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Los Altos, CA Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers near Los Altos, CA

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About Steven B.

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Alameda, CA

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I will teach you the basic concepts of how to compose songs and make those musical ideas of yours a reality. Through music theory techniques, progression theory, lyric concepts and ear training, we'll take that song that's "in your head" and make it into a reality you'll be proud of!

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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Reviews
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Loverna Q. November 19, 2017
· Piano · In home
A GREAT MUSIC TEACHER!
My daughter wants to learn to play an electric guitar. Then, we met Steven through Take Lessons. We initially planned on getting the guitar lesson first but Steven introduced her playing the piano as well. He is very knowledgeable in teaching how to play an instrument and does so in a way so that the child can understand. Thanks a lot Steven!
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Maxim November 9, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Steven is an awesome teacher. Very patient. Highly recommend him for acoustic guitar and for piano lessons.
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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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Steven B.

Steven B.

Alameda, CA 94501
(19)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Tracey H.

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San Francisco, CA
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I've been writing for 17 years, solo and as part of a band. I think I have an especially unique perspective of writing as a vocalist primarily, which can come with its own unique set of approaches and challenges. I like to work on songwriting as an authentic and intuitive extension of each individual's experience and creativity. There's no one-size-fits-all way to songwrite, and in working with my students on songwriting, my approach is to help guide you through what your process is, including finding and honing inspiration, making writing a part of your every day routine, lyric- and melody-writing, arrangement, dynamics, etc.

About Tracey
I've been singing, performing, songwriting, and studying voice for 20 years. I attended Berklee College of Music, where I studied Voice/Vocal Performance, and earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance from Musician's Institute in LA. I've been teaching since 2006, and work with a wide range of contemporary genres with a focus on rock, pop, country, folk, Americana, R&B, blues, and soul. I like to take a "back-to-basics" approach to voice by helping students develop the core aspects of breathing/breath control, correct vowel placement/vowel tuning, and a focus on muscle memory as it relates to stretching the cords. I've been told my approach is simple yet effective, and a unique blend of classic concepts with a practical/modern approach to getting in tune with one's own unique voice. Currently a gigging musician and songwrite
r in SF, I am in the trenches alongside many of my students, which gives me a unique perspective and empathy for the many stages of personal and career development as a musician. I have a lot of first-hand experience with the music business and what it means to manage a band and a DIY-career. Another area I specialize in (and which is probably the nearest to my heart!), is performance anxiety. Having overcome performance anxiety myself and gone on to be a bandleader and gigging musician, I have a close relationship to this and take a special interest in helping students overcome their own fears and anxieties, identify their own voice and identity as a singer, and taking the steps to develop that.

Mostly, I aim to debunk the mystery that the voice can be shrouded in, and change it from being elusive and temperamental to something that students can feel in control-of and at-ease with. I've taught a wide range of students, from young kids to a Marine (true story!), so am comfortable dealing with an equally-wide range of goals and voices.

*** Lesson Details ***
Well, my students tell me that I have the unique advantage of "being young/in touch with the real-world of the music business, but with real professional training and chops." That's about as good as I could have said it, I suppose! I like to pull from all the different facets of my experience and background to inform me as an instructor: formal education and training, as well as my first-hand experiences with my own band, my own struggles with performance anxiety, and my discovery of my own voice through the very methods I now teach to my students.
What that means for you is that rather than focus on a rigid set of rules, we'll focus on your voice and custom-fit a program that is built from solid vocal technique coupled with specific tools to help you develop your own voice and style. I do truly believe in building a solid foundation for you to build your voice upon, but am unconventional in that I believe the best way to learn to sing is by breaking down what is actually going on in there- in a way that students can understand and interpret themselves. Nerd alert: Vocal technique can actually quite liberating and fun! Yes, we will teach you how to breathe correctly; yes, you will be singing scales. But the key is that you'll know why you're singing each note, and what is going to get you to sing those notes more effectively. I believe in hard work because the voice is a musical instrument; but I also believe in making it easily digestible and fun.

