El Verano Music Lessons

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About Jim T.

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Fairfax, CA
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About Jim
My career in music began at an early age (four!) with classical piano lessons until the age of thirteen. After expanding my musical horizons in high school listening to jazz, blues and rock I attended Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA where I studied jazz & music theory with renowned jazz educator Ray Brown and jazz piano with Paul Nagle who has worked with Grammy award winning singer Bobby McFerrin among many others.
I have been performing solo and in groups since the Eighties in a variety of different genres including rock, jazz, blues, r&b, funk, reggae and everything in between! Performing with such artists as Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Dan Hicks, David Grisman, Tommy Castro, Eric McFadden, Mark Karan & Vinyl I have appeared at most of the major venues in the Bay Area including the Warfield Theatre, the Great American Music Hall,
Yoshi's SF, the Regency, Bimbo's & the Sweetwater.
My teaching experience goes back over twenty years and I relocated to Marin County in the Bay Area in 1995 where I've been teaching extensively since 2002. Since then I have helped hundreds of students realize their dream of learning to play piano and keyboards as well as read music, play perfectly in time and learn songwriting skills. Playing music is fun & easy......I can show you just how easy it is!!

*** Lesson Details ***
My style is laid back with a large supply of patience and devotion to my students. I teach beginning , intermediate & advanced piano and keyboards (including organ). For adult beginning piano students I use the John Thompson Modern Course for the Piano Grade One along with Thompson's Note, Scale & Chord Speller books and flash cards for a quick and easy route to learning how to read music and basic music theory. For kids (5-7) I like Thompson's "Teaching Little Fingers to Play" along with the kid's music theory books by Linda Ng.
In the first six months students can expect to study basic finger exercises and scales, how to read music easily and quickly, how to play perfectly in time & develop a repertoire of songs to play. Once students have learned basic skills it is possible to explore many different genres including classical, jazz, blues, rock, reggae and much more. I customize the lessons to fit each student's needs and desires and can also help the students with songwriting and learning from the recorded works of great artists!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Beautiful 1884 carved English maplewood Estey upright piano!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide the books and supplies at cost...students should have some kind of keyboard to practice on...preferably a real piano although I have taught many students initially on electric keyboards.

*** Specialties ***
I teach beginning, intermediate & advanced piano in the styles of classical, jazz, blues, rock, r&b, pop, country, etc. ages 5-105! Usually I start beginners in the John Thompson method & speller books along with music flash cards and then am willing to shift into different styles as the students gain basic skills.
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Reviews
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Sarah April 2, 2018
· Piano · In home
Jim is a great instructor. His knowledge of theory and his piano skills are really amazing. I appreciated his no-stress style of teaching, and it is obvious that he has a true love of music and musicians.
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Al Lyle December 30, 2015
· Piano · In home
Great Teacher
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Lorne P. October 1, 2015
· Piano · In home
Jim was a great teacher. His patience and positive attitude made it easy for my wife and I to learn something new.
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Jim T.

Jim T.

Fairfax, CA 94930
(4)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About James P.

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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 Lars R.

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Petaluma, CA
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About Lars
I began to teach guitar at 16 years of age. I have taught seven- to 60-year-old students in a wide variety of styles. From age 12 to 21 I took private guitar lessons regularly. Now, I have a lesson every once in a while. I studied jazz guitar primarily with Randy Vincent, one of the San Francisco Bay Area's greatest guitar players. Aside from teaching lessons as a job, I have played guitar in many concerts and continue to do so. Before moving to San Francisco for university studies, I gained a lot of experience and valuable education with guitar. I played in the jazz bands in Junior High and High School. I went to four years of a week-long summer jazz camp called Jazz Camp West, where I took classes, played open mics and had fun with many musicians, making some good friends. I hold BA degrees in Music (Jazz Guitar) and Spanish, as well as
an MA in Music, from San Francisco State University. By now, I am confident in working with whatever musical material students offer! Thank you.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am a laid back teacher, but I definitely expect students to practice what I suggest they practice. I advise that students use method books or sheet music of some sort, and I will certainly make notes for them and create materials they can learn from. I always teach based on the goals of the student and what type of music they enjoy, but I also like to guide the student in a direction I think would benefit them. I usually introduce music to play right away, conforming of course to the skill level and interest of the student. I now a play seven-string guitar that differs from the standard six-string guitar in that it has one string lower than the low E of a six-string. It will be practical to aide students by accompanying with a bass range instrument.

*** Specialties ***
Guitar
My guitar roots are mainly Jazz, but I am always happy to employ a very wide range of styles. I work with both modal and tonal musical styles.
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Reviews
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Emma December 23, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · Online
Very patient with me.
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Maria S. October 8, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · Online
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Jackson July 29, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Lars came to the session on time, and was very patient with my son. He took the time to listen and gave helpful tips on becoming a better player. I would recommend him!
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Lars R.

Lars R.

Petaluma, CA 94952
(6)
starting at
$17.50 / 30-min

About Donna D.

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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 Rebecca K.

