El Cerrito Piano Lessons

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Popular Music Lessons
in El Cerrito, CA

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Popular Piano Teachers Near El Cerrito

John D.

Berkeley, CA
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Steven B.

Alameda, CA
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Sandra M.

San Francisco, CA
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John D. Berkeley, CA

Learning piano is a great way to build a musical foundation. Piano students will learn how to use their ears to pickup on their favorite songs, in addition to working through books and fundamentals. Recently, a student who started from scratch went part of the way through the method book until she reached "When the Saints Go Marching In". We learned the chord structure of the song, and she learned to improvise over the structure. She decided to do the student recital, and performed a super fun 5-minute version of the song with a professional band. The whole room was into it and it was magical! Contact me for piano lessons and see what can happen when you understand not just how to read notes, but how music works when you play with a real band.

About John

*** Lesson Details ***
My students will develop a passion for music and a desire to play!

I like to get right to the experience of actually playing music. I start with learning songs, drum beats, and chord progressions and get to technique and music reading AFTER we have had some fun.

My key to successful teaching is to create a custom curriculum for each student. Some students are interested in the details of how to do it "right", and others just want to rock. I try to adapt to different learning styles and musical goals to give each student an ideal experience.

I want students to learn how to play, not just how to read or do drills. We will listen to music together, and talk about the function of each instrument. For drummers, I play bass lines on the piano ...

Reviews

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Mike T. September 22, 2014
Percussion · In studio
I have been a colleague of John's for 16 years and he has always impressed me with his constant dedication to the craft of music. Though he is incredibly talented, he has always been one that works hard and asks questions without fear. In my experience, this is the kind of person that makes the best teachers. He has always loved music, drums, all percussion and more recently has been learning so much about music technology and how to express yourself with any media available. It would be a shame to pass up an opportunity to study with him!
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Daniel P. August 24, 2014
Drum · In studio
I was pretty new to drumming when I first started taking lessons from John, and I could barely play a simple back beat. Long story short - within 6 months I was playing my first show!

I was looking for a teacher with both rock/jazz and classical background, so John fit the bill perfectly. He also knows a lot about Latin American percussion and other styles from around the world, and has a great understanding of how these different styles relate to each other and the various techniques which can be applied.

During the first few lessons, we discussed my background and aims, and came up with a solid plan for how I should proceed. John's broad experience was really helpful for this process. I had been playing guitar and piano for many years before I started on drums, so I already had a decent grounding in musicality and theory. We therefore focused mainly on technique during lessons. John has a real gift for explaining things in an easily understandable way, as well as going into detail when required. Whenever I had trouble with a particular technique, John's advice would help me overcome it. He is also very helpful in suggesting suitable exercises and repertoire. John also provides a private blog containing lesson notes and useful links, and he was also happy for me to record lessons, which I found very useful. With John's help, I was able to progress pretty quickly, and after 6 months I started playing in a band with some friends, which has been awesome fun.

John is super friendly and engaging, and this makes lessons with him great fun. As well as being a fantastic drummer, it is clear that he really cares about the quality of his lessons, and about his students. I'm sure he would make a great teacher for students of all ability/background. John, you rock! Thanks!
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Annie H. October 13, 2013
Drum
Verified Student
Great Musician & Great Teacher

My son started taking lessons with John when he was 7. During the past few months my son has become more aware of the music around him. He looks forward to drums every week. John has great patients and is amazing at connected with children. He is able to keep my son focused, which can be a hard task of itself. He offers instruction while still valuing the individual's personality and taste. John not only shares his knowledge and personal experiences, but his passion.

I would recommend John to anyone in a heartbeat.
Steven B. Alameda, CA

I began classical piano instruction in 1960 and took private lessons for ten years before branching out into all the other styles of music. I have taught, recorded and performed professionally since 1978, and will show you proper hand and finger technique, music theory, how to read notation and chord charts/symbols, and equally as important teach you how to play by ear. I teach all ages, all styles and all levels of piano, and will teach you how to have fun with it all along the way!

About Steven

Have you always wanted to learn how to play the piano, guitar or electric bass? Or maybe you've just felt like brushing up your musical knowledge and playing skills? Now’s your chance to fulfill those dreams!

About Me: San Francisco Bay area pianist/guitarist/bassist; I've been playing music for over 50 years. I'm classically trained with a solid foundation and knowledge of music theory, and have 35 years experience teaching, recording and performing. I have done session work and/or performed with members of Journey, Santana, Jackson Browne, Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers and Greg Allman to name a few. Let me take my education and experience and pass them on to you!

