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Brentwood, CA Music Theory Lessons

Looking for private in-home or in-studio Music Theory lessons? Our Brentwood teachers are ready to get you started. Find your teacher today!

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Popular Music Theory Teachers near Brentwood, CA

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Brentwood, CA including Antioch, Clayton, Discovery Bay, Knightsen and Byron.

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About Steven B.

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Alameda, CA

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I have been teaching music theory part time since 1972 and full time since 1998. One of the most important aspects of learning music theory is going beyond "what to play" and teaching you "why you're playing it". Once you have a grasp of basic theory concepts, you'll be able to learn new songs twice as fast, and with a great deal more accuracy!

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 Bryan E.

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Oakley, CA

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Learn to decode the mathematics of music, the rules, and how to break them!

Theory is the backbone of all that is music. For those who do not know how to read music, that will be the first step. From there we begin to work on special concepts, learning the numbers of structure. Then comes the nitty-gritty, the advanced workings to include composing!

About Bryan
Hello! Music has consumed me from a very young age, and has been a defining force ever since. I started singing in Kindergarten, and began playing the viola, cello, and saxophone in middle school. During high school, while performing in every vocal and band solo and ensemble I could, it became very clear that I wanted to pursue music in college. I attended Hastings College, a private liberal arts college in the heart of Nebraska, where I received my Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance. During college, and since, I have had a private music studio teaching students piano, voice, and a little guitar from ages 5 to 87, so I have seen a great deal of talent over the years. I enjoy all ages and genders, but having been a male in music I am aware of the stigma young males face regarding music. Being a veteran and a musician has allowe
d me to incorporate characteristics from both in my approach to teaching, and in showing it is very cool to be a male in music!

Education:
Private Vocal Student 1994-2006
Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance, Hastings College 2000-2006 (interrupted due to military)

Areas of Instruction:
Piano-Beginner/Intermediate
Guitar-Beginner/Intermediate
Music Theory-General/Intermediate Voice-Beginner/Intermediate/Professional

*** Lesson Details ***
Lesson Details:
The first few lessons for instrumental instruction will be familiarization. The first several lessons, and throughout all lessons for voice, we will learn about the bodies connection to the voice and the mechanics behind it.

After we are familiar with each other and our instruments of choice, we will begin on some basic music knowledge (theory). Super beginning for the youngsters, and more formal if you are an older student.

After approximately 3-6 months, depending on how much you practice, we will begin working on actual songs, and plugging in what we have learned so far into the songs, and using that material to advance in our learning.

I am excited to work with you!! Thank you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
1888 Lester Upright piano

*** Specialties ***
Methods used for instruction depend on the student. I have found what works for one may not work for all. However, I approach the vocal process from the basics of breathing combined with resonation points, and the modifications of such points based off of pitch, tone, and volume requirements. I instruct on personal voice points, meaning identify those parts where resonation lacks, and finding the right modifiers to safely approach those points, in an attempt to create an effortless sound which is safe to recreate every time.

Beginning, should the student not have any music theory knowledge, basic instruction will be presented. It is my opinion that a foundation in theory knowledge must be present to fully comprehend and utilize the vocal instruction.
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Reviews
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Luis U. June 25, 2015
· Piano · In studio
He's great! Very nice! We get along very well! I recommend!
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Luis U. February 6, 2015
· Piano · In studio
he is Excelent teacher. I am very happy to have him as my teachter. Luis
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Sherron M. October 15, 2014
· Piano · In studio
My son is 7 years old and can sometimes be a little hyper. He has seizures so he is on this medication that makes him a little hyper. I have to say that Bryan is very patient with my son and my son loves going to piano lessons. When he is sick and have to miss class, he actually cries. I live in Mountain House and Brian lives in Oakley, which is a little drive for us. I have to say, it is very much worth the drive. My son had no experience with piano before he started with Bryan and I have to say that he has learned so much in these past few months. Bryan is an excellent teacher and as long as I can afford him, I will definitely continue to take my son to piano lessons.
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Bryan E.

Bryan E.

Oakley, CA 94561
(7)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Jason J.

