Valley Center Songwriting Lessons

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in Valley Center, CA

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Popular Songwriting Teachers Near Valley Center

Steve A.

San Diego, CA
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Jason M.

San Diego, CA
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Francesca V.

San Diego, CA
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Steve A. San Diego, CA

Subjects Taught

Basketball, Bass Guitar, Classical Guitar, Guitar, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word, Music Performance, Music Theory, Percussion, Poetry, Songwriting

About Me

I was introduced to the arts at a very early age. My mother gave me my father's harmonica around the age of four-years old. At that same age, I began drawing pictures by crayon, and then switched to ink pen. Drawing was my art until by the age of twelve I became interested in percussion from watching classmates practice their sticking technique on the cafeteria tables during their lunch period. The next year I enrolled into beginning band and quickly increased my talents to catch-up with my classmates by the next year.

I furthered my studies in music at Emporia State University in Emporia, KS. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1998, and a Master of Music degree in 2001. While in college, I performed with the Kansas Intercollegiate Jazz Ensemble and a Latin-rock band that toured throughout the eastern and southern area of Kansas and northern area of Oklahoma.

In 2002, I moved to San Diego, California to experience more worldly styles of music. I began teaching in numerous studios, community centers, and playing in various bands. Today, I am playing as a session musician in Brazilian and Trinidadian ensembles.

*** Lesson Details ***
When taking a lesson from me, you can expect a teacher who has a flexible style of instruction. I don't have a one-way teaching approach. I've learned that everyone has their own way of learning. I adapt to my student's learning abilities.

I normally start a student with the proper technique for playing an instrument, and then show them other approaches for various styles of music. I can teach the basics of playing, but I enjoy challenging my students to enhance their skills. I use fun as equilibrium to balance my classes. Too much of anything can become boring or excessive.

After 3 or 6 months, you can expect to have learned enough music to play in front of your friends or family. Depending on your taste and goals, you may be able to read music or you may be able to play it by ear. I normally teach ear-training as a part of my lessons. I look forward to helping you reach your goal.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students should have their own instruments and equipment. I only bring the necessities for me to play musical examples, which are my instruments, amplifier or iPod/laptop.

*** Specialties ***
The styles that I specialize in are rock, R&B, blues, funk, jazz and Afro-Latin rhythms. I have a strong background in World Music, i.e. ethnic scales (gypsy, African, Indian) and rhythms (specifically Brazilian and Afro-Caribbean). I use the Classical style as a way of learning proper technique and basic music fundamentals.

Jason M. San Diego, CA

Subjects Taught

Banjo, Bass Guitar, Guitar, Music Theory, Piano, Songwriting, Ukulele

About Me

TakeLessons.com Instructor since 2005, Jason M. is now available for online lessons worldwide featuring multiple-camera angles and a share screen experience leaving no stone un-turned!

Jason has been playing guitar for over 15 years and teaching music since 1996. Although trained in standard teaching methods, he has developed his own method of teaching to positively enhance the student€™s strength, dexterity, ear-training, memorization and techniques. His goal as a teacher is specifically designed to help you achieve your goals as an artist and a musician.

This year Jason was also the Music Director at the National Guitar Workshop Day Jams Rock Music Day Camp where students ages 7-15 came out to form bands, record original material and master their craft. He also taught beginning to advanced guitar/ vocals/ performance and songwriting as hosted a recording clinic at the end of each day.

Jason has host student showcases/charity benefits where his students were able to get on stage and show off their new talent and perform with other musicians. It wasn't mandatory though, if you were just looking to come out and support there was no pressure other than to come out and have fun.

