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Sunnyvale, CA Banjo Lessons

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About Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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Learn basics about rhythm, harmony, and melody, and how they apply to the banjo.

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
$50 / 30-min

About Andrew P.

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Brooklyn, NY

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Playing music is demanding yet very enjoyable, so my main approach in teaching is to keep it fun, and keep it focused. For the past 16 years, I’ve taught many students from age 5 to 75, in most musical styles. The early lessons are for establishing fundamental technique and theory. We can also begin to incorporate the student’s goals and favorite musical styles. Eventually, lessons will often begin with me asking them “What are we working on today?” and the student will bring me their work and questions. We laugh a lot, work hard, and make great music!

About Andrew
Hello! How are you? What do you love about music? What do you want to learn? I can help you get there.
Playing music is demanding, and can be an amazing experience, so my main approach in teaching is to keep it fun, and keep it focused. For the past 16 years, I’ve developed my own style, teaching hundreds of students from age 5 to 75, in most types of music. The early lessons are for starting to learn basic techniques and music theory. We can also begin to play your favorite songs and musical styles. Eventually, lessons will often begin with me asking “What are we working on today!?” and the student will bring me their work and questions. We laugh a lot, work really hard, and make some great music!

Let me know if you have any questions, and hope to work with you soon!
Thanks, Andrew
...
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Andrew P.

Andrew P.

Online
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Lyle R.

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Sun Prairie, WI

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I have been playing and teaching banjo since 2006, and I'm always very excited to introduce new students to this unique instrument. I focus on the "Scruggs-style" method of playing 5-string banjo, and we'll work on techniques used in common bluegrass and folk tunes. As you advance, I'll help you in creating your own banjo solo breaks.

About Lyle
- Degree in Music Theory / History from University of Wisconsin - Whitewater.
- 25 years' teaching and performing experience.
- Fluent in all electric styles, plus acoustic and classical.

*** Lesson Details ***
I like to cover the fundamentals while focusing on your personal goals. All stages of ability are welcome, from rank novice to pro. We'll determine what you wish to learn, and build a roadmap to get there.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home Office in his Townhouse: Music stand, recording equipment, two chairs.

*** Specialties ***
All types of jazz, from swing to modern. Rock, Metal, Blues and Country. Composition and improvisation.
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Reviews
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Mack M. November 7, 2017
· Banjo · Online
When the lesson started we got right to the point and decided the best direction to take with the limited experience I have. I have goals for the next lesson and something to work with and someone to help me along the way.
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Mack M. November 7, 2017
· Banjo · Online
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Mack M. November 7, 2017
· Banjo · Online
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Lyle R.

Lyle R.

Online
(17)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Jared J.

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Burbank, CA
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I'm comfortable teaching the banjo in a variety of styles but will typically start in Bluegrass. I can teach both Scruggs style finger picking and basic to intermediate Clawhammer. My comfort zone is higher in the Scruggs style of playing however.

I also teach beginning to advanced Irish Tenor Banjo (GDAE Tuning) and Tenor Banjo (CGDA Tuning). Though it looks similar to the 5-string bluegrass banjo, the Irish Tenor Banjo and Tenor have only 4 strings and are played with a traditional guitar pick (a "plectrum" - though a "plectrum" banjo is tuned different then these other 2) and strummed rather then plucked with individual fingers.

I can teach the Plectrum Banjo as well (CGBD Tuning) but will be teaching you on a 5 string banjo that I only play with four strings.

About Jared
I am overjoyed and grateful to say I have been playing music for more than half of my life. It has never stopped being the light in my day and now it is my hope to shed some of that light onto you or your child. I am a very friendly and fun teacher with a great deal of professionalism and patience, even more importantly I love teaching and music with a passion.

