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San Rafael, CA Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers near San Rafael, CA

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About Jim T.

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Fairfax, CA
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I teach student how to easily read music and the notation they see on the printed music from the very first lesson. We also study scale formation, intervals, chord construction and progressions as well as improvisation and songwriting. This includes all styles: classical, jazz, rock, blues and more!

About Jim
My career in music began at an early age (four!) with classical piano lessons until the age of thirteen. After expanding my musical horizons in high school listening to jazz, blues and rock I attended Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA where I studied jazz & music theory with renowned jazz educator Ray Brown and jazz piano with Paul Nagle who has worked with Grammy award winning singer Bobby McFerrin among many others.
I have been performing solo and in groups since the Eighties in a variety of different genres including rock, jazz, blues, r&b, funk, reggae and everything in between! Performing with such artists as Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Dan Hicks, David Grisman, Tommy Castro, Eric McFadden, Mark Karan & Vinyl I have appeared at most of the major venues in the Bay Area including the Warfield Theatre, the Great American Music Hall,
Yoshi's SF, the Regency, Bimbo's & the Sweetwater.
My teaching experience goes back over twenty years and I relocated to Marin County in the Bay Area in 1995 where I've been teaching extensively since 2002. Since then I have helped hundreds of students realize their dream of learning to play piano and keyboards as well as read music, play perfectly in time and learn songwriting skills. Playing music is fun & easy......I can show you just how easy it is!!

*** Lesson Details ***
My style is laid back with a large supply of patience and devotion to my students. I teach beginning , intermediate & advanced piano and keyboards (including organ). For adult beginning piano students I use the John Thompson Modern Course for the Piano Grade One along with Thompson's Note, Scale & Chord Speller books and flash cards for a quick and easy route to learning how to read music and basic music theory. For kids (5-7) I like Thompson's "Teaching Little Fingers to Play" along with the kid's music theory books by Linda Ng.
In the first six months students can expect to study basic finger exercises and scales, how to read music easily and quickly, how to play perfectly in time & develop a repertoire of songs to play. Once students have learned basic skills it is possible to explore many different genres including classical, jazz, blues, rock, reggae and much more. I customize the lessons to fit each student's needs and desires and can also help the students with songwriting and learning from the recorded works of great artists!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Beautiful 1884 carved English maplewood Estey upright piano!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide the books and supplies at cost...students should have some kind of keyboard to practice on...preferably a real piano although I have taught many students initially on electric keyboards.

*** Specialties ***
I teach beginning, intermediate & advanced piano in the styles of classical, jazz, blues, rock, r&b, pop, country, etc. ages 5-105! Usually I start beginners in the John Thompson method & speller books along with music flash cards and then am willing to shift into different styles as the students gain basic skills.
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Reviews
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Mario L. June 7, 2018
· Piano · In home
Very good at tuning into my needs. Jim is an excellent musician and teacher.
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Sarah April 2, 2018
· Piano · In home
Jim is a great instructor. His knowledge of theory and his piano skills are really amazing. I appreciated his no-stress style of teaching, and it is obvious that he has a true love of music and musicians.
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Al Lyle December 30, 2015
· Piano · In home
Great Teacher
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Jim T.

Jim T.

Fairfax, CA 94930
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Mark B.

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Castro Valley, CA
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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!
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Reviews
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

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

About Jeremy P.

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San Francisco, CA

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Start at the beginning if you've never read a note, or work all the way up to analyzing the forms of your favorite composer's master works. The sky is the limit!

About Jeremy
I began playing guitar by ear around age ten. I learned rock songs from records for a few years, and then I began a more serious study of theory in high school. Over the next several years I alternated between pursuing my music degree and playing in bands all over the midwest. In 2004, I transferred from Indiana University to Sonoma State to focus completely on jazz and finish my degree. I have worked with groups and privately, with all ages and skill levels. I am very flexible with the direction of your study and will help you with whatever aspects of your playing you would like to develop.

