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Sunnyvale, CA Music Theory Lessons

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About Mikaela H.

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San Francisco, CA

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In your music theory lesson we will explore the basic structures of classical music. This includes note reading and rhythm practice, basic chord progression analysis, and the history behind how classical music developed.

About Mikaela
Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music, Jacobs Scholar
Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance - 2007-2011

I work with each student to create a personalized experience that will best suit your individual goals and needs. My teaching focuses on providing each student with a solid foundation of technique which is suited to children and adults who wish to play violin as a hobby, but also to those who wish to pursue violin at a professional level. This technique will not only allow you to create the beautiful violin sound you have always dreamed of, but will also do so in a way that is healthy for your body in the long term.

In lessons my students develop skills not only in violin playing, but also in musicianship, music reading, ear training, music theory, leadership, collaboration, and self-discipline.

For beginning student
s, I teach using the suzuki books, however I draw from my many years of experience as a successful performer to supplement this system for long term success. For students who have surpassed the Suzuki level, I teach Russian School technique. My own training is largely Russian school, influenced by Heifetz and modern European tradition.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide music books for compensation, though I expect students to rent or purchase their own instruments.
...
Reviews
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Margot B. May 17, 2016
· Violin · In home
Our daughter had her first lesson yesterday and loved it and Mikaela. She said it was the best day ever and can't wait for her next lesson next week! Mikaela obviously has experience teaching children and make our daughter feel at ease and comfortable. Most of the first lesson seemed to be focused on proper instrument and handling, which makes sense. It can take years to undo poor posture and position if not begun correctly. Mikaela explained what she was doing and why, and made sure our daughter understood everything as she went along. Thank you for a first great experience!
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Daniel S. August 3, 2014
· Violin · In home
Mikaela is not only an excellent musician but an outstanding music teacher, a rare combination. I have been taking violin lessons from her for quite some time now, and I am amazed at how much of a difference she has made in my efforts to pick up the instrument as a total beginner.

She has great observational abilities to immediately notice errors in form or movement, all the while maintaining calm and complete patience. She also has gift for suggesting corrections with analogy and imagery that has been very helpful in my experience.

I would highly recommend her.
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Piotr K. July 26, 2014
· Violin · In home
From the very first lesson, I was really impressed by how much insight Mikaela could provide for even the (seemingly) simplest phrase or section. She has very deep knowledge about music in general and the mechanics of violin playing in particular.

Every time I perform something for her, she points out each of the hundred things I'm doing wrong. More importantly, she also explains exactly why whatever I'm doing is not working and what steps are necessary to fix it. Her advice is very specific and actionable, and whenever I follow it I notice an improvement.

Despite having my playing constantly destroyed by her remarks, I don't feel discouraged. On the contrary, every lesson leaves me energized and inspired to keep practicing.
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Mikaela H.

Mikaela H.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(3)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Laurence B.

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San Mateo, CA
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I teach music theory to many of m'y piano students, with spécial on ABRMS grade music theory which is a requirement for grades 6 and above for all instrumental exams.

About Laurence
I am a highly experienced and qualified piano teacher, teaching all ages and levels from beginner to advanced. I have proven success in taking students up to the top level of the ABRSM exams, and I am a member of the California Music Teachers Association.

QUALIFICATIONS

Master of Music (piano pedagogy), 2004, Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, CA (award of excellence)
Bachelor of Arts degree in Musicology, Sorbonne, Paris (cum laude)
State Piano Teaching Diploma, France
Gold Medal in Piano Performance, Conservatoire National

EXPERIENCE

I have been giving weekly individual piano and theory lessons for many years, presenting many for the ABRSM grade examinations. I also accompany high school choirs, and enjoy playing chamber music with the Arte Piano Trio. I am a enthusiastic pianist and enjoy sharing t
his passion with my students.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am familiar with the major piano methods, but rather than slavishly following one method, I prefer to adapt my teaching approach and pace to the needs and personality of each student, using whatever material is best suited for them. I ensure my students can read the notes they are playing, and thoroughly understand the rhythms, so they can become independent musicians. I also emphasize playing musically, even at beginning level, so they can enjoy and understand the music immediately. My students also have the opportunity to play in student recitals twice per year.

