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Michael's approach to voice training is grounded in physiological and developmentally appropriate techniques. While this does not necessarily preclude any particular style of music, he believes very strongly that vocal health and well-being should take precedence in one's study of singing and that it is good for students to gain a diverse musical experience.
I am always very positive. I want lessons to be fun and exciting for my students. Music is a wonderful gift and I love sharing that gift with others!!
I have been playing guitar and singing for 20 years. I have formal guitar training from John Jennings (of Mary Chapin Carpenter) and Tom Giata (One Life to Live, All My Children, etc.). I also have had formal vocal training from Matt Kramer (Saigon Kick). I am certified to teack Piano, Guitar and Voice beginner and intermediate levels.
I've been teaching private music lessons since I first started college in 2004. I've taught at community centers, afterschool programs, and music stores since graduating in 2008, and started my own home studio about 2 years ago. I like to teach the rudiments, as the fundamentals of music and of one's instrument provide the solid base upon which all else is built, though I also stress creativity for all my students. I encourage students to draw from many genres of music, and not limit themselves to one style or method of playing. I feel that through a synthesis of all the elements of music, students can find their unique sound and reach their true potential as musicians.
My teaching experience began during college as I was a section leader for my colligate choir. I started offering private lessons to students interested in learning privately but were not music majors. I continued after graduating to build a strong studio that celebrates each students' individual talent and sound. I have been teaching full time for over three years. My students come from all types of backgrounds, ability and age. The youngest student, is 6 and the oldest is 76. Musical learning never ends and it certainly is not limited to the young!
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For children who want to learn how to sing, we recommend beginning voice lessons at age 11 or 12. The vocal instrument, unlike other instruments, is attached to the body. Starting voice lessons too young, or when the student is not emotionally ready or mature, can lead to vocal damage or strain. Many of the instructors in our network are capable of working with younger students under the recommended age, but it is our opinion, and the opinion of many other Vocal Education professionals, that the student should wait until their body has begun the process of puberty before beginning voice lessons.
Our lessons for adults are focused around teaching vocal technique with the specific aims of the student in mind. Many adults are just looking to improve their singing for their own enjoyment.We also teach students who are auditioning for talent shows such as American Idol, or who are preparing for exams, recording sessions, or gigs. Adult students may want an honest, professional assessment of their voices since family or friends, well-meaning as they may be, are often not objective judges. Learning to sing can be a good boost to confidence, develops all-round musicianship, and is open to adults of all ages.
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.
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.
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 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 Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
Review by Violetking
Bill has been a great teacher for both my 6 yr. old and my 8 yr. old. He is always on time, keeps them engaged, and gives them just enough of a challenge for the next week. They are both beginners, but I am surprised by how much they already know after just a month or so of lessons. Both kids are practicing willingly and look forward to lesson.
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!
Review by Leslyn
Steve is an excellent instructor. My son has really connected with him and he is learning the guitar quickly. Steve is patient and never rushes through a lesson in order to make it fit within the session time limit. In addition, before he leaves, he writes notes and instructions for my son to follow. By the next lesson, my son is confident in what Steve has taught him. Most importantly, Steve builds my son's confidence in his own own ability and progress after each lesson.
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 Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
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 Queen Natalia
Lara is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in her profession. She is cheerful and personable, and has established a good rapport with students and staff alike. I have found Lara to be a highly competent, personable, patient, kind-hearted, and deeply caring person who is skilled professionally and interpersonally.
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