After School

Music Lessons

We’re so glad you are exploring music lessons for your child! Reasonably priced and conveniently located at Lowell, individual and small group lessons are a great way for your child to learn how to sing or play an instrument. Arrangements are made directly with the instructors, which allows for some flexibility in scheduling. Twice-yearly recitals provide all participants with chances to perform.

Payment Policy
Payment for lessons is made directly to the teacher. Lessons are $65 for one hour or $32.50 per half hour plus a $6 facilities charge paid directly to Lowell School. Longer or shorter lessons may be pro-rated depending per instructor. Times for lessons are negotiated per instructor based on student’s ability and attention span. Please contact the instructor to arrange payment schedule.
 
Cancellations and Make-up Policy
Each instructor has their own cancellation and make-up policy. It is important to note that make-up lessons are considered on a case-by-case basis as per instructor. Depending on the reason for the absence and instructor’s availability, make-ups may or may not be possible. Please plan accordingly once lessons are committed to, as this greatly helps the student’s progress overall. Please give a 24 hour notice in advance of any cancellation.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this process or problems finding a teacher who can work with your schedule, please contact our Music Administrator.

If you have specific questions regarding music education please contact Mike Woods.

Getting Started

Selecting a music activity/teacher is the first step. Please consider your child’s schedule over the whole academic year, your child’s age, and your overall commitment to lessons. The list below will help you choose the best teacher for your child.

When you click on the buttons for each teacher, you will find a biography; a short explanation of teaching style; a schedule indicating times available for lessons at Lowell; the age ranges and group sizes taught; any necessary materials your child will need to take lessons; and contact information.

When you have chosen a teacher please contact the teacher directly to negotiate a time and day for lessons. Click on the tabs above for teacher contact information.

Bands and Ensembles

List of 3 items.

  • Pop Band and Jazz Band

    Matt Frazao, Instructor
    Tuesdays, 3:45 - 4:45pm or 4:45 - 5:45pm

    Peter Fraize, Instructor
    Thursday, 3:45 - 4:45pm or 4:45 - 5:45pm
    Matt Frazao zaound@gmail.com
    Matt has been working at Lowell since 2012 as a guitar and bass teacher. He is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and has been working as a professional musician in the tri-state area for a decade playing in a range of bands and ensembles.

    Peter Fraize
    peterfraize@gmail.com
    Peter is the Director of Jazz Studies at George Washington University and has extensive experience teaching jazz and pop ensembles. He has worked individually and in groups with all ages and is looking forward to bringing his experiences to the pop bands.

    Description: Playing guitar, keyboard, or drums is fun, but when you play them all together, things start to get exciting! Singers willing to sing both lead and back-up vocals are encouraged to join. The bands will play in public at assemblies and/or other appropriate venues. The electric bands will work on appropriate music chosen by the students with purely electric instruments (although brass instruments are also encouraged in these bands). Guitar players may be asked to take turns playing a beginner bass guitar part.

    Players in jazz band will need to have an interest in jazz and in learning to improvise.
    Students will be arranged in bands by the instrumental music coordinator. Bands will be arranged based on student availability, age, experience and instruments.
    Preferences for band mates will be taken into account but they may not always be possible.

    Prerequisites: Guitar players must be able to play six chords, drummers must be able to play three rhythms, keyboard players must be able to play chords using guitar symbols, and lead singers must be studying voice / have previous experience / be recommended by a music teacher.
  • Pop Band Unplugged

    Mike Woods, Instructor
    Wednesdays, 3:15 - 4:15pm
    (Main Building)

    (acoustic instruments only)

    This band will work on acoustic versions of popular music with an emphasis on the current bluegrass/Appalachian music revival. Students will be expected to learn to improvise and sing in harmony as part of this ensemble. Only acoustic instruments are allowed e.g. acoustic guitar and bass, banjo, ukulele, violin, voice, hand percussion, flute, tin whistle etc.

    Prerequisites:
    • Guitar, ukulele and banjo players must be able to play six chords and be able to read notation or tablature. Being able to play a G major scale is important for improvising and adding filling notes—this is a skill that must be known or mastered quickly.
    • Violins must be able to confidently play a melody, read notation (or be adept at playing by ear) and be willing to learn to improvise. They must be confident on the G major scale.
    • Flute, whistles, etc. must be able to read basic notation or be adept at playing by ear.
    • Diatonic instruments like the Irish tin whistle may need to have multiple instruments to suit the key of the music.
    All students in the acoustic band should be willing to sing along with a chorus. Lead singers need to be able to sing a harmony part so will need a strong musical ear.

