Mill Valley Language Lessons

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About Lars R.

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

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

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

Lars R.

Petaluma, CA 94952
(6)
starting at
$22.50 / 30-min

About Olga C.

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San Mateo, CA

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About Olga
Latest news:
You can see me performing with Opera San Jose in Classical Series in the Park in Redwood City on July 22/2018

Three of my students passed Certificate of Merit with honors this spring , one of them was chosen to sing at convention in LA this Summer.

*****
Described by critics as "flawless in her singing" (Cultural World Bilingual ), "natural singer with beautiful colors...sings wonderfully, communicating the excesses of passion and emotion, the quick contrasts of mood , with grace and conviction" (San Jose Mercury News); possessing “a pure, strong soprano with phrasing of sumptuous elegance” (San Francisco Chronicle), " dazzling high notes are piercing without being ugly" (San Francisco Classical Voice), "beauty of her voice is outstanding...it has power to set the theater ringing, but it also has a wealth of color...
Her stage presence...is magnetic" (Peninsula Reviews), "Her mezzo tones...evoked memories of Maria Callas' spell-binding rendition" (San Jose Mercury News),
Olga was announced the Best Leading Female Singer in North East in season 2006-2007 by Opera Online.
A native of Russia, she appeared on the stages of the Bolshoi Opera (Maria in Mazeppa, Prilepa in Pique Dame, Brigitta in Iolanta, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Musetta in La Boheme, to name a few), Kazan Opera Theater (Mimi in La Boheme), Stanislavsky Opera Theater (Micaela in Carmen), and Malmo Opera Theater in Sweden (Musetta) before emigrating to the U.S.A., where she appeared with Hawaii Opera Teater as Mimi in La Boheme, San Francisco Lyric Opera in title role of Aida, West Bay Opera and DiCapo Opera in New York in the title role of Manon Lescaut, Opera San Jose and Illinois Opera Theater as Tosca, and with Cedar Rapids Opera, Gold Coast Opera,Golden Gate Opera and Opera North as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, with San Francisco Opera Merola Program and Tampa Opera as Musetta in La Boheme. In autumn of 2009 she appeared in Cairo as Tosca and, in spring of 2010 debuted it Italy at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo as Carlotta in Schreker’s Die Gezeichneten, where she returned following summer in the title role of Aida. From 2006 till 2010 Olga performed with touring company Teatro Lirico d’Europa all over United States in multiple performances of Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Aida, Carmen,La Boheme, Turandot, Le Nozze di Figaro, I Pagliacci, Cavalleria Rusticana. Olga appeared in title roles with local opera companies like Opera San Jose (Tosca),;; West Bay Opera (Manon Lescaut, La Forza del Destino), Livermore Opera (I Pagliacci), Martinez Opera (Madama Butterfly), Golden Gate Opera (Madama Butterfly, Suor Angelica, I Pagliacci, Cavalleria Rusticana), San Francisco Opera Company (Aida)
Olga appeared with Orchestra Sinfonica Romana at the concert stage of Santa Cecilia in Rome and Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Verdi Requiem, Quatar with Gala concerts, Opera Santa Barbara in an evening of music by Giocomo Puccini, DiCapo Opera (Rachmaninoff’s Francesca da Rimini), in Russia at the Nizhny Novgorod Concert Hall for Bach’s Mass in B-minor, at the Grand Hall of the Moscow State Conservatory for Mahler’s Sympony No. 4 and for Orff’s Carmina Burana, Moscow’s Cathedral Catholic Church for Bach’s Easter Oratorio, as a featured soloist for both the Notti Musicali Modenesi Festival and Costa Rica’s XIII Festival de Musica Credomatic; and as a featured soloist for the political-cultural event entitled “Days of Russian Culture in Bulgaria, jointly sponsored by the Russian and Bulgarian Ministries of Culture and attended by the presidents of both countries.
In 2002 Olga participated in San Francisco Opera Center Merola Opera Program for young singers and sang Musetta with Western Opera on tour.

Currently Olga devotes herself to voice teaching and performs locally."
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Reviews
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Tejashree June 6, 2018
· Classical Voice · In home
Olga is very passionate, patient and persistent voice teacher who strives to bring the best in her students. My daughters 10 and 12 started taking lessons with Olga an year ago. We saw phenomenal difference in both of their singing abilities in just few classes. Moreover my 10 year old daughter passed with flying colors ‘The certificate of merit -level 3’ exam and got selected to sing at the MTAC convention. Thank you Olga for your persistence and hats off to your patience. If there is tiny bit of constructive feedback it would be to seek help on organization skills, but being a mom myself I totally can discount that for your caliber of music.
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Yachen August 29, 2017
· Singing · In home
The lesson was very helpful! I look forward to more!
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Jim F. May 27, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Too early to tell how it will go.
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Olga C.

Olga C.

San Mateo, CA 94401
(17)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Marwan S.

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Redwood City, CA

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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.

