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Palo Alto, CA Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers near Palo Alto, 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 Steven B.

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Alameda, CA

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I have been teaching music theory part time since 1972 and full time since 1998. One of the most important aspects of learning music theory is going beyond "what to play" and teaching you "why you're playing it". Once you have a grasp of basic theory concepts, you'll be able to learn new songs twice as fast, and with a great deal more accuracy!

About Steven
Have you always wanted to learn how to play the piano, guitar or electric bass? Or maybe you've just felt like brushing up your musical knowledge and playing skills? Now’s your chance to fulfill those dreams!

About Me: San Francisco Bay area pianist/guitarist/bassist; I've been playing music for over 50 years. I'm classically trained with a solid foundation and knowledge of music theory, and have over 40 years experience teaching, recording and performing. I have done session work and/or performed with members of Journey, Santana, Jackson Browne, Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers and Greg Allman to name a few, and am currently teaching piano, theory and bass to Mike Dirnt, the bassist for Green Day. Let me take my education and experience and pass them on to you!

My main goal as a music instructor is to pass along my love and kno
wledge of playing music to my students, always vigilant for sharing shortcuts that will help the student to achieve their lesson goals faster. Some teachers teach only out of books. I am not such a teacher. Books solve the problem of learning music in generalizations and by their very nature, cannot take into consideration personal issues a student will encounter.

Most students are able to learn enough of the necessary mechanics at the first lesson to actually play something before they leave that lesson. This is important because they realize that playing music IS possible. I always enjoy the look on their face when they realize they have actually “played” their instrument at their first lesson.

I am not the sort of teacher who yells and screams if the student comes in unprepared. I realize that people come to me for a variety of reasons and I work with them with whatever they bring in. I am patient and if a student is not understanding a certain aspect, I bring into play alternate approaches. Not everyone assimilates information in the same way. Learning music should be an enjoyable adventure for the student and I venture to say that my students enjoy coming to their lessons. We have fun, and we learn.

My current rates are $40 per half hour, $60 per 45 minutes and $80 per hour, and believe me... you will get your money's worth! Also I should note that due to my current students, plus teaching at a private school in Sausalito and recording sessions, my time constraints only allow me to teach lessons out of my home studio in Alameda. Hopefully this will work for you as well!
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Reviews
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Eric H. June 10, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Steve is a rare find - an accomplished musician, a great teacher, and a genuinely nice guy. My 10 year old and I have been taking lessons with him for the past year, and our progress/improvement has been significant and noticeable. Particularly with my son, Steve is patient, supportive, and very encouraging, and he teaches at just the right level. He always makes sure that we cover music theory along with learning our favorite songs in order to get the most out of our training. My enjoyment of piano has increased significantly since starting lessons with Steve, and each time we leave a lesson he says: "Have fun with it!" I highly recommend Steve as a teacher.
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Billy May 17, 2016
· Piano · In studio
wow amazing!
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Tim M. February 22, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Great teacher and great time taking the lessons! I wish we could take more lessons with him but we've recently moved out of the area. Thanks for everything Steven!
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Steven B.

Steven B.

Alameda, CA 94501
(17)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Kathleen B.

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Menlo Park, CA
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Theory basics and part-writing, also sight-singing

About Kathleen
I am a classically-trained opera singer. I have a Bachelors and Masters in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy (teaching), and have sung professionally in the U.S. and Europe. I have sung Opera, Operetta, Musical Theater and Concerts, as well as choral and cantorial singing. I have been a finalist and winner of vocal competitions in both the United States and Europe.
I have been teaching voice since 1980, and have worked with students of all ages, from 14 to 75. I have also directed and designed for musical theater and opera. Because I love singing, I want to bring that to my students as well, whatever kind of music they want to sing.

In addition to music, I also teach English (ESL), Accent Reduction, German, U.S. & World History. I have my CBEST Credential And ESL Certification. I do private tutoring and teach clas
ses.

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe that learning how to breath is the key to good singing. After 3 months of study, my students will have learned how to breathe, which improves both their singing and speaking voices. Good breathing is the key to good singing and a healthy voice. With a healthy, well-trained voice, my students can be valuable members of any vocal ensemble, and enjoy their singing, For solo singing, good breathing is most important, whether singing opera, musical theater or pop music, because it gives a beautiful, full quality to the voice.
I always begin a lesson with warm-up exercises, to check breathing and vocal placement. Once the (vocal) engine is warmed-up, then we begin to sing. I try to get to know my students, so that, together, we can choose music that will enable them to reach their goals and is both fun and challenging for them to sing.