    If your child plays an instrument not mentioned here and is interested in taking part please feel free to contact Mike Woods directly.
  • Recorder Consort

    Mike Woods, Instructor
    Wednesdays, 2:00-3:00pm

    The Recorder Consort is an ensemble designed for students who enjoy playing the recorder in regular music classes, but could be stretched through further challenge. Students already demonstrating advanced skills will be invited to play by music teacher Mike Woods. However, open auditions will also be held for interested students. Students wishing to audition will be asked to play a challenging piece of music from classroom recorder repertoire. They will also be asked to sight-read music from the ensemble. Those auditioning need to demonstrate a very good level of playing in order to join the ensemble.

    The ensemble will play traditional recorder consort music and some arrangements of modern/popular music. The Recorder Consort will include five instruments from the recorder family, including the sopranino, soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, allowing ensemble members the opportunity to learn another instrument. Performances will take place at Lowell at least twice a year.

The Recorder Consort will provide students with ensemble experience and help them further understand the woodwind family. This is a great opportunity for any student wishing to play other woodwind instruments in the future or to get experience in a "band" setting.

    Prerequisites: Students must be capable, independent music notation readers who are willing to regularly practice their instruments at home.

Individual Lessons

List of 12 items.

  • GETTING STARTED

    Selecting a music teacher is the first step. Please consider your child’s schedule over the whole academic year, your child’s age, and your overall commitment to lessons. The list below will help you choose the best teacher for your child.

    When you click on the buttons for each teacher, you will find a biography; a short explanation of teaching style; a schedule indicating times available for lessons at Lowell; the age ranges and group sizes taught; any necessary materials your child will need to take lessons; and contact information.

    When you have chosen a teacher please contact the teacher directly to negotiate a time and day for lessons. Click on the tabs above for teacher contact information.

    Questions?

    If you have any questions about this process or problems finding a teacher who can work with your schedule, please email musicadmin@lowellschool.org.
  • Karin Chambless - Piano

    Bio
    I’ve been teaching piano since 2008 in my home studio in Silver Spring, MD.
    I have a minor in music from Tulane University, and have done teacher
    training in the Suzuki Method. I also teach Music Mind Games, a curriculum
    of more than 200 cooperative games for teaching music theory and reading,
    developed by Michiko Yurko. I have also taught Spanish for many years, and
    have an M.A. in Latin American Literature.

    Teaching Style
    My focus in teaching is on developing a love of playing, while at the same
    time building good skills, and the confidence to play music both solo and
    with others.

    I usually teach using the Suzuki Method (classical repertoire), and
    supplementary materials, but I am equally comfortable using other methods. I
    teach the skills of playing by ear, reading and interpreting music, and
    improvising. If your student is interested in learning other styles, I can
    select materials to work with for blues, jazz, rock, pop, latin, etc. I
    have worked with duets and ensembles/bands of kids and adults, for
    performances, and I encourage students to get together and play music
    informally with friends and family.

    There are many ways to approach learning the piano, but what I think the
    Suzuki method has going for it specifically is the following:

    • regular listening to the music to be learned, so that it is familiar
    • ear training, through both listening to the CD, and learning Book 1
    entirely by ear
    • the memory for pieces is developed by the repeated listening and by
    repetition in practice, so that a piece is memorized while it is being
    learned
    • the ability to read music is separated from the hearing and playing of it,
    so the student develops confidence more quickly in her/his ability to play
    what s/he hears
    • the music to be learned is a folk and classical repertoire from the
    beginning, instead of pieces made up to teach a particular set of notes or
    skill, as are found in many other methods
    • the focus on kind, positive encouragement, along with the setting of
    concrete goals
    • the involvement of the parent as a coach/guide and supporter in the
    student’s learning

    We can talk by phone or e-mail about which method/materials would be best
    for your student.

    Student Ages
    I teach students from ages 3 and up, but most of my students are ages 6 to
    teen.

    Scheduling
    Currently I am available for lessons on Thursdays between 3:15 and 6:00 p.m.
    Please contact me directly to negotiate a time for lessons.

