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Port Costa, CA Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers near Port Costa, CA

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About Jim T.

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Fairfax, CA
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I teach student how to easily read music and the notation they see on the printed music from the very first lesson. We also study scale formation, intervals, chord construction and progressions as well as improvisation and songwriting. This includes all styles: classical, jazz, rock, blues and more!

About Jim
My career in music began at an early age (four!) with classical piano lessons until the age of thirteen. After expanding my musical horizons in high school listening to jazz, blues and rock I attended Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA where I studied jazz & music theory with renowned jazz educator Ray Brown and jazz piano with Paul Nagle who has worked with Grammy award winning singer Bobby McFerrin among many others.
I have been performing solo and in groups since the Eighties in a variety of different genres including rock, jazz, blues, r&b, funk, reggae and everything in between! Performing with such artists as Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Dan Hicks, David Grisman, Tommy Castro, Eric McFadden, Mark Karan & Vinyl I have appeared at most of the major venues in the Bay Area including the Warfield Theatre, the Great American Music Hall,
Yoshi's SF, the Regency, Bimbo's & the Sweetwater.
My teaching experience goes back over twenty years and I relocated to Marin County in the Bay Area in 1995 where I've been teaching extensively since 2002. Since then I have helped hundreds of students realize their dream of learning to play piano and keyboards as well as read music, play perfectly in time and learn songwriting skills. Playing music is fun & easy......I can show you just how easy it is!!

*** Lesson Details ***
My style is laid back with a large supply of patience and devotion to my students. I teach beginning , intermediate & advanced piano and keyboards (including organ). For adult beginning piano students I use the John Thompson Modern Course for the Piano Grade One along with Thompson's Note, Scale & Chord Speller books and flash cards for a quick and easy route to learning how to read music and basic music theory. For kids (5-7) I like Thompson's "Teaching Little Fingers to Play" along with the kid's music theory books by Linda Ng.
In the first six months students can expect to study basic finger exercises and scales, how to read music easily and quickly, how to play perfectly in time & develop a repertoire of songs to play. Once students have learned basic skills it is possible to explore many different genres including classical, jazz, blues, rock, reggae and much more. I customize the lessons to fit each student's needs and desires and can also help the students with songwriting and learning from the recorded works of great artists!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Beautiful 1884 carved English maplewood Estey upright piano!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide the books and supplies at cost...students should have some kind of keyboard to practice on...preferably a real piano although I have taught many students initially on electric keyboards.

*** Specialties ***
I teach beginning, intermediate & advanced piano in the styles of classical, jazz, blues, rock, r&b, pop, country, etc. ages 5-105! Usually I start beginners in the John Thompson method & speller books along with music flash cards and then am willing to shift into different styles as the students gain basic skills.
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Reviews
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Mario L. June 7, 2018
· Piano · In home
Very good at tuning into my needs. Jim is an excellent musician and teacher.
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Sarah April 2, 2018
· Piano · In home
Jim is a great instructor. His knowledge of theory and his piano skills are really amazing. I appreciated his no-stress style of teaching, and it is obvious that he has a true love of music and musicians.
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Al Lyle December 30, 2015
· Piano · In home
Great Teacher
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Jim T.

Jim T.

Fairfax, CA 94930
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About James P.

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Petaluma, CA
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My BA had an emphasis in "classical" music theory but I'm also well versed in jazz theory and pop and rock. My understanding of music plays a role in everything I play and write. I love it and love teaching it.

About James
I've played keyboards and sang professionally for the last 25 years. During that time my home has been in the San Francisco Bay Area but I have performed all over the country and have toured several times in Germany, Switzerland, and Japan. I’m a two time winner of the West Coast Songwriters “Song Of The Year Award” and I write music and lyrics as well as record and produce songs for myself and others.

Over those years I've developed a wealth of knowledge and experience that I’m very excited to share with my students. I want you to tell me what your musical dreams are and we will develop a plan to reach them and I will be honored to guide you there.

*** Lesson Details ***
I see music lessons as a partnership between the instructor and the student. I like to start this partnership by helping each student clarify their goals. Then
we can proceed to plan our path to the stated goals. This plan will of necessity be unique to each student.