In our lessons, you'll learn how to breathe correctly, test your vocal range, and start working on strengthening your head and chest voices to achieve some continuity in your range. We'll also develop the mask and what I like to call your "vendor voice." Oh yeah- it's good stuff. You'll have warm-ups and scales you can use on your own time to get ready for a gig or to continue strengthening the muscles.

*** Specialties ***
I have experience with a wide range of styles, but my main genres of focus are rock, pop, Americana, country, blues, soul, and R&B.
I specialize in vowel tuning/correct vowel placement as a way to strengthen the muscles of the voice, in order to correct pitch/tone and solidify muscle memory as it relates to the voice as instrument. I teach from a "ground-up" approach, meaning I feel it's crucial for my students to understand how their voice works, why it works in certain ways, and how they can use vocal technique to their advantage as singers and performers. Building upon that strong foundation, I customize a program for each of my students to address their own set of strengths and challenges.
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Reviews
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Gemma January 5, 2017
· Singing · In studio
I had my first lesson with Tracey today and I can't wait to take more! I'm a person who likes knowing how stuff works, why we may do something a certain way, what I should be paying attention to etc etc, and I love that she is willing to break everything down and explain in a very relatable way. She's very patient, easy-going, and despite how uncomfortable it is for me to sing in front of others, she made me feel like she's truly there to go along the journey with me, to improve and discover my voice with no judgments. Tracey is the best!
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Elizabeth N. August 4, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Tracey is super nice. I was not with them in the sdudio when she was teaching my daughter . She said I could definitely stay there though. My daughter was very happy with her.
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Elizabeth N. August 4, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Tracey is super nice. I was not with them in the sdudio when she was teaching my daughter . She said I could definitely stay there though. My daughter was very happy with her. This was the first lesson she he
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Tracey H.

Tracey H.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(6)
starting at
$60 / 30-min

About Jim T.

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Fairfax, CA
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I teach how to develop chord progressions from basic triads to advanced jazz chords. Lyric writing, phrasing, arranging, and basic music theory are also covered. Melody and rhythm and syncopation are studied to develop songwriting skills and performance and recording are also included.

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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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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dorothee C. March 4, 2013
· Piano ·
Great teacher for children, including jazz

Our 3 kids have taken piano lessons at our house with Jim for 6 years. Jim is a unique piano teacher, the kind that is hard to find in the bay area. He teaches classical music to beginners and confirmed students and goes to your house to teach. His training was in classical music, and he knows very well that it takes time and effort to get there, he is patient and encouraging, our kids NEVER felt pressured by him and still learned how to play in an exponential way. Thanks to Jim, they like to play for themselves AND in front of other people, which is one of Jim's important goals. Jim is now a renowned jazz piano player and cofounder of a band (Tre Mojo's) and we are always invited in his gigs when they take play in the bay area. Our son is learning jazz with him, it has been impressive to watch and hear, after a year he does know the jazz harmonies and can do impros. Every spring, Jim organizes a very nice recital where all his students come and perform various types of music (from Beethoven, Chopin, to the Beatles, to jazz impro. from beginner to professional level). Jim basically taught our children to play music with no stress, no competition, and still at a high level. Besides, Jim is highly professional, has NEVER been late, and always does what he says and -we believe- says what he thinks. There has never been a bump in our relationship. We would highly recommend him as a piano teacher.
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Jim T.

Jim T.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(3)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Mandy B.

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San Leandro, CA

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Students will study and become familiar with each single element of songwriting-melody, harmony, lyrics, form, chord progressions, and phrasing to name a few.

About Mandy
I have been singing for as long as I can remember and started studying voice at age 15. I sang in my first band when I was in high school, then 2 others while in college. Professionally, I was a back-up vocalist and percussionist with the Sam Morrison Band from 2006-2012, where I traveled all over the country. This premiere Bob Seger tribute band is signed by Titan Tribute Media and has recorded 3 albums that can be found on iTunes.

