Hi there! My name is Valerie. I'm a certified music teacher that loves to see a person grow in their love and ability for music. With 19 years of teaching privately, experience teaching publicly in elementary school music classrooms, enjoying several years as a Kindermusik (preschool music) teacher, and a school year teaching with VSA arts of Delaware (teaching music to those with disabilities), I find it thrilling to see a person of any age & background grow and blossom in their passion for music!
Though I enjoy and have experience at teaching all ages from children to adults, I specialize in teaching ages 5-19. I would describe myself as a preschool/elementary/middle school music teacher that teaches privately. ;) My studio is filled with many smiles, stickers for every accomplishment, and a treasure box of cool prizes for those who are practicing regularly and did a great job in their lesson. Lessons are a time where children can feel like music really is fun and enjoyable to learn and experience!
In addition to being a teacher, I am also a singer/songwriter, and performed for 6 years at local coffee shops and outdoor events within Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. I am also a member of a local professional caroling group called Yuletide Singers which performs seasonally in places like Longwood Gardens and corporate functions. My history for performing stretches back, though, to my years as a puppeteer/children's performer, touring with a team doing school assemblies and evening family performances. I'm always excited to bring my understanding and experience with performance to my students!
**And, with excitement, I must add that TakeLessons named me "Teacher of the Week" on October 4, 2010! What a great honor! Thank you TakeLessons!!**
*** Lesson Details ***
Our time spent together will be filled with many smiles & laughs because that is probably why you want to take lessons -- because it makes you feel wonderful inside!
Within 3-6 months, we'll begin discovering how to read music and understand the language of it. We'll learn how to play/sing some of your favorite songs and learn some that you might not know. We'll discover what you really want to learn and achieve through taking lessons, and we'll work toward those goals!
For the intermediate piano student, we will begin understanding basic Music Theory and scales and will even take a look at how chord symbols work. Soon, you'll be learning how to accompany yourself and others as you sing! For singers, we'll learn about vocal techniques, breathing, getting your best vocal sound and discovering how to take a song to its potential! We'll also learn performance techniques, how to work with a microphone, have a great stage presence in front of a live audience and begin learning how to read music and even get familiar with the piano keyboard! For all my students, it's a journey that is exciting, unique to each individual, and one we will embark on together!
Because music is a performing art, I coordinate two music recitals each school year for students who are interested. This is an optional event, but is encouraged as part of the learning experience. It is usually held at a local firehall and presented in a low-stress and fun way with refreshments that follow!
*My studio is in a safe, family-friendly home & smoke-free environment. We also having a loving canine member in our family... a Yellow Labrador Retriever named Maximus. He is energetic and friendly. You may or may not see him since the entrance to my studio is through our back door, off the main house.
So! What do you say? Shall we START THE MUSIC? :)
*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons are enjoyed in a dedicated music room; keyboard (full-size with weighted keys and sustain pedal)
*** Specialties ***
*Teachers classified as a Student Favorite have taught a minimum of 25
lessons and have received the highest feedback rating from students.
I specialize in music education for all children, including ones with special needs. I feel it is so important for a child to start out with a fun and wonderful experience with music and performing. My approach is simple and fun and understandable for the young mind.
For my more intermediate students, I enjoy taking them to the next level of understanding in their instrument as well as music theory.
Because music is a performing art, I coordinate two music recitals each year for students who are interested. This is an optional event and presented in a low-stress and fun way!
I am a vocalist with Shoestring Productions providing Yuletide cheer during the Christmas season as a caroler. "Oh what fun it is to ride...." to places like Longwood Gardens, corporate events, country clubs and nursing homes to sing our quartet arrangements!
I have been offering private piano and voice lessons to children, teens and adults from my home studio since 1997.
I loved going into the music store and offering my services as a private voice and piano teacher. I was able to teach children, teens and adults during my time there.
I specifically worked with the Salvation Army's disability group. Our weekly classes were filled with music games, education, and performance preparation for the end of the year performance.
My husband and I took our music 'on the road'. We enjoyed performing at local coffee shops, outdoor events, and church functions. Though we still continue to write music and sing/play at our church, we have taken a break from touring to focus on our children and home.
I taught private voice and piano at PCA for several years as well as theater summer camps for children.
I enjoyed teaching early childhood music through the Kindermusik program at the Wilmington Music School for several years.
I enjoyed going into the schools and providing a musically fun and educational time for elementary school students.
Though my license is not currently updated, I received an online certification from Kindermusik during the years I taught their classes.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.