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Benjamin M.

Enjoy and Develop your Musical Creativity

Ypsilanti, MI (48197)

Travel radius
30 miles
Hourly fee
$50.00
Email Benjamin M.

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Benjamin M. passed a background check on 10/31/10. The check was ordered by Benjamin through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

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Hello prospective students!

I have been a WyzAnt Tutor for 4 years with experience in all ages and levels including my children. I have found teaching to be incredibly rewarding! My teaching ethic is to encourage playing by ear and to help Students apply their own Innate Creativity. Whether you wish to focus on songwriting, composition, or improvisation, creativity is the core!

I can teach both basic and extended techniques for saxophone and guitar in whatever style you like. Developing ear training and rhythmic dictation skills help you identify what it is you are playing and how to go further in your own direction. Because I have focused solely on Original songwriting and composition, I can help you blend genres or create your own.

If you need help in recording your music, I have an 8-track 1/2 inch analog deck and multi-track digital recording via computer in my home studio. We can also set up a simple hand-held ZOOM recording device and record your lessons for you to review at home.

I attended music classes at Thomas Jefferson College (Allendale, MI), and The School of Contemporary Music (Boston, MA), and received my BA at Columbia College Chicago in English and Music Composition. I have also taught at School of Rock in New York City and New Jersey, and given Music Workshops at Columbia College Chicago, Maryland Institute of Art, UMASS Lowell and various art galleries.

I currently live in Jersey City, NJ, own a car and can begin tutoring immediately.

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Benjamin’s subjects

Corporate Training:
General Computer, Microsoft Word, Proofreading
Test Preparation:
SAT Writing
Homeschool:
Business:
Microsoft Word
Elementary Education:
History:
Music History
Computer:
English:

Adobe Photoshop

I have used Photoshop since 2000 creating professional looking posters for my musical ensembles. I am comfortable with all Tools and their basic functions, most aspects of Layering, Adjustments, Modes, and Image sizing. Since I am not a photographer, I may be considered an Intermediate rather than Advanced. That said, I could help students get started with the Photoshop program until they are ready to move on to more advanced techniques like Luminosity and Color Range.

Composition (Music)

Hello Future Music Students!

As a composer, I have written fully notated scores for more than 20 years. Some of this material has been used for sound design and sound tracks for film. In regards to composition, I am influenced by classical, rock, jazz and 20th Century genres. In 2008, I formed a 13-member saxophone orchestra for which I have written 2 symphonies. I am also the conductor.

If you are interested in composing material with a pastoral flow like Debussy, a rhythmically intense edge like Stravinsky, a straight ahead Jazz or Classical approach, an avant-garde direction or as mood-enhancing Film Music - I would be happy to help.

I currently teach in my home studio as well as the students home.

Drums

I am a multi-instrumentalist. As a drummer, I have played with several Rock groups using a standard Drum Kit. I also know basic techniques in playing congas and various percussion instruments. My sense of rhythm is very good and can teach both standard rhythmic phrasing as well as complex poly-rhythms.

Ear Training

Hello Future Music Students!

As a musician, songwriter and composer, I know how important it is to develop a "good ear". Discerning if a pitch is in tune or not is crucial for all musicians whether you are using notated material or improvising. My ear is excellent (I don't need an electronic tuner to tune an instrument), and I provide Ear Training exercises for all my students. Being able to discern the difference between a variety of intervals and chord structures as well as rhythmic sequences is useful even if you are not considering a career in music. I am also a good vocalist and understand that Ear Training is just as important for a Singer! I currently teach guitar, sax, beginning piano & drums, and general music in my home studio or in the students home.

English

Because I excelled in my English courses, I was hired on as a Writing Consultant at Columbia College Chicago. I much enjoy the writing process and the various ways in which we can express ourselves through words. My forte is helping students brainstorm ideas, assist in developing a Thesis statement, paragraph organization, basic grammar and finding a variety in word usage.

Although I can read Spanish well and remember some verb forms etc., English is my native language.

I self-published a novel, written a full-length screenplay and have been a Songwriter for many years.

General Computer

Hello prospective Students!

I can help you with the management of your files, accessing internal and external hard drives, CD and DVD drives and the basic functions of a PC computer. I explain how you can create or save document files as different types, the use of simple functions like copy, delete and paste, text alignment, use of Thesaurus, inserting images, basic formatting, printing and page lay-out, and more. Having done Office Work for the past 10 years, I am comfortable with basic knowledge of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

If you have photos that you need to upload, edit or save as different photo file types, I have experience with Photo Shop 7. I have designed my own CD labels and posters for many years. If you need help with file conversion for music in their various formats (ex. audio files: .wav or MP3 etc.), I have experience in recording with audio software such as Sound Forge, Finale Allegro and basic Pro Tools.

General Music

Hello Future Music Students!

