Albany Music Lessons

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Music Lesson Reviews from Students

Students are raving about their Music instructors on TakeLessons. Check out some of these recent reviews.

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Popular Music Teachers Near Albany

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Albany including El Cerrito, Emeryville, Orinda, El Sobrante and Berkeley.

Showing 5 local results View More
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John D.

Berkeley, CA

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 and we lock

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.
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Vir M.

Berkeley, CA

About Vir

I am a graduate of U.C. Berkeley.;I have been teaching and performing music for over 15 years. I have toured the United States and other countries playing many types of music. I play Guitar and Bass and Sing   I teach in a fun style that emphasizes the students creativity.  Styles range from Rock, Folk, Electronic, Jazz,  African, World, Hip Hop to Country.  I can give you the skills to go to the next level.  From 5-99 years old! *** Lesson Details *** A typical lesson would look like this:  Depending on your level we would first work on some new chords and/or a new scale and how to play them.  We "jam" a little to get the feel.  I have a really great way of teaching theory that will get you playing what you want.  The second half we usually focus on learning a song of your choice or ...

Reviews

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caroline S. April 23, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Vir is a gifted teacher. He has taught my son guitar for more than a year. He meets my son where ever he's at in his practice, attention and interests with calm, skilled focus and intention . Vir's background as performing musician infuses his teaching with an enthusiasm and creativity of practicing his teaching. We are truly grateful for Vir.
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Alexander S. March 6, 2014
Singing
Verified Student
A Guru

Vir is beyond your typical vocal coach. He was a huge help on things like pitch accuracy and phrasing, but more than anything, his focus on getting me to tap into and harness my inner power has already paid huge dividends in my recordings and performances. Further, Vir is an amazing person to know and his home-studio in Berkeley is magnificent!
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David W.

Berkeley, CA

About David

Hi there, and thanks for viewing my TakeLessons profile! I am excited to be a part of the team in Berkeley, CA. I started teaching lessons while in music school for Classical Guitar in 1996. From 1998 onwards, I played with a variety of musicians from Africa and Latin America, as well the as great American traditions of gospel, funk, jazz, and bluegrass. All the while, I continued to study music theory and composition, on my own and in private lessons with both well-known players and local professionals. Flamenco and Indian Classical music have also been great interests which I am still involved with. Though guitar is generally my "go-to" instrument, I often use a MIDI keyboard for composition, and studied/performed on bass for 10 years. The last few years, I have begun to develop ...

Reviews

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Jerry G. August 6, 2013
Music Theory
AMAZING!

I met Dave in my music theory class at Ex'pression college. He's the reason why I'm making music today. I went from not knowing a thing about music theory or a piano to creating chord progressions, understanding modes, intervals, modal interchange, and how to read sheet music. He's extremely patient, professional, and easy to get along with. His passion for music and teaching is infectious, I highly recommend!!!
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Pedro L. April 28, 2013
Flamenco Guitar
Verified Student
great instructor!

I have learned so much in the little time I've been taking lessons with David.

Not only is he extremely talented, but he's also very patient when it comes to teaching (which is necessary when I don't grasp the techniques right away).

I started off as a beginner, knowing nothing about how to play the guitar, and am now recognizing notes and memorizing and playing full songs.

He is very flexible with hours, and genuinely has a passion for Flamenco music!

Two thumbs up!!
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Tristan J. February 2, 2013
Verified Student
Fun and tremendously helpful

I started taking lessons with David mostly because I felt a little "stuck"; I have a decent amount of experience, but that wasn't translating into real progress. After a few lessons, a lot of odd issues have cleared up and I can hear the difference when I mess around.

David's quite flexible. I'm not a real beginner, but more of an "intermediate" level. So our sessions tend to be driven by something I've done over the last week, as opposed to the "method driven approaches" that tend to happen with less experienced players. David usually acts like a mentor, giving me an absolute brain dump pretty much each session.

So far, I haven't ran into any subject he hasn't had a lot to show me, so I expect to learn a lot from him.
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Yonatan T.

Berkeley, CA

About Yonatan

Yonatan recently graduated from UC Santa Cruz, with a B.A. in classical guitar and electronic music. Since then, he has been teaching music full-time both in large classes and to individuals. When he is not teaching, he is performing with one of his folk, blues, or rock bands. Yonatan has enjoyed teaching music for over 3 years. He teaches Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Accordion, Theory, Ukulele, and songwriting. Throughout his childhood his musical education was non-traditional, as he learned to play by listening to the musicians that inspired him, and aimed to replicate their playing while defining his own style. Later in his life, he understood the benefit of formal training, which led him to receive a B.A. in music. For this reason, Yonatan's lessons incorporate both ways he ...

Reviews

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Matt W. October 30, 2014
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Yonatan is a fabulous teacher! He taught our 10 year old son beginning guitar and our 13 year old daughter advanced guitar and ukulele. He was a master at discovering our kids' interests and abilities and teaching them from where they were.He was very creative and motivating with our son, balancing his teaching by engaging our son in writing his own songs while also learning skills. Our daughter is more advanced and interested in playing others' songs and composing her own on guitar, ukulele, and piano - all of which Yona plays. Her playing and her confidence steadily improved with Yona's guidance. We highly recommend Yona for any age level. He is a kind and nurturing mentor and person.
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Roger F. October 27, 2014
Ukulele · In studio
Yona is awesome; not only a great musician but also can help a "rank beginner" like me. He is insightful, creative at helping me overcome various hurdles to learning how to play the Ukulele. He is a gem, and I highly recommend him for all levels of musical ability.
Thanks, Yona.
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Jessica S. December 18, 2013
Guitar
an amazing teacher for any level or age!

Yonatan has inspired my whole family into playing music. He is incredibly patient with my two children, who are each excited about learning both ukulele and banjo with him. I am taking guitar, and could not be more pleased with Yonatan's thoughtful and very effective approach to teaching. I have already improved so much and endorse him wholeheartedly.
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Leah M.

Berkeley, CA

About Leah

After graduating from Northwestern University's Musical Theatre program in 1999, Leah Martens began working professionally as a singer/songwriter, fronting a band for several years in Chicago and recording multiple CDs, as well as serving as a vocal coach for a youth theatre program. In 2006, upon becoming a mother, she opened her own music lessons studio, through which she began teaching private voice and guitar lessons. She also was certified and began teaching Kindermusik to babies to children age 7. Leah has also served as a worship pastor at a church, where she fronted a band each week, directed a gospel choir, and continued to write and record music. Leah now lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and three children.

Reviews

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iris M. April 16, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Wonderful experience! Leah is a great teacher, super patient, and taught me some good guitar fundamentals. Highly recommend :)
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Kate C. February 8, 2015
Guitar · In home
Leah worked with my daughter for over a year on vocal and guitar lessons. My daughter looked forward to the lessons, learned important methodology and was motivated to practice hours a day on her own. Leah always went above and beyond expectations. When my daughter had auditions or performances, I could call Leah and she would be sure to find some extra time to help her. Leah is very creative, extremely knowledgeable and has a passion for music. This passion motivated my daughter to reach her highest potential. I am grateful for Leah’s work and would still be working with her if proximity was not an issue.
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Emilia S. January 19, 2015
Singing · In home
Such a wonderful and passionate teacher! Leah was so helpful with preparing musical auditions I had, but she also was able to guide me in some more classical literature I was working on. My singing range and belt definitely improved during my time with Leah. So sad she moved!

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