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Boulder Creek, CA Music Theory Lessons

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About Laurence B.

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San Mateo, CA
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I teach music theory to many of m'y piano students, with spécial on ABRMS grade music theory which is a requirement for grades 6 and above for all instrumental exams.

About Laurence
I am a highly experienced and qualified piano teacher, teaching all ages and levels from beginner to advanced. I have proven success in taking students up to the top level of the ABRSM exams, and I am a member of the California Music Teachers Association.

QUALIFICATIONS

Master of Music (piano pedagogy), 2004, Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, CA (award of excellence)
Bachelor of Arts degree in Musicology, Sorbonne, Paris (cum laude)
State Piano Teaching Diploma, France
Gold Medal in Piano Performance, Conservatoire National

EXPERIENCE

I have been giving weekly individual piano and theory lessons for many years, presenting many for the ABRSM grade examinations. I also accompany high school choirs, and enjoy playing chamber music with the Arte Piano Trio. I am a enthusiastic pianist and enjoy sharing t
his passion with my students.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am familiar with the major piano methods, but rather than slavishly following one method, I prefer to adapt my teaching approach and pace to the needs and personality of each student, using whatever material is best suited for them. I ensure my students can read the notes they are playing, and thoroughly understand the rhythms, so they can become independent musicians. I also emphasize playing musically, even at beginning level, so they can enjoy and understand the music immediately. My students also have the opportunity to play in student recitals twice per year.

I can teach in English or French, using either letter name notes or the solfege method (do re mi).

*** Specialties ***
Classical piano (all periods) and chamber music
Broadway musicals and popular song music
I am specialized in preparing students for the internationally recognized ABRSM Grade exams.
I am familiar with most popular piano methods such as Faber and Faber, Alfred, Denes Agays, John Thompson and Bastien, and Dozen a Day for technique, and use them when I feel it is appropriate for the particular student.
...
Reviews
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Carole Larsen February 16, 2017
· Music Theory · In studio
Laurence has the skill set and knowledge which I need.
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Beatrice B. February 11, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Lessons are wonderful. Laurence is patient, and with simple exercises she is helping my playing become more spontaneous and smooth.
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Alexandra K. September 25, 2015
· Piano · In studio
Laurence is an excellent teacher. She focuses on teaching theory and basics while also cultivating my daughter's love of music and keeping the lessons fun. My daughter loves her!
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Laurence B.

Laurence B.

San Mateo, CA 94403
(4)
starting at
$38 / 30-min

About Hristo V.

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San Jose, CA
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I design my lessons with the specific student goals in mind.

For Beginner students: we will start by exploring rhythm concepts and understanding how to read music. Learning the physics of the guitar and exploring the notes in the first few positions. Learning open position chords, and simple chords progressions, major and pentatonic scales,etc.

For Intermediate students: we will continue expanding our knowledge of the higher positions of the guitar, as well as develop better sight-reading skills. Bar cords and chord transposition, and music theory. Expanding our scalar vocabulary to modes, and minor scales. Learning arpeggios and classical etudes.

For Advance students: Close interval voicings, jazz improvisation, chord to scale relationships, and harmonic substitutions are some of the concepts we will cover. Learning solo guitar playing (chord melody), incorporating walking bass lines, transcription skill and arranging skills.

