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I'm a freelance musician and teacher in the Bay Area. I recently graduated from Sacramento State with my Bachelors of Music. I have been teaching for years, both privately and through the University system, it has given me training for teaching every stage from beginners with no experience to preparing young musicians for college auditions.
No matter what you skill level, I can give you the tools to improve.
OBJECTIVE: Piano/Flute/Music Theory teacher in a professional music studio
EDUCATION: Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Jose State University-Spring 2006
Bachelor of Arts Degree from San Jose State University, Spring 2003, in both Piano Performance and Music Education
* University skill-level in piano proficiency
* Proficient knowledge of the Suzuki Method and Orff Instruments
* Proficient knowledge of Solfege
* Two Years of Marching Band at Lynbrook High School ('97-99)
* Proficient knowledge of teaching children vocal skills
* Proficient knowledge of teaching children beginning brass and string
* Proficient knowledge of both instrumental and vocal music repertoires
from the Renaissance to the present (especially works of Monteverdi,
Chopin, Lizst, J.S. Bach, S.Calvert, Telemann, Beethoven, William
Byrd, Robert Lowry, Robert I. Hugh, John Horma, Lowell Mason, D.
Bortiniansky, Magnus Lindberg, George Aperghis, Toshio Hosokawa,
Thierry De Mey, Steve Reich, James Wood and Helmut Oehring)
* Private Flute Students (Mar. '06-Present)
* Private Piano Teacher ('03-Present)
* Singer in University Women's Choir and Concert Choir, semester of
Aug.'99 and Aug.'00, and semester of Jan.'00 for the latter (sang
Holst's Planets with the San Jose Symphony Orchestra while in
* Singer in Ching-Ching Regional Chinese Children's Choir, Jun.'92-
* Singer and Pianist/Accompanist at numerous Church Choirs
(Lutheran, Baptist and Non-Denominational for the last 15 years
* Teacher's Assistant of a graduate in Piano Performance (M.A., SJSU)
during special Saturday night program for children of Family Bible
Studies (Oct.-Dec. of '01)
Pertinent Course Work :
* Piano Repetoire Class
* Piano Accompaniment
* Music Theory
* Music History (From Antiquity to "Modern" Periods)
* Jazz Improvisation
* Jazz in America
* Fundamental "Skill" Classes (including Brass, String, Choral Literature, as well as the Voice.)
* Concert Choir
* Music Technology/Music Notation/Computer Engraving
*** Lesson Details ***
I am a strict teacher in terms of students having a practice schedule that they will stick with/logging down times in terms of practicing regularly everyday (starting with 15 mins/day for younger, beginning students to 30 mins/day and 45 mins/day depending on the level of playing skill/background of each student.
For teaching piano I use Hanon scale book, Keith Snell's Fundamental Piano Theory and Baroque & Classical, Romantic and Contemporary Piano Repertoire books. I also use the Piano Adventure series set of books (which includes lesson, music theory, technique and performance books), and many variety of other Disney, Star Wars etc. of fun music kids nowadays enjoy listening to and watching on tv and in the movie theatres--for example Alvin and the Chipmunks.
For teaching flute, I use the "A Tune a Day for Flute" by Paul Herfurth & Hugh Stuart, "Mel-Bay's Flute Handbook" by Mizzy McCaskill & Dona Gilliam, the beginner Grade 2-6 and also the Advance Scales & Arpeggios Flute scale book by Daniel G. Theaker. Lastly, I also use "Disney Movie Magic for Flute" that includes songs from The Lion King, Pocahontas, 101 Dalmatians and Aladdin.
After 3 or 6 months, the student would have learned the basic mechanism of how their music instrument produces sound, high and low of sounds; the basic music theory --including concepts of the clef of their particular instrument, what an octave is, what are the different type of note values, the structure, format of how music repeats and how it is extended to various forms--eg. Variations of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Lastly, students will also be able to sightread 2-paged songs with ease (up to 2 sharps & flats) and also be able to play along with simple teacher accompaniment or a duet part without getting lost on their own playing part.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide lesson books, metronome, mp3 recorder, writing tools and post-its. I expect the student to provide their instrument of study.
