Teacher Spotlight: Jonny – Drum & Guitar Teacher in Dallas, TX

We are so pleased to introduce Jonny, our talented guitar and drum teacher in Dallas, TX!

Teaching Background:
 
Jonny is a multi instrumentalist, with experience in guitar and drums. He has studied both instruments for roughly 18 years, including 10 years of on-stage experience, with two professional acts.
 
Educational Background:
 
Growing up, Jonny’s first instrument was percussion. Excelling on the drum kit, he gravitated toward jazz and marching band in high school, where he earned a spot as the first freshman quint tenor player in school history. He later went on to play as a touring drummer for a Dallas rock group.

Although he first enjoyed guitar as a hobby, Jonny began studying theory and writing original music throughout his teen years and now plays regularly around the southwest with his band.

Teaching Style/Special Skills:   With a bachelors degree from Texas tech in exercise science, it’s his minor in psychology and coaching that lend a hand to his teaching methods. His lessons are all about the student’s interests and goals pertaining to music. Whether it be ear training, theory, or just learning how to jam along to a few of your favorite songs, Jonny can get you to where you want to go and knows how to have a great time along the way!

Jonny is a great teacher. If you choose to have him come to your home for guitar or drums lessons, you will not be disappointed! If you are ready to enroll, click here to fill out our quick enrollment form.

Click here to contact us about scheduling a trial lesson with Jonny. If you live in another city or would like to inquire about our other teachers, let us know! We will do everything we can to match you with your ideal teacher!

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Teacher Spotlight: Regina – Piano and Voice Teacher in Dallas, TX

It is our pleasure to introduce Regina, our spectacular piano and voice teacher in Dallas, TX!
Regina, Piano and Voice Teacher in Dallas, TX
Educational/Performance Background: Regina holds a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from Southern Methodist University, where she studied with Dale Dietert. Regina completed her undergraduate degree in Music Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio where she studied with soprano, Linda Poetschke. She started her musical journey at a young age, singing in the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio for 12 years. Regina has twice been a semi-finalist in the Texoma NATS competition and won first place in her division at the South Texas NATS competition. Regina has sung concerts with the Texas Baroque Ensemble around the state of Texas including Handel’s Messiah and Monteverdi’s Vespers. Regina was the 2017 recipient of the Roy and Sue Johnson Opera Theatre Award. In the summer of 2017, Regina traveled to Taos, New Mexico to perform the role of Susanna in the opera The Singing Violin for the Cultural Institute at SMU-in-Taos and most recently to South Africa to perform the opera Wading Home, a work she premiered in 2016.
Teaching Background:   Regina is very passionate about working with students of all ages. Regina’s teaching career began working with choirs and small ensembles, preparing them for contest and concert including internships with local choruses. During her student teaching, she discovered a love for working with students one on one and began tutoring students in music theory/sight-reading as well as preparing them for local and state competitions. Regina has taught private voice and piano lessons since 2014. Still fueled by a passion for working with groups and ensembles, Regina has taught musical theatre and piano group classes and camps as well as directed children’s musicals. In addition to musical theatre, Regina has also taught general music in private and charter schools.
Personality/Teaching Style:   Regina has a very bubbly and outgoing personality. Her students can oftentimes be found laughing in their lessons because she loves to make things fun and enjoyable. Throughout her training, Regina had many difficulties to overcome in her vocal technique. Her experiences have given her a unique perspective that has strengthen her ear to various vocal faults and in turn makes it possible for her to tailor lessons to individual students and truly improve each student’s unique voice.
Special Skills:   Although Regina is classically trained, she is able to teach various genres including opera, pop, jazz, and gospel. Regina has worked with ages 3-35 and prides herself in being adaptable. Regina will do anything in her power to help her students and if she doesn’t know an answer she will take every step to figure it out. Regina sees herself as a lifelong learner and believes she learns just as much from her students and they do from her. Regina currently maintains her personal musical expression by singing as a cantor at a catholic parish and in local cover bands.

