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I have been teaching with Musika since 2005, and have been doing private instruction since 1987. I am on the active artist's roster for Cirque de Soleil. I have performed in just about every music venue and university in the Los Angeles area, done a variety of Ivy League tours with Bali and Beyond gamelan ensemble.
I encourage students to learn and work on music they are passionate about. I expect students to practice regularly to the best of their ability. I am patient and tailor each lesson to the student’s skill and comprehension level. I work with students to help them establish good practicing habits. To me it is most important that the student is having fun while learning; therefore, as a part of regular instruction time we play games to learn and review material, skills, and performance techniques. After 3-6 months of lessons students will be familiar with musical terminology, be able to identify musical symbols and read music, at least, at an elementary level. They will also be introduced to the basics of performance.
The voice is a very personal instrument to learn how to use in a musical sense because it forms a large part of our identity. Everybody has a unique voice and requires a unique treatment in order to fine tune it and use it to sing beautifully. When it comes to songs, I like to work with three songs at a time: a classical song in Italian, a musical theater/show tune piece, and a song chosen by the student. I like for my students to choose a song of their liking because the point of singing is to sing songs that bring us pleasure and make us feel good. A typical lesson begins with warm-ups; which helps to run inventory on the voice to see if it’s healthy and using proper technique. After warm-ups, we dive into the repertoire or songs we are working on. We’ll start by going over the words of the song, how to pronounce them, their emotional meaning, and your opinion on them. Then we’ll sing through a given song and use different vocal and physical techniques to loosen up your voice and body so that you can sing freely and fully. All lessons will be recorded so that you may review and practice with them at a later time. We’ll break a few minutes before our allotted time to discuss any concerns or questions.
I have been teaching over 25 years. After graduating, I taught elementary music in public schools in Massachusetts. Then, moving to NYC, I taught private lessons in my studio. Living in LA, I continued with my private practice. And finally, in Orange County, I have taught group piano classes, and currently, teach private voice and piano. In conjunction with my teaching skills, I have excellent communication skills and patience and work well with children; and all ages are welcome!
I like to first, start from the basics, explaining to each student how the voice works and how their personal instrument actually works. Trying to let them know what their ranges are, their voice types, their specific habits, good and bad and what to fix and how to fix them. Setting goals is important for each lesson, where one should always come prepared with a recording device so that they can not only watch their progress as they go, but have something valuable to practice at home with every week that comes and always having target song to tackle and find strength in their own victories. I feel every student must have a passion for improving and I like to help them understand their own good qualities, as well as how to improve and how to be confident with their special gift.
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We advise that young students looking to take singing lessons do so at no younger than 11 years old, as they have yet to reach vocal maturity. Learning good vocal habits early on prevents the risk of injury or fatigue or possible misuse of the voice in the future. Students will also benefit from learning key skills like proper breathing techniques, hearing and recreating pitch, and performance techniques. They can also prepare for exams, rehearsals, and competitions. Learning how to sing is also good for children's overall development, as they will improve their concentration skills, raise their self-esteem and confidence, and develop a positive, hard-working attitude as well as a habit of self-discipline through regular practice and lessons.
You can achieve a healthy voice if you take care of your body. Start with a balanced diet. It includes whole grains, vegetables and fruits, not processed foods or sugar. Then drink water rather than caffeinated and sugary beverages. Limit alcohol, stop smoking, and don't take illegal drugs. Exercise every day for at least 20 minutes. As you run, bike, or swim, you increase your fitness level and your body's ability to fight illness. Finally, rest your voice and your body. Avoid yelling or cheering, get enough sleep at night and limit stress when possible. With your healthy body, you have a healthy voice.
