Rio Vista Music Lessons

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Music Lesson Reviews from Students

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About Steven B.

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Alameda, CA

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steven B.

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

About Arrica R.

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Oakland, CA

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About Arrica
I was born and raised in Los Angeles but I've just recently relocated to the Bay Area. I am a Professional Musician/Songwriter/Vocalist teaching songwriting, voice, and performance technique as well as a combination thereof. I began singing at a very young age for anyone who would listen (so my parents tell me) and began taking music lessons shortly thereafter. I am now a USC graduate and have also studied music privately for over 25 years as well as at the esteemed Vocal Power Institute. I've professionally released several albums and I am grateful to have had my music featured/licensed by Starbucks, NBC, The CW network, NikeWomen.com, and MTV. I've toured extensively playing to audiences across the country and have had the honor of sharing the stage with artists ranging from Conor Oberst, Inara George, Johnette Napolitano, Martha Wain
wright, to Jackson Browne. I have experience teaching both adults and children, and enjoy teaching beginning as well as intermediate to advanced students. In addition to teaching privately, I have experience teaching children through my volunteer work with The Girls Rock Alliance, a non-profit organization that aims to teach young girls about self-confidence and self-expression through music education.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am easy-going, friendly and I believe that developing a great student/teacher rapport is the key to making the most out of the time we spend together. The curriculum I utilize is specifically designed to meet the student's individual needs. Initially we'll spend time assessing where you are and where you'd like to be. Most importantly, we'll set goals and create a lesson plan that will allow you to attain them. We'll work on basic techniques (or intermediate to advanced depending on skill level), for example - breath support, vowel placement, posture, relaxation, the fundamentals of song structure and music theory. We'll also work on the psychology of performance and eliminating any unwanted tension that may arise. We'll choose songs to work on that you'll enjoy singing, or analyze the songs you love in order to discover and/or improve upon your own songwriting abilities.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Front music studio area w/ guitars, computer with protools, keyboard, microphone, pa system, and seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide a small keyboard and/or guitar

*** Specialties ***
My main musical styles that I perform and teach are Pop, Rock, Folk, and Americana/Country. I specialize in creating a lesson plan that suits the needs of each individual student.
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Reviews
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Evelynne L. January 7, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Connected well with my 9 year old daughter. Strong musical and teaching skills and a pleasure to work with. Run don't walk to see Arrica!
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Richard M. October 1, 2015
· Singing · In studio
First lesson very comfortable, relaxed yet structured, getting to know each others personality, musical abilities.
Take home exercises.
Looking forward to the next lesson.
Thanks Arrica
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Julie B. September 10, 2015
· Music Performance · In home
Arrica has been such a wonderful teacher for my 11-year-old daughter. (She was 9 when she started with Arrica.) Our girl has a lot of raw talent but needed some good instruction that wasn't too formal. Africa is just the right blend of traditional singing technique and fun rock-n-roll, record your own music on Garage band. We love her!
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Arrica R.

Arrica R.

Oakland, CA 94611
(8)
starting at
$60 / 30-min

About Mack R.

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Oakland, CA
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About Mack
I have a BS in music education received at Lehman College, Bronx, NY. I am a professional musician/ composer/ arranger.I received my teaching credentials at SFSU and have been a General music teacher as well as a, band teacher. I have studied trumpet with Classical ( Wilmer Wise)and Jazz musician (Bill Hardman) and big band arranging with Frank Foster( saxophonist and arranger with Count Basie Band). At present I am retired and teaching privately.

I have been teaching music for over 50 years as well as being a professional musician/ composer and arranger. I not only know my fundamentals inside and out, but also I know many tricks of the trade. Over the years I have developed special teaching techniques that enable students to make sense out of music and progress rapidly on their instruments.I love playing music and aim at stirring that
same kind of excitement abut music in my students.

To each lesson I bring a unique mix, encouraging the student to pursue excellence and also have fun. I am well qualified to teach: woodwinds( oboe, flute, clarinet, all saxophones) brass(french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba), and piano.

*** Lesson Details ***
I make music interesting to learn. I encourage students to practice daily so they can improve. The more they improve the more fun they can have with music not only alone, but with others.

