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Port Costa, CA Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers near Port Costa, CA

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About Amber S.

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Vallejo, CA

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Award nominated singer-songwriter (wife and mom) with over 20 years experience available to teach eager students of all experience levels and ages! I structure my lessons so students learn what they want to learn, while also building a strong foundation of skills, focusing on self-expression and technique. I specialize in pop, folk, rock, blues and country styles. Let's have fun making music!

About Amber
I have been a performing singer-songwriter/graphic artist for 15+ years have written roughly 200 original songs, released several CDs and performed hundreds of shows. Music has been an important part of my life and has given me enormous amounts of joy and growth as an individual. Both of my parents are musicians and I was fortunate to have their support and guidance in addition to formal and informal training from various musicians over the years but mostly, I developed my style of playing from many hours of playing and experimenting. I am excited to have the opportunity to teach others the tools needed to start their own journey in music.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am both easy going and goal oriented. I want my students to get the most out of their lessons and enjoy every minute.

I provide the syllabus & handouts needed initially
but will may assign a book after the first few lessons. Students should have an empty three-ring binder handy or iPad in addition to owning their own guitar or piano/keyboard. I recommend supporting local music stores before going to the big chains. I can help with choosing an instrument if needed.

Within 6 months*, the student should know and be able to play major and minor chords (instruments only), understand basic music notation, time signatures, and be able to follow basic sheet music. Students are encouraged to name songs that they wish to learn to keep them excited and interested in learning.

Emphasis will be on accuracy, performance techniques and having fun!

* results will vary with each student.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Each student needs a guitar or piano/keyboard and a 3 ring binder.

*** Specialties ***
Guitar, Piano, Songwriting: Folk, Rock, Blues & Country.
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Reviews
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JannessaB April 25, 2012
· ·
Great Teacher

Amber was great with my son. She was very pleasant, professional and on time. Very good teacher!
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Amber S.

Amber S.

Vallejo, CA 94589
(1)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Steven B.

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Alameda, CA

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I will teach you the basic concepts of how to compose songs and make those musical ideas of yours a reality. Through music theory techniques, progression theory, lyric concepts and ear training, we'll take that song that's "in your head" and make it into a reality you'll be proud of!

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 James P.

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Petaluma, CA
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I'm an award winning, published songwriter and I have a passion for songwriting and I love to help people with their songs. I can help you shape that music that lives inside you and is longing to get out.

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 Kristina B.

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San Francisco, CA

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The various songwriting formulas, hooks, harmony, arranging, how to craft a song well, melody, turning poetry into music, and how to find the "right" chords/music with what one hears in their head.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kristina B.

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

About Peter D.

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Oakland, CA
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I have coached hundreds of songs with a wide variety of students in pretty much any style of music, accelerating their understanding of the three basic elements of song craft: lyrics, melody, harmony.

Using techniques acquired through the Berklee School of Music system, I work closely with each person's temperament and personality, and help them in drawing out their own unique mode of expression into song.

About Peter
Whether piano, voice, songwriting/composition, music theory or music production, I bring all that I have learned and developed as a musician to the lesson in the interest of the student’s growth.

Whether we work in classical, jazz, or pop, We focus on what will directly fit your individual goals. We can cover the full spectrum of technique, theory, ear training, sight-reading, and performance. What emerges over time is tailor-made program suited to your needs and goals.

A little bit about my background: I have studied with over 12 music professors, both in the classroom and individually for 6 years at Saddleback Community College in Orange County. I’ve studied a number of styles while composing for and performing in various small ensembles, including:  world music, classical, pop, jazz, and musical theatre. I continue teach, produ
ce and compose music for myself and other artists as well.

