El Cerrito Music Lessons

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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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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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Cristina E. September 25, 2015
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
John is a great teacher. My 7-yr old enjoys his classes. John is very patient and knows how to draw my son's attention back to focus. A lot of hands-on drumming even before my son knew how to read notes.
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Cristina E. September 25, 2015
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
John is a great teacher. My son enjoys his classes as much as his attenti
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John D.

John D.

Berkeley, CA 94708
(7)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
222799_410897_41274

Arrica R.

Oakland, CA

About Arrica

I was born and raised in Los Angeles but I've just recently relocated to the Bay Area. I am a Professional Musician/Songwriter/Vocalist teaching songwriting, voice, and performance technique as well as a combination thereof. I began singing at a very young age for anyone who would listen (so my parents tell me) and began taking music lessons shortly thereafter. I am now a USC graduate and have also studied music privately for over 25 years as well as at the esteemed Vocal Power Institute. I've professionally released several albums and I am grateful to have had my music featured/licensed by
Starbucks, NBC, The CW network, NikeWomen.com, and MTV. I've toured extensively playing to audiences across the country and have had the honor of sharing the stage with artists ranging from Conor Oberst, Inara George, Johnette Napolitano, Martha Wainwright, to Jackson Browne. I have experience teaching both adults and children, and enjoy teaching beginning as well as intermediate to advanced students. In addition to teaching privately, I have experience teaching children through my volunteer work with The Girls Rock Alliance, a non-profit organization that aims to teach young girls about self-confidence and self-expression through music education.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am easy-going, friendly and I believe that developing a great student/teacher rapport is the key to making the most out of the time we spend together. The curriculum I utilize is specifically designed to meet the student's individual needs. Initially we'll spend time assessing where you are and where you'd like to be. Most importantly, we'll set goals and create a lesson plan that will allow you to attain them. We'll work on basic techniques (or intermediate to advanced depending on skill level), for example - breath support, vowel placement, posture, relaxation, the fundamentals of song structure and music theory. We'll also work on the psychology of performance and eliminating any unwanted tension that may arise. We'll choose songs to work on that you'll enjoy singing, or analyze the songs you love in order to discover and/or improve upon your own songwriting abilities.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Front music studio area w/ guitars, computer with protools, keyboard, microphone, pa system, and seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide a small keyboard and/or guitar

*** Specialties ***
My main musical styles that I perform and teach are Pop, Rock, Folk, and Americana/Country. I specialize in creating a lesson plan that suits the needs of each individual student.
...

Reviews

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Evelynne L. January 7, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Connected well with my 9 year old daughter. Strong musical and teaching skills and a pleasure to work with. Run don't walk to see Arrica!
Silhouette-80
Richard M. October 1, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
First lesson very comfortable, relaxed yet structured, getting to know each others personality, musical abilities.
Take home exercises.
Looking forward to the next lesson.
Thanks Arrica
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Julie B. September 10, 2015
Music Performance · In home
Arrica has been such a wonderful teacher for my 11-year-old daughter. (She was 9 when she started with Arrica.) Our girl has a lot of raw talent but needed some good instruction that wasn't too formal. Africa is just the right blend of traditional singing technique and fun rock-n-roll, record your own music on Garage band. We love her!
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Arrica R.

Arrica R.

Oakland, CA 94611
(8)
starting at
$50 / 30-min
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Kristen K.

Berkeley, CA

About Kristen

My name is Kristen K. and I am an accomplished violinist and teacher from Lexington, Kentucky. I began my musical studies at age 7 and quickly discovered my passion and love for music. As a young musician, I attended numerous summer music festivals, participated in the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra. I was a winner of two concerto competitions, which gave me the opportunity to perform solos with the youth orchestra. I continued my studies at the University of Kentucky as a Violin Performance major and it was there that I discovered my love for teaching music! After completing my performance
degree, I decided to also pursue a Bachelor’s in Music Education. During my college career, I served as a teaching assistant in the University of Kentucky String Project, I taught group and private lessons at several local middle and high schools, and also maintained my own private violin and viola studio. I was also awarded the McCracken Scholarship Award for Excellence in Music Education. The most rewarding part of teaching has been seeing my students continually improve and reach their goals!

In addition to teaching, I also am an avid performer. I have been a member of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra for 7 years and was a member of the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. I perform as a soloist, in chamber groups, and in orchestras regularly at various events and concerts. In the past few years I have attended international chamber music festivals in Prague, Czech Republic and in Lucca, Italy. I have also had the opportunity to perform with some of the world’s most renowned musicians including Itzhak Perlman, Midori, and Gil Shaham in additional to performing in the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and in Carnegie Hall in New York City. Studying music has provided me with many wonderful opportunities to learn and to grow. It is my goal to help students really love and enjoy playing music and develop the skills that allow us to share the magic of beautiful sound. Maintaining a high level of mastery as well as continuing to learn about the art of teaching are fundamentally equal and of highest priority for me. Through teaching music, I hope to inspire students and help them reach their potential.

