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Saratoga, CA Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers near Saratoga, CA

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Saratoga, CA including Cupertino, Los Gatos, Campbell, Redwood Estates and Holy City.

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About Henri B.

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Phoenix, AZ

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Get help finishing, recording, arranging your songs. Also get help with theory, melody, rhythm, timing, production, and lyric writing.

About Henri
Henri is an experienced, focused teacher and musician who really enjoys seeing students achieve their goals and desires musically. Henri has studied privately with former Berklee Graduate Al Pahanish Jr (Powerman 5000), and former Capitol Records recording artist Morrison Moon.  He is a goal-oriented individual with a versatile background and a relaxed, "let's have fun while we learn" attitude. Henri believes music should always be fun and inspiring for everyone, no matter what skill level. FUN is always the focus, because if you are not having fun, why are you doing it? 

Henri also has years of experience touring both nationally and internationally with several award-winning Arizona-based performing groups (Dry River Yacht Club,The Hourglass Cats, The Everyday Players and Lara Ruggles and The Lost Gold are the current projects), perfo
rming shows in 46 of the US States, as well as festival performances in 2012 in Canada (NXNE), Norway (Slottsfjell Music Festival), and Mexico (Circus Mexicus) in 2016. His past teaching and performing experiences have really helped shaped the musician he is today.

Aside from working as private lessons/class instructor and performer, Henri can also be seen teaching for Mesa Community College as Adjunct Faculty in the Music and Business program, where he currently teaches MUC109 - Merchandising and the Law, and MUC210 - Concert and Touring Promotions, as well as working for several local preschools in support of his children's music business "Wee Rock Music.". A life-long learner, Henri is always finding new experiences and new ways to connect with his students, as learning comes just as much from the student as it does the teacher. You can always find him around "the music." 

*** Lesson Details ***
Students who study with me can expect for their guitar, drum kit, percussion, or piano lessons to be top-quality, personalized, and above all, extremely fun sessions that will cater to the students musical backgrounds, interests, and needs. I create extremely organized and specifically focused lessons so that students feel comfortable, not pressured, while learning their craft. The lessons I teach are a combination of developmental sight reading music, learning student chosen songs (depending on ability), inspiring and encouraging creative abilities, warm-up and strengthening exercises, proper techniques, listening for internal hearing, composition dynamics, chords, finger-picking (guitar only) and rudiments (drum kit only).

After 3 months of lessons together, students will have started learning several key elements to becoming an outstanding guitarist/drummer/percussionist/pianist. They will have learned proper form and technique, warm-up/skill-building exercises, to read basic notation, and basic rhythms/rudiments. Guitar/Piano students will be able to play at least one song utilizing both finger picking and chords. For drum kit/percussion, students should have no problem reading basic drum beats and being able to play through a simple song. With proper, steady practice, most students will achieve much more. I also focus on creative thinking, professionalism, and instrument tuning. Finally, the students will have started to develop a solid level of discipline that is required of any aspiring human being! Remember, "practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent."

*** Studio Equipment ***
Ludwig Accent Drum Kit, Tama Rock Star Drum Kit, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Casio CTK-800, LP Assorted Percussions, Protools LE, Logic Pro, Korg Electribe, Reason 3.0, Ion Electronic Drum Set, Chord Charts.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide drum sticks, guitar, keyboards, percussion instruments, and all developmental material for students to retain and practice.

I expect my students to be providing the necessary musical equipment as well (guitars, drum kits, percussion instruments, piano/keyboard) for their private lessons. If they do not have these in the home to practice with, the lessons are much less effective for your student.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in the following styles of playing:

Rock, Hip - Hop, All Latin, Jazz, Funk, Blues, R and B, Gospel, and Dance. I also have a very good feel for World Music as well. I have a very free-spirit for playing, so I often mesh the above stated styles into a more progressive style of playing. I believe that you must be feeling what you are playing.

I also specialize in beat programming/sequencing, recording, organizing song-writing/song-structure, musical score, live performance, and professional music marketing. I am able to show you how to use programs such as Reason, Logic Pro, Protools LE, and Adobe programs to take your creative abilities to the next level.

I believe that these days, it is imperative for musicians to have four major components in their professional arsenal: 1) Discipline and chops on your instruments (including reading music notation); 2) Know how to successfully market yourself and your music; 3) Know how to properly develop a learning ear to record/produce your songs/tracks as well as for others; and 4) Understand and effectively utilize music production programs.

I look forward to working with you and helping you achieve your musical desires. Thanks so much for stopping by and have a music-filled day.
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Reviews
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Amy October 19, 2017
· Drum · In studio
Henri is always super kind and patient with me. He works really hard to break things down in a way that will make sense and be easier to grasp. He’s also always in a great mood and it’s refreshing to see! 10/10 would recommend.
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Alice April 20, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Very chill and informative first lesson. He really seemed to listen and understand my learning curve. Looking forward to future lessons.
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Landon March 30, 2017
· Piano · In home
Really great and friendly guy. Super enthusiastic. Great choice for anyone wanting to learn piano..
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Henri B.

Henri B.

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$29 / 30-min

About Cosima Y.

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Moreno Valley, CA

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Learn a method for great songwriting that effectively expresses your ideas and emotions. No need to understand music theory or write music notation. In this series you'll be equipped with a range of tools that revolve around the concept of using patterns of stress and intonation to coordinate lyrics and music that will carry and communicate your idea.