    Required Materials
    All students need to have either an acoustic piano (preferred) or a keyboard
    at home to practice on. If you plan to buy a keyboard, please consult with
    me, so that I can help you find one that will work well for your student.
    Other required materials are lesson books/sheet music, and a thin, 3-ring
    binder with a pocket page added, for practice sheets, scales charts, and
    loose sheet music.
  • Todd Baldwin - Brass

    Todd Baldwin
    (301) 873-7808
    todd@rockcreekmusic.rocks
    Bio
    I am a professional trombonist and retired member of The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own.” I spent my 32 year military career as a trombonist and herald trumpeter performing for ceremonies honoring world leaders at the White House and for national and international events around the world. I launched my music business, Rock Creek Music, following my retirement last year and I am very happy for the opportunity to pursue teaching and freelance performance activities full-time. I am comfortable teaching trumpet, trombone, baritone/euphonium and tuba. Music making is a primary part of my life and I hope to inspire my students with this enthusiasm!

    I enjoy the challenge of relating to my students’ varied learning styles. My primary goal is to engage the interest of each of them and to use their repertoire as a way to teach brass fundamentals and musicianship. While these two areas can exist exclusive of one another, I focus first on the mechanical aspects of playing, e.g. air, embouchure, and posture. A student who is capable of producing a good, relaxed sound will find this a reward in itself and will be better equipped to express musical ideas through the use of dynamics, articulations and more advanced concepts.
    Beyond the performance aspects of playing an instrument, I am also a strong advocate of listening to music and “playing by ear.” I’m fascinated by the concept of learning to decode the elements of a listening experience into a recipe that can be duplicated. This process relies heavily on facility with scales and can be a great motivator for practicing the technical challenges of an instrument. Furthermore, as this aural awareness is visualized and performed, students can gradually learn to incorporate ideas from their imagination. This leads to a recognition of patterns in music which aids in sight-reading, a better understanding of musical content and a life-long appreciation for the sounds that we encounter on a daily basis. 
     
    Student Ages
    I’m open to teaching any student regardless of age, although the size of the instrument and the student’s lung capacity can be limiting factors. Generally, fourth or fifth grade students are able to manage these demands.  
     
    Scheduling
    I currently visit Lowell School on Friday afternoons. Other times/locations may be available. Please contact me directly to negotiate a time for lessons: todd@rockcreekmusic.rocks
     
    Required Materials
    It is essential that students have an appropriate instrument before they beginning their studies. Please consult Mr. Woods for a list of some of the local instrument vendors.

    Brass Students
        1.   Brass instrument – either through the school or rented/bought locally
        2.   Music stand
        3.   Spiral manuscript book, 12 staves/pg., for maintaining lesson notes and exercises. Passantino makes a nice one - available on Amazon.
        4.   Method book TBD after the first lesson
      
     
  • Brian Weber - Bass, Brass, Guitar, Piano

    Bio
    I have been instructing instrumental music in both individual and group settings since 1996. I teach guitar, bass, piano, trumpet, euphonium, and hand drumming. I teach students from beginning to advanced levels on all these instruments. I have taught at various locations and schools over the years including Glen Music Studios, Victor Litz Music Center, Hebrew Academy of Greater Washington, House of Musical Traditions (HMT), and Lowell School.

    Throughout each year I organize various concerts and shows for students to showcase their talents and ability and to give them an outlet to have fun and perform in front of an audience. I am also the Director of the Takoma Groove Camp, a summer camp for teen musicians.

    I have played in various concert, marching, and jazz bands, as well as pit orchestras. I studied at Montgomery College and at the Collective in New York City, at Victor Wooten's Camps in Nashville, and with various master musicians. I still perform in and around the DC area on a weekly basis and am also a live sound engineer.

    Teaching Style
    I believe music is a language and should therefore be approached as one. All aspects of music are equally important, including reading, writing, playing, listening, understanding theory, communicating with other musicians, and improvisation. I think it is necessary to keep interest and drive alive in budding musicians and not overwhelm them with too much theory and technique right away.

    Just as a spoken language is supported and encouraged at home, so should a musical instrument and the language that goes along with it. Time should be allotted at home for practice and listening, as this is integral for a young person?s musical growth.

    For my teaching I prefer to pull from a variety of sources to give a well-rounded approach. I introduce many genres to the student so they have broad range of styles to enjoy playing. I cater each lesson to the individual student to allow for the most enjoyment and growth in their musical career.

