Students are raving about their Music instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Marc
"Everything a music teacher should be
My worst nightmare was that taking guitar lessons as an adult would be similar to my forced and short-lived piano le
ssons as a youth. Mark quickly set my fears aside the first lesson by outlining what I would need to learn to reach my goals. He is very adaptive to the student based on music preferences and skill progression. Each week we focus on progressively harder songs.
Aside from guitar knowledge and teaching skills, Mark is also very flexible around your schedule. He really makes an effort to communicate and to reschedule when needed.
I'd recommend Mark to anyone looking for guitar lessons. I feel lucky to have found Mark as a teacher."
San Francisco, CA teacher:
Review by Jenny
"My 11 year-old daughter has been taking voice and piano lessons from Corinne for about two years and she loves it. Corinne is so encouraging, but doesn't
push too hard, so my daughter really enjoys the lessons. For voice, Corinne is always open to letting my daughter sing the songs she's interested in, but has also broadened her interests with new and classic pieces. My daughter had taken piano before, but her skills have improved so much since she started working with Corinne. I highly recommend Corinne for voice and piano lessons!"
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by Jesse
"This is a shout out for Lena.
My name is Jesse, and I am 28 years old. I had never played the piano before, but I want to surprise my girlfriend by pl
aying her favorite song for her, and then propose. Although I felt the learning process was overwhelming, Lena not only taught me everything I need to know, but she also adapted to my learning style very quickly, demonstrating patience and flexibility. I am in a position that I didn't think I could get too with regard to playing music."
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Jackie
"Heidi is the perfect teacher for me!
Heidi is the perfect teacher for me. I have always wanted to learn to play the piano, and at 56yrs old, I have final
ly taken the plunge. Needless to say, this is a huge challenge for me, as I have never read music, or played any other instrument. Heidi convinces me that I am making progress, and continually looks for different ways to help me 'overcome' my analytical mind, that gets in the way every now and then. After 4 lessons, I am reading music, slowly but surely, and I look forward to my time with Heidi. My goal is to play a few songs for my grandson's 2nd birthday! And with Heidi's help, and leadership, I have no doubt I will exceed my goal! Thanks Heidi!"
Dallas, TX teacher:
Review by Katy
"Playing piano after 2 lessons
I am learning how to read notes and understanding how music is written along with timing and playing. I am very happy to be
able to sit at my piano which I never played before and actually play simple songs using both hands after two sessions. Thank you!!"
Detroit, MI teacher:
Review by Angela
"My daughter started taking clarinet lessons with Manda last year when she was 9. She is now also taking beginning piano also because Manda's been such a p
atient and nurturing teacher. She's very calm, proceeds at the student's own pace, and often goes above and beyond what I'd expect her to do. She builds rapport with students and takes an interest in them beyond their music, which I think builds a student's enthusiasm for the lesson."
Boston, MA teacher:
Review by Johanna
"I had the fabulous opportunity to work with Dr. Regina during my four years of Undergraduate study at the University of Minnesota Duluth. While Dr. Regina
's expertise and reputation are largely based in classical music, I found her to be a perfect match for my vocal studies in Musical Theater. Her teachings and training were extremely beneficial to me, not only as a vocalist, but as a performer. What I love about Dr. Regina is that her lessons are very personal focusing as you the student, you the performer, and you the person. I truly felt that she cared about my overall vocal health and growth as a singer. She challenged me with classical repertoire that kept me on track for my juries and made me feel comfortable with all of my class and show material for my Musical Theater studies. Dr. Regina is a well-rounded vocalist, teacher, performer, and woman. She feels passionately about her craft and her students. It is important to her that each student comes to the understanding of concepts and techniques. I always left my lessons feeling that I had accomplished something and had the tools I needed to put forth my best possible performance. Dr. Regina is a fabulous teacher, with a worldly knowledge of voice and a fantastic sense of humor! You will look forward to every one of your lessons with her!"
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Alec
"1st Day and a wonderful start"
San Diego, CA teacher:
Review by Alla
"Svetlana is a great teacher! She's also always on time and very patient when working with kids."
