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Cello is my main instrument, but I have also been teaching piano, guitar, and violin for years. I love teaching and the variety of finding the approach that works best for each individual student. On a personal note, I was married in 2010 and had my first child, a boy, a year later. I live in Northfield but commute up to the Eden Prairie/Chanhassen area for lessons every Monday. I am also open to giving lessons at people's homes who are close to Highway 35 on the way to or from the Cities.
THE DOUNIS METHOD - The secret of being a truly great string player is to make the instrument an extension of the body not vice versa. This is accomplished by using your native instincts which are strongest when you are a child, but can be rediscovered later. When all technique is based on these instinctive movements then the expression is released. Your creative potential is unlocked. This kind of playing conveys a natural musical authority because it is completely based on your own musical impulses. The secret to reawakening your native instincts is through what I call "remedies." These remedies reawaken your instincts. An example is touching a smooth surface and then imitating that when touching the string. These kind of remedies solve many problems without having to address them directly.
I work with a variety of method books, depending on age and skill level. With young string players I enjoy the Suzuki Method as well as Hal Leonard's Essential Elements and Sally O'Reilly's String Rhythms. For piano students I use Alfred's Basic Piano Library. For all students I assign a weekly musical reflection. Students are asked to listen to one piece of music per week and reflect on it with a 3-5 sentence paragraph. I feel that listening helps develop appreciation, which is essential for staying motivated with a practice schedule.
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Music lessons are tailored to the students specific needs. The teacher will work with each student individually to develop a lesson plan that ensures the quickest and easiest path to progress. While working towards the specific goals, there will be lessons in music theory, how to correctly handle the instrument, and how to develop the students own unique skills. 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 methodologies.
We love adult students! We have adults who are complete beginners, some who haven't played their instrument in 10 years, and some who are more advanced students looking to take their skills to the next level. The teachers in our network have proven methods to get you the results you desire.
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.
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.
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.
Review by Travis Dalenberg
Travis is the greatest. He knows his music and how to teach it. He gives you time to learn, but will not allow student time to get lazy. I know he teaches all age groups. Young pre-teens to us old folks 78 years young. I have been taking lessons from him since early December 2014. He is a true professional. You can't go wrong with him.
Review by Ro J.
“My son has been instructed by Mark for almost four years. Mark is an outstanding teacher. His credentials are by themselves impressive, but his ability to relate his knowledge to kids is even more so. Connor's ability to understand and read music is fantastic. Mark also knows the performance side of playing drums and has encouraged Connor to actually incorporate his knowledge to play alone and in a band. He is patient and encouraging which is what motivates Connor to work and practice. He is a mentor as well as a teacher. He is superior at what he does and we highly recommend him.” Ro J.
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 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 Jennifer
Lindsey has been coming to our house to give saxophone lessons to our 12 year old daughter for about a month. She is an absolute joy. She is extremely knowledgeable, flexible with her schedule, and my daughter thinks she is "fun" and "cool". We would highly recommend her to anyone wanting music lessons. A+
Review by Lea G
Kevin was such a fun, smart and innovative voice teacher to work with. I had the pleasure of taking lessons with him for over a year and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my time under his training. In just a few weeks I noticed my voice was stronger and I was able to apply his teaching and see the results. He explains his techniques in a way that the student is able to actually hear and feel the changes he is referring to. This allows the student to efficiently practice outside of lessons. Even further, he believed in me and truly cared about my progress. He was always energetic and focused in lessons and was continually surprised how far a song could come in just one hour of his time. Under his teaching I developed a stronger belt in my higher range, learned how to color my voice for different sounds and improved my stage presence. I wholeheartedly trust Kevin’s musical insight and was grateful that he challenged me with a wide variety of songs and styles that I hadn’t considered trying before.
Review by Terri
Caitlyn is friendly, helpful and still holds my high-school aged daughter accountable for practicing. She also makes sure the music technique is mastered correctly during the lessons - they work hard and still have a good time together. I can highly recommend her as a flute teacher. My daughter is very happy & grateful to have found Caitlyn as a teacher.
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 Jacob Solomon
Ileen is a very attentive instuctor. she is patient and works hard to see her student succeed. if a concept is unclear she expains it in other ways to ensure understanding. I would highly recommend ileen to students of all levels who want to learn guitar and music theory to thoroughly enjoy the instrument and music
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