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Castro Valley, CA Songwriting Lessons

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

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Popular Songwriting Teachers near Castro Valley, CA

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Castro Valley, CA including Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Moraga and San Lorenzo.

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About Amber S.

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Vallejo, CA

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Award nominated singer-songwriter (wife and mom) with over 20 years experience available to teach eager students of all experience levels and ages! I structure my lessons so students learn what they want to learn, while also building a strong foundation of skills, focusing on self-expression and technique. I specialize in pop, folk, rock, blues and country styles. Let's have fun making music!

About Amber
I have been a performing singer-songwriter/graphic artist for 15+ years have written roughly 200 original songs, released several CDs and performed hundreds of shows. Music has been an important part of my life and has given me enormous amounts of joy and growth as an individual. Both of my parents are musicians and I was fortunate to have their support and guidance in addition to formal and informal training from various musicians over the years but mostly, I developed my style of playing from many hours of playing and experimenting. I am excited to have the opportunity to teach others the tools needed to start their own journey in music.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am both easy going and goal oriented. I want my students to get the most out of their lessons and enjoy every minute.

I provide the syllabus & handouts needed initially
but will may assign a book after the first few lessons. Students should have an empty three-ring binder handy or iPad in addition to owning their own guitar or piano/keyboard. I recommend supporting local music stores before going to the big chains. I can help with choosing an instrument if needed.

Within 6 months*, the student should know and be able to play major and minor chords (instruments only), understand basic music notation, time signatures, and be able to follow basic sheet music. Students are encouraged to name songs that they wish to learn to keep them excited and interested in learning.

Emphasis will be on accuracy, performance techniques and having fun!

* results will vary with each student.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Each student needs a guitar or piano/keyboard and a 3 ring binder.

*** Specialties ***
Guitar, Piano, Songwriting: Folk, Rock, Blues & Country.
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Reviews
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JannessaB April 25, 2012
· ·
Great Teacher

Amber was great with my son. She was very pleasant, professional and on time. Very good teacher!
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Amber S.

Amber S.

Vallejo, CA 94589
(1)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Tracey H.

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San Francisco, CA
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I've been writing for 17 years, solo and as part of a band. I think I have an especially unique perspective of writing as a vocalist primarily, which can come with its own unique set of approaches and challenges. I like to work on songwriting as an authentic and intuitive extension of each individual's experience and creativity. There's no one-size-fits-all way to songwrite, and in working with my students on songwriting, my approach is to help guide you through what your process is, including finding and honing inspiration, making writing a part of your every day routine, lyric- and melody-writing, arrangement, dynamics, etc.

About Tracey
I've been singing, performing, songwriting, and studying voice for 20 years. I attended Berklee College of Music, where I studied Voice/Vocal Performance, and earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance from Musician's Institute in LA. I've been teaching since 2006, and work with a wide range of contemporary genres with a focus on rock, pop, country, folk, Americana, R&B, blues, and soul. I like to take a "back-to-basics" approach to voice by helping students develop the core aspects of breathing/breath control, correct vowel placement/vowel tuning, and a focus on muscle memory as it relates to stretching the cords. I've been told my approach is simple yet effective, and a unique blend of classic concepts with a practical/modern approach to getting in tune with one's own unique voice. Currently a gigging musician and songwrite
r in SF, I am in the trenches alongside many of my students, which gives me a unique perspective and empathy for the many stages of personal and career development as a musician. I have a lot of first-hand experience with the music business and what it means to manage a band and a DIY-career. Another area I specialize in (and which is probably the nearest to my heart!), is performance anxiety. Having overcome performance anxiety myself and gone on to be a bandleader and gigging musician, I have a close relationship to this and take a special interest in helping students overcome their own fears and anxieties, identify their own voice and identity as a singer, and taking the steps to develop that.

Mostly, I aim to debunk the mystery that the voice can be shrouded in, and change it from being elusive and temperamental to something that students can feel in control-of and at-ease with. I've taught a wide range of students, from young kids to a Marine (true story!), so am comfortable dealing with an equally-wide range of goals and voices.

*** Lesson Details ***
Well, my students tell me that I have the unique advantage of "being young/in touch with the real-world of the music business, but with real professional training and chops." That's about as good as I could have said it, I suppose! I like to pull from all the different facets of my experience and background to inform me as an instructor: formal education and training, as well as my first-hand experiences with my own band, my own struggles with performance anxiety, and my discovery of my own voice through the very methods I now teach to my students.
What that means for you is that rather than focus on a rigid set of rules, we'll focus on your voice and custom-fit a program that is built from solid vocal technique coupled with specific tools to help you develop your own voice and style. I do truly believe in building a solid foundation for you to build your voice upon, but am unconventional in that I believe the best way to learn to sing is by breaking down what is actually going on in there- in a way that students can understand and interpret themselves. Nerd alert: Vocal technique can actually quite liberating and fun! Yes, we will teach you how to breathe correctly; yes, you will be singing scales. But the key is that you'll know why you're singing each note, and what is going to get you to sing those notes more effectively. I believe in hard work because the voice is a musical instrument; but I also believe in making it easily digestible and fun.

