Catharpin Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers Near Catharpin

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Catharpin including Centreville, Gainesville, Chantilly, Manassas and Haymarket.

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John N.

Chantilly, VA

Having written many songs, both for demos and my album, I can teach lyric choice, vocal and guitar phrasing and common pitfalls for songwriters.

About John

I have been playing guitar and bass for over 35 years and traveled the world playing concerts in Clubs and Stadiums. My band ESTUS was signed to Columbia Records by Clive Davis, I played with the Eddie Kirkland Blues Band, formed Fat City in Woodstock NY, and played toured nationally with Quicksilver Messenger Service. Currently I play in RSB, the Rick Sickmen Band, and teach at the School of Rock in Vienna. I want to share my knowledge and extensive experience with students to 'play it forward' while having fun.

*** Lesson Details ***
From beginners to experienced players everyone has their
own goals and style of learning. I will try to have my students playing songs as soon as possible, in the style (rock, blues, country) that they want, while teaching some basic music theory to build on. My studio is fully equipped with instruments, amps, recording equipment, drums and PA system.

*** Studio Equipment ***
guitars, amps, drums, 16 track recorder, soup to nuts

*** Specialties ***
Rock (all kinds), Blues, Pop, Country, ear training.
...

Reviews

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Haitao D. January 10, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I have been learning guitar with John for past 3 months and it is a great experience. John is very knowledgeable and patient to guide me with the much more efficient path to learn play with songs. I was trying to learn from books and YouTube videos for past 1 year, but much more improvements were made after two lessons with John! I also love his teaching styles very much: trying to explain WHY things work the way it is (e.g., music theory) instead of give a lot of "recipe level" exercises you can get from a book. I would strongly recommend him as a guitar teacher to any level!
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Jim O. September 6, 2014
Blues Guitar · In home
Verified Student
I'm about to have my forth lesson with John and I must say he is an amazing musician and an amazing guitar teacher. In the last four weeks, John and I have been working on blues guitar licks. I've been playing at the same level for years. John has changed that for me immediately after our first lesson. He has made a huge difference in my playing and my approach to the guitar.

After I finish writing this review, I will be signing up for additional lessons.

Thanks John
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Cliff B. December 14, 2013
Bass Guitar
Verified Student
Wonderful instructor

I chose John because of his extensive experience as a professional musician and recommend him highly if you are looking for a great instructor. If his patience with this 44 year old starting musician is any indication, I'm certain he's good with anyone at any age!
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John N.

John N.

Chantilly, VA 20151
(4)
starting at
$39 / 45-min
215355_300779_31545

Geoff S.

Fairfax, VA

Experienced in contemporary song writing, as well as writing and arranging music for church worship music, choral music, strings, and classical guitar. Experienced in both playing and recording by ear, as well as writing down formal music charts and scores.

About Geoff

I played on a toy piano when I was very young, learning a bit of sight reading from my Mother, while listening to classical, jazz, and rock music. When I was 12, I learned guitar and later took private piano lessons from a prominent Philadelphia instructor. After playing in a rock band in high school, I went to college and received my degree in Physics. During this time, I joined a choir, and sang and played guitar in a contemporary vocal group where I became the lead guitarist and vocal arranger, and later became the director. I also played guitar in my church, as well as in a small folk
group, performing music of the Beatles, Bacharach, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and many others. I also played or sung in a number of weddings during my college days.

Upon graduation, I moved to the DC area to work in the engineering field, while simultaneously pursuing my music ambition. I studied classical guitar at American University with a student of the great Andres Segovia, and also studied jazz guitar with a former student of a prominent jazz guitarist, Pat Martino. Additionally, I sang in choirs and studied composition privately with a prominent Washington area composer and performer from Catholic University, I also began to teach at an area performing arts academy.

My most long-term experiences in music have been serving in my local church for over 30 years, either playing guitar (acoustic, electric, bass), piano, or arranging vocals in a contemporary worship band. I also started a church choir, and led both choir and small orchestra in a number of special performances. Additionally, I led congregational worship in different scenarios. During this time I also taught students of all ages guitar, piano, and music theory, and have continued to today in helping students to find their musical potential and pursue their musical ambitions.

