Detroit Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers Near Detroit

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Randy L.

Franklin, MI

My whole method book starts and ends with listening and ear training and rhythmic work and playing. In the end, if you really are serious, you need to know ALL the nuts and bolts.
Music theory is essential if you want to take it to a high level. But it's not hard.

Why? You see, when you were a kid, you talked before you could read and write, correct? So we learn the fun stuff, listening and playing first and then you easily grasp the theory of music. And we make sure you get it all so you are a well-rounded pro.

Oh, and you will have had so much fun that you will actually still be studying music instead of having quit because you were bombarded with paper at too young an age!

The English language has 26 letters. Music has 5 lines and 4 spaces. Piece of cake!

About Randy

RANDY L.
Teacher / Musician / Producer

Do you wish you or your child could just sit down and play the music you hear?
Are you an adult who always wished you could play or sing?

Is fear or uncertainty stopping you from playing in front of others?
Have you written some great song lyrics and just need help with the music?

SONGLab is a professional studio and a teacher/producer passionate about helping singers, keyboardists, songwriters, kids & adults; anyone who has just always wanted to play...

We use music to help you find your own voice.
When you find your voice, the rest of
you is not far behind.
Study here in town or anywhere in the world with lessons online.

Children don't learn to read before they can talk. So why should anyone have to try to read before they can play?

That is how music has been taught for many years, and why a huge percentage of students just quit or have a miserable time with piano lessons. Music should be fun. Period.

We help people to overcome any fears they may have about playing. Many people are afraid to express themselves because of negative comments from a family member or friend. We help you move far past that and get to your own voice, free of worries.

It has been said that playing only from sheet music is like only being able to talk when you are reading it from a book.

We help people to play by ear.
It has been said that to play music only from a written sheet is like only being able to talk when you are reading from a book.

Yes, learning to read music brings you wonderful music from some great composers. But there is so much more.

First, we find out how you learn and what you are interested in. Life is different when you get in touch with the music inside you. Sure, it is some work, but it is very satisfying!
I love to help people do this!

Everybody loves music. How will you find yours? It’s different for everyone.
Maybe you want to sing like that great pop singer you love, or play keyboard. Some people write songs. In all cases, the keyboard helps you to understand all about music.

SONGWRITERS:
If you write songs, just bring in an idea and we will record it. We set a tempo and a key, and get your basic groove looped, all in about two minutes. Then we lay down the chords and a bass part and you sing a reference vocal. You can easily lay out a song in a one-hour session. Then it is easy to see how to produce it. It is amazing to go home with a recording of your song that did not exist in the world until you gave it a voice!

Along the way, you become a better writer, singer and/or keyboard player. You will learn to play by ear. And have a LOT of fun. You can do this online too.

ONLINE SESSIONS
You create a rough sketch and we track it, with your input.
We can help you to set up your own songwriter studio as well. If you get Logic software at your end, you can put on phones and cut a vocal with me producing you.

Did you ever have musical ideas, write them down, figure you had songs inside you?
Well let’s go find them!

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:
“...an amazing instructor...inspiring mentor...compassionate.”
“...a lot of patience.”
“My son's love for music has come from Randy.”
“...positive attitude and friendly personality.”
“...wildly entertaining.”
“ ...will teach you in a way that will make you want to learn.”
“We look forward to our lesson every week!”

"Randy, I like your "Semper Method of Music” teaching method.
It's applying knowledge with fun, and common sense... the best combination. Good luck. You’re a great musician."
Joe Messina,
Motown recording guitarist & Funk Brother

SONGLab
Your music. Instantly.
We use recording as a powerful tool to help you listen and improve.
Tired of crappy tabs? Struggling to capture your song? No worries.
Learn a process, instead of a lesson. Apply it anywhere.

Go from musical idea to music, fast.
Get to the groove in 2 minutes or less. In any software.

SONGLab Studio. The antidote to rote.

SCHEDULING:
Please note: If the particular time you had in mind is listed as unavailable, don’t worry. Between my two locations, I am very flexible and will work hard to make our schedules click.

SPECIAL NEEDS?
Everyone's needs are special. If your child has been diagnosed ADHD or as a "Sensory kid", music can be a joyful and rewarding way to see real growth and make a wonderful experience for parent and child. We help with the Proprioceptive and Vestibular senses in a fun and therapeutic way.

