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(Real Life) Music Lessons in NYC: The Importance of Networking

Written by: TakeLessons Teacher, Tao G.

Most of the musicians making a living in New York City used the same crucial method to begin and build their career: networking. Don’t let that mislead you; they all worked hard at their craft and are very likely extremely talented. However, talent doesn't always promise success. Author Stephen King once said, “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” If you’re taking music lessons in New York City, you probably already knew that, but read on to see how hard work relates to networking in the greatest city on earth:

1.) Hi, my name is.. Tao and I play trombone! And I’m here to explain that you have to get out and meet other musicians. You can find local music literally everywhere from Battery Park to Marble Hill, with all kinds of genres from Jazz to Irish Folk. Even in my neighborhood in Queens, there is local music happening every other night minutes from my apartment. Use the Internet to scope out scheduled events happening around the city. Introduce yourself. Shake hands. Trust me, musicians love getting feedback from other musicians, especially honest feedback. And leave it at that. All you’re doing when you meet people is making other musicians aware of you. If you have a gig coming up, invite them! It’s always a two-way street.

2.) Follow up with people. And be gently persistent. If a musician decides to share their contact info with you, send them a message right away. Re-introduce yourself so they remember how they met you, what you play, and what you talked about. Explain that you’re taking music lessons in NYC and how their performing has inspired you. If you have mutual connections, go ahead and swap stories - but keep your conversation primarily about the person you’re talking to.

  1. What to do when you don’t hear back. Don’t sweat it. New Yorkers lead hectic and incredibly busy lives. Some cats are riding a dozen trains all day and making appointments all over the city. They probably didn't catch your text/email/phone call while on the train, and then got a handful of messages all at once and your message got buried in the clutter. Seriously, if they gave you their contact info willingly, they aren't trying to dodge you. Just wait a few days and send them another polite message reminding them of your correspondence.

4.) Don’t be a Mean Girl. If you've ever seen that movie, you know what I’m talking about. Don’t be the person that puts on a smiling mask for the public, and then insults everyone behind their back. It’s not only rude, but it also has a way of getting back to the person you’re insulting. Be it from jealousy or someone just rubs you the wrong way, you should rather want to be the person everyone gets a good vibe from. Again, nothing fake - just be pleasant and appreciative of the opportunity to meet other musicians. Many times I've seen music supervisors hire a less-talented individual because they were nicer and had a better attitude than a more talented individual.

So, network and be patient. As for myself, my networking began seven years before it led to consistent work in NYC. Granted, I worked continually on the road for several years before actually settling in the city, but the point is to stick with it! Stay committed to your music lessons, and remember that all good things come to those who work hard and cultivate their presence in the music scene. Network, my friends, so that one day wide-eyed youngsters seeking work will be wanting to shake your hand.

Like this article? I’m also a trombone teacher and performer. Check out my profile if you'd like to take lessons with me!

About Bobby S.

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Brooklyn, NY

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The trombone is a colorful and exciting instrument played in many styles of music throughout the world, from jazz and classical to funk and soul to reggae, afro-beat, and Latin American music. In addition to covering the basic technical requirements of the instrument, I'm particularly interested in the many genres in which the trombone can be found, and I like to focus on the styles of music that most interest and challenge my students. I began playing soprano trombone over ten years ago, and I have taught tenor trombone privately and in public school programs for several years. I encourage the use of long tones, air support, and brass calisthenics to improve tone, increase range and endurance, and work towards greater flexibility.

