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I am a violinist and string teacher from Augusta, Georgia. I recently moved to Pittsburgh where I am happily continuing my career as a teacher and performer.
I began private lessons at the age of 11 with an excellent Suzuki teacher, and soon began group lessons, playing with her many other students at Country Clubs, local malls, nursing homes and for many local benefit events. At the age of 13, I received an alternate position to play the Bach Double Concerto with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in their annual ACE (Arts in Community Education) concert. I have also had the privilege of playing the National Anthem for the Brewers games. When I am not giving a lesson, I enjoy playing for weddings, local events and for occasional church services.
I am an instructor who will focus on technique and musicality and make lessons very engaging and fun. I have a Master's Degree in Music from Duquesne University where I served as a concertmaster and a Bachelor's Degree from Southeastern Louisiana University where I was contracted musician with Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra.
I graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in flute performance in 2008, and have been pursuing a career in music ever since. I have always loved performing, and now have ten years of professional performance experience under my belt to share with my students. I have enjoyed opportunities to play with a wide variety of ensembles including: classical/orchestral, chamber music, contemporary ensembles, flute quartet, musicals, jazz combos, folk bands, traditional Irish music, and free improvisation accompanying poetry or narrative.
I started on violin in 4th grade and switched to viola in 6th grade. I was involved in private lessons, youth orchestras, competitions, City, District, Regional and All State orchestras while I was growing up. In 1991 I graduated from the State University of New York with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Music. From there I attended Carnegie Mellon University and received my Music Education Certification in 1995. I received my Masters in Music in 2000 from the University of Denver. I have taught in public schools and privately over the last 20 years and performed with local and regional orchestras, in chamber music groups for weddings and events and as a soloist in recitals.
Since We Started
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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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Background checks available on instructors. Instructor can opt to have a background check on file. You can request to only be connected with teachers that have a check. The choice is yours.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Shilpa
"Richard is a very talented and a patient teacher. He teaches my 6 year old daughter in the comfort of our home and he is very regular. He follows a learning book and mixes his lessons to bring difficulty and technicality while keeping it interesting for my daughter. My daughter was difficult to work with at the beginning but he was able motivate her in every possible way. As a parent I make an effort to learn with my daughter so that when my daughter practices I am able to guide and correct her and Richard is very generous to take the time to give provide me concepts. I am extremely happy with Richard and his ability to teach children."
Review by Andy Snyder
Giorgi has made learning cello even more fun. From the sympathetic, "It is hard" to the precise, "Be careful about the curve of the thumb" he has strengthened learning in every lesson, without being overwhelming. He started playing a little duet on only the 3rd lesson or so, which made me feel, even as a beginner, that I'm already starting to make (occasionally screachy) music. He has suggested a variety of drills and practice techniques which have also sped up the process a lot. And he has a good sense of humor and surprising amount of patience.
Review by Brad Schimmer
I have been playing the drums for about 5 years and I have to say that Alvaro is very patient. He has opened me up to new styles of music and I can now play a Songo groove! What I liked most was that he was flexible in what I wanted him to teach me and would also bring in new material specifically to what I wanted him to show me. Overall, great patient teacher and would highly recommend! Thanks Alvaro!
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 Queen Natalia
Lara is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in her profession. She is cheerful and personable, and has established a good rapport with students and staff alike. I have found Lara to be a highly competent, personable, patient, kind-hearted, and deeply caring person who is skilled professionally and interpersonally.
Review by Violetking
Bill has been a great teacher for both my 6 yr. old and my 8 yr. old. He is always on time, keeps them engaged, and gives them just enough of a challenge for the next week. They are both beginners, but I am surprised by how much they already know after just a month or so of lessons. Both kids are practicing willingly and look forward to lesson.
Review by Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.
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 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.