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I use my own method books alongside other pedagogical resources such as the guitar methods left by Carulli, Carcassi, Sor, Brouwer, and many others.
Since I graduated from UNCSA, I have been teaching students part time in my local area. I have experience with private lessons, coachings, and musical direction. I encourage student commitment to the art, and consistent practice. I like to give students a backing in musical theory and styles to further enhance their knowledge of music and be able to adapt to different scenarios and experiences. I try to motivate my students to be competitive, but have fun.
I am a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where I received both my Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance and my Masters of Music in Vocal Pedagogy. I have extensive stage and recital experience in both musical theater and operatic repertoire. My musical theater experience includes rolls such as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls and Senex in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. During my time at UNCG, I sang the roles of Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, which I also sang with the Durham Children's Choir. I also sang the roles of Gabriel Von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, The Defendant in Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury, along with participating in the ensembles in The Mikado, L'Enfant et les Sortilege, L'Enfant Prodigue, and Cendrillion. I also sang Timothy in Help, Help The Globolinks!, the First Slave in The Magic Flute, and participated in the ensemble of La Traviata with Greensboro Opera. I have studied voice with Ms. Cheryl Dobson, Dr. Donald Hartmann, and Dr. Robert Wells.
I grew up surrounded by music, theatre, sports and teaching; Mom was a music major, her instrument was piano, and Dad was a theatre major (who went to college on a football scholarship) and he played the drums. My earliest memories are of Mom playing the piano, Dad drumming, and me dancing all over the living room. I have been singing since I could talk and I started taking piano lessons around the age of 6. I was in choir and band all throughout middle/high school and went to college unsure if I wanted to focus on music or theatre. I was very active in both departments and continued to take private piano and voice lessons but theatre won out and my primary focus changed to scenic painting. However, music remains a huge part of my life. I love that no matter where I am or who I am with music brings people together in a way that nothing else can. I have seen that first hand on mission trips, in the classroom, and in my daily life.
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Learning how to sing can be highly rewarding, enjoyable, and carries many other benefits. Learning correct vocal technique and singing can keep your voice healthy, relieve stress, and have positive social impacts - such as joining a choir group, band, or participating in karaoke nights! Taking lessons with the experienced teachers in our network can also be beneficial for those who would like a professional, objective assessment of their voices or for those who would like to learn or work on a specific vocal technique. Students can also be prepared for exams, gigs, and auditions.
Children who enjoy singing may benefit from voice lessons. Formal vocal training improves a child's singing ability and range. The ideal age to start voice lessons occurs sometime after age 11 or 12 and after a child reaches puberty. Vocal training before that age could damage or strain a child's voice. By waiting until puberty, children reduce their risk of suffering an injury, and they increase their chances of improved vocal performance. Many kids have fun singing, and they can receive all the benefits of voice lessons if they wait until they are physically mature enough.
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.
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.
Vocal lessons cover various aspects of singing, such as vocal technique, song interpretation, and developing a personal singing style. During lessons, students will work through different exercises that are designed to strengthen and develop different aspects of the voice. Students will practice exercises such as sirens on an octave scale, as these are great for helping to develop the necessary timing and coordination needed to cross vocal registers and start building vocal range. Developing range requires maintaining vocal fold compression through the passagio and into the head voice, tilting the thyroid cartilage, and modifying closed vowel sounds to open vowels. Students will also learn how to support their voices with good breath management and can apply the techniques learned to songs of various genres. Students can also improve their tone, pitch, and musical theory knowledge, as well as prepare for gigs, recording sessions, or auditions.
Review by Shelonda
Henry is teaching my daughter how to play piano. Henry is an excellent teacher, we really like and appreciate him. His teaching style works very well for my daughter, she is comfortable which makes learning enjoyable. Henry is very patient and I can see that he is passionate about teaching music. Great teacher for sure.
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 Anita
Our daughter has only been playing the piano since March. Tony replaced our other teacher who had a job transfer and could no longer teach. Tony is fun and encouraging. My daughter is playing Taylor Swift and Christmas songs and is playing the piano more than ever before. Very happy so far with Mr Tony
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 Tuvana
He is incredibly patient and really customizes his teaching style to the child. Both of my children are learning piano with him; they have learned so much and really enjoy the lessons. In fact, my daughter asked to learn another instrument (guitar) with him and is making great progress with that, too.
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 Alex A.
Travis rocks. My 7-year-old son and I both take lessons with him. Travis has moved me off the plateau I was on with lessons that focus on theory and technique. And for my son, he's been able to instill a desire and interest that were missing when he previously took piano lessons. With Travis teaching us, the limits are the ones we impose on ourselves. Needless to say, Travis himself plays a mean guitar to boot!
Review by Brianne Hancock
Martina has been teaching our daughter violin since early 2015. Every time our daughter has a lesson she comes away in such a great mood - she really enjoys her lessons! Martina is positive and encouraging and adjusts her teaching to help our daughter learn the best way for her learning needs. We were curious about how online lessons would work, and it turns out that they work really well. The 1:1 time and ability to teach from a distance make it work just as well as in person. We've had moves and schedule changes and Martina has been very flexible for us - which made such a big difference in making violin lessons accessible. Absolutely recommend her!
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.
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