I have been playing an instrument since the 4th grade (cello) and, as I learned more about how music works, was slowly able to pick-up a greater variety instruments with an increasing degree of ease. In high school, I decided to pick-up the guitar just to "have fun and rock out". I joined a band, played in the high school orchestra, joined the high school jazz band and began to practice songwriting and cover songs. Still, it was not until after I took my first class on music the
ory that I knew how much I not only loved the thrill of playing music but the discovery of how it worked. With this experience I can show you or your child why learning an instrument can be not only an exciting experience but an interesting and enthralling one as well.

I have been teaching music for over 7 years and have had the privilege of teaching children as young as 4 to adults in their late 80's. I am a very attentive teacher who can not only help get you moving in the right direction but keep you on that path until your are a self-sufficient musician. A level of musicianship that simply means you can learn whatever you want on your instrument on your own, whether it be for business, pleasure or for mere self-improvement.

Through my own student career in private lessons I had the chance to study with graduates of the Musician's Institute (MI), the California Institute of the Arts (CAL Arts) and Berklee College of Music. This has provided me with an inside look into how and what each institute teaches, as well as a first hand look at the techniques and ideas that the great players from these remarkable schools have come to produce.

My formal music education consists of 2 years at Pasadena City College where I obtained my general Associates Degree (much of the studies included music) and a semester at California State University Long Beach as a Jazz Guitar Performance Major. Additionally, I completed a great deal of California State University Long Beach's teaching credential program (focusing on the teaching of history/social studies), where I learned strategies and theories of how and what to teach my students - making me that much more knowledgable of my craft. At Pasadena City College I studied with jazz/classical guitarist, Ron Berman, who has played with such jazz greats as Herb Ellis and Jimmy Wyble. At Cal State Long Beach I studied with jazz guitarist Ron Eschete, a former teacher at MI who has toured with the likes of Ray Brown, John Dizzy Gillespie and Jim Hall.

Most importantly I hope to show you or your child a new way to love and appreciate music. And to provide you with the ability and know-how to have the most fun on your instrument as possible.

*** Lesson Details ***
Throughout my lessons, I always encourage basic skills including scales, sight-reading and technical exercises. But what I hope to give all my students is a basic understanding of music and their instrument, providing them with a practical ability to navigate the vast world of music for a lifetime.

Beyond these skills, I always have songs, styles and theory for you to work on but I am often more interested in what you as an individual want to learn on your instrument. Getting to learn concepts that you have chosen yourself will help encourage practice and will make the finished product all the more the rewarding.

I can custom tailor a teaching curriculum and/or style for any of my students: we can focus on learning songs, learning to read, how to write music, how music works, and even how to play specific styles of music (including funk, rock, jazz, Latin, flamenco, classical, country and blues). I also self tailor my own worksheets and set weekly goals with my students to help encourage practice, understanding and progress. For students interested in more advanced concepts, I can also teach ear training, music theory, advanced jazz improvisation as well as advanced playing techniques.

All this in a friendly and easy-going teaching environment.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Located in my home garage, it is equipped with a small stage, an upright piano, an electric keyboard, a PA system, amplifiers, a drum set, a lap steel guitar, a pedal steel guitar, 2 cellos, multiple guitars, 3 mandolins, a dobro, a 5-string banjo, a 4-string tenor banjo, 2 ukuleles, 2 accordions and 2 electric basses.

*** Specialties ***
Styles: Jazz, Rock, Reggae, Metal, Funk, Progressive Rock, Classical, Folk, Bluegrass, Country, Various forms of Latin Music, Blues, and a few others.

Instruments: Beginning to Intermediate - Drums, Accordion and Piano.

Beginning to Advanced - Guitar, Mandolin, Cello, Banjo (5 String), Irish Tenor Banjo (4 String GDAE), Tenor Banjo (4 String CGDA), Electric Bass, Ukulele, Dobro, Lap Steel Guitar (6 String C6 Tuning), Slide Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar (10 String E9 Tuning).

