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San Francisco, CA Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers near San Francisco, CA

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About Jason J.

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Castro Valley, CA

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About Jason
I have been playing guitar for over 25 years and teaching for over 15. I have experience playing live including, classical guitar, acoustic popular songs, rock and jazz groups and most notably with The West Coast's Premier Tribute to Pearl Jam, Vitalogy. I have two music degrees (BA music and AA-O in Guitar Performance) and a California Music teaching credential which all has given me the training to assess your progress and differentiate your instruction based on YOUR specific needs as a student as well as your musical goals.
There are a couple of books I may suggest for you depending on the situation and of course I require you to provide your own guitar as you will need it to practice what you learn in each lesson.

*** Specialties ***
I take a balanced approach to teaching that includes equal attention to theory and technique w
hile helping a student accomplish his/her musical goals. I am comfortable teaching the following genres: rock, blues, classical, reggae, jazz and country
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Jason J.

Jason J.

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

About Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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Learn about rhythm, harmony, melody, and dynamics in great detail.

Music is often taught excessively by rote, and I feel it's very important to understand the logic behind everything just like you would in mathematics. So take that leap and explore the science of music.

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

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

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

My Background

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

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

Philosophy of Learning

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

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

I also hold events for my students. (Check out our pictures and videos below!)
Younger students have the "Young Musicians Showcase" every few months where individual students and band classes have a chance to perform and celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family.
Adult students occasionally have events where they get a chance to get together and play music as well.

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

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

My studio is equipped with:

*Multiple Music Stands

*P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, and a Banjo

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set

*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set

*An electric piano console

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, and Flute

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

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

*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
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Reviews
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Robert O. August 10, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Rajeev July 18, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
After a break of more than a year I wanted to restart my Trumpet lessons. I chose Jesse based on the reviews and Jesse did not disappoint. He is very patient and focused teacher. I liked his structured method and tools he uses. I was able to get back in groove in no time.

Highly recommended.
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BRIAN July 18, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(86)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Kathleen B.

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Menlo Park, CA
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Theory basics and part-writing, also sight-singing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kathleen B.

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

About Peter D.

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Oakland, CA
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From scales, to key signatures, to rhythm, to chord progressions, to harmony, to melody, to arrangement.... I teach pretty much everything on every level of music theory! All levels welcome.

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

About Joseph C.

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San Francisco, CA
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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.
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Robert G. July 6, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Very friendly, pragmatic, and musical. Accurately assesses where I am and teaches accordingly.
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Alex R. May 23, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Joseph was quick to identify my strengths and where I could use a bit of work to tailor a plan to get my sax chops back. He's also teaching me music theory which is very clear and easy to understand.
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Zhao May 15, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Joe is super nice teacher for me! Very patient and helpful for improving my skill.
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Joseph C.

Joseph C.

San Francisco, CA 94121
(13)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Rebecca K.

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Vallejo, CA
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With a theory emphasis as part of my major in college (and using that knowledge many, many times since), I can help take away the mystery and scariness of music theory.

About Rebecca
Hello! I am a classically trained vocalist and percussionist, with a BA in Music, specializing in Education and Theory. I have taught band, choir, orchestra and piano in high school and middle school. I have also done Music Directing with kids aged 7-14 for various musicals and have taught elementary students aged 4-9, so I am ready for whatever you've got! I have also appeared on stage in various settings including opera, musical theater, solo work and even the occasional karaoke night. I am willing to work with your schedule and offer scholarships to those who are willing to earn them!
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wayne July 3, 2017
· Violin · In studio
very encouraging and knowledgeable teacher!
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Kim Ho May 31, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Always AWESOME!
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Kim Ho May 24, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Always amazing!
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Rebecca K.

Rebecca K.

Vallejo, CA 94590
(24)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Winslow Y.

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San Francisco, CA

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Music theory is just the names and numbers we use to identify and organize musical sounds so that they sound good and happen at the right time, with great beats. It's way better than grunting and pointing when musicians communicate. I can teach theory the classical way, the Nashville way, or the juke joint way - whatever you need to understand musical materials so that you can use them to best advantage and communicate with your fellow musicians

About Winslow
My focus is on you - helping you achieve your goals with the harmonica, whatever they may be. Whatever inspires you to pick up the harmonica, whoever you want to emulate, whatever style grabs you, I bring the background, deep knowledge, and teaching experience to enrich your understanding and grow your skills and ability to express yourself musically.

