I Love music, and I love people. I feel that music is and has historically been a way of interpreting and expressing all the diversity in life and our experiences and that our instruments are our tool of expressing, whether it be the drum, guitar, piano, voice, sitar, etc. My inevitable goal here is to help you(student) obtain the technical, theoretical understanding to help you express your own message and story musically and or achieve any musical standard that one connects too and wishes too achieve.
Teaching Philosophy - My teaching philosophy is really built on well rounded communica
tion and multiple facets of explanation and examples so that a student can truly understand and learn a topic, surrounded in a very humorous, light and supportive environment. I feel that along with being provided good information a student learns better and feels more motivated to learn when there is a balance of positive support and confidence building accompanied by constructive criticism and examples/information that can help a student assess what ever walls they may be meeting in their musical growth.
I understand that all students/artists have different goals they wish to achieve. So it is very important to me to accommodate each individuals needs and wants and help them grow in the fields they wish too; However, In that I have played music for a long time I understand there are certain things that a student may not have been exposed to yet, it is also important to me to also supply a well rounded education environment along with the fields in which the student wants to focus specifically on.
I truly believe music has an amazing influence on the world and has the ability to change peoples way of thinking. Therefore, I try and keep an open awareness to all music so I can understand all the different musical languages utilized to communicate to people, and don't believe I will ever know them all. I hold it to attention to influence my students somewhat similarly so that they can shape the landscape of how we communicate musically in the future.
I also try and be very patient with my students, empathizing, knowing that when I feel rushed it makes it more difficult to comprehend, remember and allocate a topic or musical piece. I love watching the gears run in my students head so I try and provide information that pushes a student but is within their musical computation abilities.
HUMOR is very important. I like to break people out of their shell by telling a joke and hopefully getting one back so they feel more comfortable and free. One of a musicians worst enemies are nerves I feel that keeping things light-hearted and maybe even a little small talk can be very helpful to a students development and growth in a topic. After all Music is meant to be fun and we should enjoy every moment of it, in fact we should enjoy every moment in life period.
I understand music requires focus and discipline and I have certain expectation of a student to understand that and practice. You can't buy chops you can't buy music theory etc. you can get help but eventually your the one who must understand it and play it.
I am here to help you. Based on what I know and what I have extensively studied I will do all that I can to help you achieve your musical goals. I am here to answer your questions and help you grow. I love teaching because I love sharing knowledge as long as your seek it, it is here for you. Otherwise, I'd still love to hear some jokes.
In short I love teaching and I love seeing my students accomplish things and get what they want. I am here to help that happen and here to help you elevate your skills and perspectives on music.
Education - I was born touring with the grateful dead and my whole life has been saturated in music. I received my first guitar when I was 11 and it has been my life since. Soloing within a week I started gigging soon after being acclaimed by some as a child prodigy and now have been doing so ever since.
-After studying extensively on my own (self taught) for 2 years or so, after which I received a full scholarship to a performing arts private school in Santa Monica called Garden of Angels where I studied guitar with Bruce Buckingham (Professor at Musicians Institute and nationally acclaimed guitar player) along with many others. While attending this school I also studied in music ensembles, and musical appreciation along with dance, acting, art/painting etc. and various other art forms.
I consider it supremely important to be well rounded and I have a history of achieving in diverse musical environments. I can't wait to meet you all and begin to learn together and help you achieve your musical aspirations.
Much Love, Azuri Zen M.
*** Lesson Details *** I'm very disciplined but am also very light hearted. It's important for me to assess things seriously so that one can understand a topic or piece of information; yet, it also important to me for a student to feel comfortable and relaxed when learning and performing so I try and joke and keep things positive.
I generate my lessons based on the individuals needs and therefore draw from various curriculum sources and various other sources and examples such as : MI curriculum for ear training, theory, single string technique, reading, rhythm guitar as well as the real book other artist books(Eric Clapton, etc.) the guitar players hand book, Bach pieces and self developed curriculum relative to the topic at hand and students personally goals amongst many others.
-Beginning students within three months of consistent lessons should have the ability to solo and playing chords to songs that they are interested in and songs provided in the lesson along with a basic understanding of the major scale and its relationship to all of the diatonic music.
-intermediate students should have an elevated understanding of scale and chord patters along with the theory that explains modal relationships and use of these concepts.
-Advanced students should learn all of diatonic scale shapes and modes assuming they don't already know them in which case their specifically situation will be assessed
-Professional students I expect to have specific questions therefore where they grow should be largely subjective.