I left home to study music at Cal State, Long Beach. There, I was challenged with more difficult genres, like opera and Lieder. My appetite continued to grow as I immersed myself in performances, competitions, and traveling the world with college choirs.

I have worked in opera companies based in southern California, including Lyric Opera of Los Angeles, Long Beach Opera, and Celestial Opera. I have
also been hired as a soloist at various local churches.

I was a faculty member at Orange County School of the Arts, for almost a decade, where I taught Music Theory, Music History, and Musicianship.

As a member of Belle Musique, a hand bell trio, I played and sung for weddings, funerals, and private parties.

I got to wail as the lead singer of Pine Street Band singing classic covers from CCR to Blondie to Tom Petty.

In addition, I sing and play in a band, Wheel House, where we create a unique blend of rock, blues, and funk.

It is my belief that it is never too late to follow your passion, but you have to find what really makes you happy and fulfilled!

*** Lesson Details ***
I teach students according to their own goals and interests. However, I must include elements that are vital in the musical world whether the student is a hobbyist or leaning toward a professional career. My instrumentalists will learn all aspects of theory including rhythm, basic theory, and musicianship. My singers will learn about breath, anatomy, alignment, and performance. This is in addition to learning fundamental repertoire.

I have very high expectations for my students and do my best to motivate and challenge them, bringing out the natural musician. I am goofy but demanding and always develop a strong and trusting relationship with each and every student.

*** Studio Equipment ***
In home music studio with upright piano, electric piano, recording equipment, drum set, amps, guitars, bass, and seating for parents.

*** Specialties ***
Specialize vocally in opera, rock, funk, musical theater.
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Reviews
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Gina Weaver September 13, 2016
· ·
Mandy has been nothing but lovely to work with, Isabella Ruby has enjoyed her lessons and can't wait to sing more!
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Michael P. August 16, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
She was wonderful,knows what is needed to get things started.Felt very comfortable with her,can't wait for the next lesson.
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Elizabeth Kwiatkowski-Wrixon July 19, 2016
· Piano ·
Mandy is a great teacher! She is very patient and works with you at your own pace.
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Mandy B.

Mandy B.

San Leandro, CA 94579
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Mark B.

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Castro Valley, CA
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I teach and help people how to write songs at all levels. Whether you are a beginner, or more advanced and need new ideas to draw from. There is an endless reservoir of ideas and concepts to help you to create any kind of music imaginable.

About Mark
I have played on tour with several professional bands, playing rock, pop, blues, African, metal, and country. I now perform live in various bands and record original music as often as possible. My music has gotten airplay in many countries.

I started playing guitar at age 9, and recorded 2 singles in the LA area by age 14. I was a music major throughout High School and College. I also learned a lot by educating myself at the Brand Library in the Los Angeles Area, which specializes in the arts. I specialized in advanced music theory and improvisational techniques.

I have enjoyed teaching music lessons since 1978.

I custom tailor a lesson plan to fit your individual needs and goals! I can teach you songs you'd like to learn instantly when I hear them on your iPod, mobile phone, cassette or CD that you bring in. I ca
n explain musical theory and concepts many different ways, to make sure you understand them. I am very friendly and patient.

Sometimes I might inject humor into the learning process to make it an enjoyable learning experience, and to help you remember the important things.
I love the satisfaction of seeing my students grow musically proficient and and seeing the JOY that it brings them. Many of my students have gone on to become professional. I am well-versed and well-equipped to teach many styles: Rock (including all sub-genres...Tribal Ambient neo Punk, etc), Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Country, R&B, New Age, Ambient, Electronic, Metal (and a few plastics and wood as well).

