Picture of music lessons in Portola Valley, CA

Portola Valley, CA Music Theory Lessons

Looking for private in-home or in-studio Music Theory lessons? Our Portola Valley teachers are ready to get you started. Find your teacher today!

Featured On

Why TakeLessons?

Our teachers have taught

2 , 4 2 8 , 7 1 5

lessons and counting!

Popular Music Theory Teachers near Portola Valley, CA

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Portola Valley, CA including San Francisco, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Oakland and Palo Alto.

Showing 10 of 200+ results View More

About Mikaela H.

Close
367512_rllgxmc665c893rdqp6s
San Francisco, CA

View Full Profile

In your music theory lesson we will explore the basic structures of classical music. This includes note reading and rhythm practice, basic chord progression analysis, and the history behind how classical music developed.

About Mikaela
Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music, Jacobs Scholar
Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance - 2007-2011

I work with each student to create a personalized experience that will best suit your individual goals and needs. My teaching focuses on providing each student with a solid foundation of technique which is suited to children and adults who wish to play violin as a hobby, but also to those who wish to pursue violin at a professional level. This technique will not only allow you to create the beautiful violin sound you have always dreamed of, but will also do so in a way that is healthy for your body in the long term.

In lessons my students develop skills not only in violin playing, but also in musicianship, music reading, ear training, music theory, leadership, collaboration, and self-discipline.

For beginning student
s, I teach using the suzuki books, however I draw from my many years of experience as a successful performer to supplement this system for long term success. For students who have surpassed the Suzuki level, I teach Russian School technique. My own training is largely Russian school, influenced by Heifetz and modern European tradition.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide music books for compensation, though I expect students to rent or purchase their own instruments.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Margot B. May 17, 2016
· Violin · In home
Our daughter had her first lesson yesterday and loved it and Mikaela. She said it was the best day ever and can't wait for her next lesson next week! Mikaela obviously has experience teaching children and make our daughter feel at ease and comfortable. Most of the first lesson seemed to be focused on proper instrument and handling, which makes sense. It can take years to undo poor posture and position if not begun correctly. Mikaela explained what she was doing and why, and made sure our daughter understood everything as she went along. Thank you for a first great experience!
Silhouette-80
Daniel S. August 3, 2014
· Violin · In home
Mikaela is not only an excellent musician but an outstanding music teacher, a rare combination. I have been taking violin lessons from her for quite some time now, and I am amazed at how much of a difference she has made in my efforts to pick up the instrument as a total beginner.

She has great observational abilities to immediately notice errors in form or movement, all the while maintaining calm and complete patience. She also has gift for suggesting corrections with analogy and imagery that has been very helpful in my experience.

I would highly recommend her.
Silhouette-80
Piotr K. July 26, 2014
· Violin · In home
From the very first lesson, I was really impressed by how much insight Mikaela could provide for even the (seemingly) simplest phrase or section. She has very deep knowledge about music in general and the mechanics of violin playing in particular.

Every time I perform something for her, she points out each of the hundred things I'm doing wrong. More importantly, she also explains exactly why whatever I'm doing is not working and what steps are necessary to fix it. Her advice is very specific and actionable, and whenever I follow it I notice an improvement.

Despite having my playing constantly destroyed by her remarks, I don't feel discouraged. On the contrary, every lesson leaves me energized and inspired to keep practicing.
View Details
View Profile
Mikaela H.

Mikaela H.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(3)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Laurence B.

Close
263600_gc5x6llzs769jstyltqx
San Mateo, CA
View Full Profile

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.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Lin February 22, 2018
· Piano · In studio
Laurence is an excellent teacher! I really like her systematic teaching style with integrated music theory. She is very good at going at the student’s pace, and her enthusiasm inspires greatness. I learned from her for about half a year and the results excelled my expectations. I’m always look forward to talking more lessons from her!
Silhouette-80
Kurt February 16, 2018
· Piano · In studio
Although it was only my first lesson with Laurence (of 10), I thorough enjoyed our meeting. I especially appreciate her understanding with some unexpected personal-life circumstances that delayed our initial lesson by several weeks.