About Cosima
My specialty is voice but I also teach acoustic guitar, ukulele and songwriting for the student who desires to develop their own style and create their own songs. Not only is it fun but the music education that comes with it is highly valuable for future musicians. (guitar and ukulele rentals available at an additional cost to the student)

For students who are just beginning their vocal journey or are busy performers who want to improve healthy technique and sing with more confidence; or perhaps a worship leader or backup singer is struggling with vocal strain, my goal is to help them find vocal freedom and maintain an amazing, healthy voice that will confidently meet their expectations, year after year, in every situation, every time.

As an active performing vocalist, musician, songwriter, and Christian worship artist and band lea
der, I understand the demands and challenges of a busy performance calendar, singing sets for back-to-back audiences day after day and week after week, and the need for a vocalist to find the vocal freedom that will produce confidence in their voice no matter what the venue.

The first steps to mastering vocal freedom are the building blocks for vocal success. Whether the student is a child or an adult, with little or no training, it is my goal to make singing an enjoyable and freeing experience.

Singing with complete vocal freedom and confidence can seem very elusive. Surprisingly, it's not as elusive as one might think! Vocal freedom is within reach and most students experience a measure of it within the few first lessons, some even gaining a full octave in their range in their first lessons. Using a systematic method incorporating the study of good vocal technique and working on songs the student loves to sing makes learning more fun and gives the student a greater appreciation of music as a whole while encouraging a passion for music that lasts a lifetime. I encourage and teach sight reading, and theory basics especially for those students who are considering music as a profession.

*** Lesson Details ***
Each student learns with material that will be divided into step-by-step doable lessons so they can be sure to learn the best techniques and material along the way. Sheet music and lesson books are provided at a minimal additional cost.

*** Studio Equipment ***
My home-studio is bright and open and set up with an upright piano, full length mirror, music stand, iPad with appropriate applications, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and computer for recording and playback. Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons or wait for their children in the adjacent room. I also may provide a follow-up email which includes any recordings and lesson notes from the current lesson.

As the student progresses I also provide a PA system to teach mic technique and build performance confidence.

I ask that students come prepared with the following items to their lessons.
~ Bottled water
~ A ring binder with paper for notes and a zippered pouch to keep tools and handouts.
~ A flash drive for recording transfers or they can use their phone or other recording device to record their lessons.
~

*** Specialties ***
I honestly love my students and love teaching! It's such a privilege to be a part of their musical journey. I specialize in church worship vocals, choir, a capella, show tunes and musical theater. I teach free, healthy vocal technique which enables each student to explore and focus on different styles of singing. I also love teaching young voices especially teens who want to have a good time learning to sing.

NOTE ~ My teaching style is more structured therefore some young children may not be ready to take lessons with me.
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Reviews
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Kali B. October 12, 2016
· Singing · In studio
She made my daughter feel very comfortable. Looking forward to more classes.
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Stephanie April 30, 2016
· Vocal Training · In home
I have had my first few lessons with Cosima and she has been absolutely amazing. I am a beginner and she has made me feel comfortable throughout the entire process. Very professional, informative, and dedicated to her students. I look forward to more lessons with Cosima.
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Arthur R. April 5, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Good singing teacher.
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Cosima Y.

Cosima Y.

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About Mandy B.

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San Leandro, CA

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Students will study and become familiar with each single element of songwriting-melody, harmony, lyrics, form, chord progressions, and phrasing to name a few.

About Mandy
I have been singing for as long as I can remember and started studying voice at age 15. I sang in my first band when I was in high school, then 2 others while in college. Professionally, I was a back-up vocalist and percussionist with the Sam Morrison Band from 2006-2012, where I traveled all over the country. This premiere Bob Seger tribute band is signed by Titan Tribute Media and has recorded 3 albums that can be found on iTunes.

I left home to study music at Cal State, Long Beach. There, I was challenged with more difficult genres, like opera and Lieder. My appetite continued to grow as I immersed myself in performances, competitions, and traveling the world with college 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 Belle Musique, a hand bell trio, I played and sung for weddings, funerals, and private parties.

I got to wail as the lead singer of Pine Street Band singing classic covers from CCR to Blondie to Tom Petty.

In addition, I sing 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.
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Reviews
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Gina Weaver September 13, 2016
· ·
Mandy has been nothing but lovely to work with, Isabella Ruby has enjoyed her lessons and can't wait to sing more!
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Michael P. August 16, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
She was wonderful,knows what is needed to get things started.Felt very comfortable with her,can't wait for the next lesson.
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Elizabeth Kwiatkowski-Wrixon July 19, 2016
· Piano ·
Mandy is a great teacher! She is very patient and works with you at your own pace.
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Mandy B.

Mandy B.

San Leandro, CA 94579
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Don p.

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Lebanon, CT
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Are you into creating your own songs? I will analyze other artist songs and use this to help with creating original compositions of your own! I will then build a full recording of your song including drums, bass and even vocals if you choose!

About Don
I provide a complete learning experience beyond your traditional guitar lesson format! I began by teaching you the skills needed to play and perform your music confidently. The main curriculum is my own Electric Crown Guitar Method which is the result of many years of testing what works best for students in a one on one learning situation.

Learning skills is useless if you don't actually apply them in a real musical way. I use a large variety of popular rock songs ranging from Led Zeppelin to The Beatles to Metallica and so on. I use real band backing tracks which you will be able to take home to practice along with. I will then record YOU playing the guitar parts with the band!

I strive to give you much more than guitar lessons. I offer you a complete guitar experience! Come join the experience!