I also teach the beginning and advanced concepts of:
Music Theory, Ear Training, Sight Reading, and Song Writing.
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Reviews
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Hilda U. July 13, 2017
· Piano · Online
My son and I started this lessons and it has being a wonderful experience and we both are able to read and play the music notes. He is a very patient teacher and I highly recommend him for all ages.
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Deborah C. April 3, 2017
· Cello · Online
My son has been taking cello lessons with Jared for almost two years and my son very much enjoys his lessons and he is learning so much. Jared keeps me informed about my son's progress and he is always encouraging my son with regard to his music. As a mom paying for lessons I can not ask for more.
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Amelia B. October 29, 2016
· Guitar · Online
Jared is awesome. Very knowledgeable, fun and relaxed. Highly recommend:)
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Jared J.

Jared J.

Online
(61)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Yonatan T.

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Oakland, CA

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About Yonatan
Yonatan is a multi instrumentalist that plays guitar in a rock band, writes music for commercials, and loves teaching music. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz, with a B.A. in classical guitar and electronic music. Since then, he has been teaching music both in large classes and to individuals. When he is not teaching, he is performing with one of his folk, blues, or rock bands. Yonatan has enjoyed teaching music for over 3 years. He teaches Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Accordion, Theory, Ukulele, and songwriting.

Throughout his childhood his musical education was non-traditional, as he learned to play by listening to the musicians that inspired him, and aimed to replicate their playing while defining his own style. Later in his life, he understood the benefit of formal training, which led him to receive a B.A. in music.

For this reason
, Yonatan's lessons incorporate both ways he learned music, which include identifying your interests and inspirations, while also giving you the exercises and techniques needed to improve your skills.

Yonatan is an award-winning songwriter, performer, and teacher with an amazing ability to inspire his students.

*** Lesson Details ***
Offer 30, 45, or 1 hour lessons. Inquire for more details.

*** Studio Equipment ***
guitar (electric or acoustic), piano, accordion, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, music stands and good lighting.

*** Travel Equipment ***
everything needed for a great session in your home!

*** Specialties ***
Genres: Blues, Rock, Folk, Fingerstyle, Classical, Bluegrass, Americana, Indie, Pop, Electronic.

Skills: Ear Training, Theory, Songwriting, Composition, Recording, Performance Techniques, Singing, Multi-Instrumentalist
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Reviews
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Ann November 3, 2017
· Banjo · In home
Yonatan taught me so much! I hadn't touched my banjo in years and now I can't put it down!
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Matt W. October 30, 2014
· Guitar · In home
Yonatan is a fabulous teacher! He taught our 10 year old son beginning guitar and our 13 year old daughter advanced guitar and ukulele. He was a master at discovering our kids' interests and abilities and teaching them from where they were.He was very creative and motivating with our son, balancing his teaching by engaging our son in writing his own songs while also learning skills. Our daughter is more advanced and interested in playing others' songs and composing her own on guitar, ukulele, and piano - all of which Yona plays. Her playing and her confidence steadily improved with Yona's guidance. We highly recommend Yona for any age level. He is a kind and nurturing mentor and person.
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Roger F. October 27, 2014
· Ukulele · In studio
Yona is awesome; not only a great musician but also can help a "rank beginner" like me. He is insightful, creative at helping me overcome various hurdles to learning how to play the Ukulele. He is a gem, and I highly recommend him for all levels of musical ability.
Thanks, Yona.
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Yonatan T.

Yonatan T.

Oakland, CA 94607
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Richard W.

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Minneapolis, MN
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I teach all styles, including Clawhammer and Scruggs. Currently I play Banjo in local bands The Como Avenue Jug Band, Four Pints Shy, and The Brian Just Band.

About Richard
Rick's been teaching Guitar, Banjo, and Ukulele at his home, and at the Mount Olivet School of Music in South Minneapolis, ever since graduating with a degree in Music from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2003. He also teaches traveling lessons to students in the south and southwest metro areas. Rick plays around town in 3 bands and also does the occasional Musical Pit Orchestra and Wedding gig. He also taught at Dayjams Rock Music camp in St. Paul for the five summers of its existence. In his spare time he writes YA Stories and Musicals, as well as running a Songwriting and Music Theory Blog about Tonal Trends in popular music, and a Guitar Curriculum Blog based on Karate Belts.

