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Portola Valley, CA Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers near Portola Valley, 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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Al Lyle December 30, 2015
· Piano · In home
Great Teacher
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Lorne P. October 1, 2015
· Piano · In home
Jim was a great teacher. His patience and positive attitude made it easy for my wife and I to learn something new.
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dorothee C. March 4, 2013
· Piano ·
Great teacher for children, including jazz

Our 3 kids have taken piano lessons at our house with Jim for 6 years. Jim is a unique piano teacher, the kind that is hard to find in the bay area. He teaches classical music to beginners and confirmed students and goes to your house to teach. His training was in classical music, and he knows very well that it takes time and effort to get there, he is patient and encouraging, our kids NEVER felt pressured by him and still learned how to play in an exponential way. Thanks to Jim, they like to play for themselves AND in front of other people, which is one of Jim's important goals. Jim is now a renowned jazz piano player and cofounder of a band (Tre Mojo's) and we are always invited in his gigs when they take play in the bay area. Our son is learning jazz with him, it has been impressive to watch and hear, after a year he does know the jazz harmonies and can do impros. Every spring, Jim organizes a very nice recital where all his students come and perform various types of music (from Beethoven, Chopin, to the Beatles, to jazz impro. from beginner to professional level). Jim basically taught our children to play music with no stress, no competition, and still at a high level. Besides, Jim is highly professional, has NEVER been late, and always does what he says and -we believe- says what he thinks. There has never been a bump in our relationship. We would highly recommend him as a piano teacher.
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Jim T.

Jim T.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(3)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Laurence B.

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San Mateo, CA
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I teach music theory to many of m'y piano students, with spécial on ABRMS grade music theory which is a requirement for grades 6 and above for all instrumental exams.

About Laurence
I am a highly experienced and qualified piano teacher, teaching all ages and levels from beginner to advanced. I have proven success in taking students up to the top level of the ABRSM exams, and I am a member of the California Music Teachers Association.

QUALIFICATIONS

Master of Music (piano pedagogy), 2004, Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, CA (award of excellence)
Bachelor of Arts degree in Musicology, Sorbonne, Paris (cum laude)
State Piano Teaching Diploma, France
Gold Medal in Piano Performance, Conservatoire National

EXPERIENCE

I have been giving weekly individual piano and theory lessons for many years, presenting many for the ABRSM grade examinations. I also accompany high school choirs, and enjoy playing chamber music with the Arte Piano Trio. I am a enthusiastic pianist and enjoy sharing t
his passion with my students.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am familiar with the major piano methods, but rather than slavishly following one method, I prefer to adapt my teaching approach and pace to the needs and personality of each student, using whatever material is best suited for them. I ensure my students can read the notes they are playing, and thoroughly understand the rhythms, so they can become independent musicians. I also emphasize playing musically, even at beginning level, so they can enjoy and understand the music immediately. My students also have the opportunity to play in student recitals twice per year.

I can teach in English or French, using either letter name notes or the solfege method (do re mi).

*** Specialties ***
Classical piano (all periods) and chamber music
Broadway musicals and popular song music
I am specialized in preparing students for the internationally recognized ABRSM Grade exams.
I am familiar with most popular piano methods such as Faber and Faber, Alfred, Denes Agays, John Thompson and Bastien, and Dozen a Day for technique, and use them when I feel it is appropriate for the particular student.
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Reviews
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Carole Larsen February 16, 2017
· Music Theory · In studio
Laurence has the skill set and knowledge which I need.
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Beatrice B. February 11, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Lessons are wonderful. Laurence is patient, and with simple exercises she is helping my playing become more spontaneous and smooth.
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Alexandra K. September 25, 2015
· Piano · In studio
Laurence is an excellent teacher. She focuses on teaching theory and basics while also cultivating my daughter's love of music and keeping the lessons fun. My daughter loves her!
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Laurence B.

Laurence B.

San Mateo, CA 94403
(4)
starting at
$38 / 30-min

About Kathryn G.

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San Francisco, CA

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About Kathryn
From the moment Kat was tall enough to reach the keys she made so much noise on her family's piano that they eventually bought a kid-sized version to keep in her room. When Kat turned 7 her family got her the best present ever; lessons with an amazing piano teacher.

