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Davenport, CA Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers near Davenport, CA

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Davenport, CA including Boulder Creek, Santa Cruz, Ben Lomond, Felton and Brookdale.

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About Rory C.

Santa Cruz, CA

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Learn about songwriting fundamentals from both lyrical and musical perspectives.

Lessons examine song structures, lyric writing, composition and arranging techniques, and the interplay of those elements. Learn how to be more effective in conveying emotion and motion in your music through deeper understandings of developing melody, harmony, rhythm and metaphor.

About Rory
From beginners to intermediate and advanced students, lessons can cover a wide range of topics including - ear training, left and right hand technique for both flat-picking and finger style playing, basic to more advanced music theory, sight reading, rhythm and lead playing, and more.

Former touring guitarist and songwriter with Bay Area based Americana trio Quiles & Cloud, signed to Compass Records Group; a Nashville based roots music label with over 25 years in the industry.

With nearly 2 decades of performance experience and over 12 years teaching private lessons, Rory provides musical instruction tailored to individual skill sets and goals.

Have any other questions, feel free to ask!
Andy December 31, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Rory, is a truly gifted guitarist with the perfect temperament for teaching anyone with the silliness to lear music. Every lesson I have with him is full of music theory and strong fundamentals needed to build a solid foundation for any starting guitarist. With in 3 months of weekly lessons I was able to read basic music notes, understand time, rhythm, and tempo by the end of 5 months. I am able to hear and understand music a lot deeper then I have before and can play a few songs. If you haver wanted to learn how to I highly recommend Rory as your teacher he’s the best there is.
Jonathan December 15, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Rory is an amazing instructor -- he is patient, informative, but most of all allows the instruction to be fun as well as educational. Rory allows the student to have some free reign about where the lessons will go -- never boring, and always moving towards an increased knowledge of the instrument and the music being learned.

Rory also happens to be one of the best guitar players in the business - with a talent that shines through in his work and instruction. I'd highly recommend Rory to anyone considering lessons -- he's even great with beginners!
Kyle O. December 14, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Rory is an awesome guitar teacher! He is kind, patient, talented, and is great about tailoring the lesson to what you want. Highly recommended.
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Rory C.

Rory C.

Santa Cruz, CA 95060
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA

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

About Jesse
I'm currently not taking beginner students on guitar, bass, drums, piano, or ukulele. I highly recommend my studio partners Andrew and Melissa though. Please check out their profiles for the following topics:

Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, and Piano

Piano, Ukulele, and Drums

My Background

I've been playing with classical ensembles and rock bands since 2001. Even though I started on classical trombone and rock guitar, I have come to expand my repertoire to a variety of instruments and genres. During my time in college I performed with the University choir, orchestra, and band. I also have organized, wrote/arranged for, and performed with a variety of bands in my home state of New Mexico, as well as Japan, and the San Francisco Bay Ar

Since 2006 I have been an active teacher. This profession has taken me everywhere from working with classical guitar classes in New Mexico high schools to Elementary students in Japan to a variety of private students of various musical instruments and genres everywhere I've been. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2010, I've had the pleasure of working with lots of great students from kids to adults with a wide range of ambitions. Since 2012 I've been running my own full time studio.

Philosophy of Learning

Lessons are generally designed to work towards giving students the tools to accomplish their goals and become increasingly independent over time. While all students will study similar fundamentals regarding technique, theory, and performance, every lesson is as different as every person. What kind of music do you want to make? I'll tell you what you need to do to get there, and help you take the steps to achieve your aspirations.

I also love to help students put together a song, record, and produce it for them so that they can have a recording to share with their friends and family.

I also hold events for my students. (Check out our pictures and videos below!)
Younger students have opportunities to perform for friends and family at my studio every few months. Once or twice a year we'll also stage a larger event off site for more individual students and bands classes to perform.
Adult students also occasionally have events where they get a chance to get together and play music as well.