*** Lesson Details ***
As a teacher, I am here for your development. I will do my best to take the lessons in the direction that you want to go, while still providing adequate instruction in music fundamentals.

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

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my own guitar for examples, and i bring a pencil. Student provides guitar, and if they want to they provide a book. Otherwise I create a custom curriculum from scratch and they provide staff paper.

*** Specialties ***
I have studied classical guitar, jazz, and have played mostly rock and pop gigs.
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Reviews
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Y.L. June 3, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
My son has been getting guitar lessons from Jeremy for about six months. My son is really enjoying learning to play and he looks forward to his lessons with Jeremy! Jeremy is a wonderful teacher. He's knowledgeable, intelligent, professional and easy going. Jeremy is not the first teacher that my son has had but he's by far the best. I feel very fortunate to have found him!
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Brad May 18, 2018
· Guitar · In home
I learned so much from Jeremy over about 4 years of lessons. He listened to my goals, and tailored his lessons to help me achieve them. From the fundamentals to more advanced skills, such as improvisation, he stuck with me and allowed me to develop my own voice on the guitar.
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Chris May 18, 2018
· Guitar · In home
I'm a total beginner on the guitar. Watched a few youtube vids, learned some basics, but working in-person with Jeremy I've progressed a LOT faster. Worth the investment!
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Jeremy P.

Jeremy P.

San Francisco, CA 94116
(3)
starting at
$35 / 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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Wick A. February 23, 2018
· Piano · In home
Great instructor. Friendly, easy to understand, talented and can teach piano, theory, composition, etc.
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Susan December 8, 2017
· Piano · In home
My 10 year old son loves playing little riffs on the piano but really didn't want lessons for fear it would be too much like school. Peter has been awesome about tailoring the lessons so that my son can choose the Music he likes and move forward from his place of interest. Peter is a skilled and gifted pianist, and my son is totally inspired to keep playing and put in the work to improve.
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Leyla November 30, 2017
· Piano · In home
I have been working with Peter for a little over a year and although I'm moving away, I will be continuing my sessions with him over video. Over the past year, I've had the most incredible mentoring experience with Peter and would highly recommend him to students of all ages. I used to play piano as a kid and quit when I was in middle school, and Peter has helped me regain, maintain and build on my skills. He takes measures to keep me accountable in my practice and also nurtures and encourages me creatively -- his experience as a composer comes in handy and we have dope jam sessions. In addition to his musical teaching practice, Peter is also training in somatic and trauma healing modalities that infuse his work with students with care and attunement. I know some parents who work with him keep him around their kids as a life coach and buddy as well as a music teacher. He's the best and I will miss seeing him every week in person!
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Peter D.

Peter D.

Oakland, CA 94609
(23)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Liz J.

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Sonoma, CA
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With 20 years of music and theory experience, Liz teaches how to identify all aspects of music, as well as how to build and identify chords and key signatures, and how to make your way around the Western scale.

About Liz
After graduating California Institute of the Arts with a multi-focus on several aspects of music including African dance, Indonesian gamelan, songwriting, recording, classical voice and piano, folk guitar, and more, Liz had the excellent opportunity to teach theater to a local musical theater summer youth program. All summer, she taught class sizes ranging from 10 to 26 students of the ages 5-10. Her initiative later led to being hired at this local community theater. Along with this theater teaching experience, she has been teaching piano, guitar, ukulele, flute & voice lessons for over 10 years. Her students have gone from knowing nothing about music to learning and performing entire pieces on their own as well as even auditioning & for agents and becoming signed artists in Los Angeles. Liz knows that it is her place in the world to tea
ch music & spread positivity through her own music and would love nothing more than make learning music a positive and fun experience for everyone.

*** Lesson Details ***
I teach out of the Alfred's Piano course, but am open to trying out any music books you may already have in your home. I do expect my students to purchase the books they would like to learn out of and to have the material I have given them for homework ready, completed, and practiced by the time we have our weekly lesson. I recommend at least twenty to thirty minutes of practice every day, and will give rewards for having practiced well, and for performing well in our lessons. I would love it for my students to be clear on what they would like to learn, and I love using songs that the student enjoys to make his or her music learning process fun.

