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Los Gatos, CA Songwriting Lessons

Looking for private in-home or in-studio Songwriting lessons? Our Los Gatos teachers are ready to get you started. Find your teacher today!

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Popular Songwriting Teachers near Los Gatos, CA

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Los Gatos, CA including Cupertino, Saratoga, Campbell, Redwood Estates and Holy City.

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About Lauren V.

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Minneapolis, MN
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Songwriting lessons are flexible. If you are a beginner we will work on lyric basics. As an intermediate we will add in chord and melody writing. If you are an advanced writer, I can help critique your works and give suggestions on revisions, give techniques on structure, and/or encourage you by extending your sources of inspiration.

About Lauren
Lauren graduated from McNally Smith College of Music magna cum laude in 2011 with a bachelors in vocal performance. She played everywhere from Duluth. Minnesota to Lima, Peru: sharing the stage with artists as diverse as Andres Prado and Judi Donaghy. In addition to her McNally Smith Degree, Lauren received master classes from Bobby McFerrin and the New York Voices. Passionate about giving back to the community, Lauren instructed voice and piano students at the Urban Hub, a community center for inner city youth in Minneapolis MN. She spent the last 6 months of 2011 as an instructor at Jazz Jaus in Lima, Peru. She taught music theory, history, songwriting, and applied voice at ex'treme Institute by Nelly in St. Louis, MO for 3 years. She recently moved back to the Twin Cities to perform and teach.

*** Lesson Details ***
Every student
has an experience unique to themselves. I am strict about meeting the goals developed by each student. However, the learning process is highly individual. You will learn at a pace and with a curriculum we develop to best suit your learning style, musical preference, and goals.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect students will have a keyboard or piano.

*** Specialties ***
Trained 10 years in classical voice and piano.
Undergrad in contemporary voice.
12 years of theatre experience
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Reviews
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Ki December 12, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Kind, patient, and knowledgeable.
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Lisa September 15, 2017
· Acting · In studio
My daughter looked forward to meeting with Lauren and felt like the work with Lauren was very helpful.
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Derek August 15, 2017
· Singing · In studio
My teen son enjoyed his first lesson and working with Lauren! He's looking forward to continuing to work with her.
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Lauren V.

Lauren V.

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$35 / 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
...
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 Jon H.

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Arroyo Grande, CA
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About Jon
Hello!

I just moved from San Jose to Arroyo Grande and am so excited to be back in the Central Coast!
I currently teach high school Spanish at the Central Coast New Tech High School in Nipomo and love it there!
I have a passion for teaching and love to teach my true love: music and piano!

I also tutor in Spanish language as well as English language.

I am happy to teach in your home or apartment; however you need to have the following materials:
1) Piano that is relatively kept up and tuned regularly

*** Specialties ***
Suzuki Piano Method
Classical piano background
Rock cover music
Solo piano, new age style music composition
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Reviews
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Lisa R. October 21, 2017
· Piano · In home
Incredibly astoundingly wonderful. Fourth lesson and he is playing songs. Jon has a wonderful calm easy way of teaching. He makes is fun and engages my son. At first Marshall was not into being "taught" now he is practicing everyday and looks forward to each Saturday.
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Jon H.

Jon H.

Online
(1)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Monique C.

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Las Vegas, NV

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About Monique
I specialize in teaching students with autism or other similar behavioral/learning challenges. I am a Registered Behavior Tech with a graduate level degree who is currently pursuing a post graduate certificate to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). I am trained in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapies.

I have been sharing the joy of playing guitar with others since 1983. I attended Guitar Institute of Technology from September 1984 to September 1985 and still hold the title as the youngest female graduate at the school to this day. I later earned a Masters degree in teaching and learning to enhance my skills as a teacher in music and in other areas of education; but I learned some very valuable skills in my graduate program that give me an edge over teachers without an advanced degree. I have studied how people learn,
how learning styles vary and how to identify and accommodate various learning styles in order to get the most from each individual student and teach each student in the most effective manner according to their particular learning style.

