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Concord, CA Music Theory Lessons

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About Tracey H.

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San Francisco, CA
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I've studied Music Theory at Berklee College of Music and Musician's Institute (AA Degree - Voice/Vocal Performance).

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 Mark B.

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Castro Valley, CA
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I love to teach music theory at all levels. Music Theory helps you understand many aspects of music, including why certain notes and chords sound good together, finding the right key to sing a song that is in your voice range, improvisation and soloing on your instrument, timing, rhythm, creating original melodies, thinking outside the box for composition, and many others.

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 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 have received major radio airplay in Europe, and gone to #1!
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Reviews
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David February 14, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
Just had a great first lesson with Mark. I'm an intermediate guitarist with a few years of experience looking to work on improving my improvisation. Right away, Mark helped get me started in the right direction and gave me some valuable tips that I'd never considered, which are already helping how I think about my playing.

Looking forward to continuing lessons.
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Alex January 17, 2018
· Bass Guitar · In studio
I started Bass guitar lessons from Mark about 4 years ago. He is a very talented and patient musician who really pays attention to detail. I have a busy schedule and sometimes I just can't practice as much as I would like to. to make things even harder, I play Left handed. Mark takes the time to go over things with me with out any frustration. I really had no idea what it would be like taking lessons at my age (let's just say I'm way past 50), but I truly look forward to meeting with mark for my weekly lesson. I'm making progress and one of these days I'll be able to say Yes, I can play this bass.
I would recommend any student that wanted to learn to play the Guitar or Bass guitar to Mark. you will not be disappointed.
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Marc January 11, 2018
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Mark is a terrific teacher. He knows and loves music. He is an awesome guitar player. He is patient and fits the lessons to your ability and tastes. He is also quite funny which helps make the lessons be enjoyable. His home studio is a great place to have the lessons.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(19)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Mack R.

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Oakland, CA
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I studied music theory in high school and through college. I have always enjoyed writing and arranging. I have written for small groups as well as big bands. knowing music theory will help one develop musically.

About Mack
I have a BS in music education received at Lehman College, Bronx, NY. I am a professional musician/ composer/ arranger.I received my teaching credentials at SFSU and have been a General music teacher as well as a, band teacher. I have studied trumpet with Classical ( Wilmer Wise)and Jazz musician (Bill Hardman) and big band arranging with Frank Foster( saxophonist and arranger with Count Basie Band). At present I am retired and teaching privately.

I have been teaching music for over 50 years as well as being a professional musician/ composer and arranger. I not only know my fundamentals inside and out, but also I know many tricks of the trade. Over the years I have developed special teaching techniques that enable students to make sense out of music and progress rapidly on their instruments.I love playing music and aim at stirring that
same kind of excitement abut music in my students.

To each lesson I bring a unique mix, encouraging the student to pursue excellence and also have fun. I am well qualified to teach: woodwinds( oboe, flute, clarinet, all saxophones) brass(french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba), and piano.

*** Lesson Details ***
I make music interesting to learn. I encourage students to practice daily so they can improve. The more they improve the more fun they can have with music not only alone, but with others.

I am very patient with my students especially with beginners. I know that for them it is like learning a new language. Once they begin to increase their musical vocabulary, they will enjoy what they can do with music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Seating for parents, basement studio, piano, drum set

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students should provide their own instruments.
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Reviews
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Kate September 5, 2017
· Clarinet · In studio
First clarinet lesson today with Mack Ruck. I'm a rank beginner, which is why I chose Mack. I figured that a band and orchestra teacher would have encountered many of me over his career in the schools, and know how to work with different styles of learning. He also would be able to explain stuff simply from the very base level. I was really right! I came out of the lesson knowing how to read and play middle C through A (not very well, but that's why we practice). I learned ways to make the note actually sound, what you can do to screw up the sound or make it clear and on-key. Not too shabby for starting the half hour without being able to make a sound on the clarinet. So he's a great teacher. He's also the most patient guy on earth, with nerves of iron!
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Emiliano A. August 28, 2017
· Clarinet · In studio
Mack is an amazing teacher! He is kind but gently moved my son along in his musical skills.
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Evan X. July 23, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Mack was awesome !
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Mack R.

Mack R.

Oakland, CA 94607
(23)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Peter D.

