Benicia Music Lessons

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About Rob F.

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213543_282696_29075
San Anselmo, CA
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About Rob
Rob (aka R.J.): Born in Detroit, Michigan, RJ studied r&b and jazz from Motown drummers and Funk Brothers Benny Benjamin and Uriel Jones. From the age of fifteen he played in rhythm & blues and jazz combos around Detroit. He then studied privately with Berklee School of Music drum maestro, Gene Stuart, mallet studies with Mark Johnson at Michigan State University and earned a Bachelors Degree from Michigan State. He moved to San Francisco where he studied North Indian percussion and tabla with Zakir Hussain, trap set with jazz recording artist George Marsh. He is a consummate producer, performer, recording artist and teacher. He plays and teaches all styles of rhythm including jazz, funk, blues, rock, latin, and world fusion. He teaches drumset, congas, djembe, tabla, cajon and hand percussion. In addition to teaching privately, RJ h
as directed special week-long drum and percussion focused ensemble productions at Drake High School and Marin Academy and was Music Director at Cascade Canyon (K-8) School for two years where he directed variety shows and produced scores for the drama department. In his teaching practice all ages are welcome and all levels including: beginners, intermediate students, advanced players, and professionals.

*** Lesson Details ***
My approach to drum lessons is simple. I want my students to be excited about every stage of the process. I want to be as productive as possible with each student and want the lessons to be fun and focused.
I want beginning students to learn the essentials of good posture, correct hand positions or grips (how to hold the sticks in matched and military grip), how to best use their hands and feet to get around the drumset and to then develop a solid foundation of applicable rudiments, rhythms and patterns. In fact,
I have master drumset rudiments that help facilitate fluid movement around the drums in all directions. My studio is equipped with a top level TAMA drumset with Zildjian cymbals, congas, timbales, hand percussion, piano, vibes, excellent recording and listening equipment and speakers.
I provide the necessary foundations of rudiments, rhythms, patterns and grooves. Then I show how to combine these essentials to the drumset. I combine these developments with essential reading studies so the student learns to read drum music and charts from the very beginning.
I find out what kind of music the student listens to and likes and then I will use some of the more familiar tracks by those artists to help the student apply each pattern stylistically into actual arrangements…like a guitar teacher would teach some scales and chords, then apply them to actual songs. That way the student will remember the different patterns and remained engaged in the process. It’s a “see, say and do” approach.
I have a saying that I use: “FREEDOM follows FUNCTION and function follows FORM.” First you learn the forms (rudiments, rhythms and patterns). Then, with practice, you become functional with the forms, rhythm patterns and combinations. Then you are free to use everything you learn as it relates to the music. Your are “free” to create and improvise both alone and with others.

Within six month my students will have a firm grasp of essential rudiments, rhythms, patterns, sticking, single and double bass drumset techniques and be reading charts for the drumset.
Later on, as part of the student’s development, I will introduce them to different styles of music including jazz, African, Afro-Cuban, Latin and Brazilian rhythms and patterns so that the student becomes a well-rounded player.

*** Studio Equipment ***
My Private Studio is on the first floor of my house: there is a six-piece professional series TAMA drumset and an assortment of K. and A. Zildjian cymbals, a piano, set of vibes, timbales, congas, bongos, djembe and a variety of hand percussion. There are additional chairs to sit on, Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Five and six piece drum sets, hard cases, three congas with cases, bongos in a hard case, timbales in a hard case, trap case for stands, cymbal case and stick bag.

*** Specialties ***
Trapset all styles, African djembe and shekere, Latin congas and timbales, Indian tablas.
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Reviews
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Marcia December 11, 2017
· Drum · In home
I never expected to find a teacher as stellar as Rob Franco. It's one thing to be an accomplished drummer, but quite another to have the capacity to teach what you know. Rob's got both! He ably teaches theory, technique, and application. He has a wonderful warm personality that feeds a student's confidence without insincerity. It's obvious that Rob has been successfully teaching students how to drum for a good long time because he does it with such ease and good humor. Wanna learn how to drum? Read drum music? Understand how it all works? And have a really relaxed and fun time while you're learning? Rob Franco is your man.
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Barbara S. October 29, 2013
· Drum ·
I Got Lucky

A year and a half ago I decided to try to learn how to play an instrument, and chose drums. Learning how to also read and write music for drumming was high on my list. I also needed this to be a fun adventure with no real public performance goals for the first couple of years. It needed to be a stress reducer from the demands of the day job. Finding and working with RJ has been a total kick in the pants. I couldn't ask for a better coach. He hasn't let me get stuck in any one form, I'm learning all of them. It's hard! But I couldn't imagine not drumming now. It's very exciting, and I look forward to learning more over the coming years.
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KatyV January 11, 2012
· ·
Rob Franco

You won't find a better teacher than Rob. He obviously knows music, both theory and application. He is concerned about proper technique, but also enjoyment and variety, which means that you get it all. I'm learning tons more than I thought I would.
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Rob F.