Aside from in-studio lessons, students also have the option to sign up for online lessons via Skype.
(*Online lessons offered during different times than in-studio lessons.)

*Unfortunately due to scheduling issues, I'm not currently accepting students for bi-weekly lessons. I can do regular weekly lessons, or occasional drop-in lessons, but bi-weekly appointments make it really hard for me to give the best scheduled times to my existing weekly students. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

My studio is equipped with:

*Music Stands

*A P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, Ukulele, Banjos, etc

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set

*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set

*An electric piano console and Yamaha organ

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, Saxophone, and Flute

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

*A recording system that students are not only welcome to use but encouraged to

*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
Ayse K. March 7, 2018
· Violin · In studio
He is very talented...
Robert O. March 1, 2018
· Japanese · Online
Brian August 29, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
This was my son's first lesson, and he is looking forward to playing his trumpet and coming back for more lessons. I was hoping to spark his interest in music and so far so good.
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Peter D.

Oakland, CA

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I have coached hundreds of songs with a wide variety of students in pretty much any style of music, accelerating their understanding of the three basic elements of song craft: lyrics, melody, harmony.

Using techniques acquired through the Berklee School of Music system, I work closely with each person's temperament and personality, and help them in drawing out their own unique mode of expression into song.

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!
Wick A. February 23, 2018
· Piano · In home
Great instructor. Friendly, easy to understand, talented and can teach piano, theory, composition, etc.
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.
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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Peter D.

Peter D.

starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Rachel M.

Montvale, NJ

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Learn helpful hints and tricks to make the most of your song writing time so that you can start writing not just good songs but eventually write hits. Learn how to copyright your songs. I can help you with lyrics and song melodies as well as song structure and style. If you aren't a singer but want your song sung, I can help find a singer that can sing it for you. Since I'm also a singing teacher I can also help you sing your own songs.

About Rachel
Rachel fully background checked by three different companies and is also fingerprinted.

Rachel's private studio is where you not only learn healthy technique, but how to become a self-sufficient artist. Professional training and customized programs in singing and acting technique. All learning styles, all ages, and all levels. Private lessons and group classes.

We prepare our students for the real world with up to date training (singing and acting) and both performance opportunities and showcases in front of industry professionals when students are ready.

Students come from all walks of life. All voice types, all ages, all levels, all mediums (TV-film-theatre), all character - ingenue actors, and ALL genres (Rock, Pop, Alternative, Funk, Soul, Musical Theater, R&B, Jazz, Opera) welcome!

Rachel's students have gone on nati
onal tours, released albums, are in bands, have been accepted into performing arts schools (high schools and colleges), have been cast in regional/Off-Off-Broadway/Off-Broadway Theatre, movies (Noah, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Finally Famous), music videos, and on TV (Royal Pains, Smash, 30 Rock, The Good Wife, Law and Order: SVU, & NBC's The Voice competition).

Owner/Teacher: Rachel M.
SAG-AFTRA, VASTA, NATS (certified), NARAS, NAMTA, BMI, MAC, NJMEA, NAfME. NJ Theatre Alliance, & Certified Artist Developer with Conquer Entertainment,
16+ years of teaching to children - teens - adults (Ages 6+ group classes, 8+ private lessons)


Rachel is a member of SAG-AFTRA, The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS certified), VASTA (Voice And Speech Trainers Association), NARAS (The Grammy Awards), NAMTA, NJMEA (New Jersey Music Educators Association), NAfME (National Association of Music Education), NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association,) MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs), The NJ Theatre Alliance, NSA (Nashville Songwriting Association International), and BMI (Broadcast Music Inc). She has been teaching Bel Canto singing technique for the modern singer and Stella Adler-Stanislavsky-Chekhov-Meisner acting technique for all mediums for 16+ years to children, teens, and adults.

