Portola Valley Language Lessons

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About Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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

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

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

My Background

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

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

Philosophy of Learning

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

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

I also hold events for my students. (Check out our pictures and videos below!)
Younger students have opportunities to perform for friends and family at my studio every few months. Once or twice a year we'll also stage a larger event off site for more individual students and bands classes to perform.
Adult students also occasionally have events where they get a chance to get together and play music as well.

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

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

My studio is equipped with:

*Music Stands

*A P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, Ukulele, Banjos, etc

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set

*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set

*An electric piano console and Yamaha organ

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, Saxophone, and Flute

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

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

*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
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Reviews
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Brian August 29, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
This was my son's first lesson, and he is looking forward to playing his trumpet and coming back for more lessons. I was hoping to spark his interest in music and so far so good.
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Robert O. August 10, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Rajeev July 18, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
After a break of more than a year I wanted to restart my Trumpet lessons. I chose Jesse based on the reviews and Jesse did not disappoint. He is very patient and focused teacher. I liked his structured method and tools he uses. I was able to get back in groove in no time.

Highly recommended.
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(87)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Kathleen B.

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Menlo Park, CA
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About Kathleen
I am a classically-trained opera singer. I have a Bachelors and Masters in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy (teaching), and have sung professionally in the U.S. and Europe. I have sung Opera, Operetta, Musical Theater and Concerts, as well as choral and cantorial singing. I have been a finalist and winner of vocal competitions in both the United States and Europe.
I have been teaching voice since 1980, and have worked with students of all ages, from 14 to 75. I have also directed and designed for musical theater and opera. Because I love singing, I want to bring that to my students as well, whatever kind of music they want to sing.

In addition to music, I also teach English (ESL), Accent Reduction, German, U.S. & World History. I have my CBEST Credential And ESL Certification. I do private tutoring and teach clas
ses.

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe that learning how to breath is the key to good singing. After 3 months of study, my students will have learned how to breathe, which improves both their singing and speaking voices. Good breathing is the key to good singing and a healthy voice. With a healthy, well-trained voice, my students can be valuable members of any vocal ensemble, and enjoy their singing, For solo singing, good breathing is most important, whether singing opera, musical theater or pop music, because it gives a beautiful, full quality to the voice.
I always begin a lesson with warm-up exercises, to check breathing and vocal placement. Once the (vocal) engine is warmed-up, then we begin to sing. I try to get to know my students, so that, together, we can choose music that will enable them to reach their goals and is both fun and challenging for them to sing.

In addition to music, I also teach English (ESL), Accent Reduction, German, U.S. & World History. I have my CBEST Credential And ESL Certification. I do private tutoring and teach classes.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Separate studio with Piano
I have a MacBook Pro laptop computer + stereo speakers, to provide recorded accompaniment, when necessary.

*** Travel Equipment ***
If a student wishes to have on-site lessons, I require that a piano or keyboard be available for the lessons.
I usually travel with my MacBook Pro laptop computer & stereo speakers, to provide recorded accompaniment, when necessary.

*** Specialties ***
I am a trained opera/oratorio singer, but I teach Broadway, Pop, choral and classical singers.

I have had many international students who didn't speak English well. Music is an international language that helps me communicate with all of my students!
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Reviews
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Elizabeth (Betsy) June 3, 2016
· Singing · In studio
I took away a whole array of new strategies and techniques to help preserve my voice and to increase my range. What a surprise- I had no idea I could sing so high!! Kathleen is a wonderful teacher and a really super lady. I'll be back for more lessons in the fall.
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Nadia N. August 10, 2015
· Singing · In studio
My daughter is really enjoying her voice lessons. Kathleen is a talented, caring teacher and knows how to make the process effective and fun for my daughter. My daughter loves being able to choose the songs she wants to learn, and this collaborative process keeps her quite interested and inspired.
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Leah Y. L. May 6, 2014
· Singing ·
Excellent Voice Teacher

Mrs. B is a wonderful and dedicated teacher who focuses diligently during class sessions. She thoroughly explains terms and technique and is friendly and sociable. Her extensive knowledge of languages comes extremely useful in Italian arias and other folk songs as to explain the meanings of words and to convey motion. Her classes are enjoyable and fun, while still being comprehensively academic.
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Kathleen B.

