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Oakland, CA Music Theory Lessons

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About Bryan E.

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Oakley, CA

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Learn to decode the mathematics of music, the rules, and how to break them!

Theory is the backbone of all that is music. For those who do not know how to read music, that will be the first step. From there we begin to work on special concepts, learning the numbers of structure. Then comes the nitty-gritty, the advanced workings to include composing!

About Bryan
Hello! Music has consumed me from a very young age, and has been a defining force ever since. I started singing in Kindergarten, and began playing the viola, cello, and saxophone in middle school. During high school, while performing in every vocal and band solo and ensemble I could, it became very clear that I wanted to pursue music in college. I attended Hastings College, a private liberal arts college in the heart of Nebraska, where I received my Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance. During college, and since, I have had a private music studio teaching students piano, voice, and a little guitar from ages 5 to 87, so I have seen a great deal of talent over the years. I enjoy all ages and genders, but having been a male in music I am aware of the stigma young males face regarding music. Being a veteran and a musician has allowe
d me to incorporate characteristics from both in my approach to teaching, and in showing it is very cool to be a male in music!

Education:
Private Vocal Student 1994-2006
Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance, Hastings College 2000-2006 (interrupted due to military)

Areas of Instruction:
Piano-Beginner/Intermediate
Guitar-Beginner/Intermediate
Music Theory-General/Intermediate Voice-Beginner/Intermediate/Professional

*** Lesson Details ***
Lesson Details:
The first few lessons for instrumental instruction will be familiarization. The first several lessons, and throughout all lessons for voice, we will learn about the bodies connection to the voice and the mechanics behind it.

After we are familiar with each other and our instruments of choice, we will begin on some basic music knowledge (theory). Super beginning for the youngsters, and more formal if you are an older student.

After approximately 3-6 months, depending on how much you practice, we will begin working on actual songs, and plugging in what we have learned so far into the songs, and using that material to advance in our learning.

I am excited to work with you!! Thank you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
1888 Lester Upright piano

*** Specialties ***
Methods used for instruction depend on the student. I have found what works for one may not work for all. However, I approach the vocal process from the basics of breathing combined with resonation points, and the modifications of such points based off of pitch, tone, and volume requirements. I instruct on personal voice points, meaning identify those parts where resonation lacks, and finding the right modifiers to safely approach those points, in an attempt to create an effortless sound which is safe to recreate every time.

Beginning, should the student not have any music theory knowledge, basic instruction will be presented. It is my opinion that a foundation in theory knowledge must be present to fully comprehend and utilize the vocal instruction.
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Reviews
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Luis U. June 25, 2015
· Piano · In studio
He's great! Very nice! We get along very well! I recommend!
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Luis U. February 6, 2015
· Piano · In studio
he is Excelent teacher. I am very happy to have him as my teachter. Luis
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Sherron M. October 15, 2014
· Piano · In studio
My son is 7 years old and can sometimes be a little hyper. He has seizures so he is on this medication that makes him a little hyper. I have to say that Bryan is very patient with my son and my son loves going to piano lessons. When he is sick and have to miss class, he actually cries. I live in Mountain House and Brian lives in Oakley, which is a little drive for us. I have to say, it is very much worth the drive. My son had no experience with piano before he started with Bryan and I have to say that he has learned so much in these past few months. Bryan is an excellent teacher and as long as I can afford him, I will definitely continue to take my son to piano lessons.
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Bryan E.

Bryan E.

Oakley, CA 94561
(7)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Jason J.

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Castro Valley, CA

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About Jason
I have been playing guitar for over 25 years and teaching for over 15. I have experience playing live including, classical guitar, acoustic popular songs, rock and jazz groups and most notably with The West Coast's Premier Tribute to Pearl Jam, Vitalogy. I have two music degrees (BA music and AA-O in Guitar Performance) and a California Music teaching credential which all has given me the training to assess your progress and differentiate your instruction based on YOUR specific needs as a student as well as your musical goals.
There are a couple of books I may suggest for you depending on the situation and of course I require you to provide your own guitar as you will need it to practice what you learn in each lesson.