Obviously, expectations for the lessons would depend on the student’s starting point but I would say that for a child piano student who is just beginning, it would be reasonable to expect that within 3-6 months they would be able to play songs by reading the music. These would include some songs of their own choosing as well as some that I might recommend. For adult piano students, although reading is highly encouraged, our goals might take us in a different direction.

For songwriting students, we might choose to forego working at the piano entirely and instead take our lessons into my recording studio. It all depends on our goals and the path that we choose to get there. We might spend an entire lesson on lyrics. But I really like to see a student leave each lesson with some concrete progress on their song, and preferably with it documented on a recording. Depending on the level of the student, after 3-6 months I anticipate that we would have at least a few songs written and demoed.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Music Room: 2 vertical pianos

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect the student to provide a piano or appropriate keyboard in a well lit room. I would also expect a bench and music stand.
I could provide a digital recorder and a metronome.

*** Specialties ***
blues, jazz, pop and rock
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Reviews
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Michele L. November 7, 2016
· Piano · In studio
I came away from my lesson with James feeling so happy and knowing that he will be teaching and encouraging me all the way going forward. I am actually lost for words to express what an incredibly positive experience I had today. I am also looking forward to my grand daughter taking lessons from James now too. I feel I got lucky that James is the teacher that was found for me.
MIchele
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Marcus C. July 16, 2015
· Piano · In studio
First lesson for my grandson and James was excellent, looking forward to future lessons.
Thanks James.
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Mike W. March 24, 2015
· Piano · In studio
James is a great teacher. Patient and inspiring. I have just begun my late in life music learning experience and he is perfect for that.
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James P.

James P.

Petaluma, CA 94952
(8)
starting at
$39 / 30-min

About Mark B.

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

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

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

I have enjoyed teaching music lessons since 1978.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I currently have 5 albums out under my name. My music is on a major new age compilation, and has been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs. I have played on other people's albums...some of which have received major radio airplay in Europe, and gone to #1!
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Reviews
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Scott August 1, 2018
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Been working with Mark for 2 years now - electric and acoustic; it's time I share just how much learning and fun is going on! Some lessons we pick apart songs to understand how/why they work. Some lessons are thematic - modes, signature changes, turnarounds, etc. Crazy impressive guitar skills, explains theory and conjures up relevant examples, very adaptable, and extremely patient. My friends say it's made a huge difference in my playing!
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Jordan July 22, 2018
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Highly knowledgeable and an excellent teacher. Always finds a way to make lessons entertaining.
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David February 14, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
Just had a great first lesson with Mark. I'm an intermediate guitarist with a few years of experience looking to work on improving my improvisation. Right away, Mark helped get me started in the right direction and gave me some valuable tips that I'd never considered, which are already helping how I think about my playing.

Looking forward to continuing lessons.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(21)
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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Reviews
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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

About David W.

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Berkeley, CA
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I may be the teacher that makes this subject finally accessible to you! Over 8 years teaching at the College level, and before that I have been teaching privately. Music Theory is one of my strongest subjects!

About David
Hi there, and thanks for viewing my TakeLessons profile! I am excited to be a part of the team in Berkeley, CA.

I started teaching lessons while in music school for Classical Guitar in 1996. From 1998 onwards, I played with a variety of musicians from Africa and Latin America, as well the as great American traditions of gospel, funk, jazz, and bluegrass. All the while, I continued to study music theory and composition, on my own and in private lessons with both well-known players and local professionals. Flamenco and Indian Classical music have also been great interests which I am still involved with.

Though guitar is generally my "go-to" instrument, I often use a MIDI keyboard for composition, and studied/performed on bass for 10 years. The last few years, I have begun to develop my voice as well.

Since 2006, I have been teachi
ng music theory and composition at Ex’pression College in Emeryville. This is a digital production environment for the arts, and my students come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are musicians/aspiring musicians, and some are primarily interested in working with technology; but all are audio enthusiasts and love music!

*** Lesson Details ***
Whether you are a complete beginner or have been playing gigs for years, are very young or old, I have something to offer you!