I have recently retired from my engineering career so I can use my musical gifts in my local church and teach music as a second career. I have completed my second degree at George Mason University, and continue to play with other musicians there. More importantly, I continue to learn how to better teach others of all ages how to grow in all aspects of music-making.

*** Lesson Details ***
Having taught for many years, my approach is flexible and I can adjust my teaching style and/or curriculum to maximize the student's potential for learning at any age. I encourage disciplined practice while working to make learning music an enjoyable experience. Although I specialize in guitar styles, I also teach piano, and can include music theory, sight reading, composition, and how to improvise on any instrument. I have taught improvisation on a number of different instruments such as violin, cello, flute, and clarinet.

Here are some testimonials from present or former students/parents:

"Mr. S. is very earnest; when he gives you a compliment, you can tell he really means it. He's very patient and experienced and skilled and he is willing to take what he's teaching down to my level to help me understand it." Gregory K., age 10
Geoff is a patient and encouraging instructor. He tailored my lessons towards the skills that I needed. He provides the necessary encouragement when the long hours of practice seem impossible to sustain. I could write a book about Geoff's credentials: highly qualified is an understatement. -- Neal B.
Mr. S. is awesome at playing and teaching guitar, and he is nice and helps you. -- Michael B., age 12
œI'm sure I could learn to ˜Play Guitar Today™ using books and videos, but I think I'm on the right track with private one-on-one instruction. “ Linda H.
The guitar lessons are fun, interactive, and instructive. A great way to make learning a delight!“ Gina R., parent

*** Studio Equipment ***
Office at home w/ keyboard and guitars, white board, seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide self-produced instructional material.
Students provide their own instrument and a folder to store instructional material.

*** Specialties ***
I teach any style of guitar, including classical and jazz. I also teach improvisation or "playing by ear" on any instrument; my experience includes piano, violin, cello, clarinet, and flute.
I'm very familiar with 60's music (e.g., Beatles)
I've performed a lot of folk music, rock music, and classical music
I've played classical guitar and in classical and jazz ensembles at weddings and other special events.
...

Reviews

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Bradley B. July 16, 2014
Classical Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
If you're interested in studying classical guitar you know that it is both difficult and important to find a quality guitar instruction. Look no further. Geoff is fantastic. His daily exercises for guitar have helped improve my technique dramatically. I'm so glad I found him and had an opportunity to work with him.
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JohnK September 18, 2011
Lessons

I am enjoying my lessons. You are being extra patient with me I suspect. My practices since our last have gone better I think. I think I am picking up things better. I practiced quite a lot today. Every commercial break in the football game as well as half time. See you in two weeks. Thanks
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Geoff S.

Geoff S.

Fairfax, VA 22032
(2)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Lena E.

Centreville, VA

Specializing in a comprehensive approach to music which includes instrumental technique, music theory, rhythm and aural skills, music history and appreciation, music performance and songwriting in order to build a solid foundation in musicianship. Pop, Rock, Country and Folk genres.

About Lena

GUITAR CURRICULUM (VOCAL INSTRUCTION CURRICULUM SEE BELOW):
You like music. I like music. You want to learn how to play guitar. I can teach you how to play guitar, and so much more. It's that simple. I have real-world experience in getting out there and playing guitar in a band, in front of a real crowd, and I can teach you how to do the same. Whether you're interested in performing in front of your relatives, at your local open mic down the street, or if you want to pursue music as a possible profession, you need strong, basic fundamentals to get there. That's where I come in.

**
* Lesson Details ***
Lessons include: guitar technique/knowledge/maintenance:
-Getting to know your instrument, such as the name for parts of the guitar, and what they contribute to the instrument. How to identify notes on each string and in every fret across the fretboard. First, you need to learn how to speak guitar. This is like learning the basic language so we can communicate with each other.
You: "Why do I have to identify all the parts of the guitar?"
Me: "So when I tell you to strum over the sound hole, you won't mistake it for your ear."

-How to tune and care for your guitar such as changing strings
You: "Why do I need to learn how to tune my guitar and properly change my strings?"
Me: "So when you learn how to play the thing, it sounds good and stays in tune, and your neighbor's dog won't start howling when you pick up your instrument."

