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I am a degreed professional who has years of experience teaching all ages, levels, and many styles. I have taught both classes and private lessons in the Clearwater area for over 38 years. My main instruments I play professionally are guitar, piano, and bass, as well as vocals. I was a Band Director for 28 years and can teach orchestral instruments through High School. I teach students of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels.Over the years I have developed a technique Book written by me awaiting a publisher when the right time comes about. I teach all ages from beginning through Professional. My object would be to teach and have the student enjoy his or her instrument enough to look forward to the recommended practice session every day. I am very motivating and competent as I was trained by College professionals to teach and perform at a high level.
I try to have a very positive approach to teaching. I believe that if a student is told what they are doing wrong constantly, they will feel like they aren't good enough for the instrument, or they will lose interest. I instead focus on telling them what they are doing right, and offer suggestions on what they need to improve on.
I begin with developing sheet music literacy in my students right off the bat if they have no experience in reading music. I believe music literacy is one of the most important aspects of learning an instrument. I've always said, "not being able to read sheet music is like trying to be a writer who can't read, it makes no sense". I also begin with teaching proper form. Meaning how to hold the instrument and how to use proper technique. I also love teaching my students through music they like and will be motivated to learn. Music is supposed to be fun, and I do anything for my students so I can ensure that learning their instruments will be fun.
There is nothing I like better than to teach and also to play the violin and the piano. It has been my pleasure to do this for 50 years and to have played in a number of orchestras. At Bob Jones University I received a B.S. degree in Elementary Music Education. In Dothan, Alabama I taught in the Dothan School of Music and also a private school. In a private school in Ft. Lauderdale, FL I taught K-6 elementary music classes and also private lessons. In Largo, Florida I taught at the School of Performing Arts. I am extemely qualified to teach with a warm and caring approach. One year I volunteered to teach violin in a YMCA string program to disadvantaged students. The highlight of my career was being part of a professional "Broadway quality" orchestra and putting on 19 performances in a row for a televised Christmas Extravaganza in Ft. Lauderdale.
For beginning cello students of all ages, I normally use one of my teacher's method books: Cellocity by Helga Winold of Indiana University. As my cello students progress, I slowly introduce smaller pieces that can normally be found in Suzuki method books. After my cello students have advanced significantly, I begin to introduce more complex pieces that are found in the standard cello repertoire. Eventually, my students reach a level where they gain the ability to gauge their experience level and select their own pieces with my approval. Throughout the process, I also integrate tidbits of music theory and history to give the student a more well-rounded experience. As for guitar and piano, I normally take a more custom approach to teaching that tends to not revolve around any specific method book. However, I typically teach beginning pianists and guitarists how to read through and play simple pieces of music so that they understand the fundamentals before moving on to a mix of songs or pieces that I select and songs or pieces that the student wishes to play so as to keep things fresh and exciting.
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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.
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.
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 enhance your skills and musical comprehension. With customized lesson plans adult students find lessons with Musika to be both successful and rewarding.
Most beginning students will start with a violin rental. This is a great option as it allows for flexibility in the size students grow. Students under the age of 18 frequently begin with a smaller size of instrument work their way up to adult sized instruments. When you are beginning the rental process, it is important to have the student present so they can be fit properly. Teachers in our network will also be able to guide you in your instrument selection.
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 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 Blaine Vaz
“I took drum lessons from Mark for about 7 months. I have been playing for 38 years but always thrive to learn more. He was able to provide me alternative exercises and help me gain a better understanding of my opportunities. I have been able to take my playing to another level. His approach to teaching is perfect for any level of student, beginner or advanced. He is a true professional and an outstanding person. You won't go wrong with Mark!” Blaine Vaz
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.
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 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 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 Pat
Henry has been a great piano teacher since I started lessons about a month ago, and he is helping me realize a lifelong dream. He is patient, plays beautifully, is easy to learn from and a very nice person. I took lessons as a child for a year or so, but never followed up over the years. I always said that I would once I retired and found the right instructor. That time is now. Thank you Henry 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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