*** Lesson Details ***
I will develop a personal lesson plan for each individual student. During your lessons, I might cover topics ranging from learning how to play, starting from the basics (if you are a beginner), to choosing music that will inspire you on your level, to improving your technique, ear-training, music reading (if that's what you'd like), reading and understanding tabs (if that's what you'd like), knowing what it is that makes certain chords and notes sound good together for writing your own music, as well as guitar maintenance and adjustments, getting a good tone, amplifier settings, effect pedals (settings & placing them in the most effective order), recording tips, and where to get a decent pizza.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living Room or Studio, both very comfortable. Amplifiers, guitars, effects pedals, bass, ukulele, balalaika, drum set, PA system and recording equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide guitar, bass, or ukulele and amplifier when necessary, teaching tools. The student provides their guitar and paperwork I give them.

*** Specialties ***
Teach note reading using Alfred's New Guitar course. Ear Training, Genres: Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Punk, Metal, Folk, Country, Hip Hop, Funk, R& B, New Age, Ambient.

I currently have 5 albums out under my name. My music is on a major new age compilation, and has been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs. I have played on other people's albums...some of which have received major radio airplay in Europe, and gone to #1!
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Reviews
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Alex January 17, 2018
· Bass Guitar · In studio
I started Bass guitar lessons from Mark about 4 years ago. He is a very talented and patient musician who really pays attention to detail. I have a busy schedule and sometimes I just can't practice as much as I would like to. to make things even harder, I play Left handed. Mark takes the time to go over things with me with out any frustration. I really had no idea what it would be like taking lessons at my age (let's just say I'm way past 50), but I truly look forward to meeting with mark for my weekly lesson. I'm making progress and one of these days I'll be able to say Yes, I can play this bass.
I would recommend any student that wanted to learn to play the Guitar or Bass guitar to Mark. you will not be disappointed.
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Marc January 11, 2018
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Mark is a terrific teacher. He knows and loves music. He is an awesome guitar player. He is patient and fits the lessons to your ability and tastes. He is also quite funny which helps make the lessons be enjoyable. His home studio is a great place to have the lessons.
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Tommy A. October 17, 2017
· Harmonica · In home
Great experience.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(18)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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About Maureen S.

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San Leandro, CA
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About Maureen
•The styles I teach most often are jazz, classical and popular. Although I have studied many different genres, my specialties are saxophone and composition. I have studied with music teachers such as Anthony Braxton, Herb Pomeroy, Charlie Banacos, Jerry Bergonzi, Gary Burton, Joe Viola, Ken Pullig, John LaPorta, Hal Crook, James Newton and Ken Radnofsky. If you are enrolled by October, you have the opportunity to enroll in MTAC Certificate of Merit and Composer's Today programs and recitals.

•9/1997 – Present San Lorenzo (CA) Unified School District Independent Music Teacher 9/1990 – 11/1997 St. Felicitas School San
Leandro, CA St. John School Fiat School of Music Music Unlimited San Lorenzo, CA Pinole, CA San Leandro, CA Provide individual and group music instruction to people from age 3 to 99. Deliver instruction based on Music Tea
chers National Association Certificate of Merit Curriculum for Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet and Piano. Incorporate Jazz
Improvisation, Theory and Harmony lessons

• Listed in Who’s Who Among International Professional Educators. • Listed in Who’s Who in American Education • Listed in Who’s Who Among American Women • Listed in Who’s Who in America • Six Lessons published in • Recognition for Self-Assembly Method Instructional Design Theory • Published article in OnCUE, Journal of Computer Using Educators

• Krause Center of Innovation 2005-2006 EWYL Cohort Participant • Krause Center of Innovation 2006-2007 EWYL Fellows Participant • Iisme (Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education) Fellow 2004: Intranet Web Designer at Applied Materials using Macromedia Dreamweaver and Contribute • Alameda County Representative to the CTAP Technology Leadership Academy at the Alameda County Office of Education (2000). Co-leader of Staff Development Program for Grade 4-8 Technology Integration • Taught University of Phoenix class for Technology Integration • IMTC class teacher in FrontPage and MS Paint • Member San Lorenzo Unified School District Ed Tech Committee and Lorenzo Manor Elementary Ed Tech Committee. • Past District Web Page Coordinator and FrontPage Trainer • Participant in Intel Teach to the Future training • Provide opportunities for children to meet Technology Standards• Incorporate technology into the curriculum using desktops and wireless laptops, FL Studio, Cubasis VST 4.0, Music Ace, Band in a Box, Finale Notepad, Silver Burdett MIDI Connection, Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Office Suite, recording and burning CDs, DVDs, etc. • Manage a High School Computer Music Lab. • MarcoPolo trainer.• Teach Music Technology classes after school for the Gifted and Talented (GATE Program).