-Chords and Strumming: Open chords, Power chords, Barre chords, 7th chords, 9th chords, 1st and 2nd inversion chords. More chords than you can shake a stick at.
You: "Why do I need to learn chords?"
Me: "So you string chords together, and play a song, Silly."

-Scales (Major scales, Natural minor scales, Harmonic minor scales, Melodic minor scales, In every key and in six different positions)
You: "Why do I need to learn scales?"
Me: "Just to torture you. Just kidding! Scales build strength and speed and get your two hands working together. And scales are fundamental for learning licks and writing melodies later on down the road."

-Other fundamentals include chord chart reading, tablature reading, and specific technical skills such as hammer-ons and pull-offs, palm muting, using a pick, and finger picking styles.

MUSIC THEORY:
Strictly for impressing your friends and/or classmates. Ok, not really. Music theory is important, especially if you want to play other instruments down the road, and to give you a the "Big Picture" of music.

Fundamental theory you will learn includes
-Basic music notation (The music alphabet, rhythm, the staff, ledger lines, time signatures, etc)
-Major and Minor Scales and Key Signatures (You've heard about the Circle of Fifths. Now you'll be able to decipher it!)
-How to identify and play intervals (Major, Minor, Perfect)
-Chord theory (What makes a Major chord, well, Major; Minor chord, Minor. Diminished, Augmented, etc)
-Harmonic Analysis
You: "I've heard about this I IV V I progression stuff. What does that mean?"
Me: "In due time, Grasshopper"
-Transposition (Good for changing the keys of your favorite songs so you or your lead singer can sing them in his/her vocal range)

First we learn this stuff through take-home worksheets. Then, we apply what we know to the guitar and make it useful and practical.

Music history and appreciation. Ever wonder about the origins of the guitar and how it came about to be one of the most popular instruments played in modern time? Or who the great Blues guitarists were from the 30's and 40's and how they influenced later day Rockers such as Jimmy Page or Keith Richards? Or how about how modern Western music formed and is what it is today, starting with Ancient Greece, through the Middle Ages, to Beethoven, to Ragtime to popular music today? Yep, we got that covered. It's all about perspective.

Songwriting. So you're tired of playing other people's songs and it's time to get your thoughts on paper. Congratulations. You are officially an Artist as well as a Musician. I can teach you how to develop your lyrics and chord progressions into cohesive, tightly arranged songs sure to make your Mom or Girlfriend/Boyfriend proud. Songwriting expands the limits of learning, that simply copying another artist note-for-note cannot do. Tapping your "Creative Vein" is the ultimate path to learning music. Let's get started.

music performance. Alright, you got knowledge, you got skills, you got songs. You have the tools to get out there and show the world what you can do.

*** Studio Equipment ***
office/studio 5 guitars seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
I have my own guitar and curriculum. Students are expected to have their own instruments.

*** Specialties ***
Specializing in Rock, Folk, Country beginning guitar lessons. Focus on rhythm guitar, songwriting and performing. Incorporate music history and theory as well.

VOICE CURRICULUM INCLUDES:

VOCAL TECHNIQUE/KNOWLEDGE/MAINTENANCE:
-Anatomy of the voice
-Voice maintenance
-Body awareness, relaxation and posture
-Breath control and support
-Tone creation and range building
-Resonation
-Tone placement
-Diction

MUSIC THEORY:
-Basic music notation (The music alphabet, rhythm, the staff, ledger lines, time signatures, etc)
-Major and minor scales and key signatures
-Intervals (major, minor, perfect)
-Chord theory and harmonic analysis
-Transposition
-Aural and rhythm skills

MUSIC HISTORY AND APPRECIATION:
Have you ever how modern Western music formed and how it became what it is today? We’ll start with Ancient Greece, travel through the Middle Ages, learn about Classical composers such as Beethoven, and study different styles of music from Ragtime to today’s popular music all with listening examples to immerse you into the world of music history.

SONGWRITING
If you've grown tired of playing other people's music, then it’s time for you to get your songs on paper or recorded. I’ll teach you how to develop your lyrics and chord progressions into cohesive, tightly arranged songs. Songwriting expands the limits of learning that merely playing another artist’s music cannot do. Tapping your "creative vein" is the ultimate path to learning music.