I look forward to learning from her.
Silhouette-80
Carole Larsen February 16, 2017
· Music Theory · In studio
Laurence has the skill set and knowledge which I need.
View Details
View Profile
Laurence B.

Laurence B.

San Mateo, CA 94403
(6)
starting at
$38 / 30-min

About Soraya B.

Close
260934_45mhgg3jl7s54jnxtkcc
San Francisco, CA
View Full Profile
About Soraya
About me, I have been playing the guitar for more than 20 years. I studied at the conservatory of Music in Paris. In San Francisco, I studied and played with many great jazz musicians and teachers. I have also studied Theory/ composition, electronic music and voice.
I hold a degree in English literature and currently teaches also at the French American School in San Francisco.

*** Lesson Details ***
As a teacher I expect the best of you but I also know that we all learn differently and at a different pace. As a beginner, you will learn to read and play at the same time by learning simple melodies and simple chords right away. As an intermediate/ advance, we will take it from where you stopped and will continue to move forward according to your needs and goals. I can also teach the lesson in French.

*** Studio Equipment ***

Living Room/Practice Room, keyboard, amps, guitars, bass, microphone, recording and music notation software

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will provide music sheets, recordings, if needed, I expect them to have their instrument, recorder to record the lesson if they want to, pencil and eraser. I will sometimes ask them to buy a book if necessary.

*** Specialties ***
My lessons focus first on understanding the instrument by playing simple melodies. Then I applied the theory learnt by learning songs. For more advanced players, I can teach to play solo guitar how to harmonize the melodic note with chords. For students who are interested in singing and playing, I can coach them.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Jeff F. February 1, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Very friendly and encouraging! As an adult I felt extremely motivated leaving the lesson and I couldn't wait to get home and practice what I had learned.
Silhouette-80
Keith H. August 9, 2015
· Guitar · In home
Soraya was very patient with my daughters though they didn't practice enough, still she encouraged them and tried adapting her approach to enliven their interest. She's not a clock watcher either and usually went over time to be sure they had a handle on that days lesson.
Silhouette-80
Keith H. August 9, 2015
· Guitar · In home
Soraya was very patient with my daughters though they didn't practice enough, still she encouraged them and tried adapting her approach to enliven their interest. She's not a clock watcher either and usually went over time to be sure they had a handle on that days lesson.
View Details
View Profile
Soraya B.

Soraya B.

San Francisco, CA 94122
(6)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

About Mark B.

Close
213893_265082_29530
Castro Valley, CA
View Full Profile

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

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

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

I have enjoyed teaching music lessons since 1978.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I currently have 5 albums out under my name. My music is on a major new age compilation, and has been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs. I have played on other people's albums...some of which have received major radio airplay in Europe, and gone to #1!
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
David February 14, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
Just had a great first lesson with Mark. I'm an intermediate guitarist with a few years of experience looking to work on improving my improvisation. Right away, Mark helped get me started in the right direction and gave me some valuable tips that I'd never considered, which are already helping how I think about my playing.

Looking forward to continuing lessons.
Silhouette-80
Alex January 17, 2018
· Bass Guitar · In studio
I started Bass guitar lessons from Mark about 4 years ago. He is a very talented and patient musician who really pays attention to detail. I have a busy schedule and sometimes I just can't practice as much as I would like to. to make things even harder, I play Left handed. Mark takes the time to go over things with me with out any frustration. I really had no idea what it would be like taking lessons at my age (let's just say I'm way past 50), but I truly look forward to meeting with mark for my weekly lesson. I'm making progress and one of these days I'll be able to say Yes, I can play this bass.
I would recommend any student that wanted to learn to play the Guitar or Bass guitar to Mark. you will not be disappointed.
Silhouette-80
Marc January 11, 2018
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Mark is a terrific teacher. He knows and loves music. He is an awesome guitar player. He is patient and fits the lessons to your ability and tastes. He is also quite funny which helps make the lessons be enjoyable. His home studio is a great place to have the lessons.
View Details
View Profile
Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(19)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Maureen S.

