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I would first like to say that I was born into a musical family. My Dad (choir director) and five older brothers were not only the majority of the choir in our large Catholic church, but Dad had a "tame" Frank Sinatra singing style. My mother played harmonica and piano by ear so acquiring musical intellects spread quickly to all of us. Most of my siblings sang and played instruments as we had a piano, guitar, organ, harmonica, trumpet, clarinet and a recorder to use as we pleased, with or without a music teacher.
I started singing and playing the piano at age four. With consistent encouragement from my oldest sister (a professional organist for 40+ years), I learned piano and music theory while I was learning to read; started guitar at eight. A natural born singer, I learned the basics of voice while in choir from middle school through high school while accompanying myself on piano or guitar when singing privately or for others. I wrote my first song at 17 and worked my way through college playing original music in coffee shops while earning my bachelors degree. After college, I started touring across the US (this was long before American Idol and the Internet when if you wanted to make it, you had to "pay your dues" on the road first). Working in the studio was always the most fun and challenging, my first original song got air play in 1990 (this was before CDs).
I received international distribution of my original music starting 2004 - that summer I worked and sold CDs in Munich Germany; however, upon returning to the US realized that performing was not my preferred way of providing service to others - teaching then become my passion. So while working for a local public school district as substitute teacher for general music classes (orchestra, band, choir as well), I was asked to write and teach a beginning songwriting class. From the very first day I had kids' attention in the palm of my hands (some of those students eventually recorded their own songs in studios).
After 30+ years of professional musicianship spanning across two continents (US and Germany) with originally produced music available on iTunes and two CDs on the market, I have found a unique way of teaching music to others. I especially enjoy teaching families (children, parents, grandparents, cousins, etc.) that want to learn to play a variety of instruments and music together. Married couples are wonderful to teach as well, I can usually get any combination of two or more people playing music together.
I usually host annual recitals. I do not force anyone to play in the recital, however most everyone enjoys the experience.
*** Specialties ***
Piano: Beginning/intermediate classical piano; then onto pop, blues, jazz, hymns, praise music (piano/voice).
Guitar: Beginning Classical Guitar (nylon strings; notes, chords, fingerpicking); Beginning Acoustic Guitar (steel strings; notes, chords, fingerpicking, strumming, using a plectrum or flat pick).
Ukulele: Beginning note and strumming patterns while accompanying voice.
Voice: I can take you to professional levels! As proof, one of my adult male students, singer/songwriter/pianist/guitarist/trumpeter, came to me to enhance his "character" voice. After 30 lessons, and assistance arranging vocals (including mic technique) in home studio four-song demo, my student signed a four-song demo recording deal with an eight (8) time Grammy award winning music producer Joe Chiccarelli - in LA with studio right on Sunset Blvd.
Lastly, I would love to enroll students who want to learn Joni Mitchell's style of piano and guitar playing. Mitchell never had formal music training, she played by ear; particularly on guitar she used more than 50 open tunings.
*** Lesson Details ***
First of all, I'll need to know you or your children's goals, dreams and natural talent(s). What types of music do you love best? Are you more the serious type or fun-loving (I can work with both types of personalities but do require a respectful demeanor).
Lessons are once per week. It is extremely important to develop the brain, nervous system, physical coordination all together with momentum and repetitive physical movements; particularly, the first six months of learning.
I do schedule students on "Schedule-As-You-Go" however usually only after consistent weekly lessons.
If you already know an instrument and want to take Combination Lessons - Voice/Piano or Voice/Guitar - I am an excellent teacher for that purpose.
Please do not expect overnight success, hand/motor skills need to be developed and that doesn't occur with one or two lessons, unless you've had prior experience on your instrument and just need to refresh your brain's neural pathways.
If you are the creative type and wish to compose your own music, then by all means let me know as I teach not only composition, but arranging, music production, and the legal aspects of copyrights and international distribution.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano lessons will be given on my parlor grand piano. For guitar lessons, I use either my Yamaha acoustic-electric classical nylon string guitar OR my vintage Epiphone steel string guitar. Please see the photo noting the studio's microphones/vocal monitors, plus I have a variety of hand percussion.
I have taught privately since January 2010.
I was a popular substitute teacher for general elementary music classes Grades 1-6; additionally, subbed for orchestra and band teachers for junior- and senior-high schools, hired on an as-needed basis. Most interesting and rewarding was writing and teaching a songwriting class for children Grades 1-6. Some of those children went on to recording their own compositions in professional studios.
Paralegal Certification: With this certification, I am able to file music copyrights, and assist in entertainment law to attorneys (i.e., copyright infringement, etc. type cases)
· Piano · In studio I just had my first lesson with her and I LOVE IT. I think I have chosen the right teacher for my piano journey. She is very friendly and passionate about music. I am looking forward to studying with her on my next lesson.
· Piano · In home Ms. Taylor's expertise and motivational teaching has led to my daughter being able to flourish with her piano lessons. In the 2 years that she has taken lessons, she became an intermediate student and has taken on more difficult pieces. Ms. Taylor is excellent in assessing her student's level and needs, and she encourages them to surpass their own goals.
· Piano · In home She is very patient with my son. My son enjoyed his first lesson.
· Piano · In home Mrs. Susan was a perfect match for my son. She's very patient, knowledgeable and very kind! My son walked out from his first lesson with her with such excitement in jumping back into lessons after a five month break. Looking forward to many more!!
· Singing · In studio Susan is an excellent teacher because she tailors her approach to the student's needs and goals, regardless of the student's age or experience or what their ultimate goals might be. Singing is not one-size-fits-all and different people learn in different ways. Susan is very sensitive to that. In my case, she mixed exercises from a number of sources with her own techniques and guidance to help me develop some good habits and techniques and ultimately find my natural voice. I can be very hard on myself, but I always believed I could reach my goals with Susan.
· Piano · In studio Reasons to love Susan Taylor: She has all the markers of a great teacher; she instructs well, is very patient, kind and encouraging. When I say ‘encouraging,’ I really mean that. She can be one of your biggest cheerleaders, always pushing you towards your goals and praising your efforts and acknowledging when you have improved. Something else about Susan is that she is helpful at crafting her lessons around your goals. Just what do you want to achieve with your lessons? Think about it, share with her your thoughts and she’ll help you get there! I also appreciate her calm nature, her organized approach to things and that she keeps a nice, clean space for me to come and learn all this fun stuff I want to know! I am VERY, VERY, VERY happy to call her my teacher.
· Singing · In home My daughter just had her first singing lesson, and she enjoyed so much! She is really excited for her next lesson.
· Piano · In studio Great teacher! My daughter has learned so much and loves working with her!
· Piano · In studio Very amazing teacher. Very kind and sweet and makes sure you understand the lessons. She is passionate in what she does and you can see that she loves to help others learn.
· Piano · In studio Nice experience my daughter love it!.