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Atherton, CA Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers near Atherton, CA

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About Mark B.

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Castro Valley, CA
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I love to teach music theory at all levels. Music Theory helps you understand many aspects of music, including why certain notes and chords sound good together, finding the right key to sing a song that is in your voice range, improvisation and soloing on your instrument, timing, rhythm, creating original melodies, thinking outside the box for composition, and many others.

About Mark
I have played on tour with several professional bands, playing rock, pop, blues, African, metal, and country. I now perform live in various bands and record original music as often as possible. My music has gotten airplay in many countries.

I started playing guitar at age 9, and recorded 2 singles in the LA area by age 14. I was a music major throughout High School and College. I also learned a lot by educating myself at the Brand Library in the Los Angeles Area, which specializes in the arts. I specialized in advanced music theory and improvisational techniques.

I have enjoyed teaching music lessons since 1978.

I custom tailor a lesson plan to fit your individual needs and goals! I can teach you songs you'd like to learn instantly when I hear them on your iPod, mobile phone, cassette or CD that you bring in. I ca
n explain musical theory and concepts many different ways to make sure you understand them. I am very friendly and patient.

Sometimes I might inject humor into the learning process to make it an enjoyable learning experience, and to help you remember the important things.
I love the satisfaction of seeing my students grow musically proficient and and seeing the JOY that it brings them. Many of my students have gone on to become professional. I am well-versed and well-equipped to teach many styles: Rock (including all sub-genres...Tribal Ambient Doom neo Punk, etc), Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Country, R& B, New Age, Ambient, Electronic, Metal (and a few plastics and wood as well).

*** Lesson Details ***
I will develop a personal lesson plan for each individual student. During your lessons, I might cover topics ranging from learning how to play, starting from the basics (if you are a beginner), to choosing music that will inspire you on your level, to improving your technique, ear-training, music reading (if that's what you'd like), reading and understanding tabs (if that's what you'd like), knowing what it is that makes certain chords and notes sound good together for writing your own music, as well as guitar maintenance and adjustments, getting a good tone, amplifier settings, effect pedals (settings & placing them in the most effective order), recording tips, and where to get a decent pizza.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living Room or Studio, both very comfortable. Amplifiers, guitars, effects pedals, bass, ukulele, balalaika, drum set, PA system and recording equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide guitar, bass, or ukulele and amplifier when necessary, teaching tools. The student provides their guitar and paperwork I give them.

*** Specialties ***
Teach note reading using Alfred's New Guitar course. Ear Training, Genres: Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Punk, Metal, Folk, Country, Hip Hop, Funk, R& B, New Age, Ambient.

I currently have 5 albums out under my name. My music is on a major new age compilation, and has been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs. I have played on other people's albums...some of which get major radio airplay in Europe.
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Reviews
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Paul M. October 16, 2016
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Hanging out like old times and had a Great lesson. Thanks Mark
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Michael P. July 6, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Mark was an excellent teacher, made me very comfortable. We talk about music and set some goal,he keeps a chart to know what his teaching each student and he write it all out on paper and he writes that you can understand his writing .so very happy. Mike
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Scott June 8, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
First lesson. Mark really dialed in my skill level and completely exceeded my expectations in terms of material, lesson plan, genre etc. Even got to play one of his ridiculously sweet tele's.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(15)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Kathryn G.

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San Francisco, CA

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About Kathryn
From the moment Kat was tall enough to reach the keys she made so much noise on her family's piano that they eventually bought a kid-sized version to keep in her room. When Kat turned 7 her family got her the best present ever; lessons with an amazing piano teacher.

Kat also began to study flute several years later and soon realized that music was the life for her. She majored in music in both high school and college graduating with a BA in Music from St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin.

Kat has a very diverse career in music. From a full time private music teacher to the Musical Director of a Burning Man Opera, to the Section Leader for a Youth Orchestra, to the keyboard player in a Theatrical Heavy Metal Band, Kat is always thrilled to stretch her wings and try new things.