*** Lesson Details ***
Depending on student interest, lessons can consist of Ear Training, Improv/Jamming, learning Popular Guitar Riffs/Changes/Parts/
Etc., Note Reading, the Music Biz, and learning about all the cool new Music Technologies of the day. Rick also loves to transcribe any and all music the student wants to learn but for which they cannot find the sheet music or internet tab. Rick prefers to teach what the student wants to learn, but if they're not sure what that is, he helps them figure that out.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Wifi, Computer, and iPhone. I make good use of technology during lessons. Much used apps include Guitarbots, Slow Down Music Trainer, TabPro, and the Guitar Toolkit (metronome, tuner, etc.)

*** Travel Equipment ***
Music Stand (if needed), and iPhone tech.

*** Specialties ***
Music Theory and Songwriting.
...
Reviews
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Penelope S. July 15, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
Richard was willing to introduce my 4 year old granddaughter to the instrument and he helped her with the most basic aspects of playing - how to hold it (he adjusted the strap to fit her properly) how to strum and how to use her left hand on the frets, etc. He was clear, concise, encouraging and patient!
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Huda G. March 12, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Great teacher! Funny, easy going and went along with me at the right pace. Totally recommend him.
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Emma R. January 24, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
My 7 year old daughter had a great experience with Rick and is looking forward to her next lesson!!
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Richard W.

Richard W.

Online
(15)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Victor S.

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Palo Alto, CA
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I offer banjo for children and adults of all levels, from first time players to very advanced players. I offer lessons teaching three-finger Scruggs, Melodic and Reno-Style bluegrass banjo. I can provide a complete curriculum including tabs/sheet music or I can can give personalized lessons on skills or music of your choice. I teach both playing by ear and tablature. I can also prepare students to play in bands and jams.

About Victor
I am a professional teacher and performer based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. I have been teaching guitar, banjo, and mandolin professionally since 2004. I have performed on all of these instruments and have played at numerous music festivals throughout the United States as well as teaching at many music camps on the West Coast. I am currently performing in bands on electric guitar, banjo, and mandolin.
...
Reviews
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Steve August 19, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
The lesson was great I told Victor the things I struggle with most & he started me off with some basics that I need to work on & also showed me some bad habits I needed to correct all with a patient pleasant attitude I'm looking forward to the next lesson.Steve S
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Steve August 19, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Victor was great I haven't picked up my Guitar in it felt like forever and I had picked up a lot of bad habits he was very patient and gave me the building blocks to help me get started back on the right track.
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Shaheer M. January 25, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Had a great lesson with Victor! He knows music really well and is very patient with beginners.
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Victor S.

Victor S.

Palo Alto, CA 94306
(6)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Catherine B.

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Allston, MA
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Catherine has performed and taught banjo throughout the USA, Australia and New Zealand, studying with renowned banjo players Noam Pikelny, Tony Trischka and Alan Munde. She graduated from the New Zealand School of Music in 2011 with a BMus, majoring in Jazz Performance. She won first place at the 2015 Freshgrass Banjo Contest and currently performs nationally with the band, Mile Twelve. She has taught banjo both privately and in group settings to all ages and levels for the past 10 years.

About Catherine
I've been playing the banjo for 13 years, beginning in my hometown of Marton, New Zealand. I very quickly fell in love with the instrument and have spent a lot of my time practicing, performing, teaching, recording and collaborating with other musicians ever since. As a teenager, I was given the opportunity to travel to the United States where I attended banjo camps and got to study with some great banjo players (Tony Trischka, Noam Pikelny Alan Munde). In 2011, I graduated from the New Zealand School of Music with a BMus, majoring in Jazz Performance on the banjo. I moved to Boston shortly afterwards to pursue a career in music and have kept a busy teaching schedule privately in Boston and worldwide via Skype. I also perform throughout the United States with my bluegrass band, Mile Twelve. I'm very thankful to have met a wide spectrum of
different people while teaching the banjo and am always eager to meet more people who are interested in learning and sharing this great instrument. Please say hi if this sounds like you!

