- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
For beginner students, I like to use method books and guide them through every step of the complicated process of learning how to read music. After several months, a beginner student will have learned how to count rhythm in a piece of music, identify notes in notation, play some basic scaled correctly, and would be working on a simple song or Classical piece.
For advanced students, I specialize in teaching non-Classical genres of music. I choose repertoire from popular songs in which the student is interested, and standards from the American songbooks. My goals are for you to be able to interpret any song for piano on your own and for you to find your own piano soloing voice. I believe that knowing what you are hearing is key, and put a lot of focus on ear training. An advanced student after several months would expand their improvisational vocabulary, practice advanced variations on jazz scales, recognize the tonalities of songs, and learn new techniques in accompaniment.
- Teaches students:
- Ages 5+ and special needs
- Teaching since:
- October 2005
Itai graduated from SUNY Purchase with a BA in Studio Composition in 2007, and from Hebrew College with a Masters' Degree in Jewish Education in June, 2016. He has been working in after-school, Hebrew school, camp, and other supplementary educational settings for over ten years. Itai's Hebrew students are either studying for their bnei mitzvah, maintaining their conversational Hebrew, or learning for the purpose of competence of services or Torah study. His piano students have ranged from five-year olds just starting, to young children learning Classical pieces, to teens learning to play the songs they like, to adults working on their songwriting and improvisation. Lessons will accommodate the student's goals. Itai's strengths are improvisation, music theory and ear training, and accompaniment of popular songs - rock, theater, pop, folk, etc. As a musician, Itai writes songs, composes music for communal singing, improvises, and plays in a Klezmer band. Aside from tutoring, Itai works as a songleader, teaches at the Hebrew school at his synagogue, growing a new outdoor Hebrew school, and occasionally teaches at an outdoor education program.
Please feel free to get in touch and ask questions!
Please note that there's a name I don't use anymore and one of my reviews reflects that. Yes I am the same person.
Please note that there are cats in my home studio.
Leading music sessions for groups of students with developmental disabilities.
Teaching a drumming class for children.
Teaching a Hebrew and Judaics class for families with children.
Short term position - Guided groups of fourth graders through the process of writing a song and preparing for a performance. Taught about the elements of music, such as rhythm and melody. Used music as a vehicle for teaching about a theme studied in school.+ Read More
I taught conversational and written modern Hebrew and Chumash to grades 4 and 5. This was a long-term substitute position.
• Participated in a tour of summer camps leading activities about sustainability
• Adapted Teva (nature) curriculum to various age groups and to the needs of each camp
• Led communal singing
• Led groups of students in grades 5-6 in multi-day experiential programs
• Developed lessons that incorporate Torah, ecology, and environmentalism
• Facilitated Shacharit services that are consistent with day school practices
• Cultivated a group identity among the students through music, games, and ritual
• Incorporated role-playing and art into the study of Sefer Shemot for grades 5-6
• Developed a project-based curriculum that connected Torah to social justice
• Taught the prayers and blessings of the Torah service
• Mentored high school students in writing songs and playing in bands
• Lived in dormitory, held meetings, shaped communal norms, and mediated conflicts
• Encouraged and developed the students’ leadership in planning Shabbat programming
• Provided engaging programming during recreational time
• Taught Hebrew decoding, prayers, and blessings to grades 4-6.
• Taught Hebrew words, Jewish concepts, stories, and holidays through song
• Engaged sixth grade campers in activities throughout entire day
• Established and maintained wake-up, bedtime, meal, and transition time rituals
• Aided activity specialists in chess, sports, Karate, art, cooking, piano, and drumming
• Accompanied dance and drama classes on the piano, substituting for specialists
• Led a weekly musical activity during recess
•Team-taught a keyboard class of mixed ages and levels.
•Worked with co-teachers to plan a week-long curriculum that emphasized cooperation and creativity and created a supportive learning environment.
•Classes included popular songs, basic accompaniment and improvisation techniques, and using the keyboard as a percussion or timbre-driven instrument.
•Developed and implemented a music curriculum that included vocal technique, song performance, and songwriting.
•Selected repertoire, prepared students for performances, and accompanied students on piano during class and performances.
•Mentored students on compositions they have created on the piano and on Apple Garageband.
•Developed and implemented lesson plans for ages 5-13 that included singing and rhythm games.
•Directed musical recitals that involved choral musical theater songs
•Adhered to the curriculum requirements of the school while using creative and motivating methods to teach piano to children and young adults.
•Conducted a sing-along class for developmentally disabled adults, and created a fun environment that encouraged participation on all levels.
Itai was fantastic. Reliable and knowledgeable. I had been through many teachers to find one as good as Itai. Also very flexible with what I was interested in learning.
This first class was great. We had some small problems with the camera and voice, but that had nothing to do with Itai. My son was excited when class was over. He is looking forward to his next lesson.
Itai was awesome. Dependable and encouraging. He helped me learn some specifics that I was interested as well as improving my technique along the way. Highly recommended.
My first lesson was everything I hoped for from start to finish. I haven't played piano for many years & wanted to begin by using a keyboard as a learning tool--to recapture dexterity and reading ability. I emerged with a better grasp of basics & even a little music theory--exactly as I had requested. Itai is a wonderfully patient teacher & I am looking forward to next week.+ Read More
Ricky is an amazingly creative and inspiring teacher.
Ricky has been teaching my daughter for last 5 years. My daughter is now 15 years old. She already played piano for a couple of years before Ricky started working with her and at that time was getting disinterested. We were looking for someone who would bring that interest and spark back into her playing piano. I was looking for a special teacher who can teach basics of improvisation and accompaniment to a young child. After talking with several potential teachers, we decided to work with Ricky.
Ricky has proven to be an amazing teacher for my daughter. He is patient, creative and able to adjust to the childâs needs. I was amazed when couple of months after my daughter started working with him; she was already improvising and playing really cool pieces of music. That kind of teaching has inspired my daughter to continue playing piano for the last 5 years. She has accompanied two of her friends singing at her school talent shows and graduation ceremony with encouragement and inspiration Ricky has provided her all along.
Ricky frequently encourages my daughter to pick her own songs she would like to work on. Ricky has a strong knowledge of music theory and has incorporated that in his lessons. I love that my daughter is learning music theory, improvisation, accompaniment and reading music all with the same teacher. It is not easy to find a teacher who is so creative to include all of these in his teaching method. I would highly recommend Ricky as a piano teacher for any age.