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I have been teaching private lessons since 2006, and will be teaching music in the public school system in the near future.
My method varies greatly depending on the student. I don't use method books with voice students, since the voice is so personal. I don't believe there's any such thing as a "one size fits all" method--lessons should be designed to meet the needs of the individual. I know that most voice teachers won’t teach kids younger than 12 or 13, and I also know that many parents are probably (rightly) suspicious of the teachers who do, for fear that they’ll hurt kids' young voices. When I work with children, however, I focus primarily on ear training and music theory, knowing that those skills will help them out so much more as adult musicians than prematurely trying to learn advanced techniques. In voices lessons with children, I limit my technique-talk to breathing and vowels. (Of course, for those kids who have no concept of what their head voice is, we work on that, too.) Other than that, we focus heavily on solfège, learning to read music, developing a sense of rhythm and internal pulse, and other musicianship skills. We also learn age-appropriate songs, of course. In lessons with young children, everything is play-based. I make learning experiences into games, and we move between activities quickly to accommodate the kids' attention spans and keep them engaged. I gradually shift my focus to technique and more advanced repertoire once the students reach middle school. For high school and adult voice students, we focus primarily on technique and learning repertoire. In an hour-long lesson, we might spend 15 or so minutes warming up and doing technique exercises, 10 or so minutes working on music theory, and the remainder of the lesson working on one or two songs or arias we've picked together. Our treatment of the songs will include learning the notes, rhythms, and pronunciation, working on technique, incorporating musicality and artistry, and practicing presentation/acting. For piano students, I use a mixture of the Faber, Bastien, and Alfred methods, depending on the needs and preferences of the individual student.
With children, I generally work on two goals per lesson. At about 10 or 11, I will work on both technique and one work. I generally start with Hal Leonard's Essential Elements for violin, and simple songs chosen between teacher and student for voice.
My first passion has always and will always be music. I have been involved in music performance all my life, from singing in church at the age of four to being in performing arts magnet programs at Hyattsville Middle School and Suitland High School. I formed a love for psychology later in life. Fortunately, I have found a field of study that will allow me to pursue both at once, music therapy. Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor of Music Therapy at Howard University, with intentions of becoming a board certified Music Therapist.
I teach the way my student learns, I don't teach any one student the same, Im quickly able to see what my students interest goal's and natural skill set are. I find it more important to focus on the students strengths in the beginning(especially with children),it keeps them motivated and interested, that's the most important part of anyones development, they have to like what they are doing.At the intermediate level I begin to challenge my student, making them do thing that are close to the limit of their knowledge and abilities so that them can make it to an advanced level.
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Singing is a physical endeavor that requires effort, strength, and coordination. The best way to ensure good vocal health is to sing and train using safe techniques. Bad technique or abusing the voice can cause vocal fatigue or even damage, such as nodules.The quickest and easiest way to wear out the voice is through shouting, screaming, or forcing the voice - often in order to sing higher notes. By avoiding such bad habits, as well as by limiting the consumption of vocal irritants such as alcohol, tobacco, and food with a high sugar content, singer can reduce the risk of injury or vocal fatigue.
One-on-one vocal lessons straight from the comfort of your own home are a great way to learn to how to sing. Most of our students choose to take lessons from home, mostly due to the convenience of not having to make travel arrangements both to and from their lessons. This is great for parents and students with busy schedules. The content of home lessons is exactly the same as studio lessons, where students will work on technique and exercises. Home lessons provide the best learning environment, as it is a comfortable, familiar surrounding for students to learn in.
Voice lessons focus on the development of tone, range and volume through the use of breathing techniques and vocal exercises. Students will learn how to read music and also learn to emotionally interpret lyrics and melodies during their performance. Vocal method books and lesson materials can be purchased from a local music store. You can study a variety of vocal styles in your lessons ranging from classical and opera to jazz and pop.
Kids who love to sing may ask for voice lessons, but we recommend children postpone vocal training until they are 11 or 12 years old. Vocal cords typically do not mature until kids reach puberty. Before that age, the child's voice is not ready for the rigorous exercising required to succeed in singing. Premature voice lessons could damage or strain a child's voice and potentially reduce future vocal performance. For maximum protection of a child's voice, wait until after puberty to start child voice lessons. Then your child is ready to begin prolonged training that improves their singing ability.
Learn to sing any musical genre or style when you take adult voice lessons. Voice instructors in Musika's network are trained in Country, Classical, Opera, R&B, and many other genres. Teachers can help you choose songs in your favorite genre that fit your vocal tone and range. Then, perfect your technique as you practice controlling your breathing, caring for your vocal cords, and projecting your voice. We may also teach you how to prepare for auditions and improve your on-stage performance. Enjoy adult voice lessons in a teacher's private studio or in the comfort of your home as you improve your singing ability.
Review by Olivia
Andrew is very encouraging and uplifting, but also isn't afraid to tell you your weaknesses. Andrew also is super awesome with scheduling. Fits around your schedule all the time. He really knows what he is doing and can help you reach your goal in the time you would like to. Couldn't have gotten a better teacher, who continually helps me grow and pushes me.
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 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 Cameron D.
After signing up for lessons with David L. I knew I made the right choice. Just after a couple of weeks I didn't see him as a teacher but as a best friend. There was always a relaxed atmosphere during the lessons. He was very easy to talk to and he really listen to you. If I ever had a question he would answer. He tailors to what ever you want to do in that lesson. David L. is a great teacher and a friend. I totally recommend him for anyone
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 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 James F.
After my first piano lesson, Polina is easily the best teacher I could have hoped for. Extremely charismatic and excited to help YOU learn the piano. She puts a lot of effort into evaluation your learning style and will no doubt help you make tremendous strides! I'm stoked to continue taking lessons!
Review by Timothyfullard
We've only had a few lessons with Elisa, but so far we really like her. She has a lot of great suggestions for solo pieces as well as orchestral music that involves all 3 of my boys, while also including some Christian music that we can play at church. She is very patient in explaining the lessons and encouraging!
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!"
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