I have had an intense passion for music all my life beginning with Alto Saxophone and Guitar as a preteen. During my early years, I became comfortable with piano, drums, bass and other instruments. My ear is excellent (I don't need an electronic tuner to tune an instrument), I can "sight read" and compose fully notated scores for small and large ensembles. I am also a good singer and have been a songwriter for many years - what may be termed as Indie Rock.

I currently teach Guitar, Sax, Drums, Piano and General Music in my home studio as well as the students home.

If you want to develop your music career or simply learn how to play your favorite tunes - give me a holler!

Thanks,
Ben

Guitar

Hello Future Guitar Students!

I have played acoustic and electric guitar since I was in 6th grade. My playing style is influenced by Psych-rock, Prog-rock, Fusion (Jass-influenced rock), Punk and Post-punk movements. I can also teach beginning Classical and beginning Jazz. I can provide Music Theory (Chord Structure and Scales), Technique (hammer-ons, pull-offs, trills etc), unique ways to use FX pedals and Production, and Performance tips. Whether you want to play closely to your favorite Guitarist or wish to break out of traditional approaches and find new ways to play the instrument, I can help you develop your own unique and personal flair. Originality is key!

Music Theory

As a Composer, I have been schooled in Music Theory and 12-tone Theory. I have also developed an Interval Method that is uniquely mine. I currently teach all three theories.

Piano

As a professional musician, songwriter and composer, I often use the piano/keyboard for composition, arrangement and sound design. Although my primary instruments are alto saxophone and guitar, having piano skills have been an asset in visualizing the musical spectrum.

I've had two years formal training on Piano, and taught 2nd Year Piano in NYC public and private schools.

Proofreading

Proofreading calls for acute attention to detail in language. When Syntax and Style is refined, for specific types of Letters or Essays for example, content and its needed approach in communication "comes to life". As a Tutor, it is important to show the student how to proofread his or her own work in this process.

Saxophone

I have played saxophone since I was in 5th grade. I have been in a variety of groups over the years; rock, funk, punk, jazz quartets and big-band jazz, and the experimental use of electronics. You will learn proper breath (dynamics) and embouchure control, tonguing techniques, standard and alternate fingerings, approaches to improvisation and assistance with a varied repertoire for performance. I own a 1967 Beuscher alto saxophone and an Elkhart C-tenor saxophone. My home studio has recording capability which I use to record lessons when they are needed for review. Ear training is a crucial part to music on any level, and I encourage playing by ear as an important element to improvisation and music appreciation. My lessons are fun, informative, and creative!

Sight Singing

I have been an excellent sight-reader of Classical Notation (Singing, Guitar, Saxophone and Piano) all my life. Ever since I was a teenager, I have transcribed music By Ear. I often surprise musicians I perform with in regards to intonation and interval perception.

Songwriting

Hello Future Students!

As a songwriter, my style has been influenced by the Psych-Rock, Punk and Post-Punk movements. I write songs that have connections with The Beatles, Syd Barrett, David Byrne, The Cure, Guided by Voices, Arcade Fire, Mew - to name a few. Whether you enjoy Pop music or wish to break out of the traditional pop song structure, I can help you develop your own personal flair. Originality is key!

NOTE: I recorded a CD in 2006 that was selected as 1 out of 48 albums to be nominated for the Grammys as best Alternative Rock album of the year. I have the document to prove this :)

I currently teach in my home studio with recording capability, or the students home.

Vocabulary

Being an avid writer, both as Songwriter and Author, I know how important it is to use a varied vocabulary. As a youngster, this was not the case. It takes a strong interest in Writing or Public Speaking (or at least in getting good grades!) to strengthen one's Voice. I find when I tutor a student in their own Writing process, they become engaged in searching out new and improved ways in expressing themselves on paper or in conversation.

Voice (Music)

I have sung all my life beginning with Chorus in 5th grade. As a Songwriter with an exceptional ear I can guide students in sight-reading music, ways to bring out creative inflection, and using vocal exercises to strengthen and project their voice. What to do - what not to do. I have a BA (2002) in Music from Columbia College Chicago. My 2006 CD "Sun of Water, Sea of Light", an album I wrote and sang all songs, was selected to be nominated for the Grammys as the 2006 Alternate Rock release.

Read all subject qualifications »

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Education

Columbia College, Chicago

Wonderful experienced teacher! Ben is the kind of teacher that I have been looking for. He's knowledgeable, naturally patient and kind, and intuitively able to listen, see, respond, and most importantly deliver what you need as a student. I am looking forward to my next lesson and many more thereafter. Thank you Ben! ...

— JJ from Bronx, NY on 5/31/12);

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $50.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

I will lower this rate if your lessons are located at my home in Ypsilanti, MI. Group Rates and Advance Payment for Multiple Lessons will lower your rate as well.

Travel policy

Benjamin will travel within 30 miles of Ypsilanti, MI 48197.

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