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Jessica W.

Lafayette, CA

Learn how to read music, keyboard awareness, proper hand position, technique and musicality.

About Jessica

Hi! My name is Jessica and I would love to be your voice and/or piano teacher! I have been studying and performing classical music for 21 years. My relationship with music started at age 9 with the Contra Costa Children's Choir and I have maintained my classical vocal studies ever since. Along with my vocal studies, I studied classical piano privately with Keith Snell for 7 years, competing and achieving high marks in regional competitions. I went on to receive her Bachelor's degree in Music at Mannes College of Music in New York City and finished my education at the San Francisco Conserv
atory of Music, where I received my Masters, receiving training in vocal pedagogy and physiology, as well as vocal performance. I graduated from SFCM in 2009 and immediately began perusing both a teaching and performing career.

I have maintained an active voice and piano studio since 2011 and also teach with Village Center for the Arts, giving private lessons as well as working with their In School Outreach Programs, teaching Beginning Piano Class and Musical Theater Workshop. Other teaching opportunities include Vocal Master Class with Acalanes High School Women's Ensemble, voice instructor and Alto section leader for Occidental Choral Retreat with Volti SF, Music Instructor with Gymboree, and volunteer pre-school music instructor at Fairmount Elementary in SF.

I am an active performer in the Bay Area as well, performing with the new music ensemble Volti, Lyric Theatre San Jose, Opera on Tap San Francisco, Urban Opera, West Coast Opera Works, San Francisco Baroque Opera, and Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute (BASOTI). I have also been employed as a performer on the east coast, making my professional debut with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in 2011 and singing the title role in Handel’s Radamisto with The Manhattan Opera Studio in August 2014.

During my many years studying music, I was inspired by several amazing teachers. They are responsible for making me the artist and musician I am today. My mission as a teacher is to pass on the wonderful knowledge and passion that was given to me onto a new group of eager young minds. I am truly a self proclaimed music dork and proud of it! I am a fun, patient, passionate teacher and am very excited to be a part of the TakeLessons team!

*** Lesson Details ***
In my lessons, I feel it is important for my students to have fun and to and enjoy the learning process. However I believe in order for both student and teacher to get the most out of the lesson, practicing at home is extremely important and I expect my students to do so. I will always send them home with a goal or assignment that should be reached or completed by the next lesson to the best of the students ability.

For my voice students, we always begin with breath. Proper breathing is the foundation for all good singing. Then we move on to warming up both the voice and the body. During warm-ups, we will focus technical concepts such as breath control and support, vowel placement, and optimum vocal production. In most lessons (time permitting) we will work through a piece of music, one of their choosing or, if needed, I will recommend a piece. We finish each lesson with a review of the concepts we discussed during the lesson and practice goals for the week.
For my piano students, I begin with finger placement and keyboard awareness. Depending on the students age and level, we will use both a music book and a music theory book (for very young students, I will hold off on the music theory and focus mostly on finger placement and keyboard awareness). Each week, I will assign two pieces of music and pages in the music theory book (again depending upon student's age and level). Students are expected to prepare the assignments by practicing at home and have them ready at the next lesson.

Communication is something very important to me as a teacher. I want my students to feel comfortable expressing their needs and/or concerns, musically or otherwise and hope they would appreciate me, as the teacher, to do the same.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Upright piano with seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide music and have a portable electronic keyboard.

*** Specialties ***
Classical voice is definitely my specialty. I believe good classical technique is the basis for all good singing and can be applied to genres such as musical theater and jazz. The only vocal styles I am NOT comfortable teaching are belting, pop or rock style vocal production.
...

Reviews

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Christine G. April 28, 2014
Classical Voice
Verified Student
Patient and encouraging

I'm always impressed with how Jessica is patient with our 7 year old daughter and still is able to draw her out and motivate her when she is tired from school. Jessica always finds creative ways to be inspirational. Both my husband and I drive 15 miles to be able to have Jessica teach our little girl. We think she is worth it. She has been flexible and always tried her best to work within our schedule and has even driven out to our house to cover a lesson when things didn't work out in the schedule.
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Kellian D. March 11, 2014
Piano
Verified Student
Wonderful teacher

Jessica is teaching piano and voice to my 10 year daughter, and I am so impressed with her skills as a teacher. She is patient, encouraging, and inspiring, and her love for both music and teaching is apparent. She is also extremely knowledgeable about music theory and uses a teaching method that's very effective and gets students actually playing music right away, without shortchanging their long term development as musicians. Jessica is a rare find, plus she comes to our house for lessons!
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Jeannemarie H. February 27, 2014
Piano
Verified Student
Jessica is great with kids and makes music so much fun!