*** Lesson Details ***
While I may have formal training in teaching, my actual approach is very holistic. I like to get to know my students; I want to know about them- what kind of music they are interested in and how they learn best. Once I determine the type of learner that I am working with and what the student would like to achieve, I then use that to develop an individualized approach for that student. I believe that fundamentals are necessary and good, but I also believe that those fundamentals should be put to use in a manner that accommodates the student and their particular likes and musical goals as quickly as possible. What good are concepts without application? I want to see students playing with skill AND with joy because they are able to play what they love to listen to and even more....I like to see students create their own music with the skills that they acquire.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Student needs instrument, writing tools, paper, CD player or MP3 player.

*** Specialties ***
(Autism Spectrum Disorders
ABA trained)
I don't necessarily specialize in any particular method, especially given the fact that I am accustomed to customizing curriculum in the educational realm. I evaluate each student's individual styles, abilities and desires with regard to what they want to learn.
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Reviews
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Debi O. March 1, 2013
· Guitar ·
Monique is a great teacher

I am delighted with Monique. She is very professional and is very comfortable teaching. The lessons have just the right pace and she is good at building on fundamentals. As an adult learner, I am glad to have a mature teacher I feel comfortable with. That rapport is an important element for me as a beginning student.
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Monique C.

Monique C.

Online
(1)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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About Billy N.

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Brooklyn, NY
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I've taught many singer songwriters and have written the music for songs of other people.

About Billy
Billy N. has played Jazz, Brazilian and Classical music in the NYC area for the last 20 years. He has actively taught both finger-style and pick guitar for the last 20 years. He was on staff at the American Institute of Guitar for 11 years. His book on Brazilian Guitar is published by Alfred Music and currently available. He now offers online lessons via Skype as well as in his private studio. Playing credits include many museums and clubs in the NY area including Museum of Modern Art Museum of the City of NY and an extended stay at the Guggenheim museum in the Summer of 2000. Also he has been in the Brooklyn Museum concert series with his group Afinidades Bronx Libraries Brooklyn College and the Jewish Museum in trio and duo setting with great Percussionist Vanderlei Pereira. He has performed in Brazil as well most recently in the South
of Brazil,  receiving TV and radio coverage. He has also done workshops and performed at the Conservatory of the state of Pernambuco. In August 2004 he performed weekly at Rio Scenarium in Rio de Janeiro. His Band Brooklyn Brazil Bop has played at Joe's Pub as well as Central Park Festival. His band the Brazilian Acoustic ensemble performs periodically at 'Barbes' an important performance space in Brooklyn NY. In 2007 he gave a successful jazz workshop and concert in the city of Florianopolis Brazil. Billy has been awarded 3 prestigious composer's residencies 2006 - Yaddo and 2007 - The MacDowell Colony. He was featured on the PBS news hour during his residence at MacDowell. In 2008 he was awarded another MacDowell residency and followed this with a 3 hour appearance presenting his compositions live on WKCR Jazz Radio and another live radio appearance with band in 2010. Billy regularly plays in many venues around NY in Jazz trio settings as well as with Brazilian vocalists and instrumentalists. Most Recently his groups have been performing at the famed Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City. He also specializes in solo guitar and can double on percussion (Pandeiro) and Cavaquinho. Billy has completed two CD's of his original music and an EP of his original Choro music. He has a BFA in Jazz Performance from CCNY.

Testimonials:
From Coda Magazine August 2012: by Seton Hawkins

Through outstanding collaborations like the Brazilian Acoustic Ensemble, guitarist and composer Billy N has emerged as a leading exponent of the music of Brazil. Exploring far beyond the well-trodden bossa nova path. Billy unearths the full range of styles the country offers, including choro, baiào, valsa and samba, and gives American audiences a rich panoramic glimpse into Brazilian art, highlighting its parallels with progressive jazz.

A recipient of composers residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell Colony, he is the curator of a three-day series at the club dedicated to the country's music. Billy will showcase his own group—a sextet with drummer Matt Kane, bassist Leco Reis, saxophonists Michael Attias and Eric Schugren and trumpeter Ben Holmes—in a concert primarily featuring his original works. SH

Reviews of my Book on Alfred Brazil: Guitar Atlas,  I love this series and this is the best of the six titles I have. Billy really knows his stuff; the analysis of time at the beginning is superb: something I now use in my teaching. This is definitely for intermediate and higher guitarists, but the pieces are worth the effort to get right, and the accompanying CD shows you what you are aiming for. This is as good as my other Brazilian guitar book (by Nelson Faria) and much more compact and easier to follow. Highly recommended!