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Oakland, CA

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

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

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

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

I look forward to getting to know you!
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Susan December 8, 2017
· Piano · In home
My 10 year old son loves playing little riffs on the piano but really didn't want lessons for fear it would be too much like school. Peter has been awesome about tailoring the lessons so that my son can choose the Music he likes and move forward from his place of interest. Peter is a skilled and gifted pianist, and my son is totally inspired to keep playing and put in the work to improve.
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Leyla November 30, 2017
· Piano · In home
I have been working with Peter for a little over a year and although I'm moving away, I will be continuing my sessions with him over video. Over the past year, I've had the most incredible mentoring experience with Peter and would highly recommend him to students of all ages. I used to play piano as a kid and quit when I was in middle school, and Peter has helped me regain, maintain and build on my skills. He takes measures to keep me accountable in my practice and also nurtures and encourages me creatively -- his experience as a composer comes in handy and we have dope jam sessions. In addition to his musical teaching practice, Peter is also training in somatic and trauma healing modalities that infuse his work with students with care and attunement. I know some parents who work with him keep him around their kids as a life coach and buddy as well as a music teacher. He's the best and I will miss seeing him every week in person!
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Mary Butler November 30, 2017
· Piano · In home
Peter has taught my 11yr old son so much! The Focus is on the fundamentals but he is flexible and fun which support creative learning and keeps my son engaged! A great instructor that is very reasonably priced and it is convenient to have such a great teacher come to the house, many others we looked do not offer that kind of service.
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Peter D.

Peter D.

Oakland, CA 94609
(22)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About David W.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*** Specialties ***
On guitar and bass, I have experience in world music including Africa, Latin America, and Flamenco. I also love American traditional music, including funk, jazz, rock, and gospel. I specialize in teaching music theory and composition, no matter what instrument. Rhythmic concepts applied to any instrument are a favorite topic.
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Suzanne Valentine December 8, 2017
· Guitar · In home
David was a great teacher for our 12-yr-old son who was beginning guitar -- we highly recommend him!
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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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David W.

David W.

Berkeley, CA 94703
(14)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Joseph C.

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San Francisco, CA

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Basic Music Theory, Chord Analysis, Form, Improvisation, Composition.

About Joseph
I am a graduate of the University of Miami Studio Music & Jazz school with over 20 years of professional experience. I have toured internationally and have played in many diverse musical arenas. The past 16 years of my music career have been spent in the Bay area playing professionally and teaching privately.

My specialties are in jazz improvisation and music theory. My students range in age from 4 to 60, most being between the ages of 9 and 16. Many of my students attend the Urban School and School of the Arts here in San Francisco. Most of my students are at the top of their class in band and music theory studies and have made the San Francisco All-City Orchestra.

Specific credentials and references are available upon request. All levels welcome, serious students only.
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Eric December 20, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
10/10
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Robert G. July 6, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Very friendly, pragmatic, and musical. Accurately assesses where I am and teaches accordingly.
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Alex R. May 23, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Joseph was quick to identify my strengths and where I could use a bit of work to tailor a plan to get my sax chops back. He's also teaching me music theory which is very clear and easy to understand.
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Joseph C.

Joseph C.

San Francisco, CA 94121
(14)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Tom S.

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Walnut Creek, CA

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I aim to make music theory fun and interesting ,but I also ensure that with the fun comes progress and understanding

About Tom
I am a very experienced and fully qualified music and instrumental teacher, with over 30 years of experience. I am a experienced performer in both playing, singing and conducting too. Making and very importantly enjoying music is my passion.

I have taught brass instruments right through from beginners to pupils at music college.

I also teach music theory, music history and some composition and arranging. I also play and teach the piano

I am also a very experienced teacher of pupils with Special Education issues

Whether you want to study music seriously or just for fun , I am the teacher for you.I promise you stimulating and enjoyable lessons, but I will also help you make good and rapid progress.
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Suzy January 27, 2018
· Piano · In studio
Our son has been taking piano lessons from Tom for a year and it has made a huge difference. Tom is very knowledgeable, personable, and has lots of patience for my inquistive 8 years old!
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Kelly M. January 19, 2018
· Piano · In studio
Tom has been a wonderful piano teacher for our two children. He is patient & helps them progress at a steady rate. He makes learning fun while ensuring they have good technique and understanding at each level. My son hadn’t enjoyed lessons from past instructors, but now looks forward to his lessons with Tom.
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Wendell January 18, 2018
· Piano · In studio
I've been taking lessons with Tom for almost 2 years. I can't imagine a better instructor. He's very knowledgeable, friendly, extremely patient, and passionate about music. Our weekly lessons keep me motivated and on track. Thanks so much, Tom!!
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Tom S.

Tom S.

Walnut Creek, CA 94598
(11)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Frederic R.

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San Francisco, CA

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Good knowledge of classical music theory. Specifics available upon request.

