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Emeryville, CA Piano Lessons

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About Laurence B.

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San Mateo, CA
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I am a highly qualified and experienced teacher, and adapt my approach and pace to the needs and personality of each student. I ensure they can read the notes they are playing so they can become independent musicians. 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. I teach either in English or French using both musical systems (do re mi or ABC).

My qualifications are:

* master of music (piano pedagogy), Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, CA (GPA: 4.0)
* state piano teaching diploma, France
* gold medal in piano performance, Conservatoire National
* bachelor of arts degree in musicology, Sorbonne, Paris (cum laude)

I speak both English and French languages.

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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Reviews
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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 Alex S.

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Oakland, CA
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I play and teach many styles, including classical, rock and musical theater. I use an ergonomic technique developed by Dorothea Taubman, which both increases the freedom of playing and reduces the risk of injury. I am flexible in teaching different styles, though my lessons always involve a good deal of ear training and theory. My goal is not only to teach you how to play the instrument, but also to help you understand the music that you play.

About Alex
I am an Oakland, CA based composer and performer with 14 years' experience teaching private lessons. In addition to private lessons, I work with the San Francisco Opera's education department, creating mini-operas with elementary school classes. I also music direct the SFArtsEd players, a high-level middle school musical theater company.

My musical tastes and experiences are broad, ranging from classical, to musical theater, to rock and roll. I do not believe in rigid boundaries between genres and I am able to work with many different types of students to help them achieve their goals.

My teaching method rests on three pillars, which are common across all styles and instruments: ear training, technique and fun. Music should always be fun, and a good ear and solid technique are the quickest road to fun, effortless playing.

I look
forward to working with you!
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Reviews
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Carla January 26, 2017
· Piano · In studio
I have played the piano on and off for 40 years but never really got into music theory. Alex has a great way of improving my technique in playing music and also finding exercises for me that make me FEEL the theory behind the music. It's great fun.
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Alex S.

Alex S.

Oakland, CA 94602
(1)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About James P.

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Petaluma, CA
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I play and teach all styles and all ages. I'm patient and supportive with younger students. A typical comment from older students about my lessons would be: "I've had so many years of piano lessons and this is the stuff I've always wanted to learn.
I have most students improvising at their very first lesson.

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 Rhonda S.

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Hayward, CA

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I've been teaching piano for 10 years. Within the first few lessons students will be able to read basic music notation and as time goes on they will be able to confidently play beginning songs of their own choosing. I typically use Alfred or Faber books which builds playing skills and teaches music theory.

About Rhonda
I have always had a love for music. From all the music trivia games my family won't play with me, to my large collection of records, cassettes, and CDs - I am hooked!

I made my solo performance debut at age 7 by singing "It's A Small World" acapella in a school talent show. At age 9 I started taking clarinet lessons where I learned musicianship and how to read music. Throughout my school years I also sang in choir, played tenor saxophone in the school jazz band, and hoofed it in marching band.

During my first year in college I took a beginning guitar class for fun and I never looked back! I studied classical guitar for 3 years and piano for 2 years. I ultimately received a Minor in Music from California State University, Hayward in 1990.

I have been playing guitar for 27 years. I have played professionally in the San Franc
isco Bay Area in various rock, country, and blues bands as well as playing solo acoustic performances at local coffee houses.

I have been teaching private guitar lessons for 20 years and piano for 10.I like to keep learning fun! I am a very patient, compassionate teacher who will come up with creative ways to explain/demonstrate something new.

*** Lesson Details ***
Music is the most fun activity that people of all ages can enjoy. And learning how to play music should be fun too! When students inquire about taking lessons from me I always ask, "What do you want to learn?" I try to keep students interested by showing them things they want to learn. I also believe in teaching the basics. Whether you want to take piano or guitar lessons I believe you should learn basic musicianship which includes learning to read simple notes and where those notes are on your instrument, rhythm concepts, and tempo. It's easier than you think! The more you know the more you can teach yourself later on, and the more you can collaborate with other musicians.

After 3 or 6 months of taking lessons with me, students will be able to read basic music notation. They will be able to play songs either by their choosing or mine, they will have self-confidence to play songs in front of an audience/friends, and they will have the knowledge to figure out how to play songs on their own.

*** Specialties ***
I studied classical guitar at Cal State Hayward and have taught different finger picking styles as well as genres such as pop and country.
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Reviews
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Kathleen June 2, 2017
· Piano · In home
I have great experience w/ Rhonda on my first day to be with her. She's attentive to her students needs & concerns. Thanks Rhonda!
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Sia K. March 22, 2017
· Piano · In studio
She is very patient with students, organized, reviews the materials and most important makes sure that the students understands. She is fun living and a very sweet person.
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Kylie February 20, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Very patient, skilled, and knowledgeable. Thanks!
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Rhonda S.

