I will teach you the basic concepts of how to compose songs and make those musical ideas of yours a reality. Through music theory techniques, progression theory, lyric concepts and ear training, we'll take that song that's "in your head" and make it into a reality you'll be proud of!
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!
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.
June 5, 2018
May 2, 2018
Just getting started, but Stevens clearly the teacher for me. He really listens, and really knows his stuff. Looking forward to many more lessons.
Learn about rhythm, melody, harmony, and dynamics and how they affect your songwriting. Break down songs that you like to learn about the elements that make you like them and make them compelling to others.
*Disclaimer* I'm currently not taking beginner students on voice/singing, guitar, bass, drums, piano, and ukulele. I highly recommend my studio partners Melissa though. Please check out her profile:
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 Area.
Since 2006 I have been an active teacher. This profession has taken me everywhere from working with classical guitar cla
sses 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.
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. It's really important to know though that everyone makes their own experience. The process of learning music involves you learning as much about your own mind and body as it does any external concepts, so please keep in mind only you can move yourself forward.
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 opportunities to perform for friends and family at my studio every few months. Adult students also 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:
*A P.A. System
*Vocal and instrument microphones
*Guitars, Basses, Ukulele, Banjos, etc
*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 and Yamaha organ
*A MicroKorg Synthesizer
*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, Saxophone, 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
Jesse has given directions on how to successfully become a better musician. His approach and explanation on musical theories was much more understandable than what I was previously reading. Overall, I found the lessons to be very usefull.
June 28, 2019
Super kind, patient and teaches a lot in each session!
March 25, 2019
Jesse is very friendly and a fun teacher to be around.
Travis grew up in a musical family in Santa Cruz, CA. His father was a professional guitarist and his grandfather was the head of the music program at Cabrillo College in Aptos, so naturally he grew up with an instrument in his hand. After years of toying with the guitar Travis began formal lesson at the age of 9, quickly developing into an exceptional musician. By the age of 13 Travis was in several rock bands and performing frequently. Once in high school, Travis had no doubt that being a professional musician was what we wanted to do with his life so he started studying jazz and classical piano at a college level, studying with jazz trumpeter/arranger Ray Brown and classically trained pianist Ivan Rosenblum. Travis excelled and quickly began playing in the top Jazz Combo at Cabrillo College and in the top Big Band as well as playi
ng professionally. In 2013 Travis received his BA in Music for Film from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and currently resides in Santa Cruz scoring commercials, television and film as well as producing albums and working on his own projects. Ever since Travis was 14 he has had an extreme passion to teach and pass on his musical knowledge. He started out teaching his friends and peers in high school for little or no money where he learned how to teach and gained valuable teaching experience. Eventually, he began teaching as a profession in the Santa Cruz area where he continued to hone the art of teaching.
*** Lesson Details *** Travis has been teaching for over 8 years and has acquired extensive knowledge on the most efficient and fun teaching methods. Travis' goal for each student is for them to have fun while learning the instrument, and to pass on his passion for the instrument. Curriculum is different for each student, as not all students learn in the same way or want to learn the same thing. Travis teaches most genres including: all areas of rock, jazz, blues, funk, metal and more. He will cover topics including technique, soloing, chords, theory, sight-reading, developing your ear as well as learning about the guitar and how to take care of it. He is a patient teacher and devotes himself to each student.
*** Travel Equipment *** I expect my students to have a guitar and if they are playing an electric, they need an amp at home.
*** Specialties *** I excel at rock, jazz and blues guitar and have in depth knowledge of jazz theory and harmony.
My son is really enjoying his lessons. Travis is a great teacher: patient, fun and very kind.
December 5, 2011
He was super. Patient, and a good teacher, all 4 of us liked him.
June 25, 2011
Travis is amazing. He's been teaching my son for about 8 weeks and he's well exceeded my expectations. Travis is very patient and an excellent teacher. He keeps the class pace moving from music theory to playing songs and somehow manages to keep my rambunctious 10 year old fully engaged for an hour""no easy task. I highly recommend him!
I teach and help people how to write songs at all levels. Whether you are a beginner, or more advanced and need new ideas to draw from. There is an endless reservoir of ideas and concepts to help you to create any kind of music imaginable.
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. Haha.
*** Studio Equipment *** Living Room or Studio, both very comfortable. Amplifiers, guitars, effects pedals, bass, ukulele, balalaika, drum set, PA system and recording equipment. This is a very serene and peaceful environment with no distractions!
*** 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. What ever your musical preferences are, I will enjoy teaching the kind of music you are interested in. This helps in keeping you motivated to learn more and practice often.
I currently have 5 albums out under my name. A song of mine is on a major new age compilation, and several of my songs have been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs throughout the world. I have played on other people's albums...some of which have received major radio airplay in Europe, and gone to #1!
