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I have successfully brought begining singers that had trouble matching pitch to competition-level singing abillity within a year. I have also worked with more advanced singers who could sing well in one genre but wanted to learn a new one.
Students who are beginning with me are presented with two methods and may choose based upon the Theory book. Generally, I present Faber's Piano Adventures, Hal Leonard, and at times, Succeeding at Piano by Helen Marlais. I use Frances Clark's Music Tree for students younger than five years of age. I follow the Lessons and Theory pairing from a student's method of choice. Once students can read the grand staff, I use A Dozen A Day by Edna Mae Burnam to teach keyboard geography and help lay the foundation for developing technique. For voice, I use simple vocal exercises that I have written. For adults who wish to learn to sing, I begin with basics of technique and introduce them to various styles unless they have expressed specific interest, ie, popular, musical theater, or classical. I encourage summer study and use that time to teach out of an anthology in order to allow students to apply their skills with expressive or character pieces. I teach duets in order to help students become comfortable with jazz and blues. I have held service recitals at local retirement homes in order to foster a love of sharing music with others.
I grew up in Stephens City, VA, where I started playing drum set professionally at age 16. Piano, guitar, and songwriting came soon after, and in 2005 I was awarded the Jazz Studies Scholarship from the University of North Texas to study drum set with the world-renowned educator, Ed Soph. At North Texas, I participated in the 6 O'Clock Lab Band, Advanced AfroCuban Ensemble, Chamber Brass Band and Brazilian Ensemble, and soon after, was commissioned to compose original music for the computer game Wriggle Words.. In early 2008, I began touring nationally with a Denton-based band, and now tour nationally with several Austin-based groups. While not on the road, I play with numerous groups in Austin, write and record original music in my home studio, and teach.. I bring my extensive music industry experience into each lesson. While teaching my students their primary instruments, I also strive to make the lessons well-rounded, incorporating theory, ear training, music culture and history.
Each lesson is designed specifically with the students’ abilities and challenges in mind as well. For young or beginning voice students, I like to begin with a solid foundation of intonation, body alignment, sight reading, and breath support using beginning level folk songs. The repertoire I choose is specific to each student's short-term goal and stylistic preference. For intermediate students, I focus on tone, coloration, vocal agility, diction, musicality, dynamics and performance anxiety. I am a firm believer in support and encouragement from family, and I insist that parents/guardians of high school students and younger stay informed with what their child is working on. The more supportive their environment, the more growth they experience! For piano students, I love to utilize Faber's Piano Adventures books and sprinkle in popular repertoire once the basics are covered.
Voice progress is very personal to each student. Not only is every voice unique, but so are the student's goals. Singing needs to be fun and inspirational- or you won't keep up with it. The skills you will learn in my studio will help you get into college, find a job (with better interviewing skills), and express yourself. These are tools that you will take with you for the rest of your life.
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Keeping your voice healthy starts with keeping your entire body healthy. The voice is contained within the body, so following a balanced diet, getting adequate sleep, and reducing stress are all keys to keeping your body and voice healthy. Singers should avoid excess caffeine, smoking, and consumption of alcohol and drugs. Excessive screaming, speaking, performing in loud or crowded places without proper amplification, and singing for a prolonged amount of time without rest should all be avoided. Singers should always stay hydrated by drinking purified water, and try to stay away from sugary drinks and colas.
Students will learn and develop good, safe, and modern vocal technique during their vocal lessons. The aim is to get students to be able to sing without strain, discomfort, or constriction throughout the whole of their range, in key, and in a clean, full sounding tone, and then apply these techniques to singing songs in various genres. Students will learn how to bridge and connect their vocal registers in order to expand their vocal range, add vibrato to their singing, and learn how to properly support the voice in order to sing long passages and create a strong, full sounding vocal tone. The teachers in our network can also help students who have tuning problems by conducting exercises that work on their pitch. Lessons can also cover musical theory, performance tips, and vocal effects such as safe vibrato and developing vocal agility through runs and fills. Students can also learn vocal physiology.