    Student Ages
    Piano: 5 years and up
    Brass: 8 years and up
    Guitar: 8 years and up

    I will certainly make exceptions if the student is younger and already showing signs of a higher ability level. Individual lessons are preferable as they allow for focused attention and pace for that particular student. I am open to small groups of two or possibly three for guitar or brass lessons if the students have some prior experience. Piano students must be taught individually.

    Scheduling
    I am currently available for lessons on Friday afternoons right after school from 3:20pm until 7:00 pm and on Saturdays from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm.

    Required Materials
    All students must have a decent instrument in working condition that is theirs to use at all times and can be taken home to practice on. If the family of a piano student does not own a full size piano, there are many inexpensive keyboard options available. Guitar and brass students must have an instrument that they own or have rented. Younger, beginning guitar students should consider a nylon string 1/2 or 3/4 size guitar as it will be easier on the fingers and easier to hold against their bodies.

    • All students will be required to have a manuscript book of music staff paper and a folder for loose pieces of sheet music and handouts.
    • Piano students will most likely also have another set of method and theory books to work out of.
    • Guitar students must have a chromatic tuner, picks and a music stand.
    In terms of books, most often I will purchase the books needed and hand them out to students. I will then let parents know exactly how much the materials cost and collect reimbursement at that time.

    Links to Instrument and Accessory Examples
    Beginner's Guitar Starter Pack
    Beginner’s ¾ Size Acoustic Guitar
    Casio 61 Key Portable Keyboard
    Yamaha 61 Key Portable Keyboard
    Folding Wire Music Stand  
    Deluxe Traditional Music Stand
    Student Model Bb Trumpet
    Korg Chromatic Tuner

  • Charmaine Hamann - Voice

    Bio
    I received my MM in Vocal Performance and GPD in Opera from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. I also hold a BS in Music Education and a BM in Vocal Performance from the University of Connecticut. Opera performance highlights include The Portland Opera Resident Artists Program, the Evian Festival under the baton of Rostropovich, Opera to Go! and the Baltimore and Washington Opera choruses. As a soloist I have appeared with Annapolis Opera, Mt. Vernon 21st Century Ensemble, and the Columbia Symphony. 



    Vocal Instructors include international teacher Thom Hauser; Ruth Drucker, Stanley Cornett (Peabody Institute); and Carol Ann O’Connor (University of Connecticut). Lastly, I studied choral techniques and sectional leading under Dr. Peter Bagley, a student of Julius Herford and teacher of world-renown choral conductor and composer, Robert Shaw.

    Teaching Style
    As a seasoned music education specialist, I combine knowledge of differentiated instruction and a multiple sensory approach to learning with a bel canto or Italian classical approach to singing. I specialize in teaching to the unique learning styles of my students, whether that is visual, aural, tactile, or combination thereof.  Voice lessons for students age 10+ (physical maturity dependent) combine learning proper posture, breath support and control, diction, and dramatic interpretation of the music. Vocal coaching for students age 8+ focuses on basic breath support, forming pure vowel sounds, matching pitch, executing rhythmic accuracy, clear diction, and dramatic delivery. My specialty is teaching voice in the genres of classical, Broadway musical, and pop music styles.

    Teaching Philosophy
    Music is a foreign language, science, and art form. It requires using both right and left- brain modalities. Singing should be fun and engaging for students, build on successes and an understanding that it is a very personal process that entails developing one’s confidence and ability over time.

    Student Ages
    Vocal Coaching: 8+

    Voice Lessons:  10+

    Scheduling
    I am available on Tuesdays. Please contact me directly to negotiate a time for lessons.

    Required Materials
    All students must practice AT LEAST 15 minutes a day. Parents must be willing to assist in making sure their child is practicing to insure progress.


  • Donnie Johns - Drums

    Bio
    I am a performer and educator in the Baltimore/Washington Metropolitan area and the principal timpanist of the Apollo Orchestra in Bethesda, MD/Washington, DC. Additionally, I am the lead percussionist for Soulful Symphony (Baltimore, MD) and Gourmet Symphony (Washington, DC) and extra percussionist with the Annapolis Symphony, Maryland Symphony, Mid-Atlantic Symphony (MD), Bay-Atlantic Symphony (NJ), and the American Festival Pops Orchestra (VA). Along with orchestral work, I have played the drums for musical productions at Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre, Onley Theatre, and Toby’s Dinner Theatre. I also play drums and timpani for several churches in the Washington, DC area.
     
