American jazz saxophonist and composer Charlie Parker said, Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. This sentiment shaped my views on music and its performance. One of my great pleasures in life is sharing an appreciation of music.
I had always been a part of music. My father played trumpet, my mother could play guitar and carry a tune. They believed music was an important part of life so they started me on piano at 5 years old. And I've been playing that ever since. I started learning to sing in my middle school c
horus when I was 11 years old. I really liked it and I liked it more when I would sing my mother and father's favorite songs and see them smile. So I listened to a lot of singers and vocalists that they liked and learned by emulating them and applying what I was learning in chorus. My piano lessons helped grasp the theory behind music and gave me a good ear for pitches.
I studied voice at the University of Maryland College Park School of Music. In their chorus I had the pleasure of learning and performing many wonderful pieces such as Verdis Requiem and St. Matthew's Passion. During that time I had chance of playing with the University Jazz Band as both their pianist and as their jazz singer. I even arranged my own version of Too Darn Hot by Cole Porter that was performed by the band in 2007.
I also work a lot with musical theatre. I've been in a number of shows in Maryland including Rent and Hairspray, and Into the Woods. I also free lance as a music director in the area. I've been a music director for 10 years and I love every minute of it. My music director credits include Children of Eden, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Annie, Grease, My Fair Lady, A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, And the World Goes Round, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Wizard of Oz, Jekyll & Hyde for which I was nominated for Outstanding Musical Direction in 2011 and Ragtime for which I was named one of the "Best of 2013: Favorite Musical Direction" by DC Metro Arts and won WATCH Award for Outstanding Musical Direction.
I believe that to get as good as you want to be, of course you have to work at it, but there's no reason that you can't enjoy learning it. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to be able to teach you soon. Mayumi G.
*** Lesson Details *** Practice makes perfunk. This is a saying that was always hanging on my band teacher's door in high school. It was a reminder that it requires work to get something right, but you need to take breaks and relax a bit too. That's how I feel about teaching in general. Constantly working and being worried about getting it just right can lead to bad habits. So I make sure that the lesson is balanced between a relaxed atmosphere and an effective working environment.
I can teach a variety of styles. But I like to always make sure that the fundamentals of singing are solid regardless of whether you want to sing classical or jazz or pop. So I go into: Proper techniques for breathing Creating good tonal sounds Diction
I believe that singers have a greater advantage if they are able to read music and understand theory. I believe that it makes learning music by oneself much easier as well. So I also have the option to go into basic music theory (i.e. reading music notation and rhythms) to advance music theory(i.e. roman numeral analysis, ear training, harmonic progression) if you choose to do so.
For intro to piano, I follow the same structure as beginning singers and also start with the fundamental basics that will help lead into whatever style you wish to play: How to read music Understanding basic music theory how to play what you read Finger strengthening
For both piano and singing: After some basic training, I start to give a variety of different style songs to work with. I do encourage student to bring songs they want to learn and tailor lessons around that particular song and style. I like them to learn 2 songs per lesson increasing to 3 or 4 depending on the pace of the student and the amount of workload they feel they are able to handle.
I do believe that listening to music is part of the learning process so every few weeks or so I like to give the student 1 or 2 YouTube clips I found and have them watch it then come in the next week and we discuss the video both good and bad and what they can learn from it.
As they progress the songs get more difficult and we start really honing in on the techniques of the production of sound as well as performance aesthetics, as in how to create a presence on stage, how to project the sound more, overall how to give a good performance.
Some of my past students would use the lesson time to learn about auditioning for musicals and stage productions. If the student has any such desire all they have to do is ask and I will set aside time to work on how to audition for shows and what most music directors look for when they hear you sing. For those who don't, I like to give the option to give a recital if the student feels comfortable to do so. It would be held in a local studio, very casual affair just to give the student that experience of music as a performing art.
Note: I do teach at my home. I do have pets, 3 guinea pigs and a cat. If this is an issue, I can also travel to the student home.
*** Studio Equipment *** Music room with keyboard and office equipment. Seating for parents.
**She has a cat, and some guinea pigs**
*** Travel Equipment *** Teaching piano: I own a weighted keyboard suitable for instruction. Teaching voice: I can accompany the student as they sing
*** Specialties *** In piano I tend to teach classical, but I do move away from that after they've grasped the basic technique and theory to how to sight read and improvise, even play by ear.
In voice, I start with basic classical technique and after they've grasped the fundamentals of good vocal production, branch out into different styles of music from straight classical/opera to Broadway to jazz to pop and r&b.
Warren August 12, 2016
Never before have I had a music teacher who was so adaptive in his/her teaching method. I have had previous music instruction, but had some theory gaps in that needed to be filled. Mayumi assessed my knowledge level and got me right into what I needed to learn. She is also an expert at bringing more commonly known terms and musical pieces in which to tie the lesson to real world musical situations that her student might be more familiar with. Very much looking forward to future lessons with her!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED INSTRUCTOR ^_^
Shawday G. August 9, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Mary November 27, 2015
Excellent instructor provides detailsinformation on the importance of
understanding and mastering breathing techniques when singing.
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!
*** 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.
Hazel H. May 17, 2016
In home Verified Student
Nunu L. May 2, 2016
In home Verified Student
Very patient and supportive attitude!
