Cotati Music Lessons

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About Jim T.

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Fairfax, CA
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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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Mario L. June 7, 2018
· Piano · In home
Very good at tuning into my needs. Jim is an excellent musician and teacher.
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Sarah April 2, 2018
· Piano · In home
Jim is a great instructor. His knowledge of theory and his piano skills are really amazing. I appreciated his no-stress style of teaching, and it is obvious that he has a true love of music and musicians.
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Al Lyle December 30, 2015
· Piano · In home
Great Teacher
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Jim T.

Jim T.

Fairfax, CA 94930
(5)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Marc D.

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Petaluma, CA

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About Marc
I've been playing music since I was 14 years old. I studied classical guitar at State University in Buffalo, NY. and also studied guitar at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. I love just about every style of music. I mostly play Celtic, Bluegrass, American traditional, jazz, and classical. I also love to improvise.
My goal is to get my students results so they feel that they are really making progress. I do this by incorporating practice exercises, ear training and some music theory.
Music theory and reading music can be intimidating for beginning students. So I like to get you playing first and add theory a little at a time so you can better understand it through experience and it makes learning more fun.

*** Studio Equipment ***
The studio has a piano, acoustic guitars,mandolins and other instruments.Students receive sh
eet music and written materials.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Sheet music and other written materials.

*** Specialties ***
I play a lot of Irish fiddle tunes and also know a lot of American Folk styles,popular music and some jazz. I play some classical pieces on the mandolin and some bluegrass. I consider improvisation one of my strengths.
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Avery B. January 26, 2016
· Violin · In studio
It was really good information and I had a lot of fun.
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Annie B. March 3, 2015
· Fiddle · In studio
I have been taking fiddle/violin lessons from Marc for a few months now, and it has been a great experience. He is very patient and keeps things fun by helping me learn pieces that I am interested in learning to play. I would highly recommend him for any instrument you are wanting to learn.
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David S. February 19, 2015
· Mandolin · In studio
I have been playing the mandolin for about four years now and have had several different teachers, of which Marc is by far the best one I have had. I wish I had started with him. Marc is very patient and works with you to bring out your best effort. He challenges me with interesting music to play, helps me to understand the piece and shows me different ways to finger the notes. When I started with Marc two months ago I was playing hornpipes and dances and now I've moved up to Bach and Vivaldi. Marc is also an accomplished instrument maker.
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Marc D.

Marc D.

Petaluma, CA 94954
(7)
starting at
$39 / 30-min

About James P.

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224518_386084_1345243480
Petaluma, CA
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About James
I've played keyboards and sang professionally for the last 25 years. During that time my home has been in the San Francisco Bay Area but I have performed all over the country and have toured several times in Germany, Switzerland, and Japan. I’m a two time winner of the West Coast Songwriters “Song Of The Year Award” and I write music and lyrics as well as record and produce songs for myself and others.

Over those years I've developed a wealth of knowledge and experience that I’m very excited to share with my students. I want you to tell me what your musical dreams are and we will develop a plan to reach them and I will be honored to guide you there.

*** Lesson Details ***
I see music lessons as a partnership between the instructor and the student. I like to start this partnership by helping each student clarify their goals. Then
we can proceed to plan our path to the stated goals. This plan will of necessity be unique to each student.

Obviously, expectations for the lessons would depend on the student’s starting point but I would say that for a child piano student who is just beginning, it would be reasonable to expect that within 3-6 months they would be able to play songs by reading the music. These would include some songs of their own choosing as well as some that I might recommend. For adult piano students, although reading is highly encouraged, our goals might take us in a different direction.

For songwriting students, we might choose to forego working at the piano entirely and instead take our lessons into my recording studio. It all depends on our goals and the path that we choose to get there. We might spend an entire lesson on lyrics. But I really like to see a student leave each lesson with some concrete progress on their song, and preferably with it documented on a recording. Depending on the level of the student, after 3-6 months I anticipate that we would have at least a few songs written and demoed.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Music Room: 2 vertical pianos

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect the student to provide a piano or appropriate keyboard in a well lit room. I would also expect a bench and music stand.
I could provide a digital recorder and a metronome.