*** Specialties ***
Music, piano, music theory, CM test prep, piano accompaniment
Classical, Baroque, Romantic, Contemporary, Christian, Disney, Suzuki, Orff, Keith Snell, Piano Adventure, Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, Mozart, Bartok
Hristo is an impressionistic modern jazz guitarist and composer from Sofia, Bulgaria. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hristo leads a variety of modern jazz formations, ranging from duets to quintets. Hristo has toured nationally and internationally, appearing at some of the most prestigious jazz clubs and festivals, and has also performed guitar clinics in Europe and Japan. He has written more than 270 original compositions, many articles on jazz improvisation, and a book on chordal theory and construction entitled Between the Voicings: A New Approach to Chord Building for Guitarists. The Hristo Quartet’s 2009 debut album, Song for Messambria (First Orbit Sounds Music) quickly received outstanding reviews by the international jazz community and was selected as one of the six best jazz albums of 2009 by E-JAZZ NEWS.
“His sophisticated and adventurous work is imbued with shimmering harmonies and lyrical improvisations.” – JAZZTIMES MAGAZINE
“His multihued compositions are like impressionistic sound paintings.” – JAZZIZ
“You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers.” – Improvijazzation Nation Magazine
“Hristo may be one of the best kept secrets in jazz today. He is the epitome of sonic gold.” – DIGITAL JAZZ NEWS
“Hristo plays as the cultural end result of his life experiences. Simply put, he plays more so from the heart than he does the head.” – Critical Jazz
“A richly textured album full of strong melodic and rhythmic ideas and with some superb playing throughout.” – THE JAZZ MANN (England)
As jazz critic Edward Blanco describes: “Heis the newest guitarist to enter the national jazz scene and does so with a stunner of a recording in Song for Messambria, one of the finest debut albums I've had the pleasure of appraising this year.”
The record presents a unique blend of ECM-style modern jazz, classical, and Brazilian tone textures, and showcases the completely unique and masterful interpretation of the jazz idiom by each one of its members. In late 2009, Hristo released his second studio album featuring Latin Grammy-nominated pianist Weber Iago. The Secrets of an Angel is an impressionistic landscape painted by the delightful and graceful conversation between the two instruments (guitar/piano).
As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “On the heels of his impressive debut recording, Song for Messambria, guitarist Hristo returns along with pianist Weber Iago for a wonderful guitar/piano duet recording - The Secrets of an Angel...while the gentle title track shimmers like a glistening iceberg on a cold sea. The delightful two-part ‘The Last Pirate” is a highlight - brilliantly showcasing the exciting romantic bend inherent in his music, while the nostalgic lullaby “Leka Nosht (Good Night)” recalls a faraway youth and rounds out this fine release.”
In 2010 Hristo wrote a large scale jazz work (The Perperikon Suite) especially to be premiered at the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival. This 7 movements jazz suite is inspired by the ancient Thracian city of Perperikon (located on the territory of Bulgaria), and combines orchestral, classical, jazz, and fusion elements depicting the history and mystery of this enchanting place. The work marks Hristo third album and one of his most adventurous and sophisticated works up to date. For the recording of this project the Hristo Quartet was joined by virtuoso vibraphonist and multi-instrumentalist Christian Tamburr.
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Shimmering harmonies resonate throughout these modern jazz marvels, and the soloists work their way around and through this accessible and exciting music with equal measures of taste, technique and spirit. His pieces are peppered with signpost sonorities and ideas that often reappear throughout a given song, creating a sense of continuity and thematic steadiness that develops around individual soloists. While this group ably establishes its own aural identity, which threads its way through the whole album, each movement of the suite has different strengths and a unique sonic footprint. Brought to life as a tale of two cities, The Perperikon Suite ultimately occupies its own wondrous world within the confines of its jazz borders.”
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “There is an incredible warmth to his playing, a fluidity of movement and direction held firmly in place by a stellar quintet that provides ample support for the lyrical imagery created on this release. Aside from the superior sound which almost smacks of a live in the studio recording, there is a true working band feel that he has been able to obtain. He displays an unparalleled versatility moving from the flash of “The Acropolis” to the more introspective “The Southern City” allowing for a wonderfully paced recording. The drumming of Joe DeRose creates a special dynamic tension on the tune “The Great Hall.” A release that ends far too soon. Wonderfully crafted, well paced and a sonic tapestry that stands up as well as any release for this past year.”