I have two girls, ages 9 and 6. They both take piano with Jessica once a week. I can't express enough how great Jessica is with them and her ability to adjust to their ages and their ways of learning.
Jessica is so passionate about music which is demonstrated in her teaching style and of course all her education, training, and performances.
Jessica is so wonderful in her communication - showing such support throughout the lesson and has a great ability to explain the music so they understand.
My girls are very fortunate to have such a great mentor and teacher. Jessica is a true professional who is fully committed to music. We could not be happier!
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Jessica W.

Jessica W.

Lafayette, CA 94549
(7)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Rhonda S.

Hayward, CA

I've been teaching piano for 10 years. Within the first few lessons students will be able to read basic music notation and as time goes on they will be able to confidently play beginning songs of their own choosing. I typically use Alfred or Faber books which builds playing skills and teaches music theory.

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.
...

Reviews

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Nylah P. June 5, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
First lesson down and plenty more to come!!
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Ikram H. June 1, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Rhonda is amazing! Made me feel very comfortable right from the outset. This is my second attempt to learn the guitar. First time was when I was a teenager and I gave up because I tried it on my own. I sure hope Rhonda will be able to help me learn.
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Win H. May 30, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Finally , I found the best guitar teacher!!!!
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Rhonda S.

Rhonda S.

Hayward, CA 94541
(14)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Ken W.

Concord, CA

Ken has a basic understanding of playing the piano and has taught many beginners.

About Ken

At age 12 Ken picked up a guitar and fell in love with the instrument. He began with an obsession with Metallica and related bands that later evolved to a passion for classical and jazz music, music theory.

From 2008 -2010 completed the music program at Diablo Valley College in June of 2010, which includes extensive coursework in Music theory, Piano and Guitar. Since 2011 Ken has been a Jazz Guitar Performance Major at Cal State East Bay. There he has studied Classical and jazz Guitar performance with world class musicians.

"Music has many different levels and the beautiful thing is the
re is a place for everybody. I have spent a lot of time throughout my music career going “back to basics” in order to become a better musician. We are all capable of becoming great musicians and just because someone can play faster than you doesn't necessarily make them better. Music provides everything from healing power to just plain fun for the human spirit so I always encourage students to go at there own pace and work within their abilities."

*** Lesson Details ***
20+ years experience as a musician and teacher Ken has taken self taught route and the lessons route. "I believe 100% that being taught by someone who has sufficient experience really provides the roadway for a solid foundation whether you are planning on being a pro, just for fun and all levels in between. The combination of self-discipline and a good teacher are a must to have as a musician."

Amongst many other approaches of teaching music, I try to instill the 3 most lacking areas most musicians usually have to begin.

1. Sight reading: Unfortunately most common with guitarists! Tablature is a somewhat useful way to start but reading music will open many doors and opportunities for any musician

2. Collaboration: A teacher provides one way of collaboration as well as a band or an ensemble at school or in the community.

3. Improvisation: I provide a music theory background and I have a method plan for chord progressions, and help with learning the entire guitar.

I take step-by-step approaches towards giving a student encouragement and instilling music appreciation. I am very organized so every lesson will be documented and we will work on specific areas of fundamental development. Most of all have fun! That what gets us playing music in the first place!

I look Forward to meeting you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lesson room, music stands, benches, amps, two pianos, computer area for recording,

*** Travel Equipment ***
Their own instrument and any necessary cables, amps etc. for them I will provide my own

*** Specialties ***
I mostly specialize in jazz and classical guitar and have taught blues, rock, metal and Latin American guitar. All ages and all levels. I also teach western music theory (classical and jazz) from the baroque period to modern day. I teach beginning piano which consists of the basic fundamentals (i.e. scales, posture hand positions, etudes and beginning repertoire)
...

Reviews

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Rahul S. November 6, 2014
Classical Guitar · In home
Ken is an awesome teacher and an great person. He teaches my 5 year daughter and she loves his lessons and his jovial approach. Within 4 weeks, she has picked up a lot of things and is improving day by day. He is patient as you ought to be with the kids and yet persistent enough to stick to the task.