I can teach in English or French, using either letter name notes or the solfege method (do re mi).

*** Specialties ***
Classical piano (all periods) and chamber music
Broadway musicals and popular song music
I am specialized in preparing students for the internationally recognized ABRSM Grade exams.
I am familiar with most popular piano methods such as Faber and Faber, Alfred, Denes Agays, John Thompson and Bastien, and Dozen a Day for technique, and use them when I feel it is appropriate for the particular student.
...
Reviews
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Carole Larsen February 16, 2017
· Music Theory · In studio
Laurence has the skill set and knowledge which I need.
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Beatrice B. February 11, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Lessons are wonderful. Laurence is patient, and with simple exercises she is helping my playing become more spontaneous and smooth.
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Alexandra K. September 25, 2015
· Piano · In studio
Laurence is an excellent teacher. She focuses on teaching theory and basics while also cultivating my daughter's love of music and keeping the lessons fun. My daughter loves her!
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Laurence B.

Laurence B.

San Mateo, CA 94403
(4)
starting at
$38 / 30-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

About Kristina B.

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San Francisco, CA

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Ear training, Harmony, Reading Music, Rhythms, Progressions, Scales, Chords, Transcription, Arranging, Analyzing Music, and the theory fun can just keep on going depending on the student!

About Kristina
Kristina has been singing, acting, and performing since the age of 4. She studied under the well-known and respected vocal coach, Donna Prypin, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts for at least 11 years. Kristina then went on to study Opera with Don Wilkinson, of the Boston Symphony for 1 year, and with him gained excellent range and breathing techniques. Kristina was then accepted to Berklee College of Music, where she attended for two & a half years studying under some of the world's greatest teachers. She learned extensive Ear Training, Harmony, Jazz Improvisation, Counterpoint, Arranging, Performing, Music Business, Music Therapy, and intense vocal coaching. After college Kristina moved to California where she now has a thriving teaching practice, performance, and touring career.

In 2014 she earned her Sound, Voice, and Music Healing Cert
ificate from The California Institute of Integral Studies, under the mentoring of Grammy Nominated composer/performer, Silvia Nakkach, MA,MMT. She then travelled to India in January of 2014 with Silvia to study Classical India singing/music.

As of September 2016, Kristina recently returned from a two & half month music/bike tour through the United States Pacific Northwest & Canada.

She released her first solo album (September 2008) titled, Mermaid Tattoos and is currently in the process of creating her second album.

Kristina can teach ages 4 ~ 100 and is patient, creative, flexible, enthusiastic, and passionate. Her focus is on helping students attain their goals whether it's to be on stage winning Grammy awards, or just learning to sing and perform for fun. She can help students learn Pop, Country, Jazz, Indie Rock, Classic Rock, Musical Theater, and even their own musical genre. She also teaches beginner guitar, and proper vocal acting/public-speaking skills. In addition, she performs Sound Sessions for clients looking for relaxation & coping techniques, using crystal singing bowls, vocal toning exercises, shrupti box vocal work, and human tuning forks.

*** Lesson Details ***
Kristina is extremely creative, patient, kind, open-minded, passionate, laid-back, but sets excellent and attainable goals with the student, and absolutely loves music. Depending on each individual student, lessons will center around correct vocal breathing, exercises, music theory, songwriting, guitar, acting, and learning different techniques in order to meet personal goals. Each student is taught individually and with their own personal needs as the focus.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have state of the art microphones, amps, guitars, a keyboard, IPod radio (students can bring them to share music), and of course a computer.