My main goal as a music instructor is to pass along my love and knowledge of playing music ...

Reviews

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Warren S. January 11, 2014
Guitar
Verified Student
Great Guitar Teacher

I'm really enjoying taking guitar lessons from Steven. He's easy going, fun to learn from and is not only teaching the mechanics of playing guitar but also the ear training and theory behind music in general and performance in particular.
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JulieB1 March 26, 2012
My son, Jake, is really enjoying his lessons with Steven. I am very impressed with all that my son has learned. Steven is patient, positive and keeps my son excited for each lesson. Perfect fit.Thank you!
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AlejandroF February 23, 2012
Great teacher
Sandra M. San Francisco, CA

Beginning students can expect to learn note reading and technique exercises designed to strengthen the fingers and help the student recognize common musical patterns, as well as starting to play simple songs immediately, and then songs using left hand chords.

Intermediate students can expect to learn more difficult pieces involving left hand and right hand chords, as well as basics in musical interpretation and improvisation.

Advanced students can expect a focus on the musical subtleties on more advanced works.

About Sandra

I am a classically trained pianist and trumpet player with a
bachelor's degree in music education. I have taught for over 20
years, to both adults and children, with a focus on classical basics
and music theory for beginners and stylistic development in various musical styles for intermediate and advanced students. I teach from a standard
method, but adapt my teaching style to the personality and learning
strengths of my students.

I teach from my home in the Castro neighborhood.

*** Lesson Details ***
You can expect a calm teaching atmosphere and a generally laid back approach to your learning. I am experienced in teaching students of all musical backgrounds or none, and adjust my expectations accordingly. I teach from a standard method, but incorporate other methods ...

Reviews

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Elisabeth G. January 29, 2013
Verified Student
Excellent in all regards

Sandy is great. She is supportive and encourages me beyond what I think I can do (and usually I can do it). I've only been working with her for 3 weeks and already my high notes (my biggest problem) are much better and I'm sight reading at a much higher level. She is helping me to have a goal (an audition about 5-6 months) which gives me the incentive to practice when the going gets tough. She is helping me to bring my love of music back into my life.
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ChristineH July 23, 2012
Sandy is extremely patient! She is very fun to work with and I am enjoying my lessons thus far. Thanks Sandy!
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BrunoO July 13, 2012
Very happy

Sandy rocks! She's just really smart and always finds a way to keep me focused and entertained. Really happy with my trumpet classes :)

Donna D.

Corte Madera, CA
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Benjamin G.

San Francisco, CA
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Ronnie W.

San Francisco, CA
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Donna D. Corte Madera, CA

I take students of any age, starting with age 8, who are just beginning with their musical journey, or who are returning to the piano after many years. I teach the basics, including basic rhythms, notation, scales, arpeggios, chords, etc. as well as learning pieces. I am interested in the musical styles of the various periods of music history, and keyboard literature from the Baroque to the 21st century. I structure lessons to suit the needs and desires of each student.

About Donna

I love to sing, and I have a passion for teaching students to sing well. I have sung in choruses all my life, and have been inspired by fine conductors and great composers. I am certain that music enlivens my life like nothing else, and it can do that for everyone. Whether you sing in the shower, or in the choir, or with a few friends, or in an opera, you can find your song.

Learning to play the piano, from the very beginning, or picking up where you left off in the past, will bring a spark to your life. Whether you want to play for yourself or some friends, or want to get on track to becoming a concert pianist, music will enrich your life.

My students develop an appreciation for music of the Renaissance up through the 21st century. They are willing to delve into exciting territory ...

Reviews

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AndreaS February 16, 2012
Very nice singing classes

Donna is a very warm teacher, her way of teaching is very encouraging and supportive. I enjoyed her classes and learned a lot, more than only singing. I would surely recommend her as a teacher.
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carmenl May 17, 2011
Donna is a great teacher. Gives me the direction I need to focus and progress and enough freedom to experiment with what I'm trying to learn. She also reveals some of mystery of how music works.
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LenoraY June 15, 2010
Feedback for Donna

Donna's method of teaching gets quick results. She simplifies, presents and reinforces concepts such that I've managed to make progress with each lesson. Highly intelligent yet flexible, Donna was quick to analyze my learning process/style. Therefore, when I do falter, she knows exactly why - and helps me make adjustments.
Benjamin G. San Francisco, CA

• Provide interactive and engaging private lessons to students of all ages.
• Improvise and sight-read with students to help develop a working knowledge of musicality and movement.
• Help students listen to and understand the music they know and love through musical development and ear training.