As jazz critic Bruce Lindsay describes: “The music, performed by a terrific quintet, is beautiful: it captures images not of a city in ruins but of a city full of life, of vibrant activity. The Perperikon Suite is an impressive creation. Each individual tune is beautifully crafted, but so, too, is the Suite as a whole. His response to the ancient city is remarkable in both its conception and its performance.”
As jazz critic Michael Bailey describes: “Many time motifs are used throughout this suite. Tick-tock ascending and descending figures pass as a thread through cloth, to hold this musical garment—a coat of many colors—together. He achieves this effect with no apparent effort or change in guitar tone or approach. Merely by affecting the time signatures, he makes his magic. The Perperikon Suite is soft-spoken and brainy music that exists out of the ordinary.”
As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “The new songs are the strongest he has written yet, and the addition of Tamburr serves to take the music to an even higher level. Hristo, meanwhile, continues to impress the listener with his addictive blend of jazz with touches of classical, Brazilian and Eastern European influences in both his playing and songwriting. In lieu of visiting the legendary site yourself, listeners are urged to take a musical journey to the ancient location as seen through the senses of Hristo and shared with you through his highly satisfying musical presentation.”
As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: “Hristo and his inspirational quintet provide an all-new experience on The Perperikon Suite, a concept album that is accessible, creative and a pleasure to spin often.”
In 2012 Hristo embarked on yet another musical chapter of his life. Heartmony is the long awaited and highly anticipated follow up to the first duet recording by the guitarist and pianist Weber Iago (The Secrets of an Angel). As the title of the record will suggest, Heartmony explores a truly intimate, honest, and emotional conversation between the two instruments. The music, which transports you from impressionistic landscapes to folkloric tales and from melancholic memories to meditative trances, is simply the purest harmonious sounds he has put on tape up to date. Straight from the heart, healing energy that will embrace you long after you listen to it.
“An absolutely wonderful recording.” – JAZZTIMES
“If ever there were a marriage between classical music and jazz then this Heartmony is it. Hristo and Weber Iago have created a very special experience.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)
“Both on and off the bandstand, he is an artist who wears his emotions on his sleeve. His new “Heartmony,” a duo session with his frequent collaborator, Brazilian pianist Weber Iago, provides a master class in the way a chord or harmonic progression can evoke a flood of sensations.” – Andrew Gilbert (San Jose Mercury News)
“Guitarist Hristo and longtime collaborator, pianist Weber Iago, have created a work of sublime musicality with Heartmony. Exquisitely lyrical, although a bit too sweet, this opus brings together multiple musical influences into a coherent and cohesive, multilayered narrative, the momentum of which does not slack from the first few notes to the very last. He and Iago interweave long musical threads into a shimmering soundscape of serene beauty.” – Hrayr Attarian (All About Jazz)
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “Heartmony is a sonic mosaic pieced together from heartfelt feelings and emotions carried through time and communicated in an incredibly heartwarming and emotional presentation that exemplifies the zen concept of less is more perhaps as well as any recording of the last decade. The musical sound of one hand clapping. His and Weber's music transcends the more traditional jazz idiom in much the same fashion that their recorded work here is that of a more cohesive unified voice with subtle shadings, lyrical swells and the textured nuances that creates music that is to be experienced. An incredibly beautiful artistic statement of personal experience.”
“Guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago sounds like a perfect match in a musical heaven, if such things exist. What I’m saying here is that this is a duet album that sounds perfect, music made from the heart and soul. There’s warmth, there’s care, and there’s a human quality to this that no machine can replicate, and it is that Heartmony that makes this a powerful album worth listening to repeatedly.” – John Books
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “The eleven originals are all musical offerings from the heart and soul, but this isn't a one-dimensional recital. Some songs are full of life and positive energy, while others have a sense of regret and nostalgia sewn into their being, but they're all painted in sharp, vivid colors, thanks to the skills of both artistic practitioners at play.”
