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I began to teach young children at elementary levels while at Indiana University. Despite their high-caliber collegiate music curriculum, they also have one of the world's reknown Suzuki method schools led by pedadogues who even started Joshua Bell. I was lucky enough to dive under their wing and really learn the fundamentals of Suzuki teaching, or inspiring fresh minds from the core level. Witnessing kids that once followed their parents to another lackluster lesson bouncing off the walls with excitement after experiencing an enjoyable lesson helped me to discover the passion in teaching.
My teaching experience varies for each of the instruments I instruct. I began teaching private lessons for guitar in 2004. My voice instruction began in 2009, and the rest of the listed instruments I began to teach in 2012. I believe consistent daily practice is essential for improvement in my students, and encourage my students to log their practice time. In the words of my professor Todd Woodbury, "You do not become a master from what you do within these lessons. You become great by how much effort you put into the application of my guidance through your own practice." I cannot make you the performer you want to be. I can only guide you through the process. This is why I am always excited to bring on a new student. Each student I have worked with holds a special place with me. I strive for those key moments when my student comes to a new musical understanding.
Music has been a big part of my life since I was in the third grade when I first joined the school choir. Eventually I migrated to playing Saxophone in middle school then to low brass in high school. After high school, I made the trombone my primary instrument, though I continued to play euphonium and tuba in college in various ensembles. I have had the opporunity to play all over the country including the Latin Jazz Grammys, the Playboy Jazz Festival, Central Avenue Jazz Festival, the IAJE conference, and for the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). I have also had the honor of meeting music icons and supporters such as Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Poncho Sanchez, Cacau, Justo Almario, Joe Lavano, Radiohead, Hugh Hefner, Jorge Lopez, Hilary Clinton and Jay Leno.
My musician experiences began early on the piano, then the violin and flute were added shortly after that. I began teaching/coaching in high school, and continued on teaching privately while majoring in music in college. I received numerous scholarships for my playing. My students continue to play today. I am always thoughtful and positive about my teacher to student comments, giving encouragement as much as possible. I am a lifelong learner, and music is an excellent way to promote this interest.
I like to hear from the students what they want to achieve. Whether that be short-term or long-term, I am willing to tailor my lessons in order to accommodate those wants and needs. Setting those goals is helpful for keeping the students engaged and focused on accomplishing those coveted goals. While I value fun learning, there are certainly times when my teaching has to be methodical and meticulous -- I don't think one can learn violin effectively without being tedious. In identifying this, I definitely think there is a good balance and throughout my years of experience, I've learned what that happy medium is to effectively partner with students in reaching their goals.
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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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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 enhance your skills and musical comprehension. With customized lesson plans adult students find lessons with Musika to be both successful and rewarding.
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.
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.
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.
Review by Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
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 Travis Dalenberg
Travis is the greatest. He knows his music and how to teach it. He gives you time to learn, but will not allow student time to get lazy. I know he teaches all age groups. Young pre-teens to us old folks 78 years young. I have been taking lessons from him since early December 2014. He is a true professional. You can't go wrong with him.
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 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 Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
Review by Justin
I've been taking lessons from Michael once a week for eight weeks now, and with his help I have made dramatic improvements with my sax. Michael is a funny, nice, patient and all around great instructor. I'd recommend Michael, as an instructor, to anyone who wants to improve their skills and have fun while doing it.
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 Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
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