N.B If you can't see an available lesson time that suits your schedule please send me a message. My availability changes weekly depending on my touring schedule so I may have just the spot for you.

~ About the lessons
I structure my lessons so students learn what they want to learn, while also building strong technique and a knowledge of the bluegrass banjo repertoire. Topics we will cover include Scruggs style, melodic style, single string technique, transcribing, arranging tunes, music theory and jamming or playing well with others.

We will start with talking about how to hold the banjo, tuning the banjo, playing with fingerpicks and how to read tablature. Then we will work through your first tunes in the bluegrass style gradually learning more tunes with harder techniques such as slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs etc. I take into account each students interests and goals so we will work on specific songs you request or licks you'd like to learn. You will have slow, medium and fast recordings of each tune we work on in the lessons as well at the tablature for that tune.
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Reviews
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David May 15, 2017
· Banjo · In studio
I knew BB was the real deal when I hired her to record banjo on my first album 4-years ago--an intelligent player with a driving sound and warm personality. I enjoyed working with her so much that we now play music together professionally with the band Mile Twelve. In addition to her instrumental chops, she knows how to bring out the best in others. Her deep knowledge of and facility on the banjo combined with her generous and helpful disposition make her a teacher in high demand.
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Howard April 4, 2017
· Banjo · In studio
BB is a fabulous instructor. Obviously a great, talented musician, she is equally committed to her teaching skills. She is patient, inspiring and motivating...and lessons are great fun!
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Mary June 8, 2016
· Banjo · In home
BB is a great teacher. Her lessons focus allow me to start playing tunes right away. It provides immediate satisfaction to be able to make music with a new instrument.
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Catherine B.

Catherine B.

Online
(10)
starting at
$60 / 50-min

About Lisa A.

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Lake Charles, LA

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I teach a 3 finger style of Banjo playing and how to read, hear, and play music. I teach you how to play the chords, read the tablature and play by ear.

About Lisa
Lisa Abrams has a Vocal Music Education Degree from Capital University, Columbus, Ohio.

She graduated in 1997 and has been teaching professionally, both in schools and privately, since that time. She has taught General Music grades K-8 in the Parochial School System. She has been the Music Director and Worship Leader for several Churches where she has directed Adult Choir, Praise Team, Bell Choir, Chime Tone Choir, Orchestra and Children's Choir. She has accompanied all these ensembles on Piano, Guitar, and Organ.

Lisa Abrams teaches all areas of music: Theory, Technic, Reading, Counting, Ear Training, Composition, etc. When you take lessons from Lisa, her goal is more than teaching you how to play or sing a song. She gives you the tools necessary to be able to play ANY song. She teaches what few others teach; how to BE a music
ian. She wants you to be able to pursue any avenue of Music that appeals to you, professionally or personally.
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Sean P. April 10, 2017
· Trumpet · Online
Good lesson
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Madonna Z. August 2, 2016
· Vocal Training · In studio
Lisa is a multi-talented musician. She has been gifted with voice as well as the understanding and ability to play music. It was an honor to be in the Mt. pleasant choir and be led by her. She shows compassion and patience and her love for music is contagious. She is a blessing to everyone she teaches .
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Mandy B July 25, 2016
· Piano · Online
Lisa has taught my daughter piano lessons since Kindergarten. She worked with her both in person and online. Lisa is very patient and encouraging. It's amazing to see my daughter's progress. Lisa is a wonderful instructor to work with.
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Lisa A.

Lisa A.

Online
(16)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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