Kat also began to study flute several years later and soon realized that music was the life for her. She majored in music in both high school and college graduating with a BA in Music from St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin.

Kat has a very diverse career in music. From a full time private music teacher to the Musical Director of a Burning Man Opera, to the Section Leader for a Youth Orchestra, to the keyboard player in a Theatrical Heavy Metal Band, Kat is always thrilled to stretch her wings and try new things.

*** Lesson Details ***

I teach Tuesdays
and Wednesdays in San Francisco, and the rest of the week in the Santa Cruz area!

PLEASE NOTE - because I commute into SF to teach I do not offer in-home lessons. I teach at a lovely studio in the inner sunset!

I have a ridiculous sense of humor. I believe in stickers, high fives, and celebratory fist-bumps. And yes, that goes for the adults as well.

I always looked forward to my lessons because they were so fun, even if I knew I hadn't practiced enough. That is exactly what I try to create for every student I work with.

Besides the humor, I customize lesson plans to fit you. Not just the types of music you want to learn, but HOW you learn. My number one goal is that you completely understand what you are learning. I don't mind in the least if I need to explain a new lesson 10 different ways-€“ we will work together until you really get it! Understanding what you're doing makes it so much more fun.

Have a favorite song stuck in your head, but the sheet music is still too hard? No problem. I'm happy to write the song out for you at your own level. I want you to enjoy yourself, and if that means Lady GaGa then I'm happy to oblige. I will probably stick Mozart in when you're not looking just to make sure you're learning a lot of different things, but that's what teachers are for.

Of course we cover fundamentals and start with the basics. I typically incorporate music theory and ear training with your lessons as well . In 6 months on piano, with regular practice, you will be comfortably reading music and playing songs you enjoy with both hands AT THE SAME TIME! (Gasp!) On flute in 6 months you will also be able to read music comfortably, will no longer feel like you are about to drop the flute at any given moment, will have a solid range of notes and have a solid feeling of control while you play.

I look forward to sharing music with you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
piano, seating for parents

*** Specialties ***
My number one goal is comprehension -to make sure that all of my students really understand what they are doing. I work very hard to ensure an atmosphere where all of my students - no matter their age - can feel comfortable to say "I don't understand".
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Reviews
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Hailey May 15, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Kathryn is great. Her positive approach really builds confidence and makes you look forward to the next session.
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Andrea February 9, 2017
· Piano · In studio
My first lesson with Kathryn was fantastic. As an adult student, I was a bit embarrassed by knowing absolutely nothing about piano, and Kathryn would have none of it! She was wonderfully disarming, positive, and really knew how to structure the lesson so that I'd walk out motivated. I'm thrilled to continue lessons with her on the piano.
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Mia January 23, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Doing great so far!
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Kathryn G.

Kathryn G.

Ben Lomond, CA 95005
(34)
starting at
$31 / 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 Katherine S.

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San Jose, CA

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I teach basic music theory starting from simply knowing what note is what to being able to begin composing your own songs.

About Katherine
Kat S., Soprano, has her Bachelor's of Music in Classical Voice, as well as teaching singing lessons in San Jose and Sacramento, CA. A member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, she strives to support her students in finding their voice, no matter what level they are at. A proponent of being able to use your voice healthily for all singing styles, she is versed in classical, jazz, musical theater, and pop styles. She also has experience teaching beginning theory.

Now a teacher for elementary school music in San Jose, CA, she is also a professional singer for Holy Family Church. Previous jobs she's had are section leader for St. Mark's Methodist Church, professional singer for Fremont Presbyterian in Sacramento, and director for music for young adult Masses at the Sacramento Newman Catholic Community. Her own private tea
cher is the renowned Dr. Robin Fisher, Soprano. Dr. Fisher is one of two classical voice instructors at CSU Sacramento, and has performed in both the United States and Europe.

Lesson Details:
I teach from a comprehensive approach, taking into account mind and body: the science of voice as well as the art.

