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 Emeryville, Berkeley, Orinda, El Cerrito and El Sobrante.

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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 student
s 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 into a groove. For piano students, I play along with drums or percussion. It's important for students to learn how to play with others, and to listen and get inspired by what's around them.

Students will have the option to perform in a student recital where you are backed by a band of professional musicians!

***John D.'s Biography***

I was born in Amsterdam, Holland, where my father worked as an opera singer. While listening to vocal warm-up arpeggios, my mother bounced me on her knee and taught me rhythms and rhymes.

In my family we beatbox, play piano, and sing together. The family moved to the States in 1995 where my parents worked as music teachers. My Dad is a voice professor at the University of Wisconsin, and my Mom runs an amazing music program at Country View Elementary School in Verona, WI.

I played in the band program throughout high-school and had an amazing and demanding music teacher and highly talented friends. The drumset became my passion and I played, blissfully and recklessly, as often possible. Our teacher took the high school band on a concert tour of Europe in 2002 in Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy.

The band program led me to classical and contemporary music at the University of Wisconsin, where I honed my craft and discovered the profound breadth of music around the world. I paid my way through college as a member of the WI Army National Guard Band, a great wind ensemble with jazz and rock band components, and slowly built a career as a musician. I took every gig that came my way and created my own if nobody was calling. Pretty soon I became "œthe guy in, like, 8 different bands", including Funk, Rock, Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and West African bands. I've been working as a musician ever since, performing several nights per week, and teaching during the day.

I began teaching drum lessons to my friends when I was about 18 and realized I was really good at it. I began taking on private students and teaching group lessons and classes. Students of mine have achieved the highest ranks at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival in Wisconsin, and auditioned into the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra. I am on the annual faculty Wildcat Percussion Camp, was adjunct faculty at New York University, and directed the world percussion ensemble at the University of Wisconsin. I've worked as a teacher with the Madison Area School District, Wisconsin Youth Company, YMCA, Global Arts to Go, University Settlement, and in many different public schools in the New York metro area. I taught a high school class called "The Spirit of Jazz", and

I've learned how to be a real teacher, to put myself in your shoes to help you achieve your potential as a drummer, and as a musician. My teaching style is to de-mystify the art of percussion: getting great sounds out of the drums, being prepared for any style, practicing productively, and focusing your mind.

I have a Bachelor's degree in classical percussion from the University of Wisconsin, a Masters degree in Jazz Performance from NYU, and have traveled to Africa, Europe, and Latin America to perform, record, and study. I have performed with Badal Roy (Miles Davis), Chris Potter, Kenny Werner, Brad Shepik, Lenny Pickett, Chuchito Valdez, and many other great musicians. I was Adjunct Faculty at NYU'™s jazz program, and at the University of Wisconsin dance program. I've given masterclasses at Juilliard, University of Michigan, Lawrence Conservatory, and many other colleges. I played for 5 months in the Off-Broadway show "Fun Home", and toured and gigged with a wide variety of bands.

I've recorded on nearly 20 albums and have been involved in many other projects. Ask me anything you want in our music lessons!
...

Reviews

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Nicole B. May 31, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
John's great. Patient, encouraging, and very good at teaching new skills and correcting bad habits.
Silhouette-80
Kameron February 23, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Very impressed with his teaching methods and my son feels very comfortable with John.
Silhouette-80
Eva L. September 25, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Our son enjoys working with John. He is very patient with young kids. I am amazed at what he's learned in a year!
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John D.

John D.

Berkeley, CA 94708
(9)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Mack R.

Oakland, CA

About Mack

I have a BS in music education received at Lehman College, Bronx, NY. I am a professional musician/ composer/ arranger.I received my teaching credentials at SFSU and have been a General music teacher as well as a, band teacher. I have studied trumpet with Classical ( Wilmer Wise)and Jazz musician (Bill Hardman) and big band arranging with Frank Foster( saxophonist and arranger with Count Basie Band). At present I am retired and teaching privately.

I have been teaching music for over 50 years as well as being a professional musician/ composer and arranger. I not only know my fundamentals ins
ide and out, but also I know many tricks of the trade. Over the years I have developed special teaching techniques that enable students to make sense out of music and progress rapidly on their instruments.I love playing music and aim at stirring that same kind of excitement abut music in my students.

To each lesson I bring a unique mix, encouraging the student to pursue excellence and also have fun. I am well qualified to teach: woodwinds( oboe, flute, clarinet, all saxophones) brass(french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba), and piano.

*** Lesson Details ***
I make music interesting to learn. I encourage students to practice daily so they can improve. The more they improve the more fun they can have with music not only alone, but with others.

I am very patient with my students especially with beginners. I know that for them it is like learning a new language. Once they begin to increase their musical vocabulary, they will enjoy what they can do with music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Seating for parents, basement studio, piano, drum set

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students should provide their own instruments.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Asher May 16, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Encouraging and engaging!
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Mandela D. March 31, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
My son can't wait to go back! He typically hate music lessons, but this time he was happy. I also love the fact that Mack didn't waste time with the usual useless speech that other music teachers in the past needed to go into before each lesson. Mack went straight into it, he showed my son exactly how to identify each key and that really made the first lesson better
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Gloria R. February 6, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Mr. Mack Is a very patient and great teacher.
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Mack R.

Mack R.

Oakland, CA 94607
(10)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Honor L.

Oakland, CA

About Honor

I am a recent graduate of Mills College in Oakland with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Religious Studies. I am currently pursuing a Music MFA in Performance and Literature at Mills College with a specialization in Improvisation.
I have taught beginner violin lessons to students of all ages, including preschoolers! I like to make learning fun and rewarding for kids and adults alike. I do my best to bring my passion for the subject into the lesson in order to pass it on!
I am a 23 year old woman and have experience teaching (on and off) since 2006. I look forward to learning with y
ou!
...