Before age 11 or 12, a child's voice is under development. He or she may want to sing in a local competition or national audition, but the vocal cords are not yet mature enough to handle intense musical training. Lessons for kids should start after they begin puberty, when they are physically and emotionally mature. Otherwise, your child's voice could be damaged or strained. To protect your child's voice for future musical performances, wait until they start puberty. Then begin voice lessons that train your child for singing competitions, auditions, and recreation.
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.
Musika offers one-on-one, in-home singing lessons that are designed specifically for each individual student. Whether your lesson takes place in the studio or at home, students will get the exact same lesson content, with the only difference being the location. Parents will find home singing lessons a much more convenient option for their child, as it saves the time and costs of transporting their children to and from the studio. Younger students will find that learning to sing in the comfort of their own homes greatly benefits their development as they are learning in a supportive, secure, and familiar environment.
Review by Jeremy
Dr. Nedra C is incredible. She knows her craft in and out, it truly shows in her teaching. As well, she cares a great deal about the student, and preps plenty of material outside of the lesson for those that she teaches. I've had many different music teachers and am aware who's talented and cares, and who isn't. Dr. Nedra C is true phenomenal, and any student would be lucky to have her.
Review by Steven G.
Laura is the kind of teacher you wish you had in all your studies: gracious, easy-going, light-hearted, yet behind the easy going exterior is an excellent musical mind with everything at her fingertips. I've had about 5 teachers in my life who count as really influential people, and Laura easily fits that category. She lets you be yourself so that you are fully present rather than old-school doctrinaire style, what I call "stiff as a German, sig-heil" teachers. She's the polar opposite. Brava, Laura! Thank you so much!
Review by Venessea Gilbert
Rebecca has been super with my son! He is 8yrs old and has mild aspergers. He has never played an instrument before but after one lesson with his teacher he could keep a beat on his drums. She is able to keep his attention and really makes it fun! She is flexible and easy going. I highly recommend her for any lessons. Very nice teacher! Thank you Rebecca for your outstanding service!!
Review by Andy Snyder
Giorgi has made learning cello even more fun. From the sympathetic, "It is hard" to the precise, "Be careful about the curve of the thumb" he has strengthened learning in every lesson, without being overwhelming. He started playing a little duet on only the 3rd lesson or so, which made me feel, even as a beginner, that I'm already starting to make (occasionally screachy) music. He has suggested a variety of drills and practice techniques which have also sped up the process a lot. And he has a good sense of humor and surprising amount of patience.
Review by Debbie E.
I had always wanted to take vocal lessons, but was very nervous about it until I had the opportunity to have Ali as my instructor. She made me feel very comfortable and helped me realize my strengths while giving me other areas to work on and strengthen. I liked how Ali had me sing out of my "comfort" zone to realize my vocal range. It is obvious that Ali loves music and sharing that love with her students. She is very good at what she does and works well with both male and female voices. I highly recommend Ali and give her solid 5 stars
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 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 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 Paula Chacon
I've always said, "It's all about the teacher." That skillful, effective teacher who can reach that child and ignite her passion, is truly a gift. Ric does that for my daughter. As a former music teacher myself, the most challenging thing in working with children is how to build their fundamental musical skills while letting them have fun and be expressive. The teacher must create a safe, supportive environment, and Ric does that. Ric immediately focuses on fundamentals of tone and technique, giving my daughter succinct instruction on how to improve, thus she can sense the improvement immediately. Ric seems extremely easy going; even when lighting a fire under her sometimes under-achieving butt, Ric never criticizes, judges or blames. He works with my child, understanding her, helping her problem solve, and even giving her the quick answer sometimes so she can move quickly and stay motivated. Ric balances fundamentals with fun and expressiveness, so my child feels as though she can 'play' and they truly make music in every lesson. I am thankful we found a good match with Ric.
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