I am a friendly, patient, enthusiastic, experienced teacher, joyfully instructing piano professionally since 1999. Music transcends words, and I have a deep understanding of music/ piano, both personal and experiential which I truly enjoy sharing with my students. I draw from my love of music and my own experience as a pianist, piano student, and piano teacher to motivate and inspire my students.
A classically-trained pianist, I've been taking piano lessons since age 6 and playing "by ear" from early childhood. I continued to study piano throughout elementary school and high school. In c
ollege I majored in music, studying piano, music history and theory, and psychology in addition to fieldwork and internships in music therapy. I have extensive experience working with students with special needs. In graduate school, I studied classical piano and music theory with professor David Holzman, Grammy-nominated pianist and lecturer.
Fun, engaging, personalized, and productive, each lesson is both enjoyable and effective. I want the love of music to be the reason my students want to practice piano and attend lessons. I believe the rapport between student and teacher to be one of the most important factors of your lessons. I consider it a priority that each student feel comfortable with me, feel at-home in my studio, enjoy their lessons, and develop a love and knowledge of music that will last a lifetime.
Proper technique is stressed regardless of experience level or age.
I hold annual Student Piano Recitals for my students and their families.
*It is highly recommended that students have a keyboard or piano.*
NYSSMA preparation offered for all levels.
*** Studio Equipment Piano, keyboard; den dedicated to music. Extensive musical library.
*** Specialties *** Students with special needs Lessons for young beginners and adult students
Selin V. July 31, 2015
I have been taking lessons with Trina for the last few months and she is a wonderful teacher. She is so patient and is great at what she does. I learn so much in each lesson and that motivates me to keep on learning and enjoying piano. Thank you Trina, you have an amazing gift and I'l so thankful to have found you as a teacher.
Jubie M. July 29, 2015
Trina has been a wonderful piano instructor for my children! Not only is she skilled as a teacher, she has an enthusiastic and warm personality that allows my kids to get excited about playing music! She is truly a gem!
Yvonne C. March 23, 2015
In studio Verified Student
My 5 and 8 years old sons have been learning piano from Ms.Trina almost a year. I was amazed at Ms. Trina's unending patience. I cannot believe I can find a piano teacher with good patience dealing with my sons. My 5 year old son was always lacking confidence to do every single thing, but through Ms. Trina's encouragement, he has gain confidence and he actually feels proud of himself when he plays something well. My 8 years old son likes to complain every single things, but he was so happy with Ms. Trina and he even told me Ms. Trina is the best teacher. Ms. Trina also customized each lesson according to my sons' needs. She is creative and fun approach to work totally engaged my sons. She is such an amazing and one of a kind teacher- her love for her work is apparent in her commitment to her students.
Born in Cebu City, Philippines in 1990, raised primarily in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and other Southeast Asian countries, and pursuing further education in the United States of America, Hopengrace ("Penny") is a Global Nomad currently situated in the Greater New York City Area.
She started taking music lessons from her mother at the age of four and learned to read music at the same time she started to read storybooks. From the age of ten, Hopengrace took violin lessons, during her parents' rare furloughs, from Mr. Frederico Regner, a World War II veteran returned from the United States. While
in the Philippines for a combined year of junior and senior level high school, she took violin lessons from Mr. Marc Hamlet Mercado and Mr. Rodelio Flores. Hopengrace has also taken coaching from Ms. Princess Christine Ybañez to prepare for competition in the Solo String (Bowed) category of the 14th National Student Convention in which she won 2nd Place.
In 2007, Hopengrace received a Presidential Scholarship from Tennessee Temple University (TTU). There she studied violin under Mrs. Laura Minor (B.Mus. Vanderbilt University, MA Music NYU). She also took piano from Mrs. Carolyn Kemp (BS Mus.Ed. Baptist Bible College, MA Mu. Ed. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) and voice from Dr. William Knowles and Mr. Michael Mays (BS Mus. Perf. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, MA Church Music Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary).
In 2008, as a member of TTU's Weigle Concert Choir, Hopengrace had the privilege to be chosen to sing with a combined choir in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Dr. David Thye, Principal Conductor-in-Residence of MidAmerica Productions. She became a member of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Youth Orchestra (CSOYO) in the fall of that year and continued performing with them for three seasons. She also participated in the special orchestra for the annual Chattanooga Boys' Choir "Singing Christmas Tree" concerts at the Tivoli Theatre. In 2010, world-renowned violinist Midori chose CSOYO as one of two youth orchestras for her annual Orchestra Residencies Program, and Hopengrace had the rare opportunity to perform with one of her inspirations in concert.