In our lessons, you'll learn how to breathe correctly, test your vocal range, and start working on strengthening your head and chest voices to achieve some continuity in your range. We'll also develop the mask and what I like to call your "vendor voice." Oh yeah- it's good stuff. You'll have warm-ups and scales you can use on your own time to get ready for a gig or to continue strengthening the muscles.

*** Specialties ***
I have experience with a wide range of styles, but my main genres of focus are rock, pop, Americana, country, blues, soul, and R&B.
I specialize in vowel tuning/correct vowel placement as a way to strengthen the muscles of the voice, in order to correct pitch/tone and solidify muscle memory as it relates to the voice as instrument. I teach from a "ground-up" approach, meaning I feel it's crucial for my students to understand how their voice works, why it works in certain ways, and how they can use vocal technique to their advantage as singers and performers. Building upon that strong foundation, I customize a program for each of my students to address their own set of strengths and challenges.
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Reviews
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Gemma January 5, 2017
· Singing · In studio
I had my first lesson with Tracey today and I can't wait to take more! I'm a person who likes knowing how stuff works, why we may do something a certain way, what I should be paying attention to etc etc, and I love that she is willing to break everything down and explain in a very relatable way. She's very patient, easy-going, and despite how uncomfortable it is for me to sing in front of others, she made me feel like she's truly there to go along the journey with me, to improve and discover my voice with no judgments. Tracey is the best!
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Elizabeth N. August 4, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Tracey is super nice. I was not with them in the sdudio when she was teaching my daughter . She said I could definitely stay there though. My daughter was very happy with her.
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Elizabeth N. August 4, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Tracey is super nice. I was not with them in the sdudio when she was teaching my daughter . She said I could definitely stay there though. My daughter was very happy with her. This was the first lesson she he
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Tracey H.

Tracey H.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(6)
starting at
$60 / 30-min

About Jim T.

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Fairfax, CA
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I teach how to develop chord progressions from basic triads to advanced jazz chords. Lyric writing, phrasing, arranging, and basic music theory are also covered. Melody and rhythm and syncopation are studied to develop songwriting skills and performance and recording are also included.

About Jim
My career in music began at an early age (four!) with classical piano lessons until the age of thirteen. After expanding my musical horizons in high school listening to jazz, blues and rock I attended Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA where I studied jazz & music theory with renowned jazz educator Ray Brown and jazz piano with Paul Nagle who has worked with Grammy award winning singer Bobby McFerrin among many others.
I have been performing solo and in groups since the Eighties in a variety of different genres including rock, jazz, blues, r&b, funk, reggae and everything in between! Performing with such artists as Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Dan Hicks, David Grisman, Tommy Castro, Eric McFadden, Mark Karan & Vinyl I have appeared at most of the major venues in the Bay Area including the Warfield Theatre, the Great American Music Hall,
Yoshi's SF, the Regency, Bimbo's & the Sweetwater.
My teaching experience goes back over twenty years and I relocated to Marin County in the Bay Area in 1995 where I've been teaching extensively since 2002. Since then I have helped hundreds of students realize their dream of learning to play piano and keyboards as well as read music, play perfectly in time and learn songwriting skills. Playing music is fun & easy......I can show you just how easy it is!!

*** Lesson Details ***
My style is laid back with a large supply of patience and devotion to my students. I teach beginning , intermediate & advanced piano and keyboards (including organ). For adult beginning piano students I use the John Thompson Modern Course for the Piano Grade One along with Thompson's Note, Scale & Chord Speller books and flash cards for a quick and easy route to learning how to read music and basic music theory. For kids (5-7) I like Thompson's "Teaching Little Fingers to Play" along with the kid's music theory books by Linda Ng.
In the first six months students can expect to study basic finger exercises and scales, how to read music easily and quickly, how to play perfectly in time & develop a repertoire of songs to play. Once students have learned basic skills it is possible to explore many different genres including classical, jazz, blues, rock, reggae and much more. I customize the lessons to fit each student's needs and desires and can also help the students with songwriting and learning from the recorded works of great artists!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Beautiful 1884 carved English maplewood Estey upright piano!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide the books and supplies at cost...students should have some kind of keyboard to practice on...preferably a real piano although I have taught many students initially on electric keyboards.

