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San Francisco, CA Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers near San Francisco, CA

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

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About Steven B.

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Alameda, CA

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I have been teaching music theory part time since 1972 and full time since 1998. One of the most important aspects of learning music theory is going beyond "what to play" and teaching you "why you're playing it". Once you have a grasp of basic theory concepts, you'll be able to learn new songs twice as fast, and with a great deal more accuracy!

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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Lavernne June 24, 2018
· Piano · In studio
I've been taking lessons from Steven for I think two years now and he's helped me so much not only in reading music but also in ear training and in my song writing. He's incredibly patient and fun to work with. He also has a really nice cat.
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Chuck B. June 5, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
Great experience
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Brett M. May 2, 2018
· Organ · In home
Just getting started, but Stevens clearly the teacher for me. He really listens, and really knows his stuff. Looking forward to many more lessons.
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Steven B.

Steven B.

Alameda, CA 94501
(22)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Aidan C.

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San Francisco, CA

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About Aidan
I have been playing guitar since I was 10 and loving music my whole life. I have been in numerous rock bands, the high-school jazz band, classical guitar duos, trios, chamber ensembles, and even played mandolin in a bluegrass band. I received my Bachelor of Music at Guilford College as a student of Kami Rowan. During my third year of study there, I was nominated for the Guilford College Art Award as the outstanding student and performer in the music department. In February of 2010, I had the honor of being a member of the guitar orchestra during a performance of Shingo Fuji’s Concierto de los Angeles, alongside soloist, William Kanengiser. I recently completed my Master of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music where I studied with Grammy winning guitarist, Jason Vieaux. There I was awarded the Rosalia Ablan Memorial Prize for m
y accomplishments on the guitar. In addition to guitar performance, I have studied music theory, jazz theory, and pedagogy. I am a native of San Francisco and have been teaching privately since 2007. No matter what a student's interests are, I can give them a rock solid foundation in technique, performance, reading, and theory.

*** Lesson Details ***
In my lessons I make it a priority to create an easy-going, non-intimidating environment, so that you, the student, can focus on your goals and learning, approach music at your own pace, and really look forward to coming in to lessons. Whether you are interested in electric, steel-string, or classical, Metallica, Mozart, or anything in between, I can teach you technique, musicianship skills, and songs that fit your personal interests.
For beginning students I like to teach a mixture of basic theory, music-reading, and chords/scales. Soon after, the student can begin to bring in songs that s/he is interested in, and I can start to build lessons around specific styles/pieces. I teach all levels and all ages, and I would love to share my passion and knowledge with you, and gain you skill and confidence on the guitar, as well as a deep understanding of music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living room w/ seating for parents

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in classical guitar, and am very familiar with the teachings of Aaron Shearer. His methods and practices provide the basis for how I teach technique and how i approach learning pieces. I also supplement his ideas with those of Pepe Romero, William Kanengiser, and Scott Tenant (particularly their views on the right-hand).
I also love teaching pop/rock guitar on steel-string or electric, and TAB-ing/teaching songs the student brings in. I use Troy Grady's method for developing right-hand picking/string-crossing technique. Whether the student prefers classical or popular s/he will get a great foundation in technique, music theory and music reading.
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Susana H. June 18, 2018
· Classical Guitar · In home
I really enjoyed my lessons with Aidan. He is very knowledgeable about the guitar, a really nice guy, very easy going and it was so nice to take lessons in a home rather than a tiny music store studio. He explained things well and gave assignments that were appropriate for my level. Unfortunately I wasn't able to continue due to physical issues. I would recommend him 100%.
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Ksenia June 11, 2018
· Guitar · In home
I've been taking lessons with Aidan for almost a year now.

Aidan is a fantastic teacher. He is able to tailor his teaching style to each individual student, and keep the lesson fun and engaging even while going over complicated music theory concepts. He is very flexible both with his schedule (he's quite understanding that adult students often have conflicts that prevent them from attending class regularly) and with his musical abilities (he appears comfortable diving into most genres of music and can easily pick out a tune by ear).

I highly recommend taking a class with Aidan.
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Yaz I. June 8, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
Aiden is always patient with me and allows me to learn how to play guitar at my pace. Very kind and effective!
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Aidan C.

Aidan C.

San Francisco, CA 94131
(9)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Gabriel R.

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Oakland, CA
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About Gabriel
I view my role as an educator to be bigger than simply training a performer. I believe in creating a complete musician--one who thinks deeply about music. I accomplish this by working on, yes, the technical aspects of playing an instrument, but also through constant listening, ear-training, theory education, and history education. I engage both children and adults through fun activities that build musical knowledge.

*** Lesson Details ***
I take a multi-pronged approach to music education and, likewise, to lessons. Depending on the age and ability of the student, a lesson typically involves a brief warm-up followed by review of earlier material, introduction of new concepts or discussion of improvement areas, then a look forward at what to work on this week. The material ranges from technical exercises such as scales, thirds, finger p
atterns, etc. to ear-training activities, progressive study pieces, and long-term repertoire projects. For some students, I also add listening or light research assignments to encourage musical discovery.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I have flutes to rent to students for a small maintenance fee. I provide all of the educational materials for piano students though may ask a student to purchase a book or two. I occasionally can provide or lend sheet music, but mostly I expect the student to purchase those materials as well as books for theory/history.

