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Campbell, CA Songwriting Lessons

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About Mandy B.

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San Leandro, CA

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Students will study and become familiar with each single element of songwriting-melody, harmony, lyrics, form, chord progressions, and phrasing to name a few.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mandy B.

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

About Mark B.

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213893_265082_29530
Castro Valley, CA
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I teach and help people how to write songs at all levels. Whether you are a beginner, or more advanced and need new ideas to draw from. There is an endless reservoir of ideas and concepts to help you to create any kind of music imaginable.

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

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

I have enjoyed teaching music lessons since 1978.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I currently have 5 albums out under my name. My music is on a major new age compilation, and has been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs. I have played on other people's albums...some of which get major radio airplay in Europe.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Paul M. October 16, 2016
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Hanging out like old times and had a Great lesson. Thanks Mark
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Michael P. July 6, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Mark was an excellent teacher, made me very comfortable. We talk about music and set some goal,he keeps a chart to know what his teaching each student and he write it all out on paper and he writes that you can understand his writing .so very happy. Mike
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Scott June 8, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
First lesson. Mark really dialed in my skill level and completely exceeded my expectations in terms of material, lesson plan, genre etc. Even got to play one of his ridiculously sweet tele's.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

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

About 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.
Silhouette-80
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, melody, harmony, and dynamics and how they affect your songwriting. Break down songs that you like to learn about the elements that make you like them and make them compelling to others.

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
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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 Carl S.

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Broken Arrow, OK

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Song writing is about personal expression, but sometimes we need to know a bit more to turn words into music. It needn't be difficult to understand the basics; let me help! I am currently Director of Jazz Ensembles and Instructor of Saxophone at South Dakota State University. For booking, please sign up with TakeLessons today, and then we'll arrange a mutually agreeable meeting time.

About Carl
Dr. Carl S. will be teaching at Oklahoma State University as a Lecturer of Saxophone and Music Theory during Dr. Jeffrey Loeffert's sabbatical beginning August 2017. His duties include graduate saxophone lessons, graduate music theory review, graduate saxophone pedagogy, and saxophone studio class. Carl has an online music studio through TakeLessons, where he teaches several instruments privately and in group settings including saxophone, guitar, oboe, music theory, flute, clarinet, and piano.

Prior to working at OSU, Carl was Instructor of Jazz and Saxophone at South Dakota State University from 2014-2017. His responsibilities included directing the annual SDSU/Brookings Optimist Jazz Festival, directing Jazz Ensembles I-II, Jazz Combo, Jazz Improvisation lessons, Jazz Pedagogy, online Jazz Appreciation, private saxophone lessons, sax
ophone quartets, private oboe lessons, and group guitar class.

Carl completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in saxophone performance at the University of Kansas in 2014, and his Master of Music Pedagogy and Performance from Oklahoma State University in 2011. He graduated from Harrah High School in 2002, earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 2008, and was a 5th-12th grade Head Band Director at Fairview Public schools. He is currently a member of the North American Saxophone Alliance, the Jazz Education Network, Music Teachers National Association, treasurer of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, and an Honorary Member of Tau Beta Sigma. He has held previous memberships with Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Delta Pi, and the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association.

While at KU, Carl was also a graduate teaching assistant for the saxophone studio and jazz studies program. His responsibilities included Assistant Director of the KU Jazz Festival, directing Jazz Ensembles II-III, directing Jazz Combo III-VI, assisting with the KU Jazz Festival, directing Saxophone Quartets II-III, teaching private saxophone lessons, assisting in saxophone studio class, and teaching the music education woodwind methods course. His Lecture Recital Document, A Performer’s Analysis of Selected Jazz Works for Saxophone Quartet, featured an interview with Bob Mintzer. Carl was a member of KU Jazz Ensemble I, KU Saxophone Quartet I, and KU's Helianthus New Music Ensemble. As a member of KU's Jazz Ensemble 1, Carl has performed with Dave Douglas, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Alex Sipiagin, Steve Owen, Gary Foster, Steve Houghton, Clint Ashlock, David von Kampen, Peter Epstein, Jeff Miley, James Miley, Roger Shew, and Brian Hamada, Brandon Draper, Rich Wheeler, Beau Bledsoe, Jeff Harshbarger, and Matt Otto. In July 2014, Carl went on a European tour with KU Jazz Ensemble I featuring Steve Leisring and Deborah Brown. Together, they performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Vienne Jazz Festival in France, and performed in several cities in Germany. Recordings by this band resulted in KU winning the DownBeat Student Award (Graduate College Large Jazz Ensemble Division) in 2015.