Rob F.

San Anselmo, CA 94960
(3)
starting at
$60 / 30-min

About Mandy B.

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San Leandro, CA

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About Mandy
I have been singing for as long as I can remember and started studying voice at age 15. I sang in my first band when I was in high school, then 2 others while in college. Professionally, I was a back-up vocalist and percussionist with the Sam Morrison Band from 2006-2012, where I traveled all over the country. This premiere Bob Seger tribute band is signed by Titan Tribute Media and has recorded 3 albums that can be found on iTunes.

I left home to study music at Cal State, Long Beach. There, I was challenged with more difficult genres, like opera and Lieder. My appetite continued to grow as I immersed myself in performances, competitions, and traveling the world with college choirs.

I have worked in opera companies based in southern California, including Lyric Opera of Los Angeles, Long Beach Opera, and Celestial Opera. I have
also been hired as a soloist at various local churches.

I was a faculty member at Orange County School of the Arts, for almost a decade, where I taught Music Theory, Music History, and Musicianship.

As a member of Belle Musique, a hand bell trio, I played and sung for weddings, funerals, and private parties.

I got to wail as the lead singer of Pine Street Band singing classic covers from CCR to Blondie to Tom Petty.

In addition, I sing and play in a band, Wheel House, where we create a unique blend of rock, blues, and funk.

It is my belief that it is never too late to follow your passion, but you have to find what really makes you happy and fulfilled!

*** Lesson Details ***
I teach students according to their own goals and interests. However, I must include elements that are vital in the musical world whether the student is a hobbyist or leaning toward a professional career. My instrumentalists will learn all aspects of theory including rhythm, basic theory, and musicianship. My singers will learn about breath, anatomy, alignment, and performance. This is in addition to learning fundamental repertoire.

I have very high expectations for my students and do my best to motivate and challenge them, bringing out the natural musician. I am goofy but demanding and always develop a strong and trusting relationship with each and every student.

*** Studio Equipment ***
In home music studio with upright piano, electric piano, recording equipment, drum set, amps, guitars, bass, and seating for parents.

*** Specialties ***
Specialize vocally in opera, rock, funk, musical theater.
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Reviews
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Gina Weaver September 13, 2016
· ·
Mandy has been nothing but lovely to work with, Isabella Ruby has enjoyed her lessons and can't wait to sing more!
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Michael P. August 16, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
She was wonderful,knows what is needed to get things started.Felt very comfortable with her,can't wait for the next lesson.
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Elizabeth Kwiatkowski-Wrixon July 19, 2016
· Piano ·
Mandy is a great teacher! She is very patient and works with you at your own pace.
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Mandy B.

Mandy B.

San Leandro, CA 94579
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Donna D.

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Corte Madera, CA

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About Donna
I love to sing, and I have a passion for teaching students to sing well. I have sung in choruses all my life, and have been inspired by fine conductors and great composers. I am certain that music enlivens my life like nothing else, and it can do that for everyone. Whether you sing in the shower, or in the choir, or with a few friends, or in an opera, you can find your song.

Learning to play the piano, from the very beginning, or picking up where you left off in the past, will bring a spark to your life. Whether you want to play for yourself or some friends, or want to get on track to becoming a concert pianist, music will enrich your life.

My students develop an appreciation for music of the Renaissance up through the 21st century. They are willing to delve into exciting territory while learning to read music, establishing confiden
ce in their own musicianship. They discover the music within themselves, while learning the technique necessary to be the best musicians they can be.

I enjoy teaching high school, middle school, and elementary students as well as adults. I Love teaching beginners. I am trained in vocal pedagogy, music theory, music history, repertoire, performance practice and methods.