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Castro Valley, CA

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About Jason
I have been playing guitar for over 25 years and teaching for over 15. I have experience playing live including, classical guitar, acoustic popular songs, rock and jazz groups and most notably with The West Coast's Premier Tribute to Pearl Jam, Vitalogy. I have two music degrees (BA music and AA-O in Guitar Performance) and a California Music teaching credential which all has given me the training to assess your progress and differentiate your instruction based on YOUR specific needs as a student as well as your musical goals.
There are a couple of books I may suggest for you depending on the situation and of course I require you to provide your own guitar as you will need it to practice what you learn in each lesson.

*** Specialties ***
I take a balanced approach to teaching that includes equal attention to theory and technique w
hile helping a student accomplish his/her musical goals. I am comfortable teaching the following genres: rock, blues, classical, reggae, jazz and country
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Jason J.

Jason J.

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

About Peter D.

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Oakland, CA
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From scales, to key signatures, to rhythm, to chord progressions, to harmony, to melody, to arrangement.... I teach pretty much everything on every level of music theory! All levels welcome.

About Peter
Whether piano, voice, songwriting/composition, music theory or music production, I bring all that I have learned and developed as a musician to the lesson in the interest of the student’s growth.

Whether we work in classical, jazz, or pop, We focus on what will directly fit your individual goals. We can cover the full spectrum of technique, theory, ear training, sight-reading, and performance. What emerges over time is tailor-made program suited to your needs and goals.

A little bit about my background: I have studied with over 12 music professors, both in the classroom and individually for 6 years at Saddleback Community College in Orange County. I’ve studied a number of styles while composing for and performing in various small ensembles, including:  world music, classical, pop, jazz, and musical theatre. I continue teach, produ
ce and compose music for myself and other artists as well.

I look forward to getting to know you!
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Reviews
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Sam October 21, 2015
· Singing · Online
I have always known I have had some kind of voice. I started doing lessons with Peter for not only vocals but also guitar. He has helped me explore the different ranges my voice can actually hit and how to add more emotion into a song. In one lesson just today, he made a song that i perfomed which sounded okay in the beginning of the lesson sound 10x better and to the very best of my ability by the end of the lesson. Every lesson is alot of help! He is great at understanding how to work with people whether it is vocally or trying to learn to play guitar - he uses great techniques for understanding and will work at the perfect pace appropriate for the student. He makes learning guitar and singing very fun. Highly reccomended!
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Charles October 19, 2015
· Piano · Online
I am Peter's father, so obviously this review will be a little biased. And, I have never taken a lesson from Peter, as I am not a musician and do not play an instrument. BUT, I can say this: Peter is hard-working, conscientious, and devoted to his profession. He is passionate about music and about teaching, and genuinely cares about each student. AND, he knows how to make learning fun! (Evidently he inherited that trait from his mom, who teaches English and Spanish). So, hire Peter! He's the best!
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Louise Comfort September 29, 2015
· Piano · In home
I found Peter to be very intelligent and very knowledgeable. Peter was great in not only classical styles of playing but also jazz which really kept me engaged! I especially liked the way he taught music theory alongside some of the standard learning points like scales and such. Overall I had a delightful experience with this teacher. If Peter ever moves back to my area I would love to take lessons with him again!
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Peter D.

Peter D.

Oakland, CA 94609
(19)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About David W.

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Berkeley, CA

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

About David
Hi there, and thanks for viewing my TakeLessons profile! I am excited to be a part of the team in Berkeley, CA.

I started teaching lessons while in music school for Classical Guitar in 1996. From 1998 onwards, I played with a variety of musicians from Africa and Latin America, as well the as great American traditions of gospel, funk, jazz, and bluegrass. All the while, I continued to study music theory and composition, on my own and in private lessons with both well-known players and local professionals. Flamenco and Indian Classical music have also been great interests which I am still involved with.

Though guitar is generally my "go-to" instrument, I often use a MIDI keyboard for composition, and studied/performed on bass for 10 years. The last few years, I have begun to develop my voice as well.