As a student, I was President of the Cornell Piano Society for 4 years. I spent much time teaching piano and music theory to fellow Cornell students, faculty, and staff. I've also organized many concerts, recitals, and events during my tenure.

After college, 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.

I typically travel
to each student's home for lessons. I travel all around the Bay Area: as far north as Richmond, as far south as Los Gatos, as far East as Livermore (and every place in between, including the Peninsula).
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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

About Lella L.

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San Francisco, CA

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

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

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

Lella L.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(17)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Kenisha C.

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Oakland, CA

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About Kenisha
Focusing on students' different learning modalities, goals, abilities, and interests helps me boost students' confidence, which helps them achieve their academic goals. My tutoring and test prep students become optimally prepared for tests. Knowing tricky grammatical and mechanical principles or determining probabilities may not be necessary in communicating basic ideas, but that knowledge makes a big difference in students' class placements, and it makes an even bigger difference when competing for college placements and scholarships. Show me a rightly placed preposition, and I'll show you the money.

While I love a good challenge, it's still heartbreaking to be approached by students (or parents of students) who earn A's and B's at school, but can't earn 1050 on the SAT, or who take an ESL course, but can't (or are afraid) to speak En
glish (when necessary to meet a goal). There are standards to be met, and I do whatever I can to help my students meet or exceed them.

To help personalize students' experiences and ensure relevance of sessions:
1. Written and oral assessments are used to gauge strengths and weaknesses.
2. Periodic quizzes are administered; their regularity depends on how often students meet with me.
3. Exit exams are administered at the end of students' programs.

All I ask is that students are ready to:
1. Shift their priorities and invest adequate time and energy into getting the results they want.
2. Be on time.
3. Openly communicate their needs, pleasures, and nots.
4. Understand that while they may notice improvements as early as the first session, total success will take time, so sustained efforts will be required.

My 10+ years in the educational arena--and ongoing professional development--have taught me the importance of helping students shift from lower- to higher-order thinking, which is really only coaching students to go from knowing the "what" of a things to putting all those "whats" together to understand the "hows" and "whys".

I have a degree in English (with special emphasis on secondary education), and an ESL certification. Primarily, I teach English and language arts at the secondary and post-secondary levels (i.e., middle school, high school, college), but I have a knack for teaching math and algebra, so I offer lessons in those areas, as well. Prepping students for standardized tests--GRE, SAT, ACT, HSPT, CBEST, CSET: English--is a love a mine, too.

Whether for summer or winter enrichment, test prep, help with the naturalization exam, or just a general safety net, be sure to contact me, and we can determine how to work together to get the results desired by you or your child.

Peace and Best,
Kenisha

P.S., Be sure to bring all of who you are to your sessions. Creased, crumpled, crimped, or saggy: I don't care. Just be ready to do better.
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margot March 7, 2018
· · In studio
My grand-daughter has benefitted greatly from the loving, but firm, support Kenisha has given her.
I am grateful for Kenisha's attention to detail, and excellent follow-up which helped my grand-daughter organize her work, and believe in herself.
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Yvette December 11, 2017
· SAT · In studio
Ms. Kenisha was amazing with my son. Being high level functioning but on the autism spectrum, Ms. Kenisha made my son comfortable in an unfamiliar environment, and tailored a learning curriculum that fit his physical and comprehensive needs. His SAT scores increased significantly from his first attempt because of this one on one tutoring. Ms. Kenisha was timely to our sessions, flexible when we had to change a day at the last minute, and the cost was worth the outcome so much so, we added extra sessions. Ms. Kenisha has a calm and patient disposition, is knowledgeable, and she knows how to engage the student. I would highly recommend Ms. Kenisha and her services.
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Kenisha C.

Kenisha C.

Oakland, CA 94612
(2)
starting at
$59 / 60-min
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About Dianne N.

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Castro Valley, CA

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About Dianne
Hello, I am a certified teacher and also an engineer. My main goal as an educator is to help students realize their true potential. Beyond helping my students complete homework or learn a new skill I provide them with tools for success. I teach my students so they can take charge of their learning.

I hold a Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis in Bilingual/Bicultural Education. Prior to earning my masters degree, I was a bilingual educator for six years. In addition, I have conducted research in language acquisition and math and have been trained using research based learning strategies. I also hold a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked six years in this field.

I work with students all ages. I am available for homework, homeschooling, and enrichment activities. Before meeting with my students, I gather the ne
cessary information in order to create a lesson plan that will meet the student's specific needs. I have extensive experience in curriculum design. My approach to teaching is student-centered. I use a variety of methods to ensure that students are active participants in the learning process and get the most out of instruction.

I have worked with students with special needs including, learning disabled, ADHD and gifted and talented. When planning my lessons, I make sure that the activities included are appropriate for the student and use students feedback in future planning.
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Dianne N.

Dianne N.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Marie M.

