El Verano Music Lessons

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About Rob F.

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213543_282696_29075
San Anselmo, CA
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About Rob
Rob (aka R.J.): Born in Detroit, Michigan, RJ studied r&b and jazz from Motown drummers and Funk Brothers Benny Benjamin and Uriel Jones. From the age of fifteen he played in rhythm & blues and jazz combos around Detroit. He then studied privately with Berklee School of Music drum maestro, Gene Stuart, mallet studies with Mark Johnson at Michigan State University and earned a Bachelors Degree from Michigan State. He moved to San Francisco where he studied North Indian percussion and tabla with Zakir Hussain, trap set with jazz recording artist George Marsh. He is a consummate producer, performer, recording artist and teacher. He plays and teaches all styles of rhythm including jazz, funk, blues, rock, latin, and world fusion. He teaches drumset, congas, djembe, tabla, cajon and hand percussion. In addition to teaching privately, RJ h
as directed special week-long drum and percussion focused ensemble productions at Drake High School and Marin Academy and was Music Director at Cascade Canyon (K-8) School for two years where he directed variety shows and produced scores for the drama department. In his teaching practice all ages are welcome and all levels including: beginners, intermediate students, advanced players, and professionals.

*** Lesson Details ***
My approach to drum lessons is simple. I want my students to be excited about every stage of the process. I want to be as productive as possible with each student and want the lessons to be fun and focused.
I want beginning students to learn the essentials of good posture, correct hand positions or grips (how to hold the sticks in matched and military grip), how to best use their hands and feet to get around the drumset and to then develop a solid foundation of applicable rudiments, rhythms and patterns. In fact,
I have master drumset rudiments that help facilitate fluid movement around the drums in all directions. My studio is equipped with a top level TAMA drumset with Zildjian cymbals, congas, timbales, hand percussion, piano, vibes, excellent recording and listening equipment and speakers.
I provide the necessary foundations of rudiments, rhythms, patterns and grooves. Then I show how to combine these essentials to the drumset. I combine these developments with essential reading studies so the student learns to read drum music and charts from the very beginning.
I find out what kind of music the student listens to and likes and then I will use some of the more familiar tracks by those artists to help the student apply each pattern stylistically into actual arrangements…like a guitar teacher would teach some scales and chords, then apply them to actual songs. That way the student will remember the different patterns and remained engaged in the process. It’s a “see, say and do” approach.
I have a saying that I use: “FREEDOM follows FUNCTION and function follows FORM.” First you learn the forms (rudiments, rhythms and patterns). Then, with practice, you become functional with the forms, rhythm patterns and combinations. Then you are free to use everything you learn as it relates to the music. Your are “free” to create and improvise both alone and with others.

Within six month my students will have a firm grasp of essential rudiments, rhythms, patterns, sticking, single and double bass drumset techniques and be reading charts for the drumset.
Later on, as part of the student’s development, I will introduce them to different styles of music including jazz, African, Afro-Cuban, Latin and Brazilian rhythms and patterns so that the student becomes a well-rounded player.

*** Studio Equipment ***
My Private Studio is on the first floor of my house: there is a six-piece professional series TAMA drumset and an assortment of K. and A. Zildjian cymbals, a piano, set of vibes, timbales, congas, bongos, djembe and a variety of hand percussion. There are additional chairs to sit on, Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Five and six piece drum sets, hard cases, three congas with cases, bongos in a hard case, timbales in a hard case, trap case for stands, cymbal case and stick bag.

*** Specialties ***
Trapset all styles, African djembe and shekere, Latin congas and timbales, Indian tablas.
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Reviews
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Barbara S. October 29, 2013
· Drum ·
I Got Lucky

A year and a half ago I decided to try to learn how to play an instrument, and chose drums. Learning how to also read and write music for drumming was high on my list. I also needed this to be a fun adventure with no real public performance goals for the first couple of years. It needed to be a stress reducer from the demands of the day job. Finding and working with RJ has been a total kick in the pants. I couldn't ask for a better coach. He hasn't let me get stuck in any one form, I'm learning all of them. It's hard! But I couldn't imagine not drumming now. It's very exciting, and I look forward to learning more over the coming years.
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KatyV January 11, 2012
· ·
Rob Franco

You won't find a better teacher than Rob. He obviously knows music, both theory and application. He is concerned about proper technique, but also enjoyment and variety, which means that you get it all. I'm learning tons more than I thought I would.
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Rob F.

