Birmingham Music Lessons

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About Blythe Q.

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Plainsboro, NJ

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About Blythe
I teach in my studio in Plainsboro, NJ. I do not offer in-home lessons because I am not able to fit all my students into my schedule if I have to account for driving time. I am currently available on Mondays from 3 pm to 5 pm, on Wednesdays from 3 pm to 4:30pm, and on Fridays from 3 pm to 4:15 pm.

My name is very unusual, so some students have difficulty pronouncing it. You pronounce the "y" as in "sky" and the "the" as in "breathe". My name has only one syllable. Don't worry if you're still having trouble with it--I'll help you out at our first lesson.

I grew up in southeast Michigan and have been in love with music for as long as I can remember. I started violin lessons when I was three years old and at five I became the youngest student ever accepted into the studio of James Waring, now-retired violinist with the Detroit Sy
mphony Orchestra. Under Mr. Waring, I developed a solid virtuoso technique and worked on chamber music as well as solo and concerto repertoire for the violin. While I was an undergraduate student at Westminster Choir College, I continued my violin study with Dr. Mia Wu.

After six years of violin study, I added piano lessons. I studied with Catherine Rollin, an internationally-known teacher and composer. Ms. Rollin's practical approach to technique and musicianship has been extremely influential in my own teaching, and I use her exercises and compositions with my students. I studied a wide range of repertoire with Ms. Rollin but my very favorite pieces were those by Bach, Chopin, and Debussy.

I sang in choirs throughout my childhood and began taking voice lessons in high school. I eventually decided to study voice performance at Westminster Choir College, where I completed my Bachelor of Music degree in 2004 and my Master of Music degree in vocal pedagogy and performance in 2008. While a student at Westminster, I performed the soprano roles of Ifigenia in Handel's Oreste, Amy in Mark Adamo's Little Women, and Janthe in Heinrich Marschner's Der Vampyr. I have coached with Daniel Beckwith, J. J. Penna, and Dalton Baldwin, and was privileged to sing in the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir under Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt. With the Westminster Choir, I recorded the album Heaven to Earth and performed in Lakmé and I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in Charleston, South Carolina. I also performed Handel's Messiah with Sir Neville Marriner and Nicholas McGegan, Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Sir Michael Tilson Thomas and Lorin Maazel, Berlioz's Requiem with Charles Dutoit, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Lorin Maazel.

I have taught in the Princeton area since 2008, maintaining a studio of about twenty-five voice, piano, and violin students. In addition, I sing as cantor and soprano section leader at Queenship of Mary Catholic Church. I live with my husband, Jerome, in Plainsboro and I love to knit, crochet, and sew when I'm not teaching or performing.

My goal in teaching is to foster a love of music and a passion for the arts. I focus on developing my students as musicians in general and on a relaxed technique that will allow for the best possible artistic expression.

*** Studio Policies ***

Tuition

There are 38 lessons each year, scheduled from September through June. The schedule will be distributed at the beginning of the 2017-18 academic year and may be found on the TakeLessons website.

30-minute lessons     $34.00
45-minute lessons     $45.00
60-minute lessons     $56.00

Tuition encompasses lesson time and overhead costs including lesson preparation, office hours, event preparation, and studio recital performance opportunities. Lesson lengths are recommended by the teacher based on student age, level, and availability. Tuition is collected through TakeLessons.

Attendance

Just as strong attendance is expected in school, strong attendance is expected at music lessons. As a courtesy of the studio, one make-up lesson is offered per student per academic year.  Make-up lessons will be scheduled in late June. The studio shall not assume responsibility for the student's absences outside of this allotted absence.

In the event of a student cancellation, the teacher is to be contacted via email, text message, or phone call for notification as soon as the student is aware of the cancellation.

In anticipation of absence, students/parents may choose from the following options to facilitate continued progress:
• The student/parent may send the teacher a video recording (i.e. via DropBox). The teacher can provide an electronic critique, utilizing the lesson time to watch, listen, and write a critique and assignment for the week.
• The student/parent may elect to use the *Student Swap Directory.

If the student stays home from school or work on their lesson day due to contagious illness, or was excused early from school due to contagious illness, it is requested they not attend their lesson. The teacher has the authority to excuse a contagiously ill student from their lesson. In these situations, make-ups will be offered upon request outside of the allotted absence.

