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Orinda, CA Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers near Orinda, CA

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About Mikaela H.

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San Francisco, CA

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In your music theory lesson we will explore the basic structures of classical music. This includes note reading and rhythm practice, basic chord progression analysis, and the history behind how classical music developed.

About Mikaela
Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music, Jacobs Scholar
Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance - 2007-2011

I work with each student to create a personalized experience that will best suit your individual goals and needs. My teaching focuses on providing each student with a solid foundation of technique which is suited to children and adults who wish to play violin as a hobby, but also to those who wish to pursue violin at a professional level. This technique will not only allow you to create the beautiful violin sound you have always dreamed of, but will also do so in a way that is healthy for your body in the long term.

In lessons my students develop skills not only in violin playing, but also in musicianship, music reading, ear training, music theory, leadership, collaboration, and self-discipline.

For beginning student
s, I teach using the suzuki books, however I draw from my many years of experience as a successful performer to supplement this system for long term success. For students who have surpassed the Suzuki level, I teach Russian School technique. My own training is largely Russian school, influenced by Heifetz and modern European tradition.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide music books for compensation, though I expect students to rent or purchase their own instruments.
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Reviews
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Margot B. May 17, 2016
· Violin · In home
Our daughter had her first lesson yesterday and loved it and Mikaela. She said it was the best day ever and can't wait for her next lesson next week! Mikaela obviously has experience teaching children and make our daughter feel at ease and comfortable. Most of the first lesson seemed to be focused on proper instrument and handling, which makes sense. It can take years to undo poor posture and position if not begun correctly. Mikaela explained what she was doing and why, and made sure our daughter understood everything as she went along. Thank you for a first great experience!
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Daniel S. August 3, 2014
· Violin · In home
Mikaela is not only an excellent musician but an outstanding music teacher, a rare combination. I have been taking violin lessons from her for quite some time now, and I am amazed at how much of a difference she has made in my efforts to pick up the instrument as a total beginner.

She has great observational abilities to immediately notice errors in form or movement, all the while maintaining calm and complete patience. She also has gift for suggesting corrections with analogy and imagery that has been very helpful in my experience.

I would highly recommend her.
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Piotr K. July 26, 2014
· Violin · In home
From the very first lesson, I was really impressed by how much insight Mikaela could provide for even the (seemingly) simplest phrase or section. She has very deep knowledge about music in general and the mechanics of violin playing in particular.

Every time I perform something for her, she points out each of the hundred things I'm doing wrong. More importantly, she also explains exactly why whatever I'm doing is not working and what steps are necessary to fix it. Her advice is very specific and actionable, and whenever I follow it I notice an improvement.

Despite having my playing constantly destroyed by her remarks, I don't feel discouraged. On the contrary, every lesson leaves me energized and inspired to keep practicing.
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Mikaela H.

Mikaela H.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(3)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Laurence B.

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San Mateo, CA
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I teach music theory to many of m'y piano students, with spécial on ABRMS grade music theory which is a requirement for grades 6 and above for all instrumental exams.

About Laurence
I am a highly experienced and qualified piano teacher, teaching all ages and levels from beginner to advanced. I have proven success in taking students up to the top level of the ABRSM exams, and I am a member of the California Music Teachers Association.

QUALIFICATIONS

Master of Music (piano pedagogy), 2004, Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, CA (award of excellence)
Bachelor of Arts degree in Musicology, Sorbonne, Paris (cum laude)
State Piano Teaching Diploma, France
Gold Medal in Piano Performance, Conservatoire National

EXPERIENCE

I have been giving weekly individual piano and theory lessons for many years, presenting many for the ABRSM grade examinations. I also accompany high school choirs, and enjoy playing chamber music with the Arte Piano Trio. I am a enthusiastic pianist and enjoy sharing t
his passion with my students.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am familiar with the major piano methods, but rather than slavishly following one method, I prefer to adapt my teaching approach and pace to the needs and personality of each student, using whatever material is best suited for them. I ensure my students can read the notes they are playing, and thoroughly understand the rhythms, so they can become independent musicians. I also emphasize playing musically, even at beginning level, so they can enjoy and understand the music immediately. My students also have the opportunity to play in student recitals twice per year.

I can teach in English or French, using either letter name notes or the solfege method (do re mi).

*** Specialties ***
Classical piano (all periods) and chamber music
Broadway musicals and popular song music
I am specialized in preparing students for the internationally recognized ABRSM Grade exams.
I am familiar with most popular piano methods such as Faber and Faber, Alfred, Denes Agays, John Thompson and Bastien, and Dozen a Day for technique, and use them when I feel it is appropriate for the particular student.
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Reviews
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Lin February 22, 2018
· Piano · In studio
Laurence is an excellent teacher! I really like her systematic teaching style with integrated music theory. She is very good at going at the student’s pace, and her enthusiasm inspires greatness. I learned from her for about half a year and the results excelled my expectations. I’m always look forward to talking more lessons from her!
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Kurt February 16, 2018
· Piano · In studio
Although it was only my first lesson with Laurence (of 10), I thorough enjoyed our meeting. I especially appreciate her understanding with some unexpected personal-life circumstances that delayed our initial lesson by several weeks.