#2

This book is essential homework for students of Brazilian guitar. It is one of the best resources out there, along with Nelson Faria's "The Brazilian Guitar Book." The original etudes are not only instructional, but are nice pieces in their own right. An excellent value.

*** Lesson Details ***
I've taught all levels over 20 years both in NYC and Brazil. I work with the material that the student wants and also through recordings and charts introduce much music that the student might have been unfamiliar with. My lessons are catered to the individual. There is no obstacle anyone has that is too great to work through. My approach to rhythmic training has helped many. I have simple way of breaking down the guitar fingerboard which can used as a guide to learn harmony. I'll get you into the horizontal aspects of guitar, traveling across the neck, making music across one string as well, mastering the guitar in a small fret range - " vertical position playing".

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have guitar for the student, either electric or nylon. Cavaquinho students bring their instrument. First time students must bring their instrument so I can see what they are playing on.

*** Specialties ***
Brazilian Fingerstyle - Choro, Samba, Baiao Solo
Jazz Guitar - Pick or Fingers
Beginning Flamenco
Cavaquinho
Improvisation for any instrument
Harmony and Theory
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Reviews
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Flaminia D. May 12, 2015
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
I have been taking lessons with Billy since January 2015. I am a total beginner and I really think I have made the best choice ever to pick him as my teacher. Billy is an experienced guitar teacher and a professional player that knows great techniques for beginners. He has been teaching me basics of guitar in a smart way, and at each lesson I feel I learn something new and at the same time I can clearly see how much progress I have made since our first lesson. He has also been teaching me how to read music and tabs which proofed to be extremely useful every time I want to learn a new song by myself. Highly recommended!
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Lynn W. December 17, 2014
· Guitar · In studio
I cannot recommend Billy enough. I studied jazz improvisation with Billy for three years, and later returned to study Brazilian guitar and Piedmont-style finger picking with him. I had been playing for more than twenty years when I started studying with him and he not only helped me improve my playing technically and creatively (on electric and nylon stringed guitars) but also expanded my knowledge of theory and helped me develop new approaches to composing and arranging. I am still working with the material he gave me and take lessons from him whenever my schedule allows.
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felicia D. October 17, 2014
· Brazilian Guitar · In home
I took Brazilian guitar lessons from Billy for several years. His method focuses on absorbing the many rhythms of Brazil and translating them from percussion instruments to the guitar. Much of his effort is devoted on achieving the elusive Brazilian swing, which non Brazilians need to learn. Billy is excellent in breaking down the rhythms and explaining them. He even has a book out on his method. He covers various Brazilian genres: choro, bossa nova, samba, baiao and more.
Billy also is an accomplished jazz, classical and flamenco guitarist with a thorough understanding of harmony and improvisation. He is very patient and has years of teaching and performance experience. You will be lucky to study with him!
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Billy N.

Billy N.

Online
(11)
starting at
$65 / 45-min

About Gary R.

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San Diego, CA

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I started writing in 1977 and have not stopped since. I can teach you to construct a song, create lyric, the context of songwriting, and how to find the chords you hear in your head for your song-
Let me show you how to bring your songs to life!

About Gary
Hello, my name is Gary R. and I am ready to get you started on a musical journey that should last a lifetime. Whether you are just beginning, or have been making music since you were a kid, I can help you. Beginners come in all ages, so don't think you are too old to play or sing. I enjoy teaching students of every age.
I received my Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of North Texas, a University well known for their music school and famous graduates.
My primary expertise is teaching Trumpet and brass instruments,
Vocal jazz, and beginner piano for kids or adults.
Learning to play takes practice, guidance, determination, and a desire to have fun !
Read my reviews, ask me questions, come hear me perform around San Diego, and lets get started !! Enjoy a relaxed lesson atmosphere and let me help you
become the musician you want to be.
...
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Zach December 13, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
Gary can support varying level of capabilities and has a similar story to mine. Stopped for a little while then started back up. He understands the fundamentals as well as as the advanced knowledge.
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Joel V. September 13, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Gary is an absolutely amazing teacher, he makes me feel extremely comfortable when singing and playing. He's helping me improve my overall music knowledge and focusing on what I personally would like to learn. I'd recommend anyone who might be a little shy to Gary because he's really helping me with mine.
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Emily and Kitty S. July 15, 2017
· Singing · In studio
gary was very funny and we felt comfortable with him :)
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Gary R.