    I am the Percussion Director at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, MD. My percussion ensemble is the featured high school percussion ensemble for the Percussive Arts Society’s 2017 Maryland/Delaware Day of Percussion. I am the upper level percussion coach for the DC Youth Orchestra since 2006. From 2005-2015, I taught band and orchestra in both Prince George’s County Public Schools (2005-2011) and KIPP DC (2011-2015). I have a Master of Music Degree in Percussion Performance (2011) and Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education (2005); both from the University of Maryland.


    Teaching Style
    As a percussion teacher, I vigorously strive to both engage and challenge my students. I believe there is a direct correlation between student excitement and motivation. This is demonstrated practically by having students play both familiar and unfamiliar styles. 
     
    We begin with the snare drum, as that is the foundation for percussion. Once a fundamental level of timing and coordination has been established, we then move to the drum set. I begin with teaching rote patterns, then gradually implement reading and playing. I find that reading music occurs more successfully once a foundational coordination (i.e. "feel") has been developed. 
     
    My bevy of experience in classical and pop music provide me the ability to advance students down both musical lanes. Reading and counting are certainly similar with both realms, but style and groove give each genre a creative distinction. I use several different methods books, exercises, etc. in my teaching. I also write many of my own curriculum materials.
     
  • Gwen Mazorow - Piano

    gmazorow@gmail.com
    301-537-4865

    Bio
    For more than 14 years I have taught private piano lessons–mostly to young children and teens at the beginning and intermediate levels. I have taught individual lessons, duets, and ensembles.

    My formal training began at age seven. I am a strong believer in the idea that the more we know, the more there is to know. With that mindset, I was fortunate to learn the basics and beyond from amazing musicians throughout my life. In addition, I have participated in many programs at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and have played in various symphonic and pit orchestras and ensembles. 

    Teaching Style
    Lessons are designed to suit the individual student and his or her specific needs. With all students, I give the utmost consideration to what they are able to accomplish on an emotional, cognitive, and physical level. The objective is for students to find learning the instrument fun and exciting.

    The lessons cover basic improvisation, note reading, theory, and technique—all at a pace that is comfortable for the student. My under-six pianists enjoy fun improvisation, learning the musical alphabet, rhythms, note values, proper hand positions, and more as they begin their musical journey.

    I organize several recitals each year for my students to experience performing, have fun, and show what they have learned to friends and family.

    Student Ages
    Age 3 and up

    Scheduling
    Please contact me regarding availability, days, and times. I am flexible, but will be filling up each day before adding more.

    Required Materials
    All students must have a piano or keyboard available at home to practice on. I prefer that they have an acoustic piano, but a keyboard is acceptable in the beginning. If you plan to buy a keyboard, please consult with me so I can help you find an instrument that will be suitable.

    I will help you select the proper books and other materials that will be needed.

  • Matt Frazao - Guitar

    Bio
    I began playing guitar at age seven, after falling in love with music at an even earlier age. My love of music continued to expand and flourish through my studies with many great teachers in my hometown of West Hartford, Connecticut. This path led me to the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where I attained a Bachelors of Music in Classical Guitar Performance under the tutelage of Julian Gray. At Peabody I was also fortunate enough to study both Jazz Improvisation and Composition with Gary Thomas and Paul Bollenback.

    Since graduating from Peabody in 2002, I have been working as a teacher, performer, and composer in a wide variety of musical contexts. I considers myself very lucky to be able to continue working with many world class musicians across the US and abroad.

    Teaching Style
    As a teacher, I foster the ability of my students with methods that consider the needs of each student individually. The material covered in the lessons will always be designed for a practical musical application, with an emphasis on feeling, enjoying, and loving music.

    I draw my curriculum from a wide variety of musical genres and styles, guiding students through a gradual progression of materials that increase in difficulty and simultaneously incorporate earlier techniques. I focus on many aspects of guitar and music, including positioning and technique, note reading and comprehension, rhythmic development, music theory, ear training, improvisation, composition, musical interpretation, and performance.

    Student Ages
    Age 7 and up

    Scheduling
    Tuesdays from 3:20-7:00pm
    Wednesdays from 2:05-6:00pm

    Required Materials
    A guitar that is fully playable and the appropriate size for the student, guitar picks, a tuner, and a music stand. Students should also have the assigned lesson book and a book of blank music staff paper and a folder or binder for loose papers.
  • Mike Woods - Brass and Guitar

    Bio
    I am the Middle School music teacher at Lowell. I teach brass instruments, guitar with voice, and Irish tin whistle.