Since 2006, I have been teachi
ng music theory and composition at Ex’pression College in Emeryville. This is a digital production environment for the arts, and my students come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are musicians/aspiring musicians, and some are primarily interested in working with technology; but all are audio enthusiasts and love music!

*** Lesson Details ***
Whether you are a complete beginner or have been playing gigs for years, are very young or old, I have something to offer you!

How we structure lessons depends in part on you and your goals, as well as your learning style. Having taught music for over 15 years, I have a large amount of resources at my disposal, and can either teach from a method book, or a variety of materials, some of which are my own creations.

I also like to use technology as a teaching aid, and can show you how to use your own computer, keyboard, or music production application (garageband, etc) to practice and create music at home. Another thing that I offer is to make recordings of key parts of the lesson, either as an audio or video file, or both. These can be shared with you through email, dropbox, or a flash drive if you bring one along to your lesson.

Please contact TakeLessons if you have any further questions! I look forward to meeting and working with you or your child.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home studio: Front room with computer station, guitars, music stand. Waiting area with couches and table, and parents can sit in on lessons. Street parking available, no pets.

College: practice rooms and classrooms available with computers and MIDI controllers.

*** Specialties ***
On guitar and bass, I have experience in world music including Africa, Latin America, and Flamenco. I also love American traditional music, including funk, jazz, rock, and gospel. I specialize in teaching music theory and composition, no matter what instrument. Rhythmic concepts applied to any instrument are a favorite topic.
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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
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About Astrid C.

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Martinez, CA

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About Astrid
Teaching is my passion. Over the last few years I have worked with some amazing students of all ages. My youngest student was 2 years old and my oldest student is in her 70's and I absolutley love that! I have experience working with children with learning difficulties and students who get frustrated really easily. I love helping students fall in love with music, like I did growing up with my music teachers and professors. I am passionate about music and passionate about my students learning and excelling in their craft. I enjoy working with all ages and all types of music abilities. As a teacher I really push my students to understand music itself and spend time going over theory, which is super important. I would love to help you or your child grow and learn in their music abilities and hope to hear from you soon!
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Rafael O. February 17, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Awesome instructional singing tutor, we'll keep in touch with her on my son's needs.
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Rafael O. February 17, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Awesome instructional singing tutor, we'll keep in touch with her on my son's needs.
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Rafael O. February 17, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Awesome instructional singing tutor, we'll ne in touch qith her on my aom's needs.
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Astrid C.

Astrid C.

Martinez, CA 94553
(9)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Trevor M.

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Concord, CA
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About Trevor
My name is Trevor M. I primarily teach upright and electric bass. Beginning to advanced levels. I can teach you anything from Jimi Hendrix, to John Coltrane, to Bach.

Additionally, I teach beginning to intermediate Guitar, Piano, and Trumpet. If needed/preferred, I include reading music and beginning to advanced music theory in the lesson, as I offer Music theory tutoring as well, in Classical Harmony, as well as Jazz Theory and Improvisation.

I am dedicated to helping my students 1. Have fun, 2. Learn, and drastically improve in what they want to learn, 3. Grow and become well-rounded musicians.
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Trevor M.

Trevor M.

Concord, CA 94521
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Thomas W.

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

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

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

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

Thomas W.

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

About Frederick L.

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Antioch, CA
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I've studied music and songwriting for 30 years. During this time, three of my songs have been placed in a major motion picture.

About Frederick
Hi, my name is Frederick and I can't wait to meet you!
I've been teaching for about 7 years, however, the passion for music and stringed instruments, has been with me for over 30 years. I play Guitar (Acoustic and Electric), Mandolin, Ukulele, Electric Bass and Harmonica (no strings, go figure),
My goal as a teacher is to help you achieve your goals as an artist and musician.
I've taken guitar, voice and harmonica lessons myself and have also attended workshops in professional song-writing. Three of my songs are placed in a major motion picture.
Patience and listening are among my strengths and I understand that students learn at a different paces.
Let's get together and play some music!
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Kathy March 19, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Fred is an excellent teacher. He took me from somebody with no knowledge of playing to being able to accompany myself on a few songs in a matter of weeks. It's been a great learning experience.
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Kathy March 19, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Fred is an excellent teacher. He's taken me from no knowledge of a guitar to playing the chords of songs that I perform in a matter of weeks. He brings the benefit of his experience of *live-performance* to his student.
Thanks Fred!
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Emma November 25, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Great teacher! Very knowledgeable, and can teach students of all levels. Would definately recommend.
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Frederick L.

