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I incorporate piano methods and teaching techniques from the traditions of Leschetizky, Hofmann, the Lhevinnes, and Adele Marcus.
I am musician with experience in both voice and piano. I have two degrees in vocal performance and several years of experience playing in Jazz, R&B and Pop bands for many years. In addition, I served as the Minister of Music for Saint John Missionary Baptist Church in Long Beach. Also, I was a keyboardist for Reigning Life Fellowship and Christ Our Redeemer in Long Beach and Irvine. I have performed The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia, Bob in The Old Maid and The Thief, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Imperial Commisario in Madama Butterfly, as well as The Tinman in The Wiz. This summer I will make my professional debut singing Cascada in The Merry Widow with Pocket Opera. I've also sung the bass solo in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor. I've sung for The Links Incorporated at their regional and national conventions in Washington D.C and Orlando, including singing before Condoleezza Rice. Always eager for acquiring knowledge, I've attended summer training programs that include the International Lyric Academy in Rome and Viterbo and Opera in the Ozarks.
I have a long history of voice, theory of music and piano teaching from the beginning of my singing career. I come from family of teachers and musicians and feel that despite of my love for stage, teaching is my true destination. Even while I was very busy performing internationally, I always enjoyed teaching, and took time to accumulate as much as possible of knowledge and experience in order to prepare myself for the next and very important step in my life – becoming a voice teacher.
I was born and raised in Oakland. I have been playing guitar for over 15 years and congas for over 10 years. I went to Berkeley High School where I played guitar in the BHS Jazz Ensemble. I then attended the New School in New York City, majoring in jazz guitar studies. I have studied guitar with Steve Erquiaga, Dave Creamer and Jack Wilkins, and congas with Josh Jones, Sandy Perez and other Cuban percussionists. I have also studied voice with Jane Sharp and piano with Ellen Wasserman. I as the guitarist for the Cal State East Bay Jazz Ensemble and was also a member of the CSUEB Percussion Ensemble. Jacob graduated from Cal State Monterey Bay with a B.A. in music recording technology and from Cal State East Bay with a M.A. in music composition. Over the years I have performed with musicians such as Josh Jones, Michael Aaberg, Dayna Stephens, Ambrose Akinmusere, Jonathan Finlayson, Geoff Brennan, and Ray Brown. Mr. Kessel has performed at the Montreux, Umbria, and Vienne Jazz Festivals. I currently play guitar, congas and sing in a variety of performance settings around the Bay Area. I am also a music producer and songwriter, as well as a designer. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my dogs and exploring new restaurants and music venues. I also like studying computer programming.
I tailor my teaching method and lesson planning to each student’s aspirations and talents. I use Active Listening Playground (www.composingcommunity.com) as a self-confidence and creativity-boosting method. I base my teaching technique on a lifetime of musical learning from many different teachers, experiences and manuals. My ultimate goal is making each student musically independent and give them the skills to become their own teacher. The process of learning music can push some emotional buttons for any student, and all my experience as artistic director and artist developer of high-performing classical musicians equipped me to be their rock through tough moments and their number one fan through big and small successes.
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To protect your voice and keep it healthy, protect your body. You'll want to start by getting enough rest. Rest your body by going to bed on time every night, and rest your voice by limiting the amount of singing and yelling you do. Next, eat a balanced diet. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains fuel your body and improve your voice. Then exercise. Aerobic exercise is especially important because it improves your lung capacity and helps your body fight illness. Finally, stop smoking. This habit damages your voice and your lungs. With a focus on protecting your body, you also protect your voice and keep it healthy and strong.
Whether you're a first time voice student or have been taking lessons for years, adult voice lessons can help you reach your musical goals. Instructors from Musika's network can come into your house, or you can go to their studio. Each lesson is packed with practical singing tips geared specifically to you and your needs. You can learn how to care for your voice, control your breathing, and choose songs that fit your voice. We even prepare you for local performances or reality show auditions. Your singing will improve, and you will feel more confident when you take adult voice lessons.
We recommend beginning Voice lessons at age 11 or 12. The vocal instrument, unlike other instruments, is attached to the body. Starting voice lessons too young, or when the student is not emotionally ready or mature, can lead to vocal damage or straining. Many of the instructors in our network are capable of working with younger students under this age, but it is our opinion, and the opinion of many other Vocal Education professionals, that the student should wait until their body has begun the process of puberty before beginning voice lessons.
Voice lessons will focus on developing proper breathing technique and vocal technique and ways to improve your singing. You will learn how to support and project your voice, and how to read music so that you can read the melody of the singing line. You will also learn how to interpret different styles of music, performance techniques, and how to emotionally interpret song lyrics and phrases. The most important thing you will learn in voice lessons is how to express yourself through singing!
We offer one-on-one vocal lessons in-home for students. This offers a practical way to learn the art of singing. Teaches in our network customize their lesson plan to work with your needs and goals. Lessons are generally once a week and are fit into your schedule at your convenience.
Review by Chrystal
I was skeptical at first not knowing what I was getting my self into.. I am very happy that I forced myself to get into voice lessons because Eli is an awsome voice coach.. Very skillful and he helps you reach the goal you are trying to reach.. He is also very helpful with getting you to open up and come out of your shell and being heard.. I would and I already have recommended friends and family to sign up with Eli if they're serious about singing..
Review by Dylan Jacinto
Jessie is the finest musician I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I find her overall concept of approaching an instrument to be both comprehensive and effective. Each technique she has acquired has made it possible for her to tailor her method to a variety of ages and individuals. I cannot speak more highly of Miss Jessie's abilities. Her lengthy and impressive cradecials speak for themselves. I recommend no hesitation in seeking her services!
Review by Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
Review by Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
Review by Brad Schimmer
I have been playing the drums for about 5 years and I have to say that Alvaro is very patient. He has opened me up to new styles of music and I can now play a Songo groove! What I liked most was that he was flexible in what I wanted him to teach me and would also bring in new material specifically to what I wanted him to show me. Overall, great patient teacher and would highly recommend! Thanks Alvaro!
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 Roberta
My 4 year old son is quite energetic. Another piano teacher tried to teach him before Peter and could not get my son to listen to him at all. That teacher told me that my son had no interest and that we needed to wait before having my son take lessons. Peter started teaching my son a few weeks later. He quickly developed a great rapport with my son. I was astounded when my son sat down and listened to Peter during the first lesson. Peter has remarkable patience and is a natural working with children. He knows when to follow the child's lead. My son is very interested in how the piano works, so Peter takes the time to teach him about this. He is able to use my son's interests (superheroes, Lego, Star Wars, etc.) to refocus him back to playing the piano. Between lessons, he brainstorms on how he can teach my son better. For example, my son was playing the notes, but not understanding rhythm, so Peter looked into it and came back the next week with a new plan which helped. My son looks forward to his lesson every week. When he hears the doorbell ring on lesson day, he exclaims, "Yay! Peter's here!"
Review by La from Issaquah
thank you musika and ed. I never thought of looking for an in-home lesson until I found musika. I have absolutely no hesitation that Ed is beyond capable. He's even offered to meet us at a music store to purchase the correct fitting instrument. how fabulous is that! We've also decided to extend the lesson time from 30 to 45 minutes. All this and just one lesson under our belt. He quickly understood where my daughter is at in level and her style of music. I'm thrilled as can be.
Review by Violetking
Bill has been a great teacher for both my 6 yr. old and my 8 yr. old. He is always on time, keeps them engaged, and gives them just enough of a challenge for the next week. They are both beginners, but I am surprised by how much they already know after just a month or so of lessons. Both kids are practicing willingly and look forward to lesson.
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