Close
Profile_78284_pi_11083591_10205261627454311_8343813721469888762_n
San Leandro, CA
View Full Profile

Levels 1-10 MTAC Certificate of Merit, College Level Classical and Jazz, AP Music Theory

About Maureen
•The styles I teach most often are jazz, classical and popular. Although I have studied many different genres, my specialties are saxophone and composition. I have studied with music teachers such as Anthony Braxton, Herb Pomeroy, Charlie Banacos, Jerry Bergonzi, Gary Burton, Joe Viola, Ken Pullig, John LaPorta, Hal Crook, James Newton and Ken Radnofsky. If you are enrolled by October, you have the opportunity to enroll in MTAC Certificate of Merit and Composer's Today programs and recitals.

•9/1997 – Present San Lorenzo (CA) Unified School District Independent Music Teacher 9/1990 – 11/1997 St. Felicitas School San
Leandro, CA St. John School Fiat School of Music Music Unlimited San Lorenzo, CA Pinole, CA San Leandro, CA Provide individual and group music instruction to people from age 3 to 99. Deliver instruction based on Music Tea
chers National Association Certificate of Merit Curriculum for Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet and Piano. Incorporate Jazz
Improvisation, Theory and Harmony lessons

• Listed in Who’s Who Among International Professional Educators. • Listed in Who’s Who in American Education • Listed in Who’s Who Among American Women • Listed in Who’s Who in America • Six Lessons published in • Recognition for Self-Assembly Method Instructional Design Theory • Published article in OnCUE, Journal of Computer Using Educators

• Krause Center of Innovation 2005-2006 EWYL Cohort Participant • Krause Center of Innovation 2006-2007 EWYL Fellows Participant • Iisme (Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education) Fellow 2004: Intranet Web Designer at Applied Materials using Macromedia Dreamweaver and Contribute • Alameda County Representative to the CTAP Technology Leadership Academy at the Alameda County Office of Education (2000). Co-leader of Staff Development Program for Grade 4-8 Technology Integration • Taught University of Phoenix class for Technology Integration • IMTC class teacher in FrontPage and MS Paint • Member San Lorenzo Unified School District Ed Tech Committee and Lorenzo Manor Elementary Ed Tech Committee. • Past District Web Page Coordinator and FrontPage Trainer • Participant in Intel Teach to the Future training • Provide opportunities for children to meet Technology Standards• Incorporate technology into the curriculum using desktops and wireless laptops, FL Studio, Cubasis VST 4.0, Music Ace, Band in a Box, Finale Notepad, Silver Burdett MIDI Connection, Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Office Suite, recording and burning CDs, DVDs, etc. • Manage a High School Computer Music Lab. • MarcoPolo trainer.• Teach Music Technology classes after school for the Gifted and Talented (GATE Program).

• Member Music Educators National Conference • Member Technology Institute for Music Educators. Lesson plan published on their Web Site. • Member California Music Educators and present music technology sessions for educators at the Bay Section Conferences.

• Deliver instruction in the area of the curriculum pertaining to National and District Music Standards. • Create and implement lesson plans, rubrics and assessments. • Organize and produce Winter and Spring Concerts. • Experience working with children with challenging behaviors and disabilities (Special Day Class and Continuation School).

• Provide children with learning experiences that promote their cognitive, social and emotional development.  • Experience in teaching students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. • Communicate with parents. Handle record-keeping of grades and attendance. • Work cooperatively with other education professionals. 

• Organize and produce Winter and Spring Recitals, including County Recitals for the National Guild of Piano Teachers. Communicate with parents. Handle advertising and record-keeping of tuition payments. • Vice-President of the Alameda County Branch of the Music Teachers Association of California. Attend Board meetings and plan guest speakers • Licensed Kindermusik instructor for children ages 18 mos. to 7 years. • Students chosen for State and County Honors Recitals. • Listed in National Honor Roll, National Guild of Piano Teachers; Member Music Teacher’s National Association. • Taught Undergraduate Musicianship class as a Graduate Assistant at Mills College.