In addition to music, I also teach English (ESL), Accent Reduction, German, U.S. & World History. I have my CBEST Credential And ESL Certification. I do private tutoring and teach classes.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Separate studio with Piano
I have a MacBook Pro laptop computer + stereo speakers, to provide recorded accompaniment, when necessary.

*** Travel Equipment ***
If a student wishes to have on-site lessons, I require that a piano or keyboard be available for the lessons.
I usually travel with my MacBook Pro laptop computer & stereo speakers, to provide recorded accompaniment, when necessary.

*** Specialties ***
I am a trained opera/oratorio singer, but I teach Broadway, Pop, choral and classical singers.

I have had many international students who didn't speak English well. Music is an international language that helps me communicate with all of my students!
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Reviews
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Elizabeth (Betsy) June 3, 2016
· Singing · In studio
I took away a whole array of new strategies and techniques to help preserve my voice and to increase my range. What a surprise- I had no idea I could sing so high!! Kathleen is a wonderful teacher and a really super lady. I'll be back for more lessons in the fall.
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Nadia N. August 10, 2015
· Singing · In studio
My daughter is really enjoying her voice lessons. Kathleen is a talented, caring teacher and knows how to make the process effective and fun for my daughter. My daughter loves being able to choose the songs she wants to learn, and this collaborative process keeps her quite interested and inspired.
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Leah Y. L. May 6, 2014
· Singing ·
Excellent Voice Teacher

Mrs. B is a wonderful and dedicated teacher who focuses diligently during class sessions. She thoroughly explains terms and technique and is friendly and sociable. Her extensive knowledge of languages comes extremely useful in Italian arias and other folk songs as to explain the meanings of words and to convey motion. Her classes are enjoyable and fun, while still being comprehensively academic.
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Kathleen B.

Kathleen B.

Menlo Park, CA 94025
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Aidan C.

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San Francisco, CA
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About Aidan
I have been playing guitar since I was 10 and loving music my whole life. I have been in numerous rock bands, high-school jazz band, classical guitar duos, trios, chamber ensembles, and even played mandolin in a bluegrass band. I received my Bachelor of Music at Guilford College as a student of Kami Rowan. During my third year of study there, I was nominated for the Guilford College Art Award as the outstanding student and performer in the music department. In February of 2010, I had the honor of being a member of the guitar orchestra during a performance of Shingo Fuji’s Concierto de los Angeles, alongside soloist, Grammy winner, William Kanengiser. I recently completed my Master of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music where I studied with Jason Vieaux. There I was awarded the Rosalia Ablan Memorial Prize for my accomplishmen
ts on the guitar. In addition to guitar performance, I have studied music theory, jazz theory, and pedagogy extensively. I am a native of San Francisco and have been teaching privately since 2007. No matter what a student's interests are, I can give them a rock solid foundation in technique, performance, reading, and theory.

*** Lesson Details ***
In my lessons I make it a priority to create an easy-going, non-intimidating environment, so that you, the student, can focus on your goals and learning, approach music at your own pace, and really look forward to coming in to lessons. Whether you are interested in electric, steel-string, or classical, Metallica, Mozart, or anything in between, I can teach you technique, musicianship skills, and songs that fit your personal interests.
For beginning students I like to teach a mixture of basic theory, music-reading, and chords/scales. Soon after, the student can begin to bring in songs that s/he is interested in, and I can start to build lessons around specific styles/pieces. I teach all levels and all ages, and I would love to share my passion and knowledge with you, and gain you skill and confidence on the guitar, as well as a deep understanding of music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living room w/ seating for parents

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in classical guitar, and am very familiar with the teachings of Aaron Shearer. His methods and practices provide the basis for how I teach technique and how i approach learning pieces. I also supplement his ideas with those of Pepe Romero, William Kanengiser, and Scott Tenant (particularly their views on technique).
I am also more than comfortable teaching pop/rock guitar on steel-string or electric, and TAB-ing/teaching songs the student brings in. Whether the student prefers classical or popular s/he will get a good foundation in music theory and music reading.
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Reviews
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Peter N. February 28, 2017
· Classical Guitar · In studio
Very patient, very accommodating and flexible, very excited about the next lessons!
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Brian December 12, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Very solid and practical at teaching what you need to learn to understand the song or songs you want to play.
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Ingrid A. October 30, 2013
· Guitar ·
Not what I expected

Aidan is very patient & professional with his students.
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Aidan C.

