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Concord, CA Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers near Concord, CA

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About Steven B.

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Alameda, CA

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

About Steven
Have you always wanted to learn how to play the piano, guitar or electric bass? Or maybe you've just felt like brushing up your musical knowledge and playing skills? Now’s your chance to fulfill those dreams!

About Me: San Francisco Bay area pianist/guitarist/bassist; I've been playing music for over 50 years. I'm classically trained with a solid foundation and knowledge of music theory, and have over 40 years experience teaching, recording and performing. I have done session work and/or performed with members of Journey, Santana, Jackson Browne, Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers and Greg Allman to name a few, and am currently teaching piano, theory and bass to Mike Dirnt, the bassist for Green Day. Let me take my education and experience and pass them on to you!

My main goal as a music instructor is to pass along my love and kno
wledge of playing music to my students, always vigilant for sharing shortcuts that will help the student to achieve their lesson goals faster. Some teachers teach only out of books. I am not such a teacher. Books solve the problem of learning music in generalizations and by their very nature, cannot take into consideration personal issues a student will encounter.

Most students are able to learn enough of the necessary mechanics at the first lesson to actually play something before they leave that lesson. This is important because they realize that playing music IS possible. I always enjoy the look on their face when they realize they have actually “played” their instrument at their first lesson.

I am not the sort of teacher who yells and screams if the student comes in unprepared. I realize that people come to me for a variety of reasons and I work with them with whatever they bring in. I am patient and if a student is not understanding a certain aspect, I bring into play alternate approaches. Not everyone assimilates information in the same way. Learning music should be an enjoyable adventure for the student and I venture to say that my students enjoy coming to their lessons. We have fun, and we learn.

My current rates are $40 per half hour, $60 per 45 minutes and $80 per hour, and believe me... you will get your money's worth! Also I should note that due to my current students, plus teaching at a private school in Sausalito and recording sessions, my time constraints only allow me to teach lessons out of my home studio in Alameda. Hopefully this will work for you as well!
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Reviews
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Eric H. June 10, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Steve is a rare find - an accomplished musician, a great teacher, and a genuinely nice guy. My 10 year old and I have been taking lessons with him for the past year, and our progress/improvement has been significant and noticeable. Particularly with my son, Steve is patient, supportive, and very encouraging, and he teaches at just the right level. He always makes sure that we cover music theory along with learning our favorite songs in order to get the most out of our training. My enjoyment of piano has increased significantly since starting lessons with Steve, and each time we leave a lesson he says: "Have fun with it!" I highly recommend Steve as a teacher.
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Billy May 17, 2016
· Piano · In studio
wow amazing!
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Tim M. February 22, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Great teacher and great time taking the lessons! I wish we could take more lessons with him but we've recently moved out of the area. Thanks for everything Steven!
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Steven B.

Steven B.

Alameda, CA 94501
(17)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Laurence B.

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

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

QUALIFICATIONS

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

EXPERIENCE

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

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

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

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

Laurence B.

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

About 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 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.
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Reviews
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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 David W.

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Berkeley, CA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*** Specialties ***
On guitar and bass, I have experience in world music including Africa, Latin America, and Flamenco. I also love American traditional music, including funk, jazz, rock, and gospel. I specialize in teaching music theory and composition, no matter what instrument. Rhythmic concepts applied to any instrument are a favorite topic.
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Kelley Martel March 24, 2016
· Guitar ·
It was a great first lesson with David . He is very kind and patient and helpful and I can see he is skilled as a musician. I am excited to work with him !
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Roy H. January 28, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
If I could give 4.5 stars I would, the only reason it's not 5 stars is because I think nobody is perfect, but David is very close to it. I really liked how patient David was with Eli and his deep knowledge of music was very impressive. David is able to prevent things in a number of different ways and he makes sure that you understand that material very well.
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Ian Merrill November 10, 2015
· Music Theory · In studio
David is awesome! I began lessons with him because i was not satisfied with the music theory classes at the school i am enrolled in, as well as the classes did not accommodate well to my learning differences. David not only has endless knowledge of music theory but also has shown me tools and helpful methods for studying music. I highly recommend taking lessons from David if you are either a beginner or you are at a higher level and would like to expand your knowledge of music theory.
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David W.