•Professional Freelance Musician 9/1984 – 12/1995 Boston, MA; Bay Area, CA Performed own compositions and others works in various styles in innumerable local venues and clubs such as The Oakland Museum, Yerba Buena Gardens, The Valencia Café, Trans America Building, the Marriott Hotel, as well as in Las Vegas. She have performed with musicians such as Vijay Iyer, Anthony Braxton, MC
Hammer, Luciana Souza, Lloyd Nibbs (Skatalites), Fred Lonberg-Holm,
Andy Borger (Norah Jones), Stuart Popejoy, Aaron Stewart, Sheila
Sofian, William Calhoun (Living Color), Sean Kennerly (Samiam) and Joey Cheezhee.• CD Recording on Curious Pogos Records:Frederick Lonberg Holm’s “Theory of Motion”. • Composed music on Sheila Sofian’s Animations “Faith and Patience” and “Secret Rage”. Won 15 awards in International and National Film Festivals. Broadcast on WHYY TV12 and WYBE TV35 Educational Stations. • Honorable Mention in Composition: City of Oakland Creative Arts Fellowship. • Live Performances on KPFA, KNBR and KALX radio stations.

•EDUCATION Ph.D. in Education (10/2013). Specialization in Professional Studies Capella University Teaching Credential: K-12 Single Subject Music 8/1999 Chapman University GPA 3.9 US-CA-Concord Master of Fine Arts degree in Electronic Music and Recording Media with an emphasis in Composition 5/1992 Mills College GPA 3.64 US-CA-Oakland Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging 5/1987 Berklee College of Music US-CA-Boston GPA 3.59 Cum Laude

*** Lesson Details ***
I am interested in teaching you what you need and want to learn so that you achieve your dreams. Please note that I only take serious students who will practice at least 30 minutes every day or 35 a day 6 days a week at home. I would like you to keep a log of how much you practice. This will enable you to make progress through the curriculum as you will be a beginner for the first 3.3 years, an intermediate for the next 3.3 years, and then an advanced student for 3.3 years. I will give you assignments to do over the week, and the next week we will go over them, learn something new and get new assignments. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Currently I am converting my detached garage into a music studio with keyboard and instruments. There is a sitting room where parents can wait for their children. In the meantume, we will have lessons in my living/dining room.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Metronome, CD Boom Box

*** Specialties ***
Jazz, classical, popular, saxophone, composition, music, flute, clarinet, piano, violin, trumpet, trombone, french horn, tuba, baritone, oboe, songwriting, recording, children's music Composition
Arranging
Songwriting
Reading and Notating Music
Music Software such as FL Studio, Band in a Box, Reason and GarageBand. Bring your laptop to lessons!
Music Theory
Improvisation
Minor Key Harmony
Extended and Secondary Dominants
Tritone Substitution
Modal Interchange
Altered Dominant Scale
Diminished Harmony
Non-Functional Harmony
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Dahlia M. April 25, 2018
· Trumpet · In studio
Maureen is patient, methodical and focused. Great first lesson. I am very encouraged.
Silhouette-80
Maureen February 23, 2018
· Violin · In studio
I highly recommend Dr Maureen Spanza . She has been wonderful with teaching my granddaughter
Thumb_123672_pi_F50F8C9A-44CC-496E-B03D-C7AF02757298
Kristina B. March 1, 2017
· Violin · In studio
Wonderful teacher.. very happy
View Details
View Profile
Maureen S.

Maureen S.

San Leandro, CA 94577
(13)
starting at
$50 / 30-min
View More
View Previous

About Joseph C.

Close
Profile_54625_pi_IMG_0193
San Francisco, CA

View Full Profile

Basic Music Theory, Chord Analysis, Form, Improvisation, Composition.

About Joseph
I am a graduate of the University of Miami Studio Music & Jazz school with over 20 years of professional experience. I have toured internationally and have played in many diverse musical arenas. The past 16 years of my music career have been spent in the Bay area playing professionally and teaching privately.

My specialties are in jazz improvisation and music theory. My students range in age from 4 to 60, most being between the ages of 9 and 16. Many of my students attend the Urban School and School of the Arts here in San Francisco. Most of my students are at the top of their class in band and music theory studies and have made the San Francisco All-City Orchestra.

Specific credentials and references are available upon request. All levels welcome, serious students only.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Vincent March 6, 2018
· Saxophone · In home
My son got his first saxophone lessons and loved it. He is very excited to learn with Joseph!
Silhouette-80
Eric December 20, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
10/10
Silhouette-80
Robert G. July 6, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Very friendly, pragmatic, and musical. Accurately assesses where I am and teaches accordingly.
View Details
View Profile
Joseph C.