About Bobby
I am a jazz trumpeter, improviser, and composer as well as an avid listener and enthusiastic educator. I maintain an active performance schedule playing improvised music as well as funk, soul, afro-beat, reggae, hip-hop, and American folk music. In addition to trumpet, I have experience performing and recording on slide trumpet, trombone, baritone horn, and french horn. I write and arrange music for my own groups and regularly write and record horn arrangements for folk, pop, and reggae groups. I have attended Berklee College of Music and Ithaca College, and I have a Master's degree in jazz trumpet performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

I have over nine years of experience working with students ages 7 to adult. I have worked both from my home studio and though several public and community music school program
s including the Hudson Arts Alliance in Hudson, MA, the Kittredge Elementary School in North Andover, MA, and the Performing Arts Center of Metro West in Framingham, MA. I have studied jazz performance with trumpet greats John McNeil and Walter White, improvisation with jazz gurus David Schumacher and Jerry Bergonzi, and George Russell's Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization with master composer and theorist Ben Schwendener.

As an educator, my aim is to inspire in my students an enthusiasm for the artistic performance of music of any style. I strive to convey my own excitement for the art to young trumpeters and improvisers, and I have worked to encourage self-motivation and a longstanding interest in musical self-expression in elementary through high school students and adults. I have experience performing many styles of music from jazz and experimental improvised music to funk, reggae, and afro-beat, and I use my knowledge of divergent genres to encourage creative experimentation and convey the expressive artistic elements shared by all music. As an improviser I am particularly interested in teaching the theory and philosophy of spontaneous composition and musical communication.
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Reviews
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Michael I. July 19, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
I have taken the trumpet lessons with Bobby S. for about two years now. What I really appreciate most about Bobby is his patience. As an older student, it can be very challenging to learn trumpet. Bobby presents his lesson in a way that is easy to understand. He takes the time to explore what my difficulties are. Then he presents me with ways to challenge them. Bobby also has a good understanding of music theory. He explains and demonstrates musical concepts very thoroughly.
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Xian Z. January 27, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
Very patient and knowledgeable.
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Alba H. December 22, 2016
· Trombone · In home
Bobby was very patient and encouraging. Can't wait for our next session!
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Bobby S.

Bobby S.

Brooklyn, NY 11207
(18)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Elizabeth P.

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New York, NY

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I am a graduate of New York University's brass program where I studied with renowned trombonist Per Brevig. I am an active member of the Manhattan freelance community. I have performed at Symphony Space, Verizon Hall of the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, The Bowery Electric, The Hudson Music Festival, Carnegie Hall, and many more. Students can expect a fun and challenging educational program that focuses on improving core trombone technique and most importantly, overall musicianship.

About Elizabeth
Hi there! I am a classically trained, professional trombone player, ukulele player and songwriter working in New York City. I've been helping my students achieve their musical goals for 2 years! It's important to me that my students have a strong technical foundation that allows them to have fun and make beautiful music. From my lessons, you can expect to grow your skills as an overall musician, as well as in your specific lesson subject. Musicians make well rounded human beings and I love being a part of that process! Contact me today!
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Helena S. December 9, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Elizabeth is a great teacher. I am very impressed with how she continues to move my child forward with learning to play without my daughter really even knowing it. She is very patient with her and also goes with the flow. If my daughter wants to spontaneously create a new song Elizabeth will go with it and even create a chart so they can play it properly. Very much looking forward to continuing more lessons with Elizabeth and watching my daughter grow with her.
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Jay W. October 8, 2017
· Trombone · In home
Outstanding teacher!
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Jeff August 21, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Elizabeth is a very patient teacher. I wanted to take a few lessons on Ukulele so I could get a practical proficiency before a recent trip to Hawaii with family and friends. She was very patient and understanding with my beginner level, but I could tell that she has the ability to teach those with more ability than I have as well. The way she described how I should approach the instrument from a technique perspective was very clear and efficient, and when she would demonstrate chords and exercises she always played so beautifully. I felt as though I genuinely improved at every lesson. Not to mention her flexibility in finding time scheduling our lesson, and all around friendly and positive attitude. I could not recommend Elizabeth more.
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Elizabeth P.

Elizabeth P.

New York, NY 10003
(3)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Justin L.

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Cedar Grove, NJ

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In the first few lessons beginner students will work on breathing techniques to focus on producing a clear sound. Breathing is something we all do every day, but breathing for trombone playing is a skill to work on from day one for as long as you play your instrument! Buzzing, slide positions, and reading music will all be layered together to start making music!