*** Lesson Details ***
My teaching style is relaxed and understanding of where each student is at, while always maintaining a quick pace for learning new skills and always expecting the student to put forth their best effort. I am very encouraging and positive. I work with each student and his or her parents to determine short and long term goals and try to best provide the materials, instruction and motivation to achieve those goals!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in the living room, well lit, piano, music stands

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in teaching classical music but I also teach bluegrass and fiddle. I particularly like the Suzuki Method for beginning to intermediate students, but when they become more advanced I begin to incorporate concertos and sonatas.
...

Reviews

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Keisha S. January 21, 2016
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Very inspiring
Silhouette-80
Christina B. October 22, 2015
Violin · In home
Verified Student
Kristen was fantastic! Kristen worked very well with my daughter, Christina. Christina is disabled and doesn't adjust well to everyone, but absolutely loved Kristen! Kristen met her needs in every way, was very pleasant and professional. Highly recommended!!
Silhouette-80
Rachael H. October 10, 2015
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Very good teacher !
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Kristen K.

Kristen K.

Berkeley, CA 94704
(14)
starting at
$27 / 30-min
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David W.

Berkeley, CA

About David

Hi there, and thanks for viewing my TakeLessons profile! I am excited to be a part of the team in Berkeley, CA.

I started teaching lessons while in music school for Classical Guitar in 1996. From 1998 onwards, I played with a variety of musicians from Africa and Latin America, as well the as great American traditions of gospel, funk, jazz, and bluegrass. All the while, I continued to study music theory and composition, on my own and in private lessons with both well-known players and local professionals. Flamenco and Indian Classical music have also been great interests which I am still in
volved with.

Though guitar is generally my "go-to" instrument, I often use a MIDI keyboard for composition, and studied/performed on bass for 10 years. The last few years, I have begun to develop my voice as well.

Since 2006, I have been teaching music theory and composition at Ex’pression College in Emeryville. This is a digital production environment for the arts, and my students come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are musicians/aspiring musicians, and some are primarily interested in working with technology; but all are audio enthusiasts and love music!

*** Lesson Details ***
Whether you are a complete beginner or have been playing gigs for years, are very young or old, I have something to offer you!

How we structure lessons depends in part on you and your goals, as well as your learning style. Having taught music for over 15 years, I have a large amount of resources at my disposal, and can either teach from a method book, or a variety of materials, some of which are my own creations.

I also like to use technology as a teaching aid, and can show you how to use your own computer, keyboard, or music production application (garageband, etc) to practice and create music at home. Another thing that I offer is to make recordings of key parts of the lesson, either as an audio or video file, or both. These can be shared with you through email, dropbox, or a flash drive if you bring one along to your lesson.

Please contact TakeLessons if you have any further questions! I look forward to meeting and working with you or your child.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home studio: Front room with computer station, guitars, music stand. Waiting area with couches and table, and parents can sit in on lessons. Street parking available, no pets.

College: practice rooms and classrooms available with computers and MIDI controllers.

*** Specialties ***
On guitar and bass, I have experience in world music including Africa, Latin America, and Flamenco. I also love American traditional music, including funk, jazz, rock, and gospel. I specialize in teaching music theory and composition, no matter what instrument. Rhythmic concepts applied to any instrument are a favorite topic.
...

Reviews

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Roy H. January 28, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
If I could give 4.5 stars I would, the only reason it's not 5 stars is because I think nobody is perfect, but David is very close to it. I really liked how patient David was with Eli and his deep knowledge of music was very impressive. David is able to prevent things in a number of different ways and he makes sure that you understand that material very well.
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Ian Merrill November 10, 2015
Music Theory · In studio
David is awesome! I began lessons with him because i was not satisfied with the music theory classes at the school i am enrolled in, as well as the classes did not accommodate well to my learning differences. David not only has endless knowledge of music theory but also has shown me tools and helpful methods for studying music. I highly recommend taking lessons from David if you are either a beginner or you are at a higher level and would like to expand your knowledge of music theory.
Silhouette-80
Debora Haaxman August 21, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
What a nice, enthusiastic and great instructor with the students best interest in learning to play. David is personable, easy going and wants his student to succeed. Took his time to find me (a total beginner in guitar) an excellent lesson book. His instruction motivates me and find his lessons very interesting anf fun! Can't wait to practice and look forward to my next lesson!
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David W.

David W.

Berkeley, CA 94703
(11)
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.

Berkeley, CA 94705
(1)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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