“This set of guitar-piano duets is quietly emotional, always intriguing and quite original. His clear toned guitar blends in perfectly with Iago’s powerful piano and the two musicians often seem to think as one. Heartmony is quite thought provoking and well worthy of many close listens. Highly recommended.” – Scott Yanow
“Hristo and Iago play together with the assurance born of long and fruitful collaboration. They know each other well, and it shows in the skillful way they complement each other. They take a beautiful melody and run with it. They wring every bit of emotion out of it. There are passages in a composition like “Memories in Black and White,” nocturnal moments in “The Last Leaves which Fell in Fall,” that sound like they could have been written by a nineteenth century Polish Romantic. Then there are moments in the same songs where there are glints of French Impressionists.” – Jack Goodstein (blogcritics.com)
“Hristo is a gifted composer and master guitarist whose stylish approach to the music makes him a hidden wonder of the jazz world. Heartmony is an intelligent musical statement and gentle follow up to his previous works, a relaxing soulful musical experience sure to touch a piece of your heart.” – Ed Blanco (E-JAZZ NEWS)
In January 2013, Hristo released “Familiar Fields” – his 5th record as a leader (and his 2nd quartet recording). The music presented in this session clearly displays the multidimensional tonal evolution of the band and each one of its individual members. The addition of drummer extraordinaire Mike Shannon to the quartet establishes a portal to new sonic landscapes and emotions to be explored in this collection of 9 original pieces by the guitarist. The music, which takes the listener through the realms of impressionistic, classical, jazz, experimental, and new age, always retains the unique sonic footprint that has brought critical acclaim to the quartet all over the world.
“He paints a vivid pastoral landscape with epic sweep, often recalling the big-sky sound of Pat Metheny. Obviously, these musicians are more than comfortable with one another, as one delicate solo seamlessly segues into another.” – JAZZIZ
“Once again he has produced an immaculately crafted, often supremely beautiful album.” –
The Jazz Mann (England)
“If Pat Metheny and Larry Carlton are considered the kings of impressionistic jazz guitar, then certainly Hristo is a crown prince and ready to lead a palace coup. In fact, “Familiar Fields” easily stands equal to even their greatest albums. Part of the reason for that has to be credited to Hristo’s choice of musicians in the quartet. The musical affinity and effortless grace shines forth on this album like few recordings I have ever heard. They share a single heart and mind that bursts forth in illumination on every track. There is no weak moment or weak player on this album.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)
“Over the past few years, Bulgarian-born, Bay Area-based guitarist and composer Hristo has consistently crafted music of great lyrical beauty. With his self-named quartet or quintet, or in duet with pianist and frequent collaborator Weber Iago, he has advanced a sound that manages to sound intimate and epic at the same time. He does so again on Familiar Fields (First Orbit Sounds), his latest recording with his quartet, which welcomes new member Mike Shannon on drums. As he has on previous recordings, He makes use of classical imagery and narratives in song titles such as “The Prophet’s Daughter,” “The Mask of Agamemnon” and “Wounded by a Poisoned Arrow,” the last of which is our selection. His instrumental voice bears echoes of the tonal warmth and big-sky sweep of Pat Metheny, as he and Iago, his beyond-simpatico musical compatriot, switch off on leads, riding the rolling hillocks of rhythm provided by Shannon and acoustic bassist Dan Robbins. Shannon proves an exceptional addition to the group, responding to and driving his companions in equal measure.” – JAZZIZ
As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “Bulgaria-born and San Francisco-based Hristo has established himself as a modern day troubadour. His enchanting and fantastical tunes have the feel of medieval ballads abundantly peppered with futuristic sounds. His sixth release, Familiar Fields, presents nine impressionistic originals that showcase his maturing compositional skills as well as the superlative, improvisational talents of his working quartet. With each album he oeuvre ripens and becomes more sophisticated without losing its delightfully spirited edge. Familiar Fields not only stands on its own merit as sublime music but also whets the appetite for what is yet to come.”