Rachel has trained at The Hages Music Studio under a master teacher for 22+ years in the Bel Canto singing technique for all genres, studied at The Stella Adler Studio of Acting in NYC as well as recorded and released her first album called "Just Meant To Be". Other credits include commercials, films, TV shows (One Tree Hill, AMC, Food Network), music videos (including Rachel's singles "Don't Even Try", "You Will Love On"), & numerous stage credits (Off-Broadway/NYC Theatre). Rachel most recently was seen in the reading of a new play "Vanishing Son" by Peter Gil-Sheridan performed in NYC. She is also a songwriter (16+ years), scriptwriter (10+ years), director (14+ years), and an international recording artist (10+ years).

Rachel has been performing for 20+ years, has performed in front of sold out crowds, and has been honored with many standing ovations. Other honors include magazine covers, featured articles, singing to thousands of people, studio recordings/albums, originated the role of "Antigone" in "Oedipus: The Musical", 2002 Helen Hayes Nomination for" Outstanding Vocal Performance in a Musical" ("Miss Adelaide" in "Guys And Dolls"), & 2008 finalist for NYC Singing Idol Competition. Rachel has also been fortunate to have worked & performed with many people in the business including Grammy-Tony-Emmy Award Winners/Nominees.


Whether you are a parent looking for instruction for your child, or for yourself, Rachel can customize the right program that best suits your needs. Her students come from all walks of life and have different goals, but they all have one thing in common. They love performing and have the desire to be the best at their chosen craft (singing/acting).

Some students want to sing/act for themselves, others want to sing/act for a hobby, and others want to be professional performers. That's where Rachel comes in. No matter what your goals are, she can help. Rachel teaches her students how to become true artists without tearing them down and without taking away the part of them that makes them unique. She teaches healthy technique that is based off of the human anatomy; the science of how the body/mind works and how the body/mind can work as efficiently as possible while singing or acting.

Learning how to sing/act is a process and doesn't happen overnight. Rachel's ultimate goal as a teacher is to not only make her students the best performers and singers they can be, but also give them all of the proper tools they need to have a more productive mind frame and become self-sufficient. Of course this can take years to master. It takes time and dedication.


SINGING: Bel Canto singing technique for the modern singer is taught in private and group classes. No one sounds like old opera singers, even if the student wants to sing opera. Students are allowed to choose most of the material they learn in the lesson. There will be times when Rachel will suggest a song to a student but if the student doesn't enjoy the song, they will work as a team to find a song that does work for the student. Gain a better tone quality, complete control of your voice, bigger range, more flexibility, and confidence. Learn healthy voice technique, how to fully take care of your own voice so you can sing for the rest of your life (even after lessons), and become a self sufficient performer for life.

ACTING: Stella Adler, Stanislavsky, Chekhov, and Meisner Acting Technique for Theatre/Camera is taught in private and group classes. All students are exposed to each technique and Rachel sees which technique each student responds to the most. Once the student and Rachel are able to identify the technique, Rachel continues to use the terminology of that technique for the remainder of the time the student is in lessons. Students eventually are able to play roles truthfully and realistically, even if the roles are opposite of the student's own personality.


1. Gain a lifelong, solid, consistent, and healthy technique that they can always count on in practice and performance.

2. Gain specific technical and personal notes in a notebook and/or computer file that is organized and always accessible for review.

3. Gain artistry, performance skills, and a strong voice that will look/sound authentic; Singers will sound appropriate to whatever style of music they are singing. (No fake sound or look.) Actors will just be in the moment and truthful whether they are on stage or in front of the camera.

4. Gain the confidence to always put on a great performance.

5. Gain focus and a more productive mind frame.

6. Become self-sufficient by knowing how to assess a problem and then fix it without creating a new issue.

*** Studio Equipment ***
PRIVATE HOME STUDIO: Keyboard, speakers (smartphone, iPod, iPad), CD player, tape recorder/player, digital recorder, music stand, mirror, laptop, sheet music selections, HD video camera, tripod, video editing software, audio editing software, USB microphone, and high speed WiFi internet. Full PA, two mixers (one mixer with 8 inputs and the other with 4), 8 Lavaliere microphones ("body mics"), multiple hand held microphones, laptop stand, and music stands.