*** Specialties ***
I speciali
ze in Classic Rock, Modern Rock, Metal and Acoustic rock styles. I also specialize in Music Theory and songwriting for the guitar.
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Reviews
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Ron H. April 7, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
I asked questions, Don answered them. Very personable, to me, seems to know a great deal about teaching guitar. Looking forward to my next lesson.
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Cameron Z. August 14, 2014
· Guitar · In studio
Learning to play guitar can be a daunting task. Don breaks it down into easy to understand lessons. After each lesson he sends me home with practice homework so I constantly feel like I'm making progress.

The most important thing for me when i wanted to take lesson was that the teacher new his stuff, Don definitely does. I'm not just learning to play guitar, i'm also learning more about music.
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Andrea H. August 3, 2014
· Guitar · In home
When looking for a guitar teacher for my daughter, I was so pleased to find Don. He knew exactly where to begin with her and started her playing music right away. His creative techniques keep her engaged and excitedly looking for what's coming next. He is professional, yet warm at the same time, putting both her and I at ease. It is amazing to see the transformation in my daughter's guitar abilities as well as the transformation in her confidence. Don's expertise and patience is perfectly blended.
Thanks Don!
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Don p.

Don p.

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$45 / 45-min

About Hristo V.

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San Jose, CA
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I design my lessons with the specific student goals in mind.

For Beginner students: we will start by exploring rhythm concepts and understanding how to read music. Learning the physics of the guitar and exploring the notes in the first few positions. Learning open position chords, and simple chords progressions, major and pentatonic scales,etc.

For Intermediate students: we will continue expanding our knowledge of the higher positions of the guitar, as well as develop better sight-reading skills. Bar cords and chord transposition, and music theory. Expanding our scalar vocabulary to modes, and minor scales. Learning arpeggios and classical etudes.

For Advance students: Close interval voicings, jazz improvisation, chord to scale relationships, and harmonic substitutions are some of the concepts we will cover. Learning solo guitar playing (chord melody), incorporating walking bass lines, transcription skill and arranging skills.

I specialize in Jazz guitar, improvisation,

About Hristo
Hristo is an impressionistic modern jazz guitarist and composer from Sofia, Bulgaria. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hristo leads a variety of modern jazz formations, ranging from duets to quintets. Hristo has toured nationally and internationally, appearing at some of the most prestigious jazz clubs and festivals, and has also performed guitar clinics in Europe and Japan. He has written more than 270 original compositions, many articles on jazz improvisation, and a book on chordal theory and construction entitled Between the Voicings: A New Approach to Chord Building for Guitarists. The Hristo Quartet’s 2009 debut album, Song for Messambria (First Orbit Sounds Music) quickly received outstanding reviews by the international jazz community and was selected as one of the six best jazz albums of 2009 by E-JAZZ NEWS.
“His sophi
sticated and adventurous work is imbued with shimmering harmonies and lyrical improvisations.” – JAZZTIMES MAGAZINE
“His multihued compositions are like impressionistic sound paintings.” – JAZZIZ
“You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers.” – Improvijazzation Nation Magazine
“Hristo may be one of the best kept secrets in jazz today. He is the epitome of sonic gold.” – DIGITAL JAZZ NEWS
“Hristo plays as the cultural end result of his life experiences. Simply put, he plays more so from the heart than he does the head.” – Critical Jazz
“A richly textured album full of strong melodic and rhythmic ideas and with some superb playing throughout.” – THE JAZZ MANN (England)
As jazz critic Edward Blanco describes: “Heis the newest guitarist to enter the national jazz scene and does so with a stunner of a recording in Song for Messambria, one of the finest debut albums I've had the pleasure of appraising this year.”
The record presents a unique blend of ECM-style modern jazz, classical, and Brazilian tone textures, and showcases the completely unique and masterful interpretation of the jazz idiom by each one of its members. In late 2009, Hristo released his second studio album featuring Latin Grammy-nominated pianist Weber Iago. The Secrets of an Angel is an impressionistic landscape painted by the delightful and graceful conversation between the two instruments (guitar/piano).
As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “On the heels of his impressive debut recording, Song for Messambria, guitarist Hristo returns along with pianist Weber Iago for a wonderful guitar/piano duet recording - The Secrets of an Angel...while the gentle title track shimmers like a glistening iceberg on a cold sea. The delightful two-part ‘The Last Pirate” is a highlight - brilliantly showcasing the exciting romantic bend inherent in his music, while the nostalgic lullaby “Leka Nosht (Good Night)” recalls a faraway youth and rounds out this fine release.”
In 2010 Hristo wrote a large scale jazz work (The Perperikon Suite) especially to be premiered at the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival. This 7 movements jazz suite is inspired by the ancient Thracian city of Perperikon (located on the territory of Bulgaria), and combines orchestral, classical, jazz, and fusion elements depicting the history and mystery of this enchanting place. The work marks Hristo third album and one of his most adventurous and sophisticated works up to date. For the recording of this project the Hristo Quartet was joined by virtuoso vibraphonist and multi-instrumentalist Christian Tamburr.
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Shimmering harmonies resonate throughout these modern jazz marvels, and the soloists work their way around and through this accessible and exciting music with equal measures of taste, technique and spirit. His pieces are peppered with signpost sonorities and ideas that often reappear throughout a given song, creating a sense of continuity and thematic steadiness that develops around individual soloists. While this group ably establishes its own aural identity, which threads its way through the whole album, each movement of the suite has different strengths and a unique sonic footprint. Brought to life as a tale of two cities, The Perperikon Suite ultimately occupies its own wondrous world within the confines of its jazz borders.”
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “There is an incredible warmth to his playing, a fluidity of movement and direction held firmly in place by a stellar quintet that provides ample support for the lyrical imagery created on this release. Aside from the superior sound which almost smacks of a live in the studio recording, there is a true working band feel that he has been able to obtain. He displays an unparalleled versatility moving from the flash of “The Acropolis” to the more introspective “The Southern City” allowing for a wonderfully paced recording. The drumming of Joe DeRose creates a special dynamic tension on the tune “The Great Hall.” A release that ends far too soon. Wonderfully crafted, well paced and a sonic tapestry that stands up as well as any release for this past year.”
As jazz critic Bruce Lindsay describes: “The music, performed by a terrific quintet, is beautiful: it captures images not of a city in ruins but of a city full of life, of vibrant activity. The Perperikon Suite is an impressive creation. Each individual tune is beautifully crafted, but so, too, is the Suite as a whole. His response to the ancient city is remarkable in both its conception and its performance.”
As jazz critic Michael Bailey describes: “Many time motifs are used throughout this suite. Tick-tock ascending and descending figures pass as a thread through cloth, to hold this musical garment—a coat of many colors—together. He achieves this effect with no apparent effort or change in guitar tone or approach. Merely by affecting the time signatures, he makes his magic. The Perperikon Suite is soft-spoken and brainy music that exists out of the ordinary.”