Jason has been transcribing for guitar and bass since the age of 18 and since then has become a master of the craft including both 5 line staff and tablature, hand-crafted exercises and deconstructions to better enhance the students learning. Artists and genres that Jason has experience with range from Classic Rock, Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Guns N' Roses, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Robert Johnson, Pierce the Veil, Paramore, All Time Low, Demi Lava to, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Pantera, Avenged Sevenfold, The White Stripes, Green Day, Old Crow Medicine Show, Taylor Swift, Mumford and Sons, Bruno Mars, Rob Zombie, John 5, Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine, Van Morrison, the Beatles, AC/DC, ZZ-Top, Bullet For My Valentine, All That Remains, Ozzy, Black Label Society, Sublime, Aerosmith, At the Drive In, Type O Negative, the Black Keys, the Pixies, the Toadies, Black Sabbath, Jason Mraz, Lady GaGa, John Mayer and Journey.

Jason attended the University of Alaska, Anchorage where his degree is in Music and Business. He is constantly continuing his education with music theory courses as well as private guitar instruction. He attends guitar workshops and seminars by artists such as John5 and Kerry King who are known as some of the worlds finest guitar players. He reviews every day from a wide range of over 1000 sources working to become a better musician and instructor.

Another nice feature that you might enjoy from one on one sessions with Jason is learning the ability to craft and record your own songs using state of the art technology that caters to your own unique personality. There are no limits!

Jason teaches all experience levels from beginner to intermediate and advanced as well as artists that are signed to labels.

Local news outlet Fox 5 did a segment with one of his students who overcame issues with ADD and depression as a result of taking guitar lessons.

His students advance quickly, some have released albums, been in Guitar World Magazine as well as its online companion and won awards for their music websites.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons are scheduled to best fit to the student'€™s schedule when possible.
Students receive complimentary audio lessons and transcriptions of songs upon their first or second session. Jason is a very patient instructor and understands that students learn at a different pace, after all everyone is an individual.

*** Studio Equipment ***
ESP KH2 "skully" Kirk Hammett signature model Electric
Epiphone Zakk Wylde signature model Electric
Schecter SLS Blackjack Special Edition Avenger with ©Sustainiac
Schecter Blackjack ATX 7-string
Jackson Randy Rhodes V
Fender '51 Pawn Shop Series
Epiphone Banjo
Mahalo Ukulele
Savannah Ukulele
Martin Acoustic
G&L S-500 custom Electric
ESP LTD AX-50 "banjo" Electric
ESP LTD AX-50 "guitar"
Fender Squire John 5 signature model
Epiphone 12-string
Nylon Classical
Yamaha Acoustic (left and right handed)
Voyage-Air Guitar Acoustic
Fender Squire Bass
Dean Vendetta Electric
Dean Dime Razorback
B.C. Rich Warlock
Yamaha Keyboard
ProTools LE
Guitar Pro 6
Tascam CD-GT2
KRK Rokits speakers
Line 6 AXSYS212 Amp
Scott Ian Randall Amp
Cry Baby Wah
Digitech Whammy/Bad Monkey/Death Metal/Grunge pedals
Ibanez Chorus/Flanger Delay/Echo
Line 6 Backtrack
Drum sticks and practice pad
Multi-angle cameras for online students

*** Travel Equipment ***
Voyage-Air Guitar (Acoustic)
Laptop with ProTools/Backtrack or Guitar Pro 6
Scott Ian Randall Amp
Various guitars depending on project or mood.

*** Specialties ***
piano, guitar, music theory, music, bass guitar, banjo, songwriting, electric guitar, acoustic guitar,

Francesca V. San Diego, CA

Subjects Taught

Broadway Singing, Classical Guitar, Guitar, Music Performance, Music Recording, Music Theory, Opera Voice, Piano, Singing, Songwriting, Speaking Voice, Ukulele

About Me

Alumnae of CSULAs music department with an emphasis in classical voice and guitar, Francesca's skills cover a vast ocean of information. With a background and formal education in opera and "the classics", Francesca is equally comfortable on stage at The House of Blues as she is at Disney Hall.