I look forward to learning from her.
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Carole Larsen February 16, 2017
· Music Theory · In studio
Laurence has the skill set and knowledge which I need.
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Laurence B.

Laurence B.

San Mateo, CA 94403
(6)
starting at
$38 / 30-min

About Mark B.

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Castro Valley, CA
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I love to teach music theory at all levels. Music Theory helps you understand many aspects of music, including why certain notes and chords sound good together, finding the right key to sing a song that is in your voice range, improvisation and soloing on your instrument, timing, rhythm, creating original melodies, thinking outside the box for composition, and many others.

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

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

I have enjoyed teaching music lessons since 1978.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I currently have 5 albums out under my name. My music is on a major new age compilation, and has been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs. I have played on other people's albums...some of which have received major radio airplay in Europe, and gone to #1!
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Reviews
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David February 14, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
Just had a great first lesson with Mark. I'm an intermediate guitarist with a few years of experience looking to work on improving my improvisation. Right away, Mark helped get me started in the right direction and gave me some valuable tips that I'd never considered, which are already helping how I think about my playing.

Looking forward to continuing lessons.
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Alex January 17, 2018
· Bass Guitar · In studio
I started Bass guitar lessons from Mark about 4 years ago. He is a very talented and patient musician who really pays attention to detail. I have a busy schedule and sometimes I just can't practice as much as I would like to. to make things even harder, I play Left handed. Mark takes the time to go over things with me with out any frustration. I really had no idea what it would be like taking lessons at my age (let's just say I'm way past 50), but I truly look forward to meeting with mark for my weekly lesson. I'm making progress and one of these days I'll be able to say Yes, I can play this bass.
I would recommend any student that wanted to learn to play the Guitar or Bass guitar to Mark. you will not be disappointed.
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Marc January 11, 2018
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Mark is a terrific teacher. He knows and loves music. He is an awesome guitar player. He is patient and fits the lessons to your ability and tastes. He is also quite funny which helps make the lessons be enjoyable. His home studio is a great place to have the lessons.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

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

About 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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Vincent March 6, 2018
· Saxophone · In home
My son got his first saxophone lessons and loved it. He is very excited to learn with Joseph!
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Eric December 20, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
10/10
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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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Joseph C.

Joseph C.

San Francisco, CA 94121
(15)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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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Max G. December 4, 2017
· Drum · In home
Lucky to have him teaching my 9 year old.
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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 94102
(2)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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About Olga C.

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San Mateo, CA

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I prepare students for CM examination.

About Olga
I am very excited to share great news: 2 of my students took Certificate of Merit exam this spring. Both passed with honors. They also did 99% and 100% in their Music Theory tests.

You can see Olga perform role of Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly by Puccini with West Bay Opera (Palo Alto) in May 2016.
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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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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Jason September 3, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Olga is a kind, patient instructor. We are glad to have her as our singing teacher.
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Olga C.

Olga C.

San Mateo, CA 94401
(16)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Winslow Y.

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San Francisco, CA

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Music theory is just the names and numbers we use to identify and organize musical sounds so that they sound good and happen at the right time, with great beats. It's way better than grunting and pointing when musicians communicate. I can teach theory the classical way, the Nashville way, or the juke joint way - whatever you need to understand musical materials so that you can use them to best advantage and communicate with your fellow musicians

About Winslow
My focus is on you - helping you achieve your goals with the harmonica, whatever they may be. Whatever inspires you to pick up the harmonica, whoever you want to emulate, whatever style grabs you, I bring the background, deep knowledge, and teaching experience to enrich your understanding and grow your skills and ability to express yourself musically.

I'm a harmonica specialist, known internationally as a player and teacher. I'm the author of the books Harmonica For Dummies and Blues Harmonica For Dummies. I can teach all styles, all levels of expertise and all types of harmonica.
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Andrew July 22, 2017
· Harmonica · Online
Great first lesson- Winslow is easy to talk to and very knowledgeable. He is very good at explaining and demonstrating technique in a clear way. Thanks again!
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Philip E. November 11, 2016
· Harmonica · Online
Winslow is very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher.
He's very passionate about the harmonica, which makes for a great learning experience. I look forward to future lessons.
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Bob S. August 5, 2016
· Harmonica · In studio
My first lesson went very well and was just as I had hoped.
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Winslow Y.

Winslow Y.

San Francisco, CA 94118
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Erica G.

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Sausalito, CA

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I love making music theory fun, especially for beginners!