Kathleen B.

Menlo Park, CA 94025
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Judy E.

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Los Gatos, CA
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About Judy
I have taught may different kinds of subjects, ESL, Drug and Alcohol Education, Social services, in the past. Mostly, though, I have taught piano, my first and greatest love, starting in the 70's and off and on until I took it full time during the past 2 years. I develop special relationships with all of my students, and together with individually specific incentives, nearly all my students progress very quickly in their learning. I enjoy children of all ages as well as adults.
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Reviews
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Tracey Q. December 2, 2017
· Piano · In home
Judy had my son up and playing in no time. She was great about setting a pace that will keep him challenged and confident simultaneously. He loves his lessons and looks forward to learning more. My youngest, after observing a class, has decided he would like to play too!
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Andy Z. October 30, 2015
· Piano · In home
Judy E did good job for her first class. Both Andy and Jody like her. They are looking forward to the next class,
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Judy E.

Judy E.

Los Gatos, CA 95032
(2)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Lella L.

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San Francisco, CA

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About Lella
I studied Musicology and Piano Performance at the Shandong Normal University School of Music, where I graduated with my BA in 2005. I taught music and established a band at a property management institute while a student there, and established my own practice after I graduated. I came to the United States in 2013, where I have continued to play piano and have joined a local band. I am happy to continue sharing my love of music with my students here.

I began tutoring Mandarin in January 2015. As a native speaker, I can guide you to a very high level, and help you learn to speak with a proper Chinese accent.

Please note: Online classes are available for Mandarin Chinese only. Piano lessons are only available in person.
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Reviews
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Mo March 6, 2017
· Piano · In studio
5 stars' teacher
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Kayli September 21, 2016
· Piano · In studio
We just had our first lesson and we hit a few bumps but my daughter has never had music instruction before so we're giving it another go next week to see if things go more smoothly. 3 stars above says meets expectations, and though it didn't, I just hesitate to give someone 2 stars based on one lesson.
Here are some details from class:
My daughter (K) just turned 5 but is pretty mature for her age and has expressed an interest in learning the piano so we signed up for individual lessons with Lella. At the start of class I mentioned again (I had noted it at booking time as well) that K has had zero experience with music instruction. Immediately Lella sat with K on the piano bench and started explaining treble clef sign, bass clef sign and what hands they relate to. Lella also has a thick accent as I was trying to follow along with her explanations with a little difficulty. She even asked if K speaks Chinese and I said "no" so she said "you're Indian right?" My daughter would look around from time to time while Lella was explaining at which point Lella would just keep seeing "Pay attention sweetie!" Then she asked my daughter to write the numbers 1-5 in a book and when she said she didn't know how to write the number 2, Lella laughed and said "you know, but you forgot right" so I spoke up and explained "no she has not been taught to write her numbers yet, but she can read/recognize them" to which Lella seemed very surprised, so I felt the need to say, "she's still in preschool. But if you write them she'll be able to tell you what they are." So then Lella switched to counts, explaining about the values of different notes. She asked my daughter if she had questions, to which my daughter said "I think I understand what you're saying, if it's just a circle that means four, but if it's a circle with a line..." And before she could finish her thought Lella said "no that's not a line, it's a stem". At another point when Lella asked if she had any questions, my daughter slowly said "yes... what's velour?" And when Lella looked confused I had to step in and explain that Lella was saying "value", the amount of counts for a note. By the end of the half hour lesson, Lella had reached her explanation of middle C, which she described to my daughter saying "this is middle C because it's in the middle, there are two black keys, then on the left is C. Can you find another one?" When K didn't respond right away, she repeated herself, and again another time. So I said "she really has had no previous music experience, I think you need to even explain to her that those are called keys, like there are black keys, white keys..." And Lella just looked at me confused.
At the end of the lesson I agreed to buy the theory book so we can practice that at home, and Lella asked if I can sit in on the next lesson to help explain things to my daughter, because she "doesn't really focus". I agreed to sit in on the lesson, for my own benefit so I can help her with HW since I also don't have music experience. But I also mentioned to Lella that her accent is quite strong and I think my daughter was having trouble understanding her, and Lella seemed surprised by that comment.
I don't know... it says on Lella's profile that she has worked with young kids but I can't really see how the class was any different from how she would teach me, an adult with no prior music experience.
Oh! I forgot to mention something so basic - when we met Lella she thought I was someone else so I re-introduced myself and introduced my daughter. Then as we were saying goodbye at the end of class I realized Lella had never introduced herself to my daughter, so I asked "oh, what would you like K to call you, Ms. Li, or Lella? Ms. Lella?" She said Lella was fine so I turned to K and said "Tell Lella bye K." It just hit me, I mean that's something about creating a relationship with a young student. Speaking to them directly, making that connection. Lella was really smiley which gave the impression she was friendly but she never really made a connection with K who is the student, not me.
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Marissa August 22, 2016
· Classical Piano · In home
Lella quickly recognized what I needed to practice and brought me a great book that helped me get back to where I was very quickly.
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Lella L.