As jazz critic Brad Walseth describes: “The new songs are the strongest he has written yet, and the addition of Tamburr serves to take the music to an even higher level. Hristo, meanwhile, continues to impress the listener with his addictive blend of jazz with touches of classical, Brazilian and Eastern European influences in both his playing and songwriting. In lieu of visiting the legendary site yourself, listeners are urged to take a musical journey to the ancient location as seen through the senses of Hristo and shared with you through his highly satisfying musical presentation.”
As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: “Hristo and his inspirational quintet provide an all-new experience on The Perperikon Suite, a concept album that is accessible, creative and a pleasure to spin often.”
In 2012 Hristo embarked on yet another musical chapter of his life. Heartmony is the long awaited and highly anticipated follow up to the first duet recording by the guitarist and pianist Weber Iago (The Secrets of an Angel). As the title of the record will suggest, Heartmony explores a truly intimate, honest, and emotional conversation between the two instruments. The music, which transports you from impressionistic landscapes to folkloric tales and from melancholic memories to meditative trances, is simply the purest harmonious sounds he has put on tape up to date. Straight from the heart, healing energy that will embrace you long after you listen to it.
“An absolutely wonderful recording.” – JAZZTIMES
“If ever there were a marriage between classical music and jazz then this Heartmony is it. Hristo and Weber Iago have created a very special experience.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)
“Both on and off the bandstand, he is an artist who wears his emotions on his sleeve. His new “Heartmony,” a duo session with his frequent collaborator, Brazilian pianist Weber Iago, provides a master class in the way a chord or harmonic progression can evoke a flood of sensations.” – Andrew Gilbert (San Jose Mercury News)
“Guitarist Hristo and longtime collaborator, pianist Weber Iago, have created a work of sublime musicality with Heartmony. Exquisitely lyrical, although a bit too sweet, this opus brings together multiple musical influences into a coherent and cohesive, multilayered narrative, the momentum of which does not slack from the first few notes to the very last. He and Iago interweave long musical threads into a shimmering soundscape of serene beauty.” – Hrayr Attarian (All About Jazz)
As jazz critic Brent Black describes: “Heartmony is a sonic mosaic pieced together from heartfelt feelings and emotions carried through time and communicated in an incredibly heartwarming and emotional presentation that exemplifies the zen concept of less is more perhaps as well as any recording of the last decade. The musical sound of one hand clapping. His and Weber's music transcends the more traditional jazz idiom in much the same fashion that their recorded work here is that of a more cohesive unified voice with subtle shadings, lyrical swells and the textured nuances that creates music that is to be experienced. An incredibly beautiful artistic statement of personal experience.”
“Guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago sounds like a perfect match in a musical heaven, if such things exist. What I’m saying here is that this is a duet album that sounds perfect, music made from the heart and soul. There’s warmth, there’s care, and there’s a human quality to this that no machine can replicate, and it is that Heartmony that makes this a powerful album worth listening to repeatedly.” – John Books
As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “The eleven originals are all musical offerings from the heart and soul, but this isn't a one-dimensional recital. Some songs are full of life and positive energy, while others have a sense of regret and nostalgia sewn into their being, but they're all painted in sharp, vivid colors, thanks to the skills of both artistic practitioners at play.”
“This set of guitar-piano duets is quietly emotional, always intriguing and quite original. His clear toned guitar blends in perfectly with Iago’s powerful piano and the two musicians often seem to think as one. Heartmony is quite thought provoking and well worthy of many close listens. Highly recommended.” – Scott Yanow
“Hristo and Iago play together with the assurance born of long and fruitful collaboration. They know each other well, and it shows in the skillful way they complement each other. They take a beautiful melody and run with it. They wring every bit of emotion out of it. There are passages in a composition like “Memories in Black and White,” nocturnal moments in “The Last Leaves which Fell in Fall,” that sound like they could have been written by a nineteenth century Polish Romantic. Then there are moments in the same songs where there are glints of French Impressionists.” – Jack Goodstein (blogcritics.com)
“Hristo is a gifted composer and master guitarist whose stylish approach to the music makes him a hidden wonder of the jazz world. Heartmony is an intelligent musical statement and gentle follow up to his previous works, a relaxing soulful musical experience sure to touch a piece of your heart.” – Ed Blanco (E-JAZZ NEWS)
In January 2013, Hristo released “Familiar Fields” – his 5th record as a leader (and his 2nd quartet recording). The music presented in this session clearly displays the multidimensional tonal evolution of the band and each one of its individual members. The addition of drummer extraordinaire Mike Shannon to the quartet establishes a portal to new sonic landscapes and emotions to be explored in this collection of 9 original pieces by the guitarist. The music, which takes the listener through the realms of impressionistic, classical, jazz, experimental, and new age, always retains the unique sonic footprint that has brought critical acclaim to the quartet all over the world.
“He  paints a vivid pastoral landscape with epic sweep, often recalling the big-sky sound of Pat Metheny. Obviously, these musicians are more than comfortable with one another, as one delicate solo seamlessly segues into another.” – JAZZIZ