*** Specialties ***
Voice, Beginner Guitar, Vocal Technique, Performance, Range, Improvisation, Music Theory, Songwriting, Sound Sessions for relaxation & coping skills. I specialize in Pop/Rock/Jazz/Blues/Country/Indie Rock, Musical Theater, and New Age genres.
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Reviews
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Shane .. September 9, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
I told Kristina it was my first lesson, and that I wanted to learn how to strum. She taught me some chords and how to read tabs, which was great. But she spent most of the lesson writing out the tabs (would've been great if she did that before) and watching me strum. She made no corrections as to my thumb or finger placement, which a friend later told me was really bad for a teacher to not pay attention to. Her advice on how to find the best position was to "figure out what works for you". How would I know that as a beginner? Maybe she's better for someone with more experience.
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Steve June 9, 2017
· Speaking Voice · In studio
Kristina really listens to what you need and clearly takes a personal/individualized approach
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Jonathan W. March 1, 2017
· Singing · In home
Extremely organized, thoughtful, helpful, and really fast to get into exercises and make progress.
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Kristina B.

Kristina B.

San Francisco, CA 94109
(48)
starting at
$31.50 / 30-min

About Mack R.

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Oakland, CA
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I studied music theory in high school and through college. I have always enjoyed writing and arranging. I have written for small groups as well as big bands. knowing music theory will help one develop musically.

About Mack
I have a BS in music education received at Lehman College, Bronx, NY. I am a professional musician/ composer/ arranger.I received my teaching credentials at SFSU and have been a General music teacher as well as a, band teacher. I have studied trumpet with Classical ( Wilmer Wise)and Jazz musician (Bill Hardman) and big band arranging with Frank Foster( saxophonist and arranger with Count Basie Band). At present I am retired and teaching privately.

I have been teaching music for over 50 years as well as being a professional musician/ composer and arranger. I not only know my fundamentals inside and out, but also I know many tricks of the trade. Over the years I have developed special teaching techniques that enable students to make sense out of music and progress rapidly on their instruments.I love playing music and aim at stirring that
same kind of excitement abut music in my students.

To each lesson I bring a unique mix, encouraging the student to pursue excellence and also have fun. I am well qualified to teach: woodwinds( oboe, flute, clarinet, all saxophones) brass(french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba), and piano.

*** Lesson Details ***
I make music interesting to learn. I encourage students to practice daily so they can improve. The more they improve the more fun they can have with music not only alone, but with others.

I am very patient with my students especially with beginners. I know that for them it is like learning a new language. Once they begin to increase their musical vocabulary, they will enjoy what they can do with music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Seating for parents, basement studio, piano, drum set

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students should provide their own instruments.
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Kate September 5, 2017
· Clarinet · In studio
First clarinet lesson today with Mack Ruck. I'm a rank beginner, which is why I chose Mack. I figured that a band and orchestra teacher would have encountered many of me over his career in the schools, and know how to work with different styles of learning. He also would be able to explain stuff simply from the very base level. I was really right! I came out of the lesson knowing how to read and play middle C through A (not very well, but that's why we practice). I learned ways to make the note actually sound, what you can do to screw up the sound or make it clear and on-key. Not too shabby for starting the half hour without being able to make a sound on the clarinet. So he's a great teacher. He's also the most patient guy on earth, with nerves of iron!
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Emiliano A. August 28, 2017
· Clarinet · In studio
Mack is an amazing teacher! He is kind but gently moved my son along in his musical skills.
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Evan X. July 23, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Mack was awesome !
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Mack R.

Mack R.

Oakland, CA 94607
(23)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Anthony P.

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San Jose, CA

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I have years of experience in Music Theory at the college level, and can teach all levels of theory, from basic notes and rhythms to figured-bass realization.

About Anthony
***About me***

I am a Bay Area classical saxophonist, singer, writer and educator. Currently studying towards a B.A. in Music Education, my saxophone instructors have included Michael Hernandez. Saxophone Professor at San Jose State University, Dale Wolford, former Professor at SJSU, Dr. Tim McAllister, Professor at the University of Michigan, Dr. William Street, Professor at the University of Alberta.

