Castro Valley Music Lessons

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Music Lesson Reviews from Students

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Popular Music Teachers near Castro Valley

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Castro Valley including Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, Moraga and San Lorenzo.

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About Steven B.

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208247_232343_22069
Alameda, CA

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About Steven
Have you always wanted to learn how to play the piano, guitar or electric bass? Or maybe you've just felt like brushing up your musical knowledge and playing skills? Now’s your chance to fulfill those dreams!

About Me: San Francisco Bay area pianist/guitarist/bassist; I've been playing music for over 50 years. I'm classically trained with a solid foundation and knowledge of music theory, and have over 40 years experience teaching, recording and performing. I have done session work and/or performed with members of Journey, Santana, Jackson Browne, Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers and Greg
Allman to name a few, and am currently teaching piano, theory and bass to Mike Dirnt, the bassist for Green Day. Let me take my education and experience and pass them on to you!

My main goal as a music instructor is to pass along my love and knowledge of playing music to my students, always vigilant for sharing shortcuts that will help the student to achieve their lesson goals faster. Some teachers teach only out of books. I am not such a teacher. Books solve the problem of learning music in generalizations and by their very nature, cannot take into consideration personal issues a student will encounter.

Most students are able to learn enough of the necessary mechanics at the first lesson to actually play something before they leave that lesson. This is important because they realize that playing music IS possible. I always enjoy the look on their face when they realize they have actually “played” their instrument at their first lesson.

I am not the sort of teacher who yells and screams if the student comes in unprepared. I realize that people come to me for a variety of reasons and I work with them with whatever they bring in. I am patient and if a student is not understanding a certain aspect, I bring into play alternate approaches. Not everyone assimilates information in the same way. Learning music should be an enjoyable adventure for the student and I venture to say that my students enjoy coming to their lessons. We have fun, and we learn.

>>> FYI: I'm happy to come to your home if traveling to my studio in Alameda isn't convenient for you, and I cover most of the East Bay, including Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Orinda, Lafayette, Walnut Creek and (of course) my own lovely town of Alameda. As much as I love our "City by the Bay", traveling to San Francisco, Marin, or the Peninsula just isn't cost or time effective for me; I apologize to you fine folks and potential students of the West Bay!
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Reviews
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Billy May 17, 2016
· Piano · In studio
wow amazing!
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Tim M. February 22, 2016
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
Great teacher and great time taking the lessons! I wish we could take more lessons with him but we've recently moved out of the area. Thanks for everything Steven!
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Noor A. October 18, 2015
Verified Student · Classical Piano · In home
I was, initially, unsure whether I had made the right decision in using TakeLessons to revive my piano-playing skills, but after meeting Steven, I have no doubts that it was one of the best decisions I have yet to make.

Steven is wonderful! He is inspired and inspiring, encouraging, and his passion inspires passion - I could not have asked for better! Steven is an absolute pleasure, and I would absolutely recommend him to anyone!
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Steven B.

Steven B.

Alameda, CA 94501
(16)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Mark B.

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213893_265082_29530
Castro Valley, CA
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About Mark
I have played on tour with several professional bands, playing rock, pop, blues, African, metal, and country. I now perform live in various bands and record original music as often as possible. My music has gotten airplay in many countries.

I started playing guitar at age 9, and recorded 2 singles in the LA area by age 14. I was a music major throughout High School and College. I also learned a lot by educating myself at the Brand Library in the Los Angeles Area, which specializes in the arts. I specialized in advanced music theory and improvisational techniques.

I have enjoye
d teaching music lessons since 1978.

I custom tailor a lesson plan to fit your individual needs and goals! I can teach you songs you'd like to learn instantly when I hear them on your iPod, mobile phone, cassette or CD that you bring in. I can explain musical theory and concepts many different ways to make sure you understand them. I am very friendly and patient.