Lella L.

San Francisco, CA 94124
(17)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Antonietta A.

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San Jose, CA
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About Antonietta
I moved to the Bay Area from Italy, where I used to be a lawyer. During my studies, I used to give private lessons of law and help children doing homework. My passion has always been teaching: I love my language, I am patient and I am very happy to help you learning Italian and my culture.
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Reviews
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Rose September 29, 2017
· Italian · Online
Antonietta is favolosa! I've been taking lessons with her since the beginning of summer and each time has been truly enjoyable and invigorating. She is very patient, knowledgable and has high expectations. I look forward to working with her each week.
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Susan S. March 29, 2017
· Italian · Online
Really great teacher!
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Tony C. February 22, 2017
· Italian · Online
Antonietta has been wonderful with my 11 year old daughter, who is studying Italian in preparation for a summer trip to Italy. Antonietta is patient and ensures my daughter understands the lesson before moving on. She provides effective exercises that reinforce the concepts, which then can be used as a study guide between lessons. And just as important, my daughter likes working with her. I'm glad we chose Antonietta!
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Antonietta A.

Antonietta A.

San Jose, CA 95134
(5)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Seiko D.

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Saratoga, CA
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About Seiko
I enjoy teaching Japanese. I am a native Japanese speaker, born and raised in Japan. I have a college degree in Japan with a secondary teaching credential as well as a BS degree in the US. Prior to a Japanese tutor, I worked at global companies in Japan and the US for 15+ years would be a plus for tutoring and mentoring your goals.

Everyone has a different style and level of learning languages. I teach beginners to advanced levels. My sessions would be individually tailored based on your interests, necessary improvements, and goals. You would most likely use textbooks during sessions. For school students, I am familiar with textbooks being used in the bay area. I teach my students based on their school classes and assignment preparations. For business needs, my work experience would help you not only learning the language but also str
engthening your communication skills in understanding of its cultural aspects and nuance. For job seekers and Japanese college applications, I have experience of reviewing and proofreading resume and essays as well as AP/JLPT test preparations.
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Javier January 25, 2018
· Japanese · In studio
It was a fantastic lesson! I learned a lot (: Arigatou Gozaimasu
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George O. January 7, 2018
· Japanese · In studio
It was very exciting to learn with her and I am excited for future lessons.
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Jana Y. October 30, 2017
· Japanese · In studio
My teacher was very friendly and sweet. She gelped me a lot to get motivated for my future lessons.
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Seiko D.

Seiko D.

Cupertino, CA 95014
(3)
starting at
$60 / 60-min

About Tarun B.

