Denise VanPatten's Music Lessons

Denise VanPatten's Music Lessons

3 hires on
1 employee
5 years in business

About this pro

I graduated from Christopher Newport with a Bacholors of Art in Music as a Flute major and a minor in psychology. I also have an associates in education. I also went to School at Old Dominion University for 2 years in my undergrad for music as a Woodwind major playing 4 juries a semester; flute, saxophone, clarinet, and piano. I have played with many groups in school but also in the community. I currently work at a music store in the area as a flute and piano teacher. I worked at Woodwinds Plus in Hampton before it closed and fixed instruments there.  Flute is my main instrument and I can teach up to college prep. I can teach Saxophone up till advance high school and possible some college prep. Clarinet and piano I can teach beginners to intermideat players getting them ready for chair audtions in school or for district competitions. 

The thing I enjoy the most about teaching is the look in a student's eyes when it finally clicks and they get it. Also, watching the student be successful in school and striving to improve is the most rewarding thing for me that I can help them with that process. 

Doing private lesson gives you an opprotunity to help them not just with music, but also develope as a musicain and a person. I teach creativity and expression. I want my students to grow as people via music. 

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Norfolk, VA 23513
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

The first thing I do with a new student is ask them to bring all books and music they have with them to help get an idea of their current level. My goal as a teacher in the first lesson is make the student confortable, find the ablility level, and find something for them to work on for next time. I always start with the basics but also want to provide something fun. I enjoy doing duets as an ice breaker and also to help me figure out the students ability. I don't want them to be bored and I want them to see results. 

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

I'm a Music major with a psychology minor and associates in education. I also taught at the Virgina Air and Space Center for 11 years. I have worked with kids of all ages and adults. I have also taught lessons before and most of my students went on to be first chairs in school and high chairs in distric and city audtions. 

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

My prices are cheap and fair. Because I do not have a place of my own to provide, I lower my rate since I go to others' homes. I charge $20 for a half hour lesson and $35 per hour. I do this difference in price because I want students to have hour lessons. A half hour goes by so fast and I want to make sure I can really make a difference with the student I'm working with. For ages 10 and younger, I recommend a half hour because it is difficult to keep their attention for that long. Also, absolute beginners usually I recommend half hour until they able to play for an hours worth. 

If you need your instrument fixed as well, I'm cheap. I'm willing to do student flute overhauls which are normally $350 where i work, but I charge $90 for one. If you need a small pad or cork it will only be like $5. I can fix just about anything and I'll be able to tell you if I can or can't fix something at home. 

How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching sceince at the Virginia Air and Space Center back when I was only 15. I then got into a NASA teaching and leadership internship. I went across the state teaching public about NASA related programs and also taught teacher workshops. It wasn't until my senior year I decided I wanted to teach music. I had given lessons to the low chair players and enjoyed it. I was section leader for 3 years in high school and we run sectionals which are kinda like group lessons. I loved it and it motivated me to go for my degree in music education so I could teach. 

What types of students have you worked with?

I've worked with children of all ages already because of my education experinces. I have only ever had 1 adult student older than me but I greatly enjoyed working with her. I have worked with kids with learning disabilities like autism and know how to work with them well. Many students I have worked with have been around my age or younger children. 

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

Make sure you and the teacher really click and communicate well. It is important to have a bond with your instructor so they can motivate you to improve. I would make sure that the teacher is far above your level of ability and also has some form of experince or an education or music degree. I would advise finding someone that has a reputation in the area as a musicain already. You don't want a teacher thats closed off from opprotunies in the area. 

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

Think about your learning style and how you learn best. 

Figure out where all your music is and put aside things you enjoy playing and things that challenge you. 

Deside why you are taking lessons and what you would like to see improve or get out of them.