Studio Equipment:
- Piano
- Multiple books of music for: classical or opera voice, jazz voice, musical theater, children's music

Travel Equipment:
- Multiple books of music for: classical or opera voice, jazz voice, musical theater, children's music

Specialties:
Opera - Jazz Voice - Pop - Folk - Classical
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Reviews
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Mustafa July 17, 2017
· Singing · In home
She was great, made me feel comfortable at home, easy to get along with, and helps to sculpt to music you like.
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Marjorie October 10, 2016
· Broadway Singing · In studio
She is very good at telling me what is expected for each lesson and long term
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Roxanna B. July 25, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Very informative, detailed, and helpful! Gives a lot of instruction in varying methods to better teach you.
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Katherine S.

Katherine S.

San Jose, CA 95124
(18)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Jessica H.

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San Jose, CA

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Hi. This is Jessica H. I came from a family with strong music background .Currently I just graduated from San Francisco conservatory of music with Masters degree. I am a very patient person who has huge passion about working with kids and adults.Since I have been teaching a quite long time.I have had students who past the highest level of ABRSM exams. I can help you work with both MTAC and ABRSM theory test .

About Jessica
Hi. This is Jessica H. Currently I just graduated from San Francisco conservatory of music with Masters degree. I am a very patient person who has huge passion about working with kids.I have been teaching piano over 15 years. Since I have been teaching a quite long time. I have had students who past the highest level of ABRSM exams. I can be more serious and push a student to get ahead, or simply teach to have fun - to appreciate and enjoy music. I have learned, is to expect the best, pay closest attention to the students - to what they are ready for, what they want, what they are struggling with, and have a good sense of humor. Inspiring and developing students passion into music.
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George August 11, 2017
· Piano · In home
the first class went smoothly. I learned basic music & finger skills.
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Mike August 3, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Quality instruction and developed good rapport with my child. Taught at the right level and was one of the only instructors we tried who actually mentioned proper hand position and technique.
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Shan March 29, 2017
· Cello · In home
Jessica is a great teacher. She helped me starting with very basic skills. She is very pacient and easy to communicate with.
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Jessica H.

Jessica H.

San Jose, CA 95131
(7)
starting at
$39 / 30-min

About Frederic R.

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San Francisco, CA

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Good knowledge of classical music theory. Specifics available upon request.

About Frederic
I have been playing cello for over 20 years. I grew up in Switzerland and stayed there until my Masters' degree, then went on to study at the University of Southern California (Doctorate of Musical Arts 2015, prof. Ralph Kirshbaum). I recently moved to the Bay Area, where I have had the chance to play with local ensembles (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Ensemble San Francisco amongst others). Although I love all music that involves cello, I especially enjoy exploring new repertoire as well as discovering old works on period instruments. Sharing my passion brings me a lot of joy, therefore teaching has become an essential part of my life.

...cellists of all ages and levels are welcome!
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Reviews
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Jake C. December 23, 2016
· Cello · In home
Great first lesson
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Sophie R. November 1, 2016
· Cello · In home
Learning a lot and having fun doing it!
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Mihwa N. November 9, 2015
· Cello · In home
Very good!!
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Frederic R.

Frederic R.

San Francisco, CA 94112
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Nancy K.

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San Jose, CA
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Students need to have basic theory skill to perform musical instruments. Students will learn music theory including note reading, ear training, and more.

About Nancy
Hello there I'm Ms. Nancy! I have earned two masters degrees in Music Performance and in Music Education and I have been teaching violin/viola private lessons, chamber coaching and music classes in classroom settings. I enjoy teaching music and to bring joy and excitement along with challenge into my lessons, I love seeing students grow in this safe and trust environment we create together and to accomplish new knowledge and musical skills, and I believe all students will be successful in life through learning music; gain self-esteem, learn problem solving, and to always be hardworking, strike for the best!
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Reviews
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Chloe Lai September 8, 2015
· Viola · In studio
Nancy is one of the best teachers i've ever had. Her lessons are engaging and productive. She communicates music in a way that is meaningful, constructive, and easily understood which for me are the most important and desirable elements learning music from scratch. With her majors in both performance and eduction, she is able to provide a hands-on teaching style integrated with the theory basis. Nancy is definitely the ideal teacher if you are looking for someone professional and fun to grow your music journey.
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Natasha September 8, 2015
· Viola ·
Nancy is very patient with kids. I found my daughter getting more interested in playing the viola. She is a very experienced and responsible teacher!
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Nancy K.

Nancy K.