“Once again he has produced an immaculately crafted, often supremely beautiful album.” –
The Jazz Mann (England)

“If Pat Metheny and Larry Carlton are considered the kings of impressionistic jazz guitar, then certainly Hristo is a crown prince and ready to lead a palace coup. In fact, “Familiar Fields” easily stands equal to even their greatest albums. Part of the reason for that has to be credited to Hristo’s choice of musicians in the quartet. The musical affinity and effortless grace shines forth on this album like few recordings I have ever heard. They share a single heart and mind that bursts forth in illumination on every track. There is no weak moment or weak player on this album.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)
“Over the past few years, Bulgarian-born, Bay Area-based guitarist and composer Hristo has consistently crafted music of great lyrical beauty. With his self-named quartet or quintet, or in duet with pianist and frequent collaborator Weber Iago, he has advanced a sound that manages to sound intimate and epic at the same time. He does so again on Familiar Fields (First Orbit Sounds), his latest recording with his quartet, which welcomes new member Mike Shannon on drums. As he has on previous recordings, He makes use of classical imagery and narratives in song titles such as “The Prophet’s Daughter,” “The Mask of Agamemnon” and “Wounded by a Poisoned Arrow,” the last of which is our selection. His instrumental voice bears echoes of the tonal warmth and big-sky sweep of Pat Metheny, as he and Iago, his beyond-simpatico musical compatriot, switch off on leads, riding the rolling hillocks of rhythm provided by Shannon and acoustic bassist Dan Robbins. Shannon proves an exceptional addition to the group, responding to and driving his companions in equal measure.” – JAZZIZ
As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “Bulgaria-born and San Francisco-based Hristo has established himself as a modern day troubadour. His enchanting and fantastical tunes have the feel of medieval ballads abundantly peppered with futuristic sounds. His sixth release, Familiar Fields, presents nine impressionistic originals that showcase his maturing compositional skills as well as the superlative, improvisational talents of his working quartet. With each album he oeuvre ripens and becomes more sophisticated without losing its delightfully spirited edge. Familiar Fields not only stands on its own merit as sublime music but also whets the appetite for what is yet to come.”

“Familiar Fields is a highly intelligent, thought-provoking Impressionistic escapade.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

“This release is a clear statement from an artist comfortable with who he is and where he is going. There are no absolute truths in music but instead there are shades of gray which he and his quartet fill in with the precision of a surgeon and the soul of a true artist. Never caught up in the academics of his works, he instead conducts a sonic exploration with the end result being a release that gives up something new with each subsequent spin. An ebb and flow unmatched, or perhaps unlike him, an ebb and flow that other artists simply can not match. As close to perfect as it gets!” – Brent Black (CriticalJazz.com)

“The Hristo Quartet, ladies and gentlemen, is in peak form. They have no competition: no other music in the jazz idiom is quite as satisfying.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)
“The musical bond between guitarist Hristo and pianist Weber Iago is as strong as that of Chick Corea and Gary Burton, with proof being their two sublime duet recordings, The Secrets of an Angel and Heartmony, as well as three small group sessions under his name. For the Familiar Fields quartet date with regular bassist Dan Robbins and new drummer Mike Shannon, chose nine gems to play from his vault of more than 270 original compositions. As usual, as one listens to his music, the words lyrical, impressionistic, spiritual, and passionate come to mind, and also his term "heartmony," which he defines as the simultaneous combination of feelings and emotions, especially when produced by experiences, memories, and stimulations pleasing to the heart, body, and soul." – Scott Albin (JAZZTIMES)
“The emotional essence of any Hristo recording can be seen before it’s heard via the distinctive oil paintings the guitarist creates for his CD jackets. his artwork for Familiar Fields is impressionistic, haunting and autumnal, the same qualities that characterize his latest collection of tunes. The foursome’s interplay is highly intricate, resulting in emotive tunes that wax and wane in intensity. Whether you call it post-bop or post-fusion, his brand of jazz is passionate and ethereal. He has developed into a formidable guitarist and intelligent composer, and since he’s only 32 years old, his best work may be yet to come.” – Ed Kopp (Jazziz)
“Within his tone and technique, it’s not difficult to hear the influences of Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny and Lee Ritenour. He is adept at the full range of extended techniques but is most often described - justifiably - as an impressionist.” – Karl Ackermann (All About Jazz)
“Of the many attributes that Bulgarian (San Francisco based) guitarist Hristo possesses - refined technical abilities, warm tonality, and expressive soulfulness - his gift to convey beautiful stories through intricate composition is always at the heart of his appeal.” – Mark F. Turner

In October 2013, Hristo released his 6th album as a leader. "Rhodopa" is a beautifully crafted sonic pairing of the extremely emotional and lyrical Bulgarian folklore and the multidimensional and deeply textured world of modern jazz harmony. On his new music journey, the guitarist is joined by virtuoso Bulgarian clarinetist Liubomir Krastev. As jazz critic Dan Bilawsky describes: “Hristo and Liubomir Krastev cover everything from the mystical to the mournful and the grim to the gleeful on this absorbing duo date.”