What others are saying about Regina:

Regina utilizes healthy vocal technique, and she incorporates both her performance and education background to create a great teaching experience. – Dallas, TX
Regina is extremely professional, she is engaging and precise, and she has a great personality. – Dallas, TX

If you choose to invite Regina into your home for piano or voice lessons, you will not be disappointed! If you are ready to enroll, click here to fill out our quick enrollment form.
Click here if you have questions and would like to talk to us about scheduling a trial lesson with Regina. If you live in another city in DFW or would like to inquire about our other teachers, let us know! We will do everything we can to match you with your ideal teacher!
 

Teacher Spotlight: Chris – Guitar Teacher in Allen, TX

We are so pleased to introduce Chris, our fabulous guitar teacher in Allen, TX!

Educational Background

Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Dallas.  He began playing guitar in high school, although his background with music goes back to playing piano as a child and early adolescent attempts to write “Weird” Al Yankovic-style parody songs.  He has been a performer throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the last several years, including past regular gigs at venues such as the Tower Club, The Joule Hotel, and the Embassy Suites in Frisco.

Teaching Background

Chris has experience providing lesson content in both an in-person and online environment. He enjoys working with students in person and also runs a successful online lessons site for his own fingerstyle arrangements of popular music.

Personality/Teaching Style

Chris loves seeing students develop a deep and lasting passion for the guitar! He wants every student to feel at ease and comfortable while learning and make their lessons a fun and engaging experience. To this end he likes to learn each student’s individual goals and shape the teaching to their interests.

What others are saying about Chris:

Chris is very organized, and his knowledge of different styles/tastes is impressive! – Frisco, TX

Chris is punctual, organized, and plays very well. I would refer him to anyone. – Frisco, TX

Special Skills

Chris has experience on electric, classical, and acoustic guitar and is able to teach for any of the three.  His own music interests are extremely varied, and he has experience working in many different genres, including pop, rock, classical, indie, country, folk, and R&B.

If you choose to invite Chris into your home for guitar lessons, you will not be disappointed! If you are ready to enroll, click here to fill out our quick enrollment form.

Click here to contact us about scheduling a trial lesson with Chris. If you live in another city in DFW or would like to inquire about our other teachers, let us know! We will do everything we can to match you with your ideal teacher!

It’s Your Turn to Shine! Music Lessons for Adults

You know, we don’t only offer music lessons for kids; we also offer music lessons for adults. Many adults take music lessons, and so can you! If you have children taking music lessons, you already have a teacher coming to your home, so why not go ahead and take lessons yourself?

Music teachers repeatedly hear people reminiscing about their musical experiences:

    “I always wanted to play an instrument when I was a child, and I never got to.”

    “My parents made me take piano lessons when I was a kid, but I never practiced so they let me quit. Now I really regret that.”

    “I’d love to have a grand piano in my house, but I don’t know how to play.”

    “I used to play the clarinet in high school and I really loved it.”

 

Do you find yourself wishing you could express yourself through music? Maybe you would like to be able to enjoy playing music as a family. How about giving back to the community musically? Playing at nursing homes, joining the church worship team… Or maybe you would simply love to be able to sit down and play something beautiful for yourself. Did you once know how to play but have let your skills fall by the wayside in the busyness of life? You don’t have to let musical skill simply be a dream or a thing of the past! You can learn as an adult!

 

As a matter of fact, learning music might even be easier for you now that you are older!

 

If you would like to learn more about some of the benefits of learning an instrument as an adult, as well as some of the pitfalls to avoid, you can read more here. If you would simply like to talk to someone about possibly starting music lessons for adults, click here to contact Starlight Music Lessons.

 

We would be so thrilled to help you do something for yourself. Maybe it’s time for you to take a risk! If you’ve been toying with the idea of learning an instrument, give it a shot! We would love to work with you to help your dream become a reality! Give music lessons for adults a shot!

