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.
Lane Hornfeck September 10, 2015
In home Verified Student
Awesome first lesson! Am so excited we found Mr. B! Thank you!!
Ethan G. June 11, 2015
In home Verified Student
Aless really seemed to connect with our son. Will be looking forward to see how continued lessons go.
Lethe L. May 14, 2015
In home Verified Student
I began my studies in music during high school, where I began to pursue a career as a vocalist. I studied for 6 years under professional opera singer, Paul Nelson, and later landed a role in the chorus of 'Annie Get Your Gun' on Broadway starring Burnadette Peters and Tom Wopat.
I continued my studies at Wheaton College, MA, and graduated with a B.A. in Music and Composition. Throughout college, I directed and conducted vocal and instrumental groups of various genres, and also began teaching. I specialized in vocal arranging, music production, and performance.
Since graduating in 2008,
I've taught about 50 students per week in voice, guitar, piano, music theory, and music production (Pro Tools).
*** Lesson Details *** I first ask the student, as well as the student's parents, to agree on a set goal. Then, I develop a 'mini-curriculum' tailored to the student's strengths and weaknesses. I structure each lesson the same way: theory fundamentals, exercises, and performance practice. Within in each lesson, I also incorporate visuals, games, and other media. Live performances are also highly encouraged.
My student's would say that my lessons are motivational and packed with energy. I always follow up with parents to discuss progress, and the student's mandatory log book helps to keep everyone informed of what is expected each week.
*** Travel Equipment *** I provide only equipment that I will personally use for the lesson (books, audio, and instrument). I do not provide instruments, electronic equipment (i.e. amps, cords, keyboards, speakers, computer, etc), books, or sheet music. I expect my students to have or purchase all the materials they will need.
*** Specialties *** I offer ear training, songwriting, and music production workshops for artists interested in pursuing a career in the music industry.
Suezan L. November 27, 2013
Guitar Verified Student
Greg is a fantastic teacher. All the traits you look for he has: knowledge, patience, kindness, skills, communication, and a clear sense of direction.
I provide a healthy approach to musical theatre teaching students the basics, to more advanced techniques such as proper belting and faux mixing.
Joshua began his teaching career as a graduate teaching assistant (TA) while pursuing his Master's degree at Florida State University. As a TA he taught voice lessons to undergraduate students, preparing them for auditions, recitals, and end of the term juries. Since graduating from FSU, Joshua has maintained a dynamic private vocal studio. Offering lessons to students from diverse backgrounds and varying levels of experience, utilizing a very personal approach to each student, tailoring lessons to meet each individuals needs. Under the belief that a solid vocal technique is the key to great s
inging, he begins from the ground up, addressing each aspect of singing, including the alignment of the body while singing, the inhale of the breath, the management of the breath while singing, and the physical action of singing.
Joshua's students come from all walks of life, and with his guidance, many have achieved new personal heights. Current and former students have done things such as: recording albums with their band; record solo albums; successfully audition for premier choirs; get booked as a solo entertainer; be cast as a lead in a musical; appear on national television; receive highest ratings on end-of-semester evaluations; and excel with their karaoke league!
Joshua is also an active performer. With a repertoire that spans opera, oratorio, song, and even straight-plays, Mr. B. is a versatile and intriguing artist. He has performed a variety of well-known operatic roles, such as Rodolfo, in Puccini’s La Boheme, Borsa in Verdi’s Rigoletto, and Lensky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Recently he appeared as the young tenor Tony Candolino, with Lyric Opera Virginia, in their production of Terrance McNally’s tony-winning play Masterclass. Other notable operatic roles are Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte, and Camille de Rossilon in The Merry Widow. Joshua also enjoys exploring more obscure, contemporary works as well, such as Adam in Soluri’s Adam and Eve, The Celebrant in Mark Adamo’s Avow, and The Englishman in Jacques Ibert's Angelique. Mr. B. has also had the great honor of performing several scenes as Lenny in Carlisle Floyd's Of Mice and Men (an opera based on the popular novel by John Steinbeck) at a benefit for the composer himself.
Joshua also enjoys an active career as a concert soloist, appearing in such works as The Messiah, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and Haydn’s Harmoniemesse. Recently he has appeared as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, as well as Carl Orff’s pivotal Carmina Burana. Joshua also had the privilege of joining the Cathedral Choral Society as the tenor soloist in last year’s performance of Rachmaninov’s Vespers, for special guests, their Excellencies, the ambassadors of Russia and Ukraine. In May, Joshua will once again join the Cathedral Choral Society as the tenor soloist in their performances of Mozart’s Davide Penitente, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass.