Francesca started teaching music at the early age of 16 with great success. She has honed her skills both in the private studio and in the classroom. Having served as musical faculty the California Music Academy, Cornelia Connelly High School, Pasadena Saturday Music Conservatory, and East Los Angeles College, having led choirs of 70+ high school girls and sung before sold out audiences of thousands of screaming fans, having toured 4 continents singing both classical repertoire and performing in commercial rock bands, having sung for presidents and princes, Francesca has high expectations and is skilled in helping her students reach their goals.

Now performing in the Donald Brinager Singers, a studio choir for-hire, Francesca can often be seen performing with orchestras throughout Southern California. While mentoring through her award-winning teaching studio, Francesca also manages to perform several showcases featuring her original music with her amazing back-up ensemble.

With a constant effort to maintain a professional studio learning environment and with a focus on reading skills and solid technique, Francesca's students enjoy lessons packed with information and light-heartedness. The one on one experience you will have the moment you walk thru the door promises to be unmatched. Francesca's students can be seen on major television networks, radio stations and performing around town in various projects. With a passion to give back, Francesca reserves a small number of spots in her schedule for the youngsters and seniors of her community. She teaches beginning through advanced guitar, piano, and voice.

*** Lesson Details ***
Voice and Instrument Coaching

~Develop skills and techniques for top notch practice and performance
~Study theory, composition, ear training, arranging, improvisation
~Discover music technology and performance techniques
~Study melody, harmony, song form and lyric writing

Artist Development

~Voice and Instrument Coaching
~Song Writing and Selection
~Demo Recording
~Image / Art / Photography Consulting
~Finding your signature sound and style
~Live Performance 101
~Branding / Career Planning and Strategy
~Song Analysis and Consulting
~Booking gigs

A Note From Francesca:

My official bio is listed below, but perhaps more important than the things I have done are the things that I am doing. I am now approaching my 15th year of teaching. I love to teach! I carry a minimum of 30 students, but have carried more then 80 at one time, and have never once complained. My waiting list cycles based on my performance schedule and recording schedule. If you don't see a time that works for you, feel free to reach out and see if we can find something that works, as an artist, my schedule can be quite full but also quite flexible. I love my students, I get to do what I love all day and I am sure it shows. I have a blast discovering new ways to experience music with "my kids." I call all of my students kids even though most of my studio consists of young adults. I try to have a young air in my classes at all times as it just makes the process so much more fun for everyone.

I've seen it all in through years: kids, adults, beginners and advanced students. I am personally very interested in being the most versatile musician possible and I love being able to share my knowledge with my students. We can study anything and everything from Classical Guitar to Electric Guitar Shredding; from Opera to Kelly Clarkson; from Tchaikovsky to Little Richard! I love getting students to dabble in little bits of all genres, often getting even the most skeptical student singing and playing comfortably in a matter of just a few weeks. My students will be able to read music for their favorite tunes and understand how to improvise from the start. Once you come in, you'll be hooked. You will have fun because I am having fun!

I encourage all of my students to share their favorite music with me. It affords me the opportunity to learn more about what they desire to learn and what types of music they enjoy. We will learn with your music often. After all, isn't that why you are coming to see me? I will introduce you to new sounds and styles, but will foster your love for music, and do my best to never force my music on students. I feel I learn as much from my students when I truly listen to them and their music as they do from me.

On site lessons are available for artists recording demos, rehearsing bands and setting up their own studios.

On a side note, I love seeing students at my shows! I am a full time musician and can be seen playing with my band, in my own solo project and in various choral settings. Check out my website and see what I do outside of the classroom. My students get a kick out of the idea that they can buy a CD with their teachers face on it, and to be honest, so do I. Many of my students have their own music out on iTunes and YouTube. Many more can be seen performing around town in solo projects and professional ensembles.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Pianos, Guitars, Basses, Amps, Computer, Monitors, Music, Recording Software, Drum Kit, Studio and Performance Mics, everything we need! Its like Disneyland for musicians!