MUSIC PERFORMANCE
Alright, you've got knowledge, you've got skills and you've got songs. You have the tools to get out there and show the world what you can do. But before you hit the local area open mic or book a gig, let's talk about music performance. You’ll learn simple, effective techniques such as strong stage presence and audience rapport.
...

Reviews

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Era S. June 10, 2015
Singing · In home
Verified Student
Lena was super friendly. I was hesitant about taking voice lessons because I'm older and I have never had any training - she made me feel comfortable and confident. She taught me simple exercises and jumped right into the actual lesson!
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Barbara M. June 8, 2015
Vocal Training · In studio
Verified Student
Our singing lesson with Lena E has been a very good one! My daughter has really enjoyed the experience and Lena has built up her confidence to a whole new level. Thank you so much Lena for the inspirations and all your help.
Sincerely,
Barbara Mills
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Suryanshu K. May 21, 2015
Singing · In home
Verified Student
I think my son likes he way of teaching. Lena is a good teacher. First teaching class was awesome.
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Lena E.

Lena E.

Centreville, VA 20121
(9)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Dennis B.

Bethesda, MD

I encourage all students to try writing music or at least coming up with their own basic ideas. I will then work with the student's ideas to help them learn how to develop an initial idea into a large more complete musical form. If the student is able to write more complete songs I will coach them in techniques to improve the structure, harmony and melody of their work. I try to demonstrate ways that they can improve their writing without simply rewriting their ideas for them. For all of this I draw on my many years of experience as a composer. I try to guide the student towards developing a process of writing music that works for them. My main goal is to help them to grow into their own musical voice rather than to simply do what I suggest.

About Dennis

I have been teaching guitar for 25 years in the Washington DC metro area. I work with students 12 years of age and up, but I am especially experienced at teaching adult students regardless of whether they are beginners or have previous guitar experience. I have performed in acoustic Celtic, new age, funk, progressive rock, fusion and contemporary jazz groups and am currently performing regularly as a solo acoustic guitarist. I have composed over 40 works for solo guitar as well as numerous pieces for small jazz bands. I have played on numerous CDs including my most recent solo CD 'DARK MATTER'
.

*** Lesson Details ***
I tailor the lesson materials to suit the interest of the student but I am dedicated to teaching students at any level to learn to better understand the fundamentals of the language of music. My teaching focuses on critical fundamentals of guitar technique including chords, scales and rhythm guitar playing as well as the art of improvisation. A significant amount of time in the lessons is spent actually playing with the students so that the technical concepts are put to use in real music situations. To further the student's understanding of music I frequently teach elements of music theory to those who are interested.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have guitars and amps available for student use although I prefer that the student bring their own instrument. I also have all the needed accessories, cables, stands etc.

*** Specialties ***
Adult students (and older teenagers ) whether beginners or experienced are a particular specialty of mine. Adult learners want to be treated as adults and often times benefit greatly from a more mentor oriented approach to teaching. I like to describe myself as both a teacher and a coach so as to emphasize that the student and I are on the same team sharing the goal of improving their guitar playing and musicianship. We are both on the same path of musical discovery. I am probably just farther along on that path with insights and knowledge that will hopefully help them along their way.
...

Reviews

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Thomas P. July 2, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Dennis is a great teacher, he is effective, patient, passionate, I could not be happier, he has an excellent teaching style made me improve a lot. Highly recommended
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Ana C. May 28, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I found his teaching style very clear and rewarding; his approach seems to be especially effective for adults. He has sustained my attention for a long time, and has been very responsive to my learning needs (including special projects and questions) while keeping a very clear roadmap for learning music and the instrument.
He obviously has great musical talent, and his explanations and demonstrations are very clear. He has been super flexible and adaptable schedule-wise.
Overall, a pleasant, enriching and rewarding experience. Highly recommended!
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Edward M. April 24, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Dennis is a real musician and a great teacher.
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Dennis B.

Dennis B.

Bethesda, MD 20816
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
379190_8mtk2fqg5l4z569t55wt

Philip B.

Germantown, MD

Lets get started!

About Philip

I've been playing piano and guitar since before I could talk it seems. Some of my earliest memories are playing through every song I knew in my parents basement pretending I was performing at some big concert.