Hopengrace became a registered Suzuki Method Violin Teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas on July 2011. She has also trained in Orff-Schulwerk.
During her travels around the world, Hopengrace struggled to keep her art alive. However, she has often been complemented for her distinctive strong, full-bodied tone and adaptability. Her range varies from Baroque to Modern. She plays on a John Cheng 1737 "King Joseph" Guarneri model violin with both wood and carbon fiber bows.
Hopengrace welcomes students and employment while she prepares for entrance in a Master of Music in Performance program. She hopes to start on that new chapter of her life in the fall of 2013. Inspired by the impact of Venezuela's El Sistema program and her own experiences during her travels, Hopengrace hopes to use her talents to enable or build similar programs both while she teaches and in the lands where she was raised.
*** Lesson Details *** TEACHING PHILOSOPHY “Play with heart. Play with living soul.” — Dr. Shinichi Suzuki As a teacher, my goal is to instruct as well as inspire each student to reach for his or her highest potential. I hope to give each student the tools to progress so that one day they can be their own best teacher, and play with a sound and style that is uniquely their own. Most importantly, I hope to instill a desire to learn and a mindset that the art of violin playing is fun and that it is just as we call it--playing. My teaching abilities range from beginning through advanced levels. Students must have a desire to learn and commit to daily (mindful) practice.
I am a Suzuki Violin teacher. This means that I am trained to work with even the youngest of musicians in a nurturing , fun and challenging way. Dr. Suzuki believed that it was important to develop a noble character in all children through the mastery of a musical instrument. He also believed that all children were capable of this mastery if the environment is saturated with music and love. My students enjoy playing the violin because they are given the tools they need to play beautifully and to make progress on their instrument. Each lesson will focus on proper set up and posture, technical work and musical direction/ideas that will inspire them to carry on their work throughout the week. I demonstrate quite a bit in the lessons, as I find it is the most effective way to communicate in music. However, I am only with the student once a week, therefore much of the lesson is geared towards helping the parent and child understand what his/her home tasks are, and how to carry them out successfully. 10 minutes of mindful practice is worth an hour of careless work. “There is no born genius. Education is the way to develop ability.” — Dr. Shinichi Suzuki Parental support and involvement is key to any child’s progress, especially at the beginning stages. Parents of young beginners are encouraged to take a few lessons before starting their child on the instrument. Parents serve as a practice coach/partner during daily home practice sessions and are required to attend and participate in their child’s lessons. Listening to recordings and attending live concerts are strongly recommended to increase musical awareness and enthusiasm in the student.
In spite of my rigorous Suzuki training, my unorthodox learning experience has taught me the value of being flexible and using methods that work best for a specific individual. I am not averse to seeking and applying a new method (eg. traditional, Masterclass, O'Connor, etc.) if the situation calls for it.
What should be expected from a Teacher/Student relationship?
I think a student should expect their teacher to give them honest, thoughtful feedback. Just enough that they can manage the information at that time. The teacher should give detailed instruction on ways the student can improve, without destroying the students sense of self worth or spirit. On the contrary, the teacher must always find a way to see the student as having great potential. This way, no matter how limited the current level of ability may be, there is hope for growth. Even without saying it, the student will feel the teachers' attitude towards him and may become that person (for better or for worse). The student should expect to be challenged, encouraged and inspired by their teacher. The teacher should expect that the student and the parents commit to daily practice, and have a desire to improve. The student must apply his/her teacher's feedback while always searching within himself for ways to develop. Mutual respect is key.
*** Studio Equipment *** living room, baby grand piano, couch, two chairs, residential area, street parking
*** Travel Equipment *** My own violin, music stand, and teaching books. I expect my students to provide their own instruments, music stand, and student books.
*** Specialties *** Suzuki, Orff-Schulwerk, classical, film, fiddle, world music, new age, popular, contemporary classical
I would not be the person I am today if music wasn't the focal point in my life as it is. Not only do I absolutely love performing and studying music myself, but I adore teaching as well. Part of the musical experience is taking what you hear and what you learn from others and building on it to create your own musical contributions. I take the gifts other teachers and musicians have given me very seriously and subsequently feel the great importance of imparting my knowledge unto others.
