Clayton Music Lessons

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Music Lesson Reviews from Students

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

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Popular Music Teachers Near Clayton

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Clayton including Brentwood, Antioch, Danville, Alamo and Diablo.

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Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA

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 in many styles: Rock, Pop, Blues, Alternative, Country, R&B, 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. Genres: Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Punk, Metal, Folk, Country, Hip Hop, Funk, R& B, New Age, Ambient.

I currently have 4 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.
...

Reviews

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Ray A. July 8, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I think Mark is a good guitar player and the best guitar instructor i ever had. Igive him 5 star rating.
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Todd R. February 15, 2015
Acoustic Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Mark is very patient and very talented! I never feel like he is rushing through my lesson. He makes learning fun!
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Marc M. December 18, 2013
Guitar
Verified Student
Everything a music teacher should be

My worst nightmare was that taking guitar lessons as an adult would be similar to my forced and short-lived piano lessons as a youth. Mark quickly set my fears aside the first lesson by outlining what I would need to learn to reach my goals. He is very adaptive to the student based on music preferences and skill progression. Each week we focus on progressively harder songs.

Aside from guitar knowledge and teaching skills, Mark is also very flexible around your schedule. He really makes an effort to communicate and to reschedule when needed.

I'd recommend Mark to anyone looking for guitar lessons. I feel lucky to have found Mark as a teacher.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(12)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Christian C.

Brentwood, CA

About Christian

Christian has 20 years of teaching experience and 25 years of performance experience in a myriad of styles. He is currently enrolled at the Berklee School of Music (Boston, MA) through their online Music Production Degree Program.

Christian is also a member in the following organizations:

Vic Firth Education Team

Hudson Music Teacher Integration Program

Professional Drum Teachers Guild. He has studied privately with John Xepoleas, Steve Bowman (Counting Crows), Rob Hart, Alan Hall and currently with Mike Johnston.

Christian is also accepting a limited amount of students from the
age of 10 to adult, beginner to advance. He currently has openings at his Brentwood home studio on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.

The air-conditioned studio is equipped with 2 drum sets and professional digital recording equipment to capture each lesson. The latest educational DVD's and play-along/minus-drums CD's are also incorporated in the lessons.

Parents are encouraged to sit in on the lessons or they can relax or do some work in the internet ready waiting room. An annual recital is conducted for family and friends.

Prepare for school auditions, refine hand and foot technique, learn double bass grooves and fills improve reading and transcribing , sharpen your timing, incorporate linear playing, apply rudiments to the drum set.

Styles: Rock / Funk / Country / Blues / Jazz / Latin

*** Lesson Details ***
Sometimes the availability calendar is not updated in a timely manner.

Every student is different. Depending on their age and/or goals, this is the typical curriculum for a beginning (no experience) student.

Beginners (build the foundation)
Technique
- Hands: how to hold the sticks correctly
- Feet: heel up or heel down technique

Reading
- Explain note values
- Explain drum set notation

Coordination and Timing
- Learn basic beats to play music
- Understand how to practice with a metronome
- How to play along to music

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home room converted with sound absorbing materials with 2 drum sets, acoustic and electronic. Air conditioned living room seating for parents. Audio recordings are provided for every lesson and portions of each lesson are also video recorded.
...

Reviews

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Dillon S. January 5, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
My son really enjoyed his first lesson. He was excited to start practicing his "assignment" the moment we arrived home.
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Noah M. October 5, 2015
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
My son is a perfectionist and sanatoria a little...christian is great!
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rita W. January 30, 2014
Drum
Verified Student
Easy to sign up and Great customer service

My 12 yr old decided he wanted drums for Christmas and we knew that would include getting him lessons. Finding Christian through Take lessons was indeed lucky for my son. If you are looking for a teacher who is calm, level headed, knowledgeable and very easy to contact at anytime then Christian is who you are looking for. He has several students and they all come out happy and feeling good about their lessons. My son, even when not feeling great insist that he attend his drum lessons. compliments to the instructor.
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Christian C.

Christian C.

Brentwood, CA 94513
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Matthew F.

Walnut Creek, CA

About Matthew

Hello!

My name is Matthew, and I teach many people of different ages academic topics from arithmetic to algebra 2/trigonometry, science, reading/grammar, as well as all kinds of music and instruments!

I hold a Masters of Arts in Music Composition from Mills College in Oakland, CA and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from UC Santa Cruz.

Musically, I specialize in drum set and percussion, piano, voice, and guitar instruction (4 and 6 string) woodwinds, brass, and violin family strings. I have been teaching in Walnut Creek at my home studio/office for 10 years, worked with local schools such
as Walnut Creek Intermediate, Meher School, Las Lomas High School, and Stanley Middle School.

Some basic pedagogical ideas:

I make sure each student learns the necessary techniques, rhythms as well as reading and performing skills that each player must posses on their instrument or voice to properly play the instrument. Alongside this crucial, ever-lasting quest to have a good sound and play the repertoire of the instrument I teach many other aspects of music that most students indulge in as they progress. These including but not limited to ear-training, improvising, composition, theory, music history and appreciation, transcribing, arranging and performing popular music, basic tracking and recording/computer compositions, as well as basic singing and drumming.
Each student has different goals and interests that draw them toward certain aspects of music. My goal is to supplement the basic music training while offering guidance in more complex areas of music that bring excitement and enjoyment to learning. I work with each student to find not only what aspects of music they are interested in but also what styles and groups they enjoy and aspire to play or just enjoying listening or singing along.
Balancing all of this during a 30-60 min lesson and then during your practice time in the week can be tough, so I work with each student to set priorities and goals based on their interest and skill and follow through with them!

