Mount Vernon Performing Arts Classes

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About Jeff S.

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Perth Amboy, NJ

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About Jeff
Jeff is a seasoned instructor in guitar, songwriting, music performance and music business. He also offers lessons in public speaking, voice-over performance and ukulele. He welcomes students of all ages and experience and has successfully and happily taught beginners to pro-level musicians and recording artists. Jeff is pleased to announce that he is currently accepting Takelessons online students via Skype.

Jeff can teach guitar and songwriting in all styles and is an adept acoustic and electric guitarist. His knowledge of chords is extensive and his acoustic fingerpicking skills are formidable. Jeff structures all lessons around the individual goals and playing level of his students. Jeff's students tend to study with him for quite some time, as his wealth of knowledge, diversity of instruction and patience are extraordinary
. Jeff prides himself on customizing every student's lessons based on their particular preferences, goals and skill level. "It's a very personalized kind of instruction, as I never take a cookie-cutter
approach to teaching…".
Jeff's 3 promises to all students is to give them personalized lessons, be attentive to their needs and goals. and to make them feel like every lesson is worth their investment of time and money. As long as students practice regularly, they can expect to dramatically increase their clarity of playing, their chord "inventory", their musical ear and awareness and play the songs they've always wanted to learn.

After honing his craft as a songwriter and performer, Jeff created and taught songwriting and music business classes at colleges,universities, and music schools throughout the country for many years. Some of the places he taught include UCLA Extension, Santa Monica College, Pasadena City College and The Harrison School Of Music.
When asked to summarize his views on teaching and music: "Teaching and playing music always puts a smile on my face; especially when I see that the student is having fun, learning what they want to learn and feeling the passion about music that motivated me to pursue my own musical career".

As a working singer/songwriter/guitarist, Jeff is known for his memorable melodies, intelligently crafted lyrics and heartfelt vocals. His compositions have earned him over 35 awards from various national and international songwriting contests and he's a former staff songwriter for the long-standing New York City-based publisher, Bourne Music. He has also won best music video awards at 3 international film festivals.

Some of the artists that Jeff has been compared to as a guitarist and vocalist include Keb' Mo', James Taylor, Kenny Loggins, Ry Cooder, John Mayer, Bill Withers, Jim Croce, and Don Henley.

Jeff is a NJ native, but lived and performed in Los Angeles for many years, where he worked in the studio or shared the stage with well-known artists such as Dave Koz, Norman Brown, John Daversa, Hiroshima, Little Richard and N'Dea Davenport.

Jeff catalog of over 450 songs and compositions spans virtually every genre, but many of his tunes are amalgams of pop, blues, jazz, R&B, country and rock. Quite a number of Jeff's songs
have appeared in film and TV. One that Jeff is particularly proud of, is the dynamic pop ballad, "Journey Of The Heart" (co-written by Jeanne Smith), which was licensed by the N.C.A.A. (National
Collegiate Athletic Association), who deemed it "the official anthem" of their NCAA Hall Of Champions facility in Indianapolis.

Jeff has commercially released 4 CD's of his original material: The most recent of these is his 2013 release, "Blujanova" (a merging of blues, jazz and bossa nova), which was praised by platinum selling and Grammy-nominated jazz star, Dave Koz: "Jeff's voice is so clean and pure...the production is lovely...warm and inviting...I love the interesting and surprising takes on some classics too, especially 'I Feel Good'…that brought a smile to my face!".
The other CD's stretch into other genres. "Truthteller" (bluesy pop/rock and singer/songwriter material) "Me, Myself, and I" (acoustic) and "The Spin" (pop, rock, and country-tinged singer/songwriter material). All of Jeff's albums are on his label, Relevant Records. The late great John Braheny, author of the best-selling "The Craft And Business Of Songwriting (Writer's Digest Books), gave high praise to Jeff's CD, "The Spin", calling it "honest, crafty, melodic and the songs are all exceptional". Patch.com called Jeff "a consummate songwriter".