My formal education:
B.A., UC, Berkeley (Phi Beta Kappa)
M.A., Occidental College
M.S. Pepperdine University
Lifetime General Secondary Teaching Credential

Teachers and mentors:
Howard Swan, Mary Jones, Edward Lawton, Robert Commanday, Roger Wagner, Linda Anderson, Boyd Jarrell, Paul Smith.

In the last twenty years, I have enjoyed being a participant in music at the College of Marin, through choral, vocal, opera and piano classes. I currently serve as volunteer assistant to the Director of Choral Activities.

I am particularly proud of my experience as instructional aide and coach for music students with disabilities at the College of Marin, including students with developmental disabilities and autism.

Past classroom experience:
Long Beach Unified School District, Choral Music Teacher
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Choral Music Teacher
Low Heywood School and King School (prep schools), Stamford, CT, Choral Music Teacher

*** Lesson Details ***
Voice students can expect to learn how to produce tone beautifully, using correct posture and breathing, and proper vowel production, rhythmic precision, pitch accuracy, carefully formed phrases, and musical and stylistic interpretation. But beyond technique is the amazing art of communicating with other people the wonders of the music. You should expect to make good progress in all of these areas in just a few weeks. I hope you will come with serious interest in developing your beautiful voice.

Repertoire might include folk songs, art songs and arias from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries. Songs might be in English, or possibly in Italian, Latin, German or French, if you interested. We would sit down together and decide what dreams and goals you have, and then choose music to get you going down the path to those dreams and goals.

You can expect to have learned several new songs, and to have brought them to performance level in the first 3-6 months. If you have a goal to learn music for an audition, contest or festival, that can happen.

Piano students can expect to learn everything about the keyboard, posture, proper use right and left hands, scales, chords, arpeggios, and fun exercises leading to good technique, rhythmic accuracy, speed and fluency. Playing beautifully, with artfulness and expressiveness will be priorities.

Repertoire might include beginning to intermediate compositions from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries. We would sit down together and decide what pieces to choose which would help you get on a path to your musical dreams and goals, and what would be appropriate for your age and development as a musician.

You can expect to be playing pieces with 2 hands within a few weeks, and perhaps a melody with chords, if you are a beginner. Degree of difficulty will depend upon your age, experience and development, but even very simple songs can be played musically, with grace.

Of utmost importance to me is that every student learn to read music, and develop an understanding of music fundamentals. The level of sophistication will depend upon age and experience, but learning good musicianship is essential. At the same time, opportunities for creativity to develop through improvisation could be on the horizon for you. It is important to me that you want to learn and and want to become the best you can be.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have a piano and computer with Finale at my home. I provide music and practice sheets, etc.

*** Specialties ***
For voice, I teach classical style, including posture, breathing, tone production, vowel production, phrasing, diction, appropriate style and performance practice, and music reading. Materials I use include everything from folk songs to arias, and 16th century to contemporary compositions, in English, Italian, Latin, French and German. Voice is my primary interest. I am also competent to teach beginning theory, and beginning piano, both classical and standard popular, including improvisation from charts (melody, chords).
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Reviews
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Kylie July 19, 2017
· Singing · In home
I really enjoyed working with Mrs.Donna she
was a very sweet, patient and skilled teacher.
She taught me the skills of becoming a more well
developed singer and I had so much fun learning with her.
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Lori May 9, 2017
· Singing · In studio
My first and second lessons were wonderful and I am inspired by Donna's dedication, knowledge and patience. I feel that I can learn to build on these lessons and sing with confidence.
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Lori G. May 1, 2017
· Singing · In studio
First lesson: I feel encouraged and inspired!
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Donna D.

Donna D.

Corte Madera, CA 94925
(12)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Christian C.

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Brentwood, CA
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About Christian
Christian has 20 years of teaching experience and 25 years of performance experience in a myriad of styles. He is currently enrolled at the Berklee School of Music (Boston, MA) through their online Music Production Degree Program.

Christian is also a member in the following organizations:

Vic Firth Education Team

Hudson Music Teacher Integration Program

Professional Drum Teachers Guild. He has studied privately with John Xepoleas, Steve Bowman (Counting Crows), Rob Hart, Alan Hall and currently with Mike Johnston.

Christian is also accepting a limited amount of students from the age of 10 to adult, beginner to advance. He currently has openings at his Brentwood home studio on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

The air-conditioned studio is equipped with 2 drum sets and professional digital recording equipment to capture ea
ch lesson. The latest educational DVD's and play-along/minus-drums CD's are also incorporated in the lessons.