Whether you want to be a professional, or just be competent enough to enjoy yourself, we all practice, st
udy technique and gain knowledge about music with really only one goal in mind: To have all the tools necessary to express ourselves adeptly through music. All the technique in the world will not make you a great musician. At the same time, you can be extremely creative and knowledgeable, but if you don't have the technique and vocabulary needed to express your ideas, you will find yourself very limited and suppressed musically.
My philosophy about teaching follows that I am here to provide you with those tools in a fun, exciting way. When I say "tools" I mean the whole toolbox. This includes giving you the technique, correcting bad habits, providing listening material, finding holes in your playing and much more. A good music teacher must be more than an instructor, but a mentor and an inspirational guide. My best teachers were the ones who could cultivate my playing not just through the physical aspects but ESPECIALLY through the cerebral. We ALL need encouragement and inspiration to get the best out of our natural talent. I love to encourage my students to do their best. To strive to not only complete exercises, but to execute them well. Every student is different, and therefore I will tailor their education with me on an individual basis. I expect a lot out of my students because I strongly believe in my teaching ability as well as their ability to learn and feel good about their progress.
My approach to providing all these things is modeled around my best experiences in learning and performing. I've studied under some of the absolute best players and teachers in the world. Here are just a couple:
World renowned drummer and educator
TOMMY IGOE from The Lion King on Broadway The Birdland Big Band Numerous instructional books and DVDs.
Highly sought after percussionist
TOM KOLOR Graduated from William Paterson as well as with a Masters from the Julliard School of Music Professor of Music at the University at Buffalo.
I've also graduated Cum Laude from the University at Buffalo with a degree in Music Performance, Dean's List and Honor Roll awards.
Some of my experience includes being featured in Tommy Igoe's "Great Hands For a Lifetime" DVD which received 5 stars from Modern Drummer magazine in 2010. I've also played great venues like Gramercy Theatre and Central Park in NYC among others. I've played in Big Bands, Symphony Orchestras, Klesmer and Percussion ensembles, and more.
I really could go on forever talking about music, what it means me, how I approach teaching, etc. When you love music and teaching as much as I do, you really can't help it. It's ingrained in you. Precisely as ingrained as I like to think being a fun, caring, disciplined, attentive teacher is in me. Whether it be for you or your child, I can easily promise that I will deliver the same success-bound mentoring that I have to my students for over 5 years.
Can't wait to hear from you!
*** Lesson Details *** -I am here for you.
I would not teach if I wasn't very interested in the progress of my students. I want you to be the biggest, baddest, awe-inspiring drummer/percussionist possible. I want to ultimately end up at your shows and concerts and be able to say "That's MY student." You can always be guaranteed that when studying with me everything I assign has precisely that goal in mind.
-Strict or Laid Back?
Many people might ask if I'm strict, or laid back. My response is that I am excited and driven to help you reach success. I will never scold you because that sort of practice has no place in teaching. I also understand that learning isn't just a straight upwards incline of progression. We're all humans. Sometimes we progress astronomically in a short period of time and sometimes we have to fight hard to nail something. Sometimes we have a lot of time to practice, and sometimes we simply don't. My job is to make the most out of every situation and help you learn no matter what. That being said, I will still hound you to practice as much as healthily possible!
-What do you want out of music?
Probably the most important question I will undoubtedly ask you upon meeting you is why you are taking lessons. There is no way to formulate a tailored lesson plan if I don't know what it is you're working towards.
Like I said, I can't tell you very specifically what your lesson plan will be, but I CAN give you examples of what I almost always assign. Individually written out exercises, exercises from books, assigned reading/listening, song covers, chart writing/reading, improvisational exercises, rudiment study, warm-up routines, among others.
-Don't be Afraid to Make Mistakes
Mistakes are part of the learning process! If you aren't making mistakes then I'm doing something wrong. Never be afraid to make mistakes.
-You Get What You Give
I promise I'll be there for you. I'll be there to give you the material and show you the path. But you're going to have to be there for yourself as well. The more prepared you are for our lessons, the more you will grow from the time we spend together.
