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Hi! I'm a private music tutor, and I specialize in the areas of music theory, ear training and sight singing. I am dedicated and patient, and passionate about music, and about teaching!
My goal is to help students really understand what they are studying. With music especially, I find that often simple concepts are made way too complicated by the way they are taught. I focus on simplifying things and making concepts as clear as possible. I have over 12 years of tutoring experience overall, including five specifically in music.
Music is supposed to be music, not some intellectual theory exercise. I've seen entire books that talk all day about music, but never once teach you how to hear what they're talking about! But this absolutely can be learned, it's a skill, just like reading, or talking, that comes with practice. But it is also important to have someone knowledgeable show you how to focus your attention and how to get better at it. You will find yourself being able to do things you never thought you could! And when your ear understands what you're learning, all of a sudden everything gets so much easier; and you can ace your music theory tests with flying colors!
I used to think I had a pretty good ear. That is, until I started studying ear training as part of the Grove School of Music program; I started finding out that I wasn't nearly as good as I thought. And sometimes it was a struggle. But what I learned as it went along is, it really doesn't matter what your natural skill level is-- the main thing is to find out what to practice to get better, and then to put in the effort. And the more effort you put in, the better you will get!
I can tailor lessons precisely toward the student's goals. Whether you desire to get better at the basics of music theory, melody, harmony, rhythm, or more advanced subjects such as chromatic harmony, modal harmony, orchestration, arranging, etc., I can help you attain your goals. My aim is to teach students to hear music in their head, understand music that they listen to, look at music on paper and know what it sounds like without the use of an instrument, and to gain the ability to write music they hear in their head down on paper. These skills then lead to the ability to pursue music in the way you want, and to break through any walls that may be holding you back from reaching your potential. I have studied under the Grove School of Music's wonderful program, where the focus is on learning music in a way that actually translates in the real world, utilizing methods that develop one's musicianship to the point of becoming proficient and professional. I have also studied piano and jazz harmony privately with a number of high-level contemporary musicians. I am currently furthering my studies in the areas of orchestration, composition, and music engraving.
I use the so-called moveable DO solfege system, which allows one to sing and practice in a precise way. I have tons of great exercises that will have you hearing music better and better. The solfege is the perfect tool for teaching all about intervals, scales, sight-singing, basic to advanced harmony, all in a way that you can actually hear (as opposed to just understanding intellectually). I also have methods of learning rhythm on an ear level; counting can only get you so far. Music, like language, flows right along, and it takes an educated ear to follow the conversation. And the great part is, the better you hear, the more you will enjoy and appreciate music!
Ear training is at the heart of all courses in the Grove School of Music, formerly a unique and revolutionary music school in Los Angeles, and which now exists as an online extension of the original school via distance learning. I completed both their Musicianship 1 and 2 courses, covering chromatic harmony in jazz and contemporary styles. I continued my studies with the school in their Composing and Arranging course, a four semester in-depth course on orchestration, arranging, and modern harmony. I have also studied privately with two contemporary jazz artists. I have over six years of dedicated training in the area of ear training, doing daily regiment of exercises and developing my own exercises along the way. I have played and performed piano/keyboard for over 14 years, and five plus years teaching music privately, among those two years specifically focused on ear training.
Do you want to improve your understanding of how music works? Then this is for you. Besides the fundamentals of music, I focus on understanding the elements of a piece of music-- the function of the different parts, such as pads, countermelodies, harmonies, fills. You will learn how harmony, melody, and rhythm relate to each other, as well as the factors that contribute to different styles of music. Also, the role of arrangement in presenting music. These ideas are crucial if you want to make your own music, whether it be popular styles or instrumental like classical or jazz. It allows you to make musical decisions and to focus your creativity. And if you just want to appreciate/understand music you listen to better, learning these concepts will change your listening experience completely!
I have studied under the Grove School of Music's School Without Walls program, taking their musicianship courses, parts 1 and 2, as well as the CAP program, which is an in-depth course on all aspects of contemporary composing and arranging. I have 14 years experience playing and performing piano/keyboard, and over 6 years of dedicated music study. In addition, I have over five years experience teaching music privately.
I have over twelve years of experience tutoring Hebrew and Hebrew related subjects. Also, I've had extensive education in Hebrew, from preschool through graduate. I am comfortable tutoring Hebrew language, reading, and writing, as well as prayer, Torah, Nach, Mishnah, and Talmud, and more. I can also teach Hebrew typing, proofreading, grammar, as well as pronunciation.
I have been working with DAWs (digital audio work stations) and sample libraries for about 8 years, specifically Cubase (but I am conversant in others and certainly know the fundamentals of using any DAW). I record all kinds of MIDI tracks, and have an extensive samples collection, including virtual instruments, loops, modeled instruments, etc.
This has allowed me to explore synthesis, recording with a sequencer, and sound design, as well as MIDI.
I'm also very well-versed in using Sibelius music notation software.
I also know the details of how to build a fantastic DAW, from audio interface to RAM and every other aspect of building a computer meant for audio, with as low latency as possible.
I don't like the term music theory very much. Music is all about the practical! So let's call it understanding how music works, and what makes music sound good. Learn all about scales, intervals, chords, harmonic progression, rhythm, reading music, all in a clear, intuitive, and practical manner that lets you really "get it", thus allowing you to use the knowledge in your music right from the start. Learning theory is inseparable from ear training because, as a great teacher of mine once said, "I mean, none of this stuff means anything unless you can hear it." This means comprehending the music in an educated way, and hopefully growing towards doing so spontaneously, similar to the way you hear and speak your native language. I also teach more advanced harmony (jazz, modal), if that's what you are looking for. The goal is to understand and relate to music better and better, which makes listening, performing, and making music all the more enjoyable! (Or, at a minimum, to just pass your music theory course/test.)
I've been playing piano for about 15 years, specializing in pop and contemporary styles. I've had several years of teaching piano as well. I can teach in a more classical style, with notes, or by ear, however you prefer.
Sight singing is an important part of training for any musician. I use the solfege system, an excellent tool for quickly improving the ability to sight-sing any tonal music. This covers anything from children's music to modal jazz, fusion, classical, or anything in between; any music that you can "hear" by ear. Also one needs to really feel the rhythm and style, as well as understand and perform dynamics and articulation, to breathe life into the notes and turn it from a written set of instructions into a performance. All in all, this study is a combination of musical theory and practice. I will teach you how to practice on your own, and in your head/away from an instrument, which really expedites the learning process. Like many musical skills, once the concepts are understood it is a matter of conditioning, in order to attain the level you desire.
I chose the Grove School of Music's distance learning courses for the basis of my college-graduate level music study, over the last six years. The musicianship courses (parts 1 and 2) include sight singing as an integral part of every level of the course. The Composing and Arranging course continues this, as the student is expected to consistently improve their sight-singing as an important asset/skill of an arranger/orchestrator and composer.
The Grove School gave me the tools to continue studying on my own; some of the subjects I'm studying currently include symphonic orchestration, counterpoint, and music copying/engraving, all of which require one to hear what they see on the page, which is obviously at the heart of sight-singing. Additionally, I have had over two years of voice training. I have never taught lessons specifically focused exclusively on sight-singing before, but I have taught it as part of private ear-training, music theory, and piano lessons (over five years experience). I also have over fourteen years of experience playing and performing keyboard/piano.
Standard Hourly Fee: $45.00
Cancellation: 6 hours notice required
Shmuel will travel within 30 miles of Flushing, NY 11367.
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