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Piedmont, CA Music Theory Lessons

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About Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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Learn about rhythm, harmony, melody, and dynamics in great detail.

Music is often taught excessively by rote, and I feel it's very important to understand the logic behind everything just like you would in mathematics. So take that leap and explore the science of music.

About Jesse
*Disclaimer*
I'm currently not taking beginner students on guitar, bass, drums, piano, or ukulele. I highly recommend my studio partners Andrew and Melissa though. Please check out their profiles for the following topics:

Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano, and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-i5

Piano and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/melissa-m62

My Background

I've been playing with classical ensembles and rock bands since 2001. Even though I started on classical trombone and rock guitar, I have come to expand my repertoire to a variety of instruments and genres. During my time in college I performed with the University choir, orchestra, and band. I also have organized, wrote/arranged for, and performed with a variety of bands in my home state of New Mexico, as well as Japan, and the San Francisco Bay Are
a.

Since 2006 I have been an active teacher. This profession has taken me everywhere from working with classical guitar classes in New Mexico high schools to Elementary students in Japan to a variety of private students of various musical instruments and genres everywhere I've been. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2010, I've had the pleasure of working with lots of great students from kids to adults with a wide range of ambitions. Since 2012 I've been running my own full time studio along.

Philosophy of Learning

Lessons are generally designed to work towards giving students the tools to accomplish their goals and become increasingly independent over time. While all students will study similar fundamentals regarding technique, theory, and performance, every lesson is as different as every person. What kind of music do you want to make? I'll tell you what you need to do to get there, and help you take the steps to achieve your aspirations.

I also love to help students put together a song, record, and produce it for them so that they can have a recording to share with their friends and family.

I also hold events for my students. (Check out our pictures and videos below!)
Younger students have the "Young Musicians Showcase" every few months where individual students and band classes have a chance to perform and celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family.
Adult students occasionally have events where they get a chance to get together and play music as well.

Aside from in-studio lessons, students also have the option to sign up for online lessons via Skype.
(*Online lessons offered during different times than in-studio lessons.)

*Unfortunately due to scheduling issues, I'm not currently accepting students for bi-weekly lessons. I can do regular weekly lessons, or occasional drop-in lessons, but bi-weekly appointments make it really hard for me to give the best scheduled times to my existing weekly students. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

My studio is equipped with:

*Multiple Music Stands

*P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, and a Banjo

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set

*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set

*An electric piano console

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, and Flute

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

*A recording system that students are not only welcome to use but encouraged to

*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
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Reviews
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Robert O. August 10, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Rajeev July 18, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
After a break of more than a year I wanted to restart my Trumpet lessons. I chose Jesse based on the reviews and Jesse did not disappoint. He is very patient and focused teacher. I liked his structured method and tools he uses. I was able to get back in groove in no time.

Highly recommended.
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BRIAN July 18, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(86)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Kristina B.

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San Francisco, CA

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Ear training, Harmony, Reading Music, Rhythms, Progressions, Scales, Chords, Transcription, Arranging, Analyzing Music, and the theory fun can just keep on going depending on the student!

About Kristina
Kristina has been singing, acting, and performing since the age of 4. She studied under the well-known and respected vocal coach, Donna Prypin, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts for at least 11 years. Kristina then went on to study Opera with Don Wilkinson, of the Boston Symphony for 1 year, and with him gained excellent range and breathing techniques. Kristina was then accepted to Berklee College of Music, where she attended for two & a half years studying under some of the world's greatest teachers. She learned extensive Ear Training, Harmony, Jazz Improvisation, Counterpoint, Arranging, Performing, Music Business, Music Therapy, and intense vocal coaching. After college Kristina moved to California where she now has a thriving teaching practice, performance, and touring career.

In 2014 she earned her Sound, Voice, and Music Healing Cert
ificate from The California Institute of Integral Studies, under the mentoring of Grammy Nominated composer/performer, Silvia Nakkach, MA,MMT. She then travelled to India in January of 2014 with Silvia to study Classical India singing/music.

As of September 2016, Kristina recently returned from a two & half month music/bike tour through the United States Pacific Northwest & Canada.

She released her first solo album (September 2008) titled, Mermaid Tattoos and is currently in the process of creating her second album.