I never lost that itch to perform and I'm lucky enough to have performed in and around the dc area as a soloist/group performer. I have performed every where from the now defunct Grog and Tankard to Strathmore.

The only thing I love more then performing live is teaching. There is something very rewarding with taking someone who has nothing but a desire to learn and seeing them
progress to meet their goals.

I feel I'm different then a lot of teachers because I work with the students to figure out their goals and create the lesson plan/path based off those goals. There is no "one size fits all" method for learning a instrument. Maybe you want to learn the traditional approach and go through step by step. Or maybe you want to jump in to "fake books" and just learn enough to play some songs. Everyone is different.

All ages welcome and adults encouraged to learn! I provide recitals to those who are interested.

Learn at your home or my in home studio.

*** Lesson Details ***
Will work with the student/parents to create plan based off goals. 

*** Studio Equipment ***
Professional Yamaha Digital Piano.

*** Specialties ***
Besides general theory and application I can also assist in writing/arranging songs.
...

Reviews

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john L. June 10, 2014
Piano · In home
A++ Benn taking lessons with Phil for over 3 years. Started from nothing, as a adult I was pretty hesitant to even try to learn. What was supposed to be a trial has turned into me just buying a baby grand to show off on cause I play so well now. Thanks Phil!
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Jasmine D. June 10, 2014
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
I started taking classes earlier this year. . and I think I have learnt a lot in a very short time.. Philip is knowledgeable, friendly and encouraging.. . He teaches tips and tricks .. and makes learning fun and easy. I am fully satisfied and I highly recommend him !
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Philip B.

Philip B.

Germantown, MD 20874
(2)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

Students are raving about their Songwriting instructors on TakeLessons. Check out some of these recent reviews.

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

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

Tips for Writing a Song | Starting Songs And Ending Writer's Block

Feeling stuck? Get back on track with these helpful tips for writing a song, courtesy of Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   One of the most frequent problems that songwriting students encounter is pushing past writer's block and generating ideas for new songs. So here are several tips for writing a song that will help you overcome a creative dry spell and get you back to creative productivity. Start With A Title Think of some interesting subjects that you think would make goo … Read More
Tips for Writing a Song | Starting Songs And Ending Writer's Block
Feeling stuck? Get back on track with these helpful tips for writing a song, courtesy of Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   One of the most frequent problems that songwriting students encounter is pushing past writer's block and generating ideas for new songs. So here are several tips for writing a song that will help you overcome a creative dry spell and get you back to creative productivity. Start With A Title Think of some interesting subjects that you think would make goo
5 Reasons Why Songwriters Should Collaborate
This article was originally published on Soundfly and is being shared as part of Songwriting Week! Join the conversation on social media (#SongwritingWeek) for even more tips, articles, and resources.   So many musicians and songwriters stress the importance of collaboration. But without knowing how collaboration could benefit your work, why would you share an idea you’ve spent countless hours thinking about, only to open yourself up to criticism? As it turns out, all those advice
The Anatomy of a Hit Pop Song [Infographic]
When you're learning how to write a song, looking at how other songs are structured can be a great place to start. Like looking at a map before you go on a roadtrip, checking out the basic elements of songs you love gives you a sense of how they were written and what you need to do to write a song of your own. If analyzing all your favorite songs sounds like a daunting task (it is), you're in luck. The Billboard Experiment wanted to know if there was a formula that could determine which songs
6 Resources for Creating Your Own Sheet Music
As you develop your musical skills, you may become interested in writing your own music. While learning to play an instrument and being able to play others' music is a wonderful skill, nothing compares to creating sheet music full of your own compositions! As a budding songwriter, you’ll need to add some additional skills to your repertoire. Writing music can be as simple as putting a pen to paper, or you can take advantage of the many songwriting tools technology offers. Whether you’re sketchi
Logic Pro Tutorial: How To Create An Audio Slow-Down Effect
Want to add a cool slow-down effect to your music? Learn how in this Logic Pro tutorial from Brevard, NC teacher John C...   If you've listened to popular radio in the past several years, and I’m guessing you have, you've heard either a vocal melody line or an instrumental part of a song make a particular effect. Listen to the following Fall Out Boy song and pay attention to the music in the background at 00:27 seconds, again at 1:27, and once again at 2:27: Did you hear it? Th

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