My name is Aleksis B., but many of my students know me as Mr. B. I am a professional instructor and performing musician who combines a love of music with a desire to help others who want to achieve their highest musical potential. I try to make that passion show in everything I do.
My education includes classical voice training with Michele Howard Hansen, an opera singer that often performs at the Kennedy Center. I studied piano with Geoffrey Chappell, who writes for Jazz Times. I also received compositional training on multiple instruments from Stanley Cowell, who recorded and performed with legends like Miles Davis.
I have been performing professionally since 1992. I studied education in college and did my student teaching in a music class at Goshen Elementary School in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
I have been teaching music professionally now for over twenty years. Some students want to take a few lessons to see if it is something they will enjoy, others have worked with me for over a decade. I have mentored several students who have gone on to professional careers. I have experienced a lot of success teaching young children and those with special needs. I have been blessed with a tremendous amount of patience and truly enjoy teaching anyone who wants to learn.
Whatever your goals or abilities, I look forward to working with you!
*** Lesson Details ***
Experience fun based lessons as my teaching approach is relaxed and inspirational. I enjoy working with all ages, adjusting my teaching methods to accommodate your learning style and abilities. Learn to play the music you love! You learn best when you enjoy what you are playing, I can help you play along with your favorites or even write your own songs. I always ask my students at the beginning of a lesson "What would you like to do today?" Then structure the lesson accordingly into a routine that the student can practice on their own. Generally the time is divided into warm ups, learning new material, then picking a fun song the student choses. Whether your interest is Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop music, etc... I'm here help you reach your goals so let's make your dreams come true with music together!
*** Studio Equipment ***
basement, digital piano, acoustic/electric guitars, speakers, amps, microphones, recording equipment, seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment ***
Books, Guitar, music stand, metronome, picks, tuner, page clips, capo, media player, laptop, Keyboard (on request), and recording equipment (on request)
*** Specialties ***
With Voice I specialize in helping people prepare for auditions such as American Idol. I have students who simply want to be karaoke stars. I have several professional singers that hire me as a voice coach and producer for recording sessions. I have taught children as young as 2 and those that retired with a lifelong dream to sing. Though my training is classical, I can teach Jazz, Pop, Rock, Rap, R&B, etc...whatever is fun for the student. I highly recommend learning to read music but I do not push it unless parents want their child to.
With Piano I can teach traditionally from Alfred and Bastien Piano Courses depending if they are auditory or visual learners. For Kinesthetic learners I use Hanon scale exercises and Rothman Rhythm Exercises. For those that want to learn notation I introduce classical and Jazz composers unless there is a popular artist/band/movie theme etc...that they would like to learn. However I do not push students to read music unless their parents would prefer it. I tend to keep more students that want to learn to play by ear especially adults by using rhythm training and music theory exercises and then applying them to songs they love. For piano I haven't had much success with children younger than 3. I also have a lot experience working with special needs children.
For Guitar I teach Classical, Acoustic, and Electric all styles and genres. I encourage sight reading but don't mind using tabs. I use more exercises with these students, since the first month students have a hard time making a sound. I try to make the lessons fun by having students strum chords along with songs they chose. I teach lead and rhythm even songwriting and composition. Job satisfaction for me is seeing my students leave a lesson with a smile on their face so I make sure to be a fun based teacher that doesn't give the student a hard time about not practicing.
For Recording and Performance I use the knowledge I gained doing Pro Audio Sales for Guitar Center from 2000-2002 to help clients build their own home studio. I have lots of producers and engineers I work with on a regular basis to produce broadcast quality audio and video recordings and help my students use their lessons and pre-production for those opportunities. I can teach Garage Band or Pro Tools classes on navigating the software and utilizing all the commands. I can also teach room acoustics and using the right microphone and how to position them with the right equipment and the right acoustics to get the best possible tone that they are looking for. I can also teach editing, mixing, looping, sampling, midi, and mastering so that the student can eventually work on their own writing, performing, and recording their music.