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David S.

Experienced Music Instructor

Astoria, NY (11102)

Travel radius
5 miles
Hourly fee
$45.00
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Hello!

My name is David, and I teach multiple instruments (Saxophone, flute, guitar, piano) as well as music theory and ear training. I have my Bachelor's Degree in Jazz Performance from William Paterson University in New Jersey. I have been teaching since I was in high school, and I have been learning from my students ever since.

I have found that each student has a unique way of approaching and learning music, and my experience has taught me how to quickly learn which pathway to take with each new student. Some learn best with their intellect, others learn best by listening, and most are somewhere in between. I attempt work through the strong areas to build up the weaker ones and make my students complete musicians.

I have taught students of all age levels and experience levels. I look forward to meeting you and joining you in your exploration of music!

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David’s subjects

Homeschool:
Music:

Composition (Music)

As a graduate of William Paterson University's Jazz Studies program, I have been exposed to the work of many great composers, both in the field of jazz and classical music.
Since graduation, I have composed many original works for small jazz ensembles, as well as classical chamber groups.

My lessons focus on the fundamental building blocks of chords, melody and Roman Numeral analysis. I also put a great deal of focus on the ancient work of counterpoint and sight singing.

Ear Training

Throughout the my years as a performing musician, I have found ear training to be the single most important subject to master. Ear training is what truly creates a musician- we learn to identify the structures of music itself, so that we may build our own structures, and have a mental framework from which to connect to music.

I frequently relate ear training in this way:

Image that a painter must, before they can paint, actually learn what each color is. Image that the colors are not automatically seen by the the eye, but must first be studied with the mind. Then, and only then, can the painter use the colors in a work of art.
Ear training shows us how to hear the sound structures that are music itself- I have a great deal of respect for this art.

Flute

I have been teaching for flute for nearly eight years, both privately, and at a local studio.
My lessons focus a great deal on the physical act of playing the flute. The instrument is very closely related to the voice, so the position of the throat and the diaphragm become very important. I spend a great deal of time working to create a correct way to breathe, and an appreciation for this aspect of flute playing.

Music theory is also taught, and the student's ability to read music will greatly increase. Jazz theory can also be taught upon request.

Guitar

I have been playing the guitar since high school. I am a professional player--I play mostly with vocalists looking for backing acoustic guitar. I also teach the instrument extensively in New York City privately, and at a local studio.

My teaching gives students the ability to read written music as well as chord symbols and tabs. I also teach ear training in the lessons to make sure that students can understand the musical structures they are learning, and can eventually learn to hear songs and play them by ear.

My guitar lessons are suited to the individual student. I frequently direct the course of younger students and expose them to many different ways of playing. Older students have more freedom to direct their lessons, as many players are interested in learning a specific style of guitar playing.

Music Theory

The field of music theory is very important to me and is one of my favorite subjects to teach.

Learning about the structure of music- how to identify sounds, how to feel rhythm, and how to hear the motion of music is at the very heart of being a great performer, composer, and creator of music. Without these fundamentals, musicians are left to their own intuition which may limit their growth.

I take students through the process of learning theory while at the same time showing them that the end goal is to internalize the material so that it does in fact become instinct. With a combination of intuition and intellect, the musician grows into a true artist.

My process is individually tailored to each student- everyone is looking to enter the world of theory from a different style and skill level. I start with general concepts, and then move towards the specific style and needs of the student.

Piano

I specialize in teaching beginning piano. I teach many young students the basics of the instrument, from hand position to scale practice.

Students of mine have performed well on NYSSMA exams (including a perfect score for a young student of mine). I teach many beginners at a local studio and have developed a sensitivity for different learning styles.

Students will learn to read as they learn the basic technique of the instrument.

Saxophone

Saxophone is my main instrument--I studied saxophone at William Paterson University and attained a B.M in Jazz Performance.

Every aspect of saxophone playing is covered--breathing, tonguing, tone production, and technique.

Young students are guided through workbooks that increase their proficiency in these areas. Older students will begin to learn general music theory along with their reading, and eventually, a style can be learned, most frequently classical or jazz.

In my youth, I studied classical saxophone and performed in New Jersey's All State youth bands. I am currently a professional jazz player, specializing in traditional and modern styles.

Read all subject qualifications »

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Education

William Paterson University

Great Teacher Dave is a phenomenal teacher. I was working with him as an adult to prepare for auditions for higher education. His patience with me, and ability to help me through my frustrations with guitar, was fantastic. He is very patient and is great at giving little tricks and hints. Dave gave me excellent exercises to practice, and gave me lots of different ways to practice if one method was not working f ...

— Reissa from Croton On Hudson, NY on 12/16/13);

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $45.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

David will travel within 5 miles of Astoria, NY 11103.

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