Sometimes I might inject humor into the learning process to make it an enjoyable learning experience, and to help you remember the important things.
I love the satisfaction of seeing my students grow musically proficient and and seeing the JOY that it brings them. Many of my students have gone on to become professional. I am well-versed and well-equipped to teach many styles: Rock (including all sub-genres...Tribal Ambient Doom neo Punk, etc), Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Country, R& B, New Age, Ambient, Electronic, Metal (and a few plastics and wood as well).

*** Lesson Details ***
I will develop a personal lesson plan for each individual student. During your lessons, I might cover topics ranging from learning how to play, starting from the basics (if you are a beginner), to choosing music that will inspire you on your level, to improving your technique, ear-training, music reading (if that's what you'd like), reading and understanding tabs (if that's what you'd like), knowing what it is that makes certain chords and notes sound good together for writing your own music, as well as guitar maintenance and adjustments, getting a good tone, amplifier settings, effect pedals (settings & placing them in the most effective order), recording tips, and where to get a decent pizza.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living Room or Studio, both very comfortable. Amplifiers, guitars, effects pedals, bass, ukulele, balalaika, drum set, PA system and recording equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide guitar, bass, or ukulele and amplifier when necessary, teaching tools. The student provides their guitar and paperwork I give them.

*** Specialties ***
Teach note reading using Alfred's New Guitar course. Ear Training, Genres: Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Punk, Metal, Folk, Country, Hip Hop, Funk, R& B, New Age, Ambient.

I currently have 5 albums out under my name. My music is on a major new age compilation, and has been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs. I have played on other people's albums...some of which get major radio airplay in Europe.
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Reviews
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Paul M. October 16, 2016
Verified Student · Bass Guitar · In studio
Hanging out like old times and had a Great lesson. Thanks Mark
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Michael P. July 6, 2016
Verified Student · Guitar · In studio
Mark was an excellent teacher, made me very comfortable. We talk about music and set some goal,he keeps a chart to know what his teaching each student and he write it all out on paper and he writes that you can understand his writing .so very happy. Mike
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Scott June 8, 2016
Verified Student · Acoustic Guitar · In home
First lesson. Mark really dialed in my skill level and completely exceeded my expectations in terms of material, lesson plan, genre etc. Even got to play one of his ridiculously sweet tele's.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(15)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Maureen S.

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San Leandro, CA

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About Maureen
•The styles I teach most often are jazz, classical and popular. Although I have studied many different genres, my specialties are saxophone and composition. I have studied with music teachers such as Anthony Braxton, Herb Pomeroy, Charlie Banacos, Jerry Bergonzi, Gary Burton, Joe Viola, Ken Pullig, John LaPorta, Hal Crook, James Newton and Ken Radnofsky. If you are enrolled by October, you have the opportunity to enroll in MTAC Certificate of Merit and Composer's Today programs and recitals.

•9/1997 – Present San Lorenzo (CA) Unified School District Independent Music Teacher 9/1990 – 11/19
97 St. Felicitas School San
Leandro, CA St. John School Fiat School of Music Music Unlimited San Lorenzo, CA Pinole, CA San Leandro, CA Provide individual and group music instruction to people from age 3 to 99. Deliver instruction based on Music Teachers National Association Certificate of Merit Curriculum for Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet and Piano. Incorporate Jazz
Improvisation, Theory and Harmony lessons

• Listed in Who’s Who Among International Professional Educators. • Listed in Who’s Who in American Education • Listed in Who’s Who Among American Women • Listed in Who’s Who in America • Six Lessons published in • Recognition for Self-Assembly Method Instructional Design Theory • Published article in OnCUE, Journal of Computer Using Educators

