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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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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.
All students are different, and that means all learning methodology will be different and fit to your learning style. Each teacher works to tailor their lesson plans around students specific needs and goals. Students will learn how to read music, develop musicianship, and learn proper technique. No two lessons will be the same as all students have different progression levels from week to week. 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 starting violin lessons, students will choose if they would like to buy or rent the instrument. Many beginners will choose the rental option as it is less of a financial commitment, and can be done on a month to month basis. When you rent a violin, you will be given everything you need to start lessons, the instrument, a case, and a bow. Almost all instrumental music stores will offer rental programs, and they can guide you in your choosing of the correct option.
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 enhance your skills and musical comprehension. With customized lesson plans 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.
Review by Stevengournay
There are only a handful of people I count in my life who were great teachers, and Laura is one of them. Her musicianship is so secure as are her technique and personality that she zeros in on my weaknesses and devises exercises to strengthen them, and during the lesson it is not "Do this, no, do that" which is unnerving to a novice. She understands the most important part of study is relaxation, so that is easy to achieve with such a confident and compassionate human. Music is her life and she is eager to share her talent with everyone. A rare find, indeed!
Review by Brooklyn
Laura is a fabulous teacher. She explains concepts to me using concrete examples so that I can understand changes that I need to make to my posture, breathing, phrasing, etc. She makes warm-up exercises fun, and she's got a great sense of humor over all. Her teaching style is collaborative, more egalitarian (she respects what I already know and meets me at my level), tailored to my particular interests and strengths, and I always look forward to our lessons!
Review by PJ Williams
My daughter, Valarie is one of the original members of the Enrichment Center Percussion Ensemble under the guidance of Aaron. He patiently worked with Valarie as well as the other five members individually and as a group to produce music that has been shared and enjoyed locally as well as nationally. He has the ability to seek out the strengths of each student while building confidence. Through his teachings, not only had Valarie learned how to produce and enjoy music, but also responsibility and so many life skills for everyday living.
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 Al
Pavel is doing a great job with my 6 year old son. Pavel is doing a great job helping my son focus on technique and rhythm, which is something previous instructors weren't so successful with. Pavel is organized / structured / systematic, which is what my son needs now, but I hope he relaxes a bit as the lessons continue so that more "joy" comes through.
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 Michelle S.
"My daughter has been a student with Mark for over a year. She has come so far and has learned so much in such a short time. Mark is extremely talented and knowledgeable. He is very serious, patient and super nice. If your child or if you really WANT to learn the drums, then I highly recommend Mark. He is our third instructor and the best one yet! You will not be disappointed." Michelle S.
Review by Jane A.
I started taking voice lessons from Ali when I was 19 and a sophomore in college. Though I was hesitant to be starting "late", I felt very comfortable with Ali and her teaching style. We identified several key issues that really made a difference and improved my voice technique. It was fun to sing popular, beautiful songs in our recital! If only I lived in Los Angeles, I would still be a student. Highly recommended!
Review by Ruslan
She is the most amazing teacher ever. She is not only w great teacher but she's so fun to work with. She has taught me so many things in such little amount of time things I didn't even know I could do. I recommend Andrea to everyone. She is an amazing singer and cares a lot about her students. She's the best!!