In the event the teacher needs to cancel due to an unforeseen circumstance, she shall notify students and parents of the cancellation as soon as possible through email and/or phone.

For every cancellation made by the teacher, two make-up date options will be offered to the student. The student is to select one. If the student cancels or does not attend the scheduled make-up lesson, the lesson will be marked as missed. The teacher reserves the right to offer a credit or electronic critique in lieu of the above-mentioned make-up lesson in appropriate circumstances.

*Student Swap Directory

Students/parents may elect to be a part of the Student Swap Directory, designed to offer possible opportunities for students to swap lessons in anticipation of a lesson conflict. Parents/students are responsible for arranging their lesson swaps. If a lesson swap is made, it is the responsibility of the parent/student to inform the teacher.

To be included in the Student Swap Directory, a permission slip, provided by the teacher, will need to be completed and returned to the teacher, allowing the student’s name(s), parent’s name(s), lesson day(s), time(s), and length(s), and email and phone contact information to be shared.  The Student Swap Directory will be distributed at the start of the 2017-18 academic year.

Weather Emergencies

Lessons will generally not be held in the studio on days when West Windsor-Plainsboro Public Schools are closed due to inclement weather. If roads are cleared and passable by the time of the student’s lesson, they may attend their lesson at their own risk. If there is­­­ a one- or two-hour delay, lessons will still be held according to the lesson schedule.
 
When West Windsor-Plainsboro Public Schools are closed due to inclement weather, Google Chat, Skype, or FaceTime lessons will be conducted from the studio. The teacher will contact the students/parents to arrange the lesson. This will prioritize safety and will also allow students to adhere to the lesson schedule for optimized progress. Laptops, iPads, Tablets, iPhones/Smartphones, etc. may be used when the camera and microphone is adjusted and set in view of the student at the piano. Students are to have their music, theory book, assignment book, and a pencil ready to go. Students are to sign on approximately 5 minutes prior to their lesson time, with all settings appropriately adjusted. They are to call at their lesson time.

In lieu of a Google Chat, Skype, or FaceTime lesson, students may opt to send the teacher a video recording (i.e. via DropBox). The teacher can provide an electronic critique, utilizing the lesson time to watch, listen, and write a critique and assignment for the week.

Practicing

Regular practice is essential to musical development. Lessons will include the development of effective practice skills so that students are clear on how to practice. Practice builds muscle strength, coordination, problem-solving skills, focus, self-discipline, a sense of accomplishment, and the enjoyment of being able to make beautiful music through the process. In addition, the student will greatly improve their musical proficiency. The teacher will include written practice instructions in the student’s notebook. These instructions are to be read carefully each week to maximize effective practice time.

Students should practice a minimum of 5 days per week and the amount of daily practice should correlate with the length of their lessons. Students taking 30-minute lessons should practice 30 minutes a day, students taking 45-minute lessons should practice 45 minutes a day, and students taking 60-minute lessons should practice one hour each day. Practice time should be divided into 2-3 focused sessions with specific goals set for each practice session.

Repertoire

When new repertoire or a method book is assigned, it will be the responsibility of the student/parent to purchase it. Music may be purchased at Music and Arts in Mercer Mall on US Highway 1 in Lawrenceville, NJ.

Music may also be ordered online at Amazon and other websites recommended by the teacher.

Termination

Any student/parent wishing to terminate lessons must do so in writing. The termination will go into effect at the start of the following billing cycle. The studio shall not assume financial responsibility for the remainder of the billing cycle during which termination occurs. Borrowed music/materials will need to be returned to the teacher at the conclusion of study.

Additional Information

Violin students MUST bring their own instruments to the first lesson. Piano students must have their own pianos when lessons begin. An acoustic piano is strongly recommended, even for beginning students, but a full-size (88 keys) touch-sensitive electronic keyboard is also acceptable. More information is available upon request. Voice students are encouraged to practice with a piano or electronic keyboard but may use an online keyboard to check pitches if they do not own a piano. TakeLessons can put you in contact with the teacher if you have questions about purchasing or renting instruments.
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Reviews
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Tyffini August 20, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Very pleased with the quality of professional instruction provided to my daughter
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Bhuvan V. April 18, 2017
· Piano · In home
Great !!
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Samyuktha V. April 18, 2017
· Piano · In home
Very Knowledgeable. ..
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Blythe Q.

Blythe Q.

