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My first teaching experience was part of a college class over 10 years ago when as part of the coursework we had to "student teach." Between the anatomy and physiology we were learning, an introduction to various vocal pedagogies, and gaining an understanding of the psychological components of voice study, I was hooked, and I haven't stopped. I taught voice at the university's community music school for a few years, while simultaneously teaching at Trinity University in Washington, DC, as well as at a girls' boarding school. About the time I started a family, I consolidated my teaching, opening a home studio while maintaining my position at the boarding school. Since 2006 I have taught every year in a summer arts program for gifted and talented youth, only taking off the summer of 2013 while on maternity leave. While I do recommend my beginning students start with a classical foundation, I also teach a variety of contemporary commercial music (CCM) styles including pop, Music Theatre, and country, among others. Students need to enjoy and connect with the music they are singing, and I work with my students to find music they enjoy that also meets their developmental goals. I also encourage my students to perform in recitals and competitions, if sharing their voice is part of their personal and/or professional goals. Finally, knowing how busy people are these days, I work with my students to find creative ways of fitting in their practice and I teach them HOW to practice, since consistent, quality practice is critical to achieving their goals.
I began teaching piano over eight years ago. Throughout my four years at college I taught piano, voice, music theory, and led junior high choir. With each lesson I strive to encourage my students and keep them motivated to learn.My experiences have taught me that there is nothing more rewarding than sharing my love of music and helping others grow as musicians.
I'm your friendly neighborhood nerd whose geekbait of choice happens to be the linguistic, psychoacoustic, anatomical, sociological (the list goes on) workings of the human voice. My academic background in music and voice (9 years classical piano, BA in Linguistics and Biology with a premed concentration, various choirs, Arabic Music Ensemble, Self Study with interviews with top voice researchers) is as unique as my custom catered curriculum will be to YOU. I apply CONCRETE research from any and ALL fields of study concerning vocal production to ensure efficacy in my curricula towards the end goal of making you sound as close to the singing voice you hear in your head as is SCIENTIFICALLY possible.
While achievement is important to me, I believe that developing long-term skills is a far more significant. I prefer to emphasize skill-building and retention, and always want to make sure the student is enjoying the process. I prefer to set realistic short- and long-term goals for students at each lesson, and acknowledge their accomplishments with a system of rewards. Additionally, at the end of each year, I encourage my students' participation in a studio-wide voluntary recital, which is intended to showcase their growth and development over the course of the year as well as afford them an opportunity to perform in public.
I began my love of music in highschool, being in the marching band for 4 years playing several different instruments (percussion, trumpet, trombone, tuba). Singing became my choice of career in college, and while in college, I was able to perform major roles in operas such as Porgy and Bess in which I played the role of Serena at the age of 19, making me the youngest person to have ever performed that huge role. I was able to compose several pieces, two of which were premiered in four different continents. I graduated from Morgan State University in May 2015 with a passport full of stamps and not a dime of my own money spent on it performing around the world. In my time in college, I was heavily impacted by several teachers who sparked my interest in teaching. Seeing the passion they had when instructing their students made me want to impact others in the same way. I started doing some studying on vocal techniques, the anatomy of the head and throat, and the latest in vocal pedagogy research. I started teaching my own private voice lessons two years ago using what I researched and my own personal experiences. The results from my students were AMAZING. I had a student who came to me and was suffering from a voice injury and through suggested voice therapy and my voice lessons, she was able to Sing to her full potential without harshness, rasp, or vocal discomfort at all. I am a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity Inc. and our open motto is "Vita Brevis Ars Longa" The Latin to English translation is, "Life is short, Art is long." This is a motto for every musician to live by. Teaching, to me, is a continuance of a long lived art that will never die as long as it is taught. I wish to share my passion, so my students can share theirs.
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The voice can become easily fatigued through misuse or overuse. The best way to avoid vocal fatigue is to avoid shouting or screaming, get plenty of rest, and drink plenty of water. For voices that are already fatigued, warm ups and exercises performed lightly and at low volume levels can help to reinvigorate the voice and balance the air pressure above and below the vocal folds. The voice can also become irritated by things such as mucus, often a result of allergies or illness, sugary foods, and alcohol. If ill, either avoid singing altogether or keep to short, light sessions.
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 voice lessons. Then your child is ready to begin prolonged training that improves their singing ability.
Voice lessons focus on development of vocal skills and breathing techniques to help increase projection of the voice and improve the range of the voice. 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.
In-home voice lessons are the perfect gift for budding singers. Talented kids and adults appreciate the instructors in Musika's network who know how to coax the right notes out of any musician. Whether your child is into hip-hop or prefers classical music, the experienced instructors in our network provide guidance on music selection and vocal care. Your singer simply walks into the music room when it's time for lessons and prepares to sing. Give the budding singers in your life a chance to explore their talent. You never know, in-home voice lessons may be just what you need as you nurture America's next great recording artist.
Students studying voice for the first time as an adult can look forward to working on vocal exercises and breathing techniques which can help improve their range and tone. Adult students may be interested in studying primarily classical vocal technique, or they may want to focus on different styles like pop or jazz. The instructors in our network can help you reach your musical and stylistic goals!
Review by Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
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 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 John
When I started with Darrell, I didn't know anything bout music. Nothing. We started with basic music theory & moved into scales and reading. It hasn't been very long at all, but my confidence is growing quickly. He does ask a lot from you and he expects you to keep up. But I can honestly say that if you are willing to work hard and spend the time at home doing what he asks, you will see the results. He wants you to succeed and takes pride in watching you grow. If you want it as bad as he does, you will see the result very quickly.
Review by Heather Berest
I started my 5 yr old daughter with Karleen this Fall. Karleen has a calm and honest disposition. My daughter adores her and cannot wait for her arrival. I was concerned because my daughter is not so willing to "practice" during the week. Karleen advised me to allow her habits of practicing to evolve naturally as her love and understanding of piano increases. She emphasized how nurturing my daughter's love of music is most important. This was music to my ears :)
Review by Al
Pavel is doing a great job with my 6 year old son. Pavel is doing a great job helping my son focus on technique and rhythm, which is something previous instructors weren't so successful with. Pavel is organized / structured / systematic, which is what my son needs now, but I hope he relaxes a bit as the lessons continue so that more "joy" comes through.
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 Ryan Piveteau
Amber is personal and cares about her students. She is flexible in her schedule and maintains a professional attitude in her lessons. Her want for her students to succeed makes her excel as a teacher. She is very knowledgeable about music and extremely experienced. Additionally, she includes external activities aside from lessons for the students who wish to advance themselves externally. Really a great teacher who offers great opportunity.
Review by Lea G
Kevin was such a fun, smart and innovative voice teacher to work with. I had the pleasure of taking lessons with him for over a year and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my time under his training. In just a few weeks I noticed my voice was stronger and I was able to apply his teaching and see the results. He explains his techniques in a way that the student is able to actually hear and feel the changes he is referring to. This allows the student to efficiently practice outside of lessons. Even further, he believed in me and truly cared about my progress. He was always energetic and focused in lessons and was continually surprised how far a song could come in just one hour of his time. Under his teaching I developed a stronger belt in my higher range, learned how to color my voice for different sounds and improved my stage presence. I wholeheartedly trust Kevin’s musical insight and was grateful that he challenged me with a wide variety of songs and styles that I hadn’t considered trying before.
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