I look forward to getting to know you!
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Reviews
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Sam October 21, 2015
· Singing · Online
I have always known I have had some kind of voice. I started doing lessons with Peter for not only vocals but also guitar. He has helped me explore the different ranges my voice can actually hit and how to add more emotion into a song. In one lesson just today, he made a song that i perfomed which sounded okay in the beginning of the lesson sound 10x better and to the very best of my ability by the end of the lesson. Every lesson is alot of help! He is great at understanding how to work with people whether it is vocally or trying to learn to play guitar - he uses great techniques for understanding and will work at the perfect pace appropriate for the student. He makes learning guitar and singing very fun. Highly reccomended!
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Charles October 19, 2015
· Piano · Online
I am Peter's father, so obviously this review will be a little biased. And, I have never taken a lesson from Peter, as I am not a musician and do not play an instrument. BUT, I can say this: Peter is hard-working, conscientious, and devoted to his profession. He is passionate about music and about teaching, and genuinely cares about each student. AND, he knows how to make learning fun! (Evidently he inherited that trait from his mom, who teaches English and Spanish). So, hire Peter! He's the best!
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Louise Comfort September 29, 2015
· Piano · In home
I found Peter to be very intelligent and very knowledgeable. Peter was great in not only classical styles of playing but also jazz which really kept me engaged! I especially liked the way he taught music theory alongside some of the standard learning points like scales and such. Overall I had a delightful experience with this teacher. If Peter ever moves back to my area I would love to take lessons with him again!
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Peter D.

Peter D.

Oakland, CA 94609
(19)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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About David W.

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Berkeley, CA

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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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Kelley Martel March 24, 2016
· Guitar ·
It was a great first lesson with David . He is very kind and patient and helpful and I can see he is skilled as a musician. I am excited to work with him !
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Roy H. January 28, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
If I could give 4.5 stars I would, the only reason it's not 5 stars is because I think nobody is perfect, but David is very close to it. I really liked how patient David was with Eli and his deep knowledge of music was very impressive. David is able to prevent things in a number of different ways and he makes sure that you understand that material very well.
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Ian Merrill November 10, 2015
· Music Theory · In studio
David is awesome! I began lessons with him because i was not satisfied with the music theory classes at the school i am enrolled in, as well as the classes did not accommodate well to my learning differences. David not only has endless knowledge of music theory but also has shown me tools and helpful methods for studying music. I highly recommend taking lessons from David if you are either a beginner or you are at a higher level and would like to expand your knowledge of music theory.
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David W.

David W.

Berkeley, CA 94703
(12)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Larry T.

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Albany, CA
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Hello,

I began my Songwriting and Composing career in New York City's famous Tin Pan Alley working as a Staff Songwriter for Kama Sutra Records.

While there I was discovered by a Rock and Roll manager, who put me to work as a Songwriter/Composer/Pianist/Mime in an Art Rock band called “The Hello People”.
The band created five commercially released record albums, two of which were produced by Todd Rundgren.

The band appeared on the “Tonight Show”, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and the Fillmore's East and West while constantly touring the U.S

I toured with Todd Rundgren as a Pianist/Keyboardist and Vocalist on his “Back to The Bars” tour.

My true passion has always been Songwriting, Composing and Teaching.

I studied Piano, Songwriting, Composing Music & Jazz Theory privately.

Samples:
www.reverbnation.com/thehellopeople
www.reverbnation.com/largimusic
Thank you,
Larry Tasse

About Larry
Music is my passion. As a professional Songwriter, Composer and Pianist, I have toured the United States in Rock and Roll bands, and made my living working as a songwriter, composer and pianist accompanying singers and instrumentalists, as a soloist, and as a recording session keyboardist and composing music and writing songs for Film and Live Theatre.

I am an award winning songwriter and I am a member of The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers- A.S.C.A.P.
...
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Larry T.

Larry T.

Albany, CA 94706
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Marissa K.

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South San Francisco, CA
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I'm currently teaching songwriting to help my students understand the basics of composition, song structure, and creating melodies and chords. I have studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston for songwriting and have been writing music for over 10 years.