    As a brass teacher, I have huge experience across many musical genres and I am happy teaching up to the highest levels. I believe that brass playing is a very physical pursuit and teach with an emphasis on the mechanics of creating a good sound. With that basis students can then explore their musicality from a strong foundation.

    For guitar students, I focus on teaching students how to play and sing songs using chords and simple melodies. I then weave appropriate music theory into lessons so that students can understand their art better and begin to write their own music if they are interested. During lessons I also teach singing technique with a focus on pop and folk.

    I prefer to teach from a range of materials rather than using one particular book and often supplement activities with music that the students are personally interested in.
     
    Student Ages
    I teach children ages 7 and up on the guitar and 8 and up on brass instruments. I will make an exception only on the grounds of exceptional musical ability. I enjoy working with groups of children; however, when possible, individual lessons are better for most learners. Having said that, I do encourage students to play in groups where and when possible and sometimes combine students’ lessons so that they are able to work together. I will teach guitar or brass to groups of two. I will consider three if they are older/more experienced musicians.

    Scheduling
    I am available for lessons every day after school; however my schedule does not often allow me to teach lessons directly after school. Please contact me directly to negotiate a time for lessons: mwoods@lowellschool.org.

    Required Materials
    It is essential that students have an appropriate instrument before they start lessons. Parents MUST also consider where and when their child will practice that will suit both the child and themselves. Initially music lessons, especially brass lessons, will create a very loud and sometimes unpleasant noise in your house that you must be willing to encourage and listen to! If a child practices every day this will quickly get much better, but your child will need support and help to get over the first very important hurdle.

    Brass Students
    1. Brass instrument – either through the school or rented/bought locally (see me for help)
    2. Music stand
    3. Play Trumpet Today! Beginners Pack
    4. A folder for individual sheets of music and practice sheets
    Guitar Students
    1. Guitar—this needs to “fit” your child—guitars come in different sizes, and it is usually best to bring your child to a music shop and ask for a guitar that will be appropriate. It is best if they get a nylon string acoustic guitar. This will be easier to play and not hurt their fingers as much initially. I would recommend something like a Yamaha student guitar, but there are others on the market. Speak to me for more information.
    2. Music stand
    3. Foot stool for younger students
    4. Guitar for Kids Method & Songbook
  • Peter Fraize - Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute

    peterfraize@gmail.com
    (202) 297-9070
    Bio
    Peter Fraize began playing the saxophone at age 9 and by the age of 16 knew that music would guide the direction of my life. After High School, he attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston for two years before transferring to the Koninklijk Conservatorium (Royal Conservatory) in The Hague, Holland, where he received his Artist Diploma in 1989. After graduation he returned to the US where he has been an active band leader, composer, and educator for the past 25 years. In addition to teaching at Lowell, he teaches at Middle C Music and The George Washington University where he’s Director of Jazz Studies since 1997.

    Teaching Style
    Having taught students of all ages, Peter learned that one size doesn't fit all. Each student brings their own set of skills and goals. Music encompasses aesthetic, linguistic, athletic, fine motor, and cultural skills that provide each student with a different access point but ultimately engages the whole person. His goal is to meet each student where they are in order to provide support in the areas they need it most.

    Student Ages
    Saxophone: 9 years and up
    Clarinet and flute: 8 years and up

    Scheduling
    Available for lessons at Lowell on Wednesdays between 2 and 6 p.m. Other days and times may be available, so please contact me directly if Wednesdays won't work for you.

    Required Materials
    Students should have their own (or rental) instrument in good working order. Beginning saxophone students should start on an alto sax. Please contact me if you need info on renting, or where to repair/maintain a family instrument.

    Students will also need a full-size staff paper notebook with no more than 9 staff systems per page, and a folder for hand-outs and other supplemental materials.

    Method Books
    I generally use the Rubank series of method books, but may choose a different one depending on the child. After the second lesson, I will advise you which book to purchase. As the student advances, I will recommend additional books (solo pieces, etudes, jazz method, etc.) suitable to their level.
  • Steffani Kitayama - Violin

    Bio
    Violinist, Steffani Kitayama has performed and taught throughout the country. She holds performance degrees from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory Music and Northwestern University studying with Won-Bin Yim and Blair Milton.