While at OSU, Carl was a GTA for the saxophone studio and music theory programs. His responsibilities included Music Theory I-IV tutoring and grading, sight-singing grading, piano labs, classical and jazz saxophone lessons, saxophone quartet coaching, saxophone studio Webmaster, and saxophone studio class. Carl was a member of the OSU Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble 1. He had a regularly performing jazz trio and played in OSU's X2End saxophone quartet. The X2End quartet performed locally at the 2011 Navy Band Saxophone Symposium in Washington D.C., at the 2011 NASA Region IV Conference, and has won the state and division rounds of the 2010-2011 MTNA Chamber Music Competition. The X2End quartet went on to win the 3rd place prize at the national final round of the MTNA Chamber Music Competition. They also were the Division II Chamber Ensemble winners at the 2011 Hubbard Music Competition where they were awarded the 2nd place prize in the overall finals. Carl's final degree paper at OSU was a study of composer/performer collaboration. He traveled to Texas, Michigan, and Ohio to interview saxophonists and composers including David Dees, Peter Fischer, John Sampen,Marilyn Shrude, Joe Lulloff, and Charles Ruggiero. He has presented his lecture at the 2011 Navy Band Saxophone Symposium, the 2011 NASA Region IV Conference, and the 2012 OSU Single Reed Summit. As a member of OSU's Jazz Ensemble 1, he has performed with Bob Sheppard, Conrad Herwig, Wayne Bergeron, and Andy Martin.

While at SWOSU, Carl performed as a member of the marching band, wind ensemble, Jazz Ensemble A, saxophone quartet, and his own jazz combo named Five-Seven. As a member of SWOSU's Jazz Ensemble A, he has performed with Dan Haerle, Bob Bowman, Jack Mouse, Fred Forney, Janice Borla, Eddie Daniels, Pamela York, Lynn Seaton, Carl Allen, Dr. Michael Cox, Tom Williams, Dr. Robert Chambers, Dave Hanson, Drori Mondlak, Delores Williams, Byron Stripling, Frank Wess, Kenny Drew Jr.,Dennis Mackrel, Bill Watrous, Rich Eames, Jennifer Leitham, and Randy Drake.

Carl's primary saxophone instructors have been Vince Gnojek, Dr. Jeffrey Loeffert, Dr. Ann Bradfield, Dr. Keith Talley, and William Rodney Hull. He has had additional instruction in lessons and masterclasses from Gary Foster, Dr. Joseph Murphy, Dr. Michael Cox, Bob Sheppard, Johnny Salinas, Dr. Kimberly Goddard Loeffert, Dr. Geoffrey Deibel, Dr. Jonathan Nichol, Dr. Griffin Campbell, Dr. James Laughlin, and Dr. David Dees. Carl's jazz directors have included Dan Gailey, Bob McCurdy, Dr. Jonathan Martin, Dr. Keith Talley, and Dr. Terry Segress.

​Carl lives in Brookings, South Dakota. He enjoys recording several instruments in his home studio and composing new music. His compositions that have been performed include his big band arrangement of Cat Battles by Joshua Redman,September in the Refrain (alto saxophone and electronics), Funk-o-matic (jazz combo), Smooth (jazz combo), and The Deadline Arrives at Dawn (alto saxophone and electronics). As an advocate of new music involving the saxophone, he has participated in a commissioning consortium for Alone Together by composer David MacDonald through Kick Starter. In 2013, Carl performed the premier of Cuento #3 by Nelson Ramirez Diaz. During summer of 2014, he recorded selections from Dr. John Walker's "The Alto Saxophone in the Attic," published by Carl Fischer. At the 10th Annual SDSU/Brookings Optimist Jazz Festival in 2015, Carl directed SDSU Jazz Ensemble I's premier of Dog, Tired by David von Kampen.