*** Specialties ***
I teach beginning, intermediate & advanced piano in the styles of classical, jazz, blues, rock, r&b, pop, country, etc. ages 5-105! Usually I start beginners in the John Thompson method & speller books along with music flash cards and then am willing to shift into different styles as the students gain basic skills.
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Reviews
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Al Lyle December 30, 2015
· Piano · In home
Great Teacher
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Lorne P. October 1, 2015
· Piano · In home
Jim was a great teacher. His patience and positive attitude made it easy for my wife and I to learn something new.
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dorothee C. March 4, 2013
· Piano ·
Great teacher for children, including jazz

Our 3 kids have taken piano lessons at our house with Jim for 6 years. Jim is a unique piano teacher, the kind that is hard to find in the bay area. He teaches classical music to beginners and confirmed students and goes to your house to teach. His training was in classical music, and he knows very well that it takes time and effort to get there, he is patient and encouraging, our kids NEVER felt pressured by him and still learned how to play in an exponential way. Thanks to Jim, they like to play for themselves AND in front of other people, which is one of Jim's important goals. Jim is now a renowned jazz piano player and cofounder of a band (Tre Mojo's) and we are always invited in his gigs when they take play in the bay area. Our son is learning jazz with him, it has been impressive to watch and hear, after a year he does know the jazz harmonies and can do impros. Every spring, Jim organizes a very nice recital where all his students come and perform various types of music (from Beethoven, Chopin, to the Beatles, to jazz impro. from beginner to professional level). Jim basically taught our children to play music with no stress, no competition, and still at a high level. Besides, Jim is highly professional, has NEVER been late, and always does what he says and -we believe- says what he thinks. There has never been a bump in our relationship. We would highly recommend him as a piano teacher.
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Jim T.

Jim T.

Fairfax, CA 94930
(3)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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 genres, like opera and Lieder. My appetite continued to grow as I immersed myself in performances, competitions, and traveling the world with college choirs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mandy B.

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

About Maureen S.

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San Leandro, CA

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About Maureen
•The styles I teach most often are jazz, classical and popular. Although I have studied many different genres, my specialties are saxophone and composition. I have studied with music teachers such as Anthony Braxton, Herb Pomeroy, Charlie Banacos, Jerry Bergonzi, Gary Burton, Joe Viola, Ken Pullig, John LaPorta, Hal Crook, James Newton and Ken Radnofsky. If you are enrolled by October, you have the opportunity to enroll in MTAC Certificate of Merit and Composer's Today programs and recitals.

•9/1997 – Present San Lorenzo (CA) Unified School District Independent Music Teacher 9/1990 – 11/1997 St. Felicitas School San
Leandro, CA St. John School Fiat School of Music Music Unlimited San Lorenzo, CA Pinole, CA San Leandro, CA Provide individual and group music instruction to people from age 3 to 99. Deliver instruction based on Music Tea
chers National Association Certificate of Merit Curriculum for Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet and Piano. Incorporate Jazz
Improvisation, Theory and Harmony lessons

• Listed in Who’s Who Among International Professional Educators. • Listed in Who’s Who in American Education • Listed in Who’s Who Among American Women • Listed in Who’s Who in America • Six Lessons published in • Recognition for Self-Assembly Method Instructional Design Theory • Published article in OnCUE, Journal of Computer Using Educators

• Krause Center of Innovation 2005-2006 EWYL Cohort Participant • Krause Center of Innovation 2006-2007 EWYL Fellows Participant • Iisme (Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education) Fellow 2004: Intranet Web Designer at Applied Materials using Macromedia Dreamweaver and Contribute • Alameda County Representative to the CTAP Technology Leadership Academy at the Alameda County Office of Education (2000). Co-leader of Staff Development Program for Grade 4-8 Technology Integration • Taught University of Phoenix class for Technology Integration • IMTC class teacher in FrontPage and MS Paint • Member San Lorenzo Unified School District Ed Tech Committee and Lorenzo Manor Elementary Ed Tech Committee. • Past District Web Page Coordinator and FrontPage Trainer • Participant in Intel Teach to the Future training • Provide opportunities for children to meet Technology Standards• Incorporate technology into the curriculum using desktops and wireless laptops, FL Studio, Cubasis VST 4.0, Music Ace, Band in a Box, Finale Notepad, Silver Burdett MIDI Connection, Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Office Suite, recording and burning CDs, DVDs, etc. • Manage a High School Computer Music Lab. • MarcoPolo trainer.• Teach Music Technology classes after school for the Gifted and Talented (GATE Program).

• Member Music Educators National Conference • Member Technology Institute for Music Educators. Lesson plan published on their Web Site. • Member California Music Educators and present music technology sessions for educators at the Bay Section Conferences.