*** Specialties ***
We specialize in Bel Canto voice technique for the modern singer. Each student can sing all genres without sounding too classical, "fake", and without losing their voice while singing for long periods of time.

Other Specialties: Teaching acting technique for theatre-TV-Film (Stella Adler, Stanislavsky, Chekhov, & Meisner), performance skills, songwriting, and creating self-sufficient singers-actors-performers (Artist Development).


CANCELLATION: 48 hour lesson cancellation policy and emergencies (determined by me) are handled on a case by case basis. If the student needs to miss a lesson due to an other activity or vacation, they or their parents/guardian if under 18, must contact Rachel Menconi at least a week from their next scheduled lesson in advance to prevent from forfeiting the lesson.

MAKE UPS: Make up lessons will be scheduled when time allows. No make up lesson or class will be given to ‘no shows’ or late cancellation, and no extra time will be given to students who are late to their lesson or class. If there is ever a time Rachel Menconi is running late, extra time will be given to make the lesson a full 60 minutes. If Rachel Menconi needs to reschedule, a make up lesson will be scheduled as close to the same week as possible. Make up lessons are scheduled at Rachel Menconi’s discretion.

Lessons are weekly, on the same time/day of the week unless we have rescheduled or we have discussed in writing another lesson plan. If the student’s lesson falls on a holiday, we will either reschedule or if no other day is available, resume the following week.

If a student is going to be late they need to contact Rachel Menconi as soon as possible, to let her know they will be late. Lessons will end on time unless she is able to extend the lesson due to a late student or her schedule allows for it though please understand, Rachel Menconi would be extending a courtesy and would not be obligated to do so. If on the rare occasion Rachel Menconi is running late, she will always make up the time.

Parents/Guardians are ONLY permitted to stay for the first lesson and are NOT permitted to sit in for any other lesson/class unless invited. This is to promote good/strong teacher-student relationship quickly and easily. Also, many times students feel more comfortable when their parents/guardians leave.
Of course there will be times when the parent will be invited back in at the end of some of the lesson to showcase progress.

"I try to be as fair as possible to both parties when it comes to cancellations, rescheduling, lateness, and make ups. Have a concern or question? Just talk with me. I'm all about communication!" - Rachel Menconi
Sara V. January 29, 2018
· Singing · In home
My 9 yr. old daughter received singing lessons with Rachel. Rachel was SO wonderful, patient, and creative with every session with her. She was constantly coming up with different ways to keep her engaged and was always reassuring her to increase her confidence. She gave great constructive feedback on how my daughter was doing and what she can work on to improve. I give her 5 stars! Thanks so much, Rachel!
Steve October 3, 2017
· Acting · In studio
Overall, very impressed. She is direct and doesn't tell you something you want to hear. Her evaluation process is well rounded and planned. She puts together a great curriculum to know what to expect in the coming lessons. Very easy going person and makes you feel completely comfortable at the initial lessons.
Glenn March 26, 2017
· Film Acting · In studio
Taking lessons with Rachel has been one the best decisions I've ever made. She not only has helped me with acting but has helped me become a better person. I've grown to understand myself and I've learned and done things I would never have done. And would never have been able to do. Her lessons will not only help you perform, they will help you in your everyday life.
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Rachel M.

Rachel M.

starting at
$75 / 60-min

About Joseph T.

Richmond, VA
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About Joseph
Joseph Taylor has been teaching private lessons since 2008 and has been playing violin for over 15 years. He currently has 30+ private violin and viola student but is available to teach lessons at his studio in Richmond, VA. Joseph has helped students learn classical violin, fiddle, and pop techniques while also teaching them ear training, memorization techniques, basic music theory, song writing, composition, and how to practice smartly. His goal as a teacher is specifically designed to help you achieve your goals as a musician.