• Member Music Educators National Conference • Member Technology Institute for Music Educators. Lesson plan published on their Web Site. • Member California Music Educators and present music technology sessions for educators at the Bay Section Conferences.

• Deliver instruction in the area of the curriculum pertaining to National and District Music Standards. • Create and implement lesson plans, rubrics and assessments. • Organize and produce Winter and Spring Concerts. • Experience working with children with challenging behaviors and disabilities (Special Day Class and Continuation School).

• Provide children with learning experiences that promote their cognitive, social and emotional development.  • Experience in teaching students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. • Communicate with parents. Handle record-keeping of grades and attendance. • Work cooperatively with other education professionals. 

• Organize and produce Winter and Spring Recitals, including County Recitals for the National Guild of Piano Teachers. Communicate with parents. Handle advertising and record-keeping of tuition payments. • Vice-President of the Alameda County Branch of the Music Teachers Association of California. Attend Board meetings and plan guest speakers • Licensed Kindermusik instructor for children ages 18 mos. to 7 years. • Students chosen for State and County Honors Recitals. • Listed in National Honor Roll, National Guild of Piano Teachers; Member Music Teacher’s National Association. • Taught Undergraduate Musicianship class as a Graduate Assistant at Mills College.

•Professional Freelance Musician 9/1984 – 12/1995 Boston, MA; Bay Area, CA Performed own compositions and others works in various styles in innumerable local venues and clubs such as The Oakland Museum, Yerba Buena Gardens, The Valencia Café, Trans America Building, the Marriott Hotel, as well as in Las Vegas. She have performed with musicians such as Vijay Iyer, Anthony Braxton, MC
Hammer, Luciana Souza, Lloyd Nibbs (Skatalites), Fred Lonberg-Holm,
Andy Borger (Norah Jones), Stuart Popejoy, Aaron Stewart, Sheila
Sofian, William Calhoun (Living Color), Sean Kennerly (Samiam) and Joey Cheezhee.• CD Recording on Curious Pogos Records:Frederick Lonberg Holm’s “Theory of Motion”. • Composed music on Sheila Sofian’s Animations “Faith and Patience” and “Secret Rage”. Won 15 awards in International and National Film Festivals. Broadcast on WHYY TV12 and WYBE TV35 Educational Stations. • Honorable Mention in Composition: City of Oakland Creative Arts Fellowship. • Live Performances on KPFA, KNBR and KALX radio stations.

•EDUCATION Ph.D. in Education (10/2013). Specialization in Professional Studies Capella University Teaching Credential: K-12 Single Subject Music 8/1999 Chapman University GPA 3.9 US-CA-Concord Master of Fine Arts degree in Electronic Music and Recording Media with an emphasis in Composition 5/1992 Mills College GPA 3.64 US-CA-Oakland Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging 5/1987 Berklee College of Music US-CA-Boston GPA 3.59 Cum Laude

*** Lesson Details ***
I am interested in teaching you what you need and want to learn so that you achieve your dreams. Please note that I only take serious students who will practice at least 30 minutes every day or 35 a day 6 days a week at home. I would like you to keep a log of how much you practice. This will enable you to make progress through the curriculum as you will be a beginner for the first 3.3 years, an intermediate for the next 3.3 years, and then an advanced student for 3.3 years. I will give you assignments to do over the week, and the next week we will go over them, learn something new and get new assignments. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Currently I am converting my detached garage into a music studio with keyboard and instruments. There is a sitting room where parents can wait for their children. In the meantume, we will have lessons in my living/dining room.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Metronome, CD Boom Box