About Justin
Hello there! I'm very excited to offer trombone, trumpet, tuba, and piano lessons to students of any age in the northern New Jersey area.

I studied music at the College of New Jersey and have orchestral, wind ensemble, brass quintet, pit orchestra, jazz, and drum and bugle corps performance experience. I am currently pursuing my Master of Arts in Teaching Music at Montclair State University.
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Blair November 15, 2015
· Trumpet · In home
Justin is great. Very patient and engaging.
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Monna August 23, 2015
· · In studio
While I don't have firsthand knowledge of Justin's trombone teaching skills, I am quite familiar with his talent for and love of teaching through my work with him as an organizer and a trainer ever since we met in 2010. Justin is great at interacting with people of all backgrounds and ages, and has utmost patience for absolute beginners. Justin's method of teaching is learner-centered and successfully balances being supportive while also challenging. Also, he'll make you laugh while you learn!
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Justin L.

Justin L.

Cedar Grove, NJ 07009
(2)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Jeffery M.

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New York, NY

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I'm a very flexible teacher. Whatever you feel that you need to work on, we will work on. Currently, I am taking lessons from Steve Turre at Juilliard. He has performed with many jazz greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Shaw, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and J.J. Johnson. If you're interested, I wouldn't mind teaching you some of the things I am learning here at Juilliard.

(Travelling will incur an extra fee.)

About Jeffery
I am a 20 year old trombonist and singer from New Orleans, LA. I study jazz at the Juilliard School in New York City. I also play euphonium, tuba and some piano. It would be my pleasure to help you increase your musicianship! All I ask is that you be honest with me as well as yourself. I love to learn equally as much as I love to teach, so book a lesson! Let's learn from each other!
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Mike Pellera July 2, 2016
· Music Theory · Online
Jeffery breaks down the basics of Classical and Jazz Theory and gives you methods to master new concepts and directly apply them to improvisation and composition.
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Jeffery M.

Jeffery M.

New York, NY 10023
(1)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Ben K.

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Hoboken, NJ

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I have been teaching trombone for the past seven years. My goals for students of the trombone include developing skill and fluency on the instrument by developing the physical skills in the embouchure and slide hand. In addition, my trombone students can expect to explore a wide variety of music.

About Ben
Ben has been making music professionally in the NYC and NJ area for 15 years, specializing in the instruments of the brass family, as well as bass guitar. As a performer, he has extensive experience with rock, funk, jazz and folk music. He studied Music Education at The College of New Jersey.

In addition to being an active performer, Ben is also a certified music teacher in the NJ Public Schools. For the past five years, he has been employed as a middle school and high school band director in a nearby suburban town. His responsibilities include directing a variety of bands, comprising of students of a variety of grade levels and experience levels, as well as teaching jazz improvisation, music theory, audio engineering and piano courses.

Ben is also an ACA-certified Stand-Up Paddleboard instructor, specializing in surf and racing te
chniques.
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Grace June 13, 2016
· Trumpet · In home
Learning a lot, quickly.
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Grace June 13, 2016
· Trumpet · In studio
Great teacher for beginner. Patient but really guides well
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Ben K.

Ben K.

Hoboken, NJ 07030
(2)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Michael T.

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Forest Hills, NY

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Experienced music teacher of 7 years available for eager students of all experience levels and ages!

About Michael
Michael A Tate graduated from the prestigious Music Education Program and Psychology Program at Ithaca College in 2012. Ithaca gave him the incredible opportunity to hone in on his musicianship and compositional skills. He was also able to discover a new medium of composition, film composition. Tate immediately fell in love with the art of writing music for film and was able to make his first musical debut on a film directed by Mike Blaney. In his time at Ithaca College, he composed scores for multiple films and continues to maintain an active composition career. Tate is currently finishing as a music teacher Brooklyn Scholars Charter School (BSCS) and Music Content Leader for National Heritage Academies (NHA) New York Branch. In the fall Tate will be returning to school to study the psychological benefits of music education for children
and adolescents, while teaching private lessons.
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David O. November 8, 2017
· Saxophone · In home
Started on time and the first session went very well.
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Atticus (. March 16, 2017
· Trumpet · In home
Michael was very professional and kind. My son loved his lesson!
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Michael T.

