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Popular Music Teachers Near Berkeley

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

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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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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

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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!
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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.
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Roger K.

Roger K.

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

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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.
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Sam F. December 12, 2014
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Kristen is a technically robust, patient and works with the student to ensure progress.
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Anthony Atthowe A. November 18, 2014
Viola · In studio
Verified Student
If I could write anything to hope that you choose Kristen to teach you, imagine it here: _______. That said. She is Amazing, Fantastic, Patient, Fun, Understand, did I say Patient!? I am a 28 year old man that is learning Viola as his "2nd" real instrument. I play piano well, and "campfire" guitar. Kristen is teaching me to read Alto clef and play the Viola. She is teaching at MY pace and not complaining when I come in without having the most practice time accomplished throughout the prior week. She has a flexible schedule and is available for communication (email and phone) between lessons (I've rescheduled many times because my work hours are not constant). She's Great! I hope you let her teach you! Thank you for reading.
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Kristen K.

Kristen K.

Berkeley, CA 94704
(10)
starting at
$27 / 30-min
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Jacob R.

Berkeley, CA

About Jacob

I have tutored students of math and have given drum lessons since my second year of college. I've tutored students of all levels of math, from 6th grade mathematics to all college math subjects. I have given drum lessons to beginners and intermediate students, and I engage the students in ear training as well so that they can be more well-rounded musicians. I put an emphasis on catering my teaching to a student's method of learning, so that they feel comfortable and so that we get the best results!
...

Reviews

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Christy M. June 22, 2015
Drum · In home
Verified Student
Jacob has been an awesome teacher for my teenage daughter, Quinn - who started very much from scratch with the drums. He is super patient, and brings an enthusiasm and clear love for music that is contagious and inspiring. He was able to weave in a lot of basic music foundation for her, and helped her progress at a pace that was appropriately challenging without being intimidating or discouraging. He helped her learn the fundamentals, but also let her apply them as patterns to songs and styles that interested her. If he wasn't moving away for school, we would love to continue with him, he's been a wonderful teacher. We'd recommend him in a heartbeat.
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Anya B. May 22, 2015
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Jacob does a great job teaching drums to my sons, 6 yrs and 8 yrs. He has a great ability to make the lessons both fun and instructional. He allows time for exploration and jamming, and also works in techniques and music reading instruction. He regularly checked in with me to see how I thought things were going, and was responsive to any requests I made. My kids love Jacob, and I would not hesitate to recommend him as an excellent teacher!
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Justin B. August 27, 2014
Drum · In studio
Jacob is teaching for his first time, but he knows how to guide his student as he had been a student of many different instructors. Jacob teaches the basics, the rudiments, and postures. I have taken drum lessons from different instructors, so I was confident that I was doing the right thing. However, Jacob helped me figure out bad habits that I've never doubted. Jacob not only understands the pros/cons of different drumming styles, but he also knows how to transition smoothly from one to another. He guides you through how improve your capabilities, because he has been through the same steps that you are about to go into. I am having a very pleasant time learning from Jacob.
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Jacob R.

Jacob R.

Berkeley, CA 94705
(3)
starting at
$20 / 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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