About Erica
I'm a professional singer, songwriter, and recording artist originally from Tanzania in East Africa. I love empowering students to discover the joy of music in every lesson.

I've studied music theory, voice, and piano at the college level, and I'm also a self taught guitar player.

For voice students, your vocal skills are like a muscle. I help you improve your vocal technique a little bit each week while you're growing your confidence and self expression as a singer.

For piano, I began learning piano as an adult (5 years ago) and I understand the challenge of learning the instrument from scratch. I can teach students to read music and play contemporary songs of your choice.

As a singer and songwriter, I've worked with famous artists in East Africa. I love to mentor students who want to become powerful songwriters and get i
nto performing and recording.

I look forward to working with you to grow into a better musician!
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Zaira B. January 17, 2018
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
It was wonderful meeting Erica - our daughter Zaza enjoyed her lesson and is already asking "how many days until Tuesday"? We look forward to seeing Erica again next week for more music and fun!
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Cole October 6, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
I gauge success on how well my kid responds. Instead of once a week lessons he now wants twice. Somehow Erica connected with him and he now wants to practice his guitar. Thank you!
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Sean A. September 14, 2017
· Piano · In home
Super! Erica was great. We are looking forward to working with her.
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Erica G.

Erica G.

Sausalito, CA 94965
(4)
starting at
$39 / 30-min

About Sherman N.

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Mill Valley, CA

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I will the basic fundamentals of music theory; there will be a good amount of practice and trivia, and I hope each student will enjoy the lessons.

About Sherman
I'm a high school student and musician. I will be attending Syracuse University in this upcoming/next fall.
I've played piano for about 14 years and this is my best opportunity to help other young aspiring musicians. I passed the Grade 8 Piano Exam for ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) and I'm currently prepping for the Diploma test for ABRSM. I am planning to major in the music industry since I have an immense interest in the music business and management field.

I will do my best to help the young kids to find their love and passion and music and help them stay committed to it.
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Sherman N.

Sherman N.

Mill Valley, CA 94941
starting at
$15 / 30-min

About Orlia A.

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Palo Alto, CA

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My teaching philosophy is that students learn best when they are having fun! All lessons are designed with each individual student's goals and interests in mind, so if an approach isn't working, we switch things up. With 12+ years of experience teaching students age 3 to adult through a variety of methods, I can find something that works for the casual learner and AP/college prep student alike.

Styles: Classical, Popular, Church/Religious

About Orlia
I am an experienced music instructor who has taught in Chicago, Austin, Orange County, and the Bay Area. I graduated with a Bachelor's in Music Education from Vanguard University. My earnest desire is to see each student succeed in meeting or surpassing their musical goals and expand their understanding of the world through music, the universal language. No two students learn in quite the same way, so I tailor each lesson by taking into account individual strengths, weaknesses, and interests to make learning fun!

Students will learn aspects of classical and popular music styles, basic music fundamentals, and songs/repertoire from around the world.

I look forward to sharing the joy of music with you!
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Wajma May 1, 2018
· Piano · In home
My 7 year old would cry when having to go to piano lessons at school, but looks forward to her lessons with Orlia!
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Alethea (. April 3, 2018
· Piano · In home
My 5 year old likes her a lot!
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Annie S. March 6, 2018
· Piano · In home
My daughter really enjoyed her first lesson with Orlia and is looking forward to future lessons!
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Orlia A.

Orlia A.

Palo Alto, CA 94304
(7)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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Music Theory Lesson Reviews from Students

Students are raving about their Music Theory instructors on TakeLessons. Check out some of these recent reviews.

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Recent Music Theory Articles from the Blog

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

4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory

4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory

Sure, music theory is complex -- but there's no need to fear it! Here, Jamaica Plain, MA teacher Noaa R. shares four steps to get you started...   Many students tend to avoid studying music theory and harmony. This can stem from a fear of compromising one’s creativity with rules and numbers, a failure to connect concepts with application, or from feeling overwhelmed by the perceived volume of material to be learned. However, when you approach theory as an exploratory process that help … Read More

4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory
Sure, music theory is complex -- but there's no need to fear it! Here, Jamaica Plain, MA teacher Noaa R. shares four steps to get you started...   Many students tend to avoid studying music theory and harmony. This can stem from a fear of compromising one’s creativity with rules and numbers, a failure to connect concepts with application, or from feeling overwhelmed by the perceived volume of material to be learned. However, when you approach theory as an exploratory process that help
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
All in Order: Tricks for Identifying Key Signatures
What are the "keys" to identifying different key signatures? Read on for some great tips from Tucson, AZ teacher Lourdes C... In reading music, there are a few things that give musicians the biggest headaches. One major migraine-maker is determining keys from the key signature and then remembering the order of sharps and flats. This chart gives musicians a quick way to help with identifying key signatures. Key Signatures at a Glance Major sharps: the name of the key can be fou
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
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

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