I specialize in Jazz guitar, improvisation,

About Hristo
Hristo is an impressionistic modern jazz guitarist and composer from Sofia, Bulgaria. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hristo leads a variety of modern jazz formations, ranging from duets to quintets. Hristo has toured nationally and internationally, appearing at some of the most prestigious jazz clubs and festivals, and has also performed guitar clinics in Europe and Japan. He has written more than 270 original compositions, many articles on jazz improvisation, and a book on chordal theory and construction entitled Between the Voicings: A New Approach to Chord Building for Guitarists. The Hristo Quartet’s 2009 debut album, Song for Messambria (First Orbit Sounds Music) quickly received outstanding reviews by the international jazz community and was selected as one of the six best jazz albums of 2009 by E-JAZZ NEWS.
“His sophi
sticated and adventurous work is imbued with shimmering harmonies and lyrical improvisations.” – JAZZTIMES MAGAZINE
“His multihued compositions are like impressionistic sound paintings.” – JAZZIZ
“You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers.” – Improvijazzation Nation Magazine
“Hristo may be one of the best kept secrets in jazz today. He is the epitome of sonic gold.” – DIGITAL JAZZ NEWS
“Hristo plays as the cultural end result of his life experiences. Simply put, he plays more so from the heart than he does the head.” – Critical Jazz
“A richly textured album full of strong melodic and rhythmic ideas and with some superb playing throughout.” – THE JAZZ MANN (England)
As jazz critic Edward Blanco describes: “Heis the newest guitarist to enter the national jazz scene and does so with a stunner of a recording in Song for Messambria, one of the finest debut albums I've had the pleasure of appraising this year.”
The record presents a unique blend of ECM-style modern jazz, classical, and Brazilian tone textures, and showcases the completely unique and masterful interpretation of the jazz idiom by each one of its members. In late 2009, Hristo released his second studio album featuring Latin Grammy-nominated pianist Weber Iago. The Secrets of an Angel is an impressionistic landscape painted by the delightful and graceful conversation between the two instruments (guitar/piano).
As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “On the heels of his impressive debut recording, Song for Messambria, guitarist Hristo returns along with pianist Weber Iago for a wonderful guitar/piano duet recording - The Secrets of an Angel...while the gentle title track shimmers like a glistening iceberg on a cold sea. The delightful two-part ‘The Last Pirate” is a highlight - brilliantly showcasing the exciting romantic bend inherent in his music, while the nostalgic lullaby “Leka Nosht (Good Night)” recalls a faraway youth and rounds out this fine release.”
In 2010 Hristo wrote a large scale jazz work (The Perperikon Suite) especially to be premiered at the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival. This 7 movements jazz suite is inspired by the ancient Thracian city of Perperikon (located on the territory of Bulgaria), and combines orchestral, classical, jazz, and fusion elements depicting the history and mystery of this enchanting place. The work marks Hristo third album and one of his most adventurous and sophisticated works up to date. For the recording of this project the Hristo Quartet was joined by virtuoso vibraphonist and multi-instrumentalist Christian Tamburr.
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Shimmering harmonies resonate throughout these modern jazz marvels, and the soloists work their way around and through this accessible and exciting music with equal measures of taste, technique and spirit. His pieces are peppered with signpost sonorities and ideas that often reappear throughout a given song, creating a sense of continuity and thematic steadiness that develops around individual soloists. While this group ably establishes its own aural identity, which threads its way through the whole album, each movement of the suite has different strengths and a unique sonic footprint. Brought to life as a tale of two cities, The Perperikon Suite ultimately occupies its own wondrous world within the confines of its jazz borders.”
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “There is an incredible warmth to his playing, a fluidity of movement and direction held firmly in place by a stellar quintet that provides ample support for the lyrical imagery created on this release. Aside from the superior sound which almost smacks of a live in the studio recording, there is a true working band feel that he has been able to obtain. He displays an unparalleled versatility moving from the flash of “The Acropolis” to the more introspective “The Southern City” allowing for a wonderfully paced recording. The drumming of Joe DeRose creates a special dynamic tension on the tune “The Great Hall.” A release that ends far too soon. Wonderfully crafted, well paced and a sonic tapestry that stands up as well as any release for this past year.”
As jazz critic Bruce Lindsay describes: “The music, performed by a terrific quintet, is beautiful: it captures images not of a city in ruins but of a city full of life, of vibrant activity. The Perperikon Suite is an impressive creation. Each individual tune is beautifully crafted, but so, too, is the Suite as a whole. His response to the ancient city is remarkable in both its conception and its performance.”
As jazz critic Michael Bailey describes: “Many time motifs are used throughout this suite. Tick-tock ascending and descending figures pass as a thread through cloth, to hold this musical garment—a coat of many colors—together. He achieves this effect with no apparent effort or change in guitar tone or approach. Merely by affecting the time signatures, he makes his magic. The Perperikon Suite is soft-spoken and brainy music that exists out of the ordinary.”

As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “The new songs are the strongest he has written yet, and the addition of Tamburr serves to take the music to an even higher level. Hristo, meanwhile, continues to impress the listener with his addictive blend of jazz with touches of classical, Brazilian and Eastern European influences in both his playing and songwriting. In lieu of visiting the legendary site yourself, listeners are urged to take a musical journey to the ancient location as seen through the senses of Hristo and shared with you through his highly satisfying musical presentation.”
As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: “Hristo and his inspirational quintet provide an all-new experience on The Perperikon Suite, a concept album that is accessible, creative and a pleasure to spin often.”
In 2012 Hristo embarked on yet another musical chapter of his life. Heartmony is the long awaited and highly anticipated follow up to the first duet recording by the guitarist and pianist Weber Iago (The Secrets of an Angel). As the title of the record will suggest, Heartmony explores a truly intimate, honest, and emotional conversation between the two instruments. The music, which transports you from impressionistic landscapes to folkloric tales and from melancholic memories to meditative trances, is simply the purest harmonious sounds he has put on tape up to date. Straight from the heart, healing energy that will embrace you long after you listen to it.
“An absolutely wonderful recording.” – JAZZTIMES
“If ever there were a marriage between classical music and jazz then this Heartmony is it. Hristo and Weber Iago have created a very special experience.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)
“Both on and off the bandstand, he is an artist who wears his emotions on his sleeve. His new “Heartmony,” a duo session with his frequent collaborator, Brazilian pianist Weber Iago, provides a master class in the way a chord or harmonic progression can evoke a flood of sensations.” – Andrew Gilbert (San Jose Mercury News)
“Guitarist Hristo and longtime collaborator, pianist Weber Iago, have created a work of sublime musicality with Heartmony. Exquisitely lyrical, although a bit too sweet, this opus brings together multiple musical influences into a coherent and cohesive, multilayered narrative, the momentum of which does not slack from the first few notes to the very last. He and Iago interweave long musical threads into a shimmering soundscape of serene beauty.” – Hrayr Attarian (All About Jazz)
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “Heartmony is a sonic mosaic pieced together from heartfelt feelings and emotions carried through time and communicated in an incredibly heartwarming and emotional presentation that exemplifies the zen concept of less is more perhaps as well as any recording of the last decade. The musical sound of one hand clapping. His and Weber's music transcends the more traditional jazz idiom in much the same fashion that their recorded work here is that of a more cohesive unified voice with subtle shadings, lyrical swells and the textured nuances that creates music that is to be experienced. An incredibly beautiful artistic statement of personal experience.”
“Guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago sounds like a perfect match in a musical heaven, if such things exist. What I’m saying here is that this is a duet album that sounds perfect, music made from the heart and soul. There’s warmth, there’s care, and there’s a human quality to this that no machine can replicate, and it is that Heartmony that makes this a powerful album worth listening to repeatedly.” – John Books
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “The eleven originals are all musical offerings from the heart and soul, but this isn't a one-dimensional recital. Some songs are full of life and positive energy, while others have a sense of regret and nostalgia sewn into their being, but they're all painted in sharp, vivid colors, thanks to the skills of both artistic practitioners at play.”
“This set of guitar-piano duets is quietly emotional, always intriguing and quite original. His clear toned guitar blends in perfectly with Iago’s powerful piano and the two musicians often seem to think as one. Heartmony is quite thought provoking and well worthy of many close listens. Highly recommended.” – Scott Yanow
“Hristo and Iago play together with the assurance born of long and fruitful collaboration. They know each other well, and it shows in the skillful way they complement each other. They take a beautiful melody and run with it. They wring every bit of emotion out of it. There are passages in a composition like “Memories in Black and White,” nocturnal moments in “The Last Leaves which Fell in Fall,” that sound like they could have been written by a nineteenth century Polish Romantic. Then there are moments in the same songs where there are glints of French Impressionists.” – Jack Goodstein (blogcritics.com)
“Hristo is a gifted composer and master guitarist whose stylish approach to the music makes him a hidden wonder of the jazz world. Heartmony is an intelligent musical statement and gentle follow up to his previous works, a relaxing soulful musical experience sure to touch a piece of your heart.” – Ed Blanco (E-JAZZ NEWS)
In January 2013, Hristo released “Familiar Fields” – his 5th record as a leader (and his 2nd quartet recording). The music presented in this session clearly displays the multidimensional tonal evolution of the band and each one of its individual members. The addition of drummer extraordinaire Mike Shannon to the quartet establishes a portal to new sonic landscapes and emotions to be explored in this collection of 9 original pieces by the guitarist. The music, which takes the listener through the realms of impressionistic, classical, jazz, experimental, and new age, always retains the unique sonic footprint that has brought critical acclaim to the quartet all over the world.
“He  paints a vivid pastoral landscape with epic sweep, often recalling the big-sky sound of Pat Metheny. Obviously, these musicians are more than comfortable with one another, as one delicate solo seamlessly segues into another.” – JAZZIZ