    As a performer, she has been a part of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, National Repertory Orchestra, Orchestra Iowa, and the Aspen Music Festival. While playing with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, she was a member of the community outreach based MusiCorps Quartet and worked closely with Yo Yo Ma for two years. Currently residing in DC, she performs with Grammy nominated Inscape chamber orchestra, the New Orchestra of Washington, and various chamber collaborations throughout the States. A passionate chamber musician, she has studied with some of the greatest quartet players, notably Mathias Tacke of the Vermeer Quartet and members of the Takács, the Tokyo, and the St. Lawrence String Quartets.

    Recently, she has performed with Peter Salaff, members of the Cavani Quartet, and is the second violinist of the Phoenix Quartet with Gabriel Bolkosky, Andrew Duckles, and Miriam Bolkosky.  The members of the Phoenix Quartet perform and teach around the country and are involved in PhoenixPhest, a chamber music festival intent on creative environment based in collaboration, self-confidence and joyful artistic expression.

    As a teacher, she has taught in a variety of settings from public school outreach to group classes and private lessons. She currently maintains a private studio at the Washington Conservatory of Music, coaches chamber music and teaches at institutes across the country.
  • Vincent Richardson - Piano, Songwriting, Pop Improv Piano, Guitar, Vocal Coaching

    Bio
    Music has always been a very important part of my life. I was very lucky to know at a young age exactly what I wanted to do in life. I began singing at three and studying piano at five. By age 14, I was studying with world-renowned pianist, Dr. Raymond Jackson. I received a full music scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University and later attended Howard University, where I received my BA degree in Music. My passion for teaching led me to open a school, the Richardson School of Music, in Fairfax, Va. I owned and operated the school for several years until closing its doors in order to spend more time in the studio and performing. 



    Now, I sing, write, produce, arrange, vocal arrange, and record in the music industry. I am humbled to have worked with and/or shared the stage with many major artists over the years, including Chrisette Michele, Lauryn Hill, Melanie Fiona, Mario, Mya, En Vogue, Will Downing, Amel Larrieux, Bilal, Raheem DeVaughn, Howard Hewitt, Laura Izibor, Leela James, Goapele, Phife (Tribe Called Quest), Lizz Wright, Anthony David, Jaguar Wright, Res, and many more. I have also had the opportunity to perform at many prestigious performance venues such as: The Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, Carter Baron, The Birchmere, 930 Club, Black Cat, SOB's, and the Sugar Bar to name a few. In 2010, I co-wrote a song that hit #98 on the Billboard charts.



    I love performing and creating my own music. However, sharing what I have learned over the years with others is equally rewarding. After 14 years of giving private instruction, my heart always brings me back to teaching.

    Teaching Style
    I believe that first and foremost, music should be FUN!!!! I make sure that students enjoy music and at the same time learn the technique, style, and beauty the art encompasses. Students are treated as individuals, and lessons are tailored to each child's learning style.

    Piano
    I teach classical piano, "pop,” and improvisation for the piano from beginner to advanced. Beginners wanting to learn pop or improvisation will first have to learn the fundamentals of the piano, which I teach with a classical approach.

    Voice
    I teach Pop, R&B, Soul, and Rock vocals. Some might refer to me more as a vocal coach. Students will learn how to sing their favorite songs. While learning these songs they will be concentrating on proper breathing, pitch, and style. Students will do a lot of ear training and vocal exercises to strengthen their ear and voice.

    Guitar
    I teach beginning guitar. Students who took my guitar class at Lowell over the summer were able to play songs in the first week!! Students will learn chords, scales, and improvisation on the guitar. They will also learn how to read guitar tablature.

    Songwriting
    I teach songwriting in ALL genres of music.

    Student Ages
    Piano: 5+

    Voice:  8+

    Guitar:  6+

    Songwriting: 8+

    Scheduling
    I am available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
 I offer 30 minute, 45 minute, and 60 minute lessons. Beginners should only sign up for 30 minutes unless they are combining lessons.

    Required Material
    • All students must practice AT LEAST 15 minutes a day. Parents must be willing to assist in making sure their child is practicing to insure progress.

    • Piano students must have a piano/keyboard at home to practice on.
    • Guitar students must have a guitar at home to practice on.


    • Piano and guitar students will need their lesson book, a notebook, and a pencil each for each lesson.
1640 Kalmia Road NW
Washington, DC  20012
202-577-2000