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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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Chuck B. June 5, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
Great experience
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Brett M. May 2, 2018
· Organ · In home
Just getting started, but Stevens clearly the teacher for me. He really listens, and really knows his stuff. Looking forward to many more lessons.
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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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Steven B.

Steven B.

Alameda, CA 94501
(21)
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 Teri D.

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Los Angeles, CA

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All levels songwriting. Craft, song structure, melodic and lyric writing, chord structure, all pop styles

About Teri
I teach students of all ages in a relaxed, encouraging, and fun way- but with the structure many beginners need to reach their goals and with the background of a professional singer! Students will see themselves making progress and reaching set goals! This encourages them to continue on their musical journey - becoming the very best they can be! We will also learn fun popular songs and look for opportunities to sing them. We will also learn many styles of pop singing as well -- from pop to rock to R&B to country & more! From beginners and just-for-fun singers to singer/songwriters to pros, each student will be able to learn the skills they need to sing from their heart and find their own true voice.

Teri has taught voice for over 15 years to all ages and all levels, led and trained various bands and groups for over 17 years. Named a
s a Top Vocal Coach by Backstage Magazine 2015, she is a club hit recording artist and premier LA vocal coach. Her vocals have graced full length CD's, cuts on various records, performances on TV and radio, and gained her a nomination for Best Female Vocalist, All Access Music Awards. She is the author of Vocal Essentials for the Pop Singer: Take Your Singing from Good to Great, from Hal Leonard Publishing. Teri has a Master's Degree in Education and a Bachelors Degree in Speech Pathology. She studied music at Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco including music theory, vocal technique and vocal performance, guitar and stage performance. She had a dance club hit in the 90's which garnered success on mix shows and dance charts across the country.

She specializes in getting the best out of her students -- giving them a solid vocal technique to let their natural ability shine. Her students will attest to her positive, relaxed and encouraging teaching style.

In addition to learning the basics, Teri can help students get their voice in shape for events, school projects/plays, auditions (American Idol etc...), a solo or band project, and more!

Teri offers flexibility with scheduling to accommodate students various needs including day/eves and weekends. Studio is in a convenient Westside LA location.

*** Lesson Details ***
Students can expect a fun lesson with vocal warm-up exercises, and lots of singing, in a supportive environment. Teri works out of her home studio and online. so students can work with microphones and instruments.

Children
Voice lessons build confidence and enthusiasm, and help prepare children for performing in front of others. Singing at a young age develops vocal abilities, but more importantly develops a child's aural abilities (recognizing melodies, harmonies, etc.) as well as the ability to focus, take direction and be creative.

Performing / Recording / Vocal Health
Recording. performing and touring presents unique challenges to singers. By concentrating on breathing, vocal production and tension reduction, warm-up exercises, and range building exercises, these lessons help increase stamina, build vocal tone, and reduce the effects of vocal fatigue for those who sing long hours at a time.

Church / Worship Leading
Singing on praise/worship teams is an art form all of it's own. Lessons centered around this kind of singing focus on the areas of blending, tone, hearing harmonies, and keeping your part in a group. For the soloist / worship leader, lessons help in the areas of projection, tone, range, runs, and breathing.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have recording equipment and microphones, piano, guitar.

*** Specialties ***
voice, voice lessons, voice singing lessons, voice coaching, vocal technique, voice training, speaking (speakers), auditions, broadway singing (pop technique only), music theory, musical theatre, singing, speaking acting voice, acting, theatrical singing, adults, all levels, audition prep, beginner to advanced, breathing technique, children's basics, pro vocal technique, rock pop styling, stamina based breathing, theatre singing, voice actors, voice over artists, using your body as an instrument, getting students to record quality, building vocal tone, and assisting students in finding their own voice.
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Reviews
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Jason H. July 29, 2015
· Singing · In studio
Teri was extremely helpful in teaching my 10 year old son vocal development. She is an enthusiastic teacher and I highly recommend her to people looking to improve their singing.
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Paula A. June 4, 2015
· Broadway Singing · In studio
Teri is very enthusiastic and encouraging in her lessons.
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Karla H. May 27, 2015
· Singing · In studio
I've been taking lessons with Teri for about a month now and things are working out great!
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Teri D.

Teri D.

Online
(7)
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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David February 14, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
Just had a great first lesson with Mark. I'm an intermediate guitarist with a few years of experience looking to work on improving my improvisation. Right away, Mark helped get me started in the right direction and gave me some valuable tips that I'd never considered, which are already helping how I think about my playing.

