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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 studied guitar with international performing artist Anna Maria Rosado and composition with American composer Annette Le Siege. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Guitar Performance from New Jersey City University. I have performed extensively in small venues throughout Vermont, and was a house musician for several seasons at the Yosemite Theater in Yosemite National Park, California.
I enjoy teaching those who wish to learn. The most important thing that a teacher can teach a student is fundamentals - i.e. the basics. The fundamentals do one very important thing - enable the student to execute. When you get on stage you might be nervous, but I can guarantee you will know exactly what to do and that knowledge will calm you down enough to enjoy the experience. The musical aspect of playing, I believe, is something you either have or don't. I can coach you, of course, on what I believe is the way to play a phrase; however, in the end that really shouldn't be my job (nor anyone else's).
I believe all students can achieve great music making and enjoy a fun and satisfactory journey doing so. I have degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Indiana University, and currently study at Juilliard as a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. I have built an international career at a young age in both solo and orchestral work.
Music has been apart of my life since I was a baby, and I have always been drawn to its captivating allure. I started saxophone when I was eleven and began playing in jazz bands when I was thirteen. But it wasn't until my freshman year of college that my musical journey really started. While at the University of Wyoming, I was the lead alto in the top Jazz Ensemble for three years in a row, and I was in the top jazz combo both my junior and senior year. I was fortunate enough to share the stage with jazz legends such as Dave Douglas, Bob Mintzer and the Yellojackets, Eric Reed, and Dave Pietro. When I moved to New York, I was introduced to another world of music and jazz. Purchase College and the New York City jazz scene has introduced me to some of the greatest musicians in the world. I now perform in some of the Purchase College ensembles, and I lead my own Quintet made up of fellow Master's students that performs at Jazz Clubs in New York City.
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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.
When lessons begin, students will need to acquire a violin. While most adults will start on a standard, full size, many children will start with a smaller model. As a child grows, the instrument will need to grow with them, and this makes renting an instrument a great option. Any music store staff, or instructors in our network will be able to help you in deciding the right size instrument for the student. Renting can be done on a monthly basis, and allows for less of a financial commitment.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
Review by Olivia
Andrew is very encouraging and uplifting, but also isn't afraid to tell you your weaknesses. Andrew also is super awesome with scheduling. Fits around your schedule all the time. He really knows what he is doing and can help you reach your goal in the time you would like to. Couldn't have gotten a better teacher, who continually helps me grow and pushes me.
Review by Jonathan
Angela is a phenomenal teacher. She is full of charisma and is a joy to work with. Most of my experience with her has been focused on working in the Alexander Technique and she seems very knowledgeable in this study. I would highly recommend her to any prospective student. I have seen myself improve dramatically in a few short weeks with her guidance (and much practice of course!)
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 Yury
I would like to thank Polina for the series of classical piano lessons I've taken recently. Polina is a fantastic teacher and a high class performer, and I'm really happy I had a chance to meet her! I believe anyone can benefit from the teaching method Polina is practicing regardless of the student proficiency - from beginners to advanced performers. It was a pleasure for me to study classical piano courses under the guidance of such an intelligent & professional teacher! Without doubt, my playing technique has improved a lot and I have signed up for the new classes online already.
Review by Dylan Jacinto
Jessie is the finest musician I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I find her overall concept of approaching an instrument to be both comprehensive and effective. Each technique she has acquired has made it possible for her to tailor her method to a variety of ages and individuals. I cannot speak more highly of Miss Jessie's abilities. Her lengthy and impressive cradecials speak for themselves. I recommend no hesitation in seeking her services!