*** Specialties ***
blues, jazz, pop and rock
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Reviews
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Michele L. November 7, 2016
· Piano · In studio
I came away from my lesson with James feeling so happy and knowing that he will be teaching and encouraging me all the way going forward. I am actually lost for words to express what an incredibly positive experience I had today. I am also looking forward to my grand daughter taking lessons from James now too. I feel I got lucky that James is the teacher that was found for me.
MIchele
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Marcus C. July 16, 2015
· Piano · In studio
First lesson for my grandson and James was excellent, looking forward to future lessons.
Thanks James.
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Mike W. March 24, 2015
· Piano · In studio
James is a great teacher. Patient and inspiring. I have just begun my late in life music learning experience and he is perfect for that.
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James P.

James P.

Petaluma, CA 94952
(8)
starting at
$39 / 30-min

About Nicole B.

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About Nicole
Mezzo Soprano, Nicole Birkland is a professional opera singer based in Napa, California. She has worked with The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera and has been a young artist with Merola Opera, Chautauqua Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera.

Ms. Birkland is a pupil of voice teacher Jean McDonald who she has been studying with for 18 years. She passes on what her teacher has taught her, while adding her own touch and personal experiences as a professional singer.

She loves to work with beginners who are learning to sing for the first time as well as experienced singers of all genres. She also has experience teaching choir and music from K-12. Ms. Birkland's experience and understanding of differentiating styles allows her to teach in any genre.
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Nicole B.

Nicole B.

Napa, CA 94558
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Donna D.

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198576_164785_13901
Corte Madera, CA

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About Donna
I love to sing, and I have a passion for teaching students to sing well. I have sung in choruses all my life, and have been inspired by fine conductors and great composers. I am certain that music enlivens my life like nothing else, and it can do that for everyone. Whether you sing in the shower, or in the choir, or with a few friends, or in an opera, you can find your song.

Learning to play the piano, from the very beginning, or picking up where you left off in the past, will bring a spark to your life. Whether you want to play for yourself or some friends, or want to get on track to becoming a concert pianist, music will enrich your life.

My students develop an appreciation for music of the Renaissance up through the 21st century. They are willing to delve into exciting territory while learning to read music, establishing confiden
ce in their own musicianship. They discover the music within themselves, while learning the technique necessary to be the best musicians they can be.

I enjoy teaching high school, middle school, and elementary students as well as adults. I Love teaching beginners. I am trained in vocal pedagogy, music theory, music history, repertoire, performance practice and methods.

My formal education:
B.A., UC, Berkeley (Phi Beta Kappa)
M.A., Occidental College
M.S. Pepperdine University
Lifetime General Secondary Teaching Credential

Teachers and mentors:
Howard Swan, Mary Jones, Edward Lawton, Robert Commanday, Roger Wagner, Linda Anderson, Boyd Jarrell, Paul Smith.

In the last twenty years, I have enjoyed being a participant in music at the College of Marin, through choral, vocal, opera and piano classes. I currently serve as volunteer assistant to the Director of Choral Activities.

I am particularly proud of my experience as instructional aide and coach for music students with disabilities at the College of Marin, including students with developmental disabilities and autism.

Past classroom experience:
Long Beach Unified School District, Choral Music Teacher
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Choral Music Teacher
Low Heywood School and King School (prep schools), Stamford, CT, Choral Music Teacher

*** Lesson Details ***
Voice students can expect to learn how to produce tone beautifully, using correct posture and breathing, and proper vowel production, rhythmic precision, pitch accuracy, carefully formed phrases, and musical and stylistic interpretation. But beyond technique is the amazing art of communicating with other people the wonders of the music. You should expect to make good progress in all of these areas in just a few weeks. I hope you will come with serious interest in developing your beautiful voice.

Repertoire might include folk songs, art songs and arias from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries. Songs might be in English, or possibly in Italian, Latin, German or French, if you interested. We would sit down together and decide what dreams and goals you have, and then choose music to get you going down the path to those dreams and goals.

You can expect to have learned several new songs, and to have brought them to performance level in the first 3-6 months. If you have a goal to learn music for an audition, contest or festival, that can happen.

Piano students can expect to learn everything about the keyboard, posture, proper use right and left hands, scales, chords, arpeggios, and fun exercises leading to good technique, rhythmic accuracy, speed and fluency. Playing beautifully, with artfulness and expressiveness will be priorities.