Michael T.

Forest Hills, NY 11375
(2)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Michael R.

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Philadelphia, PA
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I went to college for Jazz Trombone Performance and currently I play professionally. I have had a lot of great opportunities playing, see my basic bio. I play most genres of music so I can help introduce new kinds of music to students or help enhance ones that you already know. I teach all ages on trombone, from basics, to college auditions, to professionally playing. I am here to help how I can!

About Michael
Hello there! My name is Michael, I am a trombonist/arranger/educator in the PA/NJ area. I love music and I love teaching even more. In 2015, I graduated from the University of the Arts with a degree in Jazz Performance and a Masters in music education and in 2016

As a musician, I've toured the U.S a good amount, playing in New York City, Syracuse, Rochester, Burlington, Boston, Delaware, Washington D.C, sharing the stage with all kinds of acts, including Banda Magda, Sophistifunk, Shuggie Otis, Lettuce, Soulive, High and Mighty Brass Band, and many more.

I can be seen regularly playing with EBE LA Starz, Swift Technique, The Phonies, Whoaphat BrassBand, Mad Feather Group and many more. I also perform with my own original jazz group in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area. I also write quite a bit which keeps me busy. I think teachin
g is what motivates me to do all this, so that I can be the best teacher I possibly can!
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Evan April 14, 2017
· Trombone · Online
Tailors lessons and learning to what I need!
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Evan March 19, 2017
· Trombone · Online
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Michael R.

Michael R.

Nutley, NJ 07110
(2)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Kalia V.

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Brooklyn, NY

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Hello! I'm a Juilliard Bachelor's of Music Graduate and I've worked with all kinds of Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Pop artists, including Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Herbie Hancock, Demi Lovato, and Lizzo. I've worked as a private instructor for 5 years and have taught all ages! I have a considerable amount of performance and education experience in all genres of music and I'm ready to pass on my knowledge!!

About Kalia
Hi! My name is Kalia and I graduated from the Juilliard School's Jazz Studies Program! I've a very experienced performer and educator, having performed at notable venues in NYC including Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Blue Note, as well as performed on television shows such as Saturday Night Live with Demi Lovato and Samantha Bee's show with Lizzo! I've worked with all ages and recently traveled to Bolivia to teach kids in the youth orchestra of Santa Cruz de la Sierra! I'm ready to share my knowledge with you and help you become the incredible trombonist you can be!
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Adrian August 28, 2017
· Trombone · In home
Working with Kalia was a wonderful experience. Given her education and experience, she certainly knows her stuff, but what impressed me just as much, or maybe even a little more given her pedigree, was her kindness and patience. I was a tad intimidated as a beginning student working with someone so accomplished, but she was recommended by a mutual friend and would come to my home so I gave her a try. She made me feel comfortable from the beginning, but is also not afraid to challenge me. I highly recommend Kalia.
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Kalia V.

Kalia V.

Brooklyn, NY 11211
(1)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Alejandro E.

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New York, NY

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Professional jazz trombonist with 5 years of teaching experience! Especially experienced in teaching beginners.
Proficient in teaching all styles of music to all ages and levels.
Lessons are customized and catered to the needs/goals of each student. Instead of simply training students to read music and play notes, I prefer to teach my students to think, play, and act like musicians. My lessons feature improvisation skills, sight-reading, playing by ear, building a strong technical foundation and music analysis.

I assure you will see leaps of improvement by working with me!

About Alejandro
I'm a professional trombonist with a strong musical background: I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Performance - Trombone from City College of New York and Michigan State University. I have 7 years of experience teaching students of all ages and levels, and I have been working as a freelancer since I was 17.