*** Lesson Details ***
At the first lesson, I will ask you to tell me what songs you want to play and artists you want to play like and I will set the table for that by providing the chords you'll need, chord and scales and exercises to enable you to play them and guidelines and tricks on how to make it happen as quickly as possible. I know a wide variety of songs in all styles and styles, including current hit songs as well as pop, rock, blues, jazz, country songs. if you have a song or artist that I don't know already, I will learn it (often on the spot) and if not right then, at the next lesson. I have taught my students to play songs by artists as varied as Taylor Swift, U2, Jason Mraz, Adele, Eric Clapton, Django Reinhardt, Doc Watson. And that's just naming a few.

I always make it clear to my students at the first lesson: "There is no such thing as a stupid question". I want you to feel comfortable to stop me at any time to clarify what I am teaching you, ESPECIALLY if it is too difficult or vague. I pride myself on always being organized for your lesson and making sure that you grasp whatever it is I am teaching you. The goal is to get you to be able to play what you want as quickly as possible. This will take practice and dedication on your part, but I will do everything in my power to help you get there.

I never force anything on any of my students. but I feel it would be beneficial for you to learn to read music OR read tablature and chord diagrams. You tell me which one and we'll go in that direction. If you'd like to read music, then we can decide on a book for you. I have used Hal Leonard instructional books (with CD's! this way you can play with a backing track and get a sense of rhythm, which is very important), but I'm open to other method books you might have or like.

After 3 to 6 months, you will feel you are significantly more skilled on the guitar than you were before we started lessons. You will know more chords (and move from chord to chord), be able to do at least some basic fingerpicking and be able to read some music or tablature.

*** Specialties ***
Acoustic fingerstyle guitar (a la James Taylor, John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Keb' Mo', Jason Mraz, John Martyn, Jim Croce, etc.

Blues guitar a la Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Keb' Mo', Jorma Kaukonen, Ry Cooder, etc.

Bossa nova guitar

Songwriting (any aspect and any level; musically, lyrically, structurally, etc.)

the songs of Taylor Swift---quite a few of my younger students want to play her material, so I have about 15 songs ready to teach you and always learning more (by popular demand)

Adapting songs that are keyboard-based and creating arrangements of them for acoustic guitar. Examples include songs by Adele, songs by Elton John, Irina Menzel's huge hit song from "Frozen", John Legend's "All Of Me", Coldplay's "Viva La Vida", etc.

Recording on Garageband.
I became so skilled with Garageband that I was asked to give seminars at Apple Store locations, showcasing my recordings and how to use the program.

Voice-overs; performance, recording, etc.
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Reviews
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Sanal pookat May 19, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Great first lesson. Hoping for a great learning experience in lessons to come..
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Ira April 2, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
My first lesson with Jeff was great. He was patient, and tailored the lesson to meet my needs.
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Srikanth R. December 12, 2015
· Guitar · In home
Loved the lesson..
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Jeff S.

Jeff S.

Perth Amboy, NJ 08861
(18)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Marie-France M.

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Waldwick, NJ

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About Marie-France
I have taught piano and voice most of my adult life. Early on I learned the need to adapt my teaching style to the uniqueness of each student, especially those whose perceptions differ widely from the general populace. I love what I do, helping each student discover and nurture their abilities, no matter what age the student may be.

The Holistic Piano method is especially effective with my Autism-spectrum students, a segment of the population I find particularly rewarding to teach.

The following is a quote from ex-student Karena Krull, author of "Drama Made Easy", and "Rummy Roots."

“Her greatest strength is her ability to find the right direction for each individual. This ability to adapt to the student's needs lends to individual success for student and avoids their frustration. If her current method or communication is
n't creating success for a student she will quickly change to another till she finds the right words or method to enable the student to succeed with the least amount of frustration.”

*** Lesson Details ***
I draw on a wide range of materials in The Holistic Piano (and voice) method. The curriculum may be color-based or number-based, we might focus on chord building or sight-reading, or Songwriting, depending on the student's need and desire.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Large Music Room: one grand piano, 2 keyboards, parents can sit in on lesson from living room

*** Specialties ***
Because each student is an individual, I approach teaching like a coach, custom designing a course of study for each student to meet their individual needs.
...
Reviews
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Julia September 5, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Very satisfied with my first lesson. I found Marie-France to be very knowledgeable and very personable. I feel very enthusiastic and am looking forward to my next lesson with her.
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Gavin August 29, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Ms. Marie is very good at teaching small kids. Our 4.5-yr old daughter loves to go to her piano class and never felt any pressure. She made steady progress following Ms. Marie's plan with consideration of what she can achieve. Highly recommended.
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Ben August 29, 2017
· Piano · In studio
I am a musician and for the past year my 11 year old daughter has and continues to study piano and voice with Marie-France. She is knowledgeable, perceptive and commands an approach which encourages, keeping students engaged. Marie-France really is the best instructor ever.
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Marie-France M.