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Cupertino, CA
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About Tarun
My name is Tarun B. and I am a native Hindi speaker. I have been teaching Hindi to kids and adults from last 15 years. I love teaching Hindi and try to make it fun. I teach conversational Hindi as well as reading and writing. I use storybooks, games, hands-on materials, flash cards so the students learn faster. Recently I wrote a book to teach conversational Hindi which is available on Amazon.
Looking forward to work with you,
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Reviews
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Sara LaMarch January 24, 2018
· Hindi · In home
Warm and welcoming first session; I feel confident that Tarun will expand my knowledge of Hindi
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Geraldine November 30, 2017
· Hindi · In studio
Tarun is very thorough, and professional.
You can tell she cares about her students and wants them to succeed.
I appreciate that she had my lesson packet ready and is more than willing to personalize my program..
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Naeem & Ashika D. November 9, 2017
· Hindi · Online
Taruna is a great teacher. She is timely, proficient, kind, and such a pleasure to work with. She cares about making sure we get our monies worth by teaching as much as she cans in the time allotted. She's the best and I would highly recommend her to anyone really wanting to learn Hindi
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Tarun B.

Tarun B.

Cupertino, CA 95014
(5)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Mona S.

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San Francisco, CA

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About Mona
I have a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA). I work with adult learners to help them communicate in English effectively and confidently. I have experience working with complete beginners and intermediate to more advanced speakers of English.

Students can expect each lesson to be tailored to their individual language learning needs and preferred learning styles. Focus is placed on getting ample speaking practice and practice exercises to practice and solidify newly acquired knowledge. I have experience working with business professionals, college students and seniors.

Through stimulating, comfortable private lessons, I help learners find their voice and a desire to continually develop their communication skills. Tutoring is an extremely rewarding experience and I love being able to facilitate learning. I'm alw
ays inspired by my learners' growth and personal commitment to improving.

My goal is to build your confidence in speaking, writing and understanding the English language by improving your grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, and sentence fluency in a transparent, stress-free and fun format.

Reach out to me to see how we can work together to get you where you want to be!
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Reviews
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Mary June 18, 2017
· · Online
Mona is a dedicated, kind, and compassionate teacher! I worked with her on several essays to proof read for me and even with her busy schedule, she would respond right away with such thorough edits! You can tell Mona truly puts a lot of time and dedication into helping others and genuinely cares for others to succeed. I highly recommend Mona for any instructing, tutoring, editing help that you may need!!!
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Ahmed June 18, 2017
· ESL · In studio
I hired Mona for advanced English language lessons. Mona was exceptionally dedicated to the lessons and I could tell she spends a fair amount of time preparing before each lesson. She is also flexible and fun to deal with.

I would highly recommend Mona to everyone.
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Mona S.

Mona S.

San Francisco, CA 94109
(2)
starting at
$30 / 45-min

About Dianne N.

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San Jose, CA

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About Dianne
Hello, I am a certified teacher and also an engineer. My main goal as an educator is to help students realize their true potential. Beyond helping my students complete homework or learn a new skill I provide them with tools for success. I teach my students so they can take charge of their learning.

I hold a Masters Degree in Education with an emphasis in Bilingual/Bicultural Education. Prior to earning my masters degree, I was a bilingual educator for six years. In addition, I have conducted research in language acquisition and math and have been trained using research based learning strategies. I also hold a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering and worked six years in this field.

I work with students all ages. I am available for homework, homeschooling, and enrichment activities. Before meeting with my students, I gather the ne
cessary information in order to create a lesson plan that will meet the student's specific needs. I have extensive experience in curriculum design. My approach to teaching is student-centered. I use a variety of methods to ensure that students are active participants in the learning process and get the most out of instruction.

I have worked with students with special needs including, learning disabled, ADHD and gifted and talented. When planning my lessons, I make sure that the activities included are appropriate for the student and use students feedback in future planning.
...
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Dianne N.

Dianne N.

San Jose, CA 95128
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Rafiqa R.

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Castro Valley, CA
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About Rafiqa
I am a Montessori school Director and a teacher. I have been teaching in Montessori school from past 13 years. I teach Hindi as a foreign language in my school too. I am a fluent Hindi speaker. I have 2 kids and they are fluent in Hindi as well.
I build up the lesson plans based on the students need. I can teach beginners, intermediate and advance levels.
Thank you, and all the best with your Hindi learning adventure.
...
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Rafiqa R.

Rafiqa R.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
starting at
$34 / 30-min

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