You can't be a good teacher unless you see the potential in every student.
~ Jaime Escalante
The benefits of private music lessons can extend well beyond the studio and last a lifetime. Finding the right teacher can have a lasting positive effect on the student. Learning the fundamentals of music is the foundation of both performance and enjoyment of the art. Rhythm, intonation, phrasing, embouchure, posture, and breathing are all concepts necessary for good musical execution of any style. Once the basics have been established, a sense of musicality will naturally arise and blossom. Private music lessons often begin to inspire a desire for success and discipline through good practice habits.
David has been teaching private lessons in the greater Milwaukee area since 2001. He has been sought after as a clinician/coach at schools in Cudahy, Hartland, Kenosha, Mequon, Oak Creek, and Oconomowoc. He began his teaching career as the saxophone instructor at Homestead High School. He also taught woodwinds at Lincoln Music House, one of Milwaukee’s oldest music establishments. Students of David have found great success in the musical arts. Often, they are placed in leadership roles in their schools’ ensembles and frequently score 1s and *1s at WSMA Solo & Ensemble Festival. They also can frequently be seen in audition honors ensembles including UWM Youth Wind Ensembles, UWM Youth Jazz Ensembles, and Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestras. David’s students have also been apart of music camps at UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Whitewater, and Blue Lake. Several students have pursued music as a major in college and have received scholarships.
Currently, David holds a studio at the Waukesha County Conservatory of Music, a part of Hartland Music, in Hartland, Wisconsin. He teaches saxophone, clarinet, flute, and bassoon and is available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where and when are the lessons?
Hartland Music building, room 128. I teach Mondays (4-9), Tuesdays (4-9), Wednesdays (4-9) and Fridays (3-9). I do not teach Thursdays, as I perform weekly in the All-Star Superband.
How long and how much are lessons?
Lessons are 30 minutes long. A weekly, reserved spot is $100 per month. Advanced students may be offered a 60 minute spot. Hour long spots or when siblings are signed up are discounted to $185 per month.
How many lessons?
Typically a student will receive 4 lessons in a month. Some months may have 5 lesson dates, there is no extra charge. That will balance the months that have only 3 dates due to a holiday or vacation. Tuition is based on the instructor availability, no refund or credits are given for student absence. You’ll receive a calendar each term detailing the lesson dates for the upcoming months.
When are the terms?
Fall/Winter term is September - December
Winter/Spring term is January - May
Summer term is June - August
Do I have to pay for a full term at once?
No. Pre-paid monthly tuition is the only payment requirement.
Am I locked in for the entire term?
No. I only organize by terms as those months (September, January, June) are usually when my schedule changes.
Music lessons are a long term investment in your child’s musical education. 1 or 2 months of lessons usually isn’t enough time to grow and learn. A vast majority of my studio takes lessons for at least 1 year.
If you need a different regular time during the term, just ask. Even if I am full, I can put you on a move list and when something does open up I can offer the spot to you.
If you must terminate lessons (permanent or temporary), I require 2 lessons notice. Let me know your 2nd to last monthly lesson to avoid a $50 early termination fee. If notice is given after 2nd to last lesson, you will be offered to schedule 2 lessons in the next month, or you can pay early termination fee. If notice given after the last monthly lesson, you will be responsible for the following month's tuition.
What if I miss a lesson, can I reschedule?
Within reason, if our schedules align, yes. If I have a different opening that day or week, it's not a problem.
However, I cannot guarantee a different time will be available. While I will offer what I can, sometimes the student is too busy. Sometimes lessons just don't get rescheduled. Your tuition is for a specific weekly time.
If you do need to be absent, please let me as soon as you can. Within 1-2 weeks is usually good. The closer to your actual date, the harder it can be for me to adjust my schedule, find a time for you, and offer your time to someone else. As my schedule can change quickly, I usually cannot offer a different time if you're asking longer than 1-2 weeks in advance.
I do ask that students try to only request, on average, no more than 1 lesson per month. That is as a courtesy to other students who may also request a different time. I say average because there may be a month with extra conflicts, and that’s OK. Just try to make sure either the month prior or after you don’t have any.
What if I'm sick, or on vacation?
These 2 scenarios present different scheduling challenges for me.
First, if you're sick (contagious) and wouldn't go to school, stay home. If you would still go to school, but just can't play, we can still be productive without blowing into an instrument.
While certainly last minute cancelations(illness) will happen, the timing makes it difficult for me to find an alternate spot. Similarly, if a student is unavailable an entire week(vacation, etc.), it can be difficult to find an alternate spot a different week, especially if my schedule is full.
For these scenarios, I will offer special make up days twice a term. They will be listed on the calendar, please note them in the beginning of the term. As stated earlier, I cannot guarantee an alternate time. I’ll do my best, but if the student is scheduled with other activities, there’s not much I can do.
Can we do 1 trial lesson before committing?
I understand wanting to see how things go, making sure it’s a good match. However, in my experience, 1 lesson isn’t really enough to make that determination. I would actually say it takes about 10 lessons for the student/teacher match to figure out if the dynamic will foster success in learning the instrument. The student learns what he/she will need to do week to week in order to succeed, and I adjust what I do after learning more about the student and what they are able to accomplish. There’s so much information for the student to absorb, especially just starting out in the first few weeks, that it really can be hard to judge.