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Cello is my main instrument, but I have also been teaching piano, guitar, and violin for years. I love teaching and the variety of finding the approach that works best for each individual student. On a personal note, I was married in 2010 and had my first child, a boy, a year later. I live in Northfield but commute up to the Eden Prairie/Chanhassen area for lessons every Monday. I am also open to giving lessons at people's homes who are close to Highway 35 on the way to or from the Cities.
While learning piano at University, I began to teach students in my home studio. Working in Musical theater, I gained experience teaching piano and voice, accompaniment to balllet classes and theatrical plays. My students participate in award and honors recital throughout year. I have taught piano and voice lessons for over 20 years.
In the voice studio I am a kind and nurturing teacher - no matter the age or level of the singer. Above all, I strive to instruct healthy, beautiful singing. I absolutely believe in choosing music for a student that will help improve specific areas of vocal technique, but also music about which the student feels passionate. Singing should feel like a release and it should be rewarding. I remember looking forward to voice lessons and getting so excited to watch my voice grow and get better. Practicing outside of lessons was fun and felt worth my time. I always want that for my students.
I am very passionate about many different types of music including both vocal music and Instrumental Music. I have a strong background being trained classically while also performing musical theatre and pop on different stages. I graduated Luther College in 2014 with a Double Major in Voice and Trumpet and a Triple Minor in Choral/Instrumental Music Education and Theatre and I have had the opportunity to teach around the world in places like Waterloo, Belgium and Vienna, Austria. I have been teaching private lessons for 5 years and have been trained in voice and all concert instruments and strings.
I have been working and teaching kids since I was a kid myself. Upon graduating High School, I began attending Saint Paul College with the loose plan of becoming a "Sign Language Interpreter". I took American Sign Language Classes Level 1-4 and Deaf Culture, all of which worked to sharpen my already-clear communication skills. I discovered that becoming an interpreter was not exactly "my calling" and began expanding my degree to study Child Development and work with children. I worked in a pre-school for over three years before I decided to pursue music fully. I began by establishing my own band with our own unique musical style that incorporates influences from cultures through out the world! Working with my band, I would sometimes give them singing lessons with the information I had learned from my own (exceptional) Voice Teacher. It was by applying my teaching skills to teach the singing techniques/ abilities that I had acquired through my own lessons and self-study, that I discovered that I can teach voice lessons! By hearing the proof of my teaching through the improved singing of my friends and students, I discovered that this is a career that comes naturally to me because it is fueled by Pure Passion for me! :)
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As an adult voice student, you'll learn more than proper breathing techniques. You can also improve your vocal range, prepare for reality singing competitions, and improve your vocal stage performance. Start with your favorite genre. After choosing Opera, Country, R&B, or any other genre, decide along with your instructor which style and songs fit your voice the best. Then practice the exercises your trained instructor from Musika's network assigns you each week. Whether you choose in-home or in-studio lessons, adult voice lessons teach you a variety of skills that help you succeed as a vocal musician on and off the stage.
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.
In home voice lessons are a convenient way to learn the art of singing! Our instructors 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, our network of instructors can definitely help you prepare. Most voice lesson music and materials can be purchased online or at a local music store.
The teachers in our network create a customized lesson plan for every student, so no two students' lesson plans will be identical. Topics covered during Musika's voice lessons may include, but are not limited to: proper breath control technique, how to support your voice, how to read music, how to interpret various styles of singing (classical, jazz, pop, etc.), performance tips and techniques, how to overcome stage fright, and most importantly, learning to enjoy music and express yourself through singing!
Age 11 or 12 is the best time to begin voice lessons when they are emotionally and physically mature enough to begin to learn various vocal techniques. Starting voice lessons younger than age 12 can be very demanding on an untrained voice and can cause damage if the student is not vocally ready. Students that have studied another instrument prior to beginning voice lessons are at a distinct advantage, because they will know how to read music and will be able to apply their previous years of experience to their new instrument.
Review by Olivia
Andrew is very encouraging and uplifting, but also isn't afraid to tell you your weaknesses. Andrew also is super awesome with scheduling. Fits around your schedule all the time. He really knows what he is doing and can help you reach your goal in the time you would like to. Couldn't have gotten a better teacher, who continually helps me grow and pushes me.
Review by Yury
I would like to thank Polina for the series of classical piano lessons I've taken recently. Polina is a fantastic teacher and a high class performer, and I'm really happy I had a chance to meet her! I believe anyone can benefit from the teaching method Polina is practicing regardless of the student proficiency - from beginners to advanced performers. It was a pleasure for me to study classical piano courses under the guidance of such an intelligent & professional teacher! Without doubt, my playing technique has improved a lot and I have signed up for the new classes online already.
Review by Maurice Romero
This is the 1st time I've ever taken lessons, and Robert has been a pleasure to work with. I've made quick progress and have enjoyed the process. I'm always listening for those tips that you can't find in a book. I can count on Robert to be strict on the fundamentals and am clear it will make a difference in the long run.
Review by Teri Romano
Being I'm a woman, I was a little apprehensive having a male teacher (he knew this), however, after my trial lesson I realized he knows what he's doing and I had nothing to worry about!! He is very knowledgable on the piano and vocal techniques. He has a big vocal range so he is able to hit the high notes to be able to show me how I need to sing it. He is also phenomenal on the piano. I would highly recommend him for vocal and piano. Also, I don't know how to sight read music and he is teaching how to. I've been taking lessons with him for a month (my trial lesson was on 1/11) and I have already seen a huge improvement. I am an intermediate level singer looking to improve my vocal technique, breathing and improve my confidence in my singing abilities, Alex is definitely helping me do that.
Review by Stevengournay
There are only a handful of people I count in my life who were great teachers, and Laura is one of them. Her musicianship is so secure as are her technique and personality that she zeros in on my weaknesses and devises exercises to strengthen them, and during the lesson it is not "Do this, no, do that" which is unnerving to a novice. She understands the most important part of study is relaxation, so that is easy to achieve with such a confident and compassionate human. Music is her life and she is eager to share her talent with everyone. A rare find, indeed!
Review by Nicole V.
"My daughter is 10 years old and has been taking piano lessons with Mr. Dale J. for almost 4 years now. She is progressing nicely. His kind and gentle way make for a very positive learning experience. Mr. Dale J. is encouraging without being harsh or belittling. He is patient and the ideal instructor for my daughter."
Review by Sharon
My 4-year-old has had several lessons with Martina now, and he has learned a lot. Obviously, it is challenging to teach such a young child, and he has learned quite a lot in a short time, and is very excited to learn about violin and for his lessons. I think Martina is doing an excellent job, is quite patient, and is teaching him in such a way that he can really remember his new skills from week to week. We look forward to many more lessons with Ms. Martina!
Review by Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
Review by Marcia Hecht
Karleen has really turned it around for me. My previous teacher (not from Musika) had me feeling anxious, upset, and incapable...NOT the desired result! Karleen's method is clear, appropriate for my beginning level, and (best of all) actually lets me achieve some progress! I'm actually looking forward to my lessons now!
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