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San Francisco, CA
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About Marie
A native Californian, Marie is most known for her starring role in Warner Bros’ THE ART OF WAR as Julia with Wesley Snipes. Marie was handpicked by producer Cameron MacIntosh at her first professional audition for the Broadway show MISS SAIGON. Acting in films that have grossed over $400M, she has worked with Oscar, Tony, and Grammy award winning directors, producers and talent with companies such as Paramount, Fox and Warner Brothers. Has worked with talent with both Michael Mann and Oliver Stone twice each, Mark Wahlberg, and Ben Affleck.
Marie, as founder of a performing arts conservatory in downtown LA, she taught voice to hundreds of children for 10 years. Hollywood studios often called the conservatory to find talent including Steven Spielberg’s Memoirs of a Geisha. Notable alumni include Monica Parales (Nickelodeon star, recor
ding artist), Melissa Reyes (Who’s the Next Pussycat ) and Nikki Soohoo (Peter Jackson’s Lovely Bones).
Having studied linguistics at UCLA and with the best voice teachers in the country from the Berklee College of Music to the Cleveland Institute of Music, Marie has clear knowledge of the anatomy of the voice, the articulators, and the specificity in creating phonemes. Her undergraduate foundation in Engineering and graduate degree in Business uniquely positions her to coach clients working in those fields.
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Lincoln March 22, 2018
· Accent Reduction · Online
Marie is an excellent teacher! I’m a student from China and currently studying MFA acting for film in New York. I’ve lived in America for more than 4 years. My English has gotten better after finishing college here in 2017. However, since I’m an actor now, sometimes I’m required to play roles without my thick Chinese accent in the way. With Marie’s help, my pronunciation has improved a lot in the past a few weeks. My American classmates say that my articulation is getting much better now. And I’m still just working on it!
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Ari March 16, 2018
· Accent Reduction · In studio
Marie is a dedicated, giving and conscientious instructor. Students really benefit from her time and expertise.
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Lincoln Fu February 27, 2018
· Accent Reduction · Online
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Marie M.

Marie M.

San Francisco, CA 94112
(3)
starting at
$26 / 30-min

About Marie F.

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Pacifica, CA
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About Marie
I have been an educator for more than ten years. In that time, I've taught and tutored English, Language Arts and Spanish to students from elementary to PhD level. I also help students study for the SAT, ACT and TOEFL tests and coach students through the college and graduate school application process. I love teaching and learning. I am patient, enthusiastic and dedicated to my students.

My teaching philosophy can be summed up in a few words : learning should be fascinating, individualized and fun. Helen Keller said, “ A well-educated mind will always have more questions than answers.” My goal is to help my students ask the questions that will lead them to deeper understanding. The poet Mark Van Doreen said, “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” In our lessons, I will help you make discoveries that will inspire you
to keep learning.

When I’m not teaching, I love reading, exploring the California coast, writing poetry and singing loudly.
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Marie F.

Marie F.

Pacifica, CA 94044
starting at
$42 / 30-min

About Yishan H.

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Albany, CA
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About Yishan
Hey there, I am a recent UC Berkeley graduate who majored in Environmental Economics and Policy. I have taken courses in Micro and Macro economics, Econometrics, Development Economics, Natural Resources, Energy and Electricity.
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Yishan H.

Yishan H.

Albany, CA 94706
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Gwendolyn K.

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Oakland, CA

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About Gwendolyn
I'm an opera singer with seven years of stage experience in Germany and the US, including top houses like the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Komische Oper Berlin, Konzerthaus Berlin, and, since moving to the Bay Area, I have worked with Opera San Jose and Lamplighter's Theater. I have a MA in singing from the University of the Arts (UdK) in Berlin, and I have taught others to sing since 2014.

In addition to that, I teach people the voice and stagecraft to feel at home in their bodies and command the room with their voices while giving presentations. I have given seminars teaching scientific researchers in Berlin and Potsdam, helping them to present results in ways that are both informative and inspiring.

I am also a 200 Hour Yoga Alliance Certified Yogalign teacher. It is a sort of yoga that combines breath technique, self-massage, and yoga
according to the body's biomechanics. Yogalign teaches the body how to come into natural, functional, comfortable alignment and strengthens it to stay there. I use it while teaching voice, but I also love to teach it on its own.

I am fluent in German, having spent two intensive summers at the prestigious Middlebury College Language School, getting top training in the ins and outs of German grammar. That preparation, the tricks and tools I learned there, paved the way for the fluency I acquired while living in Germany for ten years. I am happy to help beginners learn the tools I learned to help get them on their way auf Deutsch.

Students in each area can expect to progress steadily week to week, provided they do the assigned exercises in between. The voice, the body, and language skills are all muscles we must train daily to expect any progress.

I look forward to working with creative students who have a passion for self-discovery and honest self-expression. Let's have fun!
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Gwendolyn K.

Gwendolyn K.

Oakland, CA 94610
starting at
$84 / 45-min

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