“Hristo takes improvisational music to a third dimension of texture you can feel. Rhodopa is my selection for album of the year for 2013. Critically acclaimed guitar virtuoso Hristo started the year with the release of the highly regarded Familiar Fields. With Rhodopa, has now assumed his rightful place as a global virtuoso of unrivaled talent and ability. As artistically gifted as he is technically proficient, Hristo moves to the head of the pack with this stellar outing.” – Brent Black (CriticalJazz.com)

“Hristo boldly departs from the group setting and gives the audience even more of what they crave - soulful arrangements and virtuosity with heart. There is a beauty and an elegance that comes through on each and every one of Hristo's recordings. The music he composes, the arrangements he crafts, the musicians that he assembles together and the dignity and reverence of his musicianship speak of the heart of the man and his love of life.” – Travis Rogers (JAZZTIMES)

As jazz critic Hrayr Attarian describes: “The warm, poetic tunes are like fairy tales in verse. They are imbued with nostalgia, and shimmer with a variety of muted colors and sentiments. Krastev's softly undulating tones waver against his vibrating strings in a spiritual celebration of abstract beauty. This thematically unified work is a genre bending, elegant and satisfying opus and a new high for he who continues to excel himself on each fresh release.”

“Modern jazz guitarist, pianist and composer Hristo always refreshes the ear and the soul with his inordinately sensitive, mesmerizing, and beautiful approach to music. He is unique - and artist who explores every avenue of approach to both folk music and jazz and the result is an experience that simply no one else can match.” – Grady Harp (Amazon.com)

“With Rhodopa, guitarist/composer Hristo and clarinetist Liubomir Krastev meld musical minds, dive exuberantly into an array of earthy Bulgarian folk material and come up with four hands of beauty. The result is a panoply of aural color, emotion, and technical artistry.” – Nicholas Mondello (All About Jazz)

As jazz critic Ed Blanco describes: "Rhodopa is an instrumental serenade of Bulgarian folklore music interpreted by a world-class guitarist and clarinetist. Hristo and Liubomir Krastev deliver an enchanting and relaxing escape from reality with a fifty-three minute encounter of soul-reaching music."

"You just won’t find a jazz guitarist (on the planet) these days who has such essential communication skills through his fingers. With Liubomir’s reeds, they form a cultural jazz experience that can’t be compared with anything else!" – Dick Metcalf (Improvijazzation Nation Magazine)

On top of leading his own quartet, quintet, duo projects, and co-leading the group SEVA, Hristo also co-writes and plays guitar with Joe De Rose and Amici - an energetic jazz/fusion formation lead by drummer Joe De Rose. Hristo has appeared on countless radio shows/programs all around the world.

Hristo has also performed in world-class jazz venues and festivals including Yoshi’s Jazz Club (Oakland, CA), Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (Half Moon Bay, CA), Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, CA), Anthology (San Diego, CA), Catalina Jazz Club (Hollywood, CA), The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head Island, SC), Heidi's Jazz Club (Cocoa Beach, FL), Alvas Showroom (San Pedro, CA), The Jazz Station (Eugene, OR), Egan's Ballard Jam House (Seattle, WA), Timucua White House (Orlando, FL), Ivories Jazz Club (Portland, OR), The Herbst Theater (San Francisco, CA), SOhO Jazz Club (Santa Barbara, CA), as well as major jazz festivals including the 53rd Monterey Jazz Festival (Monterey, CA), 2009/2010/2012/2013 AT&T San Jose Jazz Festival (San Jose, CA), 2010 and 2012 Redwood City “Jazz on Main” (Redwood City, CA), Okazaki Jazz Festival (Okazaki, Japan) and many more.

Hristo holds a B.A. in Music (Jazz Studies) from San Jose State University in San Jose, CA.
He has also studied in the prestigious Roland Music Academy in Caracas, Venezuela.

Students can benefit from Hristo's completely amazing knowledge on the instrument as well as music/harmony theory. He will work and design unique and specific goals tailored to each student's individual interests. His dedication and passion for teaching are first class!!!

*** Lesson Details ***
I design my lessons with the specific student goals in mind.

For Beginner students: we will start by exploring rhythm concepts and understanding how to read music. Learning the physics of the guitar and exploring the notes in the first few positions. Learning open position chords, and simple chords progressions, major and pentatonic scales,etc.

For Intermediate students: we will continue expanding our knowledge of the higher positions of the guitar, as well as develop better sight-reading skills. Bar cords and chord transposition, and music theory. Expanding our scalar vocabulary to modes, and minor scales. Learning arpeggios and classical etudes.

For Advance students: Close interval voicings, jazz improvisation, chord to scale relationships, and harmonic substitutions are some of the concepts we will cover. Learning solo guitar playing (chord melody), incorporating walking bass lines, transcription skill and arranging skills.