How we structure lessons depends in part on you and your goals, as well as your learning style. Having taught music for over 15 years, I have a large amount of resources at my disposal, and can either teach from a method book, or a variety of materials, some of which are my own creations.

I also like to use technology as a teaching aid, and can show you how to use your own computer, keyboard, or music production application (garageband, etc) to practice and create music at home. Another thing that I offer is to make recordings of key parts of the lesson, either as an audio or video file, or both. These can be shared with you through email, dropbox, or a flash drive if you bring one along to your lesson.

Please contact TakeLessons if you have any further questions! I look forward to meeting and working with you or your child.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home studio: Front room with computer station, guitars, music stand. Waiting area with couches and table, and parents can sit in on lessons. Street parking available, no pets.

College: practice rooms and classrooms available with computers and MIDI controllers.

*** Specialties ***
On guitar and bass, I have experience in world music including Africa, Latin America, and Flamenco. I also love American traditional music, including funk, jazz, rock, and gospel. I specialize in teaching music theory and composition, no matter what instrument. Rhythmic concepts applied to any instrument are a favorite topic.
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Reviews
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Diane P. June 8, 2018
· Music Theory · In studio
David really listens! Not only to what I want and need, but to where I am and to when I'm being too ambitious. I look forward to the rest of our lessons; I know I'm going to learn a lot.
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Suzanne Valentine December 8, 2017
· Guitar · In home
David was a great teacher for our 12-yr-old son who was beginning guitar -- we highly recommend him!
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Elliot November 2, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Really great teacher and person. Would highly recommend him.
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David W.

David W.

Berkeley, CA 94703
(15)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Liz J.

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Sonoma, CA
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With 20 years of music and theory experience, Liz teaches how to identify all aspects of music, as well as how to build and identify chords and key signatures, and how to make your way around the Western scale.

About Liz
After graduating California Institute of the Arts with a multi-focus on several aspects of music including African dance, Indonesian gamelan, songwriting, recording, classical voice and piano, folk guitar, and more, Liz had the excellent opportunity to teach theater to a local musical theater summer youth program. All summer, she taught class sizes ranging from 10 to 26 students of the ages 5-10. Her initiative later led to being hired at this local community theater. Along with this theater teaching experience, she has been teaching piano, guitar, ukulele, flute & voice lessons for over 10 years. Her students have gone from knowing nothing about music to learning and performing entire pieces on their own as well as even auditioning & for agents and becoming signed artists in Los Angeles. Liz knows that it is her place in the world to tea
ch music & spread positivity through her own music and would love nothing more than make learning music a positive and fun experience for everyone.

*** Lesson Details ***
I teach out of the Alfred's Piano course, but am open to trying out any music books you may already have in your home. I do expect my students to purchase the books they would like to learn out of and to have the material I have given them for homework ready, completed, and practiced by the time we have our weekly lesson. I recommend at least twenty to thirty minutes of practice every day, and will give rewards for having practiced well, and for performing well in our lessons. I would love it for my students to be clear on what they would like to learn, and I love using songs that the student enjoys to make his or her music learning process fun.

*** Studio Equipment ***
In my home studio, I have a full size Cable-Nelson upright piano, as well as two ukuleles, and two guitars (one acoustic-electric and one electric).

*** Travel Equipment ***
When I travel, I bring my own instrument that the student is learning on so that I can demonstrate, as well as a music stand if necessary.

*** Specialties ***
Pop, folk, opera, musical theater, classical, rock, reggae
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Reviews
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Marco P. September 27, 2016
· Singing · In home
My 8 year old son LOVED his first singing lesson with Liz! He was sad when it was over because he was having so much fun!
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Tyze A. April 18, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Liz was great! And my 6 year old who wants to make decisions for himself made the choice to continue to go to piano lessons. Amazing!
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Arati G. March 11, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Great and very nice teacher. Very helpful and helps makes my daughter feel very comfortable and makes her want to go back and learn more
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Liz J.

Liz J.

Sonoma, CA 95476
(10)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Gabriel R.

