Diablo Music Lessons

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Music Lesson Reviews from Students

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Popular Music Teachers Near Diablo

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John D.

Berkeley, CA

About John

*** Lesson Details ***
My students will develop a passion for music and a desire to play!

I like to get right to the experience of actually playing music. I start with learning songs, drum beats, and chord progressions and get to technique and music reading AFTER we have had some fun.

My key to successful teaching is to create a custom curriculum for each student. Some students are interested in the details of how to do it "right", and others just want to rock. I try to adapt to different learning styles and musical goals to give each student an ideal experience.

I want student
s to learn how to play, not just how to read or do drills. We will listen to music together, and talk about the function of each instrument. For drummers, I play bass lines on the piano and we lock into a groove. For piano students, I play along with drums or percussion. It's important for students to learn how to play with others, and to listen and get inspired by what's around them.

Students will have the option to perform in a student recital where you are backed by a band of professional musicians!

***John D.'s Biography***

I was born in Amsterdam, Holland, where my father worked as an opera singer. While listening to vocal warm-up arpeggios, my mother bounced me on her knee and taught me rhythms and rhymes.

In my family we beatbox, play piano, and sing together. The family moved to the States in 1995 where my parents worked as music teachers. My Dad is a voice professor at the University of Wisconsin, and my Mom runs an amazing music program at Country View Elementary School in Verona, WI.

I played in the band program throughout high-school and had an amazing and demanding music teacher and highly talented friends. The drumset became my passion and I played, blissfully and recklessly, as often possible. Our teacher took the high school band on a concert tour of Europe in 2002 in Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy.

The band program led me to classical and contemporary music at the University of Wisconsin, where I honed my craft and discovered the profound breadth of music around the world. I paid my way through college as a member of the WI Army National Guard Band, a great wind ensemble with jazz and rock band components, and slowly built a career as a musician. I took every gig that came my way and created my own if nobody was calling. Pretty soon I became "œthe guy in, like, 8 different bands", including Funk, Rock, Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and West African bands. I've been working as a musician ever since, performing several nights per week, and teaching during the day.

I began teaching drum lessons to my friends when I was about 18 and realized I was really good at it. I began taking on private students and teaching group lessons and classes. Students of mine have achieved the highest ranks at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival in Wisconsin, and auditioned into the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra. I am on the annual faculty Wildcat Percussion Camp, was adjunct faculty at New York University, and directed the world percussion ensemble at the University of Wisconsin. I've worked as a teacher with the Madison Area School District, Wisconsin Youth Company, YMCA, Global Arts to Go, University Settlement, and in many different public schools in the New York metro area. I taught a high school class called "The Spirit of Jazz", and

I've learned how to be a real teacher, to put myself in your shoes to help you achieve your potential as a drummer, and as a musician. My teaching style is to de-mystify the art of percussion: getting great sounds out of the drums, being prepared for any style, practicing productively, and focusing your mind.

I have a Bachelor's degree in classical percussion from the University of Wisconsin, a Masters degree in Jazz Performance from NYU, and have traveled to Africa, Europe, and Latin America to perform, record, and study. I have performed with Badal Roy (Miles Davis), Chris Potter, Kenny Werner, Brad Shepik, Lenny Pickett, Chuchito Valdez, and many other great musicians. I was Adjunct Faculty at NYU'™s jazz program, and at the University of Wisconsin dance program. I've given masterclasses at Juilliard, University of Michigan, Lawrence Conservatory, and many other colleges. I played for 5 months in the Off-Broadway show "Fun Home", and toured and gigged with a wide variety of bands.

I've recorded on nearly 20 albums and have been involved in many other projects. Ask me anything you want in our music lessons!
...

Reviews

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Nicole B. May 31, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
John's great. Patient, encouraging, and very good at teaching new skills and correcting bad habits.
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Kameron February 23, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Very impressed with his teaching methods and my son feels very comfortable with John.
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Eva L. September 25, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Our son enjoys working with John. He is very patient with young kids. I am amazed at what he's learned in a year!
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John D.

John D.

Berkeley, CA 94708
(9)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
208247_232343_22069

Steven B.

Alameda, CA

About Steven

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

About Me: San Francisco Bay area pianist/guitarist/bassist; I've been playing music for over 50 years. I'm classically trained with a solid foundation and knowledge of music theory, and have 35 years experience teaching, recording and performing. I have done session work and/or performed with members of Journey, Santana, Jackson Browne, Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers and Greg Allm
an to name a few. Let me take my education and experience and pass them on to you!