Barbara S. March 5, 2016
In home Verified Student
Aleksis is very personable, knowledgeable, and kind. He makes the lesson fun and definitely puts you at ease. Would highly recommend him!
I began to pursue a career as a vocalist at the age of 12. I studied for 6 years under a professional opera singer and 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. Throughout college, I directed and conducted vocal and instrumental groups of various genres, and also began teaching.
Since graduating in 2008, I've taught hundreds of students voice, guitar, piano, music theory, and audio engineering.
During the day, I am a Network Engineer and
enjoy playing ice hockey!
*** Lesson Details *** I first ask the student, as well as the 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 each lesson, I 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.
*** Instruments/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 also offer ear training, songwriting, vocal arranging and music production workshops for artists interested in pursuing a career in the music industry.
Jack S. April 5, 2016
In home Verified Student
On Time, local, very nice and quickly gained an understanding of Benni and his capabilities and limitations. Patient and nince.
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.
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.
Edward August 12, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Susan knows her stuff. One lesson was a good start.
Alex S. December 10, 2015
Film and TV Acting ·
In home Verified Student
I loved how she taught me so much in just one session. She gave me more confidence but she was still a reality check for me.
Laura McManus November 7, 2015
Film and TV Acting ·
In studio Verified Student
My son has done very well in his lessons with Susan. She's easy to work to, varies the content to keep it interesting, and overall a wonderful teacher.
Broadway/Musical Theater has a rich and exciting history, evolving from opera to operetta, to major movie productions from the golden era of Hollywood in the 1940's/ 1950's to radical social and political themes from the 1960's (a la Hair) to present day Hamilton. We survey this history with songs spanning the Musical Theater genre, and focus on songs of student's choosing. Exploration of story-line, character study, and "song as monologue" are major considerations within lessons. Audition preparation can be part of the lessons as indicated by the student. In terms of the Broadway "sound", we use exercises that expand the voice in volume, range and emotional expression.
A graduate of Duke Ellington School for the Arts and the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Rachel Panay is a 6 time Billboard Club charting singer/songwriter in the Dance music genre. She recently returned to her musical theatre roots appearing as Rose in Theatre Lab's production of The Secret Garden. Rachel is also a Wolftrap resident teaching artist in DC schools and has been commissioned by Wolftrap to create and perform her original children's performance piece, Jazz Cat/Blues Kitty. She leads worship music weekly at Luther Place Memorial Church and sings with community gospel choir
, The Ambassadors of Praise.
As teacher, Rachel is warm, friendly & energetic. Her passion for every facet of music is expressed in her desire to impart that same appreciation to her students. She tailors lessons according to the individual student's goals and interests. With younger students, Rachel communicates regularly with parents so they can work together to get the most out of lessons!
Katie August 25, 2016
Rachel was a wonderful teacher: patient, talented, and very attuned to my specific needs and goals. As an adult pursuing singing lessons, it was important to me to have a teacher that could be flexible to my schedule and my goals, and I had a wonderful experience with Rachel. I'm sadly leaving DC, so won't be able to continue lessons, but will definitely miss her as a teacher!
Olivia S. April 15, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Caring, fun, creative, and great with kids. She teaches my five year olds piano and they look forward to their lessons every week.
sam January 26, 2016
Jazz Voice ·
Rachel has a wealth of knowledge and experience to offer her students. She is fun to work with and very attentive to her student's individual levels and interests.
Students are raving about their Broadway Singing instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Vanessa
"Ms. Alayne is a very professional, and great mentor. She recognizes a student's strengths and weaknesses. I admire her for her passion towards music. You
can actually feel it through her teachings. I would most definitely recommend her to everyone.
I am currently studying Broadway under her, and so far it's been an awesome experience."
Orlando, FL teacher:
Review by Justin Vidovic
"I've worked with a number of voice teachers and have always really struggled. The fact is: just because someone can sing and has been trained to sing, do
esn't mean they can teach. Monica is a teacher almost as much as she is a performer. She THINKS about pedagogy ALL the time, like real teachers do. When she is learning, she is thinking of ways to pass on that knowledge to her students. She puzzles about EACH of her students, crafting lessons for THAT particular student, starting where that student is, and moving them forward in the way that particular student needs to be moved forward. There is no cookie cutter progression of lessons from Monica. This natural spirit of a teacher also shows in the balance she has between real passion to see her students improve (and so the desire to push her students) and TOTAL supportive patience as they move at their own pace. That is a rare skill. Finally, for me, as an actor, I see singing primarily through the lens of the stage and my theater career. Other teachers have TRIED to take that into account by occasionally mentioning it, but Monica ONLY thinks as a stage performer and so EVERYTHING she does is with auditions and performances in mind. This means we don't waste time on songs I can't use or on vocal styles I can't use, and we're always dealing with the practical application to the work I want to do. Monica cares, loves what she does on stage and while she's teaching, SEES her students for who they are and has never yet lost her curiosity for understanding what stands in my way as a singer and how she can best help me overcome it. I'm so grateful that I met her and for the progress as a singer she's helped me attain."
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Mark
"I had an upcoming college audition and Craig worked with me to become prepared for it. He was very flexible on times, knowledgeable in his subject area, a
nd just all around great to work with. I would recommend highly recommend him not only for musical theater but also for more classical types of singing."
Boston, MA teacher:
9115-Star Student Reviews in