*** Specialties ***
Jazz, classical, popular, saxophone, composition, music, flute, clarinet, piano, violin, trumpet, trombone, french horn, tuba, baritone, oboe, songwriting, recording, children's music Composition
Arranging
Songwriting
Reading and Notating Music
Music Software such as FL Studio, Band in a Box, Reason and GarageBand. Bring your laptop to lessons!
Music Theory
Improvisation
Minor Key Harmony
Extended and Secondary Dominants
Tritone Substitution
Modal Interchange
Altered Dominant Scale
Diminished Harmony
Non-Functional Harmony
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Kristina March 1, 2017
· Violin · In studio
Wonderful teacher.. very happy
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Ruth January 9, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Dr. Maureen Spranza, is a great music teacher, my son is taking piano classes with her and I'm very grateful with her, because she always take the extra time to make sure my kid is learning, my kid loves Mrs. Maureen because she is a great teacher but also she is a great human being, she really cares about her students. And she not only plays the piano, she plays all the instruments, I hope to see my son become a great musician thanks to the dedication that Maureen puts in his classes, my kid loves his piano classes, every time after clases he came home very exited to practice what he learned and al of this if because Dr. Maureen encourage him to be better in Avery class
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Nana December 2, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Dr. Spranza is one of the best piano teachers in the Bay Area. My two daughters take weekly lessons with her. She encourages them and empowers them to do their best. She teaches them both theory and practicals. They have participated in an informal recital and are now registered to take part in the MTAC Certificate of Merit program.

As parents, we see a big improvement in our daughters' piano playing skills. They even practice on their own, without us telling them to. All thanks to Dr. Spranza.
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Maureen S.

Maureen S.

San Leandro, CA 94577
(11)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Rory C.

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Santa Cruz, CA

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Learn about songwriting fundamentals from both lyrical and musical perspectives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rory C.

Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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

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

Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, and Piano
https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-i5

Piano, Ukulele, and Drums
https://takelessons.com/profile/melissa-m62

My Background

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

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

Philosophy of Learning

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

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

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

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

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

My studio is equipped with:

*Music Stands

*A P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, Ukulele, Banjos, etc

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set

*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set

*An electric piano console and Yamaha organ

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

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

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

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

*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
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Reviews
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Brian August 29, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
This was my son's first lesson, and he is looking forward to playing his trumpet and coming back for more lessons. I was hoping to spark his interest in music and so far so good.
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Robert O. August 10, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Rajeev July 18, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
After a break of more than a year I wanted to restart my Trumpet lessons. I chose Jesse based on the reviews and Jesse did not disappoint. He is very patient and focused teacher. I liked his structured method and tools he uses. I was able to get back in groove in no time.

Highly recommended.
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(87)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Kristina B.

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San Francisco, CA

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The various songwriting formulas, hooks, harmony, arranging, how to craft a song well, melody, turning poetry into music, and how to find the "right" chords/music with what one hears in their head.

About Kristina
Kristina has been singing, acting, and performing since the age of 4. She studied under the well-known and respected vocal coach, Donna Prypin, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts for at least 11 years. Kristina then went on to study Opera with Don Wilkinson, of the Boston Symphony for 1 year, and with him gained excellent range and breathing techniques. Kristina was then accepted to Berklee College of Music, where she attended for two & a half years studying under some of the world's greatest teachers. She learned extensive Ear Training, Harmony, Jazz Improvisation, Counterpoint, Arranging, Performing, Music Business, Music Therapy, and intense vocal coaching. After college Kristina moved to California where she now has a thriving teaching practice, performance, and touring career.

In 2014 she earned her Sound, Voice, and Music Healing Cert
ificate from The California Institute of Integral Studies, under the mentoring of Grammy Nominated composer/performer, Silvia Nakkach, MA,MMT. She then travelled to India in January of 2014 with Silvia to study Classical India singing/music.