Aidan C.

San Francisco, CA 94131
(3)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Vir M.

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Emeryville, CA
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I have a unique and helpful way to teach theory that is easy to learn and super fun.

About Vir
I am a graduate of U.C. Berkeley.;I have been teaching and performing music for over 15 years. I have toured the United States and other countries playing many types of music. I play Guitar and Bass and Sing   I teach in a fun style that emphasizes the students creativity.  Styles range from Rock, Folk, Electronic, Jazz,  African, World, Hip Hop to Country.  I can give you the skills to go to the next level.  From 5-99 years old!

*** Lesson Details ***
A typical lesson would look like this:  Depending on your level we would first work on some new chords and/or a new scale and how to play them.  We "jam" a little to get the feel.  I have a really great way of teaching theory that will get you playing what you want.  The second half we usually focus on learning a song of your choice or working on an original of yours. I am very personable
and easygoing.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Have guitars and amps, basses and amps, drum set, microphones and recording equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Have equipment

*** Specialties ***
Rock, World, Hip Hop, Folk, Electronica, Classical, Jazz
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Reviews
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Karen T. March 31, 2016
· Acting · In studio
Although I only had 1 lesson with him so far, I can say he's a very good teacher and I had fun.
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caroline S. April 23, 2015
· Guitar · In home
Vir is a gifted teacher. He has taught my son guitar for more than a year. He meets my son where ever he's at in his practice, attention and interests with calm, skilled focus and intention . Vir's background as performing musician infuses his teaching with an enthusiasm and creativity of practicing his teaching. We are truly grateful for Vir.
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Alexander S. March 6, 2014
· Singing ·
A Guru

Vir is beyond your typical vocal coach. He was a huge help on things like pitch accuracy and phrasing, but more than anything, his focus on getting me to tap into and harness my inner power has already paid huge dividends in my recordings and performances. Further, Vir is an amazing person to know and his home-studio in Berkeley is magnificent!
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Vir M.

Vir M.

Emeryville, CA 94608
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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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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Reviews
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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

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 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. You can learn more about my music at http://EricaLulakwa.com. I love to mentor st
udents who want to become powerful songwriters and get into performing and recording.

I look forward to working with you to grow into a better musician!
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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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Martina B. August 26, 2017
· · In home
Erica has been amazing. She has been teaching my son, 7 year old and his friend a 6 year old guitar lessons. Erica is very patience and works well with kids. My son is always looking forward to his lessons. I highly recommend Erica.
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Erica G.

Erica G.

Sausalito, CA 94965
(3)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Anton S.

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Bellevue, WA
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I'm passionate about helping students overcome their musical hurdles, both professional and recreational.

I particularly enjoy working with musicians who have studied scales and chords but are frustrated in their efforts to use them to make great music.

Other areas of focus:
• Improvising over chord changes
• Internalizing advanced harmony
• Fluency in the many idioms of jazz, funk & blues
• Phrasing
• Saxophone technique
• Efficient practicing for a busy lifestyle

About Anton
An expert educator with a welcoming, positive outlook and an irresistible passion for music, Anton is a longtime faculty member of the California Jazz Conservatory. He's been Artist in Residence at Harvard University and The Brubeck Institute, and a clinician & featured soloist for countless university & high school jazz programs. Anton has headlined major jazz clubs across the US and Canada and has five critically acclaimed CDs as a leader.

"Anton is an exceptional player & inspirational teacher… and a lot of FUN! He is organized & prepared, and so well versed in so many aspects of jazz performance & education… What more could a student want?!"
— Susan Muscarella, Director, California Jazz Conservatory

"Anton's the perfect blend: a top-flight saxophonist, an inspired composer and a professional with a keen sense of the music indus
try. His teaching combines these gifts into a unique presentation with sophistication, clarity & personality; before you know it you've got the keys in your pocket!"
— Joe Gilman, Musical Director, Brubeck Institute
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Anton S.

Anton S.

Emeryville, CA 94608
starting at
$45 / 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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Orlia A.

Orlia A.

Palo Alto, CA 94304
starting at
$45 / 30-min

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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
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
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

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