thanks Dan.
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 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.
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