“Familiar Fields is a highly intelligent, thought-provoking Impressionistic escapade.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)
“This release is a clear statement from an artist comfortable with who he is and where he is going. There are no absolute truths in music but instead there are shades of gray which he and his quartet fill in with the precision of a surgeon and the soul of a true artist. Never caught up in the academics of his works, he instead conducts a sonic exploration with the end result being a release that gives up something new with each subsequent spin. An ebb and flow unmatched, or perhaps unlike him, an ebb and flow that other artists simply can not match. As close to perfect as it gets!” – Brent Black (CriticalJazz.com)
“The Hristo Quartet, ladies and gentlemen, is in peak form. They have no competition: no other music in the jazz idiom is quite as satisfying.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)
“The musical bond between guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago is as strong as that of Chick Corea and Gary Burton, with proof being their two sublime duet recordings, The Secrets of an Angel and Heartmony, as well as three small group sessions under his name. For the Familiar Fields quartet date with regular bassist Dan Robbins and new drummer Mike Shannon, chose nine gems to play from his vault of more than 270 original compositions. As usual, as one listens to his music, the words lyrical, impressionistic, spiritual, and passionate come to mind, and also his term "heartmony," which he defines as the simultaneous combination of feelings and emotions, especially when produced by experiences, memories, and stimulations pleasing to the heart, body, and soul." – Scott Albin (JAZZTIMES)
“The emotional essence of any Hristo recording can be seen before it’s heard via the distinctive oil paintings the guitarist creates for his CD jackets. his artwork for Familiar Fields is impressionistic, haunting and autumnal, the same qualities that characterize his latest collection of tunes. The foursome’s interplay is highly intricate, resulting in emotive tunes that wax and wane in intensity. Whether you call it post-bop or post-fusion, his brand of jazz is passionate and ethereal. He has developed into a formidable guitarist and intelligent composer, and since he’s only 32 years old, his best work may be yet to come.” – Ed Kopp (Jazziz)
“Within his tone and technique, it’s not difficult to hear the influences of Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny and Lee Ritenour. He is adept at the full range of extended techniques but is most often described - justifiably - as an impressionist.” – Karl Ackermann (All About Jazz)
“Of the many attributes that Bulgarian (San Francisco based) guitarist Hristo possesses - refined technical abilities, warm tonality, and expressive soulfulness - his gift to convey beautiful stories through intricate composition is always at the heart of his appeal.” – Mark F. Turner
In October 2013, Hristo released his 6th album as a leader. "Rhodopa" is a beautifully crafted sonic pairing of the extremely emotional and lyrical Bulgarian folklore and the multidimensional and deeply textured world of modern jazz harmony. On his new music journey, the guitarist is joined by virtuoso Bulgarian clarinetist Liubomir Krastev. As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Hristo and Liubomir Krastev cover everything from the mystical to the mournful and the grim to the gleeful on this absorbing duo date.”
“Hristo takes improvisational music to a third dimension of texture you can feel. Rhodopa is my selection for album of the year for 2013. Critically acclaimed guitar virtuoso Hristo started the year with the release of the highly regarded Familiar Fields. With Rhodopa, has now assumed his rightful place as a global virtuoso of unrivaled talent and ability. As artistically gifted as he is technically proficient, Hristo moves to the head of the pack with this stellar outing.” – Brent Black (CriticalJazz.com)
“Hristo boldly departs from the group setting and gives the audience even more of what they crave - soulful arrangements and virtuosity with heart. There is a beauty and an elegance that comes through on each and every one of Hristo's recordings. The music he composes, the arrangements he crafts, the musicians that he assembles together and the dignity and reverence of his musicianship speak of the heart of the man and his love of life.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)
As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “The warm, poetic tunes are like fairy tales in verse. They are imbued with nostalgia, and shimmer with a variety of muted colors and sentiments. Krastev's softly undulating tones waver against his vibrating strings in a spiritual celebration of abstract beauty. This thematically unified work is a genre bending, elegant and satisfying opus and a new high for he who continues to excel himself on each fresh release.”
“Modern jazz guitarist, pianist and composer Hristo always refreshes the ear and the soul with his inordinately sensitive, mesmerizing, and beautiful approach to music. He is unique - and artist who explores every avenue of approach to both folk music and jazz and the result is an experience that simply no one else can match.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)
“With Rhodopa, guitarist/composer Hristo and clarinetist Liubomir Krastev meld musical minds, dive exuberantly into an array of earthy Bulgarian folk material and come up with four hands of beauty. The result is a panoply of aural color, emotion, and technical artistry.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)
As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: "Rhodopa is an instrumental serenade of Bulgarian folklore music interpreted by a world-class guitarist and clarinetist. Hristo and Liubomir Krastev deliver an enchanting and relaxing escape from reality with a fifty-three minute encounter of soul-reaching music."