Marie-France M.

Waldwick, NJ 07463
(59)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Vanessa G.

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Brooklyn, NY

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About Vanessa
Bachelor's in musical theater performance from Columbia College Chicago. Audition prep (acting/singing) and vocal technique for clients since 2007.

My critique during your lesson is always honest, so you know when I give you a compliment it is well deserved. I especially love working with non-singers and helping them find their voice. I always start with an assessment to see where your work is currently at and where we can go from there. I keep notes during your lesson, send you an email afterwards with your homework for the week, then I use those notes to think of personalized ways to improve your technique before your next lesson.

If honesty and results are what you're looking for in a teacher, I promise to be that teacher for you.

*** Lesson Details ***
Whether you're studying vocal technique or prepping for an audition wit
h me, each lesson starts with an assessment. Then, we start with where you are at that moment and push your technique to the next level. Afterwards, I will send you an email with notes from the lesson and your homework.

My goal is cultivate your technique and discipline to take you to the next level of your performance.

*** Studio Equipment ***
-Digital piano
-Large mirror (to see your technique)
-Sound-proof practice room
-Parking

*** Travel Equipment ***
Digital piano for in-home voice lessons.

*** Specialties ***
Beginner voice for non-singers, new singers, or singers that have been out of the game for a while.

Audition prep for both film/stage acting and singing auditions. (Great results!)
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Reviews
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Taylor September 16, 2017
· Acting · Online
Very nice and informative. Enjoyed the lesson.
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Alassea September 9, 2017
· Singing · Online
vanessa is GREAT!!!!!!!
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Lemon September 2, 2017
· Musical Theater · Online
Love her <3
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Vanessa G.

Vanessa G.

Brooklyn, NY 11209
(62)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Nicholas M.

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New York, NY
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About Nicholas
I have been an actor for more the 35 years having worked Off-Broadway and Regionally.

I've taught acting for 18 years privately as well as at Brooklyn College, St Frances College, Marymount Manhattan College, and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

"Nicholas is patient, insightful, friendly, and gets
results. After working with Nicholas, I felt great
about my auditions, got two callbacks, and landed
a touring job.
I would recommend him to any actor."

*Jonathan M.
Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
Millbrook Playhouse

I am the Producing Artistic Director of the Hudson Warehouse and have been since its inception in 2004. Known as "The Other Free Shakespeare in the Park," we produce free classical theater in Riverside Park during the summer months and we hav
e an indoor season during the winter months as well.

"Mr. Martin-Smith has been my director, coach and
mentor in productions and the classroom. His patience,
insight and his passion excites students, and makes
them feel safe and supported enough to take risks."

*Joseph H.
Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey
Pearl Theater Company
York Theater Company
Hudson Warehouse

*** Teaching Methods ***
I foster a safe, relaxed and engaging environment to explore truthful human behavior on stage.

The objective is 'the truth' to which end there is no one technique. Actors are encouraged to find their own tools and to draw from elements of different practices to discover a technique that works best for them as individuals.

I studied the methods of Constantin Stanislavski for acting with Sergei Pomerov of the Moscow Circus Theater. I am classically trained as well.

I work primarily as a guide to help navigate the way and to interpret ‘the signs.' I teach the lesson in the moment and address the challenges of both the beginner and the experienced actor.

***Classical Work***
My basic approach to classical work focuses primarily on the connection of the breath with the feeling on the word.

This is the foundation on which you can then build. From the ‘words’ to the ‘thoughts’ to entire ‘passages’ of text, as you work and explore, the richness of the playwright’s words comes to life. Your own unique emotional life is allowed to come through the text and you are able to fully embody the role.

*** Teaching Levels and Focuses ***
*Beginning Actors
-Work With Classical Text.
-Vocal Work.
-"Moment to Moment" Work.
-"Sense Memory" Work.