• Krause Center of Innovation 2005-2006 EWYL Cohort Participant • Krause Center of Innovation 2006-2007 EWYL Fellows Participant • Iisme (Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education) Fellow 2004: Intranet Web Designer at Applied Materials using Macromedia Dreamweaver and Contribute • Alameda County Representative to the CTAP Technology Leadership Academy at the Alameda County Office of Education (2000). Co-leader of Staff Development Program for Grade 4-8 Technology Integration • Taught University of Phoenix class for Technology Integration • IMTC class teacher in FrontPage and MS Paint • Member San Lorenzo Unified School District Ed Tech Committee and Lorenzo Manor Elementary Ed Tech Committee. • Past District Web Page Coordinator and FrontPage Trainer • Participant in Intel Teach to the Future training • Provide opportunities for children to meet Technology Standards• Incorporate technology into the curriculum using desktops and wireless laptops, FL Studio, Cubasis VST 4.0, Music Ace, Band in a Box, Finale Notepad, Silver Burdett MIDI Connection, Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Office Suite, recording and burning CDs, DVDs, etc. • Manage a High School Computer Music Lab. • MarcoPolo trainer.• Teach Music Technology classes after school for the Gifted and Talented (GATE Program).

• Member Music Educators National Conference • Member Technology Institute for Music Educators. Lesson plan published on their Web Site. • Member California Music Educators and present music technology sessions for educators at the Bay Section Conferences.

• Deliver instruction in the area of the curriculum pertaining to National and District Music Standards. • Create and implement lesson plans, rubrics and assessments. • Organize and produce Winter and Spring Concerts. • Experience working with children with challenging behaviors and disabilities (Special Day Class and Continuation School).

• Provide children with learning experiences that promote their cognitive, social and emotional development.  • Experience in teaching students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. • Communicate with parents. Handle record-keeping of grades and attendance. • Work cooperatively with other education professionals. 

• Organize and produce Winter and Spring Recitals, including County Recitals for the National Guild of Piano Teachers. Communicate with parents. Handle advertising and record-keeping of tuition payments. • Vice-President of the Alameda County Branch of the Music Teachers Association of California. Attend Board meetings and plan guest speakers • Licensed Kindermusik instructor for children ages 18 mos. to 7 years. • Students chosen for State and County Honors Recitals. • Listed in National Honor Roll, National Guild of Piano Teachers; Member Music Teacher’s National Association. • Taught Undergraduate Musicianship class as a Graduate Assistant at Mills College.

•Professional Freelance Musician 9/1984 – 12/1995 Boston, MA; Bay Area, CA Performed own compositions and others works in various styles in innumerable local venues and clubs such as The Oakland Museum, Yerba Buena Gardens, The Valencia Café, Trans America Building, the Marriott Hotel, as well as in Las Vegas. She have performed with musicians such as Vijay Iyer, Anthony Braxton, MC
Hammer, Luciana Souza, Lloyd Nibbs (Skatalites), Fred Lonberg-Holm,
Andy Borger (Norah Jones), Stuart Popejoy, Aaron Stewart, Sheila
Sofian, William Calhoun (Living Color), Sean Kennerly (Samiam) and Joey Cheezhee.• CD Recording on Curious Pogos Records:Frederick Lonberg Holm’s “Theory of Motion”. • Composed music on Sheila Sofian’s Animations “Faith and Patience” and “Secret Rage”. Won 15 awards in International and National Film Festivals. Broadcast on WHYY TV12 and WYBE TV35 Educational Stations. • Honorable Mention in Composition: City of Oakland Creative Arts Fellowship. • Live Performances on KPFA, KNBR and KALX radio stations.