​Dr. Carl is a Conn-Selmer Endorsing Artist. He hosted the North American Saxophone Alliance Region 3 (ND, SD, NE, MN, IA) Conference at South Dakota State University on March 17-18, 2017. On Saturday, April 8, 2017, Carl performed Dreams in the Dusk by David Biedenbender with South Dakota State University's Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. Jacob Wallace. On Monday, February 6, 2017, Carl will be performed the premiere of Lhotse for alto saxophone and percussion by Steve Danyew with Dr. Aaron Ragsdale.
...
Reviews
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Dallas E. September 18, 2017
· Saxophone · Online
Carl is the real Mc Coy! An outstanding teacher whos intuition and knowledge permeates through his lessons! He truly makes a difference! One of Carl's great asset is that he molds his teachings to your understanding and competence yet he makes your goals ascertainable! Very impressed! A+++++
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Laura August 28, 2017
· Oboe · Online
Carl is a great teacher for our 12 year old daughter. He's engaging, encouraging and relatable, and has a great musical talent. We've been very happy with the lesson plans and how much progress our daughter has made over the last few months. We definitely recommend Carl to anyone looking for an instructor- he's excellent.
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Minna August 17, 2017
· Oboe · Online
Great teacher, very knowledgeable. Learnt quite a lot of stuff even after being rather experienced in music.
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Carl S.

Carl S.

Online
(55)
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About Andrew C.

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Henderson, NV

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the art of writing

About Andrew
Andrew is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, backing vocals) who settled in Las Vegas in 2013. After graduating with honors from Musicians Institute in 2008, he wrote a collection of acoustic guitar pieces licensed to The Weather Channel, then spent 5 years working as a show musician and top-40 musician for 3 cruise lines.

Upon arrival in Sin City, Andrew co-founded the local band “Tin Toy Cars” which consists of various Cirque du Soleil musicians from 2 shows. Their debut album entitled "Falling, Rust and Bones" is currently on hundreds of radio stations nationwide and has broken the all-time record for highest new artist debut on the A.M.A. Charts. Look for the album on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. In January 2016 the band had feature articles in dozens of newspapers and magazines in Las Vegas,
New York, and Los Angeles, and had many radio interviews scheduled to start the year. Their debut music video was premiered by The Huffington Post in March 2016 along with a feature interview.

Andrew also played the guitar/ukulele/mandolin chair in the pit orchestra for the show "Bright Side" which began in May 2016 and was showcased to pitch to Broadway. It's a musical written by Martin Kaye of "Million Dollar Quartet" (Harrahs Casino) and features a cast made up of performers from "Rock of Ages," "Blue Man Group," "Million Dollar Quartet," and others. The orchestra featured members of "Mystere," "Zarkana," "Vegas The Show," "Ka," and a former musical director for vocalist Andy WIlliams. He closed out 2016 performing in the musicals "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "American Idiot" alongside actors and musicians from "Ka," "The Beatles Love," "Million Dollar Quartet," "Blue Man Group," and "Rock of Ages."

Andrew's first 2 years in Las Vegas were also filled with many diverse performing situations up and down The Strip. These included a well-known top 40 and oldies band, a Mo-town tribute show, a country band that headlined the 2015 National Finals Rodeo, and a few others.

Andrew also owns an arranging and publishing company, HLC Publishing, which produces arrangements and sheet music for various Las Vegas performers, and a few cruise ship entertainers. Currently he is creating the guitar book for a new Rod Stewart and Tina Turner co-tribute act that will debut in February 2017, and he will also play guitar and mandolin in the show.

Andrew also teaches weekly lessons and plays Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings at Family Worship Christian Church. During the lessons, Andrew uses the same software as his professionally arranged sheet music, to keep a journal for each student as they learn, and the journal is regularly emailed to the student as a PDF file.

*** Lesson Details ***
Music Theory (Building Scales, Harmonizing Scales into Chords)
Ear Training
Single String Concepts (Scales, Arpeggios, Intervals)
Rhythm Concepts (Chords, Blending with a Band)
Learning Songs
Writing Licks, Lines, Chord Progressions, Charts, and Songs
Techniques (Pick vs. Fingers vs. Hybrid Picking)
Acoustic vs. Electric vs. Nylon String
Slide and Steel Guitar
Mandolin, Banjo, Ukulele, and Other Doubling Instruments
Playing in a Stylistically Appropriate Manner
Choosing the Right Equipment for the Gig or Project
Music Reading
How to Practice
How to Market Yourself to Acquire Work

*** Studio Equipment ***
various electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, ukulele, banjo. A few different amplifiers, and many different pieces of effect and accessory equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
various electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, ukulele, banjo.

*** Specialties ***
All Contemporary Styles (Rock, Blues, Country and Country Rock, Mo-Town, Jazz, Latin, Latin Jazz, Fusion, Metal and Tapping Style, Theater)
...
Reviews
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Hewan .. May 26, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
it was good start
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Wes C. March 1, 2017
· Banjo · In studio
Very informational instructor!!
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John G. February 10, 2017
· Banjo · In studio
It was a great first lesson. Andrew is quite knowledgeable on banjo, and I feel it was a positive first step on the journey ahead.
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Andrew C.