Mark is a wonderful guitar teacher and is great for anyone at any level. He's an awesome guitarist too. I highly recommend Mark.
November 3, 2018
Mark is very patient and funny! My son and dad both enjoyed ukulele class. They are looking forward to continuing their weekly lessons. Thank you so much Mark! :)
August 1, 2018
Been working with Mark for 2 years now - electric and acoustic; it's time I share just how much learning and fun is going on! Some lessons we pick apart songs to understand how/why they work. Some lessons are thematic - modes, signature changes, turnarounds, etc. Crazy impressive guitar skills, explains theory and conjures up relevant examples, very adaptable, and extremely patient. My friends say it's made a huge difference in my playing!
I've been writing for 17 years, solo and as part of a band. I think I have an especially unique perspective of writing as a vocalist primarily, which can come with its own unique set of approaches and challenges. I like to work on songwriting as an authentic and intuitive extension of each individual's experience and creativity. There's no one-size-fits-all way to songwrite, and in working with my students on songwriting, my approach is to help guide you through what your process is, including finding and honing inspiration, making writing a part of your every day routine, lyric- and melody-writing, arrangement, dynamics, etc.
I've been singing, performing, songwriting, and studying voice for 20 years. I attended Berklee College of Music, where I studied Voice/Vocal Performance, and earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance from Musician's Institute in LA. I've been teaching since 2006, and work with a wide range of contemporary genres with a focus on rock, pop, country, folk, Americana, R&B, blues, and soul. I like to take a "back-to-basics" approach to voice by helping students develop the core aspects of breathing/breath control, correct vowel placement/vowel tuning, and a focus on muscle memory as it relates to stretching the cords. I've been told my approach is simple yet effective, and a unique blend of classic concepts with a practical/modern approach to getting in tune with one's own unique voice. Currently a gigging musician and songwrite
r in SF, I am in the trenches alongside many of my students, which gives me a unique perspective and empathy for the many stages of personal and career development as a musician. I have a lot of first-hand experience with the music business and what it means to manage a band and a DIY-career. Another area I specialize in (and which is probably the nearest to my heart!), is performance anxiety. Having overcome performance anxiety myself and gone on to be a bandleader and gigging musician, I have a close relationship to this and take a special interest in helping students overcome their own fears and anxieties, identify their own voice and identity as a singer, and taking the steps to develop that.
Mostly, I aim to debunk the mystery that the voice can be shrouded in, and change it from being elusive and temperamental to something that students can feel in control-of and at-ease with. I've taught a wide range of students, from young kids to a Marine (true story!), so am comfortable dealing with an equally-wide range of goals and voices.
*** Lesson Details *** Well, my students tell me that I have the unique advantage of "being young/in touch with the real-world of the music business, but with real professional training and chops." That's about as good as I could have said it, I suppose! I like to pull from all the different facets of my experience and background to inform me as an instructor: formal education and training, as well as my first-hand experiences with my own band, my own struggles with performance anxiety, and my discovery of my own voice through the very methods I now teach to my students. What that means for you is that rather than focus on a rigid set of rules, we'll focus on your voice and custom-fit a program that is built from solid vocal technique coupled with specific tools to help you develop your own voice and style. I do truly believe in building a solid foundation for you to build your voice upon, but am unconventional in that I believe the best way to learn to sing is by breaking down what is actually going on in there- in a way that students can understand and interpret themselves. Nerd alert: Vocal technique can actually quite liberating and fun! Yes, we will teach you how to breathe correctly; yes, you will be singing scales. But the key is that you'll know why you're singing each note, and what is going to get you to sing those notes more effectively. I believe in hard work because the voice is a musical instrument; but I also believe in making it easily digestible and fun.
In our lessons, you'll learn how to breathe correctly, test your vocal range, and start working on strengthening your head and chest voices to achieve some continuity in your range. We'll also develop the mask and what I like to call your "vendor voice." Oh yeah- it's good stuff. You'll have warm-ups and scales you can use on your own time to get ready for a gig or to continue strengthening the muscles.
*** Specialties *** I have experience with a wide range of styles, but my main genres of focus are rock, pop, Americana, country, blues, soul, and R&B. I specialize in vowel tuning/correct vowel placement as a way to strengthen the muscles of the voice, in order to correct pitch/tone and solidify muscle memory as it relates to the voice as instrument. I teach from a "ground-up" approach, meaning I feel it's crucial for my students to understand how their voice works, why it works in certain ways, and how they can use vocal technique to their advantage as singers and performers. Building upon that strong foundation, I customize a program for each of my students to address their own set of strengths and challenges.
Tracy is an expert and has taken me to places in singing that I was ‘scared’ of. I have seen improvements even after 4 lessons. Tracey is a caring and practical tutor. I highly recommend her!
