I'm a songwriter and musical theater composer with a Master of Music in Theory and Composition, and am an alumni of the famed BMI Musical Theater Workshop in New York. My musical Home/Front was produced Off-Off Broadway in 2014, and many of my songs have been performed in New York, LA, and around the country.
I'm a caring, empathetic, and high knowledgeable instructor with over 10 years of experience teaching private lessons. write in. I like giving students the tools they need to be excellent, efficient songwriters so that they no longer need me!
In my lessons, we work on getting to the heart of what you want to say; how command of grammar and sentence structure can work for you; how to avoid cliches; how to make your message strong and powerful; how to limit your ideas to one per song; how to organize your thoughts in an effective manner, to name a few things.
We also work on chord progressions and how to use them effectively; how to get out of your musical comfort zone; how to expand on and play with a musical theme; how become more musically literate so you have more "in your bag" to pull from.
I also work with students are more straight-forward music theory - understanding it and how to transcribe your own music (and how to use Finale).
You can see a sample of my work on www.natalielovejoymusic.com
It's hard to explain - I love when students have that "ah-ha" moment. I love seeing them improve and start really believing in themselves.
I took composition lessons with Natalie and looking back on my work before starting with her, it was scattered, lacked structure, needed honing. She is already a crazy talented composer herself and it translates to her teaching. Natalie is really great at asking the right questions. Why did you write this? What are you trying to say with this piece? What feeling are you trying to tap into with those chords? I can attest to writing with much more confidence and just as important, REWRITING with much more confidence. If the song doesn't work she will let you know but subsequently, she will let you know what DOES work and what to build on. Very supportive, as well as very critical, in the best possible way. It means she cares about the work you're creating. So much so that after running several rounds of rewrites by her, I completely trust the product I am putting out there. I will continue to come back to Natalie to hone my craft.
When first working with a new student, I like to get to know their background, musical language, and what drives them to write songs in the first place. We usually start with a song they've been working on, or one they've written in the past that they're not completely happy with, and go from there.
Sheet music isn't necessary, but I do require students provide lyric sheets and chords.
Master of Music in Music Theory and Composition from New York University
Bachelor of Music in Musical Theater from The Catholic University of America
Alumni of the Lehman Engel BMI Musical Theater Workshop
Alumni of the Johnny Mercer Songwriters' Project at Northwestern University
$25/half-hour of lessons (or $50/hour). Lessons are billed on a month-to-month basis.
I started teaching in 2006 as a general music teacher in a middle school, then progressed to private lessons in 2008.
As a piano/voice teacher, I've worked with ages 4-adult of all levels, though most requested lessons are for beginners.
As a songwriting teacher, I've worked with teenagers-adult, and have worked in musical theater, pop, folk, and classical genres.
Look for qualifying credentials and don't be afraid to reach out to ask for a trial lesson. I offer a one-time lesson (regular lesson price, but no committment) to see if it's a good fit. If it's not a good fit, don't feel you have to come back. Keep looking til you find a teacher that's good for you.
How are lessons organized?
Why do you like to write music? (It helps to have a teacher whose overall mission aligns with yours. For example, are you wanting to find your authentic voice as a writer, or are you wanting to become a commerical writer and write whatever sells?)
What are your background and credentials?
How much work will I need to do between lessons?