*** Lesson Details ***

I teach Tuesdays
and Wednesdays in San Francisco, and the rest of the week in the Santa Cruz area!

PLEASE NOTE - because I commute into SF to teach I do not offer in-home lessons. I teach at a lovely studio in the inner sunset!

I have a ridiculous sense of humor. I believe in stickers, high fives, and celebratory fist-bumps. And yes, that goes for the adults as well.

I always looked forward to my lessons because they were so fun, even if I knew I hadn't practiced enough. That is exactly what I try to create for every student I work with.

Besides the humor, I customize lesson plans to fit you. Not just the types of music you want to learn, but HOW you learn. My number one goal is that you completely understand what you are learning. I don't mind in the least if I need to explain a new lesson 10 different ways-€“ we will work together until you really get it! Understanding what you're doing makes it so much more fun.

Have a favorite song stuck in your head, but the sheet music is still too hard? No problem. I'm happy to write the song out for you at your own level. I want you to enjoy yourself, and if that means Lady GaGa then I'm happy to oblige. I will probably stick Mozart in when you're not looking just to make sure you're learning a lot of different things, but that's what teachers are for.

Of course we cover fundamentals and start with the basics. I typically incorporate music theory and ear training with your lessons as well . In 6 months on piano, with regular practice, you will be comfortably reading music and playing songs you enjoy with both hands AT THE SAME TIME! (Gasp!) On flute in 6 months you will also be able to read music comfortably, will no longer feel like you are about to drop the flute at any given moment, will have a solid range of notes and have a solid feeling of control while you play.

I look forward to sharing music with you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
piano, seating for parents

*** Specialties ***
My number one goal is comprehension -to make sure that all of my students really understand what they are doing. I work very hard to ensure an atmosphere where all of my students - no matter their age - can feel comfortable to say "I don't understand".
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Reviews
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Hailey May 15, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Kathryn is great. Her positive approach really builds confidence and makes you look forward to the next session.
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Andrea February 9, 2017
· Piano · In studio
My first lesson with Kathryn was fantastic. As an adult student, I was a bit embarrassed by knowing absolutely nothing about piano, and Kathryn would have none of it! She was wonderfully disarming, positive, and really knew how to structure the lesson so that I'd walk out motivated. I'm thrilled to continue lessons with her on the piano.
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Mia January 23, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Doing great so far!
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Kathryn G.

Kathryn G.

Ben Lomond, CA 95005
(34)
starting at
$31 / 30-min

About David W.

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Berkeley, CA

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I may be the teacher that makes this subject finally accessible to you! Over 8 years teaching at the College level, and before that I have been teaching privately. Music Theory is one of my strongest subjects!

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 my voice as well.

Since 2006, I have been teachi
ng 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.
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Reviews
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Kelley Martel March 24, 2016
· Guitar ·
It was a great first lesson with David . He is very kind and patient and helpful and I can see he is skilled as a musician. I am excited to work with him !
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Roy H. January 28, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
If I could give 4.5 stars I would, the only reason it's not 5 stars is because I think nobody is perfect, but David is very close to it. I really liked how patient David was with Eli and his deep knowledge of music was very impressive. David is able to prevent things in a number of different ways and he makes sure that you understand that material very well.
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Ian Merrill November 10, 2015
· Music Theory · In studio
David is awesome! I began lessons with him because i was not satisfied with the music theory classes at the school i am enrolled in, as well as the classes did not accommodate well to my learning differences. David not only has endless knowledge of music theory but also has shown me tools and helpful methods for studying music. I highly recommend taking lessons from David if you are either a beginner or you are at a higher level and would like to expand your knowledge of music theory.
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David W.

David W.

Berkeley, CA 94703
(12)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Dayv D.

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Sunnyvale, CA
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Learn to analyze music and hear it in a completely different way. I'll help you get inside the composer's head and understand why music is written the way it is written.