Mastering an instrument takes time and effort both by student and teacher. The sooner we get started the sooner you get on that path. I'm ready whenever you are.
*** Studio Equipment *** detached studio 2 professional drum sets seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment *** I have two full DW Jazz Series drum sets. Numerous practice pads and snare stands. I expect my students to only provide their own Drum Sticks and books.
*** Specialties *** I pride myself on being as versatile as I possibly can be. I can aptly teach most styles including Jazz, Rock, Funk, Latin, Hip Hop\R&B, Classical, and more.
Bindia M. December 20, 2012 Verified Student
Flexible teaching methods!
Asaf is just brilliant. During the first session, my son was very distracted by the other things in the music room ie lights, instruments etc but Asaf managed to engage him by being extremely flexible in his teaching ie he is not wedded to any order and has a lesson plan in mind but goes with the flow and the interest of the child - this ensures that all that was intended on being covered is, and as a result of the flexibility, my son just loves these drum lesson and Asaf. Asaf makes him focus and has built a great teacher/student relationship in only 3 session. I would highly recommend Asaf.
Petra V. August 23, 2012
Drum Verified Student
The Consummate Professional
Asaf has trained my son initially on a practice pad. Taught my son Quater notes, Eighth notes and moved on to the Snare Durm and worked his way up to 16th notes. He taught my son how to use wrist action, rather then his arms. The fact that ASAF travels to my home and instructs my son is definitely a plus. He is highly commmunicative and flexible.
PetraV April 9, 2012
My son has been showing excitement and interest in practicing and looks forward to Asaf coming on Saturdays. We look forward to seeing our son's progress and working with Asaf.
I'm a pro saxophonist in NYC, currently performing both in the NYC area and internationally.
In the last 5 years, I have been performing with various bands in the area, spanning rock, funk, soul, Latin, and especially jazz. Performing has taken me to France, Switzerland, Italy, China, and most recently aboard luxury cruise ships.
I have been teaching privately and through a private music school for the past 10 years.
*** Lesson Details *** I offer three distinct types of lessons.
1) For 7-12 grade music students, I offer lessons geared towards preparing you for the NYSSMA compet
ition. We work on the basic requirements for participation, can work together to narrow down the options and select the right piece for you to perform, and improve your musicality as a whole. I have sent many students to NYSSMA, all with positive results. 2) My more expansive lessons are for beginner musicians and up. We work as basically as scales, modes, and fingerings, as well as a little bit of jazz history. As you progress, we dig deeper into jazz theory, focusing on the standards and improvisational theory. Like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it, and as long as you are willing to work towards becoming a better player, you will. 3) For NON-SAXOPHONE students with an interest in jazz improvisational techniques, I offer jazz improvisation lessons. This requires an intermediate level of proficiency on your instrument. We cover standards, different techniques to apply over different patterns of chord changes, and even basic elements of composition.
I like to keep the atmosphere light and positive during lessons, so we can have a good time and still be learning. I love to work on appropriate music that the student suggests, or has an interest in. Pending the level of the student, we may even arrange for special appearances at some of my performances. The more the merrier.
*** Studio Equipment *** 1942 Conn 6M viii Naked Lady Alto Saxophone Theo Wanne Durga 7 Mouthpiece Vandoren Jumbo Java Mouthpiece Vandoren Java Red / Vandoren ZZ Reeds Monique Pro Series Soprano Saxophone Otto Link Mouthpiece CG Conn C Melody Saxophone Akai EWI-USB Wind Synthesizer
*** Travel Equipment *** Same as "Studio Equipment".
Livia C. February 19, 2014
Saxophone Verified Student
My son Nicholas, 10 yrs old, has been taking saxophone lessons with Imraan for about a month. Searching for a young motivated teacher who is up to date with todays music is very difficult. My fear was for Nicholas to get discouraged in his saxophone playing and music with a non motivated instructor.
Imraan has been the perfect match for Nick. He is not only an excellent saxophone player but a great instructor. He motivates my son with his saxophone playing, has patients with his teachings and with kids, is up to date with todays music and most important, my son cant wait for his next lesson.
Imraan, Im glad we met you and look forward to hearing my son play in concert with you someday.