Kristina can teach ages 4 ~ 100 and is patient, creative, flexible, enthusiastic, and passionate. Her focus is on helping students attain their goals whether it's to be on stage winning Grammy awards, or just learning to sing and perform for fun. She can help students learn Pop, Country, Jazz, Indie Rock, Classic Rock, Musical Theater, and even their own musical genre. She also teaches beginner guitar, and proper vocal acting/public-speaking skills. In addition, she performs Sound Sessions for clients looking for relaxation & coping techniques, using crystal singing bowls, vocal toning exercises, shrupti box vocal work, and human tuning forks.

*** Lesson Details ***
Kristina is extremely creative, patient, kind, open-minded, passionate, laid-back, but sets excellent and attainable goals with the student, and absolutely loves music. Depending on each individual student, lessons will center around correct vocal breathing, exercises, music theory, songwriting, guitar, acting, and learning different techniques in order to meet personal goals. Each student is taught individually and with their own personal needs as the focus.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have state of the art microphones, amps, guitars, a keyboard, IPod radio (students can bring them to share music), and of course a computer.

*** Specialties ***
Voice, Beginner Guitar, Vocal Technique, Performance, Range, Improvisation, Music Theory, Songwriting, Sound Sessions for relaxation & coping skills. I specialize in Pop/Rock/Jazz/Blues/Country/Indie Rock, Musical Theater, and New Age genres.
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Reviews
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Steve June 9, 2017
· Speaking Voice · In studio
Kristina really listens to what you need and clearly takes a personal/individualized approach
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Jonathan W. March 1, 2017
· Singing · In home
Extremely organized, thoughtful, helpful, and really fast to get into exercises and make progress.
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Crystal S. November 3, 2016
· Speaking Voice · In home
Amazing, gifted, talented, and patient teacher!! I'm very happy I had the opportunity to learn and grow from Kristina! =)
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Kristina B.

Kristina B.

San Francisco, CA 94109
(47)
starting at
$31.50 / 30-min

About Mack R.

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Oakland, CA

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I studied music theory in high school and through college. I have always enjoyed writing and arranging. I have written for small groups as well as big bands. knowing music theory will help one develop musically.

About Mack
I have a BS in music education received at Lehman College, Bronx, NY. I am a professional musician/ composer/ arranger.I received my teaching credentials at SFSU and have been a General music teacher as well as a, band teacher. I have studied trumpet with Classical ( Wilmer Wise)and Jazz musician (Bill Hardman) and big band arranging with Frank Foster( saxophonist and arranger with Count Basie Band). At present I am retired and teaching privately.

I have been teaching music for over 50 years as well as being a professional musician/ composer and arranger. I not only know my fundamentals inside and out, but also I know many tricks of the trade. Over the years I have developed special teaching techniques that enable students to make sense out of music and progress rapidly on their instruments.I love playing music and aim at stirring that
same kind of excitement abut music in my students.

To each lesson I bring a unique mix, encouraging the student to pursue excellence and also have fun. I am well qualified to teach: woodwinds( oboe, flute, clarinet, all saxophones) brass(french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba), and piano.

*** Lesson Details ***
I make music interesting to learn. I encourage students to practice daily so they can improve. The more they improve the more fun they can have with music not only alone, but with others.

I am very patient with my students especially with beginners. I know that for them it is like learning a new language. Once they begin to increase their musical vocabulary, they will enjoy what they can do with music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Seating for parents, basement studio, piano, drum set

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students should provide their own instruments.
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Reviews
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Evan X. July 23, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Mack was awesome !
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Mike May 27, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Fantastic. He evaluated my skill level perfectly in a short amount of time. I'm looking forward to more lessons!
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Yvonne R. April 19, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Mack is a good teacher.
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Mack R.

Mack R.

Oakland, CA 94607
(21)
starting at
$25 / 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 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 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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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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Connie C. July 21, 2016
· Vocal Training · In studio
Olga transformed my technique completely! She's got a lot of experience and knows exactly how to help me find the right technique using various ways to explain, such as the physical and physiological side, as well as more imaginative and creative explanations that I could easily relate to. I enjoyed the lessons very much because I felt I was achieving something new every lesson. Will definitely take more lessons with Olga in the future!
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Olga C.

Olga C.

San Mateo, CA 94401
(15)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Frederic R.

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San Francisco, CA

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Good knowledge of classical music theory. Specifics available upon request.

