Cliff R.

Cliff R.

7 Reviews
San Francisco, CA


Levels Taught: Beginner - Intermediate

About Cliff R.

Background Check: Last verified 11/01/2013
Cliff passed a background check on 11/01/2013 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
For more information, please click here.
Male Ages Taught: 10 to 99
Female Ages Taught: 10 to 99


Cliff started his musical career as a young boy, taking classical piano lessons from the age of 4 until the age of 12. Discouraged by the strict format of his musical education, he picked up the guitar, and vowed never to take another music lesson. However, upon entering college, Cliff enrolled in drum lessons on a whim, and he has never looked back.

After discovering this new found love for music, Cliff earned not only a degree in English, but also a BA in Music from Santa Clara University, with a concentration in both guitar and drums. While this exposed Cliff to a strong classical background that included piano proficiency, conducting, and sight-singing, he also continued to foster a love for rock, funk, blues, and other popular music. As a result, Cliff has given performances in a variety of contexts -- including jazz, classical, and popular music. Inspired by his academic studies, Cliff continued his education, graduating with a Master's in Music from Boston University's prestigious music education program. Now that his studies are complete (for the time being) Cliff splits his time between recording with his San Francisco-based heavy metal band, and teaching high-school band in the East Bay.

More than a music lover, Cliff is also very passionate about education. In addition to teaching Collegiate-level aural skills classes, Cliff teaches music several different schools throughout the Bay Area, with students ranging from Kindergarten to 8th Grade. Additionally, Cliff augmented his ability to teach music at the highly regarded Walden School TTI in New Hampshire earlier this year. Whether you are a beginner drummer or guitarist, or a seasoned shredder, Cliff shares your enthusiasm, and will design a lesson plan that will take you where you want to go on your musical journey (and maybe to places you never even considered before!)

*** Lesson Details ***
As an experienced educator, Cliff believes that music should be FUN! As a result, Cliff divides his lessons into three sections: Technique, Theory, and Repertoire. If a student wants to be the next great virtuoso, we will focus on playing techniques that foster speed, improvisational skills, and facility with the instrument.

Would you rather learn more about how music works? Then lessons can focus on sight reading, exploring groove, harmony and, melody, and examining how different rhythms and scales function in real musical situations.

Rather learn how to play some songs? Bring in any music, either notated on sheet music, or on an iPod or CD, and we'll learn how to play like your favorite musicians, or how to make the songs your own!

All students get exposure to all three of these elements, but how much is up to the student. I want to help you to become the musician that YOU want to be!

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have a guitar, amplifier, a practice pad and teaching materials, such as sheet music, drum charts, and iPod, and song books. I expect students to supply their own instruments, and they are welcome to supply any material they want to learn, such as CDs, songs from their iPod, guitar tabulature or sheet music.

*** Specialties ***
*Teachers classified as a Student Favorite
have taught a minimum of 25 lessons and have received the highest
feedback rating from students.

Photos and Videos


Master of Fine Arts - Music Mar 2012 - Dec 2013
Boston University
Bachelor of Arts - Music Sep 2006 - May 2009
Santa Clara University
Bachelor of Arts - English Sep 2006 - May 2009
Santa Clara University

Student Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by 7 reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5 by Great teacher, even better person Cliff has been instructing my daughter for about 5 months. Cliff is such a relatable guy and puts the language of music into very easy to understand language. I am usually very critical about who I choose to let teach my daughter, but was very put to ease by Cliff's great demeanor, and obvious love for what he does. I just can't say enough about how easy it is to be around Cliff and his ability to teach and make things entertaining at the same time. Go with Cliff-you won't be disappointed! March 7, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Exceptional teaching skills, diverse music knowledge, fun guy Cliff is a phenomenal teacher, incredibly adept at communicating music’s intricacies in simple terms, and a fun dude to learn from. Vast knowledge, and great ability to hone in on student’s needs based on discussed goals. Experienced great improvement in skills and understanding in just a few short lessons. Highly recommend him to prospective students of any level. May 24, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Cliff is the man! Before my time with Cliff I had been playing guitar for a few years and was entirely self-taught. I had reached a major plateau in my playing which in turn affected my overall enthusiasm to picking up my guitar. After some debate I decided to find a relaxed lesson setting that would help me learn and progress. My girlfriend said she had heard of so I checked it out and found Cliff. What a great investment it turned out to be! In about 8 months of lessons I'm amazed at how much I have progressed under Cliff's tutelage. All along, our lessons have been fun, informative, and very relaxed. I have rediscovered the enthusiasm that I had seemingly lost. Outside of his vast knowledge of music, Cliff is a great guy and I am very happy with my overall experience. Thanks TakeLessons and Cliff! April 18, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Outstanding. Patient, supportive, goal oriented, flexible. March 31, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Amazing guitar teacher and player! Cliff was my first music teacher and I've learned so much theory and technique in just a year. How he snuck in so much information while keeping lessons fun is a mystery to me. I looked forward to every lesson, as I'm sure any student of his would. August 8, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by Cliff is a wonderful teacher! Very patient, kind and knowledgable. March 20, 2011
Rated 5 out of 5 by Absolutely a Great Teacher Cliff is an awesome teacher! ! He is very patient with beginners like myself, but his knowledge is so vast that I'm sure he could teach the most experienced guitar player. He was always very flexible with us for lesson times and what not which was nice. He would even go over our alloted hour because he was so involved in teaching something. He's funny, easy to talk to and get along with, his studio is very comfortable, and he can accommodate any type of guitar student. Cliff is just a downright great teacher and great guy. March 3, 2010