*** Travel Equipment ***
Varies

*** Specialties ***
Francesca on Artist Development:

I feel obligated to share my joys and experiences-

Not many people have been blessed to sing alongside as many renowned musicians as I have - I've been lucky to be welcomed in both the commercial and classical worlds and they have both afforded me venues to use my voice and express the most vital corners of my soul. To find your purpose through art is one of the greatest gifts you can receive. And to be able to do that in front of thousands of music lovers live or over the airwaves is a surreal experience.

It'€™s funny, my classical cronies are impressed to hear my stories of packed rock gigs at the House Blues and national touring festivals like Warped Tour and my rock buddies ask to hear my stories of Disney Hall performances with the LA Phil. To be honest, I'm impressed to be there too. Sometimes, I look around and think, how did I get here? How did I get lucky enough to live the dream, to find a home in music?

I've been luckier than most. I've had GREAT mentors who have always pushed me forward and shared their wisdom freely with me. Part of the classical musician's central goal is to educate. That'€™s a value I carry into my rock projects and production studio. Work smarter, not harder. Take the needed skills, create art, teach others how to do the same thing, move forward together to live happier, more productive lives filled with purpose.

I have come to be known as one of the top Musical Mentors & Artist Development Experts on the west coast. A behind the scenes- diva of dream building with the skills to push artists to the next level- the ace up the sleeve of many of today working talents. In my award winning studio, I spend time coaching the young voices and faces of today hottest TV shows seen on ABC, Nickelodeon, and the Disney Channel, but I still have a soft spot for up and comers in the indie music world. Having written and performed my own music for decades, I not only lived the collegiate experience of the elite classical performer singing for presidents and world leaders, but also the dingy road of the rock musician who'€™s showed one night to a packed stadium full of fans and showed up another, thousands of miles from home to play to a coffee shop of 5 people. Music has brought me to nearly every continent and introduced me to some of the most talented and diverse people you can imagine. I feel compelled to share these experiences with those around me so that they my develop the vision, the salt and the skills to persevere.

I am, above all, an artist & creator- living the dream, helping people- like you find their voice and write their songs. Turning raw emotion into art.

Each one of us has a story, our truth. Being an artist is about finding ourselves, our song and expressing it publicly so that we may heal, so that we may grow.

It doesn't take a ton of experience to write a hit song. It doesn't take a fancy education or a family line of talent (though it can help). We can all find our voice, our place in the spotlight, what it takes is the courage to take the next step forward.

You've already had the genius to be in the right place at the right time. Here. If you've made it this far, chances are you are smart enough, hungry enough and ready to take the plunge.

Inside my studio you will find the help you seek. I can impart you with proven techniques to strengthen your sound, develop your tone through strong technique, develop strategies to share your art and develop a plan to turn pipe dreams into reality. Some desire to sing on the worlds brightest stages, others strive to lead others through teaching themselves, and some wish for nothing more than to experience music in a confident manner among friends. All can be lead on this personal journey of the artistic soul and all can make their offering to the musical gods. There is a place at the table for anyone seeking an answer.

Danielle L.

San Diego, CA
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Ferlyn F.

San Diego, CA
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John H.

San Diego, CA
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Danielle L. San Diego, CA

Subjects Taught

Acting, Broadway Singing, Music Performance, Music Recording, Singing, Songwriting, Speaking Voice

About Me

Hello Students / Parents!

I specialize in providing a fun, inspiring and safe space for each student to reach their goals €“ whether that be for the novice singer whose been wrongfully told they €œshouldn't sing,€ the more experienced singer looking to branch out into doing more with their music or doing it professionally, or the budding songwriter, actor or speaker looking to develop the talent and drive they feel within them.

I always remember the encouragement, patience and inspiration I received from my best teachers, and strive to provide exactly that to my own students. I sing and teach most vocal styles, with the exception of opera, and utilize our studio to create a supportive, empowering experience singing, writing and recording. I absolutely love to teach both children and adults and look forward to learning how to best support each one of my students in their individual path toward realizing their potential.