About Frederic
I have been playing cello for over 20 years. I grew up in Switzerland and stayed there until my Masters' degree, then went on to study at the University of Southern California (Doctorate of Musical Arts 2015, prof. Ralph Kirshbaum). I recently moved to the Bay Area, where I have had the chance to play with local ensembles (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Ensemble San Francisco amongst others). Although I love all music that involves cello, I especially enjoy exploring new repertoire as well as discovering old works on period instruments. Sharing my passion brings me a lot of joy, therefore teaching has become an essential part of my life.

...cellists of all ages and levels are welcome!
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Jake C. December 23, 2016
· Cello · In home
Great first lesson
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Sophie R. November 1, 2016
· Cello · In home
Learning a lot and having fun doing it!
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Mihwa N. November 9, 2015
· Cello · In home
Very good!!
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Frederic R.

Frederic R.

San Francisco, CA 94112
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Erica G.

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Sausalito, CA

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I love making music theory fun, especially for beginners!

About Erica
I'm a professional singer, songwriter, and recording artist originally from Tanzania in East Africa. I love empowering students to discover the joy of music in every lesson.

I've studied music theory, voice, and piano at the college level, and I'm also a self taught guitar player.

For voice students, your vocal skills are like a muscle. I help you improve your vocal technique a little bit each week while you're growing your confidence and self expression as a singer.

For piano, I began learning piano as an adult (5 years ago) and I understand the challenge of learning the instrument from scratch. I can teach students to read music and play contemporary songs of your choice.

As a singer and songwriter, I've worked with famous artists in East Africa. You can learn more about my music at http://EricaLulakwa.com. I love to mentor st
udents who want to become powerful songwriters and get into performing and recording.

I look forward to working with you to grow into a better musician!
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Zaira B. January 17, 2018
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
It was wonderful meeting Erica - our daughter Zaza enjoyed her lesson and is already asking "how many days until Tuesday"? We look forward to seeing Erica again next week for more music and fun!
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Cole October 6, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
I gauge success on how well my kid responds. Instead of once a week lessons he now wants twice. Somehow Erica connected with him and he now wants to practice his guitar. Thank you!
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Sean A. September 14, 2017
· Piano · In home
Super! Erica was great. We are looking forward to working with her.
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Erica G.

Erica G.

Sausalito, CA 94965
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Sherman N.

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Mill Valley, CA

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I will the basic fundamentals of music theory; there will be a good amount of practice and trivia, and I hope each student will enjoy the lessons.

About Sherman
I'm a high school student and musician. I've played piano for about 13 years and this is my best opportunity to help other young aspiring musicians. I passed the Grade 8 Piano Exam for ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) and I'm currently prepping for the Diploma test for ABRSM. I am planning to take music as a major in college and possibly become a music teacher in the future.

I will do my best to help the young kids to find their love and passion and music and help them stay committed to it.
...
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Sherman N.

Sherman N.

Mill Valley, CA 94941
starting at
$15 / 30-min

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What are the "keys" to identifying different key signatures? Read on for some great tips from Tucson, AZ teacher Lourdes C... In reading music, there are a few things that give musicians the biggest headaches. One major migraine-maker is determining keys from the key signature and then remembering the order of sharps and flats. This chart gives musicians a quick way to help with identifying key signatures. Key Signatures at a Glance Major sharps: the name of the key can be fou … Read More

All in Order: Tricks for Identifying Key Signatures
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Staring at the Circle of Fifths and memorizing key signatures isn't the only way to learn music theory! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares some creative ideas to revive your learning...   Music theory is a very important part of your musicianship, whether it be mastering ear training, harmony, or sight reading. No matter what instrument you play or what styles you enjoy, those who learn music theory grow further as musicians. A solid knowledge can help you improve your perform
How to Transition from Classical Pianist to Jazz Pianist
Piano music doesn't have to be all classical, all the time! Here's what you need to know about getting started with jazz piano chord progressions, courtesy of St. Augustine, FL teacher Heather L...   Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock, and Duke Ellington are just a few of the great jazz piano players. What beautiful and fascinating sounds fill our ears when their names come to mind! The seemingly illusive progressions and spontaneous elements, like syncopation and improvisation, sound
4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory
Sure, music theory is complex -- but there's no need to fear it! Here, Jamaica Plain, MA teacher Noaa R. shares four steps to get you started...   Many students tend to avoid studying music theory and harmony. This can stem from a fear of compromising one’s creativity with rules and numbers, a failure to connect concepts with application, or from feeling overwhelmed by the perceived volume of material to be learned. However, when you approach theory as an exploratory process that help

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