Rob F.

San Anselmo, CA 94960
(2)
starting at
$60 / 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 Anna L.

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Santa Rosa, CA

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About Anna
Why Study with Me?
I believe that the joy of vocal music is accessible to everyone. Each lesson is designed to help my students reach their musical goals while building confidence and having fun. I believe in creating a positive environment where students can take risks and learn to make beautiful noises. Learning to sing requires bravery, and an environment where big loud mistakes are encouraged is ideal. Negative self-talk is strictly forbidden. I emphasize solid vocal technique and musicality as I believe they will serve my students in all of their future musical endeavors. I'll approach the important concepts from many angles to ensure that my students are able to incorporate them into their performances, whether that's singing in the shower or a fully staged show. I'm classically trained, but love teaching singers performing in any
genre.

About Me
Natural singers who've never lost their voices make terrible teachers. They've always just been able to sing effortlessly, so they generally have no idea how to explain what they're doing. Luckily for my students, that's not me. I was born with a naturally strong voice and a fearless stage demeanor. I began performing in stage productions, choirs, and dance recitals at three years old. I began to seriously study voice at thirteen and fell in love with art song and opera. I attended UC Irvine for my BM in vocal performance. While at UCI I worked my way up from chorus member to leading lady. I also lost my voice due to acid reflux in my junior year. I had to completely rebuild it from the ground up. My quest to get my voice back led me to many fantastic teachers and required that I really study every aspect of vocal pedagogy. This period was difficult, but it made me a good teacher. I got my voice back at went on to get my MM at CSU Northridge.
...
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Anna L.

Anna L.

Santa Rosa, CA 95409
starting at
$50 / 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

About Frank R.

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200079_182608_1248640292
Concord, CA
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About Frank
Frank is passionate about sharing the natural method of singing with students of all ages.

Frank teaches students at all stages of development, beginning through advanced.

Frank received a Bachelor of Music in Voice performance from Indiana University, and is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique (Posture Awareness in Action).

He has taught vocal music at Elementary, Intermediate, High School and College levels.

His students have won college scholarships and music awards.

Frank has performed leading roles in Broadway shows, Light Opera and Opera.

His experience as a vocal musical specialist in schools has helped to shape of method of instruction that is fun, easy and yields amazing results.

*** Lesson Details ***
Frank's lessons are focused on achieving the students goals.

Stu
dents choose songs meaningful to them along with songs the teacher recommends to broaden their muscial appreciation and vocal skill. Styles of music include: folk, show, pop, classical.

Interpretation and acting skills are developed.

Students learn the language of music (rhythm, pitch, symbols ) through games and activities.

Students will find their voices getting stronger and more beautiful through increased awareness of posture, diaphragmatic breathing, and vitality of jaw movement. This creates a wonderful sensation of freedom and relaxation. In 3-6 months time the student will experience an increase in range, beauty and power. I can guarantee your most beautiful and powerful voice with perfect high notes in 3-5 years of regular lessons.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano and Keyboard

*** Specialties ***
All styles of music except woman's chest voice (belting).
very strong with children's voice training and classical ,especially
opera. Natural method of singing using awareness of posture.
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Reviews
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Jon R. October 20, 2016
· Singing · In home
Frank has the knowledge and patience needed to help me develop my skill. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him.
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Katherine June 23, 2016
· Singing · In studio
My daughter is thrilled and looking forward to more lessons with Frank
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Elaine M. June 13, 2015
· Singing · In studio
I went in never having had a voice lesson. He took me through the basics in a wonderfully welcoming and creative way. I know I will be much the better singer after his classes!
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Frank R.