*** Specialties ***
I take a balanced approach to teaching that includes equal attention to theory and technique w
hile helping a student accomplish his/her musical goals. I am comfortable teaching the following genres: rock, blues, classical, reggae, jazz and country
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Jason J.

Jason J.

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

About Maureen S.

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San Leandro, CA

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Levels 1-10 MTAC Certificate of Merit, College Level Classical and Jazz

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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Kristina March 1, 2017
· Violin · In studio
Wonderful teacher.. very happy
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Ruth January 9, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Dr. Maureen Spranza, is a great music teacher, my son is taking piano classes with her and I'm very grateful with her, because she always take the extra time to make sure my kid is learning, my kid loves Mrs. Maureen because she is a great teacher but also she is a great human being, she really cares about her students. And she not only plays the piano, she plays all the instruments, I hope to see my son become a great musician thanks to the dedication that Maureen puts in his classes, my kid loves his piano classes, every time after clases he came home very exited to practice what he learned and al of this if because Dr. Maureen encourage him to be better in Avery class
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Nana December 2, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Dr. Spranza is one of the best piano teachers in the Bay Area. My two daughters take weekly lessons with her. She encourages them and empowers them to do their best. She teaches them both theory and practicals. They have participated in an informal recital and are now registered to take part in the MTAC Certificate of Merit program.

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

Maureen S.

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

About Peter D.

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Oakland, CA
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From scales, to key signatures, to rhythm, to chord progressions, to harmony, to melody, to arrangement.... I teach pretty much everything on every level of music theory! All levels welcome.

About Peter
Whether piano, voice, songwriting/composition, music theory or music production, I bring all that I have learned and developed as a musician to the lesson in the interest of the student’s growth.

Whether we work in classical, jazz, or pop, We focus on what will directly fit your individual goals. We can cover the full spectrum of technique, theory, ear training, sight-reading, and performance. What emerges over time is tailor-made program suited to your needs and goals.

A little bit about my background: I have studied with over 12 music professors, both in the classroom and individually for 6 years at Saddleback Community College in Orange County. I’ve studied a number of styles while composing for and performing in various small ensembles, including:  world music, classical, pop, jazz, and musical theatre. I continue teach, produ
ce and compose music for myself and other artists as well.

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

Peter D.

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

About Joseph C.

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San Francisco, CA
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Basic Music Theory, Chord Analysis, Form, Improvisation, Composition.

About Joseph
I am a graduate of the University of Miami Studio Music & Jazz school with over 20 years of professional experience. I have toured internationally and have played in many diverse musical arenas. The past 16 years of my music career have been spent in the Bay area playing professionally and teaching privately.

My specialties are in jazz improvisation and music theory. My students range in age from 4 to 60, most being between the ages of 9 and 16. Many of my students attend the Urban School and School of the Arts here in San Francisco. Most of my students are at the top of their class in band and music theory studies and have made the San Francisco All-City Orchestra.

Specific credentials and references are available upon request. All levels welcome, serious students only.
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Robert G. July 6, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Very friendly, pragmatic, and musical. Accurately assesses where I am and teaches accordingly.
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Alex R. May 23, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Joseph was quick to identify my strengths and where I could use a bit of work to tailor a plan to get my sax chops back. He's also teaching me music theory which is very clear and easy to understand.
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Zhao May 15, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Joe is super nice teacher for me! Very patient and helpful for improving my skill.
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Joseph C.

Joseph C.

San Francisco, CA 94121
(13)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About John F.

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San Francisco, CA
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About John
I play a wide variety of musical styles on drums and percussion and have a long history of performance art in live bands, theater and orchestra. I teach drum set, symphonic and marching percussion, electronics in drumming (sampling, loops, midi etc), and general rhythm lessons for beginners. I also enjoy helping students prepare for auditions, studio recording sessions, and live performance opportunities. There's alot to know about what to do and what not to do in these situations, especially if you want to look like a pro and have a positive experience.