Plainsboro, NJ 08536
(8)
starting at
$34 / 30-min

About Alisa C.

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Philadelphia, PA

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About Alisa
I began violin playing jazz/folk music with my dad and performing at different venues with him. I was always attracted to the variety of scales and sounds eastern music had to offer. I love the sound of a gypsy violin, how it can create such a strong sorrowful sound or how it can dance and sing.

I found the gypsy inspired pieces composed by classical composers like Monti's Csaras. This was my connection into classical music. I found a teacher who played classical and Arabic violin and began studying intensely for technique. As I got deeper into the study of classical I realized how much I love classical music.

I now have been playing classically for 6 years and have been playing the violin 12 years I have studied with Hannah Khoury, Daniel Han of the Philadelphia Orchestra and am currently with Vladimir Dyo who is a full time facu
lty member at Temple University.

I began attending Temple Universities Boyer College of Music in 2011. I have performed in Kimmel Center and Alice Tully Hall with our orchestra since than. I continue to play various performances with my background in improvisation but right now I focus full-time on being a student.

*** Lesson Details ***
I love to teach. I have taught students from ages 8-42 and am open to teach anyone above 7 and above. We will start with the Suzuki method to get the basics of violin and will progress to play pieces of music varying to your tastes and level. If you want to play Irish fiddle, we can have you playing jigs and reels in just a few months. If your interested in jazz we can have you playing standards or if you want to a play classical we can work towards you being able to sight read and perform pieces within 6 months.

Of course if you already play we can pick up where you left off. I strongly believe no matter what interest you have in violin, it is important to study classically to get the proper technique. All styles I teach will be supplemented with classical etudes and exercises.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect them to own a violin and be willing to purchase necessary equipment. (music, metronome, tuner, shoulder rest, etc... varies on student)

*** Specialties ***
Classical
Jazz
Gypsy Folk
Improvisation
...
Reviews
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Fleur R. May 14, 2014
· Violin ·
improve my method

I came to take violin lessons with Alisa in a specific purpose:
improve my technique of violin and have fun in a play.
Today, Alisa help me in this regard. She gave me techniques and excercies for a basic adequate posture and then exercises to improve my technique. I'm really glad to have meet Alisa and I recommend her for all levels.
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Alisa C.

Alisa C.

Philadelphia, PA 19123
(1)
starting at
$32 / 30-min

About Noah B.

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Princeton, NJ
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About Noah
I am extremely passionate about both music and education, and it gives me great joy to be able to share excitement for and knowledge of music with my students. I have been studying violin since I was 4 years old and it has always been a central part of my life. I have a strong background in both music and education. I am conservatory trained having received a BFA in Violin Performance from Carnegie Mellon University with an additional major in Physics. I am comfortable teaching all levels from total beginners to advanced students playing Paganinni and major concertos. I have been teaching violin for 4 years, and I also have experience teaching Physics in public schools and a Masters in Education from TCNJ. I offer studio recitals twice a year for all my students, which are valuable opportunities for my students to experience performan
ce and share their music with each other. I enjoy music of all styles and in addition to classical music I play rock and jazz. I collaborate frequently with Trenton based rock artist Roy Orbitron.

For beginning students I start with Suzuki books until about book 5 and then begin to branch out into other repertoire. I also incorporate etudes by Dancla, Wohlfahrt, and Sevcik. I teach students to read music as well as basic theory and ear training. I also incorporate playing by ear and improvisation. These are important skills which help students develop into flexible and well rounded musicians.

I am happy to teach any piece in any style that the student wants to learn. Students do much better work and can learn much more when they are excited about the music they are playing. In addition, I can also help students prepare for auditions, competitions, or or to prepare orchestra music.
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Reviews
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Tania S. December 23, 2016
· Violin · In studio
Very good instructions. Knows his stuff. Would definitely use again, daughter just wanted a break.
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Alvina September 5, 2016
· Violin · In home
Noah has been teaching my 11 year old boys for almost two years. I initially chose him due to his proximity to my house. We have since moved, but we continue to travel 1.5 hrs round-trip to Princeton because of his patient and kind demeanor.

He also motivates his students by recognizing and praising their hard work and accomplishments no matter how big or small. I have seen my kids' skills improve drastically under his tutelage.