January 5, 2017
I had my first lesson with Tracey today and I can't wait to take more! I'm a person who likes knowing how stuff works, why we may do something a certain way, what I should be paying attention to etc etc, and I love that she is willing to break everything down and explain in a very relatable way. She's very patient, easy-going, and despite how uncomfortable it is for me to sing in front of others, she made me feel like she's truly there to go along the journey with me, to improve and discover my voice with no judgments. Tracey is the best!
August 4, 2016
Tracey is super nice. I was not with them in the sdudio when she was teaching my daughter . She said I could definitely stay there though. My daughter was very happy with her.
Students will study and become familiar with each single element of songwriting-melody, harmony, lyrics, form, chord progressions, and phrasing to name a few.
I have been singing since I was a little girl and began studying voice at age 15. I was singing in my first band when I was in high school and participating in vocal competitions. Professionally, I was a back-up vocalist and percussionist with the Sam Morrison Band from 2006-2012, where I traveled all over the country.
I have studied and performed genres like opera and Lieder and performed in China and Europe with the California State University, Long Beach choirs.
I have worked in opera companies based in southern California, including Lyric Opera of Los Angeles, Long Beach Opera, and Celestial Opera. I have also been hired as a soloist at various local churches.
I was a faculty member at Orange County School of the Arts, for almost a decade, where I taught Music Theory, Music History, and Musicianship.
As a member of B
elle Musique, a hand bell trio, I played and sung for weddings, funerals, and private parties.
In addition, I manage and play in a band, Wheel House, where we create a unique blend of rock, blues, and funk.
It is my belief that it is never too late to follow your passion, but you have to find what really makes you happy and fulfilled!
*** Lesson Details *** I teach students according to their own goals and interests. However, I must include elements that are vital in the musical world whether the student is a hobbyist or leaning toward a professional career. My instrumentalists will learn all aspects of theory including rhythm, basic theory, and musicianship. My singers will learn about breath, anatomy, alignment, and performance. This is in addition to learning fundamental repertoire.
I have very high expectations for my students and do my best to motivate and challenge them, bringing out the natural musician. I am goofy but demanding and always develop a strong and trusting relationship with each and every student.
*** Studio Equipment *** In home music studio with upright piano, electric piano, recording equipment, drum set, amps, guitars, bass, and seating for parents.
*** Specialties *** Specialize vocally in opera, rock, funk, musical theater.
Self-expression and creativity are traits budding musicians often need some help developing. Coaching can consist of basic introduction to song structures and understanding popular songwriting techniques, while more advanced songwriters may need critiques from another pair of ears. What's the fun in only playing other people's music?
Extensive musical training, including thirteen years of jazz and classical guitar performance and theory, coupled with real-life experience as a studio and touring guitarist offers me a unique approach to music instruction focused on your individual goals and needs.
*** Lesson Details *** While I do have a general method for education, the priority is always on what the student wants to learn. If you have specific subject material you would like to explore, contact me, I'll certainly help you out in any way I can!
*** Studio Equipment ***
Depending on the situation, I can bring some of my recording and performance gear to lessons for demonstrations and exercises, including:
-Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier -Gibson Les Paul Standard -Carvin DC400 Custom Build -Music Man JP12 seven string -A whole host of other amplifiers, mando
lins, acoustics, classicals, and folk instruments -Home studio equipped with Pro Tools 11 and Logic Pro X for recording
*** Travel Equipment *** I bring with me basic gear for teaching (not much more than sheet music and a guitar), but I can not leave gear with students. If a student had questions about specific types of gear I may have, including effects processors and amplifiers, and would like a hands-on learning approach, they can contact me in advance and I can demo the equipment for them.
*** Specialties *** Music: - I have been working recently as a touring musician and recording artist for rock and metal bands for the past few years. If you need assistance with breaking through stage fright, I can help your live presence dramatically. Check out my band, Love District!
- Folk stringed instruments and odd tunings. - Sight Reading, both classical compositions and big band charts. - Improvisational techniques. - Theory and Songwriting. - Recording techniques.
Anthony starts from where you are with your skills and opens doors for your improvement.
May 9, 2017
I am to restarting an activity that I once enjoyed years ago. Anthony is the perfect instructor for this re-start: His style of teaching is positive and patient and his approach, with me at least, is focused on my stated desires of incorporating new runs, fingerings and a more melodic approach to my playing guitar: to rely more on the guitar and less on the voice. I look forward to practicing and to the sessions themselves since I started to see the improvement immediately.
Students can expect a relaxed atmosphere, but also making sure that there is a high level of professionalism and expectation of attentiveness from the student.
Of course, I also understand that this all depends on the age of the student, and as we meet and get to see what it is that you want to focus on and I will make sure to concentrate on that and help you reach your goals!