I studied percussion performance at Washington State University while developing my set playing and enjoying my employment with the Washington Idaho Symphony as a classical percussionist. I play in rock, funk, pop, metal, EDM, hip-hop, industrial, honky-tonk, and jazz outfits with mult
iple appearances at SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, TieCon, and various festivals throughout the US.
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Reviews
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Anna November 16, 2016
· Drum · In studio
John is a fantastic teacher! I started with no experience at all and now after my fourth lesson I already feel comfortable with my grip, a metronome, sheet music, single stroke rolls, double stroke rolls, and several rock beats. Currently, I’m learning sixteenth note drum fills. He is patient, enthusiastic, fun, and extremely talented. I highly recommend him as a drum teacher (beginner or experienced). You will not regret it!
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John F.

John F.

San Francisco, CA 94115
(1)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Trevor M.

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Concord, CA
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About Trevor
My name is Trevor M. I primarily teach upright and electric bass. Beginning to advanced levels. I can teach you anything from Jimi Hendrix, to John Coltrane, to Bach.

Additionally, I teach beginning to intermediate Guitar, Piano, and Trumpet. If needed/preferred, I include reading music and beginning to advanced music theory in the lesson, as I offer Music theory tutoring as well, in Classical Harmony, as well as Jazz Theory and Improvisation.

I am dedicated to helping my students 1. Have fun, 2. Learn, and drastically improve in what they want to learn, 3. Grow and become well-rounded musicians.
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Trevor M.

Trevor M.

Concord, CA 94521
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Kelley K.

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Oakland, CA

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I specifically and intentionally approach teaching students music theory from a body-centric perspective, utilizing "Deep Listening" concepts. More than anything, though, I'm interested in catering to your individual needs as a student and musician. I'll do whatever I can do to support you in reaching your goal(s) with music theory, and try to make the journey to reaching that goal as accessible and exciting as possible!

About Kelley
I've been formally studying music and playing instruments since my first guitar lesson at four years old, when my hands were still too small to play chords on the instrument. Since then, my passion for music has only grown - I've continued to study the guitar, as well as the upright bass, saxophone, and piano, and now hold a BA in Music and German from Hampshire College, as well as an MA in Music Composition from Mills College. I'm currently in the process of applying to PhD programs in Musicology for 2019.

I've been teaching for quite a few years now, and have found that it's another passion of mine. Helping others to learn their own language of music is one of the most emotionally rewarding experiences I've ever been lucky enough to have.

My lessons always start with a focus on listening, and then move outwardly to sounding and mu
sic-making. I'm happy to cater to each individual student's musical goals and needs - so whether you're interested in learning advanced music theory, just learning a few chords on the guitar so that you can play while you sing with friends, or anything in between, I'm more than happy to support you in doing so!

I aim to create as safe a space as possible for folks of all ages, abilities, genders, and identities to explore their musicality.
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Shoshana May 4, 2017
· Ear Training · In studio
Kelley is such an incredible instructor! They are so kind and patient and will work with you to find the best ways to teach according to your wants/needs. I highly recommend Kelley as an instructor for any level, from the very beginning of beginner to advanced. Happy learning!
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Yesenia C. May 3, 2017
· Ear Training · In studio
Kelley is such a patient, attentive, and caring instructor. With their help I improved my ear training skills immensely. They provided me with suggestions outside of our lessons where I could maintain a stress-free, organized practice. Without their help I wouldn't have passed my Musicianship Course! Kelley truly has a passion for education and working with them has been one of the best experiences of my life!
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Kelley K.

Kelley K.

Oakland, CA 94613
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Spenser S.

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San Francisco, CA

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I teach all levels of theory in pop, classical and jazz context!

About Spenser
Hello my name is Spenser! I am a performing guitarist, vocalist and songwriter in the bay area. I have been teaching for nearly 10 years and have taught all ages and experience levels. My main focus in teaching is to help my students fulfill their intentions with the chosen instrument. I studied jazz guitar at San Francisco State University (BA).

Thank you for your consideration!
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Spenser S.

Spenser S.

San Francisco, CA 94122
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Daniel S.