***Saxophone Lesson Details***

I strive to mold my lessons to my student's goals--while they all have a core curriculum to develop proper technique, where our lessons go from there is entirely up to each individual student. Some students decide to hone their improvisation and jazz skills, others to develop their classical musicianship. Generally, within a few lessons, a student will have developed a proper embouchure, and be able t
o play basic melodies with proper rhythm and technique. I will work with your student for however long they wish to guide them on their path to greatness, whether that is a couple months or throughout their high school career.

I teach lessons in the music building at SJSU.
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ben M. June 19, 2017
· Saxophone · Online
Anthony is a great teacher. He connects well with my teenage son and has been able to work with us on scheduling. I highly recommend him.
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Edward S. January 2, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Anthony is a great instructor. He is very attentive, detailed and knowledgable. He sees what needs work and has a very strong grasp of the fundamentals. He has a flexible schedule and can work at the student's pace. Anthony make sure the student does things the right way and doesn't develop bad habits.
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Rebecca H. October 22, 2016
· Saxophone · In home
My son has been taking Saxophone lessons with Anthony for 1 year now, he makes great progress, and is enjoying playing the Saxophone more.
Anthony is a very good teacher with good knowledge, and very encouraging and patient. sometime he sings along or plays the keyboard to help with the song.
he really makes a difference for my son's music learning experience.
we are very happy with him.

Rebecca
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Anthony P.

Anthony P.

San Jose, CA 95192
(9)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Jessica H.

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San Jose, CA

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Hi. This is Jessica H. I came from a family with strong music background .Currently I just graduated from San Francisco conservatory of music with Masters degree. I am a very patient person who has huge passion about working with kids and adults.Since I have been teaching a quite long time.I have had students who past the highest level of ABRSM exams. I can help you work with both MTAC and ABRSM theory test .

About Jessica
Hi. This is Jessica H. Currently I just graduated from San Francisco conservatory of music with Masters degree. I am a very patient person who has huge passion about working with kids.I have been teaching piano over 15 years. Since I have been teaching a quite long time. I have had students who past the highest level of ABRSM exams. I can be more serious and push a student to get ahead, or simply teach to have fun - to appreciate and enjoy music. I have learned, is to expect the best, pay closest attention to the students - to what they are ready for, what they want, what they are struggling with, and have a good sense of humor. Inspiring and developing students passion into music.
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George August 11, 2017
· Piano · In home
the first class went smoothly. I learned basic music & finger skills.
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Mike August 3, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Quality instruction and developed good rapport with my child. Taught at the right level and was one of the only instructors we tried who actually mentioned proper hand position and technique.
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Shan March 29, 2017
· Cello · In home
Jessica is a great teacher. She helped me starting with very basic skills. She is very pacient and easy to communicate with.
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Jessica H.

Jessica H.

San Jose, CA 95131
(7)
starting at
$39 / 30-min

About Winslow Y.

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San Francisco, CA

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Music theory is just the names and numbers we use to identify and organize musical sounds so that they sound good and happen at the right time, with great beats. It's way better than grunting and pointing when musicians communicate. I can teach theory the classical way, the Nashville way, or the juke joint way - whatever you need to understand musical materials so that you can use them to best advantage and communicate with your fellow musicians

About Winslow
My focus is on you - helping you achieve your goals with the harmonica, whatever they may be. Whatever inspires you to pick up the harmonica, whoever you want to emulate, whatever style grabs you, I bring the background, deep knowledge, and teaching experience to enrich your understanding and grow your skills and ability to express yourself musically.

I'm a harmonica specialist, known internationally as a player and teacher. I'm the author of the books Harmonica For Dummies and Blues Harmonica For Dummies. I can teach all styles, all levels of expertise and all types of harmonica.
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Andrew July 22, 2017
· Harmonica · Online
Great first lesson- Winslow is easy to talk to and very knowledgeable. He is very good at explaining and demonstrating technique in a clear way. Thanks again!
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Philip E. November 11, 2016
· Harmonica · Online
Winslow is very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher.
He's very passionate about the harmonica, which makes for a great learning experience. I look forward to future lessons.
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Bob S. August 5, 2016
· Harmonica · In studio
My first lesson went very well and was just as I had hoped.
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Winslow Y.