•EDUCATION Ph.D. in Education (10/2013). Specialization in Professional Studies Capella University Teaching Credential: K-12 Single Subject Music 8/1999 Chapman University GPA 3.9 US-CA-Concord Master of Fine Arts degree in Electronic Music and Recording Media with an emphasis in Composition 5/1992 Mills College GPA 3.64 US-CA-Oakland Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging 5/1987 Berklee College of Music US-CA-Boston GPA 3.59 Cum Laude

*** Lesson Details ***
I am interested in teaching you what you need and want to learn so that you achieve your dreams. Please note that I only take serious students who will practice at least 30 minutes every day or 35 a day 6 days a week at home. I would like you to keep a log of how much you practice. This will enable you to make progress through the curriculum as you will be a beginner for the first 3.3 years, an intermediate for the next 3.3 years, and then an advanced student for 3.3 years. I will give you assignments to do over the week, and the next week we will go over them, learn something new and get new assignments. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Currently I am converting my detached garage into a music studio with keyboard and instruments. There is a sitting room where parents can wait for their children. In the meantume, we will have lessons in my living/dining room.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Metronome, CD Boom Box

*** Specialties ***
Jazz, classical, popular, saxophone, composition, music, flute, clarinet, piano, violin, trumpet, trombone, french horn, tuba, baritone, oboe, songwriting, recording, children's music Composition
Arranging
Songwriting
Reading and Notating Music
Music Software such as FL Studio, Band in a Box, Reason and GarageBand. Bring your laptop to lessons!
Music Theory
Improvisation
Minor Key Harmony
Extended and Secondary Dominants
Tritone Substitution
Modal Interchange
Altered Dominant Scale
Diminished Harmony
Non-Functional Harmony
...
Reviews
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Ruth January 9, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Dr. Maureen Spranza, is a great music teacher, my son is taking piano classes with her and I'm very grateful with her, because she always take the extra time to make sure my kid is learning, my kid loves Mrs. Maureen because she is a great teacher but also she is a great human being, she really cares about her students. And she not only plays the piano, she plays all the instruments, I hope to see my son become a great musician thanks to the dedication that Maureen puts in his classes, my kid loves his piano classes, every time after clases he came home very exited to practice what he learned and al of this if because Dr. Maureen encourage him to be better in Avery class
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Nana December 2, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Dr. Spranza is one of the best piano teachers in the Bay Area. My two daughters take weekly lessons with her. She encourages them and empowers them to do their best. She teaches them both theory and practicals. They have participated in an informal recital and are now registered to take part in the MTAC Certificate of Merit program.

As parents, we see a big improvement in our daughters' piano playing skills. They even practice on their own, without us telling them to. All thanks to Dr. Spranza.
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Jee November 2, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Maureen Spranza, PhD, is a gifted music teacher. Not only does she teach well, but she is also an accomplished musician. "Ms. Maureen", as we call her, has over 20 years of experience working with students of all levels. She teaches piano, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, flute saxophone, and violin.

My 8 and 10 year old boys both take 30 minutes of weekly piano lessons from Ms Maureen at Music Unlimited in San Leandro. Their instruction includes all facets of learning - from ear training, to technique, to theory. My 8 year old is a beginner and my 10 year old has been playing for 3 years. Her lessons include an optional Certificate of Merit program that "offers performance, development and evaluation opportunities for students". To learn more, visit http://www.mtac.org.

I really appreciate how she encourages participation in recitals throughout the year, which allows her students to perform both informally and formally to other students, teachers, and family.

We are extremely lucky to have found Ms. Maureen!!! The kids are progressing and are having fun learning. They are filling our house with beautiful music. I highly recommend her to piano learners of all ages!
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Maureen S.

Maureen S.

San Leandro, CA 94577
(10)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Rhonda S.

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224901_430583_43828
Hayward, CA

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About Rhonda
I have always had a love for music. From all the music trivia games my family won't play with me, to my large collection of records, cassettes, and CDs - I am hooked!

I made my solo performance debut at age 7 by singing "It's A Small World" acapella in a school talent show. At age 9 I started taking clarinet lessons where I learned musicianship and how to read music. Throughout my school years I also sang in choir, played tenor saxophone in the school jazz band, and hoofed it in marching band.

During my first year in college I took a beginning guitar class for fun and I never looked
back! I studied classical guitar for 3 years and piano for 2 years. I ultimately received a Minor in Music from California State University, Hayward in 1990.