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Oakland, CA
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About Gabriel
I view my role as an educator to be bigger than simply training a performer. I believe in creating a complete musician--one who thinks deeply about music. I accomplish this by working on, yes, the technical aspects of playing an instrument, but also through constant listening, ear-training, theory education, and history education. I engage both children and adults through fun activities that build musical knowledge.

*** Lesson Details ***
I take a multi-pronged approach to music education and, likewise, to lessons. Depending on the age and ability of the student, a lesson typically involves a brief warm-up followed by review of earlier material, introduction of new concepts or discussion of improvement areas, then a look forward at what to work on this week. The material ranges from technical exercises such as scales, thirds, finger p
atterns, etc. to ear-training activities, progressive study pieces, and long-term repertoire projects. For some students, I also add listening or light research assignments to encourage musical discovery.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I have flutes to rent to students for a small maintenance fee. I provide all of the educational materials for piano students though may ask a student to purchase a book or two. I occasionally can provide or lend sheet music, but mostly I expect the student to purchase those materials as well as books for theory/history.

*** Specialties ***
My flute students receive methods all over the board from Marcel Moyse, Taffanel, and Gaubert to Trevor Wye and Wagner. My theoretical knowledge is quite comprehensive and always taught through a historical lens. My piano students (I have several young beginners currently) receive combined methods from Bartók, Faber and Faber, Bastien, Donald Waxman, and many of my own inventive techniques. I have experience with special needs students, especially with neuroatypical students.
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Kaylin July 25, 2018
· Flute · In home
Very opened and patient very knowledgeable highly recommended
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Gabriel R.

Gabriel R.

Oakland, CA 94613
(1)
starting at
$25 / 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 Astrid C.

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Martinez, CA
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About Astrid
Teaching is my passion. Over the last few years I have worked with some amazing students of all ages. My youngest student was 2 years old and my oldest student is in her 70's and I absolutley love that! I have experience working with children with learning difficulties and students who get frustrated really easily. I love helping students fall in love with music, like I did growing up with my music teachers and professors. I am passionate about music and passionate about my students learning and excelling in their craft. I enjoy working with all ages and all types of music abilities. As a teacher I really push my students to understand music itself and spend time going over theory, which is super important. I would love to help you or your child grow and learn in their music abilities and hope to hear from you soon!
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Stuart Cutt March 30, 2018
· Piano · In studio
Astrid was wonderful
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Janice P. January 6, 2018
· Piano · In home
Astrid is a great teacher. She is patient, clear, and works so well with my six year old daughter. I highly recommend her.
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Rafael O. February 17, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Awesome instructional singing tutor, we'll keep in touch with her on my son's needs.
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Astrid C.

Astrid C.

Martinez, CA 94553
(11)
starting at
$30 / 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 the University of Wisconsin Madison in this 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've completed the Diploma test for ABRSM. I am interested 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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4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory

4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory

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

4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory
Sure, music theory is complex -- but there's no need to fear it! Here, Jamaica Plain, MA teacher Noaa R. shares four steps to get you started...   Many students tend to avoid studying music theory and harmony. This can stem from a fear of compromising one’s creativity with rules and numbers, a failure to connect concepts with application, or from feeling overwhelmed by the perceived volume of material to be learned. However, when you approach theory as an exploratory process that help
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
Why Learning Piano Theory is Important for All Musicians
Struggling to understand music theory? Try heading over to the piano -- seeing a visual representation can help a ton! Here, Lowell, IN teacher Blake C. shares how to get started...   Many musicians avoid learning music theory altogether because it can feel much like learning a foreign language; as a result, many musicians enlist in the anti-music theory organization. I will admit it – I was a member of the anti-music theory organization in my early years, declaring that music theory
All in Order: Tricks for Identifying Key Signatures
What are the "keys" to identifying different key signatures? Read on for some great tips from Tucson, AZ teacher Lourdes C... In reading music, there are a few things that give musicians the biggest headaches. One major migraine-maker is determining keys from the key signature and then remembering the order of sharps and flats. This chart gives musicians a quick way to help with identifying key signatures. Key Signatures at a Glance Major sharps: the name of the key can be fou
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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