Looking forward to continuing lessons.
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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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Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(19)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About S. Parker G.

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Denver, CO

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Learning to write songs is an integral part of my method, for every student. Understanding song structure, learning to count measures in songs, analyzing phrasing (patterns in chords and melody), and basic lyric analysis are all a part of this process. Putting what you learn together in your own voice is the fun part!

About S. Parker
Music became my life when I found a dusty guitar in the storage room at age 10. I owe a lot of really cool experiences to the guitar and so many of them center around learning. Teaching is fun and rewarding, but it is also my way of thanking the great teachers I've had.

-Studied Music Theory/Composition at Metropolitan State College of Denver

-Won a scholarship to the 2001 Summer Guitar Program at Berklee College of Music in Boston

-Frequent substitute at Arapahoe Community College (2004-2005)

-Teacher at St. Mary's Academy Middle School (2008-2013)

-Active member of Onsombley guitar ensemble

-Songwriter, Vocalist, Guitarist in The Penny Dreadfuls

-Creator of http://strumbystrum.com

-Takelessons teacher since 2008

*** Lesson Details ***
The best lessons I've ever had were lessons in wh
ich I walked away saying "Man, I never KNEW that!" and it's my goal for you have that experience, too. Whether its how to play that chord or write a melody, how to get the best sound out of those stomp boxes, or when genres like shoegazer and post-rock were invented and what they sound like... there's something to be learned in every lesson.

The most important benefit of taking lessons from me is my experience. I started teaching casually as a teenager and have followed every opportunity since. My passion for music has allowed me to teach private lessons (10+ years), middle school guitar class (including a guitar ensemble), and college-level music theory classes. Extensive experience in writing, recording, and performing has only helped that passion to grow. I've developed a method to blend theory with practice every step of the way, and make the journey fun!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Music stand, Guitar picks, Amplifier, 1/4" cable, Footstool, and paper hand-outs provided for Students.

Lounge area, Kitchen area, Restrooms,and Parking provided for Parents

*** Specialties ***
guitar, acoustic guitar, music, songwriting, classical guitar, electric guitar, music theory
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Reviews
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Hubert June 8, 2017
· · Online
He is a wonderful teacher !!!
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Charlie V. November 11, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Parker is great and my 16-year-old son really likes him!
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Eli M. July 11, 2016
· Guitar · Online
Parker is a great teacher & a really nice guy. I have been working with him for about 18 months, and I have come a very long way in my technical ability as well as my understanding of music theory. He has a very low key, positive approach to our lessons, which makes them relaxing and fun, but at the same time he has the ability to get me out of my "comfort zone" and doing things that are new and challenging, from dabbling in different genres to creating new arrangements of old favorite songs to diving into the theory behind iconic riffs and chord progressions.
He has become a friend and I look forward to all of our online sessions.
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S. Parker G.

S. Parker G.

Online
(45)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Maureen S.

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San Leandro, CA
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Learn to write lyrics, melody, and harmony for songs.

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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Reviews
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Dahlia M. April 25, 2018
· Trumpet · In studio
Maureen is patient, methodical and focused. Great first lesson. I am very encouraged.
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Maureen February 23, 2018
· Violin · In studio
I highly recommend Dr Maureen Spanza . She has been wonderful with teaching my granddaughter
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Kristina B. March 1, 2017
· Violin · In studio
Wonderful teacher.. very happy
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Maureen S.

Maureen S.

San Leandro, CA 94577
(13)
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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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, ukulele, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, flute, and saxophone. I highly recommend my studio partners Tyler, Andrew, and Melissa though. Please check out their profiles for the following topics:

Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Piano, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Flute, & Saxophone
https://takelessons.com/profile/tyler-j8

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

Piano, Ukulele, & 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 Area.

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
...
Reviews
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Ayse K. March 7, 2018
· Violin · In studio
He is very talented...
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Robert O. March 1, 2018
· Japanese · Online
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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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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(89)
starting at
$55 / 30-min

About Crystal S.

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Los Angeles, CA
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Having written songs all her life, Crystal now coaches beginners through the process of generating their own work. She has done this in individual tutoring sessions, as well as in Rock the Classroom - a songwriting/literacy course for grades 3-6.