*** Specialties ***
My flute students receive methods all over the board from Marcel Moyse, Taffanel, and Gaubert to Trevor Wye and Wagner. My theoretical knowledge is quite comprehensive and always taught through a historical lens. My piano students (I have several young beginners currently) receive combined methods from Bartók, Faber and Faber, Bastien, Donald Waxman, and many of my own inventive techniques. I have experience with special needs students, especially with neuroatypical students.
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Kaylin July 25, 2018
· Flute · In home
Very opened and patient very knowledgeable highly recommended
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Gabriel R.

Gabriel R.

Oakland, CA 94613
(1)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About John F.

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San Francisco, CA
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About John
I play a wide variety of musical styles on drums and percussion and have a long history of performance art in live bands, theater and orchestra. I teach drum set, symphonic and marching percussion, electronics in drumming (sampling, loops, midi etc), and general rhythm lessons for beginners. I also enjoy helping students prepare for auditions, studio recording sessions, and live performance opportunities. There's alot to know about what to do and what not to do in these situations, especially if you want to look like a pro and have a positive experience.

I studied percussion performance at Washington State University while developing my set playing and enjoying my employment with the Washington Idaho Symphony as a classical percussionist. I play in rock, funk, pop, metal, EDM, hip-hop, industrial, honky-tonk, and jazz outfits with mult
iple appearances at SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, TieCon, and various festivals throughout the US.
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Reviews
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Anamika August 24, 2018
· Drum · In studio
John was an excellent easy going teacher. My son had an intensive two week session before starting high school again. He learned how to read music and really picked up a lot from John's coaching. Most importantly he kept my son's love for music alive:)
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Max G. December 4, 2017
· Drum · In home
Lucky to have him teaching my 9 year old.
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Anna November 16, 2016
· Drum · In studio
John is a fantastic teacher! I started with no experience at all and now after my fourth lesson I already feel comfortable with my grip, a metronome, sheet music, single stroke rolls, double stroke rolls, and several rock beats. Currently, I’m learning sixteenth note drum fills. He is patient, enthusiastic, fun, and extremely talented. I highly recommend him as a drum teacher (beginner or experienced). You will not regret it!
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John F.

John F.

San Francisco, CA 94102
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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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Marthe April 11, 2018
· Violin · In studio
Before taking the violin lessons with Rebecca, I had no knowledge in music whatsoever. She makes everything understandable. She has taught so much. I'm really glad that I have her as my violin instructor.
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Aidan M. April 9, 2018
· Singing · In studio
Rebecca is so sweet and my son is already looking forward to his next lesson!
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Maria February 7, 2018
· Bassoon · In home
Rebecca is an amazing person and one of the best teacher my son has ever had. She very knowledgeable about music. Rebecca tough him to play the bassoon, and my son has preformed in more than 4 concerts within 7 months period, Rebecca really made a difference in my child performance. She is reliable, very responsible, she always go the extra mile for her students. I highly recommend her as a music teacher.
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Rebecca K.

Rebecca K.

Vallejo, CA 94590
(31)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
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About DeAnna H.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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I have a strong background in music theory. My doctoral dissertation was analytical in content. I love music theory - it is like solving puzzles! If you want to learn about theory in an exciting and fun way, I would love to help you!

About DeAnna
Hello! I have been teaching piano since 1982 when I finished my degree in piano performance. I also have a Doctorate in Piano Performance, and have an artist diploma from the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria. However, I think what makes me special is that I combine a friendly approach to teaching with high standards. My students excel in competitive and non-competitive events. Many go on to successful careers in music.
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Ian December 15, 2017
· Piano · In home
Deanna was great! Nice, patient, encouraging, and knowledgeable. I learned basic technique which already has me feeling more comfortable. I'm looking forward to progressing and confident I've made the right choice.
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Carlo July 15, 2017
· Piano · In home
Very good experience. DeHanna took her time to reach a comfortable start . Very good first lesson. Looking forward to more lessons
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Remi Adam A. H. March 4, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Remi my grandson enjoy his piano class very much. Especially when Remi got home he practice or continue the song he did with his teacher...like he appreciate himself because it sounds beautiful. We grandparents are very proud to here a lovely melody he played.
The instructor is very good and patient with Remi, she makes sure she gets through him in her own special way.
Very grateful,
Remi's grandparents.
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DeAnna H.

DeAnna H.

Sunnyvale, CA 94089
(12)
starting at
$75 / 45-min

About Frederic R.

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San Francisco, CA

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

About Frederic
I have been 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!
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Jake C. December 23, 2016
· Cello · In home
Great first lesson
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Sophie R. November 1, 2016
· Cello · In home
Learning a lot and having fun doing it!
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Mihwa N. November 9, 2015
· Cello · In home
Very good!!
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Frederic R.

Frederic R.

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

About Ahmad G.

