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El Sobrante, CA Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers near El Sobrante, 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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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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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 Marc D.

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Petaluma, CA

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Reading music,chord building, rhythms

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 Jason J.

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Castro Valley, CA

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About Jason
I have been playing guitar for over 25 years and teaching for over 15. I have experience playing live including, classical guitar, acoustic popular songs, rock and jazz groups and most notably with The West Coast's Premier Tribute to Pearl Jam, Vitalogy. I have two music degrees (BA music and AA-O in Guitar Performance) and a California Music teaching credential which all has given me the training to assess your progress and differentiate your instruction based on YOUR specific needs as a student as well as your musical goals.
There are a couple of books I may suggest for you depending on the situation and of course I require you to provide your own guitar as you will need it to practice what you learn in each lesson.

*** Specialties ***
I take a balanced approach to teaching that includes equal attention to theory and technique w
hile helping a student accomplish his/her musical goals. I am comfortable teaching the following genres: rock, blues, classical, reggae, jazz and country
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Jason J.

Jason J.

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

About Donna D.

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Corte Madera, CA

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I incorporate Music Theory concepts in my teaching of piano or voice. Included are music fundamentals such as basic rhythm concepts, intervals, scales, arpeggios, chords, chord progressions, transposition, etc. Sight singing, ear training, and music writing can be included. I can also assist students needing help with classes they are taking in Music Fundamentals, Ear Training, Theory, and Harmony. Content is based on student need and interest.

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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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 Winslow Y.

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San Francisco, CA

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Music theory is just the names and numbers we use to identify and organize musical sounds so that they sound good and happen at the right time, with great beats. It's way better than grunting and pointing when musicians communicate. I can teach theory the classical way, the Nashville way, or the juke joint way - whatever you need to understand musical materials so that you can use them to best advantage and communicate with your fellow musicians

About Winslow
My focus is on you - helping you achieve your goals with the harmonica, whatever they may be. Whatever inspires you to pick up the harmonica, whoever you want to emulate, whatever style grabs you, I bring the background, deep knowledge, and teaching experience to enrich your understanding and grow your skills and ability to express yourself musically.

I'm a harmonica specialist, known internationally as a player and teacher. I'm the author of the books Harmonica For Dummies and Blues Harmonica For Dummies. I can teach all styles, all levels of expertise and all types of harmonica.
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Andrew July 22, 2017
· Harmonica · Online
Great first lesson- Winslow is easy to talk to and very knowledgeable. He is very good at explaining and demonstrating technique in a clear way. Thanks again!
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Philip E. November 11, 2016
· Harmonica · Online
Winslow is very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher.
He's very passionate about the harmonica, which makes for a great learning experience. I look forward to future lessons.
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Bob S. August 5, 2016
· Harmonica · In studio
My first lesson went very well and was just as I had hoped.
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Winslow Y.

Winslow Y.

San Francisco, CA 94118
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Erica G.

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Sausalito, CA

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I love making music theory fun, especially for beginners!

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

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

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

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

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

I look forward to working with you to grow into a better musician!
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Erica G.

Erica G.

Sausalito, CA 94965
starting at
$39 / 30-min

About Nick M.

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San Francisco, CA

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Learn how to read music and how to write it using the tools and methods passed down for hundreds of years, and learn to apply it to the music you already play!

About Nick
Nick is a musician born and raised in Michigan with a degree in guitar performance. He has over five years of professional music experience as a music educator, performer, and composer/arranger. Nick’s teaching career has included private lessons in Central Michigan, guitar classes in suburban Chicago, tutoring at Grand Rapids Community College, classes in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and private lessons in San Francisco. Nick’s performing career has included performances in the Mid-America Guitar Ensemble Festival in 2014, and as a presenter and performer at Eastern Michigan University’s Undergraduate Symposium in 2015. He has also been an avid performer in pit orchestras for musical theatre productions such as "The Last Five Years", "Little Shop of Horrors", and "Hairspray". Nick received his Bachelor's Degree in Guitar Performance from Eastern
Michigan University in 2016.
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anita wadia March 24, 2017
· Piano ·
Very friendly, kind and knowledgeable teacher
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Kevin Chuang March 10, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar ·
Nick is an excellent instructor. He's great about teaching the fundamentals of finding chords and strumming patterns so that I'm really feeling like I'm learning how to play the right way. Also great about adapting his teaching to my type of music, so I'm learning to play a lot of the songs I enjoy. Also a really friendly and easy-to-work with guy. Highly recommend Nick if you're looking to learn guitar!
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Evan Waddell February 23, 2017
· Guitar ·
Nick is very knowledgeable in music theory and does a great job in explaining the details behind certain chord progressions. Very easy and flexible to work lessons into your schedule.
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Nick M.

Nick M.

San Francisco, CA 94109
(5)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Anton S.

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Bellevue, WA
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I'm passionate about helping students overcome their musical hurdles, both professional and recreational.

I particularly enjoy working with musicians who have studied scales and chords but are frustrated in their efforts to use them to make great music.

Other areas of focus:
• Improvising over chord changes
• Internalizing advanced harmony
• Fluency in the many idioms of jazz, funk & blues
• Phrasing
• Saxophone technique
• Efficient practicing for a busy lifestyle

About Anton
An expert educator with a welcoming, positive outlook and an irresistible passion for music, Anton is a longtime faculty member of the California Jazz Conservatory. He's been Artist in Residence at Harvard University and The Brubeck Institute, and a clinician & featured soloist for countless university & high school jazz programs. Anton has headlined major jazz clubs across the US and Canada and has five critically acclaimed CDs as a leader.

"Anton is an exceptional player & inspirational teacher… and a lot of FUN! He is organized & prepared, and so well versed in so many aspects of jazz performance & education… What more could a student want?!"
— Susan Muscarella, Director, California Jazz Conservatory

"Anton's the perfect blend: a top-flight saxophonist, an inspired composer and a professional with a keen sense of the music indus
try. His teaching combines these gifts into a unique presentation with sophistication, clarity & personality; before you know it you've got the keys in your pocket!"
— Joe Gilman, Musical Director, Brubeck Institute
...
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Anton S.

Anton S.

Emeryville, CA 94608
starting at
$45 / 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

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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.

How to Transition from Classical Pianist to Jazz Pianist

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 … Read More

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
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
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
4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory
Sure, music theory is complex -- but there's no need to fear it! Here, Jamaica Plain, MA teacher Noaa R. shares four steps to get you started...   Many students tend to avoid studying music theory and harmony. This can stem from a fear of compromising one’s creativity with rules and numbers, a failure to connect concepts with application, or from feeling overwhelmed by the perceived volume of material to be learned. However, when you approach theory as an exploratory process that help
6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory
Staring at the Circle of Fifths and memorizing key signatures isn't the only way to learn music theory! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares some creative ideas to revive your learning...   Music theory is a very important part of your musicianship, whether it be mastering ear training, harmony, or sight reading. No matter what instrument you play or what styles you enjoy, those who learn music theory grow further as musicians. A solid knowledge can help you improve your perform

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