Recently Joshua won second prize at The Partners for the Arts inaugural vocal competition. Joshua is also a past winner of the Hannah Beaulieu Vocal Competition, and 2013 finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Mid-Atlantic region.
In 2010 Mr. B. made his European debut singing the role of Tamino from Mozart's Die Zauberfl te at the Mittels chsisches Theater in Freiberg, Germany. He also stepped in on short notice to sing several performances of Erster Geharnischter when the house tenor became ill.
Joshua is an emerging artist of the American Wagner Project, and recently attended Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices.
Vicente L. October 20, 2014
In studio Verified Student
Makes you feel at ease. great instructor.
Bernice H. October 7, 2014
I just love working with Josh. He knows his stuff and at the same time is fun to work with. He knows technique and anatomy, so he's able to describe all the details of what your air, tongue, palate, etc. should be doing. I never knew how much was involved in singing!
Plus he's always striving to find new and innovative ways to teach. He is not just an excellent singer who assumes he can pass it on, he really cares about the best way to help you improve.
Another thing I really appreciate is that Josh holds you to high standard. He insists on quality, but that means when he says you got it right, you know you really nailed it! Through it all his vibrant and warm personality shines through.
Anna C. September 24, 2014
A week after my first lesson with Joshua, people in the congregation of my church where I sang, expressed their amazement at the progress I had made. Two years later, I can reach high octaves, sing with confidence and do things with my voice I never dreamed I would be capable of doing. I am older than most of Joshua’s students and have a different background from them (in non-Western music). Yet one of his greatest gifts Joshua has is his sensitivity, creativity and ability to understand and truly connect with people. Instead of a rigid, "one-size-fits-all” method, he creates flexible and unique approaches that fit the personality and learning style of each individual student. At the same time, the depth and rigor of his approach are unparalleled. What has been a source of excitement and progress for me is his patience and the seriousness of his approach. He treats me—not as someone who never took herself seriously as a singer—but as if I were an accomplished opera singer with global reputation. He lingers on phrases or words to correct enunciation; bring out nuances of interpretation or explain the relationship between physical and musical elements in a sound and work patiently with me until I can do it right. Originally I thought I would take a few basic singing lessons for 3-6 months but I have been getting so much out of studying with Joshua that it has been over two years now and I can’t even foresee an end. Every single lesson is a discovery of a new level of clarity and singing ability and every single week represents progress over the previous week.
This is fun music! Learn how to do it without going losing your voice…or your friends.
Acting – I have taught all kinds of acting, including Audition Skills, Shakespeare, Stage, Film & TV, Dramatic, Comedic, whatever. I also have quite a bit of experience performing in all those arenas.
Voice – Anyone can sing. I you want to and have always thought you couldn't, you will be delighted when I prove you wrong. If you're a serious singer, no matter what kind of singing you want to do, you should train classically. It's just the best way to train those delicate muscles. I am an excellent coach, at any level. I will teach you how to OWN the song. That's what keeps people coming b
ack. However, as an instructor, I am better with beginners.
Speaking – Ever lost your voice because you were talking too much? Every professional speaker I know of has. YOU DON'T HAVE TO. It's simply a matter of knowing the correct way to produce the sound. That's easy for me to teach.
Writing – I have been a professional writer and editor for over eight years; I have books, articles, posts, newsletters, etc. published. The point of grammar is to facilitate communication, NOT to be right. I can teach you practical grammar, not just correct grammar. I can show you how to make your words flow and be easily read. If there are typos in here, please understand you should never proofread your own work.
Nutrition/Alternative Medicine – I have been in this field for over 25 years. I am certified as a Sports Massage Therapist and most of my experience is in that area, but over the years, I have garnered quite a bit of usable knowledge.
Meditation – There is no one right way to meditate. You don't even have to be still to meditate, although it's a good place to start. We'll find a way(s) that's right for you.
Olivia P. September 18, 2015
Essay Writing ·
In studio Verified Student
I really like it. She is very easy to talk to. She is very practical and flexible with schedule.
Cathy L. September 3, 2015
In studio Verified Student
My child absolutely loves taking acting lessons with Susan. She has been incredibly helpful in furthering his acting techniques, skills and talents for school theater roles and potentially a future career in this field. Since lesson 1, he was hooked! We could not be happier with our experience with Susan!
Erica B. July 1, 2015
In home Verified Student
I am overall, very pleased with the lessons I have been having with Susan Scher. She is a very good instructor, who has taught me a lot of new things. I am glad I signed up!