About Dayv
Dayv D. is a Bay Area native who graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2012 with a degree in Performance. At Oberlin, Dayv was a recipient of the Dean's Talent Award scholarship and studied with professors Gary Bartz, Paul Cohen, Jim Umble, and Tim Ruedeman. While trained in a wide range of disciplines, Dayv is a huge fan of music from the Baroque Era and insists on performing compositions by J.S. Bach as often as possible.

Dayv believes that students learn most effectively when they are intrinsically motivated, and makes an effort to cultivate this motivation in his students. He is attuned to each of his students' individual goals, and goes the extra mile to help his students achieve them.

Dayv plays Clarinet for the Silicon Valley Philharmonic.

*** Lesson Details ***
Love Disney songs? I love to teach them. Want
to do well in your next audition? I want to help you. Have questions about how to make the most of a certain piece? I have suggestions. Whatever your personal goals in music are, I will help you achieve them!

I believe that having fun is of utmost important in learning music. My students have fun, and work hard as a result!
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Wendy March 4, 2016
· Clarinet · In studio
Dayv was very accommodating of scheduling and tried to get to know my son before he just started into lessons. I appreciate the time and care that he provided for him during the lessons.
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Kristin H. August 19, 2014
· Clarinet · In home
Dayv is fantastic! He taught my 11 year old son the clarinet over the summer. He improved dramatically in just 4 lessons. Dayv drove to our house in Mountain View, which was great. My son really liked Dayv and now loves to play the clarinet.
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Bob B. June 17, 2014
· Piano · In home
David D. is an ideal music teacher for me, an adult learner. I appreciate his two-pronged approach: (1) instruction in piano and (2) appreciation of great music. He prods me to plow through the basic piano books, and he provides insights along with YouTube links to performances of some of the world's best music.

Dayv's depth of knowledge and his dedication to music are infectious. He has also been very accommodating to my changing schedule. I always look forward to my piano lessons. Dayv has given me a joyful appreciation for music.
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Dayv D.

Dayv D.

Sunnyvale, CA 94087
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About John F.

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San Francisco, CA
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About John
I play a wide variety of musical styles on drums and percussion and have a long history of performance art in live bands, theater and orchestra. I teach drum set, symphonic and marching percussion, electronics in drumming (sampling, loops, midi etc), and general rhythm lessons for beginners. I also enjoy helping students prepare for auditions, studio recording sessions, and live performance opportunities. There's alot to know about what to do and what not to do in these situations, especially if you want to look like a pro and have a positive experience.

I studied percussion performance at Washington State University while developing my set playing and enjoying my employment with the Washington Idaho Symphony as a classical percussionist. I play in rock, funk, pop, metal, EDM, hip-hop, industrial, honky-tonk, and jazz outfits with mult
iple appearances at SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, TieCon, and various festivals throughout the US.
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Anna November 16, 2016
· Drum · In studio
John is a fantastic teacher! I started with no experience at all and now after my fourth lesson I already feel comfortable with my grip, a metronome, sheet music, single stroke rolls, double stroke rolls, and several rock beats. Currently, I’m learning sixteenth note drum fills. He is patient, enthusiastic, fun, and extremely talented. I highly recommend him as a drum teacher (beginner or experienced). You will not regret it!
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John F.

John F.

San Francisco, CA 94115
(1)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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About Jessica H.

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San Jose, CA

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Hi. This is Jessica H. I came from a family with strong music background .Currently I just graduated from San Francisco conservatory of music with Masters degree. I am a very patient person who has huge passion about working with kids and adults.Since I have been teaching a quite long time.I have had students who past the highest level of ABRSM exams. I can help you work with both MTAC and ABRSM theory test .

About Jessica
Hi. This is Jessica H. Currently I just graduated from San Francisco conservatory of music with Masters degree. I am a very patient person who has huge passion about working with kids.I have been teaching piano over 15 years. Since I have been teaching a quite long time. I have had students who past the highest level of ABRSM exams. I can be more serious and push a student to get ahead, or simply teach to have fun - to appreciate and enjoy music. I have learned, is to expect the best, pay closest attention to the students - to what they are ready for, what they want, what they are struggling with, and have a good sense of humor. Inspiring and developing students passion into music.
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George August 11, 2017
· Piano · In home
the first class went smoothly. I learned basic music & finger skills.
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Mike August 3, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Quality instruction and developed good rapport with my child. Taught at the right level and was one of the only instructors we tried who actually mentioned proper hand position and technique.
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Shan March 29, 2017
· Cello · In home
Jessica is a great teacher. She helped me starting with very basic skills. She is very pacient and easy to communicate with.
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Jessica H.