Rhonda S.

Hayward, CA 94541
(38)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Mack R.

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Oakland, CA

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I have been teaching piano for 35 years. I have had several student who started with me as beginners and advanced to playing in the jazz band in school. Over the years I have developed a unique technique for getting students started as beginners.

About Mack
I have a BS in music education received at Lehman College, Bronx, NY. I am a professional musician/ composer/ arranger.I received my teaching credentials at SFSU and have been a General music teacher as well as a, band teacher. I have studied trumpet with Classical ( Wilmer Wise)and Jazz musician (Bill Hardman) and big band arranging with Frank Foster( saxophonist and arranger with Count Basie Band). At present I am retired and teaching privately.

I have been teaching music for over 50 years as well as being a professional musician/ composer and arranger. I not only know my fundamentals inside and out, but also I know many tricks of the trade. Over the years I have developed special teaching techniques that enable students to make sense out of music and progress rapidly on their instruments.I love playing music and aim at stirring that
same kind of excitement abut music in my students.

To each lesson I bring a unique mix, encouraging the student to pursue excellence and also have fun. I am well qualified to teach: woodwinds( oboe, flute, clarinet, all saxophones) brass(french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba), and piano.

*** Lesson Details ***
I make music interesting to learn. I encourage students to practice daily so they can improve. The more they improve the more fun they can have with music not only alone, but with others.

I am very patient with my students especially with beginners. I know that for them it is like learning a new language. Once they begin to increase their musical vocabulary, they will enjoy what they can do with music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Seating for parents, basement studio, piano, drum set

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students should provide their own instruments.
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Reviews
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Evan X. July 23, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Mack was awesome !
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Mike May 27, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Fantastic. He evaluated my skill level perfectly in a short amount of time. I'm looking forward to more lessons!
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Yvonne R. April 19, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Mack is a good teacher.
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Mack R.

Mack R.

Oakland, CA 94607
(21)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Peter D.

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Oakland, CA
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I studied with various teachers in and out of college for five years, and have over a decade teaching hundreds of students, from the elementary levels to classical piano technique to jazz improvisation to pop piano to ragtime. You will be challenged and at the same time inspired to get the most out of your time with instrument!

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!
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Reviews
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Sam October 21, 2015
· Singing · Online
I have always known I have had some kind of voice. I started doing lessons with Peter for not only vocals but also guitar. He has helped me explore the different ranges my voice can actually hit and how to add more emotion into a song. In one lesson just today, he made a song that i perfomed which sounded okay in the beginning of the lesson sound 10x better and to the very best of my ability by the end of the lesson. Every lesson is alot of help! He is great at understanding how to work with people whether it is vocally or trying to learn to play guitar - he uses great techniques for understanding and will work at the perfect pace appropriate for the student. He makes learning guitar and singing very fun. Highly reccomended!
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Charles October 19, 2015
· Piano · Online
I am Peter's father, so obviously this review will be a little biased. And, I have never taken a lesson from Peter, as I am not a musician and do not play an instrument. BUT, I can say this: Peter is hard-working, conscientious, and devoted to his profession. He is passionate about music and about teaching, and genuinely cares about each student. AND, he knows how to make learning fun! (Evidently he inherited that trait from his mom, who teaches English and Spanish). So, hire Peter! He's the best!
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Louise Comfort September 29, 2015
· Piano · In home
I found Peter to be very intelligent and very knowledgeable. Peter was great in not only classical styles of playing but also jazz which really kept me engaged! I especially liked the way he taught music theory alongside some of the standard learning points like scales and such. Overall I had a delightful experience with this teacher. If Peter ever moves back to my area I would love to take lessons with him again!
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Peter D.

Peter D.

Oakland, CA 94609
(19)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Rebecca K.

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Vallejo, CA
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Patience, support and practice are the only things required to play the piano. I can help with all of them!

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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wayne July 3, 2017
· Violin · In studio
very encouraging and knowledgeable teacher!
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Kim Ho May 31, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Always AWESOME!
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Kim Ho May 24, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Always amazing!
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Rebecca K.

Rebecca K.

Vallejo, CA 94590
(24)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Lella L.

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San Francisco, CA

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I am both patient and enthusiastic as a teacher. I love music, and enjoy the opportunity to share my love of the piano with my students. Once I have determined the student's level, I find music that will help them progress towards a higher level.

About Lella
I studied Musicology and Piano Performance at the Shandong Normal University School of Music, where I graduated with my BA in 2005. I taught music and established a band at a property management institute while a student there, and established my own practice after I graduated. I came to the United States in 2013, where I have continued to play piano and have joined a local band. I am happy to continue sharing my love of music with my students here.

