music instruction…general info
I provide instruction in piano, guitar and mandolin in downtown Hillsboro and downtown McMinnville. Lessons are held year round, and students can start at any time, but openings for new students tend to be available in September, January, and throughout the summer. My teaching schedule fills up quickly, so if you are interested in lessons starting within the next 6 months, contact me for lesson time availability or to get on a waiting list. I usually have about 30-35 students on my roster.
Most students do one 30 minute lesson each week. Some students prefer to do 45 or 60 minutes lessons weekly, if they have ample practice time. Other students do lessons every other week. I try to be flexible and work with students to decide the best schedule based on individual needs and goals.
All lessons are individual, although parents are welcome to sit in on their children’s lessons if they wish.
I’m also available for teaching small beginning guitar classes. If you have a group of friends or family members who would like to learn guitar together, this may be a good option for you. Feel free to contact me for more information about starting a class.
I think music is an integral part of life, and I believe that love and appreciation for music can be deepened by a good learning experience. The discipline and skills learned from the study of music can also help students excel in other areas of life.
I work with students from age 6 on up, and enjoy working with adults students at all experience levels. I’ve found a great deal of difference in how various students learn best and so I use a variety of method books and teaching approaches (although I do have some favorites). I focus on learning how to read music right from the start as I believe that a solid foundation of reading and music theory enables students to get more from their study. I also focus on practice techniques so that students learn how to learn.
As a teacher I try to be nurturing while still seeking excellence from my students. I balance constructive critiques with praise for each student’s effort and improvements, and I try to make the lessons enjoyable for everyone involved.
I teach all levels of piano from beginners to advanced. Note identification and music reading is taught from the start, as is basic rhythmic understanding. I also focus on development of proper technique and the artistry of playing piano music.
I usually use the Faber piano books (Piano Adventures), but also use other materials including exercise books by Czerny, Hanon, etc. I also encourage students to let me know if they have preferences about music styles or particular songs, works or artists, and I try to include those whenever possible.
I teach beginning folk/rock/country guitar. I introduce basic first position chords and a variety of picking and strumming techniques. I also teach beginning music reading and students learn how to pick out some tunes, and how to find the starting pitch of songs if they wish to sing along while playing.
While I do teach basic note reading, I focus mostly on rhythm guitar skills, including chords, strumming patterns, finger picking, transposition etc. I don’t generally teach lead electric guitar, but I do introduce interested students to riffs, reading tablature, scales, etc.
I often will also work with rhythm guitarists on their vocal skills… breathing, song interpretation, and basics like how to sing and play guitar at the same time.
I also teach beginning mandolin lessons. These are for students with little to no prior experience on the mandolin. Students will learn to read notes and tablature, basic rhythm understanding, how to play chords, etc. We’ll focus mainly on bluegrass and Irish music.
I hold a couple of recitals a year for my students so that they can demonstrate their progress for family and friends.
If you are interested in finding out more information or scheduling a trial lesson, please email me at music at valblahadotcom or contact me by phone at 971 237 7576.