Winslow Y.

San Francisco, CA 94118
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Colleen M.

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San Jose, CA

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MUSIC THEORY

A Grammy award winning singer, Colleen has been teaching voice and music theory for over 10 years, Learn to sight read music without ever having heard it before! When you can read music and know the ins and out of musical harmony, there is a world of opportunity available to you as a performer. Musicians will line up to want to perform with you and the gigs will come rolling in!

VOCAL TRAINING

Colleen utilizes classical technique to train artists who perform both classical and commercial styles of music, including musical theater, R&B, pop, gospel, rock, alternative, country, musical theater and jazz.

She has been trained in contemporary technique by Seth Riggs, vocal coach to Michael Jackson; as well as Linda Septien, vocal coach to top pop stars Beyonce, Jessica and Ashlee Simpson, Demi Levato, Ryan Cabrera, Kidz Bop Kids, Miley Cyrus and many many more top stars. With me you get the very same methods these stars are trained with.

Colleen has been ...

About Colleen
Colleen is a Grammy award winning recording artist and has been teaching music to ages 6 and up for 10 years.. She also performs around the bay area. She currently teaches music in Redwood City for KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program), a national organization of charter schools known for their rigorous high standards. Colleen Teaches out of her home in downtown San Jose as well as online through Skype and FaceTime.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Colleen has taught students of all ages and abilities. While teaching elementary school, she led over 250 singers in school wide performances. While teaching middle school, her four choirs won multiple awards and gained a reputation for giving top quality performances. While teaching high school she led a district wide masterwork performance that featured singers from three high school choirs, accompa
nied by a full orchestra. Her top high school choirs toured California and won best overall at the California Music Educators conference. Her adult students have gone on to great heights, winning recording contracts, lead roles and awards. Her students have won movie rolls, singing competitions and some have even become YouTube viral sensations.

TEACHING METHODS:

Classical technique: Colleen has studied classical technique under Sherri Greenawald, the Grammy winning Artistic Director of the San Francisco Opera.

Contemporary technique: Colleen has studied with some of the top voice teachers in the music industry. She studies directly from Linda Septien, a legend in the music industry. Linda is ranked as one of the top 5 talent coaches in the world. Some of Linda's students include: Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Ryan Cabrera and Hunter Parish and more. She is an adviser for American Idol, The Voice and America's Got Talent. Colleen continues to pass on Linda's stellar methods to her students.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Voice lessons consist of a tailored curriculum created specifically for each student, targeting areas that will have the most impact for each individual artist. Learn to expand your range, using your diaphragm properly; learn scatting, breathing techniques, belt, mixed voice and head voice. Learn how to add texture and style to your performance.
Great entertaining is also about presentation, visual energy and staging. Learn how to be an all around entertainer through timed movement, staging and story telling.

YOUR FIRST LESSONS

Lessons can be booked by clicking the green "continue" button. Want to talk first? Click the "Ask A Question" button at the top of your screen.

It would be great if you could come to the first lesson with a song you can perform, one you can sing either on your own without music or using a karaoke track from YouTube.
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Reviews
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Lilly R. July 6, 2017
· Singing · In studio
She made us feel 100% comfortable taking our daughter to her first lesson . I definitely recommend her if anyone it's looking for someone. I drove almost 1 hr to her spot but well worth it .
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Michelle January 30, 2017
· Singing · In studio
I love Ms. Colleen! She is so nice and she really helped me with my audition. I can match pitch better and she helped me move more and I sound much better!
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Ricardo January 27, 2017
· Vocal Training · In studio
My son is 9 and Colleen has been seeing him once a week. She has him on a program where he sings everyday with homework. She has a professional recording studio in her home and records exercises that she sends my son home with. She is a very good teacher. She is clear and kind and always has something new to do.
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Colleen M.

Colleen M.

San Jose, CA 95112
(9)
starting at
$55 / 30-min

About Brandan S.