“Once again he has produced an immaculately crafted, often supremely beautiful album.” –
The Jazz Mann (England)

“If Pat Metheny and Larry Carlton are considered the kings of impressionistic jazz guitar, then certainly Hristo is a crown prince and ready to lead a palace coup. In fact, “Familiar Fields” easily stands equal to even their greatest albums. Part of the reason for that has to be credited to Hristo’s choice of musicians in the quartet. The musical affinity and effortless grace shines forth on this album like few recordings I have ever heard. They share a single heart and mind that bursts forth in illumination on every track. There is no weak moment or weak player on this album.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)
“Over the past few years, Bulgarian-born, Bay Area-based guitarist and composer Hristo has consistently crafted music of great lyrical beauty. With his self-named quartet or quintet, or in duet with pianist and frequent collaborator Weber Iago, he has advanced a sound that manages to sound intimate and epic at the same time. He does so again on Familiar Fields (First Orbit Sounds), his latest recording with his quartet, which welcomes new member Mike Shannon on drums. As he has on previous recordings, He makes use of classical imagery and narratives in song titles such as “The Prophet’s Daughter,” “The Mask of Agamemnon” and “Wounded by a Poisoned Arrow,” the last of which is our selection. His instrumental voice bears echoes of the tonal warmth and big-sky sweep of Pat Metheny, as he and Iago, his beyond-simpatico musical compatriot, switch off on leads, riding the rolling hillocks of rhythm provided by Shannon and acoustic bassist Dan Robbins. Shannon proves an exceptional addition to the group, responding to and driving his companions in equal measure.” – JAZZIZ
As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “Bulgaria-born and San Francisco-based Hristo has established himself as a modern day troubadour. His enchanting and fantastical tunes have the feel of medieval ballads abundantly peppered with futuristic sounds. His sixth release, Familiar Fields, presents nine impressionistic originals that showcase his maturing compositional skills as well as the superlative, improvisational talents of his working quartet. With each album he oeuvre ripens and becomes more sophisticated without losing its delightfully spirited edge. Familiar Fields not only stands on its own merit as sublime music but also whets the appetite for what is yet to come.”

“Familiar Fields is a highly intelligent, thought-provoking Impressionistic escapade.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

“This release is a clear statement from an artist comfortable with who he is and where he is going. There are no absolute truths in music but instead there are shades of gray which he and his quartet fill in with the precision of a surgeon and the soul of a true artist. Never caught up in the academics of his works, he instead conducts a sonic exploration with the end result being a release that gives up something new with each subsequent spin. An ebb and flow unmatched, or perhaps unlike him, an ebb and flow that other artists simply can not match. As close to perfect as it gets!” – Brent Black (CriticalJazz.com)

“The Hristo Quartet, ladies and gentlemen, is in peak form. They have no competition: no other music in the jazz idiom is quite as satisfying.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)
“The musical bond between guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago is as strong as that of Chick Corea and Gary Burton, with proof being their two sublime duet recordings, The Secrets of an Angel and Heartmony, as well as three small group sessions under his name. For the Familiar Fields quartet date with regular bassist Dan Robbins and new drummer Mike Shannon, chose nine gems to play from his vault of more than 270 original compositions. As usual, as one listens to his music, the words lyrical, impressionistic, spiritual, and passionate come to mind, and also his term "heartmony," which he defines as the simultaneous combination of feelings and emotions, especially when produced by experiences, memories, and stimulations pleasing to the heart, body, and soul." – Scott Albin (JAZZTIMES)
“The emotional essence of any Hristo recording can be seen before it’s heard via the distinctive oil paintings the guitarist creates for his CD jackets. his artwork for Familiar Fields is impressionistic, haunting and autumnal, the same qualities that characterize his latest collection of tunes. The foursome’s interplay is highly intricate, resulting in emotive tunes that wax and wane in intensity. Whether you call it post-bop or post-fusion, his brand of jazz is passionate and ethereal. He has developed into a formidable guitarist and intelligent composer, and since he’s only 32 years old, his best work may be yet to come.” – Ed Kopp (Jazziz)
“Within his tone and technique, it’s not difficult to hear the influences of Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny and Lee Ritenour. He is adept at the full range of extended techniques but is most often described - justifiably - as an impressionist.” – Karl Ackermann (All About Jazz)
“Of the many attributes that Bulgarian (San Francisco based) guitarist Hristo possesses - refined technical abilities, warm tonality, and expressive soulfulness - his gift to convey beautiful stories through intricate composition is always at the heart of his appeal.” – Mark F. Turner