Joseph attended The Catholic University of America’s Benjamin T. Rome School Of Music in Washington D.C. where he received his degrees is in Music Composition and Music Education. He is constantly continuing his education with private study and research as well as private violin instruction. As a young pro
fessional in his field, Joseph enthusiastically looks forward to helping new students achieve their goals. Joseph's teaching style is flexible, experiential, and FUN!
Patricia P. March 3, 2016
· Fiddle · In studio
Joe is a very easy going teacher and makes it easy to schedule lessons. My son says he is a great teacher and makes it interesting.
Charles P. February 3, 2016
· Fiddle · In studio
Great lesson from joe. He's been playing over 15 years and knows his stuff. Excited for the next lesson!
Calvin N. July 28, 2015
· · In studio
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Joseph T.

Joseph T.

starting at
$35 / 30-min
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About Marwan S.

Redwood City, CA

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

About Marwan
I started playing piano when I was 3, and began writing music at the age of 6. I've taught music and piano for over 12 years.

I graduated from Cornell University in Electrical & Computer Engineering, with a minor in Music. While in college, I was President of the Cornell Piano Society.
Milun February 26, 2018
· Piano · In home
Wonderful teacher!!
Kate R. January 22, 2018
· Songwriting · In home
Marwan has put a lot of effort both in and out of our lesson slot to make these sessions a great learning experience for our 14 year old daughter. His weekly recap emails are terrific, too.
crystal December 4, 2017
· Python · In home
Marwan always has smile on his face. And I have the very first python lesson with him. He is a great teacher.
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Marwan S.

Marwan S.

Redwood City, CA 94063
starting at
$55 / 30-min

About Stan M.

Coventry, RI

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I hold a B.M. degree in Composition from Berklee College of Music. I have also composed nearly a thousand songs -- in many genres and group settings -- in my lifetime and I have decades of experience teaching composition and arranging to many, many songwriters from all styles and levels. With my education and experience, I can help you create your best work and have fund doing it.

About Stan
Hi! I am a private music instructor offering lessons both in-studio and online. I hold a Bachelor of Music Degree from Berklee College of Music (Summa cum Laude) and I have over 36 years' full-time experience as an instructor.

I also have over four decades of experience as a professional jazz, rock, and theater musician. My experience has taken me from nightclubs to concert stages, as well as television studios, radio stations, and many recording studios.

Finally, I am a published author with several titles dedicated to helping musicians becoming the best they can be.


My teaching style is often referred to as laid-back, gentle, informative, and very supportive. My focus is on enrichment, encouragement, and results.

I don't work with “one-size-fits-all” methods. Each lesson is customized to mak
e the most of each student's own unique abilities, limitations, preferences, and interests. Whether students prefer, or do better with, traditional materials, playing/singing along with their favorite recordings, improvisation, or anything in between, I am more than happy to accommodate and bring out each student’s best!

I teach real music -- students begin playing music they love almost from day-one. For example, many of my piano and guitar students pride themselves on learning to play every song on the Beatles One album ... playing right along with the CD! Reading, playing by ear, improvisation (jamming), singing while you play ... there are so many ways to play and avenues to explore in music.

**** MY STUDIO ****

My studio is spacious (very spacious – no cubicles here!), well-appointed, and very quiet. Unlike music stores and multi-lesson facilities, there are no other lessons on the premises, no drummers going crazy on the other side of the wall. This means students can concentrate better and learn faster. There is also plenty of room for parents and siblings who may wish to sit in on lessons.

**** STYLES / GENRES ****

I believe that students make the most progress learning music they love and I am very happy to teach every student the style of music he or she loves most.