I have been playing guitar for 27 years. I have played professionally in the San Francisco Bay Area in various rock, country, and blues bands as well as playing solo acoustic performances at local coffee houses.

I have been teaching private guitar lessons for 20 years and piano for 10.I like to keep learning fun! I am a very patient, compassionate teacher who will come up with creative ways to explain/demonstrate something new.

*** Lesson Details ***
Music is the most fun activity that people of all ages can enjoy. And learning how to play music should be fun too! When students inquire about taking lessons from me I always ask, "What do you want to learn?" I try to keep students interested by showing them things they want to learn. I also believe in teaching the basics. Whether you want to take piano or guitar lessons I believe you should learn basic musicianship which includes learning to read simple notes and where those notes are on your instrument, rhythm concepts, and tempo. It's easier than you think! The more you know the more you can teach yourself later on, and the more you can collaborate with other musicians.

After 3 or 6 months of taking lessons with me, students will be able to read basic music notation. They will be able to play songs either by their choosing or mine, they will have self-confidence to play songs in front of an audience/friends, and they will have the knowledge to figure out how to play songs on their own.

*** Specialties ***
I studied classical guitar at Cal State Hayward and have taught different finger picking styles as well as genres such as pop and country.
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Reviews
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Kylie February 20, 2017
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
Very patient, skilled, and knowledgeable. Thanks!
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Fuatapu November 28, 2016
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
Excellent teacher very friendly would definitely recommend...
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Franco F. October 6, 2016
Verified Student · Piano · In home
Rhonda is great! She works with you to get what you want out of the lesson and is very flexible.
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Rhonda S.

Rhonda S.

Hayward, CA 94541
(36)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Ryan L.

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San Leandro, CA
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About Ryan
Ryan's passion for teaching allows him to customize each student's lesson to their individual needs and style. He works with students of all skill levels and all ages. See: Ryanscottlong.Net/lessons for more info on what Ryan covers.

BIO:
Having been described as a musician “with gut busting solos and dynamic versatility, Ryan Scott Long continues to push drumming to new levels. With his forward thinking approach, Ryan may be forming an exciting new style of drumming. Long has toured across the country in bands covering many different genres of music giving him a unique style that can only b
e formed through [his] immense experience under his belt.”*

Ryan’s project "Booker Long Duo" recently cut their second release "Booker Long Duo EP" featuring an explosively intense double drums collaboration with Grammy-winning drummer Thomas Pridgen alongside Mike Sopko on guitar.

His group "BroJazz” will be releasing their debut record May 3, 2016 and will be distributed worldwide by The LA Sound Group (Thundercat, Stanley Clarke).

BroJazz features multi-instrumentalist Ben Wallace-Ailsworth on bass and world class saxophonist Joshua Smith (Birth, Scott Amendola Quartet).

Ryan is proficient in jazz, rock, funk, Latin, hip-hop, and many more styles. Ryan is very tour friendly as he has toured all over the country.
...
Reviews
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Gina April 21, 2016
· Drum · In studio
My teenage son has been taking drum lessons from Ryan for almost two years now. Ryan is the BEST instructor. He is patient with my son and very inspiring. My son enjoys taking lessons from Ryan. Not only is my son learning a lot, he is also gaining more self-confidence. I highly recommend Ryan as a drum instructor.
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K April 14, 2016
· Drum · In studio
great instructor! Ryan has taught and continues to tech me a lot in an entertaining way. Unlike other instructors I have had he teaches diverse methods, techniques, and styles. Overall a great experience!
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Robert Anthony Morales April 14, 2016
· Drum · In home
Ryan uses all his skills to access the best approach to teach student drummers. His insights go way beyond his youth. Said and done look at all the successful drummers he has tutored.
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Ryan L.

Ryan L.

San Leandro, CA 94578
(6)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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