Erika is a multi-instrumentalist on a mission - to share the power of music with as many people as possible!
Raised by an opera singer, Erika was exposed to classical music before birth; she knew how to read music before she could read words! From an early age, Erika knew that she was going to be a musician. At 10 years old, she began her study of piano; at 12, she taught herself viola and violin. Her career started at the age of 14 with a church pianist job and her very first private student. By 16, she was playing viola with the local symphony orchestra, accompanying collegiate vocalists, and teaching adults 20 years her senior! Before leaving for college, Erika had the very special honor of being one of eight pianists chosen state-wide to attend the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts.
Erika received her Bachelors Degree in viola performance from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is currently finishing her Masters Degree in viola performance at Lamont School of Music, University of Denver. During her contracted time at Lamont, Erika was also the viola Graduate Teaching Assistant. After earning her Masters Degree, Erika plans to pursue a Doctorate in viola pedagogy. Erika has also played with numerous symphonies and chamber groups.
With fourteen years of teaching and performance experience, Erika believes that anyone can learn an instrument and that everyone benefits from music!
*** Lesson Details ***
I tailor my lesson plans to each individual student because everyone has their own unique learning style. Our first lesson will consist of finding out which learning style works best for you (i.e. visual, auditory, tactile) and what you want to accomplish during our time together. If you already have some experience on your instrument we'll also do an assessment, which is basically you playing a prepared piece of your choice for me.
As a teacher, I like to provide as well-rounded an education as I possibly can. Not only do you learn how to play your instrument, but you'll also learn the "building blocks" of Western music, the "whys" of music, and how to perform in front of an audience.
I'm an extremely laid back and easy going person; I understand just how busy and unpredictable life can be! That being said, playing an instrument isn't easy and does require practice and hard work - not to worry, though - it'll still be fun and rewarding!
My curriculum does vary based on instrument, age, and skill level. For young beginners learning violin/viola, I prefer to use the Suzuki Method (Pre-Twinkle - Book 4). When teaching piano, I've found the Alfred Series to be beneficial to both young and adult students (beginning through intermediate). With my advanced students, I use literature in the standard repertoire. However, if there's a certain method or set of books that you've used in previous lessons and would like to continue with, I'll be happy to accommodate you.
Everyone learns and masters concepts at their own pace, so it's quite difficult to predict where a student will be in just a few months. For Pre-Twinkle students, many graduate to their real instrument between 2-6 months. Many beginning piano students will be playing music with both hands and chords by 3 months. Students that have prior experience can expect to learn at least a few new concepts by 3 months. One of the most important things to remember about music lessons is that you get what you put in. In other words, your progress directly correlates with the amount of hard work that you do!
Lastly, I would like to explain my parent/guardian involvement policy regarding younger students. I require an adult present in every lesson if the student is under 13, preferably one that lives with the student. The reason for this requirement is for practice - it's extremely difficult for students that age to correct their own posture, learn their own music, etc. unless they have consistent help from someone that is observing and participating in their lessons. While I don't require an adult present for students 13 and older, if you do wish to observe, you're more than welcome to!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my profile, have a wonderful day!
*** Studio Equipment ***
Anything and everything you could possibly need to learn music!
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide my own instrument and music stand; if required, I can also provide public domain music. I expect my student to provide a distraction free, quiet area so that our lessons can be as productive as possible. I expect my student to provide their own instrument, notebook, and music; at a certain level, the student will also need access to a metronome/tuner during practice. I prefer that students purchase their own music so that they can use it forever.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in classical music and am trained in the Suzuki Method (violin/viola) pre-twinkle through book four.
Teaching and gigging in the Classical music world!
Teach freshman and sophomores scales and technique class.
Pre-Twinkle through Book 4.