Gary R.

Online
(33)
starting at
$33 / 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
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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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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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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Marwan S.

Marwan S.

Redwood City, CA 94063
(12)
starting at
$55 / 30-min

About Diana B.

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Brooklyn, NY

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Hone your craft in song forms, melodies, the interaction and use of rhythm and harmony, lyric writing, and the latest technological advances. Offering a variety of songwriting topics providing you with a chance to focus on your interests.

About Diana
Hello! My name is Diana and I am an accomplished classical guitarist and pianist living in Brooklyn, New York. My experience has been established through a decade of private instruction under renown classical guitarist Dr. Lynn McGrath and pianist Stephen Montoya. I studied music, theory, and foreign language at the University of New Mexico and studied classical guitar at the North Carolina School for the Arts as one of the youngest students admitted at the age of 17. As a high school student I participated and competed in festivals across the U.S. including the Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) and with masterclass instruction from renowned guitarists and composers, David Russell and Ana Vidovic. Within 10 years of dedicated study, I have been honored with awards of excellence from the National Honors Society of Guitar and recognized f
or her many accomplishments, including a performance with the highly acclaimed woman’s guitar ensemble ‘Presti Quartet,’ the first-ever woman elected as 1st chair in the New Mexico ALLSTATE Guitar Orchestra 2 consecutive years, and chosen as one of twelve international guitarists to represent music in education. I recently relocated to NYC from New Orleans where I taught private music lessons to children and young adults and immersed myself in the city of soul to study jazz music. Most recently I spent my summer abroad teaching piano lessons in Spanish to children in Spain. In addition to my solo and duet performances I have taught private music lessons since the age of sixteen with a mission to inspire aspiring musicians as a music educator and bring a life-long love of music to my students!
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Diana B.

Diana B.

Online
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Stephen S.

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Santa Clara, CA

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Learn by writing songs! How all the aspects of songwriting (lyrics, melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics) fall into place and create something meaningful. I want to write songs with you, listen to and analyze popular songs, and help you find new inspiration in music we've never heard before. Develop your own style and find new ways to put words to music. Songwriting is like a puzzle, we can solve it one step at a time.

About Stephen
I started out 14 years ago when I was 9 years old. I bought my first guitar with all the money I had received from recycling cans and bottles; it was a mini acoustic guitar that I still have today. The first song I learned was "Bring it on home" by Led Zeppelin. Since then I have been in bands that have gigged around the bay, and I developed a passion for songwriting and producing.

Now, I produce music in my home studio and teach. I love learning different styles and incorporating them into my own music. I want to bring that attitude to every lesson that I teach. I believe that you never stop learning and improving and with every new style or technique I learn, my love for music only grows. I want to inspire my students to have the same attitude toward learning new things.

I teach out of my home studio, at your home, or online. I want
to help you grow as a musician and reach all of your goals. Let's explore new styles and jam! I look forward to meeting you!
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Stephen S.

Stephen S.

Santa Clara, CA 95050
starting at
$50 / 30-min

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

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

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Songwriting Tips | The Wisdom of a One-Of-Kind Song Title

What's in a name? If you're looking for songwriting tips as you pen your next tune, check out this advice from Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   There is not one "right" or preferred way to write a song. It's a very individual choice. Some songwriters start out with a patch of melody or a line or two of lyric as their creative catalyst. Others will initiate the songwriting muse with a unique and instantly-captivating song title or writing from their emotions. And in this ever-cr … Read More

Songwriting Tips | The Wisdom of a One-Of-Kind Song Title
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Tips for Writing a Song | Starting Songs And Ending Writer's Block
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