Frank R.

Concord, CA 94518
(7)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Trevor M.

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Concord, CA
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About Trevor
My name is Trevor M. I primarily teach upright and electric bass. Beginning to advanced levels. I can teach you anything from Jimi Hendrix, to John Coltrane, to Bach.

Additionally, I teach beginning to intermediate Guitar, Piano, and Trumpet. If needed/preferred, I include reading music and beginning to advanced music theory in the lesson, as I offer Music theory tutoring as well, in Classical Harmony, as well as Jazz Theory and Improvisation.

I am dedicated to helping my students 1. Have fun, 2. Learn, and drastically improve in what they want to learn, 3. Grow and become well-rounded musicians.
...
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Trevor M.

Trevor M.

Concord, CA 94521
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Stephen E.

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Palo Alto, CA
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About Stephen
I have taught music (K-8) in a private school in Palo Alto for 13 years and have created a very successful program. I conduct 5 bands, an orchestra and a beginner string ensemble. I have started hundreds of children on instruments and have taught dozens of children privately with great results. I have a BA degree from Luther College and did post-graduate work in music at the University of Iowa.
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Reviews
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Pieter September 23, 2016
· Trombone · In home
Stephen is very professional, and seems to be a great fit for my son. Highly recommended.
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Mimi August 17, 2016
· Trumpet · In home
Stephen is the perfect teacher for my 14 year old son who is a beginner on trumpet. My son enjoys trumpet as a hobby, and plays in his school band. Stephen's lessons are fun and low pressure. He is remarkably calm and professional, and he doesn't waste any lesson time. My son looks forward to his lessons with Stephen.
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Stephen E.

Stephen E.

Santa Rosa, CA 95409
(2)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Erik H.

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Novato, CA

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About Erik
I am a professional touring and recording drummer currently playing with the rock band Eyes On The Shore and several other projects and groups. I graduated from the Berklee College of Music in 2016 with a Bachelors degree in drum set performance.

I started my musical journey on the piano at 5 and picked up my first pair of drumsticks when I was 11. I quickly fell in love with the drums as an instrument and dedicated my life to mastering my craft behind the kit ever since. Notable past performances in my drumming journey have included two concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Walt Disney Concert Hall as the lead timpanist, the 2014 Progressive Nation At Sea festival hosted by Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, the 2014 All Stars Tour, a special performance at the 2016 NAMM show, and SXSW 2016 with my band Eyes On The Shore.

My students tend to be w
ide-ranging in terms of both ages and skill levels. Beginning drummers can expect to develop a solid foundation on rock beats and fills while playing along to some of their favorite bands/artists and having fun doing it! We will also make sure you are playing with proper technique and staying fluid and relaxed as you get used to the motions required between your limbs.

Intermediate and advanced students will dive into the deep end as we explore a wide range of topics including linear drumming, jazz swing and improvisation, funk and latin grooves, drum soloing, double bass drumming, rudiments and snare drum solos, recording drums, and much more!

The most important aspects of teaching for me are to keep our lessons fun, exciting, and to never lose track of why we picked up this instrument in the first place. I am here to help you achieve your greatest drumming goals and look forward to working towards them together!
...
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Erik H.

Erik H.

Novato, CA 94947
starting at
$34 / 30-min

About Luke R.

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American Canyon, CA
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About Luke
I come from a very exciting musical background. I grew up as a concert pianist from the age of 5 and went on to win competitions through my senior year in High School. Once in college, I focused on both concert piano and vocal performance degrees. Having played all styles of piano, I can teach anyone to play from ages 3-93. I've performed in musicals all over the united states, singing many roles in shows such as Sweeney Todd, Putting It Together, Lady Be Good and Off-Broadway at the Snapple Center in Piggy Nation. I've composed 4 musicals and am currently working on another. What I look forward to most, however, is teaching people how to love music, whether it be through singing an aria or a pop song or playing the piano via Chopin or Stevie Wonder. Additionally, if you've ever wanted to write your own pop song or classical form sonata,
I offer Music Composition lessons.

