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I have been living, teaching, and performing music in Austin for the last 8 years. I sing and play guitar with Sara Shansky and the Titanic Dance Band. I grew up in Rhode Island, went to Tufts University for my bachelors degree, and spent a few years on the west coast playing music and falling in love. My husband and I just had our first baby in August of 2012 and I'm sure he will be a music lover too!
My work teaching drum set began at age 16 with a position at The Blue Ridge Studio for the Performing Arts in Berryville,VA as well as teaching out of my home. Once I moved to Denton to attend the University of North Texas, I began teaching piano,drum set and guitar for the companies Taylor Robinson Music based out of Dallas and Hall Music Productions in Southlake,TX. In 2011 I moved to Austin where I started teaching various in-home lessons for families.
I specialize in the performance and instruction of classical, operatic music, and Kindermusik, but also teach the genres of jazz, spiritual, cultural/ethnic music, and children’s music. My musical expertise encompasses performance, vocal technique, musical analysis, theory, and principle applications of classical music. After graduation, I began teaching and performing for organizations and schools throughout Austin. I have been teaching privately for over ten years, and have had the delightful privilege of teaching privately for Leander ISD for four wonderful years, and classroom music for grades K-12 at Victory Christian Center School. I was afforded the opportunity to build the ground floor as a Vocal Arts Director and Kindermusik © Director, and helped launch the Kindermusik © program Steiner Ranch. In 2004 I became certified as a Kindermusik © Educator. Development of the young child and learning tools for the child with special needs have been areas of deep interest for several years.
I prefer the Bastien Piano method for piano instruction when teaching children. I feel it offers a great foundational approach, well rounded, sequential, and motivating for students. When teaching beginning adults, I teach the basics, always keeping their goal and interests in mind. I also have much experience teaching/coaching Worship Leaders who need to play keys and sing, and have many years experience in this role myself. I have conducted numerous children's choirs, and adult choirs as well.
PIANO STUDENTS: For beginners, I prefer the Bastien series. I like a lot of variety but am very careful to not give too much at once. It is better to become excellent at each thing slowly, than try to do a lot and not be that good at any of it. I am a stickler for starting out with scales and theory right away. Understanding rhythm right away is of utmost importance as well. I ALSO TEACH IN PATTERNS & NUMBERS over just notes, this way, one can play any piece in any key much easier! I will paint mental pictures that will help my students to never forget what Im teaching. (Oh and they will BEGIN using both hands). For more advanced students, again, the more variety the better. Depending on what the student’s goals are, I will draw from a wide range of selections. I always make it a point to show my students how to play by ear AND by sight. When you know how to do both, the possibilities are limitless! If a student is wanting help learning how to write a song, that is my specialty as well. I have helped a LOT of people perfect their material. VOICE STUDENTS: After discovering the students strengths and/or weaknesses, I custom create a series of vocal exercises & songs to help develop their talent. I first offer the student the chance to select which songs they want o learn and make their own. If they dont know which songs they want to learn, after learning the students interests and musical inspirations, I will suggest songs to work on, then teach them step by step how to make the songs their own and perform them with confidence and excellence.
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A healthy body makes a healthy voice. In fact, your voice is the only instrument that uses your entire body to function. Take care of your body and your voice when you watch what you eat and drink. Limit sugar and processed foods. Instead, eat a nutritious diet that's loaded with vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Drink plenty of water instead of beverages with caffeine or sugar. You should also stop smoking and limit alcoholic beverages. Daily, try to exercise. It strengthens your lungs and your vocal ability. Then rest. Your body and your voice need time to recuperate quietly as you seek to keep your voice healthy.
In home voice lessons are a convenient way to learn the art of singing! The instructors in our network are qualified to teach a variety of styles ranging from Opera to R&B. If you are interested in auditioning for local competitions or even reality TV shows like American Idol or The Voice, the instructors in our network can definitely help you prepare. Most voice lesson music and materials can be purchased online or at a local music store.
If singing is your passion, you need adult voice lessons. Trained and experienced instructors come to your home or invite you into their studio for regular lessons. Learn how to project your voice, control your breathing, and improve your range. You can also prepare for reality singing competitions like X-Factor and The Voice. We teach you how to choose songs that match your tone and range, and we can train you to sing any genre or style. No matter why you want to sing, improve your natural vocal talent and enjoy your passion when you take adult voice lessons.
Regardless of whether you want to sing Rock, Pop, Folk, or Musical Theatre, our vocal lessons can develop your singing technique in a safe, effective way that can be applied to all of the above genres and many more. Students will learn a whole host of fun exercises that are designed to develop your vocal technique and build strength, endurance, and vocal power. Through a good understanding of how the voice works and by practicing the exercises taught during lessons, you can improve your vocal tonality, develop skills such as vibrato, pitch, and harmony, and increase your vocal range; usually by at least one full octave. You will learn how to connect the chest and head registers, maintain steady air pressure and vocal fold closure, tilting of the thyroid cartilage (to switch registers) and how to build these techniques until you can apply them to your favorite songs.
Children's voice lessons prepare your kids for a career as a theater performer, professional vocalist, or recreational singer. Before enrolling your kids in voice lessons, wait until they are physically and emotionally prepared. Typically, that happens between 11 and 12 years old. Your children's vocal cords are then ready to practice daily as they stretch. If you start lessons before your child is mature enough, vocal cord damage and strain are possible. By waiting until your kids are mature, you protect their voice for whatever musical ventures the future holds.
Review by Jennifer
Dave is a fantastic teacher. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to students that I think is invaluable. At the same time, this does not limit him from working with beginning students. He is very communicative with the parents as far as schedule changes. We are so grateful to have found him!!
Review by Marlo
Danette is a delightful instructor. She always brings a wealth of knowledge, excitement, and enthusiasm to piano lessons with my daughter. She is not only skilled at piano, but she has a wonderful voice quality that she uses to help convey certain techniques and to highlight various points where she intends to draw the students attention.
Review by Lucinda
Melissa is very encouraging, positive, supportive and patient. She knows how to explain the technical details of flute and music notation to kids in a way that makes sense to them. She has been reliable so far turning up on time and calling if there is a need to reschedule. I would definitely recommend her to others.
Review by Kaleen Todoroff
Noel is amazing. She is helping me to work toward my vocal goals for auditions to several musical theaters. She has helped me choose strong audition pieces and is teaching excellent ways to get the sound I need in a safe and healthy way. She works outside our lessons on new warm ups and new music pieces. She is the best.
Review by Brooklyn
Laura is a fabulous teacher. She explains concepts to me using concrete examples so that I can understand changes that I need to make to my posture, breathing, phrasing, etc. She makes warm-up exercises fun, and she's got a great sense of humor over all. Her teaching style is collaborative, more egalitarian (she respects what I already know and meets me at my level), tailored to my particular interests and strengths, and I always look forward to our lessons!
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 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 Natalie Kretcher
I really like her. And as an adult student, a good teacher who keeps the pace up but still keeps it reasonable in terms of difficulty is really hard to find. She does a great job of explaining little detail things in terms I (as a musically challenged human) can understand. I'm having a blast! 10/10 would recommend!
Review by Clinton Poskozim
Martina has been a great teacher. Our son is 8 and had taken some piano lessons before starting with Martina. She came right in and got him to improve. She does a great job of giving him just enough of a challenge to make him work and learn but not any pieces that are so overwhelming he can't get them. She has helped him through a lot of early music theory so that he not only can play the piano but understands the music he is reading in all of its complexity.
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