San Jose, CA 95123
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Brandan S.

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Santa Clara, CA

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Beginners will learn the basics of music theory and notation. This includes notes, staffs, key signatures, note duration, and simple melodic and chordal structure. These are the necessities for learning to read and write music of any genre. Students will receive a workbook to practice with. This is an excellent and necessary skill to learn for anyone who is looking to read, write and, most importantly, play music!

About Brandan
As a baritone with over 10 years of performing as a soloist and in numerous ensembles, Brandan has had experience with a wide variety of genres including musical theater, classical voice, opera, jazz, and pop.

He has performed roles with the SJSU Opera Theater. Solo works include the Fauré and Brahms Requiem, both with San Jose Staté University. In the summer of 2015, he appeared with the Symphony Silicon Valley in R.V. William’s Serenade to Music and in 2016 he performed Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Ireland Limerick Sinfonia. Most recently he joined Peninsula Cantare as a soloist in the Carmina Burana and Mozart Vespers.

In addition to classical and opera, Brandan has performed roles in a number of musical theater productions including Les Miserables, Little Shop of Horrors, Bye Bye Birdie, and Lil' Abner. In addition, he perf
ormed with the award winning vocal jazz ensemble Syncronicity from West Valley College. While at San Jose State University, Brandan founded and music directed the co-ed a cappella ensemble, The Spartones.
...
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Brandan S.

Brandan S.

San Jose, CA 95192
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Orlia A.

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Palo Alto, CA
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My teaching philosophy is that students learn best when they are having fun! All lessons are designed with each individual student's goals and interests in mind, so if an approach isn't working, we switch things up. With 12+ years of experience teaching students age 3 to adult through a variety of methods, I can find something that works for the casual learner and AP/college prep student alike.

Styles: Classical, Popular, Church/Religious

About Orlia
I am an experienced music instructor who has taught in Chicago, Austin, Orange County, and the Bay Area. I graduated with a Bachelor's in Music Education from Vanguard University. My earnest desire is to see each student succeed in meeting or surpassing their musical goals and expand their understanding of the world through music, the universal language. No two students learn in quite the same way, so I tailor each lesson by taking into account individual strengths, weaknesses, and interests to make learning fun!

Students will learn aspects of classical and popular music styles, basic music fundamentals, and songs/repertoire from around the world.

I look forward to sharing the joy of music with you!
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Orlia A.

Orlia A.

Palo Alto, CA 94304
starting at
$45 / 30-min

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Why Learning Piano Theory is Important for All Musicians

Why Learning Piano Theory is Important for All Musicians

Struggling to understand music theory? Try heading over to the piano -- seeing a visual representation can help a ton! Here, Lowell, IN teacher Blake C. shares how to get started...   Many musicians avoid learning music theory altogether because it can feel much like learning a foreign language; as a result, many musicians enlist in the anti-music theory organization. I will admit it – I was a member of the anti-music theory organization in my early years, declaring that music theory … Read More

Why Learning Piano Theory is Important for All Musicians
Struggling to understand music theory? Try heading over to the piano -- seeing a visual representation can help a ton! Here, Lowell, IN teacher Blake C. shares how to get started...   Many musicians avoid learning music theory altogether because it can feel much like learning a foreign language; as a result, many musicians enlist in the anti-music theory organization. I will admit it – I was a member of the anti-music theory organization in my early years, declaring that music theory
6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory
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4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory
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How to Transition from Classical Pianist to Jazz Pianist
Piano music doesn't have to be all classical, all the time! Here's what you need to know about getting started with jazz piano chord progressions, courtesy of St. Augustine, FL teacher Heather L...   Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock, and Duke Ellington are just a few of the great jazz piano players. What beautiful and fascinating sounds fill our ears when their names come to mind! The seemingly illusive progressions and spontaneous elements, like syncopation and improvisation, sound
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What are the "keys" to identifying different key signatures? Read on for some great tips from Tucson, AZ teacher Lourdes C... In reading music, there are a few things that give musicians the biggest headaches. One major migraine-maker is determining keys from the key signature and then remembering the order of sharps and flats. This chart gives musicians a quick way to help with identifying key signatures. Key Signatures at a Glance Major sharps: the name of the key can be fou

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