Just Google "BrainVolts" for a tremendous study from Northwestern University on the amazing effects of music study!

Playing by Ear
Pretty much everyone can play by ear. So we help you to find your own voice, reach your musical goals and to create and perform music as a real and beautiful part of your life.

Making music should not be a boring job. Rather, it should be something you can't wait to do. A way to get in touch with the rest of the universe. You will also learn to read and write, but it won't get in the way of your music.

Since a very young age I have loved to improvise and to create music. It is very satisfying to pass this on to others who are full of music inside but may not know how to get it out. If you wish that you or your child could get some help creating your own music as well as playing the great music already written, perhaps we should be talking.

I am from Canada, and I have been a professional musician since 1970. I studied music performance in school, piano with the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and Music Education at Queens University. I have toured with national acts, produced dozens of recordings of all kinds and played, arranged and conducted music on cruise ships all over the world.

Music is my life. Bringing other people's skills to a higher level is what I do best.

Tell me what you want to accomplish, either for yourself or your child. I look forward to speaking with you.
Warm regards,
Randy

PS:
A note about allergens:
I teach at my home and at my studio. At home we have a very friendly dog and a cat (Julian) who sleeps all day. If you have allergies, we will study at my Troy studio which is allergen-free. Unless you love animals. In that case, you will get to meet Vinnie, the most kid-friendly, loves-everybody, most gentle little guy you will ever meet. I put his picture up so you can see him.

Teaching teachers
Several excellent teachers I know who have been teaching music for many years were frustrated by not being able to play without a sheet of music. They have found satisfying and positive results from this approach.

Wouldn't it be great to be gifted? In fact... It turns out that choices lead to habits.
Habits become talents. Talents are labeled gifts.
You're not born this way, you get this way.
~ Seth Godin

*** Lesson Details ***
Children don't learn to read before they can talk. So why should anyone have to try to read before they can play?

That is how music has been taught for many years, and why a huge percentage of students just quit or have a miserable time with piano lessons. Music should be fun. Period.

My only real job is to make sure you have fun and want to learn more. Then you will do the rest. you will astonish yourself and everyone around you!

In a traditional music education, reading the works of others is the focus, with no encouragement to improvise or to play by ear.

Bach used to improvise all the time. Why shouldn't you?

In our community, there is a prestigious, private college prep school that charges just under $80 per hour for traditional private music lessons. If you take away the music, most cannot play a note.

My method is every bit the equal of that school for those who are drawn to express themselves playing by ear. You will still learn all the core skills needed to be a well-rounded musician.

Music study helps people young and old to overcome shyness and build confidence. It empowers them as they refine their special talents.

We will always have a lot of fun, but there is a lot to do, so we need to be efficient. My teaching method is a combination of the best methods I have found. It is backed up with the same solid principles that I received when I was a student myself. If you choose to continue and pursue a classical education at a high level, you will be well-prepared.

Please note:
You are most welcome to start with 30 minute sessions to see if we are a good fit. 30 min lessons are offered for this purpose and also for very young children with short attention spans. For any student, wishing to make progress, lessons will eventually need to be 45 minutes at minimum in order to reach your goals.

Though you'll receive serious critiques from me, I always uplift and encourage. Positive energy is the ticket.

My Method: Listen, Sing, Clap, Play, Read and Write. With these tools you can look deeper into the elements that make up music. Folk, jazz, pop, rock or classical; all Western music is derived from the same principles. We will study ear training from a wonderful ear training book by a famous guitarist. It'™s simple: you learn all the theory so you will be at the top of your game, but always have fun doing it. For notation, we will use The Semper Note Speller. For scales, we have the famous Brown Scale Book.

Technology
We use recording as a tool to help you hear how you sound and we always encourage you to express yourself with improvisation. In many cases, you will have tracks to practice with. We also use apps for your phone that really help. A guitar tuner to nail down vocal pitch, as well as a metronome app that is with you wherever you go. If you have a minute anywhere you can get in some good practice time. So we truly have the best of all worlds: playing from music and learning to play by ear! If you stick with it and do the work, the end result will be that you can always just sit down and play, whether or not you have any music in front of you!

On our first lesson we will do a duet jam session together and you will not believe how great you sound!

The Big Picture
Although a percentage of students may become a concert pianist, there are a multitude of other ways to become involved with music. Whether you are looking at music as a profession or as a hobby, we let parents know of the many choices available so that they can make good decisions, for themselves and for their children.