Here's a bit about my background and musical experience:

€ Bachelors of Fine Arts degree (Theatre/Voice) from United States International University €“ Graduated Valedictorian
€ Chula Vista School of Creative and Performing Arts €“ Graduated Valedictorian
Workshops and studying with Bill Doyle, Roy Mote, Andrew Barnicle, Jack Tygett, Leanne Summers, among others.

"After seeing Danielle, I was impressed with her intensity as a performer. Her ability to get behind a lyric was stunning, she lives every line. As an artistic performer, I've yet to see better."
-Tony Ferguson / Interscope Records: No Doubt, Bush, Fisher

My original band, Danielle and The Masses, has been recording and performing live since 2001. We are endorsed by Ani Difranco, The Black Eyed Peas, The Bruce Hornsby Band, and have shared the stage with artists as Jamie Foxx, CAKE, Metric, En Vogue, David Byrne, Berlin, Margaret Cho, Cyndi Lauper, Jonatha Brooke, Beth Hart, Semi Precious Weapons and more.

I have written and performed music and voice over for Ace Ventura, Nutty Professor, VH1, various TV shows and independent documentaries, Eveoke Dance Theatre, among others, as well as having recorded eight professional CDs of various styles on various record labels.

For over ten years, my record / production company, Say It Records has been producing socially conscious music events throughout San Diego and Southern California that promote independent music, film, art, community and human rights. I also co-own Durga Sound, a teaching and production studio, with producer Alicia Champion, as well as San Diego IndieFest, a powerful community event which promotes and supports music, film, art and civic engagement.

I have a great time utilizing my contacts in the industry to help my students get work/ press / entrance into the schools of their choice, etc. For example, I'm happy to report that just last year we were able to book eight musicians on GLEE, as well as lots more in other capacities including using their music in commercials and film and helping them get cast in local theatre and accepted into arts-centered schools.

*** Lesson Details ***
I start on the first lesson by becoming clear about what the new student's goals and desires are €“ from there, we start developing technique to achieve those goals along with having fun right away doing what they came for - singing, writing, voice over, acting or using a combination of these things be it for professional purposes or personal fulfillment. Every lesson is personally customized to meet the specific goals of each student. As a teacher, I'm encouraging and fun, passionate and positive. While I'm definitely not "strict", I do appreciate focus and drive. However, I often work with people who have special needs and are working on developing those very things. I'm especially good at helping people through progress plateaus, roadblocks, stage fright, loss/ stress. Using music as a means of release and healing - for both kids and adults - is something I do a lot of and am very comfortable with.

As far as technique is concerned, I focus on utilizing posture, correct breathing and developing relaxed, strong support, so that the muscles are developed properly and without stress, enabling the student's voice to constantly grow while also steering clear of the injury that can accompany the straining that often happens when singing without proper technique.

I strongly encourage students to record their lessons on a mobile device so they can practice easily on their own, and so they eventually have a record of how far they've grown.
We mostly use tracks to develop repertoire, prepare for auditioning and performances, and to have fun singing the music that excites each student the most.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Apple Mac Pro Quad Core running OS 10.8.3
Avid Pro Tools 10 HDX
Propellor Reason 4.0
UA 2-610 Microphone Pre-amp
UA LA-610 Microphone Pre-amp and Compressor
UA Teletronix LA2A Compressor/ Limiter
Behringer ADA 8000
more...

*** Specialties ***
Using music, writing and voice as a means of expressing yourself, growing as a performance artist, coping in challenging times, as well as a means of going professional and earning income are all areas I specialize in. Utilizing proper technique and learning how to sing / speak safely is also an area I focus on a great deal.

Learning precisely what each student wants is the key factor in my decision on how to achieve their goals. For example, using Speech Level Singing is definitely entrenched in my teaching, but I may not highlight it as much for those who want a more classical sound.