Hope D. February 17, 2014
Saxophone Verified Student
it is refreshing and exciting at each session.
he is very focused and thorough. quite professional and polite.
he makes complex things with the sax seems simple. I enjoy his teaching style. I would recommend him to anyone who desires to learn to play the sax, or for advance lessons.
Kyle J. December 29, 2013
Love Working With Him!
I study jazz saxophone with Imraan once a week. I originally found him through a recommendation from a friend, and was using him to prepare me for the All State NYSSMA auditions in my senior year of high school. The lessons were so helpful that I continued through college... Since then I've improved so much. He understands how to break down complicated information and present it to you in a way that you'll be able to understand and process. He is active in the music community, so you can drop in on a show and see him and one of his bands in action... Worth a visit.
Also, he always has a great selection of music to choose from for you to learn, and a great set of helpful tips and tools that work great for me! Highly recommend!!!!
Classical, pop music, rhythm and beats. Music notes, learn to read notes. It should be only enjoyment, no force! Usually children waiting for me and are very exited!
Ineta Y. September 30, 2014
Classical Piano ·
we have two children playing! Lessons very interested. Children waiting for instructor. We have been playing for 3 years. very warm, inteligent teacher, very lucky to have her! STRONGLY RECOMMENDING !
Ineta Y. September 27, 2014
Classical Piano ·
A very nice, very profesionalpiano teacher. My daughter wants continue piano only with Ineta Y. She knows the way to teach and my makes a lesson very plesant and interesting. During one year my daughter learned so many songs, finished couple books level 1 and we moved to level 2 already. Sign up with Ineta Y!!
Interested in branching out from the typical classical piano repertoire? Learn how to explore the world of rock with this guest post by Saint Augustine, FL teacher Heather L...
During my past decade of teaching music, I've met a lot of students who seem interested only in taking drums or guitar. Why? It's not because they were particularly well-suited to either of them, or because they loved the instruments, but because they wanted to play rock music, and they thought that the only …
5 Rock Songs with Awesome Keyboard Solos
Interested in branching out from the typical classical piano repertoire? Learn how to explore the world of rock with this guest post by Saint Augustine, FL teacher Heather L...
During my past decade of teaching music, I've met a lot of students who seem interested only in taking drums or guitar. Why? It's not because they were particularly well-suited to either of them, or because they loved the instruments, but because they wanted to play rock music, and they thought that the only
7 Female Guitarists to Watch in 2015
Many dubbed 2014 "the year of the woman", and in 2015 women show no signs of slowing down. Whether you spent last year hooked on Taylor Swift's 1989, freaking out about St Vincent, buzzing in the Bey-hive, or feverishly anticipating Sleater-Kinney's reunion, women dominated much of our cultural conversation about music.
With International Women's Day coming up this weekend, it's a great time to appreciate the talents and ferocity of these amazing guitar-slinging women! Check out these awesome
Are You Making These 5 Common Violin Mistakes When Practicing?
Do you want to get more out of your violin practice? Below, violin teacher Montserrat P. shares some common violin mistakes students often make when practicing and how to fix them...
You dont think Lindsey Stirling or Jascha Heifetz got to where they are without practicing the violin, right? In order to prefect your violin skills and progress further, you must frequently practice. After all, practice does make perfect.
Unfortunately, many students dont know how to properly practice o
Two Uncomplicated Ways of Transforming Your Guitar Sound
Are you stuck in a musical rut? New tunings and tricks can help you keep learning guitar in fresh, fun ways. Try one of these great tips from guitar teacher Samuel B. to breathe new life into your guitar playing...
One of the first things I tell any new student is that I don't specialize in a formal discipline. If jazz or classical training is your objective, then I'm not your guy. Instead, I specialize primarily in American roots music (that which we tend to casually lump together as "folk"
Tips for Playing Piano Duets
Playing piano duets, or "four-hand piano," is a fun way to share your love for playing music! Buddy up with another pianist and get ready to make some rich and full sounds. If you've never played with another pianist before, let these tips for playing piano duets be your guide.
Know Your Part
Before you sit down together, decide if you'll be playing the high part (usually known as primo) or the bass part (known as secondo). You and your partner should spend some time practicing independe