Parents are encouraged to sit in on the lessons or they can relax or do some work in the internet ready waiting room. An annual recital is conducted for family and friends.

Prepare for school auditions, refine hand and foot technique, learn double bass grooves and fills improve reading and transcribing , sharpen your timing, incorporate linear playing, apply rudiments to the drum set.

Styles: Rock / Funk / Country / Blues / Jazz / Latin

*** Lesson Details ***
Sometimes the availability calendar is not updated in a timely manner.

Every student is different. Depending on their age and/or goals, this is the typical curriculum for a beginning (no experience) student.

Beginners (build the foundation)
Technique
- Hands: how to hold the sticks correctly
- Feet: heel up or heel down technique

Reading
- Explain note values
- Explain drum set notation

Coordination and Timing
- Learn basic beats to play music
- Understand how to practice with a metronome
- How to play along to music

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home room converted with sound absorbing materials with 2 drum sets, acoustic and electronic. Air conditioned living room seating for parents. Audio recordings are provided for every lesson and portions of each lesson are also video recorded.
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Reviews
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Dillon S. January 5, 2016
· Drum · In studio
My son really enjoyed his first lesson. He was excited to start practicing his "assignment" the moment we arrived home.
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Noah M. October 5, 2015
· Drum · In studio
My son is a perfectionist and sanatoria a little...christian is great!
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rita W. January 30, 2014
· Drum ·
Easy to sign up and Great customer service

My 12 yr old decided he wanted drums for Christmas and we knew that would include getting him lessons. Finding Christian through Take lessons was indeed lucky for my son. If you are looking for a teacher who is calm, level headed, knowledgeable and very easy to contact at anytime then Christian is who you are looking for. He has several students and they all come out happy and feeling good about their lessons. My son, even when not feeling great insist that he attend his drum lessons. compliments to the instructor.
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Christian C.

Christian C.

Brentwood, CA 94513
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Winslow Y.

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San Francisco, CA

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About Winslow
My focus is on you - helping you achieve your goals with the harmonica, whatever they may be. Whatever inspires you to pick up the harmonica, whoever you want to emulate, whatever style grabs you, I bring the background, deep knowledge, and teaching experience to enrich your understanding and grow your skills and ability to express yourself musically.

I'm a harmonica specialist, known internationally as a player and teacher. I'm the author of the books Harmonica For Dummies and Blues Harmonica For Dummies. I can teach all styles, all levels of expertise and all types of harmonica.
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Andrew July 22, 2017
· Harmonica · Online
Great first lesson- Winslow is easy to talk to and very knowledgeable. He is very good at explaining and demonstrating technique in a clear way. Thanks again!
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Philip E. November 11, 2016
· Harmonica · Online
Winslow is very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher.
He's very passionate about the harmonica, which makes for a great learning experience. I look forward to future lessons.
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Bob S. August 5, 2016
· Harmonica · In studio
My first lesson went very well and was just as I had hoped.
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Winslow Y.

Winslow Y.

San Francisco, CA 94118
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Frederic R.

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San Francisco, CA

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About Frederic
I have been playing cello for over 20 years. I grew up in Switzerland and stayed there until my Masters' degree, then went on to study at the University of Southern California (Doctorate of Musical Arts 2015, prof. Ralph Kirshbaum). I recently moved to the Bay Area, where I have had the chance to play with local ensembles (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Ensemble San Francisco amongst others). Although I love all music that involves cello, I especially enjoy exploring new repertoire as well as discovering old works on period instruments. Sharing my passion brings me a lot of joy, therefore teaching has become an essential part of my life.

...cellists of all ages and levels are welcome!
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Reviews
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Jake C. December 23, 2016
· Cello · In home
Great first lesson
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Sophie R. November 1, 2016
· Cello · In home
Learning a lot and having fun doing it!
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Mihwa N. November 9, 2015
· Cello · In home
Very good!!
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Frederic R.

Frederic R.

San Francisco, CA 94112
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Tomoko M.

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Walnut Creek, CA
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About Tomoko
My name is Tomoko and I teach the clarinet.
I've been teaching private lessons since 2006 and have loved helping my students.
I went to Eastman School of Music and earned a degree in Master of Music in 2010.
I am a native Japanese speaker, so I can help you to learn Japanese!
I look forward to helping you reach your goals!
Please visit my website to look for my bio and performance.
www.tomokomacintyre.com
...
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Tomoko M.