Jessica H.

San Jose, CA 95131
(7)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Nancy K.

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San Jose, CA
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Students need to have basic theory skill to perform musical instruments. Students will learn music theory including note reading, ear training, and more.

About Nancy
Hello there I'm Ms. Nancy! I have earned two masters degrees in Music Performance and in Music Education and I have been teaching violin/viola private lessons, chamber coaching and music classes in classroom settings. I enjoy teaching music and to bring joy and excitement along with challenge into my lessons, I love seeing students grow in this safe and trust environment we create together and to accomplish new knowledge and musical skills, and I believe all students will be successful in life through learning music; gain self-esteem, learn problem solving, and to always be hardworking, strike for the best!
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Chloe Lai September 8, 2015
· Viola · In studio
Nancy is one of the best teachers i've ever had. Her lessons are engaging and productive. She communicates music in a way that is meaningful, constructive, and easily understood which for me are the most important and desirable elements learning music from scratch. With her majors in both performance and eduction, she is able to provide a hands-on teaching style integrated with the theory basis. Nancy is definitely the ideal teacher if you are looking for someone professional and fun to grow your music journey.
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Natasha September 8, 2015
· Viola ·
Nancy is very patient with kids. I found my daughter getting more interested in playing the viola. She is a very experienced and responsible teacher!
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Nancy K.

Nancy K.

San Jose, CA 95123
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Erica G.

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Sausalito, CA

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I love making music theory fun, especially for beginners!

About Erica
I'm a professional singer, songwriter, and recording artist originally from Tanzania in East Africa. I love empowering students to discover the joy of music in every lesson.

I've studied music theory, voice, and piano at the college level, and I'm also a self taught guitar player.

For voice students, your vocal skills are like a muscle. I help you improve your vocal technique a little bit each week while you're growing your confidence and self expression as a singer.

For piano, I began learning piano as an adult (5 years ago) and I understand the challenge of learning the instrument from scratch. I can teach students to read music and play contemporary songs of your choice.

As a singer and songwriter, I've worked with famous artists in East Africa. You can learn more about my music at http://EricaLulakwa.com. I love to mentor st
udents who want to become powerful songwriters and get into performing and recording.

I look forward to working with you to grow into a better musician!
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Erica G.

Erica G.

Sausalito, CA 94965
starting at
$39 / 30-min

About Thomas W.

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Danville, CA
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I give students a comprehensive, practical curriculum in classical and contemporary music theory. Music theory, to me, is neither dry nor complicated if it's presented in the right context. I am well versed in traditional theory, jazz and improvisation theory, and contemporary concepts. I like to help a student learn what will be helpful to them, and teach concepts that may open new doors for their artistic growth.

About Thomas
I am a saxophonist, composer, and improviser from the East Bay area. I hold an MA in Music Composition from Mills College in Oakland, CA, and a BM in Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston. I have been teaching saxophone and guitar lessons since 2005, and maintain an active schedule performing original music.