• Deliver instruction in the area of the curriculum pertaining to National and District Music Standards. • Create and implement lesson plans, rubrics and assessments. • Organize and produce Winter and Spring Concerts. • Experience working with children with challenging behaviors and disabilities (Special Day Class and Continuation School).

• Provide children with learning experiences that promote their cognitive, social and emotional development.  • Experience in teaching students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. • Communicate with parents. Handle record-keeping of grades and attendance. • Work cooperatively with other education professionals. 

• Organize and produce Winter and Spring Recitals, including County Recitals for the National Guild of Piano Teachers. Communicate with parents. Handle advertising and record-keeping of tuition payments. • Vice-President of the Alameda County Branch of the Music Teachers Association of California. Attend Board meetings and plan guest speakers • Licensed Kindermusik instructor for children ages 18 mos. to 7 years. • Students chosen for State and County Honors Recitals. • Listed in National Honor Roll, National Guild of Piano Teachers; Member Music Teacher’s National Association. • Taught Undergraduate Musicianship class as a Graduate Assistant at Mills College.

•Professional Freelance Musician 9/1984 – 12/1995 Boston, MA; Bay Area, CA Performed own compositions and others works in various styles in innumerable local venues and clubs such as The Oakland Museum, Yerba Buena Gardens, The Valencia Café, Trans America Building, the Marriott Hotel, as well as in Las Vegas. She have performed with musicians such as Vijay Iyer, Anthony Braxton, MC
Hammer, Luciana Souza, Lloyd Nibbs (Skatalites), Fred Lonberg-Holm,
Andy Borger (Norah Jones), Stuart Popejoy, Aaron Stewart, Sheila
Sofian, William Calhoun (Living Color), Sean Kennerly (Samiam) and Joey Cheezhee.• CD Recording on Curious Pogos Records:Frederick Lonberg Holm’s “Theory of Motion”. • Composed music on Sheila Sofian’s Animations “Faith and Patience” and “Secret Rage”. Won 15 awards in International and National Film Festivals. Broadcast on WHYY TV12 and WYBE TV35 Educational Stations. • Honorable Mention in Composition: City of Oakland Creative Arts Fellowship. • Live Performances on KPFA, KNBR and KALX radio stations.

•EDUCATION Ph.D. in Education (10/2013). Specialization in Professional Studies Capella University Teaching Credential: K-12 Single Subject Music 8/1999 Chapman University GPA 3.9 US-CA-Concord Master of Fine Arts degree in Electronic Music and Recording Media with an emphasis in Composition 5/1992 Mills College GPA 3.64 US-CA-Oakland Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging 5/1987 Berklee College of Music US-CA-Boston GPA 3.59 Cum Laude

*** Lesson Details ***
I am interested in teaching you what you need and want to learn so that you achieve your dreams. Please note that I only take serious students who will practice at least 30 minutes every day or 35 a day 6 days a week at home. I would like you to keep a log of how much you practice. This will enable you to make progress through the curriculum as you will be a beginner for the first 3.3 years, an intermediate for the next 3.3 years, and then an advanced student for 3.3 years. I will give you assignments to do over the week, and the next week we will go over them, learn something new and get new assignments. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Currently I am converting my detached garage into a music studio with keyboard and instruments. There is a sitting room where parents can wait for their children. In the meantume, we will have lessons in my living/dining room.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Metronome, CD Boom Box

*** Specialties ***
Jazz, classical, popular, saxophone, composition, music, flute, clarinet, piano, violin, trumpet, trombone, french horn, tuba, baritone, oboe, songwriting, recording, children's music Composition
Arranging
Songwriting
Reading and Notating Music
Music Software such as FL Studio, Band in a Box, Reason and GarageBand. Bring your laptop to lessons!
Music Theory
Improvisation
Minor Key Harmony
Extended and Secondary Dominants
Tritone Substitution
Modal Interchange
Altered Dominant Scale
Diminished Harmony
Non-Functional Harmony
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Reviews
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Kristina March 1, 2017
· Violin · In studio
Wonderful teacher.. very happy
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Ruth January 9, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Dr. Maureen Spranza, is a great music teacher, my son is taking piano classes with her and I'm very grateful with her, because she always take the extra time to make sure my kid is learning, my kid loves Mrs. Maureen because she is a great teacher but also she is a great human being, she really cares about her students. And she not only plays the piano, she plays all the instruments, I hope to see my son become a great musician thanks to the dedication that Maureen puts in his classes, my kid loves his piano classes, every time after clases he came home very exited to practice what he learned and al of this if because Dr. Maureen encourage him to be better in Avery class
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Nana December 2, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Dr. Spranza is one of the best piano teachers in the Bay Area. My two daughters take weekly lessons with her. She encourages them and empowers them to do their best. She teaches them both theory and practicals. They have participated in an informal recital and are now registered to take part in the MTAC Certificate of Merit program.