Joseph C.

San Francisco, CA 94121
(15)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Anthony P.

Close
Profile_73563_pi_recital%20original
San Jose, CA

View Full Profile

I have years of experience in Music Theory at the college level, and can teach all levels of theory, from basic notes and rhythms to figured-bass realization.

About Anthony
***About me***

I am a Bay Area classical saxophonist, singer, writer and educator. Currently studying towards a B.A. in Music Education, my saxophone instructors have included Michael Hernandez. Saxophone Professor at San Jose State University, Dale Wolford, former Professor at SJSU, Dr. Tim McAllister, Professor at the University of Michigan, Dr. William Street, Professor at the University of Alberta.

***Saxophone Lesson Details***

I strive to mold my lessons to my student's goals--while they all have a core curriculum to develop proper technique, where our lessons go from there is entirely up to each individual student. Some students decide to hone their improvisation and jazz skills, others to develop their classical musicianship. Generally, within a few lessons, a student will have developed a proper embouchure, and be able t
o play basic melodies with proper rhythm and technique. I will work with your student for however long they wish to guide them on their path to greatness, whether that is a couple months or throughout their high school career.

I teach lessons in the music building at SJSU.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
DQ November 17, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Anthony is a good teacher. My kid really likes him. I will certainly hire him for on-going instruction.
Silhouette-80
ben M. June 19, 2017
· Saxophone · Online
Anthony is a great teacher. He connects well with my teenage son and has been able to work with us on scheduling. I highly recommend him.
Silhouette-80
Edward S. January 2, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Anthony is a great instructor. He is very attentive, detailed and knowledgable. He sees what needs work and has a very strong grasp of the fundamentals. He has a flexible schedule and can work at the student's pace. Anthony make sure the student does things the right way and doesn't develop bad habits.
View Details
View Profile
Anthony P.

Anthony P.

San Jose, CA 95192
(10)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Frederic R.

Close
Profile_122127_pi_TeresaTamStudio_180123_4777-Edit-2
San Francisco, CA

View Full Profile

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

About Frederic
I have been teaching cello for over 10 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). I recently moved to the Bay Area, where I have had the chance to play with renowned local ensembles (Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Voices of Music, Ensemble San Francisco, Chamber Music Silicon Valley 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, and teaching has become an essential part of my life.

Cellists of all ages and levels are welcome!
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Jake C. December 23, 2016
· Cello · In home
Great first lesson
Silhouette-80
Sophie R. November 1, 2016
· Cello · In home
Learning a lot and having fun doing it!
Silhouette-80
Mihwa N. November 9, 2015
· Cello · In home
Very good!!
View Details
View Profile
Frederic R.

Frederic R.

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

About Ahmad G.

Close
Profile_106929_pi_13659073_1374384762578920_4282013026711582176_n
San Jose, CA
View Full Profile

I'm Ahmad a very enthusiastic musician. I started out teaching myself guitar at the age of 12. I moved to the U.S. in 2001 and studied music for 15 years receiving my B.M. and M.M in music and audio production at San Francisco State University. I then moved to Los Angeles then studied and trained with John Mayer, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, George Lynch and many others. I have performed hundreds of concerts in the U.S. as well in Europe and the Middle East with Artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Michael Angelo Batio, Ratt, Sammy Hagar, Dokken and many others. I ranked #1 in the Slash Guitar Center competition. I was in the "list of top 5 guitar players ever" according to The Examiner, also picked as one of the best guitarists of 2013 and 2014 consecutively in the Rockwell UnScene magazine, and ranked 3rd in the Steve Vai Sam Ash Best in Shred competition.

I find a student's strengths and weaknesses using various ways to encourage each student. I am very patient, ...