I am very patient with my students especially with beginners. I know that for them it is like learning a new language. Once they begin to increase their musical vocabulary, they will enjoy what they can do with music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Seating for parents, basement studio, piano, drum set

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

Mack R.

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

About Christian C.

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Brentwood, CA
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About Christian
Christian has 20 years of teaching experience and 25 years of performance experience in a myriad of styles. He is currently enrolled at the Berklee School of Music (Boston, MA) through their online Music Production Degree Program.

Christian is also a member in the following organizations:

Vic Firth Education Team

Hudson Music Teacher Integration Program

Professional Drum Teachers Guild. He has studied privately with John Xepoleas, Steve Bowman (Counting Crows), Rob Hart, Alan Hall and currently with Mike Johnston.

Christian is also accepting a limited amount of students from the age of 10 to adult, beginner to advance. He currently has openings at his Brentwood home studio on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

The air-conditioned studio is equipped with 2 drum sets and professional digital recording equipment to capture ea
ch lesson. The latest educational DVD's and play-along/minus-drums CD's are also incorporated in the lessons.

Parents are encouraged to sit in on the lessons or they can relax or do some work in the internet ready waiting room. An annual recital is conducted for family and friends.

Prepare for school auditions, refine hand and foot technique, learn double bass grooves and fills improve reading and transcribing , sharpen your timing, incorporate linear playing, apply rudiments to the drum set.

Styles: Rock / Funk / Country / Blues / Jazz / Latin

*** Lesson Details ***
Sometimes the availability calendar is not updated in a timely manner.

Every student is different. Depending on their age and/or goals, this is the typical curriculum for a beginning (no experience) student.

Beginners (build the foundation)
Technique
- Hands: how to hold the sticks correctly
- Feet: heel up or heel down technique

Reading
- Explain note values
- Explain drum set notation

Coordination and Timing
- Learn basic beats to play music
- Understand how to practice with a metronome
- How to play along to music

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home room converted with sound absorbing materials with 2 drum sets, acoustic and electronic. Air conditioned living room seating for parents. Audio recordings are provided for every lesson and portions of each lesson are also video recorded.
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Reviews
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Dillon S. January 5, 2016
· Drum · In studio
My son really enjoyed his first lesson. He was excited to start practicing his "assignment" the moment we arrived home.
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Noah M. October 5, 2015
· Drum · In studio
My son is a perfectionist and sanatoria a little...christian is great!
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rita W. January 30, 2014
· Drum ·
Easy to sign up and Great customer service

My 12 yr old decided he wanted drums for Christmas and we knew that would include getting him lessons. Finding Christian through Take lessons was indeed lucky for my son. If you are looking for a teacher who is calm, level headed, knowledgeable and very easy to contact at anytime then Christian is who you are looking for. He has several students and they all come out happy and feeling good about their lessons. My son, even when not feeling great insist that he attend his drum lessons. compliments to the instructor.
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Christian C.

Christian C.

Brentwood, CA 94513
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Peter D.

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

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

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

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

Peter D.

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

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Sacramento, CA

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About Kevin
I've been teaching private lessons for the past year and am very passionate about my students - making you succeed is my life's blood and whatever your goal is, that's my goal too! I've performed in many different musicals and operas in Sacramento, and been hired to sing professionally both as a soloist and a chorus singer. I went to California State University, Sacramento and earned my Bachelor of Arts in Music in 2015. I've since been very active in the music theatre scene in Sacramento, and my music theatre students love me! I'd love to see what we can do to make you a great singer!
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Reviews
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Nancy G. March 16, 2017
· Vocal Training · In studio
I took lessons from Kevin for 5 months. He's a terrific teacher. I hadn't done any singing for years and he was patient with me, always very positive and gave me new challenges when I was ready for them. He's a gifted teacher and I recommend him for all levels of learning.

Thank you Kevin!!!!
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Natalia December 13, 2016
· Vocal Training · In studio
Great instructor! Patient and gives helpful tips.
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Lisa August 17, 2016
· Vocal Training · In studio
My 12 year old son had private vocal lessons with Kevin and really enjoyed the time Kevin spent working with him. I appreciated Kevin's ability to assess my son's skill level and develop an individualized plan to help him work towards his goals at his own pace. Kevin maintains a relaxed, stress free atmosphere during his lessons, and my son really appreciated that. I highly recommend!
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Kevin B.

