Berkeley Music Lessons

Looking for private in-home or in-studio lessons? Our Berkeley teachers are ready to get you started. Find your teacher today!

Use your current location
Featured On

Popular Music Lessons in Berkeley, CA

How it Works

From finding the perfect teacher to managing payments, scheduling and tracking your progress,
we take care of all the details, so you can focus on learning. Learn More

Search for a teacher

Compare hundreds of teachers based on the criteria that matter to you, including background checks, age and experience.

Schedule your lessons

When you've found the perfect match, schedule your lessons online using the teacher's real-time availability.

GetStarted
BrowseListings

Connect with your teacher

Your teacher will welcome you with a personalized curriculum to meet your specific goals and you'll be able to manage your entire schedule through our free online account.

Can't find a teacher in Berkeley?

No problem. Our online lesson platform connects you with any teacher, anywhere. All you
need is a reliable Internet connection, a webcam and a microphone.

 
Online

Convenient

Zero travel time is great for a busy schedule.

Affordable

Typically priced lower than local lessons.

Effective

Online students stick with lessons as long as local students.

Learn More

Music Lesson Reviews from Students

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

And they're not alone! Our teachers have taught
1 , 2 6 5 , 5 7 1
lessons and counting!

Popular Music Teachers Near Berkeley

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

Showing 5 of 168 results View More
367219_9kvvfyzslvhfqf24kkws

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

Silhouette-80
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!
Thumb_45460_pi_close_shot-crop-medium
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!
Silhouette-80
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.
View More
View Profile
John D.

John D.

Berkeley, CA 94708
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
289281_ckr94dlj5785xt82k7lh

Roger K.

Emeryville, CA

About Roger

Drawing on solid jazz theory and technique, Roger is comfortable in a variety of performing and teaching situations. He currently plays all around the bay area in a variety of settings ranging from backing 50's swing and latin dance bands, accompanying singer-songwriters, to leading progressive and chamber jazz projects. Over the last six years, he has taught children and adults of all agents, both in private practice and in classroom settings, while remaining sensitive to the needs and potential of each individual student.

Roger studied jazz performance and composition under Myra Melford a
nd Bryan Pardo at UC Berkeley where he received a Bachelors degree.

*** Lesson Details ***
I like to focus on each student's unique strengths and use them to overcome their trouble spots rather than adhere to a strict curriculum. Students typically get a few exercises (usually to simplify a complex problem) to work on after every lesson, and usually show marked improvement after a few weeks of practice.

Common problems include, but are not limited to:
Recognizing and learning rhythms and strumming patterns
Developing fluidity in lines and chords
Expanding soloing techniques and tricks
Problems with pain and repetitive stress

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect my students to have their own instruments. I can provide everything else that is necessary, including music stands, metronome, etc..

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in jazz, though I can teach to most genres and styles because of my emphasis on technique
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Shawna S. June 22, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Roger was very friendly and clearly interested in tailoring the lessons to my goals. Off to a good start!
Silhouette-80
Sandra N. June 25, 2013
Guitar
Great attitude, patient and professional

Roger is a patient teacher who helped me get some of the fundamentals of guitar down. He is very professional and worked with me to reach my goals. He also has a positive attitude and would be great for students at any level.
View More
View Profile
Roger K.

Roger K.

Emeryville, CA 94608
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
224264_429334_43117

Kristen K.

Berkeley, CA

About Kristen

My name is Kristen K. and I am an accomplished violinist and teacher from Lexington, Kentucky. I began my musical studies at age 7 and quickly discovered my passion and love for music. As a young musician, I attended numerous summer music festivals, participated in the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra. I was a winner of two concerto competitions, which gave me the opportunity to perform solos with the youth orchestra. I continued my studies at the University of Kentucky as a Violin Performance major and it was there that I discovered my love for teaching music! After completing my performance
degree, I decided to also pursue a Bachelor’s in Music Education. During my college career, I served as a teaching assistant in the University of Kentucky String Project, I taught group and private lessons at several local middle and high schools, and also maintained my own private violin and viola studio. I was also awarded the McCracken Scholarship Award for Excellence in Music Education. The most rewarding part of teaching has been seeing my students continually improve and reach their goals!

In addition to teaching, I also am an avid performer. I have been a member of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra for 7 years and was a member of the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. I perform as a soloist, in chamber groups, and in orchestras regularly at various events and concerts. In the past few years I have attended international chamber music festivals in Prague, Czech Republic and in Lucca, Italy. I have also had the opportunity to perform with some of the world’s most renowned musicians including Itzhak Perlman, Midori, and Gil Shaham in additional to performing in the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and in Carnegie Hall in New York City. Studying music has provided me with many wonderful opportunities to learn and to grow. It is my goal to help students really love and enjoy playing music and develop the skills that allow us to share the magic of beautiful sound. Maintaining a high level of mastery as well as continuing to learn about the art of teaching are fundamentally equal and of highest priority for me. Through teaching music, I hope to inspire students and help them reach their potential.

*** Lesson Details ***
My teaching style is relaxed and understanding of where each student is at, while always maintaining a quick pace for learning new skills and always expecting the student to put forth their best effort. I am very encouraging and positive. I work with each student and his or her parents to determine short and long term goals and try to best provide the materials, instruction and motivation to achieve those goals!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in the living room, well lit, piano, music stands

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in teaching classical music but I also teach bluegrass and fiddle. I particularly like the Suzuki Method for beginning to intermediate students, but when they become more advanced I begin to incorporate concertos and sonatas.
...