Susanna is an American soprano whose recent engagements have included Suor Angelica (Miami Lyric Opera, Gusman Center); the Charlatan (Victorian Lyric Opera, F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater); L'incoronazione di Poppea (Symphony Space), Die Zauberflöte (DiMenna Center), and Don Giovanni (Lincoln Center, New York Lyric Opera).
Experienced voice teacher of 5 years available for students of all experience levels! I structure my lessons so students learn what they want to learn, while also building a strong foundation of healthy technique. I specialize in bel canto operatic technique, with emphasis on proper support and placement on every vowel and through each consonant. This is the same technique that is used by all the great broadway legends. I work with a wide range of reperatorie with my students, including opera, lieder, oratorio, and classic music theatre in all voice types.
Susanna Barasch is an American soprano whose recent engagements have included Puccini's Suor Angelica (Miami Lyric Opera, Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Miami); Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea (New York Lyric Opera, Symphony Space, NYC), Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (New York Lyric Opera, DiMenna Center for Classical Music, NYC), Mozart's Don Giovanni (New York Lyric Opera, Lincoln Center, NYC); and Sousa's The Charlatan (Victorian Lyric Opera, F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater, Maryland).
Teaching all levels of singing, Ms. Barasch's speciality is classical and operatic voice and hol
ds studios in DC, NoVa, and NYC, including the Cardon Studios and M Institute for the Arts in DC. Holding a BA of Music from The George Washington University, she has studied under renowned Romanian soprano, Virginia Zeani, Met Opera baritone Mark Oswald, and internationally acclaimed bel canto pedagogue Joan Patenaude-Yarnell. She is also a disciple of Bulgarian piano virtuoso Tzvetan Konstantinov. Ms. Barasch serves on the board of the The International Master Institute of Music "Leopold Godowsky", Inc. and is President/CEO of the M Institute for the Arts, Inc.
Board Member - International Master Institute of Music "Leopold Godowsky", Inc. President/CEO - M Institute for the Arts, Inc.
--Studio Features-- Baby Grand Piano Music Stand Large Room Professional Recording Equipment Music Library Located in Georgetown
--Recitals/Performances-- As a member of the Washington Music Teachers Association, Ms. Barasch's students are invited to participate in their performance opportunities, such as competitions, judged recitals and non-competitive events such as musicales, recitals and festivals. Students are also encouraged to audition for local and regional opportunities as it provides more "real world" experience. Additionally, students are encouraged to work towards their own solo recitals to showcase their repertoire specifically, like a senior recital at conservatories. Scenes are often prepared. Participation in performance opportunities is entirely voluntary and not required of the student.
--Students Ages 6-14-- I have a lot of experience teaching children. Teachers and directors must be careful with young voices as their vocal chords aren't as strong as an adult's, so it is important to give them the right kind of instruction. I cannot train them classically at this age. I currently have two students under 10, one of whom sings with the Washington National Opera's children's choir and the other is singing the lead of Annie in her school musical.
--Prospective Students-- Prospective students are invited to audition for lessons to see if we are a good fit for each other. Materials needed for lessons are:
-Two, three-ring binders with tabbed/labeled copies of repertoire, one for the pianist and one for the student. -A notebook. -An audio recording device.
--Scheduling-- I do not update my TakeLessons scheduler, as I have students at various different studios and, therefore, have my own scheduler. Please select your first-choice time slot on TakeLessons and we will go from there!
Mo F. July 2, 2015
Vocal Training ·
In studio Verified Student
Susanna is a great teacher! My first lesson exceeded my expectations.
Diane D. April 14, 2015
Classical Voice ·
Susanna is the best! I am singing things I never thought I would be able to sing. I can't recommend her enough!
Dede B. March 16, 2015
Classical Voice ·
After just one lesson with Susanna I knew I had found a phenomenal teacher. She really studied directly with the best names in opera, specifically in the bel canto style. And she's able to explain it all really well. After a few months of lessons, my signing now feels so easy. It has a line to it, is controlled, clear, more powerful, more flexible, and all of my previous vocal problems have disappeared. I don't know what I did without her. SUSANNA IS THE BEST!!!
Students are raving about their Broadway Singing instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Wendy
"Coren is amazing! She's thoughtful, kind and great at what she does. My daughter took singing lessons to prepare for an audition to go for the role of I
gor in Young Frankenstein- AND SHE GOT THE ROLE!!! Coren even called her on her way to the audition to do warm ups over the phone!!! We are so pleased with her progress under Coren's guidance!!! Thanks Coren!!!!!"