When Noah teaches, it is very obvious that he loves the violin and that he is eager to impart his love and knowledge of the violin to his students. He's an extremely gifted violinist and teacher.
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Rochelle C. March 29, 2015
· Violin · In studio
Teaching skills are marvelous.
A pleasure to spend the hour with.
He is a very talented musician.
I am thrilled to have found him.
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Noah B.

Noah B.

Princeton, NJ 08540
(3)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Rob S.

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Philadelphia, PA

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About Rob
Rob Schwartz is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a degree in jazz studies. Rob has performed throughout the United States and in China with jazz and rock bands such as TV Mike and the Scarecrows, Jenna Mammina, Steve Lucky and the Rhumba Bums, San Francisco’s Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Amos Payne, The Attachments, Otto Mobile and the Moaners, and the jazz trio Beep.

Rob is experienced playing many different styles on the drum set and has studied classical snare drum technique. At Oberlin, he had the privilege of studying with renowned jazz drummer Billy Hart and classical percussionist Michael Rosen. From January 2007 to March 2008, Rob studied Brazilian percussion with Jorge Alabê while drumming for Jorge’s bateria, Samba Rio. He also immersed himself in Brazilian percussion during three months in Rio de Janeiro.


Given his diverse musical background informed by a decade of professional experience, Rob can teach many styles—rock, pop, jazz, samba, Afro-Cuban, reggae. He has 10 years of experience teaching students ranging from young children to adults. From July 2013 to March 2015, Rob taught at the Wilmington School of Rock, and currently he teaches at the Chestnut Hill Music Academy in addition to his work at South Philly Drum Lessons.

Music is one of Rob’s highest pleasures in life. It’s not only about enjoying the music itself, but also appreciating the process of learning and improving. Rob enjoys teaching what he’s learned and watching his students grow as musicians.
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Reviews
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Trish D. January 14, 2015
· Drum · In studio
The perfect mix of teaching! Rob incorporates technical skill while capturing the students attention by teaching the music they love! My son has been taking lessons with rob for 8 months now and the improvement is obvious. My son came to Rob with 4 years of drum lesson experience and Rob was able to jump right in and get the best out of my son. Rob has also helped my son with percussion other than drum set to help him prepare for orchestra experiences. In addition, Rob is patient, organized and very experienced!!!!
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Rob S.

Rob S.

Philadelphia, PA 19148
(1)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Emily S.

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Philadelphia, PA

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About Emily
My name is Emily, and I am looking for students of all ages and abilities! I have been playing violin for 14 years and have a degree in violin performance from Temple University's Boyer College of Music. I have taught violin in various music programs in the Philadelphia area. I can also teach viola and piano from the beginner-intermediate level. I have a very encouraging and positive teaching style, and you will have fun as you learn and explore new things about music!
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Reviews
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Angie C. October 6, 2016
· Violin · In home
It is a year later and my daughter is playing well. Anje enjoys her classes and thinks Emily is a great instructor.
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jennifer R. May 3, 2016
· Violin · In studio
Emily is a really good teacher and musician, very patient and helpful.
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Anje C. October 15, 2015
· Violin · In studio
I am still at the beginning of my lessons but I enjoy very much. She is a very nice person.
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Emily S.

Emily S.

Philadelphia, PA 19145
(10)
starting at
$36 / 30-min
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About Collin D.

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Philadelphia, PA
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About Collin
My name is Collin. I have been teaching private lessons since 2013 and have helped young students learn to read music and to sing and play simultaneously. I have also taught accomplished musicians to play electric bass, my primary instrument.
I earned my Bachelor of Music degree in Professional Music with a concentrate in Music Education and Performance at Berklee College of Music in 2014. I currently play in rock bands Ellen Siberian Tiger and Mother Moses, and with Boston-based Bangla pop singer Prithwiraj Choudhury.
I have had experience playing a wide variety of styles of music including rock, folk, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, jazz, funk, blues, and R&B. I teach beginner level piano, trombone and drums, beginner to intermediate guitar, vocals and upright bass, and all levels of electric bass playing. I like to connect my students so tha
t they have experience playing with other musicians and other styles of music.
...
Reviews
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Owen August 15, 2017
· Piano · In home
Collin was prompt and seemed to really know how to introduce the piano to our 5 year old son.
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Dash July 13, 2017
· Bass Guitar · In home
My son said, "he lets me be me and I'm totally excited to take leasons"
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Jamie January 10, 2017
· Piano · In studio
I just had my first lesson with Collin for piano; he was friendly, engaging, knowledgeable, and patient.
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Collin D.