How to Motivate a Kid to Practice Piano

It’s amazing what a difference having goals to work toward can make, no matter what the area of life. You set goals for yourself, right? Business goals, fitness goals, spiritual, financial, family goals, etc. Music education is no different. Goals are so valuable in keeping music students motivated and excited about their education. Do you or your child have musical goals to work toward? Here are some ideas that might help motivate your kid to practice piano:

  • Participate in Starlight’s recitals!
  • Schedule family recitals for your child throughout the year. Invite grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts, and family friends. Have your child put on a mini-performance.
  • Set a goal date in which your child successfully completes his book. (This one’s a larger goal, you might want to break it up into smaller goals for accomplishing specific songs in a certain amount of time.) You can speak with your child’s teacher to figure out what reasonable goals might look like.
  • For every 30 minutes of practice the child gets 30 minutes of tv/video game/computer time.
  • If the child practices for the agreed upon time each week they get special time with mom or dad. (Making cookies, go on a special walk, play a board game, etc.)
  • Here’s an idea that can help students visually see their effort: Place two jars on the piano, one with beads (or rocks, pennies, marbles, etc.) and one is empty. Every day the student practices he/she can move one bead from the full jar to the empty one. Once the jar is full the child gets a special prize. This may or may not cost money, depending on your family goals. Maybe your child can get a special toy or movie when the jar is full. Maybe you can have a special family day out. Maybe the reward can be a lazy Saturday: movies and games all day long!

Be creative, and don’t be afraid to get your child involved in the brainstorming process! Encourage their piano practice to be a fun activity that they look forward to every day!

But DON’T

  • Use their piano practice as a punishment. This will create a negative association with music, and they will likely lose interest in learning music altogether.
  • Don’t ridicule or make fun of mistakes your child makes. Learning an instrument is challenging, and they WILL make mistakes! Regularly! If they feel shame or embarrassment for those mistakes they will lose heart.
  • Don’t force your child to perform in front of family and friends if they don’t want to.
  • Don’t apologize to others about your child’s weak/flawed performance. They are doing their best, and they will grow the best in a supportive and nurturing environment. Children who fear ridicule or shame will often just give up.

You can do it! Music lessons are invaluable, so don’t give up. Take some of these ideas in order to motivate your kid to practice piano.

 

Musical Growing Pains: Should You Let Your Kid Quit Piano Lessons?

Do you ever struggle to motivate your child to work hard in their musical development? What’s that? Oh! You all do? Ok, good. For a second there I thought maybe I was alone. If your child is not enjoying music lessons right now should you let your kid quit piano lessons?

The truth is, EVERY student has gone through AT LEAST one difficult point in their musical journey. Most musicians go through MANY difficult points in their quest to be a skilled musician.

 

When your child experiences physical growing pains do you freak out and think, “Oh no! Something must be wrong! We need to stop their growth immediately!” No, you patiently wait it out while attempting to alleviate the pain. Growth is good, but pain is a natural side-effect of that growth.

 

Musical growth is no different! If your kid wants to quit piano lessons, hold off and think long and hard about this. I know those growing pains are not fun, but just like physical growing pains, unfortunately it is simply a part of the process that we parents must endure and do our best to help our kids work through the pain.

 

One of the hardest things we teachers have to witness is when students with great potential give up when the going gets rough and decides to quit piano lessons because it’s not fun right now. Every growing musician begins lessons with a honeymoon stage. The student is excited to learn, eagerly anticipates the next lesson, and usually completes all practice assignments without much, if any, struggle. Unfortunately this period can send an incorrect message to all involved: The parents feel they don’t have much responsibility or impact on their child’s musical journey. The teacher decides he has acquired the world’s perfect student who will always be excited about lessons and complete all practice assignments. And possibly worst of all, the student thinks music lessons should always be this easy.

 

There is nothing wrong with this honeymoon stage. Enjoy it! Bask in it’s greatness! Just understand that it will likely end. (I think a small number of students always maintain their excitement for learning instruments and remain dedicated to practicing. If this is your child, CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is very rare. Appreciate it!!!) For the rest of us, being prepared for what comes after the honeymoon is crucial.