Las Vegas, NV teacher:
Review by Cj
"i recently came out of an audition and I sang my musical pieces better than I've ever done them before! The auditioner sat me down at the end and said he
loves my voice. He said, based on how much he liked my pieces and how well I did that he would like to extend an early invitation for callbacks for the program! I really have Patricia to thank for that. She has helped me improve my voice by leaps and bounds in the time that i have been working with her and its amazing to get such immediate and rewarding results. I CAN NOT THANK PATRICIA ENOUGH! SHE COULD NOT HAVE PREPARED ME ANY BETTER AND IM SO GRATEFUL THAT I GET TO WORK WITH HER!!"
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Kuhoo
"My 12 year old daughter had the ability to sing but lacked everything else - technique, acting, strength, and stamina - That's where Pierce came in. He ta
ught her how to emote when singing, how to control her expressions and how to sing with confidence. His care and commitment meant the world to my daughter - she had someone in her court that had a vested interest in her success. As a mother, that meant the world to me. Pierce is wonderful - he is upbeat, hugely talented, and a joy to work with. I would recommend him any and everyday."
San Francisco, CA teacher:
Pierce Peter B.
Review by Austin
"Exactly what I was looking for.
Before taking lessons with Eric I had zero formal singing experience and in the 5 lessons I've had with him I've come a l
ong way. My goal going into these lessons was to be able to get parts in musicals, and Eric has helped me a lot in working to achieve that goal. He is always reliable and honest and I know he gives the best lesson he can give every time. In his lessons it is apparent he knows a lot about the subject of music; and, he is able to explain his knowledge in a wide variety of ways - from extremely technical to a little bit philosophical. Eric is a very good singer himself and as a result has been able to personally show me what I'm doing wrong, how to fix it, and what it should sound like when I do.
If you sign up for lessons with Eric you will have: a comfortable, reliable environment to work in, a teacher who will do everything he can to help you improve and will be honest about how far you've come and how far you need to go, and a new appreciation for the depth and beauty of music."
Grand Rapids, MI teacher:
Review by Allison
"Corinne is amazing! I have been studying voice with her weekly for about two years now, and my musical theatre callback and booking rate has multiplied so
much since before I started with her. She is so friendly and accommodating to my crazy, unreliable schedule. She always manages to fit me in when I need to see her for audition prep etc. She has also helped a lot on the business end of things with helping me create/work on my Book. She is wonderful at pinpointing what needs to be worked on most individually with her clients and letting that be an area of focus, while still making sure to give a full lesson with everything you need. For me, my weakness when I started with her was my mix. Now, two years later, at the last musical theatre audition I had (which I booked) I was complimented by the musical director about how nice my mix was. I definitely credit Corinne for that! I would highly recommend Corinne to singers of any level! Whether new and wanting to learn how to carry a tune, or professional singers looking for a good vocal workout, she is your lady!"
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Simone
"Fawn is a refreshing change and one of the best instructors we have ever known
After going through a barrage of music instructors, Fawn was a refreshing
change. Our family has been taking piano, voice, performance and songwriting lessons from Fawn for 3 years now. My husband, myself and our son and daughter are her students and we all adore her. She has a lovely spirit and kind heart. She pushes us each in our own individual ways to be the best we can each be, and she always checks in to see how we are doing on a personal level too. She is such a positive person, her energy could light up an entire city. I donât know any one that works harder. I think hearing her songs on the radio, seeing her perform and work hard at her own successful music career, as well as work hard at helping her students achieve their best is one of the things that motivates me to work harder. Fawnâs attitude is, âanything is possible if you believeâ. Not only do we believe, but we believe in her. She is the best candidate for the job and this household deeply appreciates her."
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Stephanie
"Absolutely worth the time and the fees.
Vanessa is an excellent teacher. She is very knowledgeable and experienced in her field, and does a wonderful job
passing that on. My son has improved incredibly in a short time. She is also a great confidence builder, she makes my son feel that he can learn to sing any song he chooses and sing it well. She is also very personable and easy to work with. We are both very glad we chose her for lessons."
Seattle, WA teacher:
Review by Anuja
"A Wonderful Teacher!
Jessie is an incredible person to work with. I went in looking to work on my range and songs for musical theatre and came out with a
better understanding of technique and intonation. She is always patient and understanding of her students and is always willing to help them any way she can. She helped me pick songs for my auditions and also informed me about other auditions in the area. I also learned basic piano from her awesome piano worksheet tutorials! Jessie not only is a great instructor, but a great performer as well . Although her voice is beautiful, she doesn't make me feel inadequate or intimidated. Her lessons are always fun to me because of her sense of humour and kindness. Overall, I've had a great experience with Jessie and can't wait to see her again!"
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Velynda
"A phenomenal teacher! She's patient, teaches with positive reinforcement, and is a determined teacher. Definitively cares about her students and strives f