Overall, in a short amount of time on a scale of 1 - 10 I expect to in three months at-least elevate a students musical abilities one full point if not more.
*** Studio Equipment *** Studio in home in private room with guitars, amps, piano, and seating. Em's studio is family owned cafe with studio in finished basement with an office, recording equipment, and teaching space for acting and guitar.
*** Specialties *** As a Musician I try and play as many styles and be proficient in as many as possible and therefore can play most. However, in the fields of blues, jazz, funk, flamenco and Latin I excel.
Ingrid B. December 21, 2012 Verified Student
Azuri is a fun teacher!
I love working with Azuri. He is patient and encourages me. Everytime I have a lesson he says something that opens my eyes. It usually just takes that one meaningful statement he says throughout the lesson for the time there to be worth it all. Moreover, he is a great teacher! It's very fun learning from him.
SandraF1 June 5, 2012
My son Loves this teacher!He is prompt, well mannered, nice personality and has inspired my son in a great way. He is excited for his lesson each week!:-)
It is my experience that no matter what kind of music you end up playing a solid classical piano background is invaluable. I was privately trained in classical piano from the ages 5 - 17 in Los Angeles, California. My teachers were Mary Brady, Mae Gilbert Reese and Jeane Weiss. I graduated from Harvard High School and then graduated from UCLA with BA in art. I am a Los Angeles based artist and composer. Recently I was nominated Best Music Director of the year by the L.A. Weekly for my work on 'Head the Musical' at the Met Theater Los Angeles in 2010. I am currently mounting an opera I wrote
at the Met Theater. I have been teaching private piano lessons to students ages 8 to adult for the last six years.
My experience as a musical director has honed my skills as a good communicator and teacher. I know how to get people trained and motivated to perform on stage with confidence no matter what their skill level.
*** Lesson Details *** My lessons focus on reading, technique and basic music theory. I always start my lessons with scales and exercises. This develops good technique and primes the student for music theory. The rest of the lesson is focused on reading and performance. I expose students to different classical composers like Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Once they have mastered a few pieces, students are then encouraged to study the composers they enjoy the most. It is important for students to enjoy the music that they are learning as I expect them to practice everyday.
*** Travel Equipment *** They must have a piano
*** Specialties *** Classical Piano
Moriya B. June 26, 2013
Piano Verified Student
Stop wasting your time - take Robert.
I only had the pleasure of taking piano lessons with Robert for two months since I got into Harvard and had to move to the East Coast, but I can confidently attest that he is a phenomenal teacher. To begin with, Robert brings to the table not only his classical training but also an open, creative, out-of-the-box approach. He is extremely knowledgeable and seasons lessons with fantastic facts about composers and pieces which makes everything a lot more interesting and memorable. lessons are versatile and designed to develop several key skills simultaneously. I never really played the piano before but after only two months with Robert I could read notes, develop my technique and actually play two beautiful pieces! If you are looking for a well-rounded, brilliant, cool teacher - search no more.
I have taught private guitar, piano, bass and drum lessons since the late 70s in Salt Lake City, where I majored in jazz guitar performance, and since 1980 in Los Angeles. I make the lessons fun. Some of my students have received college scholarships and won cash prizes for music contests. All of them had fun while learning and improving on their instruments.
*** Lesson Details *** I am very enthusiastic and can teach students how to read. If they do not want to read music, they can learn to play by ear. I can also show them where to put their fingers. During piano lessons, I often accompa
ny students on guitar and suggest a scale for improvisation, so they can play the blues. During drum lessons, I often play bass so they can learn to groove.
*** Travel Equipment *** They should have their own instrument and a music stand.
*** Specialties *** I specialize in jazz improvisation on piano and guitar. I also teach recreational guitar and piano for adults, including classical and blues styles. I coach bass players and drummers in playing stylistically correct grooves for jazz, rock and latin music.
Bob November 10, 2015
I developed a desire later in life to learn how to play jazz and blues piano. I was very fortunate to start learning from Mike. He started me out with basic blues and over time I progressed into many of the jazz standards. Because he is also an accomplished guitar player, at all his lessons, he would accompany me while I played the new piece of music I was learning. He also does this if you are learning the guitar. This was very helpful in giving me a more complete musical experience, as I also learned to hear and play with other musicians. He is an extremely patient and upbeat instructor, constantly giving me positive reinforcement. I would get a new tune to practice as I became more proficient with the previous one. Each new tune became progressively more challenging. Having taken lessons from Mike for many years, I also witnessed his teaching and developing of younger kids. He really works with them in a positive way giving them as much time as they need to turn the corner on each tune and progress forward. They seem to enjoy it and he has developed some great musicians. As part of his instruction, he gives all his students an opportunity to participate in a Jazz Band he puts together. In this Jazz Band he leads all the players in working together though a jam session. Other players may include guitarists, brass players and keyboardists, young and older. Frankly I am forever grateful to Mike for helping me create the foundation to play jazz and blues piano both alone and with a group of other musicians.