 

When the honeymoon is over most students continue for a time, however if you do not have a reasonable expectation for what it takes to learn an instrument, this is when the time-clock starts. You know the clock I’m talking about? … “If Johnny doesn’t start practicing again we will quit piano lessons.” “Susie just isn’t excited about piano lessons anymore, maybe we should think about discontinuing.” You know… something like that.

 

See, here’s the thing. Learning an instrument requires discipline. Discipline isn’t something that any one of us naturally has. It is a life skill and character trait that can only be learned and acquired through experience. It is a skill/trait that our children will benefit from their entire lives in every area of their lives. If we allow our children to quit piano lessons when the going gets rough, we are denying them the opportunity to learn discipline, and actually *teaching* the habit of quitting. The point is, it’s not always going to be easy! But the end results are INVALUABLE! (Check out some of our tips for helping your kid practice here.)

 

Please believe me when I say this. Very few adults who are able to play an instrument or are trained singers regret that their parents made them stay in music lessons when they wanted to give up. In contrast, MOST adults who had the opportunity to take private lessons but were allowed to quit piano lessons when it got too hard have HUGE regrets! Sometimes we parents have to make our kids do things that are good for them, even if they don’t realize it or appreciate it. (Vegetables, anyone?)

 

The challenge with music is that it usually takes years of hard work before a student can play an instrument well. Once a certain skill level is reached, however, music becomes SUCH a gift! As an adult, music can be a wonderful therapeutic outlet. How about blessing others through community events, playing or singing at a nursing home, church, or for family gatherings? Every event is made more beautiful and enjoyable with a bit of live music.

 

Just remember: all things (worthwhile) are difficult before they are easy.

 

Keep trekking along!!! Your kids will thank you one day for the incredible gift of music! If you are new to lessons, enjoy the honeymoon phase and relish in the fact that you know what to expect in advance. If your child is one of the few who never resists practicing, do a happy dance and share the good news with us!

Learn How to Play Piano

Why is it helpful and beneficial for any aspiring musician to learn how to play the piano?

kidFor the beginner, the piano is a perfect instrument for so many reasons. For one, the piano is one of the easiest instruments to quickly gain success. Piano students do not need to focus on breath support as is the case with wind instruments. Guitar students need advanced dexterity and must push past the pain and develop callouses on their fingers in order to play comfortably. Not so with the piano. String students must struggle for weeks or months to train their ears to coordinate with their fingers. In contrast, the piano has specific keys. A student doesn’t need a trained ear to learn to hit the right notes to play music. And unlike drummers, those learning the piano learn so much more than simply rhythm.

A student who wishes to learn to play the piano is able to face the piano keys while learning to play. Many instruments require the fingers to be down, facing the audience,  which is more difficult to master. A well-trained pianist will be able to play without looking at the keys, but the beginner is able to gain more immediate success by being able to see the keys they need to play.

Visually the piano is laid out in such a way to make musical concepts and theory straight-forward and much easier to understand. Many musical concepts such as scales, chords, half and whole steps, are very abstract and difficult to explain on many instruments. Concepts such as these are easy to demonstrate and for the beginner to visualize on a piano.

For these reasons those who desire to join most high school and university music programs will be required to first learn how to play the piano before they are able to continue with other musical instruments. In addition to what has been previously mentioned, playing the piano involves the use of both the treble clef and the base clef. Those who wish to compose music will find great benefit in being able to create music on the piano so they can hear all the parts together instead of waiting for each individual instrument to come together in order to hear their musical creation.

We are not saying that playing the piano is a superior skill to playing other instruments, it simply lays a wonderful foundation to enhance any musician’s skills. First learning how to play the piano enable a smooth and easy transition to any instrument. For this reason, if you are looking to ignite a life-long love of music, learning to play the piano is a fantastic place to start.

Starlight Music Lessons has wonderfully skilled and engaging teachers throughout the DFW metroplex. If you or your child would like to learn how to play the piano, our teachers would love to help you get started. We offer in-home piano lessons, as well as lessons on almost any instrument. Our teachers come to you! Click here to enroll in music lessons today! If you have questions and would like to speak with one of our office staff (who are also private music teachers) feel free to contact us.