Collin D.

Philadelphia, PA 19143
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Katie C.

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Princeton, NJ

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About Katie
I am a recent graduate with a degree in vocal performance and have been teaching voice and piano for quite some time. In my lessons I strive to further the love of music through the exploration of styles that are of interest to the student, while also developing technique in the classical tradition.
...
Reviews
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Julie April 18, 2017
· Piano · In home
my daughter and i are taking back-to-back lessons with Katie. she has an easy-going teaching style and the ability to shift gears between two vastly different beginners. we are happy to have been paired with her!
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Brad Angelo February 15, 2017
· Piano · In home
She's excellent.
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Marnie February 12, 2017
· Piano · In home
Katie has been working with our 6 year old daugher once a week for 30 mins. She is very good at motivating her students as well as teaching them the introduction to piano playing. We look forward to seeing how our daughter develop under Katie's instruction.
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Katie C.

Katie C.

Princeton, NJ 08540
(6)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Catherine S.

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Philadelphia, PA
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About Catherine
I have been studying piano almost all my life. I have a Master of Music from New England Conservatory and a L.G.S.M. Certificate in Piano Pedagogy from the Guildhall School of Music in London and have performed in solo and duo piano concerts in venues including the Weill (Carnegie) Hall in NYC, Jordan Hall in Boston, Stanford University, Philadelphia Art Alliance, and many more.

My Music

In 2012 I recorded one piano piece every week for the year and uploaded it to Soundcloud. These raw, unedited files, recorded in my living room are just some of my favorite pieces — from Scarlatti and Bach to Janacek and Rachmaninoff — with a sprinkling of modern music. I believe the more music students learn, the quicker they progress and improve their reading skills. I challenge my students to sightread, improvise, perform and participate in music
making activities with their peers.
...
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Catherine S.

Catherine S.

Philadelphia, PA 19130
starting at
$80 / 60-min

About Levon S.

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New Egypt, NJ
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About Levon
Hey Everyone!

My name is Levon Syers and I have been a lifelong guitar player. I'm very passionate about music, and have performed hundreds of shows over the past 15 years. This included working with original bands and cover acts up and down the East Coast of the United States. Apart from the guitar, I also play the alto saxophone and clarinet as well! I typically play in community bands on these instruments, which will play at schools, charities and community homes in New Jersey where I'm from.

Regarding my education, I have a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Rowan University. I'm also 30 credits into earning my MA in English from Montclair State University. Apart from taking theory courses in high school and some during my undergraduate degree, most of my studying has come from my personal passion and desire to perform. A
fter getting into to teaching a while back, I realized that I really enjoy it! It is highly rewarding, and a great chance to share the joy of music with others. I currently teach at three different locations for two different businesses in NJ, and I've set up my profile on Take Lessons so that I can continue expanding my student base, which consists of students ranging from 8-70 years of age.

I am always studying music, even to this day, and constantly trying to understand new styles that are outside of my wheelhouse. My approach to teaching is simple: connect with the student, help find common ground in musical tastes and set up an engaging foundation with which the student can reach their goals while having fun in the process!
...
Reviews
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Peter August 11, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Levon works for me! I own Mill Pond Arts and Levon is very popular with the students and I am amazed at how quickly they are learning chords. He spends a lot of time with students and emails assignments to them.
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Dillon July 20, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Levon helped me improve at chord progressions. Before he gave me tips on changes I was pretty slow. He's a great guitarist and a great teacher, he has an easy nature about him that is conducive to lessons, you have fun and learn when taking lessons with Levon.
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Levon S.

Levon S.

New Egypt, NJ 08533
(2)
starting at
$34 / 30-min

About Jessica W.

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Columbus, NJ

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About Jessica
I have been teaching private beginner and intermediate violin and piano lessons for almost fourteen years now. I began teaching while attending college and have continued teaching in some capacity ever since.

I minored in music at Rowan University and studied violin under Michael Ludwig who then was the Associate Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

I am a certified K-5 teacher and have taught preschool, kindergarten, third grade, and a middle school music appreciation class.

I currently play violin with my church worship team and enjoy playing the piano with friends and family.
...
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Jessica W.

Jessica W.

Columbus, NJ 08022
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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