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

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

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

>>> FYI: I'm happy to come to your home if traveling to my studio in Alameda isn't convenient for you, and I cover most of the East Bay, including Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Orinda, Lafayette, Walnut Creek and (of course) my own lovely town of Alameda. As much as I love our "City by the Bay", traveling to San Francisco, Marin, or the Peninsula just isn't cost or time effective for me; I apologize to you fine folks and potential students of the West Bay!
...

Reviews

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Billy May 17, 2016
Piano · In studio
wow amazing!
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Tim M. February 22, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Great teacher and great time taking the lessons! I wish we could take more lessons with him but we've recently moved out of the area. Thanks for everything Steven!
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Noor A. October 18, 2015
Classical Piano · In home
Verified Student
I was, initially, unsure whether I had made the right decision in using TakeLessons to revive my piano-playing skills, but after meeting Steven, I have no doubts that it was one of the best decisions I have yet to make.

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

Steven B.

Alameda, CA 94501
(16)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
213893_265082_29530

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

Silhouette-80
Michael P. July 6, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Mark was an excellent teacher, made me very comfortable. We talk about music and set some goal,he keeps a chart to know what his teaching each student and he write it all out on paper and he writes that you can understand his writing .so very happy. Mike
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Scott June 8, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · In home
Verified Student
First lesson. Mark really dialed in my skill level and completely exceeded my expectations in terms of material, lesson plan, genre etc. Even got to play one of his ridiculously sweet tele's.
Silhouette-80
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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Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(14)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
200079_182608_1248640292

Frank R.

Concord, CA

About Frank

Frank is passionate about sharing the natural method of singing with students of all ages.

Frank teaches students at all stages of development, beginning through advanced.

Frank received a Bachelor of Music in Voice performance from Indiana University, and is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique (Posture Awareness in Action).

He has taught vocal music at Elementary, Intermediate, High School and College levels.

His students have won college scholarships and music awards.

Frank has performed leading roles in Broadway shows, Light Opera and Opera.



His experience as a vocal musical specialist in schools has helped to shape of method of instruction that is fun, easy and yields amazing results.

*** Lesson Details ***
Frank's lessons are focused on achieving the students goals.

Students choose songs meaningful to them along with songs the teacher recommends to broaden their muscial appreciation and vocal skill. Styles of music include: folk, show, pop, classical.

Interpretation and acting skills are developed.

Students learn the language of music (rhythm, pitch, symbols ) through games and activities.

Students will find their voices getting stronger and more beautiful through increased awareness of posture, diaphragmatic breathing, and vitality of jaw movement. This creates a wonderful sensation of freedom and relaxation. In 3-6 months time the student will experience an increase in range, beauty and power. I can guarantee your most beautiful and powerful voice with perfect high notes in 3-5 years of regular lessons.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano and Keyboard

*** Specialties ***
All styles of music except woman's chest voice (belting).
very strong with children's voice training and classical ,especially
opera. Natural method of singing using awareness of posture.
...

Reviews

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Katherine June 23, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
My daughter is thrilled and looking forward to more lessons with Frank
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Elaine M. June 13, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
I went in never having had a voice lesson. He took me through the basics in a wonderfully welcoming and creative way. I know I will be much the better singer after his classes!
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Jessa M. December 8, 2014
Broadway Singing · In studio
Verified Student
It was a great joy learning from Frank for the several weeks I had him as instructor. He has his own little studio at home, with his piano, so you can enjoy and be comfortable singing out loud without other disruptions. His method is very simple and effective. It's all about energy, posture, and jaw movement! I definitely saw a change in my singing after only two lessons of learning from Frank.

He is also friendly, smiling, and courteous! He'll start you with warm-ups and then end with songs/pieces to practically implement the movements you've learned during warm-ups. Try a lesson with Frank! You'll not regret it!
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Frank R.

Frank R.

Concord, CA 94518
(6)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
Profile_57666_pi_10357467_10152425996304871_5247723193626659742_n

Honor L.

Oakland, CA

About Honor

I am a recent graduate of Mills College in Oakland with a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Religious Studies. I am currently pursuing a Music MFA in Performance and Literature at Mills College with a specialization in Improvisation.
I have taught beginner violin lessons to students of all ages, including preschoolers! I like to make learning fun and rewarding for kids and adults alike. I do my best to bring my passion for the subject into the lesson in order to pass it on!
I am a 23 year old woman and have experience teaching (on and off) since 2006. I look forward to learning with y
ou!
...

