Erika’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Erika’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
In addition to my Music Degree from Santa Clara, I have spent what amounts to a year working as a Teaching Assistant in Beginning Voice Classes. Often this would require that I spend extra time with those who had trouble matching pitch or hearing harmony. My work with them allowed their full participation in the course, and led to further musical and vocal progress. My years of musical training and vocal study led me to compile a substantial thesis on teaching basic music theory and aural skills using the voice as the main instrument. I developed games, experiments and practices to help ear issues, and to explain and help identify intervals, chords, scales, and their qualities.
I spent two years studying Music Theory at Santa Clara University, as a part of my BA in Music. I am well versed in the Walden approach of DISCOVER, DRILL, CREATE, as that is how I was taught. This method encourages the student to make for themselves those leaps of intuition that make learning exiting and memorable. I have taken three intensive courses offered by the Walden School that train music teachers in this style, and I am confident in my knowledge and excited to share it.
I am very well read, and have been reading for a long time. I enjoy books not only for the stories and their ability to transport a person to another time and place, but also for the way language is woven to create a complex picture out of layers of subtle meaning. I love vocabulary, and discovering the nuance of the perfect word choice.
Besides my love of the subject, I can help students find the important details in school readings, discover where their weaknesses are (if they have any) and help them read more fluently.
I started choir as a freshman in college not knowing how to read music. What began as guesswork slowly transformed into noticing and conscious corrections, and a desire to learn. I then signed up for a Music Major, and learned how to break music into its component parts. Simple rhythms, simple melodies, and gradual complication. From there I learned how to sight-sing with practice and help from solfege. I spent two years working with my classmates, as we helped each other to solidify our techniques and abilities. My sight-singing in choir is now fluid and accurate, and I often help others with their sight-singing as well. My own learning and practice has allowed me to evaluate the skill levels of others and know what help they need, and I know how to introduce harder melodies and rhythms while still taking easy steps along the way.
I have been studying Spanish for 13 years, from middle school through high school and into college. I visited Mexico a few times in my youth and put my Spanish skills to excellent use there. More recently, I spent 4 months abroad in San Sebastian, Spain, where I depended almost entirely on my Spanish skills. All of my classes were taught entirely in Spanish, and almost all of the people I spoke to could only communicate in Spanish. One of my favorite parts about language is accent, and I am proud of my skills in that area. Though I must say my Spanish accent now is decidedly more from Spain than from Mexico.
I have studied voice with five separate teachers for a total of seven years of study, and have made my own inquiries into proper vocal training and technique. These studies are leading me to write a short dissertation on the subject, which I will complete August '11. My music degree from Santa Clara University was in a vocal emphasis, including four years of choral participation (three of them in the elite Chamber Singers), participation in four operas, and the presentation of an hour long solo recital. My education will continue with my Masters degree in Music Education next summer. I have acted as a Teaching Assistant for Beginning and Intermediate Voice Classes for almost two years (3 quarters with Beginning, 2 with Intermediate), leading group and individual sessions and giving private lessons on my own time to the aforementioned and other students. I know many song styles- including opera, art song, lieder, melodie, jazz, musical theater, folk songs, and even some rock and pop. I know basic techniques that will help a voice develop in any style, and I know particular details of technique and practice that will bring out certain stylistic qualities for each genre.