Reviews

Thumb_53890_pi_On%20My%20Way%20to%20Alcatraz
Anthony Atthowe A. July 7, 2015
Viola · In studio
Verified Student
Kristen is a great teacher and very knowledgeable of her instruments. She teaches at a comfortable pace that will urge you to practice more and learn, without out pacing her students. I highly recommend her as an instructor.
Silhouette-80
Sheng H. January 19, 2015
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
She is really nice and sweet. I learned a lot from her and she always provide the best advice and material that can help me to solve my difficulties.
Silhouette-80
Sam F. December 12, 2014
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Kristen is a technically robust, patient and works with the student to ensure progress.
View More
View Profile
Kristen K.

Kristen K.

Berkeley, CA 94704
(11)
starting at
$27 / 30-min
Profile_57666_pi_10357467_10152425996304871_5247723193626659742_n

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 will be returning to Mills College in the Fall to pursue a Music MFA in Performance and Literature with a specialization in Improvisation.
I have taught beginner violin and Hebrew 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 22 year old woman and have experience teaching (on and off) since 2006. I lo
ok forward to learning with you!
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Wendy B. Fischer July 28, 2015
Violin · In home
Verified Student
My daughter was reticent to take violin lessons but really likes Honor and learning how to play the violin from Honor. Honor makes it fun and engaging. While I can't convince my daughter certain things are 'cool' in music, all it takes is one word from Honor and my daughter is on it.
Silhouette-80
Seth W. June 7, 2015
Hebrew · In home
Verified Student
Great, engaging and interesting Hebrew lesson and a caring, competent instructor. Definitely 5 star experience - highly recommended!
Silhouette-80
tricia R. February 20, 2015
Violin · In home
Verified Student
Lessons with Honor are wonderful. After just one lesson, my daughter was able to play significantly better and she continues to improve. Thanks Honor!
View More
View Profile
Honor L.

Honor L.

Oakland, CA 94609
(4)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
Profile_71595_pi_Carmen_Color_01

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

Silhouette-80
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!
Silhouette-80
Maria Farah Gwendolyn R. July 23, 2015
Drum · In home
Verified Student
Effective instructor. She spreads positivity and makes learning fun. The best indeed!
Silhouette-80
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.
View More
View Profile
Carmen C.

Carmen C.

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

Recent Music Articles from the Blog

Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, check out the Music articles on our blog.

8-Year-Old Girl is Gnarliest Guitar Shredder Ever

I'm willing to bet that "playing like a girl" will stop being an insult within this little lady's lifetime! At just 8 years old, Lisa-X is able to play rapid fire metal solos that will melt your face off and blow your mind. She's smaller than her guitar, but she sure knows how to make it sound big and mighty. Plus, the sweet grin she gives the camera as she's bending a note around 1:46? Priceless! Child prodigies like Lisa are absolutely amazing, but there's really no wrong age to star … Read More
8-Year-Old Girl is Gnarliest Guitar Shredder Ever
I'm willing to bet that "playing like a girl" will stop being an insult within this little lady's lifetime! At just 8 years old, Lisa-X is able to play rapid fire metal solos that will melt your face off and blow your mind. She's smaller than her guitar, but she sure knows how to make it sound big and mighty. Plus, the sweet grin she gives the camera as she's bending a note around 1:46? Priceless! Child prodigies like Lisa are absolutely amazing, but there's really no wrong age to star
Logic Pro Tutorial: How To Create An Audio Slow-Down Effect
Want to add a cool slow-down effect to your music? Learn how in this Logic Pro tutorial from Brevard, NC teacher John C...   If you've listened to popular radio in the past several years, and I’m guessing you have, you've heard either a vocal melody line or an instrumental part of a song make a particular effect. Listen to the following Fall Out Boy song and pay attention to the music in the background at 00:27 seconds, again at 1:27, and once again at 2:27: Did you hear it? Th
Top 10 Websites for Learning Ukulele Chords
Surf the web with your uke with this must-bookmark list from music teacher Willy M.... When you start learning how to play the ukulele, you first learn a few simple chords, but it isn’t very long before you want to start learning more complex chords to play more advanced songs. So, to make this transition easier, I am going to present the top 10 websites I have found that will help you learn new ukulele chords. These websites are ones that I have found to be particularly helpful to my stu
Guide to Playing the Violin: Where Should I Start?
Playing an instrument is something many people long to be able to do well. Music sooths the soul, and there is just something inspiring about being able to play songs on your own! If you’re ready to get started, then here are some tips for playing the violin:  Getting a Violin First things first: you’ll need an instrument! Think about whether renting or buying a violin is a better option for you, as well as if you’ll need a professional or student violin. If you’re in it for the long haul,
Buying The Best Beginner Acoustic Guitar | What to Avoid
Looking for the best beginner acoustic guitar to purchase? Read on for some helpful advice from Perth Amboy, NJ guitar teacher Jeff S...   Selecting the right guitar teacher for you or your children is certainly a crucial decision and the choice you make can often dictate how well the lessons will go. Yet an often overlooked (and quite frankly, often-botched) step that needs to be carefully addressed before lessons begin is selecting the right size and type of beginner acoustic g

Get Started With Free Resources

Why TakeLessons?

Are You a Teacher?

Find out how TakeLessons can help you grow and manage your business

Learn More