As parents, we see a big improvement in our daughters' piano playing skills. They even practice on their own, without us telling them to. All thanks to Dr. Spranza.
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Maureen S.

Maureen S.

San Leandro, CA 94577
(11)
starting at
$50 / 30-min
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About Kristina B.

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San Francisco, CA

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The various songwriting formulas, hooks, harmony, arranging, how to craft a song well, melody, turning poetry into music, and how to find the "right" chords/music with what one hears in their head.

About Kristina
Kristina has been singing, acting, and performing since the age of 4. She studied under the well-known and respected vocal coach, Donna Prypin, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts for at least 11 years. Kristina then went on to study Opera with Don Wilkinson, of the Boston Symphony for 1 year, and with him gained excellent range and breathing techniques. Kristina was then accepted to Berklee College of Music, where she attended for two & a half years studying under some of the world's greatest teachers. She learned extensive Ear Training, Harmony, Jazz Improvisation, Counterpoint, Arranging, Performing, Music Business, Music Therapy, and intense vocal coaching. After college Kristina moved to California where she now has a thriving teaching practice, performance, and touring career.

In 2014 she earned her Sound, Voice, and Music Healing Cert
ificate from The California Institute of Integral Studies, under the mentoring of Grammy Nominated composer/performer, Silvia Nakkach, MA,MMT. She then travelled to India in January of 2014 with Silvia to study Classical India singing/music.

As of September 2016, Kristina recently returned from a two & half month music/bike tour through the United States Pacific Northwest & Canada.

She released her first solo album (September 2008) titled, Mermaid Tattoos and is currently in the process of creating her second album.

Kristina can teach ages 4 ~ 100 and is patient, creative, flexible, enthusiastic, and passionate. Her focus is on helping students attain their goals whether it's to be on stage winning Grammy awards, or just learning to sing and perform for fun. She can help students learn Pop, Country, Jazz, Indie Rock, Classic Rock, Musical Theater, and even their own musical genre. She also teaches beginner guitar, and proper vocal acting/public-speaking skills. In addition, she performs Sound Sessions for clients looking for relaxation & coping techniques, using crystal singing bowls, vocal toning exercises, shrupti box vocal work, and human tuning forks.

*** Lesson Details ***
Kristina is extremely creative, patient, kind, open-minded, passionate, laid-back, but sets excellent and attainable goals with the student, and absolutely loves music. Depending on each individual student, lessons will center around correct vocal breathing, exercises, music theory, songwriting, guitar, acting, and learning different techniques in order to meet personal goals. Each student is taught individually and with their own personal needs as the focus.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have state of the art microphones, amps, guitars, a keyboard, IPod radio (students can bring them to share music), and of course a computer.

*** Specialties ***
Voice, Beginner Guitar, Vocal Technique, Performance, Range, Improvisation, Music Theory, Songwriting, Sound Sessions for relaxation & coping skills. I specialize in Pop/Rock/Jazz/Blues/Country/Indie Rock, Musical Theater, and New Age genres.
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Reviews
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Rumya November 11, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Kristina was great! Very informative, helps me align on my goals, and very supportive!
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Shane .. September 9, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
I told Kristina it was my first lesson, and that I wanted to learn how to strum. She taught me some chords and how to read tabs, which was great. But she spent most of the lesson writing out the tabs (would've been great if she did that before) and watching me strum. She made no corrections as to my thumb or finger placement, which a friend later told me was really bad for a teacher to not pay attention to. Her advice on how to find the best position was to "figure out what works for you". How would I know that as a beginner? Maybe she's better for someone with more experience.
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Steve June 9, 2017
· Speaking Voice · In studio
Kristina really listens to what you need and clearly takes a personal/individualized approach
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Kristina B.

Kristina B.

San Francisco, CA 94109
(49)
starting at
$31.50 / 30-min

About Ken W.

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Concord, CA
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Application of lesson coursework and individually created musical pieces

About Ken
At age 12 Ken picked up a guitar and fell in love with the instrument. He began with an obsession with Metallica and related bands that later evolved to a passion for classical and jazz music, music theory.

From 2008 -2010 completed the music program at Diablo Valley College in June of 2010, which includes extensive coursework in Music theory, Piano and Guitar. Since 2011 Ken has been a Jazz Guitar Performance Major at Cal State East Bay. There he has studied Classical and jazz Guitar performance with world class musicians.