I originally arrived in NYC from Argentina at 9-years old. The rich musical environment of NYC allowed me to study and absorb all styles of music at a young age.

I have had the opportunities to study with trombone masters such as Michael Dease, Jason Jackson and Wycliffe Gordon. These learning experiences directly affect the development of my students.

I currently play in a wide range of musical situations all over NYC, from jazz combos and big bands, to musicals and classical orchestras and even other genres such as
Reggea, Ska, Rock, Pop etc.

As my student, you will develop critical skills that will help build a strong musical foundation which will define you as a musician. I will evaluate the level in which you currently are and provide a clear defined path in order to reach our goals.
One thing I strongly focus on is your love for music. My goal is not only to see you progress, but to love the music and have fun with what you are playing.

I can't wait to work with you and help you reach your ultimate goals!
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Karina August 29, 2017
· Trombone · In home
I recently started playing the trombone, Alejandro has helped me on so many levels. As a beginner student i was a bit nervous since i thought it wouldn't be worth it, but he gave me the foundation and the confidence to keep learning. His class is fun and inspiring! Alejandro is a great musician with the heart of a teacher!
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Bai August 28, 2017
· Trombone · In studio
I went to Mr Espinosa's home to take my lesson - the place is right next to the 135th subway stop, very convenient! Mr Espinosa was patient, understanding, and friendly. I was a little worried that a professional like him would laugh at the embarrassing skills of an adult like mine - didn't happen. He was down to earth despite his great playing, kind of more like a friend or a big buddy rather than a teacher. I think our lesson brought me much improvement! He also taught me some helpful daily practice routines. Another little touching detail was he provided me with free drinks and snacks, something none of my other teachers have done before. His studio was also fully equipped: it has a piano, great stereo, stands, and music books.
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Alejandro E.

Alejandro E.

New York, NY 10037
(2)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Michael W.

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Brooklyn, NY

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Looking to improve your trombone playing? Want to learn how to improvise jazz on the trombone? In our lessons we will work together to help achieve your needs, addressing topics such as articulation, technique, sound, motivic development, jazz harmony, ear training, sight reading and more. Our lessons will be geared towards making you the best musician you can be while having a fun time. Let's get started!

About Michael
I am a freelance trombonist and recent graduate of Berklee College of Music, where I majored in Performance and Contemporary Writing & Production. My primary style of playing is jazz, however I am well versed in classical, funk, pop, fusion, and other genres.

My lessons are designed to be fun, while motivating students to become the best that they can. Whether you want to work on expressing yourself on a classical etude, or improvising over the chord changes of "Giant Steps," my aim is to help you achieve your musical goals.

During my time at Berklee I have had the opportunity to perform in many great jazz ensembles, and have worked with masters such as George Garzone, Danilo Perez, David Santoro among others. I have also performed at some prestigious venues such as the Blue Note Jazz Club in NYC and Jazz at Lincoln Center. I am cur
rently a member of the Boston based wedding band Silver Arrow Band. Recently I moved to NYC to begin my freelance career.

I can teach at my place, or come to your place, or online. Looking forward to meeting you!
...
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Michael W.

Michael W.

Brooklyn, NY 11207
starting at
$34 / 30-min

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Average Cost of Trombone Lessons in New York, NY

The average cost of 60-minute trombone lessons in New York is $66. While the exact cost will vary depending on the teacher, type of lesson, and your location, you should expect to spend anywhere between $40 and $134 per hour.

30-min $20
 
$39 average
$67
45-min $25
 
$54 average
$100
60-min $40
 
$66 average
$134

For the best experience, we typically recommend 60-minute trombone lessons. However, students looking for a more affordable option may want to consider a shorter lesson length of 45 or 30 minutes. On average, 45-minute trombone lessons are 19% less expensive at $54, and 30-minute lessons cost 41% less at $39.

Curious how much trombone lessons cost in your area? Do a quick search to get local prices for the best trombone teachers near New York.

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