About Marissa
I am a singer/songwriter/guitarist and I have been playing and singing for over 10 years. I have played many high-profile gigs including the St. Petersburg Pride Fest and Tampa Gasparilla Festival. I am very excited to teach and work with many different learning styles. If you want a dedicated guitar teacher with lessons that work with your style and pace of learning, hit me up!
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Reviews
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Lore July 26, 2016
· ·
Marissa is an excellent music teacher!
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Lore E. June 22, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
The lesson witharissa was great!
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Brie April 29, 2016
· Guitar · In home
Very effective teacher, knowledgeable and patient. Highly recommend!
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Marissa K.

Marissa K.

South San Francisco, CA 94080
(4)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Frederick L.

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Antioch, CA

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

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

Frederick L.

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

About Spenser S.

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San Francisco, CA

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We'll look at what makes us like and feel connected to a song and how we can produce that same effect in a unique way!

About Spenser
Hello my name is Spenser! I am a performing guitarist, vocalist and songwriter in the bay area. I have been teaching for nearly 10 years and have taught all ages and experience levels. My main focus in teaching is to help my students fulfill their intentions with the chosen instrument. I studied jazz guitar at San Francisco State University (BA).

Thank you for your consideration!
...
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Spenser S.

Spenser S.

San Francisco, CA 94122
starting at
$20 / 30-min

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Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

Students are raving about their Songwriting instructors on TakeLessons. Check out some of these recent reviews.

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Our teachers have taught

2 , 0 9 5 , 6 2 4

lessons and counting!

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, check out the Songwriting articles on our blog.

The Anatomy of a Hit Pop Song [Infographic]

The Anatomy of a Hit Pop Song [Infographic]

When you're learning how to write a song, looking at how other songs are structured can be a great place to start. Like looking at a map before you go on a roadtrip, checking out the basic elements of songs you love gives you a sense of how they were written and what you need to do to write a song of your own. If analyzing all your favorite songs sounds like a daunting task (it is), you're in luck. The Billboard Experiment wanted to know if there was a formula that could determine which songs … Read More

The Anatomy of a Hit Pop Song [Infographic]
When you're learning how to write a song, looking at how other songs are structured can be a great place to start. Like looking at a map before you go on a roadtrip, checking out the basic elements of songs you love gives you a sense of how they were written and what you need to do to write a song of your own. If analyzing all your favorite songs sounds like a daunting task (it is), you're in luck. The Billboard Experiment wanted to know if there was a formula that could determine which songs
Tips for Writing a Song | Starting Songs And Ending Writer's Block
Feeling stuck? Get back on track with these helpful tips for writing a song, courtesy of Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   One of the most frequent problems that songwriting students encounter is pushing past writer's block and generating ideas for new songs. So here are several tips for writing a song that will help you overcome a creative dry spell and get you back to creative productivity. Start With A Title Think of some interesting subjects that you think would make goo
Songwriting Tips | The Wisdom of a One-Of-Kind Song Title
What's in a name? If you're looking for songwriting tips as you pen your next tune, check out this advice from Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   There is not one "right" or preferred way to write a song. It's a very individual choice. Some songwriters start out with a patch of melody or a line or two of lyric as their creative catalyst. Others will initiate the songwriting muse with a unique and instantly-captivating song title or writing from their emotions. And in this ever-cr
Are You Really Ready To Record Your Song Or Book A Vocal Session?
Think you're ready to write your own song and record it? Songwriting can be an arduous process - but seeing the final product is an amazing feeling. Read on for a helpful pre-recording checklist from Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   Whether you're singing your own song or hiring a vocalist to sing on your demo or master, there are many layers of preparation needed to ensure optimum results. Some songwriters like to wing it and hope that things will magically work out because th
6 Resources for Creating Your Own Sheet Music
As you develop your musical skills, you may become interested in writing your own music. While learning to play an instrument and being able to play others' music is a wonderful skill, nothing compares to creating sheet music full of your own compositions! As a budding songwriter, you’ll need to add some additional skills to your repertoire. Writing music can be as simple as putting a pen to paper, or you can take advantage of the many songwriting tools technology offers. Whether you’re sketchi

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