"Music has many different levels and the beautiful thing is there is a place for everybody. I have spent a lot of time throughout my music career going “back to basics” in order to become a better musician. We are all capable of becoming great musicians and just because someone can play faster than you doesn't n
ecessarily make them better. Music provides everything from healing power to just plain fun for the human spirit so I always encourage students to go at there own pace and work within their abilities."

*** Lesson Details ***
20+ years experience as a musician and teacher Ken has taken self taught route and the lessons route. "I believe 100% that being taught by someone who has sufficient experience really provides the roadway for a solid foundation whether you are planning on being a pro, just for fun and all levels in between. The combination of self-discipline and a good teacher are a must to have as a musician."

Amongst many other approaches of teaching music, I try to instill the 3 most lacking areas most musicians usually have to begin.

1. Sight reading: Unfortunately most common with guitarists! Tablature is a somewhat useful way to start but reading music will open many doors and opportunities for any musician

2. Collaboration: A teacher provides one way of collaboration as well as a band or an ensemble at school or in the community.

3. Improvisation: I provide a music theory background and I have a method plan for chord progressions, and help with learning the entire guitar.

I take step-by-step approaches towards giving a student encouragement and instilling music appreciation. I am very organized so every lesson will be documented and we will work on specific areas of fundamental development. Most of all have fun! That what gets us playing music in the first place!

I look Forward to meeting you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lesson room, music stands, benches, amps, two pianos, computer area for recording,

*** Travel Equipment ***
Their own instrument and any necessary cables, amps etc. for them I will provide my own

*** Specialties ***
I mostly specialize in jazz and classical guitar and have taught blues, rock, metal and Latin American guitar. All ages and all levels. I also teach western music theory (classical and jazz) from the baroque period to modern day. I teach beginning piano which consists of the basic fundamentals (i.e. scales, posture hand positions, etudes and beginning repertoire)
...
Reviews
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Rahul S. November 6, 2014
· Classical Guitar · In home
Ken is an awesome teacher and an great person. He teaches my 5 year daughter and she loves his lessons and his jovial approach. Within 4 weeks, she has picked up a lot of things and is improving day by day. He is patient as you ought to be with the kids and yet persistent enough to stick to the task.

I am really looking forward to them picking up songs in the coming lessons. I will recommend him anytime and completely vouch for his credentials and ability as an excellent guitarist as well as teacher.
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Jon C. August 18, 2014
· Classical Guitar · In studio
Ken is a talented musician, nice person, and a fantastic teacher. I wanted to branch out into classical guitar after many years of playing other styles. Ken was good at adapting to my background and goals.
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Francesca G. June 30, 2014
· Guitar · In studio
Ken W. is an awesome teacher, my daughter loves her lessons with Ken, he is very patient kind and makes my daughter feel very comfortable. He also is very positive inspiring. I plan on keeping Ken as my daughters instructor for a very very long time
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Ken W.

Ken W.

Concord, CA 94521
(9)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About David W.

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Berkeley, CA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*** Specialties ***
On guitar and bass, I have experience in world music including Africa, Latin America, and Flamenco. I also love American traditional music, including funk, jazz, rock, and gospel. I specialize in teaching music theory and composition, no matter what instrument. Rhythmic concepts applied to any instrument are a favorite topic.
...
Reviews
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Elliot November 2, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Really great teacher and person. Would highly recommend him.
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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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David W.

David W.

Berkeley, CA 94703
(13)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Danielle L.

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Oakland, CA

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Whether your goals are for personal enrichment or professional growth, your lesson will be personalized according to what's important to you.
I LOVE to teach, and appreciate my wee ones just as much as my elders...those who consider themselves "tone deaf" as much as my advanced students. As far as Special Needs go - I feel we *ALL* have special needs....every child and every adult.

As the creator and producer of San Diego IndieFest and Say It Records, I have a unique understanding of the industry, and love to share that with my students.

About Danielle
Hello Students / Parents!

I specialize in providing a fun, inspiring and safe space for each student to reach their goals - whether that be for the novice singer whose been wrongfully told they shouldn't sing, the more experienced singer looking to do more with their music, or the budding songwriter, actor or speaker looking to develop the talent and drive they feel within them.

I always remember the inspiration and patience I received from my best teachers, so I strive to provide exactly that to my own students. I sing and teach most vocal styles, with the exception of opera and screamo, and utilize my studio to create a supportive, empowering experience singing, speaking, writing and recording. I absolutely love teaching both children and adults and look forward to learning how to best support each one of my students in their indi
vidual path toward realizing their potential.