Jackson G. November 7, 2015
In studio Verified Student
I had been taking piano lessons for close to 6 years when I started with Mike. I learned more about playing jazz from him in a year than I had in all that time from a number of other teachers. Very easy to get a long with and makes class a lot of fun. Very highly recommend!
Chris November 7, 2015
Mike has forever changed my life. From the very beginning, he focused on instilling the love of music in me rather than the nitty gritty technical details of playing the guitar. That came later. He opened my world to the many different genres of music. I am now applying to conservatories and still see Mike for my weekly dose of musical inspiration. I would not be the person I am today without Mike. If he can fit you into his schedule, consider yourself blessed.
From a young age, I have been deeply involved in the musical community. I began studying piano when I was three, and throughout my education, I’ve learned from such accomplished instructors as Belle Mehus and Christopher Taylor. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from The University of Mary in North Dakota, I continue to study, teach, perform, and compose. I’ve also studied guitar and bass for nearly twenty years. I love playing and teaching these instruments because of the strong correlations between the way they are tuned and played and the way western music theory wor
ks—as well as the pure enjoyment that comes from them! Additionally, I have twenty years of education in oboe and other woodwind instruments. I was principle oboist for two orchestras and reached the third round of auditions for 3rd oboe in The Minnesota Orchestra in 2006. Lastly, I have been an active vocalist since being a boy soprano in Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors and Andrew Lloyd Weber's Requiem.
I genuinely enjoy all aspects and styles of music—whether I’m studying a Chopin Etude, playing Charles Mingus at a jazz gig, writing and performing with my rock band, or composing hip hop tracks for a short film. I am an easygoing teacher who gets results, and I would love to welcome more people to my diverse group of students.
*** Lesson Details *** I am very pleased with my teaching method because I help my students achieve great progress, as well as immense enjoyment. I have a fairly standard routine of teaching technique, theory, and musicality, but I keep a comfortable, laid-back environment. The result is solid, consistent advancement that might come from a stricter method of teaching, with a lesson experience that is more fun and loose.
I am also a highly versatile instructor. While there are certain things that I believe are always necessary when learning a musical instrument, I incorporate them into each student's distinct capabilities and preferences. In short, I can instill the same musical values in every student, whether they’re studying J.S. Bach, The Rolling Stones, or Rihanna.
I take my students' goals and musical preferences very seriously and strive to make every student happy. I am always open to any ideas a student might have, and I am available to answer questions at all times.
*** Travel Equipment *** I provide literature and some accessories. Student needs to have instrument, other accessories, and a music stand.
Aubrey T. March 3, 2015
In home Verified Student
I appreciate his patience! My 5 year old can get a little frustrated sometimes, but Thomas is always patient with him.
Albertha May 14, 2014
I am a very shy person and doing this was a challenge for me. Thomas put me at ease, and we had a very good lesson! I learned a lot, and I can't wait to practice more on my own.
Thank you, Thomas!!
Lesa May 14, 2014
Thomas was incredibly helpful. He answered all my questions easily. Highly, highly, recommended!
Ability to successfully play on a record and working with the engineers to make sure you are getting the sound you want.
I have been teaching trumpet, music theory, jazz harmony, jazz piano, and music composition to students of all ages since late 2008. I work very well with young, beginning students as well, and can teach all levels.
Working at UCLA for my degree in music performance has taught me what it takes to be a good teacher, and I am patient, understanding, and believe there's no greater feeling than watching my students flourish. I like to take the time to get to know my students, and plan lessons around their individual needs, rather than plug them into a system set in stone. I have a routine I do
, that I will start students with, but am very open to modification based on student needs/desires.
I perform jazz professionally in Los Angeles, and have spent time touring in playing in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Macedonia, Canada, and have performed or led groups internationally at the Umbria Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Tuscia Jazz Festival, the Angel City Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival. You can hear my original compositions and playing at soundcloud.
Luke J. September 23, 2015
In home Verified Student
He was great
Jared B. September 18, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Extremely patient and thoughtful.
Bryan B. August 20, 2015
In home Verified Student
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