My most requested genres are: pop, rock, country, blues, classic rock, jazz, and classical. Some students arrive knowing exactly what they want, but most are happy to explore various styles that interest them in search of the perfect fit. It is not at all uncommon for a student to spend part of their lesson polishing up a Beethoven piece or jazz standard, then finish up playing the chords to “Hotel California” along with the CD. Another student might start off their lesson learning a Taylor Swift hit, then move over to doing some blues improvisation. Variety is a wonderful thing and it is highly encouraged!

**** MY STUDENTS ****

Over the years, I have taught students from four years old to eighty-somethings. I’ve taught absolute beginners (most of my students start from square-one), hobbyists, seasoned professionals, even a Grammy nominee and a Grammy winner! Many of my young students have gone on to perform in school bands / jazz bands and/or professionally. In all cases, they acquire a skill that will last for a lifetime and provide joy, enrichment, and satisfaction.

Do you have a song or two in your heart. Contact me today and I will help you reach your musical goals and have a good time doing it!
Rhinda C. March 1, 2018
· Guitar · Online
I have just started guitar lessons with Stan and the lessons are going very well. It's exciting to be learning note reading which is something I have always wanted to do. Stan is thorough and clear in his instructions and I look forward to each lesson. I feel lucky to have Stan as my teacher.
Samuel K. September 30, 2017
· Singing · In home
Stan is very knowledgeable about singing, and he teaches more than just voice lessons. It seems like he looks for the best in you as an artist, and try to take it to another level. I'm a new student of his, and it's been great so far. Looking forward to the weekly lessons.
Cullen June 1, 2017
· Blues Guitar · In studio
Stan is obviously both knowledgeable and talented but he is also a very good teacher and will tailor your lessons not only to your ability but also to your own personal goals

Stan has my highest recommendation
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Stan M.

Stan M.

starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Stephen S.

Santa Clara, CA

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Learn by writing songs! How all the aspects of songwriting (lyrics, melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics) fall into place and create something meaningful. I want to write songs with you, listen to and analyze popular songs, and help you find new inspiration in music we've never heard before. Develop your own style and find new ways to put words to music. Songwriting is like a puzzle, we can solve it one step at a time.

About Stephen
I customize lessons for every student, use various books for teaching and create my own learning materials for the students to study and practice from. I help the student establish goals and show them the plan/curriculum I create for them based on those goals. I am very friendly and patient and I love answering students’ questions.

Music seems like it has always been apart of my life. From an early age in elementary school I tried several instruments, from horns and wind instruments to drums. I finally landed on guitar when I turned 9 years old and never turned back. My first experience teaching was in middle school, where I wanted to be in a band but no one else in the class knew how to play guitar or drums. So I decided to teach 3 of my friends how to play guitar, bass and drums to start my first band. I’ve been playing and teaching
along the way ever since.

I teach out of my home recording studio, at the student’s home, or online. I use the recording studio for lessons, creating backing tracks for the students to play along to or solo over. I also record some of the exercises and play them back for students so they can hear for themselves when I explain a concept or correct an error.

My goal for lessons: To help my students achieve their musical goals as fast as possible. To develop their own style, identify and eliminate bad habits, and encourage good ones. In less than 6 months the student will be able to play simple songs, know the theory behind the chords, read the chords charts, and begin to read sheet music.

For intermediate lessons, I like to focus on more in depth looks at theory, and the application of theory. I enjoy analyzing songs with students and picking apart what makes them great. I also, when teaching in my studio, like to spend time recording with the students, creating original songs, and recreating popular songs.

A typical lesson: 10-15 minutes of warm up and review, 10-15 minutes of new material, theory, or song study. Longer lessons include more playing time, and more time to explore questions. I encourage my students not to let the learning stop when the lessons stop, but to look up articles and watch as many videos as they can, and bring lots of questions to every lesson.