Having fun as you improve is a big priority. I also teach songwriting, singing, music recording and performance, as well as piano.

Remember:
A piano should be an irresistible invitation, not an obstacle.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Troy studio: A digital keyboard in a professional recording control-room environment at our media production studio. The studio is near Big Beaver and Stephenson Hwy.

Home studio: An acoustic piano and recording studio environment at my home in Franklin/Beverly Hills.

Your Instrument
If you are taking any kind of music lesson, we recommend a tuned piano or digital keyboard, preferably with at least 76 full-sized keys.

We have helped many people to find the right piano.
If you like, I can suggest several different models of keyboard that I have researched and of which I approve. They range from an inexpensive but effective starter keyboard for ear training and just plain fun to an 88 note weighted keyboard for more expressive practice.

*** Specialties ***
I teach people of all ages first to play by ear and to have fun while they study. Then I back up ear training with solid theory so they can read and write music. In school I studied many traditional methods and I have distilled my own distinct method from them. Though I am classically trained, I specialize in improvisation.
...

Reviews

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Lou M. November 23, 2016
Piano · In studio
I've loved and played music (accordion and piano) my entire life, but have always been a very technical player. Learn the notes, measure by measure, play the song. Randy has taught me how to actually "play" and "understand" music in a way I never have before. He teaches the fundamentals, but in a way that is inspiring and fun. I wish I would have met Randy years ago. I might have been a musician instead of a sales guy!
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Erin C. November 17, 2016
Singing · In studio
I have always loved to sing but other than some choir classes in middle and high school, I never had any formal training. I always said "someday I would love to take singing lessons". Last May, my husband bought me singing lessons with Randy as a Mother's Day gift. It's November and I am still doing it. I briefly looked over the other reviews and would absolutely agree with all the other comments about Randy's patience, humor and flexibility. He is very understanding about my limited time to practice outside of lessons and has a great balance of knowing when to push a little more and when to let me find my own way. Ultimately, though, I keep going because even though I may come into a session with the weight of the world on my shoulders, I always leave feeling lighter. And that has been a true gift for me both from my husband and from Randy.
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Bill November 17, 2016
Singing · Online
Singing
I was tasked with singing in a community theater production; I had never sung before any audience, nor had I ever received any musical training. I sought Randy's help. In our first lesson he gave me half of what I needed -- confidence. In subsequent lessons he taught me some theory, blues form, how to sing with accompaniment, and how to believe in myself as a singer. His congenial, helpful, FUN approach to teaching is delightful. I would recommend him highly.
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Randy L.

Randy L.

Franklin, MI 48025
(53)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
Profile_98043_pi_Vasilis

Bill G.

Troy, MI

This is great for all students of guitar and music in general. It helps the student understand the mechanics of the instrument; and how music in general works and blends those sounds we love.
I highly recommend at least a basic idea of music theory for all students.

About Bill

Guitarist/Songwriter Bill G. is a versatile and experienced instructor, who's been playing and teaching guitar for over 20 years, and is fluent in everything from finger style Classical/Flamenco and Folk guitar, to Jazz, all Rock(from classic to modern Alternative/Indie), and various World music styles.
From first lesson beginners to highly advanced students; and from simple songs to elaborate music theory, improvisation, and songwriting development; all are welcome to sign up with this patient, and highly recommended teacher.
Starting guitar lessons at a very young age; Bill went on to w
in many regional, national, and international awards through out his formative years as a student. Writing and recording in several different styles over the years; and also being a vocalist and songwriter; he founded Indie Fusion trio The Static Dial in 2010 as it's leader. The band has worked with several national and international touring bands, has been featured on indie and major radio from their hometown in Detroit to the UK, and has released an EP, two singled, and a full length album.
Feel free to message with any questions about potential lessons; we'd love to hear from you!.

*** Lesson Details ***
As an instructor, I start students with the basics (open chords, major/minor, and blues scales, rhythm/timing, and beginner technique), and like to get at least a basic ability to sight read (music notation).

For younger students, I get them started on a beginner book for sight reading music and simple/basic songs to start with and build up their ability.

If a student is a little more capable, we start on a more modern/popular song they like. For my more advanced students, we get into music theory (cycle of fifths, harmony, chord language, etc.) and with some students we study specific genres.

