Main Street Music

Main Street Music

4 employees
21 years in business

About this pro

Randy has been performing music since the age of 16, primarily piano ,voice and saxophone. Randy also plays professionally with his jazz groups. Randy has also directed musicals, works studio sessions,released albums, and composes/arranges music. He has played events like the Oyster Festival, WPKN Reggae Fest (featured band), Hat City Music Festival and the Presidential Inauguration of 2004. He has also performed at well known venues such as the Newport Mansions, Toad's Place, BB Kings, and more. His experience with music and its many facets allow him to teach a lot of different instruments and techniques. Randy has also been teaching pupils from 5 year old children to retired adults for ten years. Randy has worked a variety of educational jobs including lectures, masterclasses, general music and more. His methods are especially handy to those who already know an instrument or basic music theory because his method stresses the universal theory of music. Many other instructors will waste time going over the same old rehashing of published music educational material. Although, at times it can be useful for young children, young adults or even children who are more advanced outgrow it quickly and complete the lessons well without any real challenge. Randy teaches the practicality that the modern musical pedagogy doesn't: how to accompany in different styles, how to know what chords you're hearing in a song, music analysis, and the most important is that the pupil understand how to use his instrument without the instructor there. Randy took inspiration from the early music teachers, and writes his own lessons based upon modern methods, but with a stress on what that student needs to work on. Individualized lessons are much more beneficial.

The greatest thing about my job is the impact that I have on the future through the lives of those I teach. 

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Trumbull, CT 06611
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I like to gauge a student's abilities first, so I can teach them at their specific skill level. I also ask them if they have any thoughts on direction on their training, for example, what genre of music would they ultimately like to play?

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I attended WCSU for jazz studies, and have over ten years experience in the field of both indidual and group music instruction of various concepts and instruments. I have also worked with local PTA's and with private schools to create music presentations for them.  
I play music professionally and I also record my own music proffessionally as well. Two jazz albums, "Jobimesque" and "Jazzmas" have been released in 2016. 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Our standard pricing is $32/lesson.

How did you get started teaching?

I began teaching my peers when I was in high school My band director had an operation that would leave him absent from directing our jazz band for a few months. I stepped in his shoes and directed the band for that time. 
Also during high school, my peers wanted me to teach them piano and woodwinds. 

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with students ranging in both age (youngest 4, oldest 75) as well as mental capacity. I have worked with children and adults with down syndrome, as well as physically handicapped people. Anyone and everyone can make music!

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

The first thing that comes to mind is the experiences of having your students place in competitions. I've had several of my piano students win. 
But a specific story that stays in my mind is the tale of the 5 year old who actually managed to play alto saxophone. Typically, in the US, students don't play band instruments until at least the fourth grade. In a year, this student was able to play the saxophone, and pretty darn well. During a camp he played a blues tune and his mother, while taking video of course, was crying. It was one of many moments that illustrated to me how much music and music education matters in everyone's life. 

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Depending on the skill level of the student, more scrutiny should be used when selecting a teacher. Teachers should always be able to show you their knowlege simply by playing their principal instrument for you. 
Also, look for the teaching philosophy that suits you. For example, I like to offer the student the wheel sometimes and submit a song for us to learn, or even write one together. Be sure they are using supplemental material to the main lesson as well. 

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What is your endgame? 
ex; One of my older students is going to retire soon. He wanted to learn jazz piano so while in retirement, he can play bars. He was already a really good jazz guitarist.

What level of commitment do you have?
There is no "right" answer to this one, but defining your level of commitment will give you an idea of how fast you will progress. 

Can you forgive yourself?
In my experience, self forgiveness is a must when practicing music frequently. Often students, and proffesionals alike, will accomplish less because they are angry with themselves for not getting that melodic line fast enough. I've seen many, young and old, lose concentration over the frustration with themselves. 
Remember you're only a human being, and that you can learn from mistakes. Art imitating life, or life imitating art, your choice.