About Frederic
I have been playing cello for over 20 years. I grew up in Switzerland and stayed there until my Masters' degree, then went on to study at the University of Southern California (Doctorate of Musical Arts 2015, prof. Ralph Kirshbaum). I recently moved to the Bay Area, where I have had the chance to play with local ensembles (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Ensemble San Francisco amongst others). Although I love all music that involves cello, I especially enjoy exploring new repertoire as well as discovering old works on period instruments. Sharing my passion brings me a lot of joy, therefore teaching has become an essential part of my life.

...cellists of all ages and levels are welcome!
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Reviews
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Jake C. December 23, 2016
· Cello · In home
Great first lesson
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Sophie R. November 1, 2016
· Cello · In home
Learning a lot and having fun doing it!
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Mihwa N. November 9, 2015
· Cello · In home
Very good!!
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Frederic R.

Frederic R.

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

About Thomas W.

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Danville, CA
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I give students a comprehensive, practical curriculum in classical and contemporary music theory. Music theory, to me, is neither dry nor complicated if it's presented in the right context. I am well versed in traditional theory, jazz and improvisation theory, and contemporary concepts. I like to help a student learn what will be helpful to them, and teach concepts that may open new doors for their artistic growth.

About Thomas
I am a saxophonist, composer, and improviser from the East Bay area. I hold an MA in Music Composition from Mills College in Oakland, CA, and a BM in Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston. I have been teaching saxophone and guitar lessons since 2005, and maintain an active schedule performing original music.

I have taught students saxophone and guitar independently in the Bay Area, Boston, and New York, in students' homes and my own home and rehearsal spaces. I have taught children as young as 10 years old, adult beginners, and professional musicians learning to double on saxophone. I have taught students for up to five years consecutively, and have also given master class style one-off lessons.
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Yifan T. May 21, 2016
· Saxophone · In home
Tom is awesome, he is always very patient to instruct my son how to use, play and maintain saxophone. I will very happy to continue to add more classes and recommend him to my friends.
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Yeonathan March 7, 2016
· Saxophone · In studio
Tom is a true gem of a teacher. As a student with some prior music experience but no saxophone experience, Tom was able to help me work on my saxophone technique while always mainting a creative, musical, and compositional approach to even the most mundane exercise. I truly wouldn't be half the musician I am today if it weren't for Tom's mentorship. Could not recommend him more.
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Harry March 7, 2016
· Saxophone · In home
As a percussionist transitioning over to the world of wind instruments, I can't thank Tom enough for helping to guide me along the way. He's great at breaking down larger concepts into smaller, more manageable pieces, and I never felt overwhelmed or pressured by his teaching methods. I really appreciated Tom's friendly and casual approach, as I know from prior experience that a convival atmosphere does wonders for helping to learn an instrument in a stress-free way. Can't recommend him enough, two thumbs up!

P.S. Be sure to ask him for jazz recommendations, the guy's got quite the taste!
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Thomas W.

Thomas W.

Danville, CA 94526
(3)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Frederick L.

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Antioch, CA

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I've studied music and songwriting for 30 years. During this time, three of my songs have been placed in a major motion picture.

About Frederick
Hi, my name is Frederick and I can't wait to meet you!
I've been teaching for about 7 years, however, the passion for music and stringed instruments, has been with me for over 30 years. I play Guitar (Acoustic and Electric), Mandolin, Ukulele, Electric Bass and Harmonica (no strings, go figure),
My goal as a teacher is to help you achieve your goals as an artist and musician.
I've taken guitar, voice and harmonica lessons myself and have also attended workshops in professional song-writing. Three of my songs are placed in a major motion picture.
Patience and listening are among my strengths and I understand that students learn at a different paces.
Let's get together and play some music!
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Kathy March 19, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Fred is an excellent teacher. He took me from somebody with no knowledge of playing to being able to accompany myself on a few songs in a matter of weeks. It's been a great learning experience.
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Kathy March 19, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Fred is an excellent teacher. He's taken me from no knowledge of a guitar to playing the chords of songs that I perform in a matter of weeks. He brings the benefit of his experience of *live-performance* to his student.
Thanks Fred!
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Emma November 25, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Great teacher! Very knowledgeable, and can teach students of all levels. Would definately recommend.
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Frederick L.

Frederick L.

Antioch, CA 94531
(6)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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How to Prepare for Sight Reading at an Audition | 3 Helpful Tips

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 … Read More

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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Why Learning Piano Theory is Important for All Musicians
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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 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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