In October 2013, Hristo released his 6th album as a leader. "Rhodopa" is a beautifully crafted sonic pairing of the extremely emotional and lyrical Bulgarian folklore and the multidimensional and deeply textured world of modern jazz harmony. On his new music journey, the guitarist is joined by virtuoso Bulgarian clarinetist Liubomir Krastev. As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Hristo and Liubomir Krastev cover everything from the mystical to the mournful and the grim to the gleeful on this absorbing duo date.”

“Hristo takes improvisational music to a third dimension of texture you can feel. Rhodopa is my selection for album of the year for 2013. Critically acclaimed guitar virtuoso Hristo started the year with the release of the highly regarded Familiar Fields. With Rhodopa, has now assumed his rightful place as a global virtuoso of unrivaled talent and ability. As artistically gifted as he is technically proficient, Hristo moves to the head of the pack with this stellar outing.” – Brent Black (CriticalJazz.com)

“Hristo boldly departs from the group setting and gives the audience even more of what they crave - soulful arrangements and virtuosity with heart. There is a beauty and an elegance that comes through on each and every one of Hristo's recordings. The music he composes, the arrangements he crafts, the musicians that he assembles together and the dignity and reverence of his musicianship speak of the heart of the man and his love of life.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)

As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “The warm, poetic tunes are like fairy tales in verse. They are imbued with nostalgia, and shimmer with a variety of muted colors and sentiments. Krastev's softly undulating tones waver against his vibrating strings in a spiritual celebration of abstract beauty. This thematically unified work is a genre bending, elegant and satisfying opus and a new high for he who continues to excel himself on each fresh release.”

“Modern jazz guitarist, pianist and composer Hristo always refreshes the ear and the soul with his inordinately sensitive, mesmerizing, and beautiful approach to music. He is unique - and artist who explores every avenue of approach to both folk music and jazz and the result is an experience that simply no one else can match.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)

“With Rhodopa, guitarist/composer Hristo and clarinetist Liubomir Krastev meld musical minds, dive exuberantly into an array of earthy Bulgarian folk material and come up with four hands of beauty. The result is a panoply of aural color, emotion, and technical artistry.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: "Rhodopa is an instrumental serenade of Bulgarian folklore music interpreted by a world-class guitarist and clarinetist. Hristo and Liubomir Krastev deliver an enchanting and relaxing escape from reality with a fifty-three minute encounter of soul-reaching music."

"You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers. With Liubomir’s reeds, they form a cultural jazz experience that can’t be compared with anything else!" – Dick Metcalf (Improvijazzation Nation Magazine)

On top of leading his own quartet, quintet, duo projects, and co-leading the group SEVA, Hristo also co-writes and plays guitar with Joe De Rose and Amici - an energetic jazz/fusion formation lead by drummer Joe De Rose. Hristo has appeared on countless radio shows/programs all around the world.

Hristo has also performed in world-class jazz venues and festivals including Yoshi’s Jazz Club (Oakland, CA), Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (Half Moon Bay, CA), Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, CA), Anthology (San Diego, CA), Catalina Jazz Club (Hollywood, CA), The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head Island, SC), Heidi's Jazz Club (Cocoa Beach, FL), Alvas Showroom (San Pedro, CA), The Jazz Station (Eugene, OR), Egan's Ballard Jam House (Seattle, WA), Timucua White House (Orlando, FL), Ivories Jazz Club (Portland, OR), The Herbst Theater (San Francisco, CA), SOhO Jazz Club (Santa Barbara, CA), as well as major jazz festivals including the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival (Monterey, CA), 2009/2010/2012/2013 AT&T San Jose Jazz Festival (San Jose, CA), 2010 and 2012 Redwood City “Jazz on Main” (Redwood City, CA), Okazaki Jazz Festival (Okazaki, Japan) and many more.

Hristo holds a B.A. in Music (Jazz Studies) from San Jose State University in San Jose, CA.
He has also studied in the prestigious Roland Music Academy in Caracas, Venezuela.

Students can benefit from Hristo's completely amazing knowledge on the instrument as well as music/harmony theory. He will work and design unique and specific goals tailored to each student's individual interests. His dedication and passion for teaching are first class!!!

*** Lesson Details ***
I design my lessons with the specific student goals in mind.

For Beginner students: we will start by exploring rhythm concepts and understanding how to read music. Learning the physics of the guitar and exploring the notes in the first few positions. Learning open position chords, and simple chords progressions, major and pentatonic scales,etc.

For Intermediate students: we will continue expanding our knowledge of the higher positions of the guitar, as well as develop better sight-reading skills. Bar cords and chord transposition, and music theory. Expanding our scalar vocabulary to modes, and minor scales. Learning arpeggios and classical etudes.

For Advance students: Close interval voicings, jazz improvisation, chord to scale relationships, and harmonic substitutions are some of the concepts we will cover. Learning solo guitar playing (chord melody), incorporating walking bass lines, transcription skill and arranging skills.