*** Studio Equipment ***
A specific music room with a few guitars, a keyboard, amps, and recording equipment and music stands

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my guitar and amp.
Students should provide their guitars and amps (if needed)

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Jazz guitar, improvisation, harmonic studies and theory.
Chord melodies, building lines, phrasing, voice-leading, chordal improvisation, and re-harmonization/substitution.
...
Reviews
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Kim L. April 26, 2014
· Guitar ·
Outstanding Performer

Hristo is the most inspirational teacher I've every had the pleasure to learn from. He shares his talent in a way that I look forward to every lesson. His patience and positive reinforcement encourages me to keep practicing. He selects the appropriate music for my level and teaches all genres. Thank you for working with me every week. I hope I get to work with him for as long as I can until he becomes too famous to continue teaching us.
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AllenH April 4, 2012
· ·
Great Instructor

I've been taking lessons from Hristo for a couple of months now. He is friendly, affable, and extremely patient. I enjoy our lessons, and have learned quite a bit in the short time we have been working together.
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JeanetteY March 7, 2012
· ·
wonderful instructor and very accomodating. We are appreciative of his talents!!
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Hristo V.

Hristo V.

San Jose, CA 95118
(9)
starting at
$65 / 30-min
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About Kelvin L.

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Bolingbrook, IL

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I have been teaching songwriting/composition since 1989
Students will have the ability to read and write musical notation fluently.
Students may work on whatever kinds of projects are of most interest to them. These could include writing pop songs; writing music for a school band, orchestra, or small ensemble; or writing music for themselves and/or their friends to play. Students are free to write in whatever genre/style they would like. I will work on how to notate musical ideas, how to structure a piece of music, and where to find inspiration, but the instruction will be more tailored to the student's specific needs. As with private instrumental lessons, students will be expected to work on their craft during the week.

About Kelvin
I am a highly organized, outcome-driven and motivated professional musician and educator with solid experience in the classroom. For the past 25 years, I have been employed with Amati music academy and seven years on the faculty of University of St Francis.
I am very comfortable with all aspects of the current music syllabus, including teaching musical concepts (such as duration, pitch, dynamics, tone color, texture and structure) as well as performance, composition. I am fully qualified, with a Bachelor of Education in Music, Double Masters in music performance and education from University of Nottingham.
I am proficient in classical, jazz and Celtic fiddle violin and possess solid skills in piano (grade 8-13) Royal conservatory system.
Throughout my teaching career, I have been driven to help students achieve their very best. I str
ongly believe that music has the power to change lives – to enhance the social, cultural and spiritual lives of people, and serve as a profound medium of personal expression. Professional perform experience: The Chicago, Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, Three tours with Moody Blues, YoYo Ma etc....
The most important thing I look for in a student is communication skills, as well as talent. I like to nurture students and help identify their individual strengths, which is a key factor in shaping a musical persona that will make its mark both on and offstage. I do not advocate a uniform technique for all students. Physical differences and learning styles are always taken into consideration. Potential is as important to me as early achievements and experience. My goal is to help students become self-sufficient, discriminating artists. I discuss practice techniques often and develop individualized scale routines. I encourage initiative and expressive musicality as well as precision. Above all, music needs to bring obvious joy to the student, regardless of the difficulties.”

*** Lesson Details ***
I use Suzuki and traditional method for my students... for Suzuki beginner they will play a song in four days....

*** Studio Equipment ***
In-Studio- Lessons in separate music lesson room, piano and violin are available. Students and parents will enjoy comfortable and clean studio environment with recent remodeled new hard wood floor and studio patio window over looking at beautiful garden. Free WiFi available for parents while waiting during the lesson appointment.
University of St Francis Joliet- can teach in rehearsal rooms at the university.
Online class at world class teaching studio

*** Travel Equipment ***
violin, viola, cello, piano and guitar

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Suzuki teaching method for beginners, traditional conservatory method for intermediate and Royal conservatory recital program for advanced level students..I also teach orchestration program to help students prepare their auditions for major symphonies through out the country including Chicago symphony orchestra etc...
...
Reviews
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Dennis October 30, 2017
· Chinese · In studio
I had my first lesson with Kelvin and it was very good. Kelvin made me feel very comfortable and we focused on the various tones used in learning and speaking Mandarin. I look forward to my next class this coming weekend.
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Bill S. October 17, 2017
· Chinese · In home
Great start. No doubt a professional instructor. Looking forward to learn.
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Kevin B. October 10, 2017
· Drawing · Online
Excellent teacher!
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Kelvin L.

Kelvin L.

Online
(100)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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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.

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

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

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

My Background

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

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

Philosophy of Learning

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

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

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

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

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

My studio is equipped with:

*Multiple Music Stands

*P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, and a Banjo

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set

*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set

*An electric piano console

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, and Flute

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

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

*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
...
Reviews
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Brian August 29, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
This was my son's first lesson, and he is looking forward to playing his trumpet and coming back for more lessons. I was hoping to spark his interest in music and so far so good.
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Robert O. August 10, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Rajeev July 18, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
After a break of more than a year I wanted to restart my Trumpet lessons. I chose Jesse based on the reviews and Jesse did not disappoint. He is very patient and focused teacher. I liked his structured method and tools he uses. I was able to get back in groove in no time.

Highly recommended.
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Sunnyvale, CA 94086
(87)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Phil S.