Kevin B.

Sacramento, CA 95826
(17)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Larry B.

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Manteca, CA
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About Larry
I am a performer teacher, who is well know in the area. I have many students if all ages, and work very well with young kids.
...
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Larry B.

Larry B.

Manteca, CA 95337
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Marc A.

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Oakland, CA

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About Marc
I’m a professional guitar instructor, lead guitarist, singer & songwriter. For the last 16 years, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the finest acts in the world, including Grammy-Award-winning artists & producers, and tours across the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, Mexico, and South Africa. With 16 years of experience teaching ages 6 and up, I adapt to each student’s goals and tastes in music through fun and engaging lessons. My aim is to share my passion for music and help you learn how to play with ease.
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Reviews
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Kathleen Silver May 4, 2017
· ·
Marc is a patient, and a diligent teacher. He's creative and applies multiple ideas in getting me to "get it" when I'm stuck. I am very pleased with my experience. He's an accomplished musician and I can tell he studies how to make others learn best. He also makes certain to praise my progress and, he's not afraid to shift gears if my playing interest is getting stale.

I came into this with NO experience. A complete novice AND, a left handed novice at that! After 8 lessons now, I've progressed really well and I'm satisfied with the outcomes so far. I'm on my way!

And, I highly recommend Marc!
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Ken Angelo January 24, 2017
· Guitar ·
Lessons with Marc have been a blast. I have never taken guitar lessons before. Marc's encouragement and enthusiasm immediately put me at ease and got me excited to be playing. He really went out of way to find out what I was interested in learning and gave me suggestions of new music to listen to based on what I want to learn. He does an excellent job breaking musical concepts down to make learning easier. It is clear he cares a lot about teaching and his passion for music is contagious. I highly recommend taking lessons from Marc!
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Sivan Goobich December 13, 2016
· ·
Marc is great teacher! He is positive, customizes the lessons to what I am interested in, delivers feedback really well, and has helped me learn new skills and techniques. I definitely feel like I am improving a lot after each lesson and becoming a more polished player. He also sends great notes after the lesson with reminders or suggestions, which I really appreciate.
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Marc A.

Marc A.

Oakland, CA 94610
(10)
starting at
$39 / 30-min

About Brian M.

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Oakland, CA

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About Brian
I have over 10 years of experience teaching in schools, music stores, and privately. My lesson plans are tailored to each student so you can expect to see improvement week to week.

My experience stretches a wide range of styles including rock, jazz, folk, blues, pop, soul, funk, country, and hip-hop to name a few. I have performed with several Grammy Award winning artists as well as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, and am currently working on several bands and projects.

I think the world would be a better place if everyone could play music. I can work with you on songwriting and composing, improvisation, music theory, reading charts, and technical skills among other things. I look forward to meeting you and helping you become a better musician!
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Melody August 6, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Brian is so knowledgeable about music theory, and has been teaching for some time, and knows a lot of great mental tips to help me as a student learn things quickly. After only 2 lessons I could already play a whole song through! I would definitely recommend Brian as an instructor.
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Brian M.

Brian M.

Oakland, CA 94612
(1)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Anton S.

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Bellevue, WA
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About Anton
An expert educator with a welcoming, positive outlook and an irresistible passion for music, Anton is a longtime faculty member of the California Jazz Conservatory. He's been Artist in Residence at Harvard University and The Brubeck Institute, and a clinician & featured soloist for countless university & high school jazz programs. Anton has headlined major jazz clubs across the US and Canada and has five critically acclaimed CDs as a leader.

"Anton is an exceptional player & inspirational teacher… and a lot of FUN! He is organized & prepared, and so well versed in so many aspects of jazz performance & education… What more could a student want?!"
— Susan Muscarella, Director, California Jazz Conservatory

"Anton's the perfect blend: a top-flight saxophonist, an inspired composer and a professional with a keen sense of the music indus
try. His teaching combines these gifts into a unique presentation with sophistication, clarity & personality; before you know it you've got the keys in your pocket!"
— Joe Gilman, Musical Director, Brubeck Institute
...
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Anton S.

Anton S.

Emeryville, CA 94608
starting at
$45 / 30-min

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