*** Studio Equipment ***
A specific music room with a few guitars, a keyboard, amps, and recording equipment and music stands

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my guitar and amp.
Students should provide their guitars and amps (if needed)

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Jazz guitar, improvisation, harmonic studies and theory.
Chord melodies, building lines, phrasing, voice-leading, chordal improvisation, and re-harmonization/substitution.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Kim L. April 26, 2014
· Guitar ·
Outstanding Performer

Hristo is the most inspirational teacher I've every had the pleasure to learn from. He shares his talent in a way that I look forward to every lesson. His patience and positive reinforcement encourages me to keep practicing. He selects the appropriate music for my level and teaches all genres. Thank you for working with me every week. I hope I get to work with him for as long as I can until he becomes too famous to continue teaching us.
Silhouette-80
AllenH April 4, 2012
· ·
Great Instructor

I've been taking lessons from Hristo for a couple of months now. He is friendly, affable, and extremely patient. I enjoy our lessons, and have learned quite a bit in the short time we have been working together.
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JeanetteY March 7, 2012
· ·
wonderful instructor and very accomodating. We are appreciative of his talents!!
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Hristo V.

Hristo V.

San Jose, CA 95118
(9)
starting at
$65 / 30-min

About Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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Learn about rhythm, harmony, melody, and dynamics in great detail.

Music is often taught excessively by rote, and I feel it's very important to understand the logic behind everything just like you would in mathematics. So take that leap and explore the science of music.

About Jesse
*Disclaimer*
I'm currently not taking beginner students on guitar, bass, drums, piano, or ukulele. I highly recommend my studio partners Andrew and Melissa though. Please check out their profiles for the following topics:

Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano, and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-i5

Piano and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/melissa-m62

My Background

I've been playing with classical ensembles and rock bands since 2001. Even though I started on classical trombone and rock guitar, I have come to expand my repertoire to a variety of instruments and genres. During my time in college I performed with the University choir, orchestra, and band. I also have organized, wrote/arranged for, and performed with a variety of bands in my home state of New Mexico, as well as Japan, and the San Francisco Bay Are
a.

Since 2006 I have been an active teacher. This profession has taken me everywhere from working with classical guitar classes in New Mexico high schools to Elementary students in Japan to a variety of private students of various musical instruments and genres everywhere I've been. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2010, I've had the pleasure of working with lots of great students from kids to adults with a wide range of ambitions. Since 2012 I've been running my own full time studio along.

Philosophy of Learning

Lessons are generally designed to work towards giving students the tools to accomplish their goals and become increasingly independent over time. While all students will study similar fundamentals regarding technique, theory, and performance, every lesson is as different as every person. What kind of music do you want to make? I'll tell you what you need to do to get there, and help you take the steps to achieve your aspirations.

I also love to help students put together a song, record, and produce it for them so that they can have a recording to share with their friends and family.

I also hold events for my students. (Check out our pictures and videos below!)
Younger students have the "Young Musicians Showcase" every few months where individual students and band classes have a chance to perform and celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family.
Adult students occasionally have events where they get a chance to get together and play music as well.

Aside from in-studio lessons, students also have the option to sign up for online lessons via Skype.
(*Online lessons offered during different times than in-studio lessons.)

*Unfortunately due to scheduling issues, I'm not currently accepting students for bi-weekly lessons. I can do regular weekly lessons, or occasional drop-in lessons, but bi-weekly appointments make it really hard for me to give the best scheduled times to my existing weekly students. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

My studio is equipped with:

*Multiple Music Stands

*P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, and a Banjo

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set

*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set

*An electric piano console

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, and Flute

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

*A recording system that students are not only welcome to use but encouraged to

*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
...
Reviews
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Brian August 29, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
This was my son's first lesson, and he is looking forward to playing his trumpet and coming back for more lessons. I was hoping to spark his interest in music and so far so good.
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Robert O. August 10, 2017
· Japanese · Online
Thumb_596ebb8e0d218_review_My%20Pic%20-%204-500px
Rajeev July 18, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
After a break of more than a year I wanted to restart my Trumpet lessons. I chose Jesse based on the reviews and Jesse did not disappoint. He is very patient and focused teacher. I liked his structured method and tools he uses. I was able to get back in groove in no time.

Highly recommended.
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(87)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Helena G.

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San Jose, CA

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About Helena
Classically trained at prestigious Mussorgsky school of music in St. Petersburg, Russia, with over 20 years of teaching experience. I teach Violin, Viola and Piano Performance, Music Theory, Music History, Sight Reading and Ear Training to children and adults of beginning to advanced level. I utilize several teaching methods to best suit the needs of a student and make lessons enjoyable and productive. I introduce my students to a variety of styles while teaching classical techniques for lifetime skills. When not teaching, I play with Nova Vista Symphony (First Violin) ,Campbell String Chamber Orchestra (Concertmeistress), Winchester Symphony Orchestra, and a variety of instrumental Ensembles featuring Klezmer Music, Russian Tangos and Brazilian Choros.

*** Lesson Details ***
My lessons are a balance of fun and focus. My students qu
ickly learn the basics and start playing familiar melodies. I teach memorization techniques to develop a performing repertoire.
In addition, my students develop abilities in rhythm, melody, harmony, understanding of theory, and improvisation. I also help with school orchestra practice and audition preparation.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Dedicated Music Space, desk, piano, recording equipment, music stands, couch for parents to observe and wait or participate.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect the student to provide their own violin and bow, music stand and a notebook. Students may also need to purchase sheet music/music books. I will provide basic recording equipment (audio and video), and pre-recorded piano or orchestra accompaniment. A live piano accompanist is available for recitals and pre-recital rehearsals.