*** Studio Equipment ***
In my home studio, I have a full size Cable-Nelson upright piano, as well as two ukuleles, and two guitars (one acoustic-electric and one electric).

*** Travel Equipment ***
When I travel, I bring my own instrument that the student is learning on so that I can demonstrate, as well as a music stand if necessary.

*** Specialties ***
Pop, folk, opera, musical theater, classical, rock, reggae
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Reviews
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Marco P. September 27, 2016
· Singing · In home
My 8 year old son LOVED his first singing lesson with Liz! He was sad when it was over because he was having so much fun!
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Tyze A. April 18, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Liz was great! And my 6 year old who wants to make decisions for himself made the choice to continue to go to piano lessons. Amazing!
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Arati G. March 11, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Great and very nice teacher. Very helpful and helps makes my daughter feel very comfortable and makes her want to go back and learn more
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Liz J.

Liz J.

Sonoma, CA 95476
(10)
starting at
$50 / 30-min
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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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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!
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Eric December 20, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
10/10
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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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Joseph C.

Joseph C.

San Francisco, CA 94121
(15)
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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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
(2)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Tom S.

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Walnut Creek, CA

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I aim to make music theory fun and interesting ,but I also ensure that with the fun comes progress and understanding

About Tom
I am a very experienced and fully qualified music and instrumental teacher, with over 30 years of experience. I am a experienced performer in both playing, singing and conducting too. Making and very importantly enjoying music is my passion.

I have taught brass instruments right through from beginners to pupils at music college.

I also teach music theory, music history and some composition and arranging. I also play and teach the piano

I am also a very experienced teacher of pupils with Special Education issues

Whether you want to study music seriously or just for fun , I am the teacher for you.I promise you stimulating and enjoyable lessons, but I will also help you make good and rapid progress.
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Steve S. June 15, 2018
· Trumpet · In studio
I am starting over from scratch with trumpet. Tom is helping me to rebuild and strengthen that foundation, develop good habits and skills with meaningful exercises and great learning materials. In just a few lesson I feel I have made great progress while enjoying myself immensely. Tom's lessons are a delightful experience; I alway leave them feeling very energized and refreshed. My favorite part of our lesson is when we play duets together. Tom plays his Euphonium, I love the sound of that instrument, while I play trumpet; these duets sound just heavenly. I do not have enough good things to say about this instructor, other than I am simply delighted with the experience. Thank you Tom. -s.
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Steve April 23, 2018
· Trumpet · In studio
Tom is great to work with. The first lesson was a very enjoyable experience where I really learned a lot and received some great tips and advice in the short span of just one hour. If you know anyone who has been procrastinating and putting off taking lessons, force them to take a lesson with Tom. They will thank you. -Steve S.
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Diana Diehl March 17, 2018
· Piano · In studio
Tom was very friendly and very willing to accommodate my very particular ideas about how to proceed and what music I wanted to play.
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Tom S.

Tom S.

Walnut Creek, CA 94598
(14)
starting at
$25 / 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

About Sherman N.

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Mill Valley, CA

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I will the basic fundamentals of music theory; there will be a good amount of practice and trivia, and I hope each student will enjoy the lessons.

About Sherman
I'm a high school student and musician. I will be attending the University of Wisconsin Madison in this fall.
I've played piano for about 14 years and this is my best opportunity to help other young aspiring musicians. I passed the Grade 8 Piano Exam for ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) and I've completed the Diploma test for ABRSM. I am interested in the music business and management field.

I will do my best to help the young kids to find their love and passion and music and help them stay committed to it.
...
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Sherman N.

Sherman N.

Mill Valley, CA 94941
starting at
$15 / 30-min

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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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Recent Music Theory Articles from the Blog

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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 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
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
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
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

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