Hello Parents and Students,
I have been teaching and writing music professionally for ten years. My first introduction to music was just like some of you, starting in high school where I had a great teacher that encouraged me to play. This helped me so much, and I wouldn't be where I am at if it weren't for his help and positive encouragement. Now I try to encourage all of my students the same way.
After high school I went on and played percussion with various Orchestras such as the "Inland Valley Symphony Orchestra" and "Mt. San Jacinto Symphony Orchestra."
I have also been involved in the DCI (Drum Corps International) and Drumline community. I toured for four years and experienced performing with groups such as Yamato Drum and Bugle Corps 2002-2005, Black Knights 2006, and RCC marching and winter percussion under the direct
ion of Scott Johnson & Jeff Lee in 2002, and Sean Vega & Jim Wunderlich in 2003.
During my college years I started playing Jazz Vibraphone in my school's top big-band. This allowed me the opportunity to play Jazz Piano which I have performed and still study until this day. As a result, Jazz has now become one of my biggest passions.
As a Professional International Composer, I have had the privilege of writing and arranging for many marching bands, wind ensembles, and indoor percussion ensembles, including orchestrations, recordings and sequencing projects for media, and musical theatre in the United States and Japan.
I am also currently an adjudicator for the Southern California Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) and a member of the Vic-Firth Education Team.
I hope that this gives you a close and personal Idea of where I come from and hope that I can help you get the most out of your experience with music.
*** Lesson Details *** I believe that in order for you to get the most out of our lessons it takes both, the Teacher's and Student's understanding and attention from both ends. sometimes giving all of the information in the world won't help if one there is no engagement and two if me as a teacher don't make sure that you understand. So I like to make sure to explain things in more than one way to make sure the student understands the concepts and what to practice.
I like to keep a relaxed atmosphere, but also making sure that there is a high level of professionalism and expectation of attentiveness from the student.
Of course, I also understand that this all depends on the age of the student, and as we meet and get to see what it is that you want to focus on and I will make sure to concentrate on that and help you reach your goals!
*** Studio Equipment *** Mallets, Concert and Marching Sticks, Metronome, Practice pad, and Literature. (Acoustic and Electric Piano are available depending on the time we arrange our lessons at the studio) (Electric Drumset Available soon)
*** Travel Equipment *** Mallets, Concert and Marching Sticks, Metronome, Practice pad, and Literature. (I sometimes bring additional implements, such as hand drums, like a djembe and other accessories, depending on the focus of our lessons.) I may be able to bring a Keyboard upon request
*** Specialties *** I have been performing with Drum and bugle corps since 2002, (DCI)
Marching Rudimental, and Concert Percussion styles. All Percussion. Orchestral, Marimba, Vibraphone, and Marching Percussion.
I specialize in the Jazz genre, and have performed Jazz piano.. which includes sight-reading and chord recognition in the Jazz idiom.
"Chrissy was very instructive and positive and friendly and she worked with me for my individualized songwriting learning needs at this time. We worked on
my first song, and she gave me very good information and feedback and homework for our next lesson. Definitely several points above average!!!!!!"
"Andrew's fantastic musicianship mixed with a low key personality, is the perfect recipe for a great music instructor. Aspiring bass players should capit
alize on his ability to play both fluid single note lines-and this is key-his incredibly funky bottom end. Non-bassists, never fear. He also has the solid music theory thing down so there is something for everyone to take your musical knowledge to the next level."
"Wonderful and personal teacher. Really warm and lovely! I actually couldnt believe Mr Gunn is teaching lessons!! I have been a huge fan for years and I al
most fell off my chair when I saw his name....such an asset to the teaching world!"
"Dan is really good and creative teacher! I had fun lesson with him!"
"Enzo always comes out excited from his class with Axel. Looking forward for more"
"Jeff is among that rare breed that do more than just teach. Whether it's learning guitar, or how to write songs, what ever your musical desire may be, lea
rning with Jeff is a life changing experience and a gratifying journey towards your personal success in meeting your musical goals. I have known Jeff for over 30 years and can say, without question, you will not find a more compassionate, knowledgeable, or more capable guide through the world of song."
"Melaena is an amazing teacher! She is patient, encouraging, and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. I really enjoyed sitting through her songwrit
ing lesson. She was well organized and had exercises to go through that were challenging and fun. I can definitely see myself improving as a songwriter with more lessons with her."
"whatzzzzz up, seth, you are the Beethoven of this millenia."
"Aleksis was a great teacher. I highly recommend him."
Want to get started writing music of your own, but you're not sure where to begin? Arlington TX music teacher Ric F. shares his secret to composing interesting and meaningful music: start with the rhythm. Follow Ric's great advice and start sharing your music with the world!
Like any subject, songwriting has techniques that can be learned and mastered. Songwriting mainly involves these musical elements:
Melody (pitch applied to rhythm)
Harmony (vertical combinations of pitches …