About Crystal
Crystal brings a lifetime’s experience of professional musicianship to each of her lessons. Born into a family of musicians, she sang her first solo at age 2. She also benefits her students with an extraordinarily diverse musical background, having worked as a vocalist in gospel, country, musical theater, jazz, classical, rock, pop and soul styles. Her performing career has taken her from L.A. church meetings to London’s Houses of Parliament.

Crystal hails originally from Los Angeles, CA - where her musical parents gave her a head start by including her in the family business the moment she was able to contribute. She went on to study classical voice, piano and music theory at The Boston Conservatory of Music. After concluding her studies in London, she returned home and began working regularly as a theater performer, appearing in twen
ty world premiers and re-imagined classics. Most notably she played the lead role of Keely Smith in the big band jazz musical “Louis and Keely: Live At The Sahara” during its eight-month run at Westwood’s Geffen Playhouse. She also formed her own rock band, The Honeysuckle Jones Revival, with whom she performed her own songs all over Los Angeles. And she began working as a studio session vocalist, providing demo vocals for other songwriters, as well as arranging and performing back-up vocals for original artists, including Laura Roppe (currently in the Top Ten on Billboard’s Uncharted list of emerging artists.) Crystal played the lead role of Brooke in the new operatic rock musical “The Burning Opera LA” during its Los Angeles run in 2011 as well as providing ensemble vocals and playing piano and bass. She also performs holiday tunes from the Golden Age of American songwriting with musical quartet The Sleigh Belles.

Crystal believes that music is serious business but that it should be fun. She encourages her students to play music they love, as well as expanding their musical knowledge. She is a firm believer in basics first and emphasizes theory and technique as the tools to support creativity and provide freedom, power and control. She believes effort beats talent every time and the student who practices consistently will see results, whatever their level of ability. Most of all, she believes we were all born to make music.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lesson structure varies depending on the student's instrument, age, level of experience and musical style. However, all lessons focus on:

Technique
Music theory
Performance style

After 3 or 6 months of consistent lesson attendance and practice, students will have a clear understanding of how their instrument works and how to care for it. They will be able to read basic music notation. They will be working toward clearly defined musical goals and they will have at least three performance pieces learned.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Loft Space: full size electric piano with weighted keys, small digital recorder, microphone, Garage Band, parents can sit in on lessons

*** Travel Equipment ***
I bring a small keyboard for vocal students with no piano, karaoke tracks and a digital recorder. I also bring a selection of games. Students are expected to purchase all necessary books and sheet music.

*** Specialties ***
Young beginners (piano)
...
Reviews
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Raylene L Lehnhoff November 11, 2015
· Singing · Online
Love how she teaches the mechanics of learning to sing properly such as breathing correctly and posture right from the start for a beginner. Fantastic instructor!
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Tamura H. September 29, 2013
· Singing ·
Amazing singng instructor

Crystal has increased my daughter’s self-esteem and expressiveness through song. My daughter is now writing her own poetry and song lyrics, as well as being able to combat her once shyness quality. She loves to perform in front of others now and has a confidence level that amazes me, especially now that she is going into those “teen” years. I think a lot of thanks needs to go to Crystal, for assisting my daughter in reaching her current creative level!
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Tamura H. September 29, 2013
· Piano ·
Great piano instructor

Crystal is an amazing piano instructor. She is patient, understanding and dedicated. My daughter has learned so much from her. My daughter’s love for music has increased immensely since learning how to play the piano. This would never have been able to be accomplished without Crystal’s professional and caring teaching style.
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Crystal S.

Crystal S.

Online
(7)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Marwan S.

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Redwood City, 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
I started playing piano when I was 3, and began writing music at the age of 6. I've taught music and piano for over 12 years, and tutoring other subjects for over 5 years.

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, I graduated from Cornell University in Electrical & Computer Engineering, with a minor in Music. While in college, I was President of the Cornell Piano Society.

I went on to work for Intel & Apple as an engineer, while continuing to teach and tutor on the side. Later on, I founded my own startup company centered around Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science, and unmet needs in the B2C market.
...
Reviews
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Milun February 26, 2018
· Piano · In home
Wonderful teacher!!
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Kate R. January 22, 2018
· Songwriting · In home
Marwan has put a lot of effort both in and out of our lesson slot to make these sessions a great learning experience for our 14 year old daughter. His weekly recap emails are terrific, too.
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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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Marwan S.

Marwan S.

Redwood City, CA 94063
(13)
starting at
$55 / 30-min

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