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Vallejo, CA
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About Rebecca
Hello! I am a classically trained vocalist and percussionist, with a BA in Music, specializing in Education and Theory. I have taught band, choir, orchestra and piano in high school and middle school. I have also done Music Directing with kids aged 7-14 for various musicals and have taught elementary students aged 4-9, so I am ready for whatever you've got! I have also appeared on stage in various settings including opera, musical theater, solo work and even the occasional karaoke night. I am willing to work with your schedule and offer scholarships to those who are willing to earn them!
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Marthe April 11, 2018
· Violin · In studio
Before taking the violin lessons with Rebecca, I had no knowledge in music whatsoever. She makes everything understandable. She has taught so much. I'm really glad that I have her as my violin instructor.
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Aidan M. April 9, 2018
· Singing · In studio
Rebecca is so sweet and my son is already looking forward to his next lesson!
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Maria February 7, 2018
· Bassoon · In home
Rebecca is an amazing person and one of the best teacher my son has ever had. She very knowledgeable about music. Rebecca tough him to play the bassoon, and my son has preformed in more than 4 concerts within 7 months period, Rebecca really made a difference in my child performance. She is reliable, very responsible, she always go the extra mile for her students. I highly recommend her as a music teacher.
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Rebecca K.

Rebecca K.

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

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Martinez, CA
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About Jadee
Hello! I've played flute for 7 years and am currently 2nd chair out of 10 flutists in my band as well as section leader. I double on piccolo too, with the occasional oboe, saxophone, drums, piano, and ukulele! Every Saturday, I perform at local hospitals, utilizing music as medicine.

As a junior and senior in high school, I was the drum major of my marching band and led the band to win their first trophy in a competition in history.

I do my best to cater to students' learning styles in order for them to achieve their desired goals! I incorporate fundamentals into lessons such as tone, intonation, sight-reading, and more.

I love arranging music, especially Disney songs! If you've always wanted to learn how to play "Let It Go' from Disney's "Frozen" but don't have the sheet music for it, I've got your back!

* I am CPR Certified
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Jadee J.

Jadee J.

Martinez, CA 94553
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Erica G.

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Sausalito, CA

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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. I love to mentor students who want to become powerful songwriters and get i
nto performing and recording.

I look forward to working with you to grow into a better musician!
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Reviews
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Zaira B. January 17, 2018
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
It was wonderful meeting Erica - our daughter Zaza enjoyed her lesson and is already asking "how many days until Tuesday"? We look forward to seeing Erica again next week for more music and fun!
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Cole October 6, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
I gauge success on how well my kid responds. Instead of once a week lessons he now wants twice. Somehow Erica connected with him and he now wants to practice his guitar. Thank you!
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Sean A. September 14, 2017
· Piano · In home
Super! Erica was great. We are looking forward to working with her.
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Erica G.

Erica G.

Sausalito, CA 94965
(4)
starting at
$39 / 30-min

About Zemei Z.

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Berkeley, CA
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About Zemei
I've been playing violin for 15 years. I'm a 2x winner of the UC Berkeley Concerto Competition.

I'm a student who is currently studying Computer Science at UC Berkeley.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
...
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Zemei Z.

Zemei Z.

Berkeley, CA 94720
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Steve S.

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San Francisco, CA

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About Steve
Steve has been teaching professionally since 1986, a career that has seen him span from private teaching 40-60 students in all styles and levels weekly in the Bay Area for for nearly 20 years (1989-2006), before relocating to London, England, to beginning a music college teaching career that has spanned nearly a decade, and seen Steve receive a PGCE (UK post masters teaching qualification), as well as see his previous experience of preparing students for music college come to fruition in the shape of teaching various classes in 3 different UK music colleges (BIMM Brighton, ICMP London, and ACM Guildford), as well as having a hand in writing coursework. Steve has written and taught several Metal Workshop courses across these colleges that were well received. In addition to this, Steve was one of the first rock guitarists to develop and beg
in a live internet teaching business, something he has maintained consistently for the last 11 years going, since 2007.

Steve takes a direct approach to teaching one to one lessons, assessing a student’s goals and abilities, and designing a personalized program for them, as well as providing email correspondence between lessons and all material used during the lesson in pdf and audio/video format.

Former lead guitarist for Vicious Rumors (1995-1999), Testament (1999-2004), Dragonlord (2000-2005), Nevermore (2002-2007), and Forbidden (2009-2012), currently busy with his own band One Machine (2014-present), as well as progressive rock fusion duo The EssenEss Project (1993-present), and is STILL a member of the Bay Area’s longest running Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne tribute, Sweet Leaf (1994-present)!

A former columnist for Guitar World Magazine (co-writer of Merchants Of Menace column with Jeff Loomis across 2006), Steve has occasionally written for GuitarWorld, amongst other sites, and also released an instructional series of lessons on JamPlay back in 2011, Steve has returned to the Bay Area to teach once again, and continues to expand his resume in both the performance/recording and educational areas.
...
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Steve S.

Steve S.

Petaluma, CA 94952
starting at
$50 / 30-min

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