My approach is one of building up a student's self confidence, and ultimately making learning fun. I take teaching seriously and value my student's time; so I work to get the most out of them, and to make their lessons worth while. All ages and levels are welcome!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Studio space in Helen's of Troy. Office is furnished with seating, music stand, and amplifier.
Student must have their own instrument and pick.

*** Specialties ***
I'm a singer/songwriter as well as a guitar player/instructor, so the construction and arranging of a song; from the music to the lyrics; are very much within my experience and teaching.
...

Reviews

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Kenneth October 11, 2016
Bass Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I bought a bass guitar about two years ago, and now that I'm taking lessons, I can finally put it to use! Bill has been an wonderful instructor so far, and each lesson we work on what I want to improve on or learn about. He's very knowledgeable, talented, and all round fun to work with. I'd recommend him to anyone interested in playing bass!
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Alyson C. October 11, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
As a newbie to guitar with little musical background experience, Bill's instruction and encouragement is motivating to my pursuit of mastering this instrument! His patient and professional approach put me at ease as well as his ability to adjust or modify lessons based on whatever my current skill level. As an instructor Bill has a vast repertoire of technique and versatility of style and skill. His passion for his craft is evident in the energy he brings to the table as a legit artist/musician. Thanks for sharing your talent!
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Carissa June 10, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
He is pretty good at teaching and has great ideas to help me improve my skills quickly.

He also worked with me and was able to teach me a song he never heard before after just listening to it once
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Bill G.

Bill G.

Troy, MI 48083
(27)
starting at
$23 / 30-min
Profile_78189_pi_Nic-C

Nicholas C.

Garden City, MI

Having complete the full course of undergraduate music theory, I have a firm handle on both classical theory as well as jazz theory and harmony, and can both help students prepare for tests, as well as teach them how to apply that theory to enhance the music that they play in their everyday lives.

About Nicholas

Detroit native, Nicholas C. K., demonstrated an innate musical talent from a young age. His command of piano, guitar, trumpet and bass progressed to studies at both Columbia University in Chicago and Wayne State University in Detroit. Since age 16 Nic has toured the country sharing the stage with acclaimed rock acts such as; Tesla, Bret Michaels, 3 Doors Down and many others. He is currently endorsed by Warwick Basses.

Nicholas been a musician in some form or another for as long as he can remember. His musical journey started when he was only six, with a delve into the realm of classical pi
ano. While there he studied under world class child prodigy Josh Cullen. The composers that he studied include Bach, Beethoven, Barton, Hayden and many others.

From here he progressed to playing jazz trumpet, studying the Jamey Aebersold method under Paul Finkbeiner, the lead trumpet player for the Paul Keller Ensemble.

Then at the age of 11, with the help of his grandfather he discovered the guitar. He learned quickly on his old SR guitar. He quickly discovered that he had a natural taste for blues phrasing, and his soloing abilities quickly blossomed. 2 years later, he had formed his first band, Spherical. It was through this band that he found the bass.

His journey into the realm of bass, began out of necessity and progressed into love of the bottom end. Since then, he has been collecting basses, playing, living and breathing bass. He now realizes the importance of a funky beat, a subtle line and most important of all A Tight Groove!!!

The benefit of studying under someone with a vast array of both talent and experience is clear.

*** Lesson Details ***
During his musical career Nicholas has played almost every style of music; from folk to experimental from jazz to rock. One thread holds true through all music, it has to groove.
During the course of a lesson he will cover a broad range of topics starting from the basics, and moving into ear training, sight-reading, theoretical knowledge and most important for bass players, groove. Just as every player has their own musical personality and voice, so to does every lesson that Nicholas gives.
In a supportive, patient environment, every lesson is custom tailored to the student.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home: lessons in dedicated music room with piano and stereo, guitars/basses, cables/amps

*** Specialties ***
Jazz Studies major at Wayne State University. Has a firm understanding of music across both the classical and jazz idioms spanning multiple instruments.
...

Reviews

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Nate C. August 11, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Nic has been so helpful helping my son get ready for his Jazz band this fall - working with him on all the new jazz chords he needs to learn, timing and even finding the right chords on YouTube and slowing them down so he can learn them more easily.
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Kevin C. May 24, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Nicholas is very well educated and a extremely patient teacher. I'm very excited to continue learning piano with him.
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DAR M. October 12, 2015
Bass Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE. ...AND PATIENT....look forward to all my remaining lessons with Nick
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Nicholas C.

