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Pleasant Hill, CA Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers near Pleasant Hill, CA

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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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Brett M. May 2, 2018
· Organ · In home
Just getting started, but Stevens clearly the teacher for me. He really listens, and really knows his stuff. Looking forward to many more lessons.
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Loverna Q. November 19, 2017
· Piano · In home
A GREAT MUSIC TEACHER!
My daughter wants to learn to play an electric guitar. Then, we met Steven through Take Lessons. We initially planned on getting the guitar lesson first but Steven introduced her playing the piano as well. He is very knowledgeable in teaching how to play an instrument and does so in a way so that the child can understand. Thanks a lot Steven!
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Maxim November 9, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Steven is an awesome teacher. Very patient. Highly recommend him for acoustic guitar and for piano lessons.
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Steven B.

Steven B.

Alameda, CA 94501
(20)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Andrew H.

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San Francisco, CA
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I can guide you through music theory from the very basics through post-tonal theory and formal analysis. Students can expect clear and concise explanations with musical examples to clarify.

About Andrew
I'm a focused but easygoing tutor and musician with over a decade of experience playing and 8 years teaching experience in individual and group settings. In 2016 I completed my Bachelor's degree in classical guitar performance at Humboldt State University, where I received numerous academic and musical honors.

I'm currently living in San Francisco, about to finish my Master's degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and looking to build a teaching studio. In addition to my musical skills, I'm also an experienced writing tutor and spent several years working for a nonprofit after school enrichment program. As a result, i have experience working with children of various ages and backgrounds.
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Moses A. August 9, 2017
· Guitar · In home
great patience to teach. 2 thumbs up!!
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Jamie June 8, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Andrew is such a great teacher! I'm a beginner guitar player who wanted to learn some of the basics and work on my technique, and Andrew was so patient and really took the time to work with me. Very easy-going and helpful, even though I know I'm not the best player. He clearly knows what he's doing when it comes to anything guitar-related and I cannot wait to set up another lesson. I already feel more confident in my abilities! Thanks Andrew!
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Andrew H.

Andrew H.

San Francisco, CA 94112
(2)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Soraya B.

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San Francisco, CA
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About Soraya
About me, I have been playing the guitar for more than 20 years. I studied at the conservatory of Music in Paris. In San Francisco, I studied and played with many great jazz musicians and teachers. I have also studied Theory/ composition, electronic music and voice.
I hold a degree in English literature and currently teaches also at the French American School in San Francisco.

*** Lesson Details ***
As a teacher I expect the best of you but I also know that we all learn differently and at a different pace. As a beginner, you will learn to read and play at the same time by learning simple melodies and simple chords right away. As an intermediate/ advance, we will take it from where you stopped and will continue to move forward according to your needs and goals. I can also teach the lesson in French.

*** Studio Equipment ***

Living Room/Practice Room, keyboard, amps, guitars, bass, microphone, recording and music notation software

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will provide music sheets, recordings, if needed, I expect them to have their instrument, recorder to record the lesson if they want to, pencil and eraser. I will sometimes ask them to buy a book if necessary.

*** Specialties ***
My lessons focus first on understanding the instrument by playing simple melodies. Then I applied the theory learnt by learning songs. For more advanced players, I can teach to play solo guitar how to harmonize the melodic note with chords. For students who are interested in singing and playing, I can coach them.
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Jeff F. February 1, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Very friendly and encouraging! As an adult I felt extremely motivated leaving the lesson and I couldn't wait to get home and practice what I had learned.
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Keith H. August 9, 2015
· Guitar · In home
Soraya was very patient with my daughters though they didn't practice enough, still she encouraged them and tried adapting her approach to enliven their interest. She's not a clock watcher either and usually went over time to be sure they had a handle on that days lesson.
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Keith H. August 9, 2015
· Guitar · In home
Soraya was very patient with my daughters though they didn't practice enough, still she encouraged them and tried adapting her approach to enliven their interest. She's not a clock watcher either and usually went over time to be sure they had a handle on that days lesson.
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Soraya B.

Soraya B.

San Francisco, CA 94122
(6)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

About Donna D.

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Corte Madera, CA

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I incorporate Music Theory concepts in my teaching of piano or voice. Included are music fundamentals such as basic rhythm concepts, intervals, scales, arpeggios, chords, chord progressions, transposition, etc. Sight singing, ear training, and music writing can be included. I can also assist students needing help with classes they are taking in Music Fundamentals, Ear Training, Theory, and Harmony. Content is based on student need and interest.