Here's a bit about my background and musical experience:

Bachelors of Fine Arts degree (Theatre/Voice) from United States International University Graduated Valedictorian
Chula Vista School of Creative and Performing Arts Graduated Valedictorian
Workshops and studying with Bill Doyle, Roy Mote, Andrew Barnicle, Jack Tygett, Leanne Summers, among others.

"After seeing Danielle, I was impressed with her intensity as a performer. Her ability to get behind a lyric was stunning, she lives every line. As an artistic performer, I've yet to see better."
-Tony Ferguson / Interscope Records: No Doubt, Bush, Fisher

My original band, Danielle and The Masses, has been recording and performing live since 2001. We are endorsed by Ani Difranco, The Black Eyed Peas, The Bruce Hornsby Band, and have shared the stage with artists as Jamie Foxx, CAKE, Metric, En Vogue, David Byrne, Berlin, Margaret Cho, Cyndi Lauper, Jonatha Brooke, Beth Hart, Semi Precious Weapons and more.

I have written and performed music and voice over for Ace Ventura, Nutty Professor, VH1, various TV shows and independent documentaries, Eveoke Dance Theatre, among others, as well as having recorded eight professional CDs of various styles on various record labels.

For over ten years, my record / production company, Say It Records has been producing socially conscious music events throughout San Diego and Southern California that promote independent music, film, art, community and human rights. I also co-own Durga Sound, a teaching and production studio, with producer Alicia Champion, as well as San Diego IndieFest, a powerful community event which promotes and supports music, film, art and civic engagement.

I have a great time utilizing my contacts in the industry to help my students get work/ press / entrance into the schools of their choice, etc. For example, I'm happy to report that just last year we were able to book eight musicians on GLEE, as well as lots more in other capacities including using their music in commercials and film and helping them get cast in local theatre and accepted into arts-centered schools.

*** Lesson Details ***
I start on the first lesson by becoming clear about what the new student's goals and desires are from there, we start developing technique to achieve those goals along with having fun right away doing what they came for - singing, writing, voice over, acting or using a combination of these things be it for professional purposes or personal fulfillment. Every lesson is personally customized to meet the specific goals of each student. As a teacher, I'm encouraging and fun, passionate and positive. While I'm definitely not "strict", I do appreciate focus and drive. However, I often work with people who have special needs and are working on developing those very things. I'm especially good at helping people through progress plateaus, roadblocks, stage fright, loss/ stress. Using music as a means of release and healing - for both kids and adults - is something I do a lot of and am very comfortable with.

As far as technique is concerned, I focus on utilizing posture, correct breathing and developing relaxed, strong support, so that the muscles are developed properly. We want the voice to develop without stress, enabling the student to constantly grow while steering clear of any injury that can happen as a result of straining, not to mention other habits that manifest when we sing without proper technique.

I strongly encourage students to record their lessons on a mobile device so they can practice easily on their own, and so they eventually have a record of how far they've grown.
We mostly use tracks to develop repertoire, prepare for auditioning and performances, and to have fun singing the music that excites each student the most.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Apple Mac Pro Quad Core running OS 10.8.3
Avid Pro Tools 10 HDX
Propellor Reason 4.0
UA 2-610 Microphone Pre-amp
UA LA-610 Microphone Pre-amp and Compressor
UA Teletronix LA2A Compressor/ Limiter
Behringer ADA 8000
more...

*** Specialties ***
Using music, writing and voice as a means of expressing yourself, growing as a performance artist, coping in challenging times, as well as a means of going professional and earning income are all areas I specialize in. Utilizing proper technique and learning how to sing / speak safely is also an area I focus on a great deal.

Learning precisely what each student wants is the key factor in my decision on how to achieve their goals. For example, using Speech Level Singing is definitely entrenched in my teaching, but I may not highlight it as much for those who want a more classical sound.

I excel with the following: first timers, very young kids, students working through stage fright, artists looking to develop their own original project, those seeking growth in their process of writing / recording / performing, those who are interested in using music and / or writing as therapy as well as with amateurs who've always wanted to do something musical but who think they are "too old" or too "untalented/short/tall/ fill in the blank" to try. I believe we all have something to say with our lives - finding the voice within you can be an incredibly powerful and transformative experience!
...
Reviews
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Julia October 25, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Danielle has such a way with kids! She's a wonderful teacher with lots of good advice and exercises and makes singing lessons fun.
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Dianne M October 20, 2017
· Singing · In studio
I can't imagine a singing instructor better than Danielle LoPresti. All my life I was too inhibited to sing in front of anyone. I decided to see Danielle and fell in love with her as soon as I met her. She is so warm, wise, kind, and talented. We connected immediately, and her observations, instruction, and encouragement gave me the confidence to make my singing debut at my 60th birthday party. I highly recommend Danielle to everyone, whether they can sing a note or not. You will find your singing voice with Danielle. Don't hesitate - make an appointment - you will be glad you did!
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DAVID R. August 16, 2017
· Singing · In studio
MY THIRD LESSON WITH DANIEL WENT WELL AND I AM HAPPY HAVING DANIELLE AS MY TEACHER
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Danielle L.