I definitely excel with the following: first timers, very young kids, students working through stage fright, artists looking to develop their own original project, those seeking growth in their process of writing / recording / performing, those who are interested in using music and / or writing as therapy as well as with amateurs who've always wanted to do something musical but who think they are "too old" or too "untalented/short/tall/ fill in the blank" to try. I believe we all have something to say with our lives - finding the voice within you can be an incredibly powerful and transformative experience!

Ferlyn F. San Diego, CA

Subjects Taught

Ballet, Ballroom Dance, Breakdancing, Choreography, Composition, Contemporary Dance, Dance, Dance Choreography, Dance Fitness, Hip Hop Dance, Jazz Dancing, Latin Ballroom Dance, Modern Dance, Piano, Salsa Dancing, Songwriting, Swing Dance, Tango, Tap Dance, Theatrical Dance

About Me

Biography:
Ferlyn started at the budding age of 5 with moves that can entertain. While as a freestyle and street dancer, she emulated Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Michael Jackson as a few of her inspirations. In Los Angeles, she earned her Baccalaureate in Theatre Arts and Dance with a Dance emphasis at California State University, Los Angeles. With training in modern, breaking, popping, locking, tap, jazz and ballet alongside notable mentors and instructors, she traversed on and off campus trailing choreography for Weddings, Birthdays, and in multiple shows, including the Spring Forward Dance Concert in 2004 and Cal State LA's Moving Dance Images: Children's Show Tour, and becoming an advanced member of the Cal State LA Jazz Tap Corps and the campus' hip hop crew, Team Flight.

Her experience grew after college as the Dance Choreographer & Director for Crenshaw Arts/Tech Charter High School's dance troupe, CATCH Kids, a troupe renowned for being featured on the Tyra Banks Show and catching the eyes of a few known performers such as Tommy The Clown, Debbie Allen, and Janet Jackson. She also worked as a Dance Instructor in various studios such as the American Vive Dance Foundation, King's Dance Center, Expressions Dance and Movement Center, and Kruciaal Element's Dancehouse. Recently, she has worked with Kruciaal Element Dance Company as the previous Assistant Director and part of their freestyle dance crew, Stylematix, and has done shows and performances across San Diego County and in Los Angeles, including Monster Bash San Diego, Mardi Gras in The Gaslamp District, Dancescape, The Hot Spot Alhambra and The Moxie Showcase.

As a current resident of San Diego and the CEO & Director of 3 Be3ts Dance Company, she is working on several upcoming pieces and providing a studio that integrates the dance community and industry, with a side of the 3 Heart-"Be3ts". It is in their mission at 3 Be3ts Dance Company "to provide a collaborative and supportive dance environment as well as actively develop a dancer's life, culture and well-being." Additionally, she has extensive knowledge and experience in Filipino traditional dance, ballroom, social and line dancing, as well as a background in stage management, set design, and vocal training. She continues to express her passions and talents, especially motivating others to find their true inner dancer and choreographer.

*** Lesson Details ***
DANCE LESSONS:
At 3 Be3ts Dance Studio, we have an amazing speaker system, nice new wood laminate floors, and mirrors!
All lessons are provided via movement.

I will provide a speaker system and the dance lessons for On-Site (Traveling) Lessons.
It is necessary to provide at least an 8 foot by 8 foot clearance of space and concrete, wood, vinyl or laminate flooring.
If space is away from an outlet, please provide an extension cord.

Dancer must have ready the following for class:
- Towel
- Water
- Comfortable Clothing
- Appropriate Shoes:
----For Tap Dance Classes: Hard-Soled Shoes are recommended for Concrete and Vinyl (outside) flooring.
----For Wood and Laminate flooring: Please make sure all screw-in taps (not bolted) are in the toe and heel of taps on Tap Shoes.

[Dance shoes and outfits are not included in cost of lessons; however, I will recommend places to buy these items.]

PIANO LESSONS:
At the studio and instructor's site, we have a Full 88-Key Digital Piano for all piano lessons!
I will provide the piano.