About Donna
I love to sing, and I have a passion for teaching students to sing well. I have sung in choruses all my life, and have been inspired by fine conductors and great composers. I am certain that music enlivens my life like nothing else, and it can do that for everyone. Whether you sing in the shower, or in the choir, or with a few friends, or in an opera, you can find your song.

Learning to play the piano, from the very beginning, or picking up where you left off in the past, will bring a spark to your life. Whether you want to play for yourself or some friends, or want to get on track to becoming a concert pianist, music will enrich your life.

My students develop an appreciation for music of the Renaissance up through the 21st century. They are willing to delve into exciting territory while learning to read music, establishing confiden
ce in their own musicianship. They discover the music within themselves, while learning the technique necessary to be the best musicians they can be.

I enjoy teaching high school, middle school, and elementary students as well as adults. I Love teaching beginners. I am trained in vocal pedagogy, music theory, music history, repertoire, performance practice and methods.

My formal education:
B.A., UC, Berkeley (Phi Beta Kappa)
M.A., Occidental College
M.S. Pepperdine University
Lifetime General Secondary Teaching Credential

Teachers and mentors:
Howard Swan, Mary Jones, Edward Lawton, Robert Commanday, Roger Wagner, Linda Anderson, Boyd Jarrell, Paul Smith.

In the last twenty years, I have enjoyed being a participant in music at the College of Marin, through choral, vocal, opera and piano classes. I currently serve as volunteer assistant to the Director of Choral Activities.

I am particularly proud of my experience as instructional aide and coach for music students with disabilities at the College of Marin, including students with developmental disabilities and autism.

Past classroom experience:
Long Beach Unified School District, Choral Music Teacher
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Choral Music Teacher
Low Heywood School and King School (prep schools), Stamford, CT, Choral Music Teacher

*** Lesson Details ***
Voice students can expect to learn how to produce tone beautifully, using correct posture and breathing, and proper vowel production, rhythmic precision, pitch accuracy, carefully formed phrases, and musical and stylistic interpretation. But beyond technique is the amazing art of communicating with other people the wonders of the music. You should expect to make good progress in all of these areas in just a few weeks. I hope you will come with serious interest in developing your beautiful voice.

Repertoire might include folk songs, art songs and arias from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries. Songs might be in English, or possibly in Italian, Latin, German or French, if you interested. We would sit down together and decide what dreams and goals you have, and then choose music to get you going down the path to those dreams and goals.

You can expect to have learned several new songs, and to have brought them to performance level in the first 3-6 months. If you have a goal to learn music for an audition, contest or festival, that can happen.

Piano students can expect to learn everything about the keyboard, posture, proper use right and left hands, scales, chords, arpeggios, and fun exercises leading to good technique, rhythmic accuracy, speed and fluency. Playing beautifully, with artfulness and expressiveness will be priorities.

Repertoire might include beginning to intermediate compositions from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries. We would sit down together and decide what pieces to choose which would help you get on a path to your musical dreams and goals, and what would be appropriate for your age and development as a musician.

You can expect to be playing pieces with 2 hands within a few weeks, and perhaps a melody with chords, if you are a beginner. Degree of difficulty will depend upon your age, experience and development, but even very simple songs can be played musically, with grace.

Of utmost importance to me is that every student learn to read music, and develop an understanding of music fundamentals. The level of sophistication will depend upon age and experience, but learning good musicianship is essential. At the same time, opportunities for creativity to develop through improvisation could be on the horizon for you. It is important to me that you want to learn and and want to become the best you can be.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have a piano and computer with Finale at my home. I provide music and practice sheets, etc.

*** Specialties ***
For voice, I teach classical style, including posture, breathing, tone production, vowel production, phrasing, diction, appropriate style and performance practice, and music reading. Materials I use include everything from folk songs to arias, and 16th century to contemporary compositions, in English, Italian, Latin, French and German. Voice is my primary interest. I am also competent to teach beginning theory, and beginning piano, both classical and standard popular, including improvisation from charts (melody, chords).
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Kylie July 19, 2017
· Singing · In home
I really enjoyed working with Mrs.Donna she
was a very sweet, patient and skilled teacher.
She taught me the skills of becoming a more well
developed singer and I had so much fun learning with her.
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Lori May 9, 2017
· Singing · In studio
My first and second lessons were wonderful and I am inspired by Donna's dedication, knowledge and patience. I feel that I can learn to build on these lessons and sing with confidence.
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Lori G. May 1, 2017
· Singing · In studio
First lesson: I feel encouraged and inspired!
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Donna D.

Donna D.

Corte Madera, CA 94925
(12)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Jeremy P.