I have taught students saxophone and guitar independently in the Bay Area, Boston, and New York, in students' homes and my own home and rehearsal spaces. I have taught children as young as 10 years old, adult beginners, and professional musicians learning to double on saxophone. I have taught students for up to five years consecutively, and have also given master class style one-off lessons.
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Yifan T. May 21, 2016
· Saxophone · In home
Tom is awesome, he is always very patient to instruct my son how to use, play and maintain saxophone. I will very happy to continue to add more classes and recommend him to my friends.
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Yeonathan March 7, 2016
· Saxophone · In studio
Tom is a true gem of a teacher. As a student with some prior music experience but no saxophone experience, Tom was able to help me work on my saxophone technique while always mainting a creative, musical, and compositional approach to even the most mundane exercise. I truly wouldn't be half the musician I am today if it weren't for Tom's mentorship. Could not recommend him more.
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Harry March 7, 2016
· Saxophone · In home
As a percussionist transitioning over to the world of wind instruments, I can't thank Tom enough for helping to guide me along the way. He's great at breaking down larger concepts into smaller, more manageable pieces, and I never felt overwhelmed or pressured by his teaching methods. I really appreciated Tom's friendly and casual approach, as I know from prior experience that a convival atmosphere does wonders for helping to learn an instrument in a stress-free way. Can't recommend him enough, two thumbs up!

P.S. Be sure to ask him for jazz recommendations, the guy's got quite the taste!
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Thomas W.

Thomas W.

Danville, CA 94526
(3)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Spenser S.

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San Francisco, CA

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I teach all levels of theory in pop, classical and jazz context!

About Spenser
Hello my name is Spenser! I am a performing guitarist, vocalist and songwriter in the bay area. I have been teaching for nearly 10 years and have taught all ages and experience levels. My main focus in teaching is to help my students fulfill their intentions with the chosen instrument. I studied jazz guitar at San Francisco State University (BA).

Thank you for your consideration!
...
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Spenser S.

Spenser S.

San Francisco, CA 94122
starting at
$20 / 30-min

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Music Theory Lesson Reviews from Students

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

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Our teachers have taught

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Recent Music Theory Articles from the Blog

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

6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory

6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory

Staring at the Circle of Fifths and memorizing key signatures isn't the only way to learn music theory! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares some creative ideas to revive your learning...   Music theory is a very important part of your musicianship, whether it be mastering ear training, harmony, or sight reading. No matter what instrument you play or what styles you enjoy, those who learn music theory grow further as musicians. A solid knowledge can help you improve your perform … Read More

6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory
Staring at the Circle of Fifths and memorizing key signatures isn't the only way to learn music theory! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares some creative ideas to revive your learning...   Music theory is a very important part of your musicianship, whether it be mastering ear training, harmony, or sight reading. No matter what instrument you play or what styles you enjoy, those who learn music theory grow further as musicians. A solid knowledge can help you improve your perform
How to Transition from Classical Pianist to Jazz Pianist
Piano music doesn't have to be all classical, all the time! Here's what you need to know about getting started with jazz piano chord progressions, courtesy of St. Augustine, FL teacher Heather L...   Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock, and Duke Ellington are just a few of the great jazz piano players. What beautiful and fascinating sounds fill our ears when their names come to mind! The seemingly illusive progressions and spontaneous elements, like syncopation and improvisation, sound
4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory
Sure, music theory is complex -- but there's no need to fear it! Here, Jamaica Plain, MA teacher Noaa R. shares four steps to get you started...   Many students tend to avoid studying music theory and harmony. This can stem from a fear of compromising one’s creativity with rules and numbers, a failure to connect concepts with application, or from feeling overwhelmed by the perceived volume of material to be learned. However, when you approach theory as an exploratory process that help
How to Prepare for Sight Reading at an Audition | 3 Helpful Tips
Nervous about the sight reading portion of an upcoming audition? Find out how to work sight reading practice into your routine in this guest post by Saddle Brook, NJ teacher Christian D...   “Be prepared to sight read.” That dreaded requirement on all auditions that makes us all nervous. But the fact is, you shouldn’t be! Sight reading is a learned skill, just like everything else in music. Think of it as sight reading a passage from a book in front of an audience. With so many
Why Learning Piano Theory is Important for All Musicians
Struggling to understand music theory? Try heading over to the piano -- seeing a visual representation can help a ton! Here, Lowell, IN teacher Blake C. shares how to get started...   Many musicians avoid learning music theory altogether because it can feel much like learning a foreign language; as a result, many musicians enlist in the anti-music theory organization. I will admit it – I was a member of the anti-music theory organization in my early years, declaring that music theory

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