"You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers. With Liubomir’s reeds, they form a cultural jazz experience that can’t be compared with anything else!" – Dick Metcalf (Improvijazzation Nation Magazine)
On top of leading his own quartet, quintet, duo projects, and co-leading the group SEVA, Hristo also co-writes and plays guitar with Joe De Rose and Amici - an energetic jazz/fusion formation lead by drummer Joe De Rose. Hristo has appeared on countless radio shows/programs all around the world.
Hristo has also performed in world-class jazz venues and festivals including Yoshi’s Jazz Club (Oakland, CA), Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (Half Moon Bay, CA), Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, CA), Anthology (San Diego, CA), Catalina Jazz Club (Hollywood, CA), The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head Island, SC), Heidi's Jazz Club (Cocoa Beach, FL), Alvas Showroom (San Pedro, CA), The Jazz Station (Eugene, OR), Egan's Ballard Jam House (Seattle, WA), Timucua White House (Orlando, FL), Ivories Jazz Club (Portland, OR), The Herbst Theater (San Francisco, CA), SOhO Jazz Club (Santa Barbara, CA), as well as major jazz festivals including the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival (Monterey, CA), 2009/2010/2012/2013 AT&T San Jose Jazz Festival (San Jose, CA), 2010 and 2012 Redwood City “Jazz on Main” (Redwood City, CA), Okazaki Jazz Festival (Okazaki, Japan) and many more.
Hristo holds a B.A. in Music (Jazz Studies) from San Jose State University in San Jose, CA.
He has also studied in the prestigious Roland Music Academy in Caracas, Venezuela.
Students can benefit from Hristo's completely amazing knowledge on the instrument as well as music/harmony theory. He will work and design unique and specific goals tailored to each student's individual interests. His dedication and passion for teaching are first class!!!
*** Lesson Details ***
I design my lessons with the specific student goals in mind.
For Beginner students: we will start by exploring rhythm concepts and understanding how to read music. Learning the physics of the guitar and exploring the notes in the first few positions. Learning open position chords, and simple chords progressions, major and pentatonic scales,etc.
For Intermediate students: we will continue expanding our knowledge of the higher positions of the guitar, as well as develop better sight-reading skills. Bar cords and chord transposition, and music theory. Expanding our scalar vocabulary to modes, and minor scales. Learning arpeggios and classical etudes.
For Advance students: Close interval voicings, jazz improvisation, chord to scale relationships, and harmonic substitutions are some of the concepts we will cover. Learning solo guitar playing (chord melody), incorporating walking bass lines, transcription skill and arranging skills.
*** Studio Equipment ***
A specific music room with a few guitars, a keyboard, amps, and recording equipment and music stands
*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my guitar and amp.
Students should provide their guitars and amps (if needed)
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Jazz guitar, improvisation, harmonic studies and theory.
Chord melodies, building lines, phrasing, voice-leading, chordal improvisation, and re-harmonization/substitution.
I've been playing with classical ensembles and rock bands since 2001. Even though I started on classical trombone and rock guitar, I have come to expand my repertoire to a variety of instruments and genres. During my time in college I performed with the University choir, orchestra, and band. I also have organized, wrote/arranged for, and performed with a variety of bands in my home state of New Mexico, as well as Japan, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Since 2006 I have been an active teacher. This profession has taken me everywhere from working with classical guitar classes in New Mexico high schools to Elementary students in Japan to a variety of private students of various musical instruments and genres everywhere I've been. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2010, I've had the pleasure of working with lots of great students from kids to adults with a wide range of ambitions. More recently I've also started teaching online lessons via Skype and Google Helpouts with Take Lessons as well.
Philosophy of Learning
Lessons are generally in a relaxed setting and designed to work towards accomplishing student determined goals. While all students will study similar fundamentals regarding technique, theory, and performance, every lesson is as different as every person. What kind of music do you want to make? I'll tell you what you need to do to get there, and help you take the steps to achieve your aspirations.
I also love to help students put together a song, record, and produce it for them so that they can have a recording to share with their friends and family.
Lessons with small children are more focused on just having fun while developing a good musical foundation, but I prefer for them to have as much personal ownership of their lesson as possible like my older students as well.
I also hold events for all my students. (Check out our pictures and videos below!)
Younger students have the "Young Musicians Recital" every few months where individual students and band classes have a chance to perform and celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family.
Adult students have periodic events where they get a chance to get together and play music as well.