I began tutoring Mandarin in January 2015. As a native speaker, I can guide you to a very high level, and help you learn to speak with a proper Chinese accent.

Please note: Online classes are available for Mandarin Chinese only. Piano lessons are only available in person.
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Mo March 6, 2017
· Piano · In studio
5 stars' teacher
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Kayli September 21, 2016
· Piano · In studio
We just had our first lesson and we hit a few bumps but my daughter has never had music instruction before so we're giving it another go next week to see if things go more smoothly. 3 stars above says meets expectations, and though it didn't, I just hesitate to give someone 2 stars based on one lesson.
Here are some details from class:
My daughter (K) just turned 5 but is pretty mature for her age and has expressed an interest in learning the piano so we signed up for individual lessons with Lella. At the start of class I mentioned again (I had noted it at booking time as well) that K has had zero experience with music instruction. Immediately Lella sat with K on the piano bench and started explaining treble clef sign, bass clef sign and what hands they relate to. Lella also has a thick accent as I was trying to follow along with her explanations with a little difficulty. She even asked if K speaks Chinese and I said "no" so she said "you're Indian right?" My daughter would look around from time to time while Lella was explaining at which point Lella would just keep seeing "Pay attention sweetie!" Then she asked my daughter to write the numbers 1-5 in a book and when she said she didn't know how to write the number 2, Lella laughed and said "you know, but you forgot right" so I spoke up and explained "no she has not been taught to write her numbers yet, but she can read/recognize them" to which Lella seemed very surprised, so I felt the need to say, "she's still in preschool. But if you write them she'll be able to tell you what they are." So then Lella switched to counts, explaining about the values of different notes. She asked my daughter if she had questions, to which my daughter said "I think I understand what you're saying, if it's just a circle that means four, but if it's a circle with a line..." And before she could finish her thought Lella said "no that's not a line, it's a stem". At another point when Lella asked if she had any questions, my daughter slowly said "yes... what's velour?" And when Lella looked confused I had to step in and explain that Lella was saying "value", the amount of counts for a note. By the end of the half hour lesson, Lella had reached her explanation of middle C, which she described to my daughter saying "this is middle C because it's in the middle, there are two black keys, then on the left is C. Can you find another one?" When K didn't respond right away, she repeated herself, and again another time. So I said "she really has had no previous music experience, I think you need to even explain to her that those are called keys, like there are black keys, white keys..." And Lella just looked at me confused.
At the end of the lesson I agreed to buy the theory book so we can practice that at home, and Lella asked if I can sit in on the next lesson to help explain things to my daughter, because she "doesn't really focus". I agreed to sit in on the lesson, for my own benefit so I can help her with HW since I also don't have music experience. But I also mentioned to Lella that her accent is quite strong and I think my daughter was having trouble understanding her, and Lella seemed surprised by that comment.
I don't know... it says on Lella's profile that she has worked with young kids but I can't really see how the class was any different from how she would teach me, an adult with no prior music experience.
Oh! I forgot to mention something so basic - when we met Lella she thought I was someone else so I re-introduced myself and introduced my daughter. Then as we were saying goodbye at the end of class I realized Lella had never introduced herself to my daughter, so I asked "oh, what would you like K to call you, Ms. Li, or Lella? Ms. Lella?" She said Lella was fine so I turned to K and said "Tell Lella bye K." It just hit me, I mean that's something about creating a relationship with a young student. Speaking to them directly, making that connection. Lella was really smiley which gave the impression she was friendly but she never really made a connection with K who is the student, not me.
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Marissa August 22, 2016
· Classical Piano · In home
Lella quickly recognized what I needed to practice and brought me a great book that helped me get back to where I was very quickly.
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Lella L.

Lella L.

San Francisco, CA 94124
(17)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Meijie W.

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Mountain View, CA
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I have 4 years teaching experience. I teach all ages of students, my teaching style is incorporation of theory knowledge and sight reading skill into lessons. And I have my own music apps to make lesson effective and interesting, students love it. I am really patient to every students. Also I have experienced in preparing for ABRSM exams.
B.M. Degree in piano performance from San Francisco Conservatory of music.
M.M. Degree in Piano Performance from University of California, Los Angeles.