About Benjamin

I have been studying music my entire life. I first sat down at the piano at four years old and have never strayed. After attending a performing arts high school, I studied music composition and theory at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. My studies not only enhanced my passion for music, but gave me an understanding of it and the listening experience. My desire to share this love and excitement led me to become a piano teacher. Developing my own teaching practice has required intense organizational skills and independent motivation and enhanced my ability to work with others as I interact with my students, their teachers, and parents. In this position, I have had the pleasure of expanding my students’ musical understanding by introducing them to new and different styles and ...

Reviews

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Manu S. July 19, 2014
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
I'm a beginner piano player. Somehow Ben got me to actually play and read music which is amazing because I always though it was too difficult. He constantly keeps me on my toes with different songs, theory lessons, exercises, book suggestions, the list goes on. And he'll totally catch you if you try to cheat finger techniques (which is what I do constantly), but he's not harsh about it.

If you want to learn piano and theory, he's your guy.
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Josh K. June 13, 2014
Piano · In studio
Benjamin is awesome! I'm a pianist and composer. I was taking from a guy who was kind of strict and stifling as to what I could and couldn't do. There was nothing really creative about it, and I needed to free up my creativity somehow.

I think the music I'm writing now is much better. Using improvisation and new ways of thinking, I've gained great new perspective on the music I write, the music I play, and my creative process in general. Basically, Benjamin helps me to stop censoring myself. I have lots more material to choose from. It can be overwhelming, but in a great way.

Benjamin is friendly and encouraging and most importantly super creative and musical. He works you hard, but he's an easygoing nonjudgmental guy and I recommend him without hesitation for anybody wanting to grow musically.
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LaurelR March 6, 2014
Wonderful Piano Teacher!

I've always wanted to learn how to play the piano but was afraid that my lack of experience and measly understanding of music might squash that dream. Despite my reservations, I began taking lessons with Benjamin last year and have been blown away by my experience. His vast understanding of music and easy-going demeanor have made my music lessons very enjoyable. I'm now able to understand music in a whole new way, and with his help simplifying some of it for me, I can even play a few of my favorite tunes. I'm so happy I started taking lessons with him and totally recommend his services!
Ronnie W. San Francisco, CA

About Ronnie

After pursuing a bachelors degree at Miami University of Ohio in biochemistry & microbiology, I went on to work as an engineer in Silicon Valley. Throughout my years growing up middle school, high school and in college, I performed tutoring services in physics, English writing, and music (percussion, guitar, bass guitar, and piano). Music gave me the edge and freedom to express myself, make friends, and challenge my own abilities throughout the course of my life. I wouldn't be the same person without these gifts and I owe a great debt to my parents who encouraged me and the teachers who taught me.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Yamaha YPG-235 Keyboard
Yamaha APX-5NA Classical Guitar with pickups and tuner

*** Specialties ***
Drum, percussion, chord theory, rock, jazz, guitar, bass ...

Reviews

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Kathy B. January 1, 2014
Drum
Great with our kids

Ron is very good with our children, ages 7 and 10. He's taught our 10 year old drums for almost a year, and we are very pleased with how far he has come along. Our youngest really enjoys learning the piano too. Ron is like an older brother, very polite and very flexible with our busy schedules! I've recommended him to friends of ours and will continue to do so.
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Utkir M. December 10, 2013
Piano
Verified Student
You can't rely on him

I was looking for a piano teacher and I found this teacher to take lessons for my 11 y.o. son. We were so excited to start the lessons. First time we called he was out of town. Later we figured out takelessons made a mistake in schedule. Then we waited another week until scheduled time on December 7, 2013. We showed up at his home address at appointed time but he did not respond to phone calls and he wasted our time and efforts. It is sooo unprofessional of Ronnie. We will never contact him again.

Piano With TakeLessons

TakeLessons offers private in-studio and in-home Piano in El Cerrito and nearby areas. Learn how to play piano by working with a qualified TakeLessons instructor. Review El Cerrito Piano teacher profiles and contact a friendly TakeLessons student counselor by phone or email for assistance with scheduling your Piano lessons.

Whether you are a beginner Piano student, intermediate Piano student, or advanced Piano student, a TakeLessons Instructor can help you learn or enhance your Piano skills. Your choices for a El Cerrito Piano instructor come from a variety of backgrounds, making it easy to find one that matches your interests and skill level. Each Piano instructor's specialties are listed on their profile, along with helpful details like teaching style, background, photos, student ...

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