*** Specialties ***
Classical Violin, Viola
Fiddle - Klezmer, American, Celtic
Piano - beginning and intermediate levels
Music Theory, Ear Training, Sight Reading, Improvisation.
...
Reviews
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Elsa March 3, 2017
· Violin · In home
My daughter has had multiple instructors over the past 4 years and Helena is her favorite. Her technique and personality make her a joy to work with and Elsa is eager to practice and looks forward to her lesson each week.
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Jill March 2, 2017
· Violin · In home
Helena has great insight and can spot areas that need improvement quickly! She is kind and patient, and a wonderful violin teacher/player.
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Joe A. March 10, 2016
· Violin · In home
I am an adult beginner. Helena is amazingly patient and has clearly mastered teaching the violin. I am very excited that I found her and look forward to having her guide me on my journey to learn such a beautiful musical instrument.
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Helena G.

Helena G.

San Jose, CA 95111
(17)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Alexandra P.

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San Mateo, CA
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I have been teaching music theory for ten years in my private studios and in classrooms.

I focus on beginning theory from note reading and rhythm recognition through to the ABRSM theory exams.

I also teach and tutor theory from the Laitz and Kastka Payne theory textbooks.

My desire is to help people understand music theory in an easy and fun way.

About Alexandra
Alexandra has been teaching harp and piano around the country for eighteen years through her personal harp studio and the Salvi Showroom in Southern California. She has also worked as a sectional coach for the Orange County Youth Symphony, Asia America Youth Symphony, and Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra. Her students are currently attending Eastman School of Music, Columbia University, Barnard College, Harvard University, Boston College, University of Pennslyvania, Princeton University, Northwestern University, University of Notre Dame, Yale University and Purdue University among others. Her students have also appeared on National television as well as playing for the Grammy Awards.

A strong supporter of the American Harp Society, she is Vice President of the American Harp Society Foundation. Alexandra is also co-chairman of
the distinguished Anne Adams Awards Harp Competition where she has been a main Director for fifteen years. She has served as the President of the Orange County Harp Society Chapter as well as a board member of the Bay Area Harp Society Chapter.

Alexandra received her Bachelor's Degree from DePauw University, majoring in Music and Anthropology. She also completed premedical studies at DePauw after spending her Junior year studying harp at the University of Oregon. She received her Master's Degree from Roosevelt University in Orchestral Studies, and did post graduate work at the University of Southern California in Harp Performance and Anthropology.

Alexandra's harp teachers have included: Sarah Bullen, Sally Maxwell, Edward Druzinsky, JoAnn Turovsky, Harriet Thompson Moore, Kara Bershad, Faye Seeman, Joy Andreasen, and Neva Lydiard. She has also had many mentors who have guided her life and career including: Kathleen Bride, Victor Salvi, Sally Maxwell, Patricia Masri- Fletcher, Robin Gordon- Cartier, Carrie Kourkoumelis, Dr. Craig Pare, and Karen Thielen.

Alexandra has performed in many master classes given by such internationally known harpists as Skaila Kanga, Jana Bouskova, Marie Pierre Langlamet, and Bryn Lewis. She has also organized many masterclasses and events featuring: Kathleen Bride, Sarah Bullen, Gwyneth Wentink, Patricia Masri - Fletcher, Louise Vickerman, Sivan Magen, Sasha Boldachev, Ina Zdorovetchi, Angel Padilla Crespo, Elzbieta Szmytt, Susan Allen, Gayle Levant, Stella Castelucci, Robin Gordon Cartier, Emmanuel Ceysson, Yolanda Kondonasis, and Kim Robertson.
 
Alexandra has performed extensively throughout North America and Europe as a soloist, with small ensembles, and as an orchestral harpist. She has appeared in several television shows such as General Hospital. Her playing,"Is filled with care, artistry, and mature interpretation. She is a talented musician, well rounded in her knowledge of music, and has a healthy curiosity in areas beyond music." (Donald Chen, conductor) "Everything I heard was sensitive, artistic, and had beautiful intonation." (Richard Ferrin, violist emeritus, Chicago Symphony Orchestra).

In addition to playing, Alexandra has also served as the Ambassador for Salvi Harps in North America for the past eleven years. She has given numerous masterclasses and workshops in addition to performing at National Harp Conferences and National and Regional music showcases. In her role as National Sales Manager, she helped harpists from all over the world find their dream harps, learn to care for them, and has mentored them along the way.

Apart from harp activities, Alexandra also enjoys teaching middle school, teaching piano, coaching rowing, participation in sports activities, and writing articles for various journals including: The American Harp Journal, Chicago Health Magazine, and Atlanta Health Magazine. She also enjoys being a board member on the DePauw University Alumni Board and she enjoys working on music startup companies.

*** Lesson Details ***

As a HARP teacher, all of my
students play scales, arpeggios, and technical exercises in
their lessons. I believe having a strong technical base is the foundation for
every part of playing and you can't learn without it. I will set the repertoire
for students according to their technical progress and although I may
take into consideration a student's desires to learn a certain piece, there has
to be time and they have to be ready for it. I have both short term and long
term goals for each student that involve theory, technical ability, and
repertoire: fun, orchestral and solo. Adult students still have to learn
technique, it makes things much more fun and easy six months later, I promise! Beginning students will learn how to read notes, understand basic theory, and technique in a short amount of time, so don't be scared if you have never had a music lesson before. 