Andrew C.

Online
(14)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Andy W.

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Englewood, CO

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Songwriting

About Andy
Andy is a guitarist and teacher located in Denver. He received his Bachelor's of Music with an emphasis in Jazz Guitar Performance from the University of Northern Colorado. He has taught for multiple music lesson companies. In addition, he writes music related articles that have been featured in blogs and in magazines such as Classical Guitar Magazine. He has recorded, toured, and performed with many groups in a variety of genres. In lessons, he strives to help his students reach their musical potential in a fun and supportive environment.
...
Reviews
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Stacey A. August 31, 2015
· Guitar · In home
Andy is a great guitar teacher. He was prepared for every lesson and really helped get our daughter excited about guitar. We really appreciated his patience and positive attitude!
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DeAnn V. May 29, 2015
· Piano · In home
He was very patient with my child which was a first timer! He motivated her to want to play. Very comfortable to be around! I would definitely hire him again!
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Lindsay W. March 27, 2015
· Guitar · In home
Andy was such a great teacher. My 7 year old son looked forward to his lessons with Andy every week. We were very bummed we had to stop lessons because of moving out of state. Andy has such a great way of teaching and has such patience with kids.
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Andy W.

Andy W.

Online
(3)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Marwan S.

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Mountain View, CA

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I like to call it music theory in reverse. Having a strong foundation in the fundamentals of music and music theory makes the songwriting process much easier.

About Marwan
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I started playing piano at the age of 3, and started writing music at the age of 6.
...
Reviews
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Cherie June 30, 2017
· Piano · In home
We had a great first lesson. Very relaxed and unassuming. Looking forward to upcoming lessons.
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Ava March 6, 2017
· Piano · In home
Terrific with our small kids. Extremely patient and easy to laugh
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Caleb A. October 20, 2016
· Piano · In home
My boys took to him right away! He has a fantastic balance of high expectations/standards mixed with positive reinforcement. He also differentiated expertly with the 2 boys' ages/capacities. We look forward to continuing our lessons with him!
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Marwan S.

Marwan S.

Mountain View, CA 94043
(8)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Marissa K.

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South San Francisco, CA
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I'm currently teaching songwriting to help my students understand the basics of composition, song structure, and creating melodies and chords. I have studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston for songwriting and have been writing music for over 10 years.

About Marissa
I am a singer/songwriter/guitarist and I have been playing and singing for over 10 years. I have played many high-profile gigs including the St. Petersburg Pride Fest and Tampa Gasparilla Festival. I am very excited to teach and work with many different learning styles. If you want a dedicated guitar teacher with lessons that work with your style and pace of learning, hit me up!
...
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Lore July 26, 2016
· ·
Marissa is an excellent music teacher!
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Lore E. June 22, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
The lesson witharissa was great!
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Brie April 29, 2016
· Guitar · In home
Very effective teacher, knowledgeable and patient. Highly recommend!
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Marissa K.

Marissa K.

South San Francisco, CA 94080
(4)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Kyle R.

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Ontario, CA
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Songwriting is the BEST form of expression. It's taking your current emotions and putting it into art you can FEEL. I would love to help you write music and lyrics you can feel proud to perform and record!

About Kyle
Hello!
I began learning piano at 2 years old and started teaching at the beginning of high school. During high school, I picked up percussion and guitar and started writing and singing my own music. In 2012 I joined a world class indoor drumline and played keyboard, placing 11th in the world. The beginning of last year, I was given the opportunity to teach a group piano class to adults with developmental disabilities.
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Kyle R.

Kyle R.

Online
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

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

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3 Things Songwriters Should Always Keep in Mind

Are you perfectly content performing the pieces of famous composers and lyricists... or do you want to make your own contribution? If you want to learn how to become a songwriter, check out this guest post by teacher Eric C...   The world of music is as vast as the world that we live in. Some genres have existed for thousands of years, while others are still being created today. This is all because music is constantly evolving. The evolution of music comes from songwriters and … Read More

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Are you perfectly content performing the pieces of famous composers and lyricists... or do you want to make your own contribution? If you want to learn how to become a songwriter, check out this guest post by teacher Eric C...   The world of music is as vast as the world that we live in. Some genres have existed for thousands of years, while others are still being created today. This is all because music is constantly evolving. The evolution of music comes from songwriters and
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