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Versatile musician performing internationally as a Chamber, an Orchestral and Tango musician. Member of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra. Winner of the 2004 Concerto Competition, Academic Orchestra of the Colon Theater in Buenos Aires, the 2006 Merit Award from the Argentine National Fund of the Arts and the 2007 Mozarteum scholarship. Co-founder of Boquitas Pintadas Tango Quintet. Dedicated and passionate pedagogue with 11 years experience teaching children and adults in individual and group lessons. Fluent in Ukrainian, Russian, Spanish and English.
I began teaching private lessons part-time when I was still in high school on Long Island. I have taught in elementary day care in the early 1990's and taught in public schools elementary general music and chorus, beginning instrumental music at the elementary level, as well as middle school orchestra in the San Lorenzo Unified School District. After a vocal chord injury, I left the public schools to create my indie record label, produce new projects and allow healing. Several years ago, I went back to teaching private lessons through a music store, and have since relocated my studio to my home. I love the positive energy my students bring to their lessons, and enjoy encouraging them to be the best they can be in music, and in their lives. I love to work with students of all ages who really want to learn!
I first discovered my love for teaching during my college years. I maintained a private studio for three years of my time there, and have been instructing privately and in local schools since that time. With a recent teaching history including Cazadero Music Camp, Berkeley High School, West Portal Lutheran School, The Mark Music School, and the Northern California Music and Art Culture Center, I hope to offer you the tools, motivation, and insight to make your learning experience positive and rewarding. My teaching style is structured, but compassionate, as I believe that the right balance of difficulty and fun is the key to continually motivating my students. Though learning a new instrument can be frustrating at times, regular, scheduled practice time, and knowing how to practice effectively is the key to breaking through the invisible walls sometimes encountered in violin playing. As a teacher, my main goal is to serve my students and instill in them a love of music. Due to this philosophy, I am always thinking of new ways to adapt to my students' needs and explain/work through difficult concepts and areas of the music. Lastly, I believe that playing music with others is a crucial factor in motivating a student to practice and learn on their own. Therefore, I highly encourage all of my students to participate in recitals and ensembles where they can share their accomplishments, make new friends, and admire joint achievements. I teach all ages, and currently specialize in starting beginners out on the violin.
For beginners in Piano I recommend using Faber Piano Adventures. However if the students have been using other books, those are welcome. As the students are progressing, I will introduce them to solo repertoire in order to play in a recital. For Violin/Viola I start using the Suzuki series but I also include a modern repertoire and techniques. Sometimes I arrange a piece the student likes so they can start play the pieces they are familiar with.
I do everything to ensure my students are learning at their best rate while also having fun! This includes specific weekly and semester-based goals as well as constant open communication. Each student has different motivations that can change over time, so I change the nature of the lessons as the student continues to grow and clarify their goals as a musician. For younger students, I play as many games as possible that directly apply to what we are learning. For older students, I encourage students to perform with orchestras and chamber music if and when they are ready! Music is lifelong endeavor with so many possibilities!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 Teri Romano
Being I'm a woman, I was a little apprehensive having a male teacher (he knew this), however, after my trial lesson I realized he knows what he's doing and I had nothing to worry about!! He is very knowledgable on the piano and vocal techniques. He has a big vocal range so he is able to hit the high notes to be able to show me how I need to sing it. He is also phenomenal on the piano. I would highly recommend him for vocal and piano. Also, I don't know how to sight read music and he is teaching how to. I've been taking lessons with him for a month (my trial lesson was on 1/11) and I have already seen a huge improvement. I am an intermediate level singer looking to improve my vocal technique, breathing and improve my confidence in my singing abilities, Alex is definitely helping me do that.
Review by Kristin
Ted S. is teaching clarinet to one of my children, and piano to two others. He is extremely knowledgeable, and very encouraging. His teaching methods are keeping my children enthused about their lessons, and without that, you have nothing. Two of my children were taking piano lesson from another teacher for the past year, and not progressing. Ted has been able to evaluate their skills individually, determine what was missing in their music education, and begin again with some early basics they seem to have missed. I am convinced we are finally moving forward, and am very happy about that. I wish I would have made this change much earlier.
Review by Lauren Segal
Ed is THE best instructor I've ever had and I've had many instructors over the years in various fields of study. Ed met us at a music store to help choose a guitar, this is after he first called and asked all the right questions. He's supplied my daughter with just the right amount of paper work and just the right amount of new techniques. By this I mean to say that Ed connects with the pace my daughter learns at. I highly recommend Ed AND Musika.
Review by Ashley S.
Ali was an amazing voice coach! She taught in a way that made sense to me, and helped me find the voice placements I needed. I didn't know I could sound like that! My development with her was leaps and bounds rather than tiny dreadful steps that happen when you don't know what's going on! Ali was dedicated to helping me work on an audition for a music scholarship and I nailed it all thanks to her, seriously. I can't thank her enough! She helped me with the tools and confidence I needed to sing in the real world alone rather than just back row in a large choir.
Review by Christopher Perrone
Mike has been working with my son Robert for over a year and has just started working with my daughter Kate. Mike is both a great musician and a good teacher. He connects with the kids and keeps them engaged. He is able to tailor the lesson to focus on music that is interesting to each child. He also encourages the students to participate in a public setting which is great. I would highly recommend Mike.
Review by Maria
My daughter has been taking piano lessons through her school district program for the last two years. She had learned a lot in that class but I noticed that she needed advanced classes at this point. After reviewing several websites I decided to enroll my daughter for the trial at MUSIKA. We got Mrs. Veronica B., and I am more than happy we got her as my daughter's teacher. Mrs. Veronica B. was very professional and very knowledgeable at the trial day. She was able to assess my daughter skill's level, and then she was able to give suggestions about how to improve those skills. My daughter has taken 5 classes with Mrs. Barker, and I can see she enjoys each class and she's improved a lot since day one. I can picture my daughter playing her favorites songs on the piano very soon!!! :-)
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