Repertoire might include beginning to intermediate compositions from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries. We would sit down together and decide what pieces to choose which would help you get on a path to your musical dreams and goals, and what would be appropriate for your age and development as a musician.

You can expect to be playing pieces with 2 hands within a few weeks, and perhaps a melody with chords, if you are a beginner. Degree of difficulty will depend upon your age, experience and development, but even very simple songs can be played musically, with grace.

Of utmost importance to me is that every student learn to read music, and develop an understanding of music fundamentals. The level of sophistication will depend upon age and experience, but learning good musicianship is essential. At the same time, opportunities for creativity to develop through improvisation could be on the horizon for you. It is important to me that you want to learn and and want to become the best you can be.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have a piano and computer with Finale at my home. I provide music and practice sheets, etc.

*** Specialties ***
For voice, I teach classical style, including posture, breathing, tone production, vowel production, phrasing, diction, appropriate style and performance practice, and music reading. Materials I use include everything from folk songs to arias, and 16th century to contemporary compositions, in English, Italian, Latin, French and German. Voice is my primary interest. I am also competent to teach beginning theory, and beginning piano, both classical and standard popular, including improvisation from charts (melody, chords).
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Reviews
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Kylie July 19, 2017
· Singing · In home
I really enjoyed working with Mrs.Donna she
was a very sweet, patient and skilled teacher.
She taught me the skills of becoming a more well
developed singer and I had so much fun learning with her.
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Lori May 9, 2017
· Singing · In studio
My first and second lessons were wonderful and I am inspired by Donna's dedication, knowledge and patience. I feel that I can learn to build on these lessons and sing with confidence.
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Lori G. May 1, 2017
· Singing · In studio
First lesson: I feel encouraged and inspired!
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Donna D.

Donna D.

Corte Madera, CA 94925
(12)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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About Liesl M.

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Pinole, CA
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About Liesl
Currently, I offer private voice lessons for everything from sacred music for chapel services through my church and at my home, I teach everything from rock and roll style songs to classical singers with a passion for opera. I find this diversity of work to be a stimulating and exciting exploration of not only the students’ musical skills, but to expand my own “bag-of-tricks” as a music educator.

Music is a gateway to the soul, and part of what builds into their own self-identity. I currently serve as the music director for the adult choir and children’s programs at Coastside Lutheran Church in Half Moon Bay. Conducting the adult group has contributed to my own spiritual and musical growth.

My music degrees, which I earned through Westminster Choir College and San Francisco State University, have allowed me the opportunity to grow a
s a vocal soloist and professional performer. I have been a featured artist at many concerts and events around Northern California, and have performed with many of the area’s opera companies, such as Pocket Opera and Island City Opera.

I am a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).
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Kathy H. August 17, 2014
· Classical Voice · Online
As a trained teacher coach for twenty years, I observe and provide feedback for educators. Excellent teaching techniques apply to all content areas, including music. Liesl teaches with positive energy. She models all of the vocal exercises before expecting the student to carry them out. When providing corrective feedback, Liesl acknowledges the correctness of the singers approximation, and follows up with a next step. She teaches students to use the correct body alignment and breathing techniques to sing correctly as well preserve the vocal cords. She is fun and dedicated to her craft.
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Liesl M.

Liesl M.

Pinole, CA 94564
(1)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Rebecca K.

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Vallejo, CA
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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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Marthe April 11, 2018
· Violin · In studio
Before taking the violin lessons with Rebecca, I had no knowledge in music whatsoever. She makes everything understandable. She has taught so much. I'm really glad that I have her as my violin instructor.
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Aidan M. April 9, 2018
· Singing · In studio
Rebecca is so sweet and my son is already looking forward to his next lesson!
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Maria February 7, 2018
· Bassoon · In home
Rebecca is an amazing person and one of the best teacher my son has ever had. She very knowledgeable about music. Rebecca tough him to play the bassoon, and my son has preformed in more than 4 concerts within 7 months period, Rebecca really made a difference in my child performance. She is reliable, very responsible, she always go the extra mile for her students. I highly recommend her as a music teacher.
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Rebecca K.

Rebecca K.

Vallejo, CA 94590
(31)
starting at
$15 / 30-min

About Larisa F.

