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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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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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John D.

John D.

Berkeley, CA 94708
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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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 in
volved 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 my voice as well.

Since 2006, I have been teaching music theory and composition at Ex’pression College in Emeryville. This is a digital production environment for the arts, and my students come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are musicians/aspiring musicians, and some are primarily interested in working with technology; but all are audio enthusiasts and love music!

*** Lesson Details ***
Whether you are a complete beginner or have been playing gigs for years, are very young or old, I have something to offer you!

How we structure lessons depends in part on you and your goals, as well as your learning style. Having taught music for over 15 years, I have a large amount of resources at my disposal, and can either teach from a method book, or a variety of materials, some of which are my own creations.

I also like to use technology as a teaching aid, and can show you how to use your own computer, keyboard, or music production application (garageband, etc) to practice and create music at home. Another thing that I offer is to make recordings of key parts of the lesson, either as an audio or video file, or both. These can be shared with you through email, dropbox, or a flash drive if you bring one along to your lesson.

Please contact TakeLessons if you have any further questions! I look forward to meeting and working with you or your child.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home studio: Front room with computer station, guitars, music stand. Waiting area with couches and table, and parents can sit in on lessons. Street parking available, no pets.

College: practice rooms and classrooms available with computers and MIDI controllers.

*** Specialties ***
On guitar and bass, I have experience in world music including Africa, Latin America, and Flamenco. I also love American traditional music, including funk, jazz, rock, and gospel. I specialize in teaching music theory and composition, no matter what instrument. Rhythmic concepts applied to any instrument are a favorite topic.
...

Reviews

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Debora Haaxman August 21, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
What a nice, enthusiastic and great instructor with the students best interest in learning to play. David is personable, easy going and wants his student to succeed. Took his time to find me (a total beginner in guitar) an excellent lesson book. His instruction motivates me and find his lessons very interesting anf fun! Can't wait to practice and look forward to my next lesson!
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Ian C. July 30, 2015
Flamenco Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
David is an excellent teacher. I've been taking flamenco guitar lessons with him for about a year now and have experienced a significant improvement in terms of actual playing and rhythmic abilities and also understanding the music in general.

David is patient, he does an excellent job explaining things and goes above and beyond to make sure that you're really learning. Consistently impressed.
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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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David W.

David W.

Berkeley, CA 94703
(9)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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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 de
fining 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 learned music, which include identifying your interests and inspirations, while also giving you the exercises and techniques needed to improve your skills.

Yonatan is an award-winning songwriter, performer, and teacher with an amazing ability to inspire his students.

*** Lesson Details ***
Offer in studio lessons with 30, 45, or 1 hour lessons. Inquire for more details.

*** Studio Equipment ***
guitar (electric or acoustic), piano, accordion, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, music stands and good lighting.

*** Travel Equipment ***
everything needed for a great session in your home!

*** Specialties ***
Genres: Blues, Rock, Folk, Fingerstyle, Classical, Bluegrass, Americana, Indie, Pop, Electronic.

Skills: Ear Training, Theory, Songwriting, Composition, Recording, Performance Techniques, Singing, Mufti-Instrumentalist
...

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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Yonatan T.

Yonatan T.

Berkeley, CA 94703
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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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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Leah M.

Leah M.

Berkeley, CA 94703
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Carmen C.

Emeryville, CA

About Carmen

I have been a teacher and performer in the San Francisco Bay area for over 30 years.

I teach Rock, Blues, Jazz, Funk, Latin, and Classical styles on drum set and percussion instruments.

I provide all of the sheet music as well as the recordings that I utilize for the student's assignments.

I also provide Sibelius drum music, so that the student can play along with the music with their Ipad or other device.
...

Reviews

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Kay D. August 28, 2015
Drum · In studio
Carmen is top notch! She has been teaching our children for five years, and has been extraordinary all the way. It began when she personally delivered a used drum set to our home that she hand selected for us. Then it continues with her high energy and motivational techniques to make the lessons fun - yet challenging and exciting as well. Technology is engaged to maintain the experience at home.

Carmen's communication is second to none as well. We often work during the lessons and a sitter drives the kids to their lessons. Carmen makes sure to follow up with us (when needed) regarding lesson plans, areas to improve, and even readiness for future tasks. In a word - amazing!

We are so grateful to have Carmen as the person to foster in our children a lifelong love of music and an eagerness to learn about it. Thanks, Carmen!
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Maria Farah Gwendolyn R. July 23, 2015
Drum · In home
Verified Student
Effective instructor. She spreads positivity and makes learning fun. The best indeed!
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Agata O. June 1, 2015
Drum · In studio
Carmen has been teaching drums to my now 10-year old son for three years. Her patience, extensive repertoire of teaching methods always adapted to his learning style and progress, her contagious energy and her love of all things drums kept my son's motivation high and let him grow his abilities. I am very proud and impressed when he reads drums scores or figures out the beat of a song. Perhaps the two hardest parts for this young man were learning to play with the metronome and regularly practicing his rudiments. Carmen's many teacher's tricks, including books, posters, recordings, apps and well timed challenges with awesome awards have helped him stay on track.

Carmen keeps detailed notes about each of her students so her attention is always spot on and personalized. She makes herself available for any questions outside the classroom. A great person to be around and a talented musician, Carmen will find a way to make you into the drummer you dream to be.
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Carmen C.

Carmen C.

Emeryville, CA 94608
(15)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

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