Nicholas C.

Royal Oak, MI 48073
(15)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
Profile_75519_pi_2015-06-21%2019.26.25

Cheryl M.

Detroit, MI

With over several decades of theory knowledge from early beginners to junior college level, I start at any level and move from the known to the unknown. I make sure that the basics are covered before moving on to greater challenges.

About Cheryl

I have worked for over 30 years as a professional
accompanist and musician in the greater metropolitan Detroit area. I have earned several degrees,
which include a Bachelor of Music Performance in Organ and a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and
Music both from Wayne State University. My studies included wonderful instructors. I have studied
extensively with Albert Fillmore for ten years, Mischa Kottler for four years and Robert Conway for
five years. The last two instructors were from Wayne State and also played with the Detroit Symphony
Orchestra. I have studied organ with Ray Ferguson
who played with DSO as well and I have studied
voice with Marjorie Gordon, coloratura soprano.
With over 30 years of experience as professional musician, I am confident that I possess the
qualifications needed to make a difference and an impact in the lives of people.
Most of my career tenure has been with the Detroit Public Schools. I have worked at various
levels in Pre-K – 12 schools but the longest has been twelve years at Cody High School. I have
enjoyed coaching the students and working with the music staff at the Cody Complex. These students
are very talented and eager to express their creativity and musical ability. I am a seasoned musician
with sight reading, transposing and improvisational skills. I used these skills to work with children
and young adults in small groups, larger groups and individual coaching in preparation for festivals
competitions and auditions.
I would like to continue providing this service to the young people within the Greater Metro
Detroit Area. Music is an important part of youth development in math and English. It also helps to
produce character and leaderships skills of discipline, teamwork, commitment and pride. I've also done the same for my private piano students, in studio as well as in a corporate setting.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am a diligent instructor that possesses intuitive goals, almost from the first few lessons! I am always encouraging, and give modest yet helpful criticism. I insist on teaching and developing the fundamentals in private study, ie, standard concepts and music theory. In three months time, the student will know whether we are a good fit, whether or not they like my instruction, and discover their unique abilities as a result of my facilitation!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect the student to have an acoustic piano, or a full-sized weighted keyboard, if not full-sized, then a keyboard consisting of 76 working keys!

*** Specialties ***
I am a classically trained musician. I am also a church musician. My other styles do include pop, jazz, oldies, gospel and contemporary christian music. I start with the basics before moving to any other styles of music.
...

Reviews

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Kalen M. January 15, 2016
Singing · In home
Verified Student
Excellent teacher Highly recommended ;)
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Shirley A. August 11, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
She was punctual, helpful, encouraging and very passionate. I will take another class once my schedule lighten up. I will recommend her to anyone looking for vocal instructor.
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Aaron August 10, 2015
Music Performance · In studio
Cheryl came by our Church Music Ministry in Detroit, and demonstrated her great music skills, dexterity, singing excellence, and versatility on both Organ and Piano. Her many years of experience make her an outstanding choice for professional music training. Her congeniality warmed the hearts of our Choir members and others she encountered.
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Cheryl M.

Cheryl M.

Detroit, MI 48211
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Chenyu Z.

Madison Heights, MI

I have been a musician for almost 20 years--my main instruments are piano and violin. I always incorporate music theory into my music lessons because it's the foundation and "grammar" to understanding music language. However I can also tutor you in music theory by itself without teaching an instrument.

About Chenyu

Hi there! Thanks for visiting my profile :)

During May 2016, nine of the children I teach performed in a recital at Evola Music Center. Parents and families really enjoyed this event so I will host another recital January 2017 at the Piano Place in Troy.

I have a Master's degree in Social Work and love building relationships with clients and empowering people. I currently still take piano & drum lessons from accomplished music teachers to continue learning techniques to pass on to my students...I believe a great teacher never stops being a student.

**I no longer travel to students' h
omes for lessons, so please choose the option to take lessons at my apartment/studio. Thanks!**

I look forward to hearing from you,
Chenyu
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Anish G. October 8, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Chenyu was an amazing instructor
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Mo September 19, 2016
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
She is great!
Silhouette-80
Caleb C. September 17, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Great start. Very patient
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Chenyu Z.

Chenyu Z.

Madison Heights, MI 48071
(13)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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

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