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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 Steven B.

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Alameda, CA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steven B.

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

About Andrew H.

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Oakland, 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 Oakland while I 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.

Oakland, CA 94607
(2)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Bryan E.

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Oakley, CA

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Learn to decode the mathematics of music, the rules, and how to break them!

Theory is the backbone of all that is music. For those who do not know how to read music, that will be the first step. From there we begin to work on special concepts, learning the numbers of structure. Then comes the nitty-gritty, the advanced workings to include composing!

About Bryan
Hello! Music has consumed me from a very young age, and has been a defining force ever since. I started singing in Kindergarten, and began playing the viola, cello, and saxophone in middle school. During high school, while performing in every vocal and band solo and ensemble I could, it became very clear that I wanted to pursue music in college. I attended Hastings College, a private liberal arts college in the heart of Nebraska, where I received my Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance. During college, and since, I have had a private music studio teaching students piano, voice, and a little guitar from ages 5 to 87, so I have seen a great deal of talent over the years. I enjoy all ages and genders, but having been a male in music I am aware of the stigma young males face regarding music. Being a veteran and a musician has allowe
d me to incorporate characteristics from both in my approach to teaching, and in showing it is very cool to be a male in music!

Education:
Private Vocal Student 1994-2006
Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance, Hastings College 2000-2006 (interrupted due to military)

Areas of Instruction:
Piano-Beginner/Intermediate
Guitar-Beginner/Intermediate
Music Theory-General/Intermediate Voice-Beginner/Intermediate/Professional

*** Lesson Details ***
Lesson Details:
The first few lessons for instrumental instruction will be familiarization. The first several lessons, and throughout all lessons for voice, we will learn about the bodies connection to the voice and the mechanics behind it.

After we are familiar with each other and our instruments of choice, we will begin on some basic music knowledge (theory). Super beginning for the youngsters, and more formal if you are an older student.

After approximately 3-6 months, depending on how much you practice, we will begin working on actual songs, and plugging in what we have learned so far into the songs, and using that material to advance in our learning.

I am excited to work with you!! Thank you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
1888 Lester Upright piano

*** Specialties ***
Methods used for instruction depend on the student. I have found what works for one may not work for all. However, I approach the vocal process from the basics of breathing combined with resonation points, and the modifications of such points based off of pitch, tone, and volume requirements. I instruct on personal voice points, meaning identify those parts where resonation lacks, and finding the right modifiers to safely approach those points, in an attempt to create an effortless sound which is safe to recreate every time.

Beginning, should the student not have any music theory knowledge, basic instruction will be presented. It is my opinion that a foundation in theory knowledge must be present to fully comprehend and utilize the vocal instruction.
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Reviews
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Luis U. June 25, 2015
· Piano · In studio
He's great! Very nice! We get along very well! I recommend!
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Luis U. February 6, 2015
· Piano · In studio
he is Excelent teacher. I am very happy to have him as my teachter. Luis
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Sherron M. October 15, 2014
· Piano · In studio
My son is 7 years old and can sometimes be a little hyper. He has seizures so he is on this medication that makes him a little hyper. I have to say that Bryan is very patient with my son and my son loves going to piano lessons. When he is sick and have to miss class, he actually cries. I live in Mountain House and Brian lives in Oakley, which is a little drive for us. I have to say, it is very much worth the drive. My son had no experience with piano before he started with Bryan and I have to say that he has learned so much in these past few months. Bryan is an excellent teacher and as long as I can afford him, I will definitely continue to take my son to piano lessons.
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Bryan E.

Bryan E.

Oakley, CA 94561
(7)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Jason J.

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Castro Valley, CA

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About Jason
I have been playing guitar for over 25 years and teaching for over 15. I have experience playing live including, classical guitar, acoustic popular songs, rock and jazz groups and most notably with The West Coast's Premier Tribute to Pearl Jam, Vitalogy. I have two music degrees (BA music and AA-O in Guitar Performance) and a California Music teaching credential which all has given me the training to assess your progress and differentiate your instruction based on YOUR specific needs as a student as well as your musical goals.
There are a couple of books I may suggest for you depending on the situation and of course I require you to provide your own guitar as you will need it to practice what you learn in each lesson.