Aside from in-studio lessons, students also have the option to sign up for online lessons via Skype as well as do a drop-in lesson through Google Helpouts.
(*Online lessons offered during different times than in-studio lessons.)
*Unfortunately due to scheduling issues, I'm not currently accepting students for bi-weekly lessons. I can do regular weekly lessons, or occasional drop-in lessons, but bi-weekly appointments make it really hard for me to give the best scheduled times to my existing weekly students. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.
My studio is equipped with:
*Multiple Music Stands
*Vocal and instrument microphones
*Guitars, Basses, and a Banjo
*Two guitar amps and a bass amp
*Various percussion including a fully equipped drum set
*An electric piano console
*A Trombone, Cornet, and Flute
*An extensive physical and virtual music library
*A recording system that students are not only welcome to use but encouraged to
*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
Playing music is so much fun! I have enjoyed music my whole life and being able teach music makes me very happy. Here is what one parent says about my teaching style... "Sheri, Is a lot of fun to work with. Her positive attitude on life flows from her which then helps others to have the same feelings. She is very encouraging and thoughtful of others needs. Her talents in music are un-measurable." May 31, 2011
Currently I am working on my Master's Degree in Music Education and I especially love to teach drums!
I have many years of experience teaching music and I am extremely patient with those who may need a little extra encouragement or need a creative approach to learning.
If you have a talent show, performance, contest, or just want to have fun playing the drums, come and learn with me.
I'Â™m looking forward to working with you soon!
*** Lesson Details ***
With extensive experience in classical and contemporary (pop, rock, funk, R&B) music, I put equal focus on technique and fostering a musician'Â™s personal style and passion for music. I understand that every student learns in a way that is unique to them, and I will do my best to discover each student's learning style. I like to combine technical work with fun time playing duets together, improvising, and exploring a wide variety of styles and genres of music. I will train you for recitals, competitions, a music career, or just for fun!
For beginners, within 3-6 months, we'll begin discovering how to read notes and rhythms and understand the language of music. We'll learn how to play some of your favorite songs and learn some that you might not know. We'll discover what you really want to learn and achieve while taking lessons, and we'll work toward those goals!
For the intermediate student, we will begin to discover how to get you more comfortable on your instrument, building a great foundation and understanding of music reading and basic music theory. We'll also learn performance techniques and how to have a great stage presence in front of a live audience! For all my students, it's a journey that is exciting, unique to each individual.
My studio is in a safe, family-friendly, smoke-free environment. We have no pets and are careful about allergies. Parents are always welcome, and encouraged to attend lessons, or just sit and relax in the waiting area.
*** Studio Equipment ***
My music studio has two drum kits, PA system, recording equipment, microphones, keyboards, and lots of other fun instruments!
A comfortable waiting area is also provided.
*** Specialties ***
I play drums in a band. I specialize in rock, R&B, funk and taught drum line at a local high school. I also play flute, Irish whistle, recorder and can teach music theory up through the college level. I have lots of experience with performance.
Gary is a trumpet player and educator originally from Reno, NV. He graduated with a MA in Jazz Studies under the direction of Dr. Aaron Lington at San Jose State University in 2014. Gary has studied jazz and classical trumpet privately with Jeff Lewis, Dr. Kathryn Adduci, and Tim Wilson during his residency at SJSU. Gary will complete his Single Subject Teaching Credential in Music Education in 2015.
Most recently, Gary has been teaching instrumental music with San Jose Jazz in their project Progressions, a music program helping elementary kids in at-risk schools receive quality music education. Inspired by the Venezuelan music program El Sistema, Progressions works with students of low socioeconomic backgrounds who are at the highest risk for gang violence and drop out in their communities. During the summers, Gary is actively involved as the Technical Director and the Assistant Camp Manager with the San Jose Jazz Summer Jazz Camp.
Gary has served as Band Director at St. Leo the Great Catholic School in San Jose, CA, running recruitment and education in a 4th-7th grade instrumental music teaching trumpet, trombone, clarinet, flute, and saxophone.
He also works for the Alum Rock Jazz Program based in San Jose, CA. Under the direction of Tim Spacek, Gary can be found running live sound and instructing elementary and middle school students in San Jose during the school year and their three week summer camp.