Singing lessons will focus on teaching students how to sing with good vocal technique and how to apply these techniques to the art of singing songs. Students will learn exercises and techniques that enable them to sing with a clear, balanced, well-pitched vocal tone, how to support the voice, and how to increase their vocal range. Students will learn these techniques through vocalizing vowel sounds on different scales that vary in difficulty, learn how to tilt the thyroid cartilage in order to bridge into the head voice for range extension, and how to reduce the use of the extrinsic muscles of the larynx to avoid constriction when ascending in pitch. Students can develop their performance techniques and song interpretation, and learn advanced techniques and exercises such as developing vibrato, rasp/distortion effects, messa di voce, and vocal run and fills. Students can also be prepared for auditions, exams, and gigs.
Your voice is the one instrument that accompanies you wherever you go. Polish it with in-home voice lessons. Professional instructors in Musika's network arrive at your home ready to teach you how to choose songs that fit your voice, maximize your singing performance, and care for your instrument. All you need is a piano or keyboard, music, and your willingness to work. Whether you sing classical, country, or R&B, we can help you polish your voice. Prepare for a professional performance, an appearance on a reality singing competition, or a solo at a local event when you take in-home voice lessons.
Learning how to sing can be a great musical endeavor for adults of all ages. Lessons are customized with the specific goals of the student in mind, and focus around learning safe, effective, and contemporary vocal techniques. For many students, taking lessons is about finding a new hobby or getting to practice something they have always enjoyed doing. Others may wish to join a choir or band, or maybe would like to prepare for an audition. We have trained students to sing at auditions for American Idol, The Voice, and The X Factor.
Review by Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
Review by Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
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 Gisellesoldati
Cory is simply the greatest instructor ever! His 30 year plus teaching experience along with his knowledge of ever longer in music composition and performance make a real difference if you're in for learning the right way. Thank you Cory for teaching me not only the chords but also the history behind it and awesome tricks on getting better faster ;)
Review by Maria
My daughter has been taking piano lessons through her school district program for the last two years. She had learned a lot in that class but I noticed that she needed advanced classes at this point. After reviewing several websites I decided to enroll my daughter for the trial at MUSIKA. We got Mrs. Veronica B., and I am more than happy we got her as my daughter's teacher. Mrs. Veronica B. was very professional and very knowledgeable at the trial day. She was able to assess my daughter skill's level, and then she was able to give suggestions about how to improve those skills. My daughter has taken 5 classes with Mrs. Barker, and I can see she enjoys each class and she's improved a lot since day one. I can picture my daughter playing her favorites songs on the piano very soon!!! :-)
Review by Jermain
Mrs. Regnarene is an awesome teacher!!! She found musical aids that appealed to my 5 year old daughter and used them to help teach her piano. She has a lot of patience and I could tell she puts in the work before class to have a lesson ready for my daughter. She is always punctual, friendly and respectful. I would recommend her to any parents who want to start their kids off with a good foundation in piano. Jermain T. Riverview, FL
Review by Elsahatzipavlou
Erin has been a wonderful voice/piano teacher for our 7 year old daughter. She is talented, patient, and has a wonderful demeanor. She has been consistent with her teaching in piano and voice. She keeps record of where the students leave off so that they know what to expect the following week. I would definitely recommend Erin to anyone looking for a skilled piano/voice teacher.
Review by Robert Stallone
I am in my 60s and decided to get back into playing my guitar. I thought taking lessons would be a good way to formalize the endeavor. I did have some concern about whether working with a teacher would work out as I've behave only played for my own enjoyment for a long time. Peter and I have had a few lessons together and I am truly enjoying the experience. He is very supportive and flexible. We arrived at a three gold approach that is really working for me. We focus on developing a playlist, learning some of the more iconic tunes from leading artist that I would have a hard time learning on my own and developing some technical skills related to style and music theory. Now I look forward to my next lesson and am already playing better and enjoying the journey. Peter is a great teacher I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.
Review by Susan
My daughter is extremely happy and comfortable with Rachel, and looks forward to her piano lessons every week. She is a very kind and patient teacher, always using positive reenforcement with my daughter, which makes all the difference in the world to children. We definitely are looking forward to continued piano lessons with her. So glad we found her.
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