Bolinas Music Lessons

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Music Lesson Reviews from Students

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Popular Music Teachers near Bolinas

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About Steven B.

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Alameda, CA

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About Steven
Have you always wanted to learn how to play the piano, guitar or electric bass? Or maybe you've just felt like brushing up your musical knowledge and playing skills? Now’s your chance to fulfill those dreams!

About Me: San Francisco Bay area pianist/guitarist/bassist; I've been playing music for over 50 years. I'm classically trained with a solid foundation and knowledge of music theory, and have over 40 years experience teaching, recording and performing. I have done session work and/or performed with members of Journey, Santana, Jackson Browne, Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers and Greg Allman to name a few, and am currently teaching piano, theory and bass to Mike Dirnt, the bassist for Green Day. Let me take my education and experience and pass them on to you!

My main goal as a music instructor is to pass along my love and kno
wledge of playing music to my students, always vigilant for sharing shortcuts that will help the student to achieve their lesson goals faster. Some teachers teach only out of books. I am not such a teacher. Books solve the problem of learning music in generalizations and by their very nature, cannot take into consideration personal issues a student will encounter.

Most students are able to learn enough of the necessary mechanics at the first lesson to actually play something before they leave that lesson. This is important because they realize that playing music IS possible. I always enjoy the look on their face when they realize they have actually “played” their instrument at their first lesson.

I am not the sort of teacher who yells and screams if the student comes in unprepared. I realize that people come to me for a variety of reasons and I work with them with whatever they bring in. I am patient and if a student is not understanding a certain aspect, I bring into play alternate approaches. Not everyone assimilates information in the same way. Learning music should be an enjoyable adventure for the student and I venture to say that my students enjoy coming to their lessons. We have fun, and we learn.

My current rates are $40 per half hour, $60 per 45 minutes and $80 per hour, and believe me... you will get your money's worth! Also I should note that due to my current students, plus teaching at a private school in Sausalito and recording sessions, my time constraints only allow me to teach lessons out of my home studio in Alameda. Hopefully this will work for you as well!
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Reviews
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Eric H. June 10, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Steve is a rare find - an accomplished musician, a great teacher, and a genuinely nice guy. My 10 year old and I have been taking lessons with him for the past year, and our progress/improvement has been significant and noticeable. Particularly with my son, Steve is patient, supportive, and very encouraging, and he teaches at just the right level. He always makes sure that we cover music theory along with learning our favorite songs in order to get the most out of our training. My enjoyment of piano has increased significantly since starting lessons with Steve, and each time we leave a lesson he says: "Have fun with it!" I highly recommend Steve as a teacher.
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Billy May 17, 2016
· Piano · In studio
wow amazing!
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Tim M. February 22, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Great teacher and great time taking the lessons! I wish we could take more lessons with him but we've recently moved out of the area. Thanks for everything Steven!
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Steven B.

Steven B.

Alameda, CA 94501
(17)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Rob F.

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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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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
(2)
starting at
$60 / 30-min

About Julie M.

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Oakland, CA
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About Julie
Seoul National University of the Arts, music conservatory, piano performance ('93-'01)
Cornell University, Music Major, Computing in the Arts concentration ('02-'05, '11-'12)
Mills College, MFA in Performance and Literature for Improvisation ('13-'14)
Mills College, MA in Music Composition ('14-'15)

teaching music theory, piano performance for ages 2 and up
lessons customized to suit needs and talents
teaching experience of 10+ years
specializing in teaching young children
individual teaching pedagogy or preferred methods

My philosophy of teaching piano and music is an integrated, individualistic approach. My responsibility as a teacher is to tap into the enthusiasm of the student - what excites them and captivates them about music and nurture that curiosity. While covering the spectrum of theory, technique, and depth of
sounds - it is also important to keep it fresh with innovative approaches to learning different concepts and I achieve this using many different ways honed over the years. What I also aim to teach is effective and efficient practicing - and teach the tools that the student needs to continue evolving as a musician.

*** Specialties ***
Piano Performance
Classical Piano
Prepared Piano
Free Improvisation
Music Composition
Music Theory
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Reviews
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Adam December 8, 2016
· Classical Piano · In home
As an intermediate player returning to lessons, Julie provides great direction.
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Casey R. October 19, 2016
· Piano · In home
Great with kids and easy to work with.
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Jesse C. October 19, 2016
· Piano · In studio
I'm only on my second lesson with Julie and I like her very much, she's been very patient and understanding with me, as I knew absolutely nothing about the piano going in, I'm very much looking forward to an ongoing learning adventure with her and the piano...
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Julie M.

Julie M.

Oakland, CA 94611
(5)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About David W.

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Berkeley, CA

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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 Brian M.

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Oakland, CA

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About Brian
I have over 10 years of experience teaching in schools, music stores, and privately. My lesson plans are tailored to each student so you can expect to see improvement week to week.

My experience stretches a wide range of styles including rock, jazz, folk, blues, pop, soul, funk, country, and hip-hop to name a few. I have performed with several Grammy Award winning artists as well as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and am currently working on several bands and projects.

I think the world would be a better place if everyone could play music. I can work with you on songwriting and composing, improvisation, music theory, reading charts, and technical skills among other things. I look forward to meeting you and helping you become a better musician!
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Melody August 6, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Brian is so knowledgeable about music theory, and has been teaching for some time, and knows a lot of great mental tips to help me as a student learn things quickly. After only 2 lessons I could already play a whole song through! I would definitely recommend Brian as an instructor.
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Brian M.

Brian M.

Oakland, CA 94612
(1)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Michael F.