Reviews

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Marilee & Emilio N. July 29, 2016
Violin · In home
Verified Student
Honor is awesome. Out of the blue, my 8 year old son asked for violin lessons. I have never been very musical so I wasn't sure where to start. I looked at a few programs in my area but it nothing seemed like the right fit for us. I wanted someone who could nurture my son's new found love of the violin but not overwhelm him. I was getting a bit discouraged when I found Honor's profile on TakeLessons; she was the exact person I was looking for. In fact, I signed myself up for lessons too - you are never to old to learn something new. Our lessons have been great. My son is so much more comfortable having them at home. They are fun and challenging. My son is so excited I never have to remind him to practice - we love practicing together. We look forward to seeing Honor every week.
Silhouette-80
Kim K. July 28, 2016
Violin · In home
Verified Student
My 8 year old daughter asked us for violin lessons over a year ago. I found a teacher at a local music school who was lovely but whose personality didn't mesh well with my daughter's. After poking around online to find another teacher, I came across TakeLessons and Honor. I cannot be more thrilled to have her as my daughter's teacher. She is calm, patient, professional, and kind to all of us (including our dogs!). My daughter has blossomed under her teaching style, and discovered new types of music and ways of using musical instruments. Honor doesn't just teach notes and strings and songs, but imparts her love of music and musicality to her students. It's been a fantastic transformation in our daughter. I am so grateful that I found Honor when I did and was able to continue encouraging our daughter's love of the violin.

One of the things I really appreciate about Honor is how communicative she is, and how willing she is to answer questions. She's very clear with her families about her schedule, while providing as much flexibility as she can to ensure everyone's needs are addressed.

Honor is fabulous! Our younger daughter is anxiously awaiting her chance to be old enough to also get her lessons with Honor, and I will happily sign her up when the times comes.
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Wendy B. Fischer July 26, 2016
Violin · In home
Verified Student
Honor is a great violin teacher but needs to learn how to mature as an adult and a professional if she wishes to continue teaching violin lessons. Just because there's some upheaval in a family's life doesn't mean it's the teacher's call to drop a talented student that looks forward to the teacher's visits. It's the parents and the teacher's together. Parents should have a clear understanding why the child is being dropped so they don't make the same mistakes with the next teacher. It's one thing to have 3 strikes and you are out; it's another to drop a child at the last minute without a clear reason thereof, particularly if the child really likes the teacher, is good at playing, and looks forward to the teacher's visits.

If a teacher is dropping a student, then let the parents know exactly why. Don't leave the parents and the child without closure, particularly the chid. Get a plan in place so the parents and student are left looking at the last moment to find another teacher that fits the child's personality and style of playing. Honor is fairly flexible with scheduling and will come to your home, or teach classes at Mills College.

The one thing I did find with Honor was she was inconsistent with her scheduling, often canceling at the last moment due to classes and performances for her graduate degree. I respect that. Graduate school should come first at this point in her life, but it got to be too much several weeks in a row. Her scheduling is flexible which is great, but she will charge you if you cancel a lesson that is less than 24 hours. The parents cannot do the same.

If she is teaching violin lessons, that is her profession. She needs to learn how to balance personal life with work life better, communicate clearly with parents and students, and set personal boundaries with parents and students.

I appreciate the year with Honor. She is a great violin teacher, and has a good repertoire with the kids.She is good for beginner and mid level children and adult students. My daughter and I both learned a lot, and I'm sad with her decision to part ways. I respect her decision, but am completely unsure why she dropped us. I'm guessing it was us the parent and not the child.

Lesson learned, keep a brick wall between the teacher and the family. Don't let people in, particularly in times when consistency and compassion are needed. And really Honor, all it takes is for a 45 year old thyroid patient getting her thyroid out to finally cry at her doctor 'My endocrine system is talking to me, make it stop' and for him to give her one pill, a beta blocker, which sets that all aside. Unfortunately I'm still ticked off at the doctor for finally telling me I'm in the thyroid hallucination phase and not telling me far earlier, like 16 weeks ago. But he's not on takelessons.com and I still need him. As much of an idiot as he is, he's a great doctor. It did cost us the relationship with the violin teacher, however.

Wendy
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Honor L.

Honor L.

Oakland, CA 94609
(12)
starting at
$34.43 / 30-min

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