Reviews

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Marilee & Emilio N. July 29, 2016
Violin · In home
Verified Student
Honor is awesome. Out of the blue, my 8 year old son asked for violin lessons. I have never been very musical so I wasn't sure where to start. I looked at a few programs in my area but it nothing seemed like the right fit for us. I wanted someone who could nurture my son's new found love of the violin but not overwhelm him. I was getting a bit discouraged when I found Honor's profile on TakeLessons; she was the exact person I was looking for. In fact, I signed myself up for lessons too - you are never to old to learn something new. Our lessons have been great. My son is so much more comfortable having them at home. They are fun and challenging. My son is so excited I never have to remind him to practice - we love practicing together. We look forward to seeing Honor every week.
Silhouette-80
Kim K. July 28, 2016
Violin · In home
Verified Student
My 8 year old daughter asked us for violin lessons over a year ago. I found a teacher at a local music school who was lovely but whose personality didn't mesh well with my daughter's. After poking around online to find another teacher, I came across TakeLessons and Honor. I cannot be more thrilled to have her as my daughter's teacher. She is calm, patient, professional, and kind to all of us (including our dogs!). My daughter has blossomed under her teaching style, and discovered new types of music and ways of using musical instruments. Honor doesn't just teach notes and strings and songs, but imparts her love of music and musicality to her students. It's been a fantastic transformation in our daughter. I am so grateful that I found Honor when I did and was able to continue encouraging our daughter's love of the violin.

One of the things I really appreciate about Honor is how communicative she is, and how willing she is to answer questions. She's very clear with her families about her schedule, while providing as much flexibility as she can to ensure everyone's needs are addressed.

Honor is fabulous! Our younger daughter is anxiously awaiting her chance to be old enough to also get her lessons with Honor, and I will happily sign her up when the times comes.
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Wendy B. Fischer July 26, 2016
Violin · In home
Verified Student
Honor is a great violin teacher but needs to learn how to mature as an adult and a professional if she wishes to continue teaching violin lessons. Just because there's some upheaval in a family's life doesn't mean it's the teacher's call to drop a talented student that looks forward to the teacher's visits. It's the parents and the teacher's together. Parents should have a clear understanding why the child is being dropped so they don't make the same mistakes with the next teacher. It's one thing to have 3 strikes and you are out; it's another to drop a child at the last minute without a clear reason thereof, particularly if the child really likes the teacher, is good at playing, and looks forward to the teacher's visits.

If a teacher is dropping a student, then let the parents know exactly why. Don't leave the parents and the child without closure, particularly the chid. Get a plan in place so the parents and student are left looking at the last moment to find another teacher that fits the child's personality and style of playing. Honor is fairly flexible with scheduling and will come to your home, or teach classes at Mills College.

The one thing I did find with Honor was she was inconsistent with her scheduling, often canceling at the last moment due to classes and performances for her graduate degree. I respect that. Graduate school should come first at this point in her life, but it got to be too much several weeks in a row. Her scheduling is flexible which is great, but she will charge you if you cancel a lesson that is less than 24 hours. The parents cannot do the same.

If she is teaching violin lessons, that is her profession. She needs to learn how to balance personal life with work life better, communicate clearly with parents and students, and set personal boundaries with parents and students.

I appreciate the year with Honor. She is a great violin teacher, and has a good repertoire with the kids.She is good for beginner and mid level children and adult students. My daughter and I both learned a lot, and I'm sad with her decision to part ways. I respect her decision, but am completely unsure why she dropped us. I'm guessing it was us the parent and not the child.

Lesson learned, keep a brick wall between the teacher and the family. Don't let people in, particularly in times when consistency and compassion are needed. And really Honor, all it takes is for a 45 year old thyroid patient getting her thyroid out to finally cry at her doctor 'My endocrine system is talking to me, make it stop' and for him to give her one pill, a beta blocker, which sets that all aside. Unfortunately I'm still ticked off at the doctor for finally telling me I'm in the thyroid hallucination phase and not telling me far earlier, like 16 weeks ago. But he's not on takelessons.com and I still need him. As much of an idiot as he is, he's a great doctor. It did cost us the relationship with the violin teacher, however.

Wendy
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Honor L.

Honor L.

Oakland, CA 94609
(12)
starting at
$34.43 / 30-min
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Nicole B.

Emeryville, CA

About Nicole

I'm a cellist in the San Francisco Academy Orchestra, and have been teaching students both privately and in groups for the past ten years. Any age or level accepted and any genre of music that you want to learn!
...

Reviews

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Mitch G. April 7, 2016
Cello · In studio
Verified Student
Great first lesson. We went over the basics of the cello and quickly jumped to something a little more difficult to match my skill level. Can't wait to practice and learn more.
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Sophie February 22, 2016
Cello · In home
Verified Student
My very shy daughter was thrilled with her first lesson. I hope for many more to go!
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Nicole B.

Nicole B.

Emeryville, CA 94608
(2)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Marissa K.

Emeryville, CA

About Marissa

I am a singer/songwriter/guitarist and I have been playing and singing for over 10 years. I have played many high-profile gigs including the St. Petersburg Pride Fest and Tampa Gasparilla Festival. I am very excited to teach and work with many different learning styles. If you want a dedicated guitar teacher with lessons that work with your style and pace of learning, hit me up!

Book 10 lessons and get the 11th for free!
...

Reviews

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Lore July 26, 2016
Marissa is an excellent music teacher!
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Lore E. June 22, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
The lesson witharissa was great!
Silhouette-80
Brie April 29, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Very effective teacher, knowledgeable and patient. Highly recommend!
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Marissa K.

Marissa K.

Emeryville, CA 94608
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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