I like to teach anyone 5 years old and above who wants to learn and become a better musician!
John January 25, 2018
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
To start with Stephen is a very talented musician with some of his own music. Listening to that it was got me interested in taking lessons with him. I came in with little to no experience with a guitar. He was very good at teaching me the basics of the instrument like notes and chord progressions. He was very patient with me as I took baby steps towards being able to play. I would highly recommend him as a teacher!
Conrad January 24, 2018
· Songwriting · In home
I've recently started taking lessons from Stephen to help improve my songwriting abilities and have to say, he's a pretty cool guy (and a good instructor). I've been playing guitar for most of my life but, for a long time, never devoted any time to creating something of my own. After trying songwriting on my own for a bit, I decided to see if I could give my skills a little bit of a boost by working with a music teacher. Upon the recommendation of a family friend, I decided to give Stephen a try.

Over the last few lessons, he's gotten me back into harmonic analysis (a skill that I tucked away after stopping my music theory studies ages ago). Our lessons are a mixture of looking at the structure of existing pieces, as well as working on my own songwriting. He's been immensely helpful in understanding how the structure of piece, as well as its chords and melodies, contribute to its overall sound. This has helped my songwriting immensely, as I feel that I am no longer wandering around aimlessly -- rather, I at least have a rough sense of direction in terms of where I would like a piece of music to go. Fully getting there is another story, but I'm sure that will come with practice.

In addition to being a good instructor, Stephen is a good dude with a great attitude. He's always patient and positive and encourages learning through experimentation. I highly recommend him.
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Stephen S.

Stephen S.

Santa Clara, CA 95050
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

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

25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block

25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block

Every songwriter runs into writers' block at some point in their career. To help you dig your way out of the dreaded doldrums of songwriters' block, we put together 25 songwriting tips and prompts plus great songs to inspire you. Check out these songwriting tips and find your muse today!   Bonus: Take the quiz to find out what you should write your next song about! Write about your day. Think your life is boring and you have nothing to say? Check out the lyrics to thi … Read More

25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block
Every songwriter runs into writers' block at some point in their career. To help you dig your way out of the dreaded doldrums of songwriters' block, we put together 25 songwriting tips and prompts plus great songs to inspire you. Check out these songwriting tips and find your muse today!   Bonus: Take the quiz to find out what you should write your next song about! Write about your day. Think your life is boring and you have nothing to say? Check out the lyrics to thi
Songwriting Tips | The Wisdom of a One-Of-Kind Song Title
What's in a name? If you're looking for songwriting tips as you pen your next tune, check out this advice from Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   There is not one "right" or preferred way to write a song. It's a very individual choice. Some songwriters start out with a patch of melody or a line or two of lyric as their creative catalyst. Others will initiate the songwriting muse with a unique and instantly-captivating song title or writing from their emotions. And in this ever-cr
Quiz: What Should You Write Your Next Song About?
Writing songs is hard enough work without having to deal with songwriters' block! To help you find inspiration for your next song, we created this easy personality quiz. Take the quiz and find out what your next hit single will be about... For more songwriting tips and songwriting prompts, check out our infographic guide 25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block! Share your songwriting ideas, struggles, triumphs, and questions in the comments below.   Interested in
Tips for Writing a Song | Starting Songs And Ending Writer's Block
Feeling stuck? Get back on track with these helpful tips for writing a song, courtesy of Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   One of the most frequent problems that songwriting students encounter is pushing past writer's block and generating ideas for new songs. So here are several tips for writing a song that will help you overcome a creative dry spell and get you back to creative productivity. Start With A Title Think of some interesting subjects that you think would make goo
3 Things Songwriters Should Always Keep in Mind
Are you perfectly content performing the pieces of famous composers and lyricists... or do you want to make your own contribution? If you want to learn how to become a songwriter, check out this guest post by teacher Eric C...   The world of music is as vast as the world that we live in. Some genres have existed for thousands of years, while others are still being created today. This is all because music is constantly evolving. The evolution of music comes from songwriters and

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