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I love seeing my students grow in their knowledge and appreciation of music! Excellence is rewarding, and I teach the process to get there from whatever level we begin. I use positive reinforcement and notice what the student is doing right. Then, I give critique and an action plan to improve performance. It feels good for the student and teacher when they learn the methods to break down what is currently difficult into smaller pieces so that it is both manageable and possible to go further than they thought. This is a skill that can help students not only in music, but in all aspects of their studies and life. We work together to rise above any challenges and create successes.
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.
I always start trying to find what inspires the students so we can move from there. I believe every student is different and we need to set realistic goals for each lesson. I think every lesson should include techniques, a piece to perform and concepts to grasp. Those three are the main components of my teaching style.
I have been playing violin since I was 7, and viola since high school. My favorite part of music has always been the connection with others, and I still often play with others, either in chamber ensembles, sight-reading, or as part of an orchestra. I was a member of the San Diego Youth Symphony in high school, was part of my college orchestra in college, and have been a member of the San Francisco Civic Symphony since fall of 2013. I also accompany a local handbell group during their concerts. I have been working with music students since 2012, and have been attending trainings with the Suzuki Association of the Americas on an annual basis to improve my pedagogical skills.
I began teaching when I was in college when I was home in the summer. Since then I've enjoyed coaching chamber groups, leading sectionals and giving lessons. I know that a good practice schedule can be hard for kids but luckily I know many practice games that help keep kids motivated!
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.
As you start violin lessons, there are a couple different options you can choose as a way to obtain an instrument. Some students can choose to purchase rather than rent, which would be most useful for advanced players. Renting can be done on a monthly basis and will provide you will almost everything you need for your lessons, as far as the instrument is concerned. It is best for young students to rent, as they will need to start with a smaller instrument, and work up in size as they grow.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Review by Ginger
Unbelievably Awesome. My daughter is a beginner and has some special needs. Justin is more than patient and helpful while being completely thorough and pushing her (in a good way) to try harder. He is encouraging and teaches effectively. I am very pleased. More important, so is my daughter. Thank you Musika! So grateful we found your service and connected with Justin. We highly recommend him.
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 Debbie E.
I had always wanted to take vocal lessons, but was very nervous about it until I had the opportunity to have Ali as my instructor. She made me feel very comfortable and helped me realize my strengths while giving me other areas to work on and strengthen. I liked how Ali had me sing out of my "comfort" zone to realize my vocal range. It is obvious that Ali loves music and sharing that love with her students. She is very good at what she does and works well with both male and female voices. I highly recommend Ali and give her solid 5 stars
Review by William Klepatsky
Very knowledgeable on every aspect of music theory. I listen to recording artists playing various classical pieces, Dan's playing is much like a recording artist's playing. Always on time. Winning happy personality, a great role model. Puts me at ease when I am playing. Have two friends who hold music degrees, I count him a third, something special about the minds and personalities of good pianists. Thanks Dan.
Review by Ericcharlton
Rahsaan is an extremely talented player who relates really well with my teenagers. He has them both interested in learning. Given Rahsaan's expertise, it's clear that even though they are beginners now, they can learn from him for a long time to come. He's a real nice laid-back guy and both the boys really enjoy their time with him. I've been very impressed and pleased with the experience.
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 Nancy Fritsch
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach.
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 Roselynbrown
After moving from NY and parting from our amazing piano instructor, we thought we couldn't find a piano teacher close to what we knew. We are happy to say Musika matched us up with someone professional and friendly who enjoys teaching younger students. Thank you! We definitely recommend Kuan as a piano instructor :)
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