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Moraga, CA

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Individualized music theory lessons for students of all levels and music backgrounds geared to make you read music just like reading words in a page! Students will learn music theory through a structured curriculum for a thorough understanding of notes, rhythms, intervals, basic and advanced chords, formal harmony, ear training, harmonic and melodic analysis, extended techniques, and orchestration and composition.

About Daniel
I'm a professional guitar teacher, voice teacher, and choir director in the Bay Area. I teach out of private home/work studios in Moraga, Oakland, and Benicia, but also will drive to students' houses depending on preference and availability. I have been teaching for over a decade, and hold a Bachelors degree in music from Occidental College and a Masters of Music degree from the USC Thornton School of Music. I studied classical voice, classical and jazz guitar, and choral conducting at school.

While I have performed all across the country, my truest passion lies in teaching. I strive to present complicated music topics in understandable and relatable terms. Music theory, for example, should be exciting and interesting, not confusing and frustrating! I love to break down techniques on guitar into their simplest components, so that stude
nts attain a thorough and comprehensive mastery of the instrument.

Most importantly, I craft each lesson to the student's interests. Students following my curriculum can work on any genre they want, and achieve fluency on the guitar by studying the techniques of that genre, and then the crossovers of those techniques into other genres.
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Carol July 13, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Excellent teacher. Works the entire time teaching me and makes it understandable. Always on time and the big one - patient.
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Daniel S.

Daniel S.

Moraga, CA 94556
(1)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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Music Theory Lesson Reviews from Students

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6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory

6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory

Staring at the Circle of Fifths and memorizing key signatures isn't the only way to learn music theory! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares some creative ideas to revive your learning...   Music theory is a very important part of your musicianship, whether it be mastering ear training, harmony, or sight reading. No matter what instrument you play or what styles you enjoy, those who learn music theory grow further as musicians. A solid knowledge can help you improve your perform … Read More

6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory
Staring at the Circle of Fifths and memorizing key signatures isn't the only way to learn music theory! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares some creative ideas to revive your learning...   Music theory is a very important part of your musicianship, whether it be mastering ear training, harmony, or sight reading. No matter what instrument you play or what styles you enjoy, those who learn music theory grow further as musicians. A solid knowledge can help you improve your perform
Subdivision: The Easy Trick for Reading Rhythms Right
As you're learning to read music, you'll come across complex rhythms at some point. Here, Saint Augustine, FL music teacher Heather L. offers some helpful tips to help you get through the tricky parts...   Have you ever found yourself sitting in a big concert hall, or in your room, listening to a soloist play a practically perfect rhythm? Almost all of us have, and almost all of us have asked ourselves, "How do they do that?" Their secret is subdivision. You might be just begin
Why Learning Piano Theory is Important for All Musicians
Struggling to understand music theory? Try heading over to the piano -- seeing a visual representation can help a ton! Here, Lowell, IN teacher Blake C. shares how to get started...   Many musicians avoid learning music theory altogether because it can feel much like learning a foreign language; as a result, many musicians enlist in the anti-music theory organization. I will admit it – I was a member of the anti-music theory organization in my early years, declaring that music theory
How to Prepare for Sight Reading at an Audition | 3 Helpful Tips
Nervous about the sight reading portion of an upcoming audition? Find out how to work sight reading practice into your routine in this guest post by Saddle Brook, NJ teacher Christian D...   “Be prepared to sight read.” That dreaded requirement on all auditions that makes us all nervous. But the fact is, you shouldn’t be! Sight reading is a learned skill, just like everything else in music. Think of it as sight reading a passage from a book in front of an audience. With so many
How to Transition from Classical Pianist to Jazz Pianist
Piano music doesn't have to be all classical, all the time! Here's what you need to know about getting started with jazz piano chord progressions, courtesy of St. Augustine, FL teacher Heather L...   Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock, and Duke Ellington are just a few of the great jazz piano players. What beautiful and fascinating sounds fill our ears when their names come to mind! The seemingly illusive progressions and spontaneous elements, like syncopation and improvisation, sound

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