I require all students make
at least half an hour a day commitment to practice. I teach mostly the Grandjany method of harp technique, however, I also use Salzedo and Renie methods
at times to fit a particular students' build and unique physical attributes as well as what the piece requires. I
have studied all techniques throughout my education and I find them all
beneficial for different reasons. I do, however, believe everyone is built
differently and the technique should help the harpist play and not hinder them
from achieving their goals. Everyone learns at a different speed, but as a
brand new musician, after six months practicing regularly, you should be able
to read music fluently, understand basic theory concepts, be able to play with
both hands and four fingers on each hand, play all of the basic scales and
arpeggios musically and be able to play at least one piece memorized.
Curriculum is based on the student's technical ability and issues and is
individually created – if you learn slower than someone else, don’t worry about
your pace. In the end, lessons are about you personally and not someone else.

As a PIANO teacher, I want students to learn about music and not just the piano. Students will learn basic music theory and basic scales as a part of their lessons. They will also occasionally choose a song of their choosing to work on chords. I do promote note reading and theory, so I am not the right teacher for students who don't want to invest time in learning the basics. These basics are the building blocks of all music and can be used for any instrument the student chooses to learn in the future.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have harps and a piano at my studio, so you do not need to bring your harp to lessons. If you don't own a harp, you can rent one for around $45/month from several sources. 

*** Specialties ***
HARP - Grandjany Technique with an incorporation of Salzedo and French school depending on the player's body type and technical difficulties. I make use of the ABRSM as well as local, national, and international competitions depending on the student's level of commitment.

PIANO - I teach basic piano for fun through an Intermediate level. Although some students choose to take CM and ABRSM exams, I do not push them. I want students to enjoy piano and music lessons.
...
Reviews
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christina March 9, 2016
· Harp · Online
Alexandra was an excellent teacher! She really makes you feel at home even if you are nervous at the beginning… I look forward to taking more lessons from her
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Carol M. September 30, 2015
· Harp · In home
Alexandra was the most patient and caring teacher. She is very interested in going at the student's pace. She excelled my expatiations! Thank you Alexandra!
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Yana T. June 13, 2015
· Harp · In studio
Alexandra Perdew is a one of a kind instructor. She not only pushes her students to excel, but I truly believe that she inspires greatness. She treats her students with the utmost respect and works diligently to provide them with every possible resource needed for learning. She is not a teacher who will let anyone get by with putting in half the effort. She motivates me to work and perform at the highest level possible.
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Alexandra P.

Alexandra P.

San Mateo, CA 94404
(12)
starting at
$80 / 60-min
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About Katherine S.

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San Jose, CA

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I teach basic music theory starting from simply knowing what note is what to being able to begin composing your own songs.

About Katherine
Kat S., Soprano, has her Bachelor's of Music in Classical Voice, as well as teaching singing lessons in San Jose and Sacramento, CA. A member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, she strives to support her students in finding their voice, no matter what level they are at. A proponent of being able to use your voice healthily for all singing styles, she is versed in classical, jazz, musical theater, and pop styles. She also has experience teaching beginning theory.

Now a teacher for elementary school music in San Jose, CA, she is also a professional singer for Holy Family Church. Previous jobs she's had are section leader for St. Mark's Methodist Church, professional singer for Fremont Presbyterian in Sacramento, and director for music for young adult Masses at the Sacramento Newman Catholic Community. Her own private tea
cher is the renowned Dr. Robin Fisher, Soprano. Dr. Fisher is one of two classical voice instructors at CSU Sacramento, and has performed in both the United States and Europe.

Lesson Details:
I teach from a comprehensive approach, taking into account mind and body: the science of voice as well as the art.

Studio Equipment:
- Piano
- Multiple books of music for: classical or opera voice, jazz voice, musical theater, children's music

Travel Equipment:
- Multiple books of music for: classical or opera voice, jazz voice, musical theater, children's music

Specialties:
Opera - Jazz Voice - Pop - Folk - Classical
...
Reviews
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Mustafa July 17, 2017
· Singing · In home
She was great, made me feel comfortable at home, easy to get along with, and helps to sculpt to music you like.
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Marjorie October 10, 2016
· Broadway Singing · In studio
She is very good at telling me what is expected for each lesson and long term
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Roxanna B. July 25, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Very informative, detailed, and helpful! Gives a lot of instruction in varying methods to better teach you.
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Katherine S.

Katherine S.

San Jose, CA 95124
(18)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Anthony P.

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San Jose, CA

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I have years of experience in Music Theory at the college level, and can teach all levels of theory, from basic notes and rhythms to figured-bass realization.

About Anthony
***About me***

I am a Bay Area classical saxophonist, singer, writer and educator. Currently studying towards a B.A. in Music Education, my saxophone instructors have included Michael Hernandez. Saxophone Professor at San Jose State University, Dale Wolford, former Professor at SJSU, Dr. Tim McAllister, Professor at the University of Michigan, Dr. William Street, Professor at the University of Alberta.

***Saxophone Lesson Details***

I strive to mold my lessons to my student's goals--while they all have a core curriculum to develop proper technique, where our lessons go from there is entirely up to each individual student. Some students decide to hone their improvisation and jazz skills, others to develop their classical musicianship. Generally, within a few lessons, a student will have developed a proper embouchure, and be able t
o play basic melodies with proper rhythm and technique. I will work with your student for however long they wish to guide them on their path to greatness, whether that is a couple months or throughout their high school career.

I teach lessons in the music building at SJSU.
...
Reviews
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ben M. June 19, 2017
· Saxophone · Online
Anthony is a great teacher. He connects well with my teenage son and has been able to work with us on scheduling. I highly recommend him.
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Edward S. January 2, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Anthony is a great instructor. He is very attentive, detailed and knowledgable. He sees what needs work and has a very strong grasp of the fundamentals. He has a flexible schedule and can work at the student's pace. Anthony make sure the student does things the right way and doesn't develop bad habits.
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Rebecca H. October 22, 2016
· Saxophone · In home
My son has been taking Saxophone lessons with Anthony for 1 year now, he makes great progress, and is enjoying playing the Saxophone more.
Anthony is a very good teacher with good knowledge, and very encouraging and patient. sometime he sings along or plays the keyboard to help with the song.
he really makes a difference for my son's music learning experience.
we are very happy with him.