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Wakefield, MA
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About Phil
With over 15 years experience teaching guitar lessons full time and performing internationally, I have enjoyed working with students ranging from beginner to advanced in all styles whether it be Jazz, Rock , Heavy Metal, Folk, Blues and everything in between. It is my goal as a teacher to evaluate your existing level and work to inspire you and to help achieve your goals. Whether you want to study Jazz Improvisation, Van Halen, James Taylor, or Guns and Roses, I believe all styles are interconnected and your technique, theory, ear-training, and musicianship can be developed through any style that interests you. Above all else, learning how to play the guitar should be FUN and INSPIRING! So, contact me on take lessons and lets get started!

Resume is available upon request.

Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you soon.
Sincer
ely,
Phil S.

Some press:

Phil's compositions showcase a variety of ideas and are quite effective at setting up the soloists to explore the various permutations suggested by his tunes. His compositional originality is matched by his incisive playing which ranges from "inside" lyricism to hard edged, riff based, screaming rock and satisfying surreal textures aided by his intelligent use of electronics."
- David Kane, Cadence Music

"With demonstrative technique, Phil is cognizant of the tradition but thinks outside of the box."
-Mark F. Turner, All About Jazz
...
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Akhter April 25, 2016
· Blues Guitar · Online
My son likes the instructor a lot. He has been learning from him for close to a year now.
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John F. January 8, 2015
· Music Performance · In studio
Although I'm not technically a student of Phil's, I learn a lot from him every time I play and teach with him. We perform regularly at Berklee, where I'm a professor, and we give concerts and masterclasses all over the Northeast together (most recent was at Cornell). Phil's a warmhearted, patient, brilliant teacher and an outstanding and creative musician, seamlessly putting together everything he knows--jazz, shredding, classical--there's no boundaries for him! He's great at explaining things, and he never belittles a question, no matter how dumb you might have thought it was. Phil's a great friend and a great teacher. -John Funkhouser, Berklee College of Music, Boston
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Mike W. December 23, 2014
· Guitar · In studio
In addition to being the most talented guitarist and musician I have ever had the opportunity to play with, Phil is an astoundingly good teacher. I've played guitar for 8 years and taken private lessons the entire time. Phil has been my teacher for the past 2 years and in that time I have progressed as a musician more than I could have ever imagined. Phil has been the biggest factor in my decision to major in music, due to his unrivaled musical talent, his kind, unassuming, (and funny) demeanor and his seemingly limitless knowledge of the fretboard. He is well versed in so many genres of music, and has such an effortless grasp on improvisation. Any guitarist, from immediate beginners to seasoned professionals, can learn so much from Phil. Need I say more?
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Phil S.

Phil S.

Online
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Marwan S.

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Mountain View, CA

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I like to call it music theory in reverse. Having a strong foundation in the fundamentals of music and music theory makes the songwriting process much easier.

About Marwan
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I started playing piano when I was 3, and began writing music when I was 6. I've taught music and piano for over 12 years.
...
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Moya November 11, 2017
· Classical Piano · In home
We could not be happier with Marwan! Most importantly, my daughter is thriving with his instruction -- though we like him too :) Marwin brings expansive experience in piano and beyond. For piano, he's got a great balance of being exacting and precise with instructions yet just as flexible as we need him to be if my daughter hasn't been able to practice due to other demands. We like that he doesn't make her feel guilty about that -- but is patient and able to get her on track so she can fulfill her amazing musical potential. We love his in-depth knowledge in a variety of things and he's charming, warm, and humorous to be around. Highly recommended: you'll enjoy meeting and working with him.
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Jen S November 7, 2017
· Piano · In home
Wow! We are so grateful for Marwan. He comes to our home, teaches 3 hours of 5 consecutive lessons and he still has a smile on his face when he leaves late in the evening. He's knowledgeable, patient, encouraging and enjoyable. His expectations are high, but attainable. I have seen a marked improvement in my children during the last three months of lessons!
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Cherie June 30, 2017
· Piano · In home
We had a great first lesson. Very relaxed and unassuming. Looking forward to upcoming lessons.
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Marwan S.

Marwan S.

Mountain View, CA 94043
(10)
starting at
$55 / 30-min

About Jonathan R.

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Miami, FL
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SONGWRITING EN ESPAÑOL! CURSO DE CANTA AUTOR , TODOS LOS GÉNEROS!
Aprende a escribir canciones en todos los géneros en tu idioma, quieres componer Pop, Rock Latino, Urbano, Regueatón, Balada, etc? Aquí aprenderás como hacer que tus canciones hagan sentir todo a quienes las escuchan y se sientan identificados con tus historias! Soy cantautor y songwriter latino, graduado del Master de Berklee College of Music en MPTI, he desarrollado mi propio método de songwriting enfocado al idioma español con bases de enseñanza de Berklee.

SONGWRITING IN SPANISH! ALL GENRES!
Learn to write songs of all genres in Spanish, want to compose Pop, Latin Rock, Urban, Regueaton, Ballads, etc? Here you will learn how to make your songs make everyone feel identified with your stories!. I´m a Latin singer songwriter, Master degree in MPTI from Berklee College of Music. I developed a unique system for Teaching songwriting in Spanish based on Berklee´s technique.

About Jonathan
Hello! My name is Jonathan Ruiz, I´m a music producer and singer songwriter, graduated from Berklee College of Music as a Master in Music Production Technology Innovation, I live music and breath music, I´m also a teacher in University in many classes such as songwriting and music production I and II. My main goal with my students is their develop in what they want for their future, that´s the most important thing for me.
...
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Jonathan R.

Jonathan R.

Online
starting at
$50 / 60-min

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, check out the Songwriting articles on our blog.

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How To Write a Song Today: 4 Easy Steps
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