David W.

Berkeley, CA 94703
(12)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About John F.

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San Francisco, CA
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About John
I play a wide variety of musical styles on drums and percussion and have a long history of performance art in live bands, theater and orchestra. I teach drum set, symphonic and marching percussion, electronics in drumming (sampling, loops, midi etc), and general rhythm lessons for beginners. I also enjoy helping students prepare for auditions, studio recording sessions, and live performance opportunities. There's alot to know about what to do and what not to do in these situations, especially if you want to look like a pro and have a positive experience.

I studied percussion performance at Washington State University while developing my set playing and enjoying my employment with the Washington Idaho Symphony as a classical percussionist. I play in rock, funk, pop, metal, EDM, hip-hop, industrial, honky-tonk, and jazz outfits with mult
iple appearances at SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, TieCon, and various festivals throughout the US.
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Anna November 16, 2016
· Drum · In studio
John is a fantastic teacher! I started with no experience at all and now after my fourth lesson I already feel comfortable with my grip, a metronome, sheet music, single stroke rolls, double stroke rolls, and several rock beats. Currently, I’m learning sixteenth note drum fills. He is patient, enthusiastic, fun, and extremely talented. I highly recommend him as a drum teacher (beginner or experienced). You will not regret it!
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John F.

John F.

San Francisco, CA 94115
(1)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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About Astrid C.

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Martinez, CA

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

Astrid C.

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

About Rebecca K.

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Vallejo, CA
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With a theory emphasis as part of my major in college (and using that knowledge many, many times since), I can help take away the mystery and scariness of music theory.

About Rebecca
Hello! I am a classically trained vocalist and percussionist, with a BA in Music, specializing in Education and Theory. I have taught band, choir, orchestra and piano in high school and middle school. I have also done Music Directing with kids aged 7-14 for various musicals and have taught elementary students aged 4-9, so I am ready for whatever you've got! I have also appeared on stage in various settings including opera, musical theater, solo work and even the occasional karaoke night. I am willing to work with your schedule and offer scholarships to those who are willing to earn them!
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wayne July 3, 2017
· Violin · In studio
very encouraging and knowledgeable teacher!
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Kim Ho May 31, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Always AWESOME!
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Kim Ho May 24, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Always amazing!
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Rebecca K.

Rebecca K.

Vallejo, CA 94590
(24)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Thomas W.

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

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

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

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

Thomas W.

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

About Kelley K.

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Oakland, CA

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I specifically and intentionally approach teaching students music theory from a body-centric perspective, utilizing "Deep Listening" concepts. More than anything, though, I'm interested in catering to your individual needs as a student and musician. I'll do whatever I can do to support you in reaching your goal(s) with music theory, and try to make the journey to reaching that goal as accessible and exciting as possible!

About Kelley
I've been formally studying music and playing instruments since my first guitar lesson at four years old, when my hands were still too small to play chords on the instrument. Since then, my passion for music has only grown - I've continued to study the guitar, as well as the upright bass, saxophone, and piano, and now hold a BA in Music and German from Hampshire College, as well as an MA in Music Composition from Mills College. I'm currently in the process of applying to PhD programs in Musicology for 2019.

I've been teaching for quite a few years now, and have found that it's another passion of mine. Helping others to learn their own language of music is one of the most emotionally rewarding experiences I've ever been lucky enough to have.

My lessons always start with a focus on listening, and then move outwardly to sounding and mu
sic-making. I'm happy to cater to each individual student's musical goals and needs - so whether you're interested in learning advanced music theory, just learning a few chords on the guitar so that you can play while you sing with friends, or anything in between, I'm more than happy to support you in doing so!