*Experienced Actors
-In depth Classical Text Analysis.
-Connecting to the Text.
-Audition Technique
-Monologue Coaching
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Reviews
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Affea Q. August 1, 2017
· Acting · In studio
Nicholas is a fantastic and patient teacher who is skilled at helping actors with nonverbal communication. He helped me organize my monologues into beats and we worked on transitions and changes of intention. After classes with Nicholas, I confidently made my debut on stage.
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Lance F. November 29, 2014
· Shakespearean Acting · In studio
I was always afraid I couldn't learn Shakespeare, but Nicholas explained the intent on the word, the intent on the line. Soon, I was so caught up in the meaning of the lines and the story I was telling in that moment that I was able to engage in the role, smoothly, without worrying that I was performing Shakespeare. He broke it down so I could understand it, and then feel confident doing it. Highly recommend!
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Sondra L. November 29, 2014
· Acting · In home
Nicholas knows Shakespeare and classical work. He really works with the text and helps an actor really understand the emotions in the scene, through the text. I've gotten so much out of his teaching and so have many of my friends. If you have an audition or play coming up, he's the one to get you ready for it! My friend nailed his audition, got the gig, all through his work with Nicholas. I've learned so much as an actor from Nicholas.
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Nicholas M.

Nicholas M.

New York, NY 10025
(3)
starting at
$50 / 60-min

About Joseph M.

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Huntington Station, NY

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About Joseph
Local tutor;

Will travel to you, or we can use my studios located in Nassau, Suffolk and all 5 boroughs.

My name is Dr. Joseph M., Ba/Ma/Dma, in Education and Performance. I have reference lists a mile long, (with phone #'s, so you contact my previous and current

clients), full of success story after success story!

22 yrs teaching experience. I have sent thousands of children to Nyssma. Most of my students have scored; "Outstandings", (lvls 1-4), and A+'s, (lvls 5-6). Have gotten students

into All-County,

All State, and All National honor bands. This requires a ranked Nyssma level 6 score of 100.

I have prepared students for auditions to the finest music schools in the world, Julliard, The Curtis Institute, Berklee, etc.

My students have appeared on Broadway, have played at Birdland/the Bluenote, and have won
Grammys.........

I play and teach all styles; Classical, rock, Broadway, jazz,pop, etc.....

I have performed at the world class, A-list level in all the above mentioned styles as well.

I believe it is critical to be humble, down to earth and easy to work with, no matter how accomplished, student, teacher, or parent. :)..................
...
Reviews
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Dana September 18, 2016
· Saxophone · In home
Very professional and thorough!
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louis R. August 9, 2016
· Saxophone · In home
First lesson with my grandson. My grandson enjoyed it. Joseph was very professional.
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Joshua W. April 19, 2016
· Singing · In home
We couldn't be more pleased and thrilled to have discovered Dr. Merkel. He is committed, gifted, firm, yet kind,
with my son. Thank you Dr. Joe!!!
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Joseph M.

Joseph M.

Huntington Station, NY 11746
(10)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Zach M.

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Jersey City, NJ

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About Zach
As a teaching artist, my goal is to reinforce a healthy structure to your voice while expanding your capacities as an actor and performer by letting the complete singing actor emerge. I wish for my work in the studio to be accessible even when you are practicing on your own. I hope to empower each student to become self-sufficient on a personal level, understanding that each individual grows from different methods to find that perfect balance of artistic and technical instruction.

I am fresh off of the Celebrity Summit Cruise Ship performing as a lead vocalist in their production shows. Previously I have performed in the Anything Goes National Tour as the quartet tenor and a primary dancer. Before this, I had appeared in shows at Pittsburgh's prestigious theatre, The Pittsburgh CLO, most recently performing in their production of The
Wedding Singer and previously as The Production Tenor in Singin’ in the Rain and Garvin in Footloose. Other theatre credits include multiple shows at Music Theatre of Wichita, West Virginia Public Theatre and The Connecticut Repertory Theatre, all of which have taught me what it takes to become a successful musical theatre performer in this competitive era.

I love teaching all students, but in particular high school students who are aspiring to attend college as a musical theatre major, non-theatre majors who are new to singing and want a stronger technical background, or actors who are new to the musical theatre scene and are looking to take their talent to the next level. I have a strong knowledge of repertoire ranging from contemporary musical theatre to golden age to opera/operetta. I have performed in musicals, operettas, plays, and have started my own collegiate a cappella group, The Statesmen. At Penn State, I was trained to not only teach musical theatre repertoire, but to include art songs and arias as well which have their own tool in a student's growth and versatility.