I am really looking forward to them picking up songs in the coming lessons. I will recommend him anytime and completely vouch for his credentials and ability as an excellent guitarist as well as teacher.
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Jon C. August 18, 2014
Classical Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Ken is a talented musician, nice person, and a fantastic teacher. I wanted to branch out into classical guitar after many years of playing other styles. Ken was good at adapting to my background and goals.
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Francesca G. June 30, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Ken W. is an awesome teacher, my daughter loves her lessons with Ken, he is very patient kind and makes my daughter feel very comfortable. He also is very positive inspiring. I plan on keeping Ken as my daughters instructor for a very very long time
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Ken W.

Ken W.

Concord, CA 94521
(9)
starting at
$55 / 30-min
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Matthew F.

Walnut Creek, CA

Piano is the cornerstone instrument of our era of music starting back with the keyboard instrument of the baroque and pre-baroque periods. Now we have the modern piano which is not only a perfect instrument to learn for any aspiring musicians as young as 4 or 5 years, but also a instrument capable of playing some of the most difficult of our time and of course as an amazing compositional tool to create music.
Start your lessons today, don't wait, this will be something you do for the rest of you or your child's life and the more practice you have as a youngster the easier it will be as you progress to master this instrument and happily enjoy your skill of music-making!

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 currently study at Mills College in Oakland, CA for my master's in composition, and I hold a bachelor's degree 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 seven years, worked with local schools s
uch as Walnut Creek Intermediate, Meher School, Las Lomas High School, and Stanley Middle School.

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

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Blessings R. March 26, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Matthew Fisher-Keller has been teaching my 5 & 6 year old to play piano since August.
He is amazing with my children who have completely different temperaments. He is able to keep them focused, motivated, and interested which is no simple task. He approaches each lesson with passion and excitement which is infectious. He is loving and kind but never a push-over or disciplinarian. He is able to communicate with them on their level and still keep them progressing in their lesson plans. My kids actually get on the piano at random times and crank out tunes even when they don't have to practice. I am so thrilled with their growth. He is ALWAYS on time and an excellent communicator. He keeps his schedule and gives ample notification should there be any conflicts so that you can reschedule lessons. This has been an added bonus for a Mom that is juggling so many extracurricular and school activities. I am thankful for Matthew and would recommend him to ANY parent or person seeking a piano teacher.
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Matthew F.

Matthew F.

Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(1)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Tom S.

Walnut Creek, CA

I have wide experience of teaching piano especially to beginners and people wishing to return to playing the piano after a break.
I make the experience fun and enjoyable .I teach the piano using a variety of musical genres -including classical, popular music and Jazz..We have lots of fun in my lessons, but we make good, consistent progress too.

About Tom

I am a very experienced and fully certified music and instrumental teacher, with over 30 years of experience. I am a experienced performer in both playing, singing and conducting too. Making and very importantly enjoying music is my passion. I have taught brass instruments right through from beginners to pupils at music college. I also teach music theory, music history and some composition and arranging. I also play the piano.I am also a very experienced teacher of pupils with Special Education issues.Whether you want to study music seriously or just for fun , I am the teacher for you.
I promise you stimulating and enjoyable lessons, but I will also help you make good and rapid progress.
...

Reviews

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Kin Y. March 29, 2015
Euphonium · Online
Verified Student
My son is taking online Euphonium lessons with Tom. He really likes Tom. He is always looking forward to the session. Tom is an excellent teacher. He is very patient and his instruction is very clear. I highly recommend him.
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Tom S.

Tom S.

Walnut Creek, CA 94598
(1)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

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Free Piano Lessons with an Expert Teacher

Learn how to play the piano in these video tutorials from a professional piano teacher!

Have you always wanted to play the piano? We’re here to help! Get started with these 20 video tutorials hosted by San Diego, CA piano teacher Jordan M, one of our expert instructors with TakeLessons.com. In this free video series, you’ll get an introduction to the instrument and learn a few easy exercises to get you reading music and understanding rhythm!

Video #1: Intro to the Piano

Intro to the Piano: Learn about the parts of the piano and how to find the all-important Middle C.

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Piano Basics

Learn about proper posture, hand placement, and other beginner essentials.

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Reading Piano Notes

Learn about the treble and bass clefs, and tips for remembering the notes on the piano.

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Time and Key Signatures

Learn what all those sharps and flats really mean, and how to decode your music.

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Understanding Rhythm

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

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