I aim to create as safe a space as possible for folks of all ages, abilities, genders, and identities to explore their musicality.
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Shoshana May 4, 2017
· Ear Training · In studio
Kelley is such an incredible instructor! They are so kind and patient and will work with you to find the best ways to teach according to your wants/needs. I highly recommend Kelley as an instructor for any level, from the very beginning of beginner to advanced. Happy learning!
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Yesenia C. May 3, 2017
· Ear Training · In studio
Kelley is such a patient, attentive, and caring instructor. With their help I improved my ear training skills immensely. They provided me with suggestions outside of our lessons where I could maintain a stress-free, organized practice. Without their help I wouldn't have passed my Musicianship Course! Kelley truly has a passion for education and working with them has been one of the best experiences of my life!
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Kelley K.

Kelley K.

Oakland, CA 94613
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Daniel S.

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Moraga, CA

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Individualized music theory lessons for students of all levels and music backgrounds geared to make you read music just like reading words in a page! Students will learn music theory through a structured curriculum for a thorough understanding of notes, rhythms, intervals, basic and advanced chords, formal harmony, ear training, harmonic and melodic analysis, extended techniques, and orchestration and composition.

About Daniel
I'm a professional guitar teacher, voice teacher, and choir director in the Bay Area. I teach out of private home/work studios in Moraga, Oakland, and Benicia, but also will drive to students' houses depending on preference and availability. I have been teaching for over a decade, and hold a Bachelors degree in music from Occidental College and a Masters of Music degree from the USC Thornton School of Music. I studied classical voice, classical and jazz guitar, and choral conducting at school.

While I have performed all across the country, my truest passion lies in teaching. I strive to present complicated music topics in understandable and relatable terms. Music theory, for example, should be exciting and interesting, not confusing and frustrating! I love to break down techniques on guitar into their simplest components, so that stude
nts attain a thorough and comprehensive mastery of the instrument.

Most importantly, I craft each lesson to the student's interests. Students following my curriculum can work on any genre they want, and achieve fluency on the guitar by studying the techniques of that genre, and then the crossovers of those techniques into other genres.
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Carol July 13, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Excellent teacher. Works the entire time teaching me and makes it understandable. Always on time and the big one - patient.
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Daniel S.

Daniel S.

Moraga, CA 94556
(1)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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Music Theory Lesson Reviews from Students

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

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Recent Music Theory Articles from the Blog

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

Subdivision: The Easy Trick for Reading Rhythms Right

Subdivision: The Easy Trick for Reading Rhythms Right

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

Subdivision: The Easy Trick for Reading Rhythms Right
As you're learning to read music, you'll come across complex rhythms at some point. Here, Saint Augustine, FL music teacher Heather L. offers some helpful tips to help you get through the tricky parts...   Have you ever found yourself sitting in a big concert hall, or in your room, listening to a soloist play a practically perfect rhythm? Almost all of us have, and almost all of us have asked ourselves, "How do they do that?" Their secret is subdivision. You might be just begin
Why Learning Piano Theory is Important for All Musicians
Struggling to understand music theory? Try heading over to the piano -- seeing a visual representation can help a ton! Here, Lowell, IN teacher Blake C. shares how to get started...   Many musicians avoid learning music theory altogether because it can feel much like learning a foreign language; as a result, many musicians enlist in the anti-music theory organization. I will admit it – I was a member of the anti-music theory organization in my early years, declaring that music theory
All in Order: Tricks for Identifying Key Signatures
What are the "keys" to identifying different key signatures? Read on for some great tips from Tucson, AZ teacher Lourdes C... In reading music, there are a few things that give musicians the biggest headaches. One major migraine-maker is determining keys from the key signature and then remembering the order of sharps and flats. This chart gives musicians a quick way to help with identifying key signatures. Key Signatures at a Glance Major sharps: the name of the key can be fou
How to Prepare for Sight Reading at an Audition | 3 Helpful Tips
Nervous about the sight reading portion of an upcoming audition? Find out how to work sight reading practice into your routine in this guest post by Saddle Brook, NJ teacher Christian D...   “Be prepared to sight read.” That dreaded requirement on all auditions that makes us all nervous. But the fact is, you shouldn’t be! Sight reading is a learned skill, just like everything else in music. Think of it as sight reading a passage from a book in front of an audience. With so many
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

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