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I started teaching piano and voice to young people in my church nearly fifteen years ago. Since that time, I have worked with a conservatory and on my own bringing the joy of music to dozens of students of all ages. I offer recitals several times a year to help each student reach new goals.
My teaching experience began right out of college, touring the pacific northwest for a year with The Missoula Children's Theatre. Partnered with another Tour Actor-Director, we would spend week long residencies in each community auditioning and casting over 55 local children in a full-scale, one hour musical production of Jack and The Beanstalk. At the end of each week we performed our show for the community! I also enjoyed teaching Theater Workshops in classrooms and assembly settings during these week long residencies. Being on the road teaching so many different ages and abilities in music and theater was an experience of a lifetime! This experience helped me hone my skills to bring out the unique individual best of each of my vocal students! Another wonderful experience I had teaching was following The Kindermusik International's curricula. This included the development of musical concepts such as pitch, rhythm and listening skills to classes of 5 -15 children (and their parents) ages 18 months to 4 years.
My lessons focus on trouble areas identified during the initial lesson. I would develop a plan of attack setting realistic goals that are both measureable, realistic and obtainable to achieve. A usual model lesson would consist of the following segments: 1. Intonation - I would spend about 5-10 minutes in this area training the student to properly find the center of pitch and listen for an adaptive center of pitch. Most flautists aren't playing in a symphony and will be exposed to an ever changing center of pitch. 2. Interpretation - I spend a chunk of time on this concurrently with other aspects to train the student to perform selections in a way that expresses passion, emotion and the idea of the selection. 3. Techniques - I work on techniques all throughout the lesson. Once I identify any discrepancies in their performance technique I will offer my suggestions but the student ultimately has to except them.
At the beginng of the first lesson I like to ask my student about their musical experience, interest and if they have any over arching goals, and after that I warm them up and teach them part of a simple song either from a popular musical or (for my younger students) Disney song in order to hear the maturity, tonality, and range they are starting with. If my students do not have a particular song or songs picked out then I assign songs, trying to adhere to the student's interest, during the second lesson. I typically half my lessons between music reading and theory skills and working on their song or songs, and I normally assign a listening example, music reading assingment, and encourage daily practice. I do not punish a student for incomplete homework, however I stress that the homework I assign is to help them on their musical journey. When preparing for a performance or audition I spend the lesson fine-tuning their repetoire. I like to press my students beyond their own expectiations, but also try to remain sensitive to my students frustrations and believe in positive re-enforcement.
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Musika deals primarily with home lessons for students. The location is the only difference between our in-home lessons and our studio lessons. As they do not have to travel to their lessons, home singing lessons can be highly convenient for those parents and students with a busy schedule. For younger students in particular, having vocal lessons in the comfort of their own home can be of great benefit. They will feel more safe and relaxed in familiar surroundings, allowing them to focus on learning and enjoying their singing.
There are numerous reasons why adults may wish to start taking singing lessons. Singing is a highly enjoyable, fun, and creative way to express yourself musically. Many students take lessons simply to improve their singing for fun or to take up a new hobby. Students who have specific goals in mind can also have lessons to achieve those aims. Often singers want to improve a particular aspect of their singing such as increasing their vocal range or learning to sing with vibrato or greater agility (runs, fills, etc.) Singers who have a certain style of singing in mind can also learn the techniques behind a wide range of genres.
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.
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.
It requires strength and coordination to sing with good, safe technique. For the voice to function at optimum levels, there needs to be good vocal fold closure throughout the vocal range, with steady, consistent airflow passing through the folds. Vocal fatigue or irritants such as mucus can make vocal fold closure difficult, and shouting or poor aerobic capacity can make airflow inconsistent. It is therefore important to be mindful of physical fitness, diet, general health, and technique with regards to the voice. The voice needs plenty of rest, regular practice and warmups, and water to perform in a safe, healthy manner.
Review by Nancy
Darrell is A-Maz-Ing! He demands results from his students and therefore results come quickly. The time he spends teaching is intense and packed with great instruction. He is a tough teacher but offers lots of valuable instruction that is applicable for music as well as life in general. I highly recommend Darrell if you are ready for results!
Review by Brad Schimmer
I have been playing the drums for about 5 years and I have to say that Alvaro is very patient. He has opened me up to new styles of music and I can now play a Songo groove! What I liked most was that he was flexible in what I wanted him to teach me and would also bring in new material specifically to what I wanted him to show me. Overall, great patient teacher and would highly recommend! Thanks Alvaro!
Review by Suzette
She is amazing! My daughter, Isabella (7 yrs) is totally engaged in the lesson. Lilly's definitely has a gift with teaching young children!!! A great talent of hers is making the content interesting, current to today's music and most of all fun! She has a knack for taking the material and translating it in a way that is relatable to Isabella. My daughter really enjoys her lesson's and has moved along rather quickly with the material. Thanks Lilly!
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.
Review by Jenn
My son and I both take lessons with Micheal. My son started on the ukulele and recently started the guitar. He is excellent with children. Very patient and very intuitive to the child's ability. He is also an excellent teacher for adults. I had not touched my guitar in several years and in a couple months not only to I remember everything I forgot but I'm learning many new techniques and am a much better player than I've ever been.
Review by Chad H.
"Mr. Richard has been absolutely perfect for our very active two boys. He has been an excellent fit for gauging and keeping their interest far beyond what we had imagined. Our boys actually argue over who gets to go first. Mr. Richard knocks it out of the park when it comes to exceeding our expectations"
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 Stan
My two daughters wanted to study piano fore some time now and just recently I found Musikalessons website and teacher Milica. I can only say that my daughters are very happy with their piano lessons and simply adore Milica. They already made a great progress and we're all happy with what they learned in this short period. Thank you Musikalessons and Milica.
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
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