Most importantly, I like to have fun in the studio. I have a very open and goofy personality and want you to feel free to be goofy as well. Dare to fail. You may learn more from your voice cracking then you might from singing a beautiful note.
...
Reviews
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Brynn April 28, 2017
· ·
Zach is very knowledgeable in his field. One of the best and most honest vocal coaches I have worked with, he helped me feel comfortable and fully prepared for an upcoming audition. I would definitely recommend his services to ANY and EVERY one I know!!
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Kristi J. November 2, 2015
· Singing · In home
Our first lesson was amazing, My granddaughter was initially shy, Zach was able in a short time to help her realize her potential.
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Anne M. September 23, 2015
· Singing · In home
I had my first session with him yesterday and i had a fantastic time.I love his teaching method and can't wait to take more lessons with him :-) He deserves 5 stars.
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Zach M.

Zach M.

Jersey City, NJ 07302
(7)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Laura B.

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Brooklyn, NY
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About Laura
Hi,

My name is Laura and I am an artistic professional based in New York City. I have been performing professionally for the last 10 years at theatre across the country.

Each student can expect to learn vocal exercises, that are geared toward what the individual is working on at the time. Each person's voice is unique and I work with each student to release tension and find their free and unique sound. I will help each student find their own voice and to sing with confidence.

My passion is Musical Theatre, but I enjoy teaching all styles of music. I'm a firm believer that all styles of music require healthy singing and a strong knowledge of vocal technique.

Each student can also expect to learn to read music and to strengthen their music theory and ear training skills.

I am fully qualified having earned a Bachelor of Mus
ic in Vocal Performance, as well as a Master of Music in Opera/Musical Theatre Performance. I have also received my Music Together Certification. While voice is my primary instrument, I am also a strong pianist, having taught piano as well.

I am looking forward to singing with you and I can't wait until our first lesson!
...
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Laura B.

Laura B.

Brooklyn, NY 11201
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Tara S.

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Flushing, NY
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About Tara
Hi! My name is Tara Rose Schreiber. I am an open, big-hearted, young woman who has a passion for all things in the arts. I have been acting since I was 15 years old, and I have been told on set a considerable amount of times that I have a gift for being able to teach. It wasn't until this last film I did, last month, that I truly considered 'teaching.' My co-star practically begged me to begin helping others with their acting. Before this past film, I would help my fellow co-stars with tricky monologues or scenes or just getting into their character. I would give them insight in a way that they are able to fully understand it. I make them look at each thing in a very specific way, catered to their specific mindset and character. I love acting, and I love having the gift of helping other people with their acting.
...
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Tara S.

Tara S.

Flushing, NY 11367
starting at
$60 / 30-min

About Jacob P.

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Brooklyn, NY
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About Jacob
I'm a professional actor that teaches. I have an MFA in acting and have worked professionally off-Broadway, commercial and film. I believe in teaching with humor and support. I have been teaching for over 5 years and have had a chance to learn what really works for students. I am ESL and IPA certified.
...
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Jacob P.

Jacob P.

Brooklyn, NY 11220
starting at
$42 / 45-min

About Kevin F.

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Woodside, NY

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About Kevin
I am a composer, lyricist, and multi-instrumentalist. I have over 15 years of music study under my belt, and graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a minor in music in 2010. I not only have extensive music theory knowledge, but also experience playing clarinet, saxophone, flute, banjo, and guitar.

I believe that a strong foundation in music theory is the most essential skill to have when learning a new instrument, or becoming proficient in an old one. Recently I co-wrote an original musical comedy about Lewis and Clark, which I also composed all of the music for. The 120 page score was written for piano and vocals, despite the fact that I do not play the piano. How was I able to write music for an instrument I do not play? By understanding the basic rules and concepts of music theory!

I am also a comedy writer an
d have written sketches, essays, short stories, television pilots, plays, and more! If you are struggling with your writing and need a teacher to help teach you the formatting and style you need to improve, I'm your guy!
...
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Kevin F.

Kevin F.

Woodside, NY 11377
starting at
$50 / 30-min

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