Rebecca
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Anthony P.

Anthony P.

San Jose, CA 95192
(9)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

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.
...
Reviews
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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
$39 / 30-min

About Colleen M.

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San Jose, CA

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MUSIC THEORY

A Grammy award winning singer, Colleen has been teaching voice and music theory for over 10 years, Learn to sight read music without ever having heard it before! When you can read music and know the ins and out of musical harmony, there is a world of opportunity available to you as a performer. Musicians will line up to want to perform with you and the gigs will come rolling in!

VOCAL TRAINING

Colleen utilizes classical technique to train artists who perform both classical and commercial styles of music, including musical theater, R&B, pop, gospel, rock, alternative, country, musical theater and jazz.

She has been trained in contemporary technique by Seth Riggs, vocal coach to Michael Jackson; as well as Linda Septien, vocal coach to top pop stars Beyonce, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Demi Levato, Ryan Cabrera, Kidz Bop Kids, Miley Cyrus and many many more top stars. With me you get the very same methods these stars are trained with.

Colleen has been ...

About Colleen
Colleen is a Grammy award winning recording artist and has been teaching music to ages 6 and up for 10 years.. She also performs around the bay area. She currently teaches music in Redwood City for KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program), a national organization of charter schools known for their rigorous high standards. Colleen Teaches out of her home in downtown San Jose as well as online through Skype and FaceTime.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Colleen has taught students of all ages and abilities. While teaching elementary school, she led over 250 singers in school wide performances. While teaching middle school, her four choirs won multiple awards and gained a reputation for giving top quality performances. While teaching high school she led a district wide masterwork performance that featured singers from three high school choirs, accompa
nied by a full orchestra. Her top high school choirs toured California and won best overall at the California Music Educators conference. Her adult students have gone on to great heights, winning recording contracts, lead roles and awards. Her students have won movie rolls, singing competitions and some have even become YouTube viral sensations.

TEACHING METHODS:

Classical technique: Colleen has studied classical technique under Sherri Greenawald, the Grammy winning Artistic Director of the San Francisco Opera.

Contemporary technique: Colleen has studied with some of the top voice teachers in the music industry. She studies directly from Linda Septien, a legend in the music industry. Linda is ranked as one of the top 5 talent coaches in the world. Some of Linda's students include: Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Ryan Cabrera and Hunter Parish and more. She is an adviser for American Idol, The Voice and America's Got Talent. Colleen continues to pass on Linda's stellar methods to her students.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Voice lessons consist of a tailored curriculum created specifically for each student, targeting areas that will have the most impact for each individual artist. Learn to expand your range, using your diaphragm properly; learn scatting, breathing techniques, belt, mixed voice and head voice. Learn how to add texture and style to your performance.
Great entertaining is also about presentation, visual energy and staging. Learn how to be an all around entertainer through timed movement, staging and story telling.

YOUR FIRST LESSONS

Lessons can be booked by clicking the green "continue" button. Want to talk first? Click the "Ask A Question" button at the top of your screen.

It would be great if you could come to the first lesson with a song you can perform, one you can sing either on your own without music or using a karaoke track from YouTube.
...
Reviews
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Lilly R. July 6, 2017
· Singing · In studio
She made us feel 100% comfortable taking our daughter to her first lesson . I definitely recommend her if anyone it's looking for someone. I drove almost 1 hr to her spot but well worth it .
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Michelle January 30, 2017
· Singing · In studio
I love Ms. Colleen! She is so nice and she really helped me with my audition. I can match pitch better and she helped me move more and I sound much better!
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Ricardo January 27, 2017
· Vocal Training · In studio
My son is 9 and Colleen has been seeing him once a week. She has him on a program where he sings everyday with homework. She has a professional recording studio in her home and records exercises that she sends my son home with. She is a very good teacher. She is clear and kind and always has something new to do.
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Colleen M.

Colleen M.

San Jose, CA 95112
(9)
starting at
$55 / 30-min

About Orlia A.

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Palo Alto, CA
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My teaching philosophy is that students learn best when they are having fun! All lessons are designed with each individual student's goals and interests in mind, so if an approach isn't working, we switch things up. With 12+ years of experience teaching students age 3 to adult through a variety of methods, I can find something that works for the casual learner and AP/college prep student alike.

Styles: Classical, Popular, Church/Religious

About Orlia
I am an experienced music instructor who has taught in Chicago, Austin, Orange County, and the Bay Area. I graduated with a Bachelor's in Music Education from Vanguard University. My earnest desire is to see each student succeed in meeting or surpassing their musical goals and expand their understanding of the world through music, the universal language. No two students learn in quite the same way, so I tailor each lesson by taking into account individual strengths, weaknesses, and interests to make learning fun!

Students will learn aspects of classical and popular music styles, basic music fundamentals, and songs/repertoire from around the world.

I look forward to sharing the joy of music with you!
...
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Orlia A.

Orlia A.

Palo Alto, CA 94304
starting at
$45 / 30-min

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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

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As you're learning to read music, you'll come across complex rhythms at some point. Here, Saint Augustine, FL music teacher Heather L. offers some helpful tips to help you get through the tricky parts...   Have you ever found yourself sitting in a big concert hall, or in your room, listening to a soloist play a practically perfect rhythm? Almost all of us have, and almost all of us have asked ourselves, "How do they do that?" Their secret is subdivision. You might be just begin
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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
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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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