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San Francisco, CA

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About Michael
My name is Mike, and I have been teaching the guitar for over 20 years. I have helped hundreds of musicians develop their skills. As a performer, I have played in many bands, and shared the stage with performers such as Imagine Dragons, Train, Blues Traveler, Camper Van Beethoven, and countless others. In addition to teaching music and rock ensemble to the students at the University of San Francisco, I maintain an active schedule of teaching, performing and recording. My most memorable musical experience was playing "Imagine" on my guitar for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in 2003.

My teaching philosophy is that if you understand the instrument, you can play any style of music you choose. The more you dedicate yourself to learning the fretboard, the more freely you can express yourself musically.

Private instruction includes eve
rything from basic chording to advanced theory and technique, with a focus on the mechanics of the instrument. Topics covered include rhythm and technique studies, chord and scale theory, chord progressions, songwriting, musicality and performance, and improvisation. These topics are studied at a rate commensurate with the studentʼs ability.
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Reviews
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Kevin Whalen December 19, 2016
· Guitar ·
Mike is an excellent guitar teacher with a well thought out and easy to approach plan for new players. His passion, depth of knowledge, and talent are plain to see. He combines that with a real aptitude for teaching.
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Ranah Edelin November 3, 2016
· Guitar ·
Mike is great! Friendly, knowledgeable, positive, takes good notes that are helpful to refer back to later, and seems to adjust to whatever level student you are.
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Paul Gilliham September 8, 2016
· Guitar ·
What a find Mike has been. Friendly, fun, knowledgeable, Mike is a great teacher. I have been playing decades and Mike is helping teach me a boat load of new things, even in the first few lessons. I can't wait till the next one.
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Michael F.

Michael F.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(16)
starting at
$67 / 30-min

About Rebecca S.

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Oakland, CA
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About Rebecca
I have been teaching voice privately and in the university environment for over 20 years. Currently, I am the only teacher specializing in classical voice at the University of San Francisco, where I also teach music theory, music history, musicianship, and conduct the classical choirs. I am also a the conductor of Sacred and Profane Chamber Chorus in Oakland, CA. I have taught all ages and styles, and specialize in classical art song repertoire, operatic arias, musical theater, and the American song-book.

I hold a DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) from the University of Iowa in choral conducting (2002), an MA in conducting from UC Santa Cruz (1998), and a BA in voice with recital honors from UC Santa Cruz (1992).
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Rebecca S.

Rebecca S.

Oakland, CA 94601
starting at
$67 / 30-min

About Lucinda B.

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Berkeley, CA
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About Lucinda
Whether you are a seasoned singer in the studio or stage or a beginner wanting to empower yourself and learn more, perhaps you just need brushing up on technique- I am looking forward to working with you. We will work on your material together whether it's cover songs or originals. My aim is to empower you by teaching you ways to overcome those vocal difficulties, build your confidence and get you to where you want to be. As a successful recording artist myself, I also can you help you define yourself and work with you on your artist development.

Most of all we are going to have fun together during the process! and you are going to love your voice so much more and love the process and the journey.
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Lucinda B.

Lucinda B.

Berkeley, CA 94705
starting at
$67 / 30-min

About ali C.

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Sonoma, CA

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About ali
With private vocal studios in Los Angeles and Sonoma, California, certified vocal coach, and songwriter, Ali Cecchetti, is known for her work in the entertainment industry working with TV, film and recording artists. Ali offers a range of vocal techniques and services, including music theory, performance and songwriting skills. Creating a fun, positive and professional atmosphere, Ali customizes each session according to her client’s needs and goals to help them achieve their true potential. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Ali is an award winning, published songwriter and international performer. She makes it her mission “to give all my clients the confidence, knowledge and techniques to make their mark in the entertainment industry.”

Vocal lessons are geared to each singer’s individual and unique voice. From beginners to p
rofessional recording artists and performers each lesson incorporates the latest vocal science and research to develop vocal skills. Ali's focus is building vocal techniques, performance skills and creative development. Keeping your voice healthy, fixing vocal strain and eliminating breaks are just a few issues we will identify and help you find your true voice and potential.
Lessons detail: effective vocal warm up exercises, vocal strengthening and endurance training, breathing control, learning how to belt, posture, stage performance coaching, artist development, music theory, develop your song repertoire and musicianship skills.
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Reviews
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Jill August 20, 2017
· Vocal Training · In studio
Ali is amazing -- knowledgeable and patient -- highly recommended
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Lissy August 17, 2017
· Jazz Voice · In studio
Ali was a wonderful teacher. I really loved her energy and the feedback she gave me on my singing. I felt very taken care of and comfortable with her. She is a great communicator and I feel my singing really benefited from working with her. I highly recommend her!
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Allison August 17, 2017
· Vocal Training · In home
My experience with Ali was so amazing. It's apparent from the start that Ali is professional and extremely talented. I was blown away by her personality, I felt so comfortable with her. Will definitely be continuing lessons with her.
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ali C.

ali C.

Sonoma, CA 95476
(10)
starting at
$59 / 30-min

About Hannah B.

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Belvedere Tiburon, CA

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About Hannah
Hello! My name is Hannah, and I'm a patient, young adult in Marin County. I work full time at Starbucks, teach piano, and occasionally babysit. I have been playing piano for over 15 years and have been teaching for 2 years. I love working with kids and helping them learn new skills. When I'm not working, I'm usually playing with my puppy or exploring the beautiful Bay Area! I am very responsible and flexible. I look forward to hearing from you!
...
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Hannah B.

Hannah B.

Belvedere Tiburon, CA 94920
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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