About Ahmad
I'm Ahmad a very enthusiastic musician. I started out teaching myself guitar at the age of 12. I moved to the U.S. in 2001 and studied music for 15 years receiving my B.M. & M.M in music and audio production at San Francisco State University. I then moved to Los Angeles then studied and trained with John Mayer, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, George Lynch and many others. I have performed hundreds of concerts in the U.S. as well in Europe & the Middle East and toured with Artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Guns N Roses, Michael Angelo Batio, Ratt, Sammy Hagar, Dokken and many others. I ranked #1 in the Slash Guitar Center competition. I was in the "list of top 5 guitar players ever" according to The Examiner, also picked as one of the best guitarists of 2013 and 2014 consecutively in the Rockwell UnScene magazine, and ranked 3rd in the St
eve Vai Sam Ash Best in Shred competition.

I find a student's strengths and weaknesses using various ways to encourage each student. I am very patient, kind, flexible, and enthusiastic and I love working with children as much as adults. I strongly support basic skills: sight-reading, pitch and tone.

I have 25 years experience teaching kids and adults guitar. Also performing live and in the studio.

*** Lesson Details ***
My objectives: to help students powerfully communicate through the essence of music and aid the development of children and adults by finding their strengths and weaknesses and to develop their skills and show their musical talents. I emphasize basic skills, good sight-reading, guitar technique, and theory.

Lessons are held at either your home, or mine using composers from various time periods that speaks to the individual student.
Also,I do prefer to work weekly with my students.
A beginner lesson may be 10-15 min. for warm-ups and scales, 10-15 min. theory and rest playtime. In three to six months the student will be able to read sheet music and should be able to perform simple songs.

An intermediate lesson has more focus on music and technique from a specific genre. A specialty is preparation for guitar auditions or doing live or studio gigs.

I enjoy teaching children from age 5 up to adults.

*** Specialties ***
I teach the basic skills very strongly, and also encourage students and challenge them, as well.
I also have new techniques for teaching Electric, Acoustic & CLassical Guitar.
I do prefer to teach a weekly lesson.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Sanjeev May 25, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
I have studied with Ahmad for almost two years now. I started as someone who had taught himself guitar, with three years of irregular practice. I knew the basic chords, bit of finger-picking, strumming, a handful of half-learned songs. Basically my learning wasn't going anywhere and had hit a plateau.

On the first class, Ahmad did an assessment of what I knew and said that we could soon have some fun. He asked me what I wanted to learn and like any young wide-eyed guitarist, I said "lead." And that's what we did.

Now, I had seen the minor pentatonic many times and had tried to learn to improvise by just playing the scale up and down. It never helped. But Ahmad showed me a path on how to improvise. I learned to apply the basic improvisation concepts of slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, bends and rakes. Soon enough I was trying to figure out licks and creating my own.

Once I had enough of the minor pentatonic, I went on to learning some new songs. Ahmad has a huge song repository and will work with you on trying to learn a song of your choice. I also felt that if asked to pick, he would teach a song which was challenging enough. Such that you may not figure it out right away, but you would after a few days of practice.

I had always played on acoustic. Ahmad help me learn the electric as well. He guided me through the various knobs on the amplifier. Teaching me about effects pedals, whammy bars and a whole lot more.

Ahmad's teaching style is friendly and approachable. I found him flexible when it came to rescheduling classes. His studio is really nice.

I have learned a lot from Ahmad and my guitar playing has improved quite a bit. I would highly recommend him.
Silhouette-80
Hamid May 20, 2018
· Classical Guitar · In home
Ahmad is a gifted and patient instructor. I was looking for a jump-start towards learning to play guitar after years of false starts on my own and Ahmad was the perfect choice for me. It's rare for someone with his playing ability to also be able to impart knowledge to those with far less innate ability but Ahmad is able to relate to his students at their level (whatever it may be). Ahmad has a way of making his students understand that bad habits can be overcome over time and he has distilled his approach so that anyone he works with can improve. I'd recommend him for anyone looking to improve regardless of their skill level.
Silhouette-80
Luke May 15, 2018
· Electric Guitar · In studio
Ahmad is a fantastic teacher. No matter what skill level you are coming in, he can make you better. He makes sure that lessons focus on the songs/topics that you are interested in and has great patience.

Many times we think of learning guitar, or music in general, as a daunting task, but Ahmad has shown me how to think about playing guitar in a way that is approachable. He does a great job of mixing in theory where appropriate/necessary and will give more confidence in your ability to learn this great instrument than you have ever had!
View Details
View Profile
Ahmad G.