Previously, Gary has been a part-time instructor at Leigh High School in Campbell, CA as a Visual Technician and Brass Caption for their marching band and assistant with their jazz ensemble. Gary has also served as a interim staff member of the Sacramento Mandarins as a brass technician for the 2012 season, for their field show Prophecy.
Aside from his teaching and University studies, Gary has played with a variety of music ensembles, professional music groups, and commercial music productions, including:
-All About Theatre (Beauty and the Beast, Anything Goes, Honk!, The Drowsy Chaperone,)
-Santa Cruz High School (Once Upon A Mattress, The Wedding Singer)
-Scott'Â€Â™s Valley Performing Arts (Annie Get Your Gun)
-The King's Academy (Where's Charlie?, Hello Dolly)
-Woodside Priory School (Fiddler On The Roof)
-CMT of Santa Clara (Suessical-The Musical)
-The 7th St. Big Band
-New World Ape
-Jason Bond and the Committee
*** LESSON DETAILS ***
I believe that my broad experience will help connect learning, passion, and fun with future students taking instruction from me. There is no single way to learn music and play trumpet. Music is a lifetime journey of discovery...I am just here to help you on your way.
--- Specialties ---
Gary is predominantly a Brass Specialist, with an emphasis on Trumpet, although he is able to give lessons on all brass instruments.
Lessons are also available on Piano through Intermediate level players, followed by a long list of other topics on the teachers profile.
Gary is also an avid recording engineer for both studio and live sound. Students wishing to learn how to record music or work in these fields will benefit from a professional home studio and access to portable devices for live recording and field work.
-------Mission for Lessons -------
My mission for lessons with my students is personal growth and musical development. Everyone learns differently; I aim to develop my students where they are strongest and help strengthen their weaknesses. Most of all, I aim to have FUN learning music!
I assess my students from the beginning and develop a lesson plan suited best for them, whether you are just learning music, playing for fun, or aiming to get ready for High School or College literature.
Lessons are suited for AGES 6+, with ALL RANGES of experience, including BEGINNING STUDENTS.
All styles of literature can be explored, from Jazz, Classical, Pop, Rock, Latin, and more.
Coverage of High School, Middle School, and Beginning Band literature is standard in my lessons. Most lessons utilize tested method books for each students specific study. Alternate music involving Marching Band, Jazz Band, or Concert Band is also available during lessons.
---General Lesson Curriculum---
Lessons for Beginners, ages 6+
-Introduction to the instrument and learning how to play.
-Learning notes and fingerings.
-Tone production (instrumental teaching).
-Learning to read music, in both Treble and Bass clef.
-Basic Music Theory.
-Enjoying music and HAVING FUN!
Lessons for Intermediate Players (based on skill level)
-Continued development of tone production (instrumental teaching).
-Technique development with articulation, slurring, and finger technique (instrumental teaching).
-Continued development of music reading skills.
-Exploration of the 12 major and 12 minor keys.
-Development of Music Theory skills appropriate to age and level of schooling.
Lessons for Advanced Players (based on skill level)
-Advanced development of Brass studies, through High School Level and Collegiate repertoire and pedagogy.
-Lessons in Advanced music theory at A.P. High School & Collegiate level. *
-Composition, Arranging, and Music Production. *
-Jazz Theory and Improvisation lessons. *
*Private instruction specifically designed for Advanced Studies
topics are also available.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Students choosing to study with me in my personal studio have access to a quiet, easily accessible study space. Everything a student need to start right away is available, the student just brings their instrument.
JBL 4300 Series Speakers
Focusrite Sapphire PRO 40
A nice, 88-key piano is available for piano lessons
*** Travel Equipment ***
Gary travels with a very wide variety of music for lessons, covering every angle of musicianship.
Students can expect to read and see a variety of music from many different composers and publishers.
Workbooks will be recommended upon first lesson with instructor and supplemental materials will be provided and suggested upon subsequent lessons.
"Steven is very professional and extremely helpful. He always has a smile on and is serious about helping you phrase the music. I would highly recommend him to anyone."
"It's been really exciting so far! Jordan has been so helpful, so knowledgeable. I could not have found a better instructor and I'm getting better and better every day."
"My daughter's wedding was weeks away and I had never been able to dance a step. With Jenny's help, I came further than ever before in such short time in any subject."