I WILL NOT have a digital piano provided for On-Site (Travel) Lessons. Please have an upright, grand or digital piano ready (76 keys or more is ok; a Full 88-key Keyboard or Piano is recommended).

For Advanced Piano Lessons: A Full 88-key Keyboard or Piano is necessary.

[Piano books, notebooks and supplementary materials are not included in cost of lessons; however, I will recommend places to buy these items.]

*** Specialties ***
Dance:
Hip Hop, Breaking, Popping, Locking, Whacking, House, Bebop Tap, Contemporary, Modern, Jazz and Ballet.
Over 15 years of experience and training.
Taught various dance genres since 2005.

Piano:
Classical Pianist for over 20+ years.
Taught Piano for over 10 years.

John H. San Diego, CA

Subjects Taught

Abstract Painting, Acoustic Guitar, Drawing, Music Recording, Oil Painting, Painting, Singing, Songwriting

About Me

I was born into poverty in the mountains of West Virginia in 1971. My Grandparents raised me alongside six of their daughters and one son. A small house filled with 10 people meant that we never had much food or space. The environment to which I was born created a debilitating introversion that plagued me during my youth. To say I was "shy" would be a monumental understatement! Creating Artwork, coupled with my love of nature, gave me a voice when I had no words.

In my late teens I found that, by challenging myself to reach out when my introversion was closing me in, I could achieve things that seemed unimaginable to me just years before. College, travel, performing -“ they were all such impossible dreams. But those dreams just would not fade. At age 20, I was accepted to Berea College, in Berea, KY; a college where low-income students with promise can attend tuition-free. Art had given me a voice, and now it had given me a path to education.

Being the first, and only member of my family to ever achieve such a feet, I was determined to use my time in college to the fullest. And so I did! After my freshman year, I traveled to Florence, Italy to study Art and Italian Culture for the summer. It was a trip that would change my life! Prior to traveling to Italy, I rarely left the small region I was from. I had never seen the ocean. I had never been on a plane. All of that changed in the summer of 1992 when I swallowed my fears and grabbed hold of a dream.

While walking along the Arno River in Florence, I could practically hear Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo speaking to me, encouraging me (oddly, in English!). I could feel the Artistic energy that flowed from past to present and into me. I imagined walking the same path the great Artists had. I had never been so inspired to create. Painting, sculpture, printmaking, music, poetry, photography;“ all things creative called to me after that visit to Italy. I felt truly alive for the first time in my life. I had broken through that final shell of introversion - that shell that had kept me so safe and so sad for so long. All I could think was, "Thank you Leo, and thank you Mike!"

After college, and with a finite amount of time available outside of working in the environmental field, I left my Artistic side on the shelf, in favor of my musical self. For 10 years I focused my energies on three distinctive musical projects and rarely produced visual art outside of the occasional commissioned piece. That imbalance changed when my wife, Amy, and I moved from Kentucky to San Diego in early 2008. Once we settled in on the West Coast, I felt something I had not felt in quite a while: Artistic inspiration. I could have sworn that Leo and Mike were wagging their fingers at me, asking where I had been for so many years!

With my muse back, and the lovely, blue sky above me, I immediately thought back to what inspired me as a child: beauty in form, and beauty in nature. Having grown up around so many women and so many trees, it was only a matter of time before I combined them both into one. And the Art Nouveau style seemed a perfect way to do just that!

Through the years, I have come to realize one important thing about myself, no matter how many times I have ignored it: I was born to create. Born to create Art and born to create music. All those years I spent without a voice, and now I cannot seem to keep quiet!

Songwriting With TakeLessons

TakeLessons offers private in-studio and in-home Songwriting in Valley Center and nearby areas. Learn how write songs by working with a qualified TakeLessons instructor. Review Valley Center Songwriting teacher profiles and contact a friendly TakeLessons student counselor by phone or email for assistance with scheduling your Songwriting lessons.

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

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