About Meijie
Meijie Wu is active as a soloist and Collaborative player. Ms. Wu attended numerous concerts as a soloist, also Meijie performed in numerous Collaborative recitals and chamber concert as a collaborative artist.
She received a Bachelor of Music degree in San Francisco Conservatory of Music in Piano performance in 2015. Meijie is currently pursuing her Mater of Music degree under Musician Inna Faliks at University of California, Los Angeles. She received “Exceptionally Qualified Scholarship” based on academic achievement and potential.
While in the United States, Ms. Wu was a teacher in the Chinese Arts & Music Center and Clarion Music Center in San Francisco. She has been worked there for almost two years (2013-2015) teaching children from 5 years old to 15 years old. She teaches beginning and intermediate students, her teaching style
is incorporation of theory knowledge and sight reading skill into lessons.she also has experienced in preparing for ABRSM exams.
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Tian August 16, 2016
· Piano · In studio
I enjoyed the lessons with Meijie. Very friendly. She was able to pinpoint the exact problems I was having. She has lots of teaching experience.
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Meijie W.

Meijie W.

Mountain View, CA 94043
(1)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Duane F.

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San Francisco, CA
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You can be playing a song with both hands (melody and chords) at the end of one lesson. I have developed a system to learn to play without reading music. You will also be learning important performance skills from the first lesson and developing your ear and arranging skills as well as understanding how chords go together to make music. Music reading skills will be covered as your performance skills advance.

About Duane
I am a private music instructor living in San Francisco currently teaching piano, composition, theory and ukulele out of my home. I have had my own private studio for about ten years and also taught for several years in the early 1970s in Alameda, where I was living at the time.

I am a native of Oakland, California and starting performing in school and church over fifty years ago. I spent most of my career playing piano and composing but in the last ten years, I have learned to sing, play the guitar and the ukulele. I play mostly fingerstyle on the guitar and ukulele and sing songs from my youth (mostly pop, rock and blues). My guitar and ukulele arrangements range from the Beatles to Brazilian Bossa Novas to jazz standards.

My philosophy is to allow learning to be an exciting process of discovery and adventure. Nothing is diff
icult, only unfamiliar. To gain familiarity is all that's needed to master any skiil.
...
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Duane F.

Duane F.

San Francisco, CA 94122
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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Free Piano Lessons with an Expert Teacher

Learn how to play the piano in these video tutorials from a professional piano teacher!

Have you always wanted to play the piano? We’re here to help! Get started with these 20 video tutorials hosted by San Diego, CA piano teacher Jordan M, one of our expert instructors with TakeLessons.com. In this free video series, you’ll get an introduction to the instrument and learn a few easy exercises to get you reading music and understanding rhythm!

Video #1:
Intro to the Piano

Intro to the Piano: Learn about the parts of the piano and how to find the all-important Middle C.

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Piano Basics

Learn about proper posture, hand placement, and other beginner essentials.

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Reading Piano Notes

Learn about the treble and bass clefs, and tips for remembering the notes on the piano.

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Time and Key Signatures

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Understanding Rhythm

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Music Basics: Reading Keys on the Piano

Music Basics: Reading Keys on the Piano

As a beginning piano student, it’s important to gain an early understanding of many things in order to play the instrument as well as you possibly can. One of those early components is learning how to read keys on the piano in sheet music, and understanding the difference between major and minor. Understanding Key Signatures The key signature is marked at the beginning of every piece of music, immediately to the right of the grand staff (the treble and bass clefs on any composition). Key sig … Read More

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Piano may be one of the toughest instruments to learn, because of all the multitasking required! You have to be able to read two different musical lines simultaneously, and keep track of what both your left and right hands are doing, all while your foot works the pedals. While most schools have classes to teach students band instruments or stringed instruments, few schools offer piano instruction. This means that most piano students learn how to play at home and in private piano lessons, instead
Learn to Play Piano Online | How Do Online Lessons Work?
Curious about how online piano lessons work, and if they're right for you? Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares what to expect as you learn to play piano online...   Thanks to technology today, you can learn to play piano online, right from your own living room, with some of the best music teachers anywhere in the US! You may be apprehensive about starting at first, and wondering if learning to play piano online is as effective as taking lessons in person. The answer is yes!
How to Practice Piano: Tips for Exercises OFF the Keys! [Infographic]
We all know how important practicing is for aspiring piano players! But sometimes it can be a challenge to fit into your schedule. Luckily, there are ways to practice your technique while you're at work, in the car, or practically anywhere else! Continue reading this guest post by Spring Lake, MI piano teacher Val L. to find out how...   As you practice piano, taking the time to think about rhythm and technique is a huge challenge! You should always include scales and exercises in
50 Best Pinterest Accounts for Inspiring Piano Practice Ideas
  Are you in a piano practice rut lately? There’s nothing worse than having to practice or teach the same piano songs and techniques over and over again. It’s enough to drive someone mad! Luckily, there are many resources available online that can help spark inspiration. Pinterest, for example, is a great resource for both students and  piano teachers. There are hundreds of pages dedicated solely to piano playing. Since we know you don’t have time to sift through all of these p

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