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San Jose, CA

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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.
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Chi November 3, 2018
· Electric Guitar · In studio
I have been studying with Ahmad for more than half a year now and it's been a great experience! Coming from wind instrument, my understanding of chords is seriously lacking. Ahmad addressed all my questions step by step. He's patient and motivating! If you live in the bay area and want to learn guitar, Ahmad is your best friend and teacher!
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Cory W. October 26, 2018
· Guitar · Online
Ahmad is a great instructor and I think I will learn a lot from him in the future if I am patient and attentive to what he is teaching me.
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Danny October 24, 2018
· Classical Guitar · In studio
Ahmad is no doubt one of the most humble, approachable, and skillful guitar teacher you can find around the bay area. I have been studying with Ahmad for the past 3 and a half months. Ahmad was not the first music instructor I had. He is however, the best one so far by a large margin. Since the first lesson Ahmad has been extremely professional and organized in his teaching methods. He is able to quickly identify my strengths and weaknesses as a player, tailor his lessons to fit my capabilities, and help me improve in great effectiveness.

I took lessons once a week with Ahmad, and every week I could see noticeable improvements because Ahmad assigned me homework that was fun and challenging but never frustrating. But beyond this, not only have I become a more skilled guitar player, through Ahmad's help I was also able to apply a lot of the theoretical music knowledge in other aspects. When I hear a piece of music, I find that I am slowly able to identify parts of the music, break it down into logical steps, and connect the music to the fretboard of the guitar.

I am a college student with a busy schedule both on and off work, but with Ahmad I was able to greatly improve nonetheless. Thank you Ahmad, I really look forward to coming back to the Bay Area and be your student again.
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Ahmad G.

Ahmad G.

San Jose, CA 95116
(106)
starting at
$16.25 / 15-min

About Mohan S.

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San Francisco, CA
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This is Mohan - a global health professional that now calls the Bay area home. I am also a classical pianist with a background in light jazz/other contemporary styles. I started playing at age 3 in my home country, India, and have been playing for 30+ years and teaching part-time for a few of those years. I am looking to teach adults and kids of all ages on week nights and weekends while I stay active in the field of public health during the day. I am comfortable teaching piano (mainly classical piano) and music theory to students of all age groups and levels, including advanced classical players. I am conveniently located a block from BART in the busiest neighborhood in San Francisco, the Mission District.

I am a graduate of Berklee College of Music, Boston where I won the Zambelli piano competition. I emphasize and insist on strong music theory and ear training foundations as part of my instruction in piano playing, regardless of what style or genre you may be learning about. My ...

About Mohan
Mohan is a classically trained pianist who started piano lessons at the age of 3 and went on to win national-level piano competitions in his early teens in his home country, India. Mohan won the 1st prize at the Emmanuel Zambelli Piano Competition when he was at the Berklee College of Music in Boston from where he graduated Summa cum Laude in piano performance and music therapy. Mohan also holds a Master of Public Heath degree from Harvard University, where he was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship at the Harvard Kennedy School.
...
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Mohan S.

Mohan S.

San Francisco, CA 94110
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Nathan B.

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Oakland, CA

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Music theory pedagogy is few and far between, and unfortunately may carry the tendency to intimidate more than enrich the student. I will break down key concepts into digestible chunks in new ways that anyone can understand.

About Nathan
I'm a conservatory-trained musician and new media artist who has gleaned musical and pedagogical insights from some of the Bay Area's finest. I have a penchant for making the esoteric digestible, and you are guaranteed to leave with a personalized set of tools in your toolbelt no matter your age, skill level, or genre of focus.
...
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Nathan B.

Nathan B.

Oakland, CA 94609
starting at
$42 / 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 $64. 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 $100 per hour.

30-min $25
 
$38 average
$60
45-min $35
 
$50 average
$75
60-min $40
 
$64 average
$100

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 $50, and 30-minute lessons cost 41% 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

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

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Our teachers have taught

2 , 5 9 8 , 5 0 2

lessons and counting!

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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.

6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory

6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory

Staring at the Circle of Fifths and memorizing key signatures isn't the only way to learn music theory! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares some creative ideas to revive your learning...   Music theory is a very important part of your musicianship, whether it be mastering ear training, harmony, or sight reading. No matter what instrument you play or what styles you enjoy, those who learn music theory grow further as musicians. A solid knowledge can help you improve your perform … Read More

6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory
Staring at the Circle of Fifths and memorizing key signatures isn't the only way to learn music theory! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares some creative ideas to revive your learning...   Music theory is a very important part of your musicianship, whether it be mastering ear training, harmony, or sight reading. No matter what instrument you play or what styles you enjoy, those who learn music theory grow further as musicians. A solid knowledge can help you improve your perform
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
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
Can You Pass This Basic Music Theory Quiz? Test Your Knowledge!
A knowledge of music theory is absolutely indispensable to musicians. For beginners, it can seem intimidating, but experienced musicians will attest that theory is well worth the effort needed to master it. While you can certainly acquire proficiency on an instrument without a knowledge of theory, you’ll miss out on the depth of understanding that it provides. Music theory is also extremely useful for musicians. Think of music theory as your tool box. It enables you to analyze, trans

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