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Vallejo, CA
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About Larisa
m compassionate, creative, and classically-trained piano teacher. With a Bachelor of Arts degree from Moscow University my teaching style is based on the classical foundation. I believe you have to “know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” With my practical tips students learn to read sheet music in no time. The lesson plans I’ve created include theory, technique, sight-reading as well as improvisation in any musical style. Anyone can start learning today, regardless of their age or skill level.
...
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Larisa F.

Larisa F.

Vallejo, CA 94591
starting at
$42 / 45-min

About Paige P.

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Richmond, CA

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About Paige
I'm so happy to meet you! My name is Paige, a California transplant from Texas by way of Tennessee. I've taught since 2007 and enjoy teaching singers of all ages and experience levels.

I have a Bachelors in Music Education with a K-12 certification in Vocal Education, as well as a Masters in Performance. I have a strong musical background, having sung in the Texas All - State Choir, University Interscholastic League, and National Association of Teachers of Singing.

When I am not teaching, I actively perform in the Greater Bay Area, singing jazz, choral music, and opera.
...
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Dana August 16, 2017
· Vocal Training · In studio
I leave every lesson with some new tidbit as well as confidence that I've learned more about my voice and the song I'm learning.
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Olesia August 16, 2017
· Classical Voice · In studio
Good knowledge and good exercises! Paige has great experience and ability to connect!
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Srinika August 14, 2017
· Classical Voice · In home
Paige is awesome! She helped me find my range and use my voice without straining. I highly recommend Paige Patrick whether you are a professional singer, trying out for a school audition, or just want to feel much more confident in kareoke
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Paige P.

Paige P.

Richmond, CA 94804
(7)
starting at
$42 / 30-min

About Roxanna R.

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Profile_126899_pi_Beautiful%20Roxy
El Cerrito, CA
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About Roxanna
Hi there,

Just a few words to introduce my experience, approach and my work ethic .

I have a Bachelors Degree in Music, majoring in piano and voice and an established private teaching practice and teaching studio. I have extensive experience in private piano and vocal tuition and teaching general musicianship, music theory, singing and instrumental teaching in schools, as well as 10 years experience as a vocal performer in the UK.

I am committed to working hard for my students and remaining responsive to their musical tastes and interests. I also work to find out what learning style and senses my students learn most easily with (visual,
kinesthetic, auditory etc.) and adapt my teaching plan to meet the individual needs of each student. I use a variety of creative musical activities and techniques to engender an engaged learn
ing in each of my students.

In teaching piano, I teach rigorous foundational piano technique from the beginning, along with general musicianship. I like to incorporate teaching of general musical concepts, while encouraging creativity and imagination with the younger pupils that I teach. I also incorporate adaptations of popular music that children like to hear and play and try to stay responsive to the musical tastes of the student- while maintaining high standards in technique from beginners to advanced. I also address postural awareness and incorporate elements of the alexander technique into my teaching.

For those interested in singing lessons, I will first and foremost find out what kind of sound you personally wish to produce. Styles vary greatly across different genres. I will then help to diagnose your voice type and what difficulties you may be encountering and which may be preventing you from creating the sound you are aiming for.

I then show you ways in which the voice can be strengthened and balanced across the whole range and help my students achieve a healthy mix of head and chest resonance. This is achieved through exercises and vocal cues, enabling you to recognize the sensations that lead to good use of the voice.

My credentials:
- Alexander Technique Training- current.
- BA Music degree, Middlesex University, June 2004. Piano Performance Major and Music History
- 2 year piano scholarship at Conservatoire de Paris du Vème, with training on my second
instrument (violin), a member of conservatoire orchestra
- Music Diploma, Paris VIII University
...
Reviews
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Stefan June 2, 2018
· Piano · In studio
Our three children (ages 5, 6, 8) were Piano students of Ms. Roxy. We were saddened when Ms. Roxy had to move away.

Roxy is an EXCELLENT teacher. She is patient with the kids. She is very professional in setting and holding reasonable expectations for the kids. Her teaching approach is holistic, providing a deep sense of appreciation for music. The kids love her and you will too!
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Roxanna R.

Roxanna R.

El Cerrito, CA 94530
(1)
starting at
$47 / 30-min

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