As of September 2016, Kristina recently returned from a two & half month music/bike tour through the United States Pacific Northwest & Canada.

She released her first solo album (September 2008) titled, Mermaid Tattoos and is currently in the process of creating her second album.

Kristina can teach ages 4 ~ 100 and is patient, creative, flexible, enthusiastic, and passionate. Her focus is on helping students attain their goals whether it's to be on stage winning Grammy awards, or just learning to sing and perform for fun. She can help students learn Pop, Country, Jazz, Indie Rock, Classic Rock, Musical Theater, and even their own musical genre. She also teaches beginner guitar, and proper vocal acting/public-speaking skills. In addition, she performs Sound Sessions for clients looking for relaxation & coping techniques, using crystal singing bowls, vocal toning exercises, shrupti box vocal work, and human tuning forks.

*** Lesson Details ***
Kristina is extremely creative, patient, kind, open-minded, passionate, laid-back, but sets excellent and attainable goals with the student, and absolutely loves music. Depending on each individual student, lessons will center around correct vocal breathing, exercises, music theory, songwriting, guitar, acting, and learning different techniques in order to meet personal goals. Each student is taught individually and with their own personal needs as the focus.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have state of the art microphones, amps, guitars, a keyboard, IPod radio (students can bring them to share music), and of course a computer.

*** Specialties ***
Voice, Beginner Guitar, Vocal Technique, Performance, Range, Improvisation, Music Theory, Songwriting, Sound Sessions for relaxation & coping skills. I specialize in Pop/Rock/Jazz/Blues/Country/Indie Rock, Musical Theater, and New Age genres.
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Reviews
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Rumya November 11, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Kristina was great! Very informative, helps me align on my goals, and very supportive!
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Shane .. September 9, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
I told Kristina it was my first lesson, and that I wanted to learn how to strum. She taught me some chords and how to read tabs, which was great. But she spent most of the lesson writing out the tabs (would've been great if she did that before) and watching me strum. She made no corrections as to my thumb or finger placement, which a friend later told me was really bad for a teacher to not pay attention to. Her advice on how to find the best position was to "figure out what works for you". How would I know that as a beginner? Maybe she's better for someone with more experience.
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Steve June 9, 2017
· Speaking Voice · In studio
Kristina really listens to what you need and clearly takes a personal/individualized approach
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Kristina B.

Kristina B.

San Francisco, CA 94109
(49)
starting at
$31.50 / 30-min

About Marwan S.

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Mountain View, CA

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

About Marwan
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I started playing piano when I was 3, and began writing music when I was 6. I've taught music and piano for over 12 years.
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Reviews
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crystal December 4, 2017
· Python · In home
Marwan always has smile on his face. And I have the very first python lesson with him. He is a great teacher.
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Moya November 11, 2017
· Classical Piano · In home
We could not be happier with Marwan! Most importantly, my daughter is thriving with his instruction -- though we like him too :) Marwin brings expansive experience in piano and beyond. For piano, he's got a great balance of being exacting and precise with instructions yet just as flexible as we need him to be if my daughter hasn't been able to practice due to other demands. We like that he doesn't make her feel guilty about that -- but is patient and able to get her on track so she can fulfill her amazing musical potential. We love his in-depth knowledge in a variety of things and he's charming, warm, and humorous to be around. Highly recommended: you'll enjoy meeting and working with him.
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Jen S November 7, 2017
· Piano · In home
Wow! We are so grateful for Marwan. He comes to our home, teaches 3 hours of 5 consecutive lessons and he still has a smile on his face when he leaves late in the evening. He's knowledgeable, patient, encouraging and enjoyable. His expectations are high, but attainable. I have seen a marked improvement in my children during the last three months of lessons!
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Marwan S.

Marwan S.

Mountain View, CA 94043
(11)
starting at
$55 / 30-min

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

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