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San Francisco, CA

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Start at the beginning if you've never read a note, or work all the way up to analyzing the forms of your favorite composer's master works. The sky is the limit!

About Jeremy
I began playing guitar by ear around age ten. I learned rock songs from records for a few years, and then I began a more serious study of theory in high school. Over the next several years I alternated between pursuing my music degree and playing in bands all over the midwest. In 2004, I transferred from Indiana University to Sonoma State to focus completely on jazz and finish my degree. I have worked with groups and privately, with all ages and skill levels. I am very flexible with the direction of your study and will help you with whatever aspects of your playing you would like to develop.

*** Lesson Details ***
As a teacher, I am here for your development. I will do my best to take the lessons in the direction that you want to go, while still providing adequate instruction in music fundamentals.

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

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my own guitar for examples, and i bring a pencil. Student provides guitar, and if they want to they provide a book. Otherwise I create a custom curriculum from scratch and they provide staff paper.

*** Specialties ***
I have studied classical guitar, jazz, and have played mostly rock and pop gigs.
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Y.L. June 3, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
My son has been getting guitar lessons from Jeremy for about six months. My son is really enjoying learning to play and he looks forward to his lessons with Jeremy! Jeremy is a wonderful teacher. He's knowledgeable, intelligent, professional and easy going. Jeremy is not the first teacher that my son has had but he's by far the best. I feel very fortunate to have found him!
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Brad May 18, 2018
· Guitar · In home
I learned so much from Jeremy over about 4 years of lessons. He listened to my goals, and tailored his lessons to help me achieve them. From the fundamentals to more advanced skills, such as improvisation, he stuck with me and allowed me to develop my own voice on the guitar.
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Chris May 18, 2018
· Guitar · In home
I'm a total beginner on the guitar. Watched a few youtube vids, learned some basics, but working in-person with Jeremy I've progressed a LOT faster. Worth the investment!
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Jeremy P.

Jeremy P.

San Francisco, CA 94116
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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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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Wick A. February 23, 2018
· Piano · In home
Great instructor. Friendly, easy to understand, talented and can teach piano, theory, composition, etc.
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Susan December 8, 2017
· Piano · In home
My 10 year old son loves playing little riffs on the piano but really didn't want lessons for fear it would be too much like school. Peter has been awesome about tailoring the lessons so that my son can choose the Music he likes and move forward from his place of interest. Peter is a skilled and gifted pianist, and my son is totally inspired to keep playing and put in the work to improve.
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Leyla November 30, 2017
· Piano · In home
I have been working with Peter for a little over a year and although I'm moving away, I will be continuing my sessions with him over video. Over the past year, I've had the most incredible mentoring experience with Peter and would highly recommend him to students of all ages. I used to play piano as a kid and quit when I was in middle school, and Peter has helped me regain, maintain and build on my skills. He takes measures to keep me accountable in my practice and also nurtures and encourages me creatively -- his experience as a composer comes in handy and we have dope jam sessions. In addition to his musical teaching practice, Peter is also training in somatic and trauma healing modalities that infuse his work with students with care and attunement. I know some parents who work with him keep him around their kids as a life coach and buddy as well as a music teacher. He's the best and I will miss seeing him every week in person!
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Peter D.

Peter D.

Oakland, CA 94609
(23)
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 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 teaching cello for over 10 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). I recently moved to the Bay Area, where I have had the chance to play with renowned local ensembles (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Voices of Music, Ensemble San Francisco, Chamber Music Silicon Valley 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, and teaching has become an essential part of my life.

Cellists of all ages and levels are welcome!
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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 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

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Music Theory Lesson Reviews from Students

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Recent Music Theory Articles from the Blog

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Why Learning Piano Theory is Important for All Musicians

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 … Read More

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
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
6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory
Staring at the Circle of Fifths and memorizing key signatures isn't the only way to learn music theory! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares some creative ideas to revive your learning...   Music theory is a very important part of your musicianship, whether it be mastering ear training, harmony, or sight reading. No matter what instrument you play or what styles you enjoy, those who learn music theory grow further as musicians. A solid knowledge can help you improve your perform
Subdivision: The Easy Trick for Reading Rhythms Right
As you're learning to read music, you'll come across complex rhythms at some point. Here, Saint Augustine, FL music teacher Heather L. offers some helpful tips to help you get through the tricky parts...   Have you ever found yourself sitting in a big concert hall, or in your room, listening to a soloist play a practically perfect rhythm? Almost all of us have, and almost all of us have asked ourselves, "How do they do that?" Their secret is subdivision. You might be just begin
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

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