I taught at Kingwood Music School outside Houston, TX in Kingwood, TX for 2 year. I taught privately in my own studio in New York City for all 5 years I was there.
...
Reviews
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Atticus Maresh August 10, 2016
· ·
Luke is awesome! My son John was prepping for his college auditions in New York and his voice teacher in San Francisco recommended having a few lessons in New York City with Luke while he was there for a week beforehand. Luke was able to make my John feel so comfortable in his singing. He ended up taking an hour lesson with Luke every day the week he was in NYC. Luke helped condition John's voice and gave him warmup a to do before each of his auditions for schools. By the end of the week, Luke had John singing up to a high C very comfortably without any straining. He just knows how to make the voice float. (If you've ever heard him sing, you know what floating sounds like). It's too bad he left New York. I would have loved to have been able to see him perform when he was on Broadway, but he's decided to take his knowledge and nurture other's with what he knows. Something tells me many of his students will go on to become famous singers.
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Rona Ivera August 10, 2016
· Piano ·
My son took piano lessons from Luke in New York City. When he told me he was moving away to Las Vegas, my heart sunk. In the 2 years that my son took lessons from him (he was 5-7 years old), he learned so much from being a complete beginner to being capable of playing small classical works with 2 hands. There was a time when my son wanted to learn a song on the radio and the music hadn't been released yet. Luke was able to listen to it and transcribe it for piano so that my son could learn it. Luke goes over and beyond for each of his students. After 2 years with Luke, we will sorely miss him, but the city of Las Vegas has just received a gem of a teacher in Luke. I suspect his schedule will fill up quickly.
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Luke R.

Luke R.

American Canyon, CA 94503
(2)
starting at
$42 / 30-min

About ali C.

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Sonoma, CA

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About ali
With private vocal studios in Los Angeles and Sonoma, California, certified vocal coach, and songwriter, Ali Cecchetti, is known for her work in the entertainment industry working with TV, film and recording artists. Ali offers a range of vocal techniques and services, including music theory, performance and songwriting skills. Creating a fun, positive and professional atmosphere, Ali customizes each session according to her client’s needs and goals to help them achieve their true potential. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Ali is an award winning, published songwriter and international performer. She makes it her mission “to give all my clients the confidence, knowledge and techniques to make their mark in the entertainment industry.”

Vocal lessons are geared to each singer’s individual and unique voice. From beginners to p
rofessional recording artists and performers each lesson incorporates the latest vocal science and research to develop vocal skills. Ali's focus is building vocal techniques, performance skills and creative development. Keeping your voice healthy, fixing vocal strain and eliminating breaks are just a few issues we will identify and help you find your true voice and potential.
Lessons detail: effective vocal warm up exercises, vocal strengthening and endurance training, breathing control, learning how to belt, posture, stage performance coaching, artist development, music theory, develop your song repertoire and musicianship skills.
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Reviews
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Jill August 20, 2017
· Vocal Training · In studio
Ali is amazing -- knowledgeable and patient -- highly recommended
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Lissy August 17, 2017
· Jazz Voice · In studio
Ali was a wonderful teacher. I really loved her energy and the feedback she gave me on my singing. I felt very taken care of and comfortable with her. She is a great communicator and I feel my singing really benefited from working with her. I highly recommend her!
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Allison August 17, 2017
· Vocal Training · In home
My experience with Ali was so amazing. It's apparent from the start that Ali is professional and extremely talented. I was blown away by her personality, I felt so comfortable with her. Will definitely be continuing lessons with her.
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ali C.

ali C.

Sonoma, CA 95476
(10)
starting at
$59 / 30-min

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Struggling with your left-hand piano technique? Don't worry -- it's a common challenge for beginners. Follow along with the videos in this post as teacher Liz T. shares a few helpful exercises...    One of the hardest parts about playing the piano is coordinating your two hands. Often your left hand and your right hand will be playing different notes and rhythms, and it can be really frustrating for beginners! You might also find you have one hand that is stronger than the othe

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