In these days of social distancing, learning from the safety of your own home is the way to go! These are not recorded videos. They are live one-on-one lessons where the interaction between teacher and student is invaluable and incomparable in learning an instrument and/or how to read music better. Connect with me on Zoom, Skype, Google Meet or the platform of your choice.
The lessons are given weekly
You may sign up for 1/2 hour, 3/4 hour or 1 hour lessons
There is no semester or year long contract to sign. Lessons are on a month-to-month basis.
The way I work with my students is designed to make the lessons instructive, enriching, motivating and fun. For beginning students music fundamentals are taught including reading notes on the staff and counting rhythm (If you're an advanced student who knows how to read music see "Advanced Students" below). The instrument skills are taught along with proper technique for fingering and playing. The student is taken through a course of gradually increasing difficulty of the music so there is always progress being made. But that, of course, depends on their practice routine. I tell them from the get-go to practice 5 days a week a 1/2 hour a day, and 6 days and/or a 45 minute practice is better! I always observe the student and assess whether I need to slow down or speed up the pace of instruction to match the ability of the student so he/she doesn't get frustrated or bored. The lesson will mix instruction and coaching with patience and caring, creating a lively and fun learning environment.
It has been said that being able to play the piano is right up there with being able to read. I take on a piano student once they are five years old. Piano-playing fundamentals are taught with repertoire in a variety of styles. Music theory and technique exercise are spaced comfortably through the curriculum. Over the course of the lessons I'll play duets with the student which makes playing extra fun and challenging! Certain select pieces I'll have the student memorize so they'll have the freedom to perform them in any situation, for example in a family gathering where there's a keyboard or piano. When the student reaches an intermediate level, I am open to incorporate songs and styles the student wants to learn, including classical, rock, blues, jazz, ragtime and gospel. I go the extra mile to supplement the lessons with music that interests and engages the student.
For interested parents I can enroll their child in the Piano Guild Auditions sponsored by the American College of Musicians. That program is a great opportunity to grow musically and to excel at one's piano skills through hard work and preparation for the audition. Memorization is increased exponentially.
PURCHASE: The best Instrument to have is an acoustic, or real piano. New and used pianos can be found in the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper classifieds, on , , , etc. Or you may purchase a keyboard. You can spend $100 to $1000 or more. The cheaper ones have less keys and may not be touch- sensitive, but would do for beginners. A touch-sensitive keyboard is better. See the above sites for keyboards.
Sheet Music: I highly recommend
These students have traditionally been middle-schoolers to folks in their 70's. Instruction is on the 10-hole diatonic (not chromatic) harmonica, your basic "harp" as we call it. Instruction starts with learning to play simple folk tunes by reading a simple tablature, not notes on a staff. The goal is to have the student progress to solely playing by ear. I can teach you to play the blues (cross-harp) and/or folk tunes and popular standards (straight harp). For blues harp students I use recordings by blues harmonica masters plus a method I wrote called Harmonica Fun. That manual takes the student from easy blues playing to more and more difficult pieces. It is accompanied by a cd recording of everything in the manual. As the manual title says, it is fun. I teach begining to advanced students.
PURCHASE: Your harmonica(s) can be purchased at , or search online.
Students range in age from 4th graders to adults. My instruction supplements the child's school band program. Band class cannot give the student enough one-on-one teaching for the student to excel on the saxophone or flute. I teach proper embouchure thoughout the lessons to get the best tone out of the instrument. The student reads music that gets him/her familiar with scales and arppegios. Then melody exercises and familiar standard songs are introduced. I encourage the band student to bring to the lesson difficult pieces the band class is working on. Advanced and adult students who are interested in playing by ear and improvising will be accommodated. Eventually the student will learn all 12 major scales and arpeggios. Minor and blues scales are taught upon request.
RENT/PURCAHSE: A tenor or alto sax can be rented at ; they have a rent-to-own option. For purchasing check the Tallahassee Democrat classifieds, , , etc.
There are two situations: 1)a student has completed with me or another instructor the full series of instruction books and has "graduated," or 2)a new student comes to me with a completed background on their instrument. In either case, the response is the same. I research and obtain materials that match the student's interest and become the student's lesson repertoire. I can accommodate students that want to learn more music and chord theory and who want to learn to improvise. Songwriting is another area I can help a student with. The sky is the limit. I own a home recording studio and can record songs and projects students are interested in having and distributing to family and friends. Several years ago I engineered 2 albums for a talented high school piano student which he and his family distributed and are wonderful keepsakes. I listen to the needs and desires of the advanced student and respond accordingly, always being flexible and resourceful.