Tomoko M.

Walnut Creek, CA 94597
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Paige P.

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Richmond, CA

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About Paige
I'm so happy to meet you! My name is Paige, a California transplant from Texas by way of Tennessee. I've taught since 2007 and enjoy teaching singers of all ages and experience levels.

I have a Bachelors in Music Education with a K-12 certification in Vocal Education, as well as a Masters in Performance. I have a strong musical background, having sung in the Texas All - State Choir, University Interscholastic League, and National Association of Teachers of Singing.

When I am not teaching, I actively perform in the Greater Bay Area, singing jazz, choral music, and opera.
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Reviews
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Dana August 16, 2017
· Vocal Training · In studio
I leave every lesson with some new tidbit as well as confidence that I've learned more about my voice and the song I'm learning.
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Olesia August 16, 2017
· Classical Voice · In studio
Good knowledge and good exercises! Paige has great experience and ability to connect!
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Srinika August 14, 2017
· Classical Voice · In home
Paige is awesome! She helped me find my range and use my voice without straining. I highly recommend Paige Patrick whether you are a professional singer, trying out for a school audition, or just want to feel much more confident in kareoke
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Paige P.

Paige P.

Richmond, CA 94804
(7)
starting at
$42 / 30-min

About Barack D.

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Alameda, CA
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About Barack
I like having fun with music. It is exciting and it gives me something to look forward to.
...
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Barack D.

Barack D.

Alameda, CA 94501
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Leandro J.

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San Francisco, CA

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About Leandro
As a professional and multilingual Brazilian Trumpet player with 28 years of extensive knowledge and musical background in various genres such as Jazz, Bossa Nova, Samba, Funk, Afrobeat, MPB (Popular Brazilian Music) and Afro-Caribean coupled with my appreciation for Music education, I am sure that I can Help the students to reach the next level in their performance.

I started my musical journey at the age of 12 in my hometown of Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil. I studied Classical Music performance at the Symphony Orchestra School, Brazilian popular music, Jazz and improvisation at the Conservatory of Music "Dr. Carlos de Campos", Tatuí, (SP) and have enjoyed a successful career as a professional Trumpet player, Performing around the world with many Brazilian and international main stream artists, at professional recording sessions
and TV shows.
As a Teacher, for more than 15 years I 've been teaching Trumpet technique, music theory and Brazilian jazz improvisation for beginners, intermediate and advanced students from 7 to 18 years old and also for adults, in various music schools, community projects, Brazilian brass band coaching, One-to-one private classes, and big groups up to 20 students.
...
Reviews
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MATTIA January 31, 2018
· Trumpet · In studio
My experience with Leandro was incredible. I managed to improve a lot my technique and the quality of my sound during the time I was studying with him.
He is a great teacher, always manages to make the lessons exiting, using many different methods from classic to jazz and even practising improvisation.
He is very good in detecting your flaws and adapts the lessons focusing on what you need or whish to improve.
I strongly recommend him!
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Renato January 30, 2018
· Trumpet · In studio
Leandro was my first trumpet teacher, I started taking classes with him back when I was 14 up until I was 17 and went ahead to study in the Conservatorio de Tatuí (the same institution he had studied years earlier, of which he gave me the best impressions and prepared me to the admission tests). He introduced me to trumpet technique, handing me the fundaments of the instrument I later learned from a few other teachers to be exactly the same no matter what is your level with the instrument (sound, breathing, flexibility, tonguing, scales, register and such), showing and teaching me with the great methods like Arban, Collins and others. At the same time while studying under him he fed my curiosity about jazz music of the great trumpeters, introducing me to greats like Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Woody Shaw, lending me his records so I could hear their music in my home. With him I started learning improvisation in the trumpet, knowing the basic forms like blues or AABA standard. In all aspects I'd highly recommend him as a teacher, as I can say for sure that he gave me the strongest foundation for my later studies and career as a trumpeter.
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Viviane Queiroga January 30, 2018
· Trumpet · In studio
Leandro was My First Teacher. After 2 years and a couple of other teachers, I still miss his classes. As a beginner, I found on him the support and example to keep practicing correctly and never give up in front of the next Challenge. I still bring with me the basics that he provided in his classes.
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Leandro J.

Leandro J.

San Francisco, CA 94134
(4)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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