Danielle L.

Oakland, CA 94611
(31)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Larry T.

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Albany, CA
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Hello,

I began my Songwriting and Composing career in New York City's famous Tin Pan Alley working as a Staff Songwriter for Kama Sutra Records.

While there I was discovered by a Rock and Roll manager, who put me to work as a Songwriter/Composer/Pianist/Mime in an Art Rock band called “The Hello People”.
The band created five commercially released record albums, two of which were produced by Todd Rundgren.

The band appeared on the “Tonight Show”, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and the Fillmore's East and West while constantly touring the U.S

I toured with Todd Rundgren as a Pianist/Keyboardist and Vocalist on his “Back to The Bars” tour.

My true passion has always been Songwriting, Composing and Teaching.

I studied Piano, Songwriting, Composing Music & Jazz Theory privately.

Samples:
www.reverbnation.com/thehellopeople
www.reverbnation.com/largimusic
Thank you,
Larry Tasse

About Larry
Music is my passion. As a professional Songwriter, Composer and Pianist, I have toured the United States in Rock and Roll bands, and made my living working as a songwriter, composer and pianist accompanying singers and instrumentalists, as a soloist, and as a recording session keyboardist and composing music and writing songs for Film and Live Theatre.

I am an award winning songwriter and I am a member of The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers- A.S.C.A.P.
...
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Larry T.

Larry T.

Albany, CA 94706
starting at
$45 / 30-min

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Average Cost of Songwriting Lessons in Castro Valley, CA

The average cost of 60-minute songwriting lessons in Castro Valley is $75. While the exact cost will vary depending on the teacher, type of lesson, and your location, you should expect to spend anywhere between $70 and $80 per hour.

30-min $40
 
$45 average
$50
45-min $55
 
$60 average
$65
60-min $70
 
$75 average
$80

For the best experience, we typically recommend 60-minute songwriting lessons. However, students looking for a more affordable option may want to consider a shorter lesson length of 45 or 30 minutes. On average, 45-minute songwriting lessons are 20% less expensive at $60, and 30-minute lessons cost 40% less at $45.

Curious how much songwriting lessons cost in your area? Do a quick search to get local prices for the best songwriting teachers near Castro Valley.

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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.

How To Write a Song Today: 4 Easy Steps

How To Write a Song Today: 4 Easy Steps

Learning how to write a song is easier than you think! Greeley, CO teacher Andy W. outlines the steps here...  Don’t you wish you could write a song that tells your own story - whether it’s about love, hardships, or finding humor in life? There’s no reason that you can’t do that today! To help get you started, here are four easy steps to writing your own song: 1. Play chords or a riff. 2. Sing or hum over the harmony. 3. Repeat steps 1-2 to form a chorus and then a bridge. 4. Place … Read More

How To Write a Song Today: 4 Easy Steps
Learning how to write a song is easier than you think! Greeley, CO teacher Andy W. outlines the steps here...  Don’t you wish you could write a song that tells your own story - whether it’s about love, hardships, or finding humor in life? There’s no reason that you can’t do that today! To help get you started, here are four easy steps to writing your own song: 1. Play chords or a riff. 2. Sing or hum over the harmony. 3. Repeat steps 1-2 to form a chorus and then a bridge. 4. Place
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How to Write Lyrics: Steps to Success for Any Musical Style
Interested in learning how to write lyrics and songs? Here, New Jersey guitar teacher Matthew H. explains an easy 3-step process to follow...  Songwriting is not easy; just ask any composer or lyricist. While the musical composition is highly important (making sure the melody is catchy without sounding too trite), having a strong, relatable message to go along with a great tune is just as, if not more, important. Here are some tips on how to write lyrics for a good song. 1) What is the
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What's in a name? If you're looking for songwriting tips as you pen your next tune, check out this advice from Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   There is not one "right" or preferred way to write a song. It's a very individual choice. Some songwriters start out with a patch of melody or a line or two of lyric as their creative catalyst. Others will initiate the songwriting muse with a unique and instantly-captivating song title or writing from their emotions. And in this ever-cr
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Feeling stuck? Get back on track with these helpful tips for writing a song, courtesy of Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   One of the most frequent problems that songwriting students encounter is pushing past writer's block and generating ideas for new songs. So here are several tips for writing a song that will help you overcome a creative dry spell and get you back to creative productivity. Start With A Title Think of some interesting subjects that you think would make goo

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