Ahmad G.

San Jose, CA 95116
(82)
starting at
$44.99 / 30-min

About Orlia A.

Close
Profile_110935_pi_profile%20pic
Palo Alto, CA

View Full Profile

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!
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Wajma May 1, 2018
· Piano · In home
My 7 year old would cry when having to go to piano lessons at school, but looks forward to her lessons with Orlia!
Silhouette-80
Alethea (. April 3, 2018
· Piano · In home
My 5 year old likes her a lot!
Silhouette-80
Annie S. March 6, 2018
· Piano · In home
My daughter really enjoyed her first lesson with Orlia and is looking forward to future lessons!
View Details
View Profile
Orlia A.

Orlia A.

Palo Alto, CA 94304
(7)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

How it Works

From finding the perfect teacher to managing payments, scheduling and tracking your progress, we take care of all the details, so you can focus on learning. Learn More

Search for a teacher

Compare hundreds of teachers based on the criteria that matter to you, including background checks, age and experience.

Schedule your lessons

When you've found the perfect match, schedule your lessons online using the teacher's real-time availability.

Connect with your teacher

Your teacher will welcome you with a personalized curriculum to meet your specific goals and you'll be able to manage your entire schedule through our free online account.

Can't find a teacher in Portola Valley, CA?

No problem. Our online lesson platform connects you with any teacher, anywhere. All you need is a reliable Internet connection, a webcam and a microphone.

Convenient

Zero travel time is great for a busy schedule.

Affordable

Typically priced lower than local lessons.

Effective

Online students stick with lessons as long as local students.

Learn More

Music Theory Lesson Reviews from Students

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

And they're not alone!

Our teachers have taught

2 , 4 2 8 , 7 1 5

lessons and counting!

Get Started with Free Resources

Recent Music Theory Articles from the Blog

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

All in Order: Tricks for Identifying Key Signatures

All in Order: Tricks for Identifying Key Signatures

What are the "keys" to identifying different key signatures? Read on for some great tips from Tucson, AZ teacher Lourdes C... In reading music, there are a few things that give musicians the biggest headaches. One major migraine-maker is determining keys from the key signature and then remembering the order of sharps and flats. This chart gives musicians a quick way to help with identifying key signatures. Key Signatures at a Glance Major sharps: the name of the key can be fou … Read More

All in Order: Tricks for Identifying Key Signatures
What are the "keys" to identifying different key signatures? Read on for some great tips from Tucson, AZ teacher Lourdes C... In reading music, there are a few things that give musicians the biggest headaches. One major migraine-maker is determining keys from the key signature and then remembering the order of sharps and flats. This chart gives musicians a quick way to help with identifying key signatures. Key Signatures at a Glance Major sharps: the name of the key can be fou
Subdivision: The Easy Trick for Reading Rhythms Right
As you're learning to read music, you'll come across complex rhythms at some point. Here, Saint Augustine, FL music teacher Heather L. offers some helpful tips to help you get through the tricky parts...   Have you ever found yourself sitting in a big concert hall, or in your room, listening to a soloist play a practically perfect rhythm? Almost all of us have, and almost all of us have asked ourselves, "How do they do that?" Their secret is subdivision. You might be just begin
4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory
Sure, music theory is complex -- but there's no need to fear it! Here, Jamaica Plain, MA teacher Noaa R. shares four steps to get you started...   Many students tend to avoid studying music theory and harmony. This can stem from a fear of compromising one’s creativity with rules and numbers, a failure to connect concepts with application, or from feeling overwhelmed by the perceived volume of material to be learned. However, when you approach theory as an exploratory process that help
How to Prepare for Sight Reading at an Audition | 3 Helpful Tips
Nervous about the sight reading portion of an upcoming audition? Find out how to work sight reading practice into your routine in this guest post by Saddle Brook, NJ teacher Christian D...   “Be prepared to sight read.” That dreaded requirement on all auditions that makes us all nervous. But the fact is, you shouldn’t be! Sight reading is a learned skill, just like everything else in music. Think of it as sight reading a passage from a book in front of an audience. With so many
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

Are You a Teacher?

Find out how TakeLessons can help you grow and manage your business

Learn More