- Teaches students:
- Ages 8+ and special needs
- Teaching since:
- December 2008
I have been teaching piano and guitar for seven years now. I am a graduate from Temple University with my Bachelors of Music, specializing in music theory and Classical piano. I have been playing piano for nearly 20 years, and guitar for 15 years. I have a strong Classical background, especially in piano, but I also have an extensive rock background.
When I take on a new student, I find out as much about their personal musical interests as I can. Though I typically use lesson book-based teaching for beginning students, I also use any other materials the student is interested in once they have some experience with their instrument. This includes Classical repertoire, or any pop or rock songs they would like to learn.
I have played with various gigging bands around Philadelphia and Central PA on guitar, keyboards, vocals, and drums. These bands include progressive rockers Igor's Egg, synth rock band Coup Couroux, and cover band Bombay Zoo.
*** Lesson Details ***
I offer a performance and theory-based approach to learning piano and guitar. I find that teaching theory from the beginning gives the student a much more thorough understanding of their instrument and music in general. I am a rather laid-back teacher--I will not shout when the student makes mistakes (one of my childhood teachers actually did this!). I try to instill as much interest as I can in my students. However, the level of commitment and time they put into learning their instrument is up to them.
For piano I typically use the Bastien series of lesson books. For guitar, usually Hal Leonard or sometimes the Alfred series. Once I have talked to a new student, I take my time shopping for a book that suits that students needs and interests.
After several months of lessons with me, and sufficient practice time on their own, the student will know the mechanics of their instrument. For guitar, they will know which notes are played on each string and several chords. They will also know the correct way to hold the guitar, the pick, and correct hand and finger position for playing the fret board. For piano, they will know where to find each key (A through G) on any part of the piano. They will also know the correct way to sit at the piano and the correct hand and finger position while playing the piano. For both instruments, the student will know how to read music on the staff, will have a basic understanding of rhythm, and will understand basic musical concepts such as chords, scales, sharps and flats, and intervals.
To summarize, after approximately three months of teaching, the student will know the basics of their instrument, and will be able to make an informed decision as to what kind of musician he or she would like to become.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide no equipment unless asked specifically. The most I have ever needed to bring to a student's home would be a music stand or guitar picks.
I expect my student to provide an instrument (piano or guitar), and if playing electric guitar, an amplifier. A music stand is an essential piece of equipment also. If playing guitar, the student should have his or her own set of spare strings and guitar picks.
A note on keyboards-
A real piano is best for learning, and there really is no ideal substitution. If a student is playing on an electric keyboard, he or she will not attain the technique needed to be a serious pianist, nor will they acquire a sense of touch and key sensitivity. However, a keyboard will suffice for learning beginning concepts!
*** Specialties ***
I use a technique and theory inclusive approach. I typically use a lesson and a theory book. I find that teaching theory strengthens the student's overall understanding and appreciation of music. I do, of course, weight the student's interest when deciding whether or not to use theory at all.
I taught guitar and piano lessons to a variety of ages and skill levels out of a studio in Lemoyne, PA's JW Music store, as well as teaching in-home private lessons.
Nathan is a very great teacher. He is patient and flexible, and he gives me more time to finish an assignment if I forget to do it. He always comes on time too. He also is very skilled.