Frederick L.

Antioch, CA 94531
(6)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Anton S.

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Bellevue, WA
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I'm passionate about helping students overcome their musical hurdles, both professional and recreational.

I particularly enjoy working with musicians who have studied scales and chords but are frustrated in their efforts to use them to make great music.

Other areas of focus:
• Improvising over chord changes
• Internalizing advanced harmony
• Fluency in the many idioms of jazz, funk & blues
• Phrasing
• Saxophone technique
• Efficient practicing for a busy lifestyle

About Anton
An expert educator with a welcoming, positive outlook and an irresistible passion for music, Anton is a longtime faculty member of the California Jazz Conservatory. He's been Artist in Residence at Harvard University and The Brubeck Institute, and a clinician & featured soloist for countless university & high school jazz programs. Anton has headlined major jazz clubs across the US and Canada and has five critically acclaimed CDs as a leader.

"Anton is an exceptional player & inspirational teacher… and a lot of FUN! He is organized & prepared, and so well versed in so many aspects of jazz performance & education… What more could a student want?!"
— Susan Muscarella, Director, California Jazz Conservatory

"Anton's the perfect blend: a top-flight saxophonist, an inspired composer and a professional with a keen sense of the music indus
try. His teaching combines these gifts into a unique presentation with sophistication, clarity & personality; before you know it you've got the keys in your pocket!"
— Joe Gilman, Musical Director, Brubeck Institute
...
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Anton S.

Anton S.

Emeryville, CA 94608
starting at
$45 / 30-min

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Music Theory Lesson Reviews from Students

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

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4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory

4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory

Sure, music theory is complex -- but there's no need to fear it! Here, Jamaica Plain, MA teacher Noaa R. shares four steps to get you started...   Many students tend to avoid studying music theory and harmony. This can stem from a fear of compromising one’s creativity with rules and numbers, a failure to connect concepts with application, or from feeling overwhelmed by the perceived volume of material to be learned. However, when you approach theory as an exploratory process that help … Read More

4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory
Sure, music theory is complex -- but there's no need to fear it! Here, Jamaica Plain, MA teacher Noaa R. shares four steps to get you started...   Many students tend to avoid studying music theory and harmony. This can stem from a fear of compromising one’s creativity with rules and numbers, a failure to connect concepts with application, or from feeling overwhelmed by the perceived volume of material to be learned. However, when you approach theory as an exploratory process that help
How to Transition from Classical Pianist to Jazz Pianist
Piano music doesn't have to be all classical, all the time! Here's what you need to know about getting started with jazz piano chord progressions, courtesy of St. Augustine, FL teacher Heather L...   Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock, and Duke Ellington are just a few of the great jazz piano players. What beautiful and fascinating sounds fill our ears when their names come to mind! The seemingly illusive progressions and spontaneous elements, like syncopation and improvisation, sound
All in Order: Tricks for Identifying Key Signatures
What are the "keys" to identifying different key signatures? Read on for some great tips from Tucson, AZ teacher Lourdes C... In reading music, there are a few things that give musicians the biggest headaches. One major migraine-maker is determining keys from the key signature and then remembering the order of sharps and flats. This chart gives musicians a quick way to help with identifying key signatures. Key Signatures at a Glance Major sharps: the name of the key can be fou
Why Learning Piano Theory is Important for All Musicians
Struggling to understand music theory? Try heading over to the piano -- seeing a visual representation can help a ton! Here, Lowell, IN teacher Blake C. shares how to get started...   Many musicians avoid learning music theory altogether because it can feel much like learning a foreign language; as a result, many musicians enlist in the anti-music theory organization. I will admit it – I was a member of the anti-music theory organization in my early years, declaring that music theory
Subdivision: The Easy Trick for Reading Rhythms Right
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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