*** Specialties ***
I take a balanced approach to teaching that includes equal attention to theory and technique w
hile helping a student accomplish his/her musical goals. I am comfortable teaching the following genres: rock, blues, classical, reggae, jazz and country
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Jason J.

Jason J.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
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
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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 Doom 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 get major radio airplay in Europe.
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Reviews
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Paul M. October 16, 2016
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Hanging out like old times and had a Great lesson. Thanks Mark
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Michael P. July 6, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Mark was an excellent teacher, made me very comfortable. We talk about music and set some goal,he keeps a chart to know what his teaching each student and he write it all out on paper and he writes that you can understand his writing .so very happy. Mike
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Scott June 8, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
First lesson. Mark really dialed in my skill level and completely exceeded my expectations in terms of material, lesson plan, genre etc. Even got to play one of his ridiculously sweet tele's.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(15)
starting at
$40 / 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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Kate September 5, 2017
· Clarinet · In studio
First clarinet lesson today with Mack Ruck. I'm a rank beginner, which is why I chose Mack. I figured that a band and orchestra teacher would have encountered many of me over his career in the schools, and know how to work with different styles of learning. He also would be able to explain stuff simply from the very base level. I was really right! I came out of the lesson knowing how to read and play middle C through A (not very well, but that's why we practice). I learned ways to make the note actually sound, what you can do to screw up the sound or make it clear and on-key. Not too shabby for starting the half hour without being able to make a sound on the clarinet. So he's a great teacher. He's also the most patient guy on earth, with nerves of iron!
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Emiliano A. August 28, 2017
· Clarinet · In studio
Mack is an amazing teacher! He is kind but gently moved my son along in his musical skills.
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Evan X. July 23, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Mack was awesome !
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Mack R.

Mack R.

Oakland, CA 94607
(23)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Vir M.

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

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

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

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

*** Travel Equipment ***
Have equipment

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

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

Vir M.

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

About Dan S.

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San Francisco, CA

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Taught at Songbird Studios. Trained pianist and vocalist at Power Performance Studios. Music History & Theory classes in undergrad. Performed with NC Theatre, NYC Master Choral and Musical Creations Recording Co.

About Dan
Dan is an accomplished, multi-disciplinary performer (Singer, Actor, Dancer, Pianist) and is the founder & CEO of Multiviewing; a five-month, life-coaching program providing clients a unique and structured platform for personal and professional development.

Dan has his BA in Communications and Music History & Literature from NC State University and his MPA in Public Administration & Nonprofit Management from Baruch College. He is currently working on his PhD in Integral & Transpersonal Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies. Dan excels in academia, as well as in multiple facets of the Performing Arts!

Growing up in NC, Dan trained at the Raleigh Conservatory of Music and was the youngest member of the Raleigh Oratorio Society and the North Carolina Master Chorale. He received excellent ratings in piano, vocal and a
cademic competitions, and was awarded the Triangle Theatre Award for Best Actor in a Musical and the North Carolina State University’s Theatre Endowment Award for Best Male Lead.

Dan is an alum of Broadway Theatre Project and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. He has directed, music directed, choreographed and starred in several theatrical productions and benefit concerts across the country for a variety of national nonprofits. He dreams of owning his own nonprofit healing and performing arts center in San Francisco.

Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Lived in: New York, NY
Current City: San Francisco, CA

Quote: “Everything starts with the decision and passion to succeed. Let’s unleash your potential and share your gift with the world!”

Top 10 artists: Luciano Pavarotti, Eva Cassidy, Samuel Barber, Jennifer Hudson, Frederic Chopin, Whitney Houston, Jason Robert Brown, Heather Headley, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim.
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Dan S.

Dan S.

San Francisco, CA 94109
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Winslow Y.

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San Francisco, CA

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

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

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

Winslow Y.

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

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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
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
6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory
Staring at the Circle of Fifths and memorizing key signatures isn't the only way to learn music theory! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares some creative ideas to revive your learning...   Music theory is a very important part of your musicianship, whether it be mastering ear training, harmony, or sight reading. No matter what instrument you play or what styles you enjoy, those who learn music theory grow further as musicians. A solid knowledge can help you improve your perform

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