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Acting, Broadway Singing, Guitar, Music Performance, Music Recording, Piano, Singing, Songwriting, Speaking Voice
I have been studying music and performing professionally since the age of nine in New York City. In 2007 I started teaching voice, guitar and songwriting in Southern California and performing original music with my band. In 2010 I co-founded the Creative Arts Initiative, a literacy-based program for teenage girls in Sierra Leone, West Africa that encourages self-expression and empowerment through creative writing and the arts.
As a kid, I performed off-Broadway and took voice and piano lessons. The problem was that I hated practicing! Scales and repetitive playing bored me to no end, and I felt like I wanted to quit many time. But when I started combining my poetry with my own music, and keeping my body engaged in the process, my life was forever changed. I felt a deeper understanding of my own voice and the possibilities that musical instruments offered me. I allowed myself the freedom to pursue my love of music by embracing my own innate abilities and favorite ways to learn. I overcame my practicing problem, and so can you.
*** Lesson Details ***
As your music mentor I will help you identify your own learning style, review your individual goals, build a sequential, skill-based program and customize each session based upon what you need and want from the music mentoring experience. I will allow you to explore your own innate creativity, to have fun with your instrument and see where it takes you while learning valuable music theory along the way. Let me help you reach your highest potential by pumping enthusiasm into your veins and encourage you to explore your inner artist.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in "creative learning". This is where the students are encouraged to create their own music right from the beginning, using whatever little knowledge they have on the instrument, and then we break down what they've created in order to get a deeper understanding of the music (theory, technique, etc.).
I began piano at age 6 under Suzuki-certified instructor Cindy Wittenburg. I loved everything about it - even practicing scales! After nine years, I took a break from piano and took up drums. While I loved drumming, upon my entry to Millersville University, I decided my number one love was still the ivories. I began learning under Dr. Anita Renfroe, graduating with a B.A. in Music Business & Technology. Although no longer in classes, I still teach myself piano works as well as write new pieces.
*** Lesson Details ***
My teaching philosophy is: Enjoy your time while learning something valuable! My teaching style is informal and relaxed, but I expect discipline and practicing on the end of the student. I love the excitement my students get from seeing progress, and if you're willing to work a little, progress is a guaranteed reward!
If you're someone who has never touched a keyboard in their life, after 4-6 months you can expect to be able to understand note values, read simple rhythms, sightread simple works, play pieces with two hands, among many other valuable skill sets. Late beginner to intermediate students can expect to be playing early advanced pieces within this time frame, as well as understanding more advanced concepts and techniques.
I utilize the Kodaly solfege method as I was taught at Millersville University, because I have found it invaluable in learning pieces. As a beginner, you will learn note values, rhythms, sight-reading, how to sing while playing, musical vocabulary, basic music history, theory relative to the piece you are learning, scales, arpeggios, proper performance technique, and much more! I frequently request a simple composition from the student to increase creativity and understanding of the instrument, and try to hold a recital bi-yearly for the students to show off their improvements!
*** Travel Equipment ***
I either provide the books and the parents reimburse me, or I tell the parents what to purchase. expect the student to provide either a piano or keyboard, a proper bench and music stand.
*** Specialties ***
Classical, Romantic, Contemporary, Rock, Pop
Bass Guitar, Guitar, Music Performance, Music Recording, Music Theory, Piano, Songwriting
I graduated with a B.A. in Professional Music from Boston's Berklee College of Music. When I first heard about Berklee, I too thought of warm and sunny Berkeley California and not the frigid winters in Boston. Berklee however, is respected world-wide as the musicians music college. Each year, only 3% of students are able to graduate. Advanced freshman placement accelerated all Berklee core requirements by my sophomore year. An early focus on their Advanced Harmony/Theory and Ear Training electives provided the rare opportunity of experiencing Berklee's highest level courses in both departments. I graduated with Honors in 7 semesters with a cumulative music GPA of 3.6. (Magna Cum Laude). Since graduation, I've been a full-time independent professional musician with over 28 years of experience in all facets of music. Teaching private piano, guitar, and bass students however, is my first love and I consider my biggest accomplishment to be the accomplishments of my students. Since Berklee, I've amassed an extensive teaching library from over 5,000 original lesson plans tailored to meet the needs of students of all ages, levels, and musical interests. Acquiring and maintaining private students for over 28 years has been based solely through word-of-mouth referrals from students, parents, and teachers. A high percentage of students perform in bands, record professionally, and teach independently or in schools. Many letters of recommendation have provided college entry and 6 of 8 recommendations to attend Berkee have since graduated. Teaching beginning music students at any age is most important to me however. So many students never get the opportunity to ever realize their potential as was the case with me. From age 12 to 23, I was frustrated as I was only ever taught how to read music. Reading is important, but there's more to what we hear that meets the eye (pun intended I guess). I believe this is one of the reasons most people say, "If only I had stuck with lessons". Every student entering Berklee is told to forget everything they've ever learned up until now. Professional Performance: I've demonstrated over 28 years of professional diversity with a variety of genres (i.e. jazz, rock, blues, classical, etc.) facilitated through an equal proficiency with piano, guitar, and bass. Versatility has helped to provide over 9,000 solo, band, and free-lance performances at over 2,000 different venues. I've performed bass and keyboard duties simultaneously via split keyboard in original trio for over 15 years with world-respected drummer Clyde Lucas (Count Basie, Ray Charles, etc.). While attending college, I performed in Boston jazz clubs with prominent Berklee students including Smitty Smith from Jay Leno's Tonight Show Band. Other notable bands include Robert Gordan, Eddie Holman (Hey There Lonely Girl), Cab Calloway, and The Moody Blues. Long list includes prominent politicians and various jazz festivals. Recording/Composition: I've recorded 200+ original compositions and 50+ student play-a-long C.D.'s from my elaborate home studio. Advanced recording techniques implementing analog, MIDI, digital and synchronization formats has provided vast experience in both the professional and home studio. Multiple clients have hired me to transcribe, arrange, and record all instrumental parts for a variety of diverse artists and professional recording studio projects including jingles, commercials, and film.
*** Lesson Details ***
All students are provided a safe environment in my townhouse of 20 years located in a nice suburban townhouse development minutes from the intersection of Rt. 30 and Rt. 23 (New Holland Ave.). My 3rd floor teaching studio provides all instruments and students have the option to bring their guitar or bass to each lesson or simply use one of mine. Parents can either choose to observe the lesson, relax in my living room, or shop at the Lancaster Shopping Center 2 minutes from my house. Jim has an incredible wealth of knowledge and skills to share with students of all backgrounds, so please get in touch with us to set something up. Our rates are reasonable for the kind of expertise that Jim is available to provide.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Full 3rd floor dedicated for teaching: waiting area for parents on the 1st floor or they can come up to the 3rd floor.
*** Specialties ***
Berklee's highest freshman placement allowed me to accelerate focus through all advanced theory and ear training electives providing rare completion of highest available level course in both departments. Utilize that with equal interest and experience in all styles and genres (jazz, rock, blues, classical,etc.). Equal proficiency with piano, guitar, and bass.
"Steven is very professional and extremely helpful. He always has a smile on and is serious about helping you phrase the music. I would highly recommend him to anyone."
"It's been really exciting so far! Jordan has been so helpful, so knowledgeable. I could not have found a better instructor and I'm getting better and better every day."
"My daughter's wedding was weeks away and I had never been able to dance a step. With Jenny's help, I came further than ever before in such short time in any subject."