Here are a few of my BASIC POLICIES; please read so you can know if we will be a good fit. If you have any questions about them feel free to ask, but I rarely make exceptions!

-I only accept students who take weekly lessons

-I only accept students (usually) who have already started reading

-All students and parents must be on a fairly flexible schedule and reply to phone calls or texts on the day of lessons. With 30+ concurrent students and families, schedules are constantly changing to accommodate each other. If it works for everyone to help another student out by switching, then I will request that of you, but I ALWAYS GUARANTEE YOUR SCHEDULED LESSON TIME.

-I always guarantee your full lesson time. Driving from my home studio and house to house around the East Bay during the after school/work hours does come with traffic delays, so I ask that each student (unless previously noted) keeps 10-15 minutes before and after their lesson free in case of an unexpected delay or cancellation.

- I require AT LEAST 72 HOURS ADVANCED NOTICE FOR RESCHEDULES. If you need to reschedule then I prefer knowing a week in advance. IF YOU CANCEL WITHIN 72 HOURS I DO NOT GUARANTEE A MAKEUP SPOT.

-I rent beginner instruments so that you can get started while I help you shop for an instrument. This includes weekly checkups, maintenance, changing strings, cleaning, and covers any basic damage done to the instrument (for example, broken bridges, broken bow hair, pegs, tuning parts, replacing strings, minor dents on brass). This does not cover non-reusable parts (strings, reeds, drum heads, cork/slide/valve oil, rosin) as well as damage to the body of the instrument or theft. I charge $45 dollars a month flat for the instrument and service.

If you are at all interested for yourself or your child please don't hesitate to call and ask questions.

Have a great day!
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Sam Maldonado January 11, 2016
Composition · In studio
Verified Student
great time at my first lesson
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Denise S. October 31, 2015
Viola · In studio
Verified Student
My daughter took lessons with Matthew for 5 months and we are severely disappointed. We originally switched because he was constantly changing the days/times of our lesson to accommodate his schedule or that of new clients, which is a terrible way to do business. However, after having one lesson with a new teacher, we realized that my daughter never learned the basics of viola playing - how to hold the instrument properly, how tightly the bow should be strung, the names of the parts of the instrument, etc. He also rented us an instrument that didn't tune properly at twice the cost of what local music stores were charging. She also was not properly measured for that instrument, which I learned was standard. Since I am not musically trained, I went on faith that she was being taught properly. After the first lesson with a teacher who actually knew what they were doing, my daughter was in tears over all the things she didn't know. I feel like all those basics should have been covered in the first month of instruction. In addition, his bio states that he has been teaching for 10 years. At his current age, that would mean he started teaching at the age of 13 or 14. I'm very disappointed in our experience with both this instructor and with Take Lessons for not vetting their instructors properly.
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Adriana September 25, 2015
Violin · In home
Verified Student
It was excellent. He has the patience and the knowledge. I do recommend him.
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Matthew F.

Matthew F.

Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(5)
starting at
$45 / 30-min
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Spencer S.

Pleasanton, CA

About Spencer

From the warm beaches of Costa Rica to major Los Angeles music venues, Spencer has delighted audiences with his talent, creativity, and passion for performance. Spencer is a tenor and bass trombonist, composer, arranger, and educator from the San Francisco Bay Area.

During his undergraduate career at University of California Santa Barbara Spencer studied both music and sociology, where he broadened his musical palette and developed a passion for improvisation. Spencer played in nearly every university ensemble and with many groups in the surrounding area, such as the Santa Barbara Youth Sym
phony.Spencer also studied trombone performance with Bill Booth, principal trombonist of the Los Angeles Opera Company.

After his undergraduate study, Spencer moved to Los Angeles to explore a wide variety of musical avenues. He recorded and performed with various jazz ensembles, classical orchestras, indie rock bands, and many other individual projects. Spencer also studied with Paul Young, Music Professor at USC Thornton School of Music.

Spencer has since completed a masters degree in jazz studies at San Jose State University, studying under the expertise of Scott Whitfield, Thomas Hornig, and Grammy Award winner Aaron Lington. He has performed with Jon Faddis, Jamie Davis, Fred Berry, and many others. Spencer has also performed internationally at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Jazz à Vienne, and locally at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest and Jazz on the Hill in San Mateo.

In 2015, Spencer toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra through New Zealand and Hawaii, and performed with Stanford University throughout France, Switzerland, and Italy. Spencer also was selected as a winner of the 360° Jazz Initiative composition contest, adjudicated by the jazz faculty of UNC Chapel Hill.

Spencer currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he performs, composes, arranges, and teaches.
...
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Spencer S.

Spencer S.

Pleasanton, CA 94588
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Shane C.

Berkeley, CA

About Shane

I started my professional career in New Orleans right after high school. There, I learned about the history of jazz music and how it has evolved into music we listen to today. From that experience I met a family that was interested in my playing and hired me to go to Germany, where I taught a young trombone student for a month, discovered my passion for teaching. Teaching him taught me how to facilitate his passion, and help him grow technically and musically. After that I toured for a period with a Balkan band, learning eastern European techniques and styles. I have since played in funk bands
, reggae bands, bebop groups, and New Orleans style brass bands. This has given me a broad understanding of different types of music. I have been giving lessons for a couple years now and developed players who are brand new to an instrument, as well as fine tuning players to help achieve specific goals.
...

Reviews

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Kiley M. December 23, 2015
Trumpet · In home
Verified Student
My 10 year old is enjoying learning the trumpet with Shane! Fun & talented instructor!
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Shane C.

Shane C.

Lafayette, CA 94549
(1)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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