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Santa Clara, CA

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Beginners will learn the basics of music theory and notation. This includes notes, staffs, key signatures, note duration, and simple melodic and chordal structure. These are the necessities for learning to read and write music of any genre. Students will receive a workbook to practice with. This is an excellent and necessary skill to learn for anyone who is looking to read, write and, most importantly, play music!

About Brandan
As a baritone with over 10 years of performing as a soloist and in numerous ensembles, Brandan has had experience with a wide variety of genres including musical theater, classical voice, opera, jazz, and pop.

He has performed roles with the SJSU Opera Theater. Solo works include the Fauré and Brahms Requiem, both with San Jose Staté University. In the summer of 2015, he appeared with the Symphony Silicon Valley in R.V. William’s Serenade to Music and in 2016 he performed Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Ireland Limerick Sinfonia. Most recently he joined Peninsula Cantare as a soloist in the Carmina Burana and Mozart Vespers.

In addition to classical and opera, Brandan has performed roles in a number of musical theater productions including Les Miserables, Little Shop of Horrors, Bye Bye Birdie, and Lil' Abner. In addition, he perf
ormed with the award winning vocal jazz ensemble Syncronicity from West Valley College. While at San Jose State University, Brandan founded and music directed the co-ed a cappella ensemble, The Spartones.
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Brandan S.

Brandan S.

San Jose, CA 95192
starting at
$50 / 30-min

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Recent Music Theory Articles from the Blog

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

How to Transition from Classical Pianist to Jazz Pianist

How to Transition from Classical Pianist to Jazz Pianist

Piano music doesn't have to be all classical, all the time! Here's what you need to know about getting started with jazz piano chord progressions, courtesy of St. Augustine, FL teacher Heather L...   Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock, and Duke Ellington are just a few of the great jazz piano players. What beautiful and fascinating sounds fill our ears when their names come to mind! The seemingly illusive progressions and spontaneous elements, like syncopation and improvisation, sound … Read More

How to Transition from Classical Pianist to Jazz Pianist
Piano music doesn't have to be all classical, all the time! Here's what you need to know about getting started with jazz piano chord progressions, courtesy of St. Augustine, FL teacher Heather L...   Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock, and Duke Ellington are just a few of the great jazz piano players. What beautiful and fascinating sounds fill our ears when their names come to mind! The seemingly illusive progressions and spontaneous elements, like syncopation and improvisation, sound
How to Prepare for Sight Reading at an Audition | 3 Helpful Tips
Nervous about the sight reading portion of an upcoming audition? Find out how to work sight reading practice into your routine in this guest post by Saddle Brook, NJ teacher Christian D...   “Be prepared to sight read.” That dreaded requirement on all auditions that makes us all nervous. But the fact is, you shouldn’t be! Sight reading is a learned skill, just like everything else in music. Think of it as sight reading a passage from a book in front of an audience. With so many
Subdivision: The Easy Trick for Reading Rhythms Right
As you're learning to read music, you'll come across complex rhythms at some point. Here, Saint Augustine, FL music teacher Heather L. offers some helpful tips to help you get through the tricky parts...   Have you ever found yourself sitting in a big concert hall, or in your room, listening to a soloist play a practically perfect rhythm? Almost all of us have, and almost all of us have asked ourselves, "How do they do that?" Their secret is subdivision. You might be just begin
6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory
Staring at the Circle of Fifths and memorizing key signatures isn't the only way to learn music theory! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares some creative ideas to revive your learning...   Music theory is a very important part of your musicianship, whether it be mastering ear training, harmony, or sight reading. No matter what instrument you play or what styles you enjoy, those who learn music theory grow further as musicians. A solid knowledge can help you improve your perform
Why Learning Piano Theory is Important for All Musicians
Struggling to understand music theory? Try heading over to the piano -- seeing a visual representation can help a ton! Here, Lowell, IN teacher Blake C. shares how to get started...   Many musicians avoid learning music theory altogether because it can feel much like learning a foreign language; as a result, many musicians enlist in the anti-music theory organization. I will admit it – I was a member of the anti-music theory organization in my early years, declaring that music theory

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