I'm a harmonica specialist, known internationally as a player and teacher. I'm the author of the books Harmonica For Dummies and Blues Harmonica For Dummies. I can teach all styles, all levels of expertise and all types of harmonica.
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Andrew July 22, 2017
· Harmonica · Online
Great first lesson- Winslow is easy to talk to and very knowledgeable. He is very good at explaining and demonstrating technique in a clear way. Thanks again!
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Philip E. November 11, 2016
· Harmonica · Online
Winslow is very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher.
He's very passionate about the harmonica, which makes for a great learning experience. I look forward to future lessons.
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Bob S. August 5, 2016
· Harmonica · In studio
My first lesson went very well and was just as I had hoped.
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Winslow Y.

Winslow Y.

San Francisco, CA 94118
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Kelley K.

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Oakland, CA

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I specifically and intentionally approach teaching students music theory from a body-centric perspective, utilizing "Deep Listening" concepts. More than anything, though, I'm interested in catering to your individual needs as a student and musician. I'll do whatever I can do to support you in reaching your goal(s) with music theory, and try to make the journey to reaching that goal as accessible and exciting as possible!

About Kelley
I've been formally studying music and playing instruments since my first guitar lesson at four years old, when my hands were still too small to play chords on the instrument. Since then, my passion for music has only grown - I've continued to study the guitar, as well as the upright bass, saxophone, and piano, and now hold a BA in Music and German from Hampshire College, as well as an MA in Music Composition from Mills College. I'm currently in the process of applying to PhD programs in Musicology for 2019.

I've been teaching for quite a few years now, and have found that it's another passion of mine. Helping others to learn their own language of music is one of the most emotionally rewarding experiences I've ever been lucky enough to have.

My lessons always start with a focus on listening, and then move outwardly to sounding and mu
sic-making. I'm happy to cater to each individual student's musical goals and needs - so whether you're interested in learning advanced music theory, just learning a few chords on the guitar so that you can play while you sing with friends, or anything in between, I'm more than happy to support you in doing so!

I aim to create as safe a space as possible for folks of all ages, abilities, genders, and identities to explore their musicality.
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Reviews
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Shoshana May 4, 2017
· Ear Training · In studio
Kelley is such an incredible instructor! They are so kind and patient and will work with you to find the best ways to teach according to your wants/needs. I highly recommend Kelley as an instructor for any level, from the very beginning of beginner to advanced. Happy learning!
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Yesenia C. May 3, 2017
· Ear Training · In studio
Kelley is such a patient, attentive, and caring instructor. With their help I improved my ear training skills immensely. They provided me with suggestions outside of our lessons where I could maintain a stress-free, organized practice. Without their help I wouldn't have passed my Musicianship Course! Kelley truly has a passion for education and working with them has been one of the best experiences of my life!
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Kelley K.

Kelley K.

Oakland, CA 94613
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Anton S.

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Bellevue, WA
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I'm passionate about helping students overcome their musical hurdles, both professional and recreational.

I particularly enjoy working with musicians who have studied scales and chords but are frustrated in their efforts to use them to make great music.

Other areas of focus:
• Improvising over chord changes
• Internalizing advanced harmony
• Fluency in the many idioms of jazz, funk & blues
• Phrasing
• Saxophone technique
• Efficient practicing for a busy lifestyle

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

About Spenser S.

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San Francisco, CA

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I teach all levels of theory in pop, classical and jazz context!

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

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

Spenser S.

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

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Average Cost of Music Theory Lessons in San Francisco, CA

The average cost of 60-minute music theory lessons in San Francisco is $66. While the exact cost will vary depending on the teacher, type of lesson, and your location, you should expect to spend anywhere between $40 and $95 per hour.

30-min $20
 
$38 average
$60
45-min $30
 
$52 average
$75
60-min $40
 
$66 average
$95

For the best experience, we typically recommend 60-minute music theory lessons. However, students looking for a more affordable option may want to consider a shorter lesson length of 45 or 30 minutes. On average, 45-minute music theory lessons are 22% less expensive at $52, and 30-minute lessons cost 43% less at $38.

Curious how much music theory lessons cost in your area? Do a quick search to get local prices for the best music theory teachers near San Francisco.

Music Theory Lesson Reviews from Students

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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
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
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
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
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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