El Cerrito Piano Lessons

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Popular Piano Teachers near El Cerrito

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About Steven B.

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Alameda, CA

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I began classical piano instruction in 1960 and took private lessons for ten years before branching out into all the other styles of music. I have taught, recorded and performed professionally since 1978, and will show you proper hand and finger technique, music theory, how to read notation and chord charts/symbols, and equally as important teach you how to play by ear. I teach all ages, all styles and all levels of piano, and will teach you how to have fun with it all along the way!

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 over 40 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
Allman to name a few, and am currently teaching piano, theory and bass to Mike Dirnt, the bassist for Green Day. 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!
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Reviews
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Billy May 17, 2016
· Piano · In studio
wow amazing!
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Tim M. February 22, 2016
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
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
Verified Student · Classical Piano · In home
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

About Kathryn G.

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San Francisco, CA

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About Kathryn
From the moment Kat was tall enough to reach the keys she made so much noise on her family's piano that they eventually bought a kid-sized version to keep in her room. When Kat turned 7 her family got her the best present ever; lessons with an amazing piano teacher.

Kat also began to study flute several years later and soon realized that music was the life for her. She majored in music in both high school and college graduating with a BA in Music from St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin.

Kat has a very diverse career in music. From a full time private music teacher to the Musi
cal Director of a Burning Man Opera, to the Section Leader for a Youth Orchestra, to the keyboard player in a Theatrical Heavy Metal Band, Kat is always thrilled to stretch her wings and try new things.

*** Lesson Details ***

I teach Tuesdays and Wednesdays in San Francisco, and the rest of the week in the Santa Cruz area!

PLEASE NOTE - because I commute into SF to teach I do not offer in-home lessons. I teach at a lovely studio in the inner sunset!

I have a ridiculous sense of humor. I believe in stickers, high fives, and celebratory fist-bumps. And yes, that goes for the adults as well.

I always looked forward to my lessons because they were so fun, even if I knew I hadn't practiced enough. That is exactly what I try to create for every student I work with.

Besides the humor, I customize lesson plans to fit you. Not just the types of music you want to learn, but HOW you learn. My number one goal is that you completely understand what you are learning. I don't mind in the least if I need to explain a new lesson 10 different ways-€“ we will work together until you really get it! Understanding what you're doing makes it so much more fun.

Have a favorite song stuck in your head, but the sheet music is still too hard? No problem. I'm happy to write the song out for you at your own level. I want you to enjoy yourself, and if that means Lady GaGa then I'm happy to oblige. I will probably stick Mozart in when you're not looking just to make sure you're learning a lot of different things, but that's what teachers are for.

Of course we cover fundamentals and start with the basics. I typically incorporate music theory and ear training with your lessons as well . In 6 months on piano, with regular practice, you will be comfortably reading music and playing songs you enjoy with both hands AT THE SAME TIME! (Gasp!) On flute in 6 months you will also be able to read music comfortably, will no longer feel like you are about to drop the flute at any given moment, will have a solid range of notes and have a solid feeling of control while you play.

I look forward to sharing music with you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
piano, seating for parents

*** Specialties ***
My number one goal is comprehension -to make sure that all of my students really understand what they are doing. I work very hard to ensure an atmosphere where all of my students - no matter their age - can feel comfortable to say "I don't understand".
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Reviews
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Andrea February 9, 2017
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
My first lesson with Kathryn was fantastic. As an adult student, I was a bit embarrassed by knowing absolutely nothing about piano, and Kathryn would have none of it! She was wonderfully disarming, positive, and really knew how to structure the lesson so that I'd walk out motivated. I'm thrilled to continue lessons with her on the piano.
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Mia January 23, 2017
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
Doing great so far!
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Padraig (. December 7, 2016
Verified Student · Flute · In studio
She was a very patient, knowledgeable & encouraging teacher. I would highly recommend her.
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Kathryn G.

Kathryn G.

San Francisco, CA 94122
(33)
starting at
$31 / 30-min

About Donna D.

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Corte Madera, CA

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I take students of any age, starting with age 8, who are just beginning with their musical journey, or who are returning to the piano after many years. I teach the basics, including basic rhythms, notation, scales, arpeggios, chords, etc. as well as learning pieces. I am interested in the musical styles of the various periods of music history, and keyboard literature from the Baroque to the 21st century. I structure lessons to suit the needs and desires of each student.

About Donna
I love to sing, and I have a passion for teaching students to sing well. I have sung in choruses all my life, and have been inspired by fine conductors and great composers. I am certain that music enlivens my life like nothing else, and it can do that for everyone. Whether you sing in the shower, or in the choir, or with a few friends, or in an opera, you can find your song.

Learning to play the piano, from the very beginning, or picking up where you left off in the past, will bring a spark to your life. Whether you want to play for yourself or some friends, or want to get on track to becom
ing a concert pianist, music will enrich your life.

My students develop an appreciation for music of the Renaissance up through the 21st century. They are willing to delve into exciting territory while learning to read music, establishing confidence in their own musicianship. They discover the music within themselves, while learning the technique necessary to be the best musicians they can be.

I enjoy teaching high school, middle school, and elementary students as well as adults. I Love teaching beginners. I am trained in vocal pedagogy, music theory, music history, repertoire, performance practice and methods.

My formal education:
B.A., UC, Berkeley (Phi Beta Kappa)
M.A., Occidental College
M.S. Pepperdine University
Lifetime General Secondary Teaching Credential

Teachers and mentors:
Howard Swan, Mary Jones, Edward Lawton, Robert Commanday, Roger Wagner, Linda Anderson, Boyd Jarrell, Paul Smith.

In the last twenty years, I have enjoyed being a participant in music at the College of Marin, through choral, vocal, opera and piano classes. I currently serve as volunteer assistant to the Director of Choral Activities.

I am particularly proud of my experience as instructional aide and coach for music students with disabilities at the College of Marin, including students with developmental disabilities and autism.

Past classroom experience:
Long Beach Unified School District, Choral Music Teacher
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Choral Music Teacher
Low Heywood School and King School (prep schools), Stamford, CT, Choral Music Teacher

*** Lesson Details ***
Voice students can expect to learn how to produce tone beautifully, using correct posture and breathing, and proper vowel production, rhythmic precision, pitch accuracy, carefully formed phrases, and musical and stylistic interpretation. But beyond technique is the amazing art of communicating with other people the wonders of the music. You should expect to make good progress in all of these areas in just a few weeks. I hope you will come with serious interest in developing your beautiful voice.

Repertoire might include folk songs, art songs and arias from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries. Songs might be in English, or possibly in Italian, Latin, German or French, if you interested. We would sit down together and decide what dreams and goals you have, and then choose music to get you going down the path to those dreams and goals.

You can expect to have learned several new songs, and to have brought them to performance level in the first 3-6 months. If you have a goal to learn music for an audition, contest or festival, that can happen.

Piano students can expect to learn everything about the keyboard, posture, proper use right and left hands, scales, chords, arpeggios, and fun exercises leading to good technique, rhythmic accuracy, speed and fluency. Playing beautifully, with artfulness and expressiveness will be priorities.

Repertoire might include beginning to intermediate compositions from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries. We would sit down together and decide what pieces to choose which would help you get on a path to your musical dreams and goals, and what would be appropriate for your age and development as a musician.

You can expect to be playing pieces with 2 hands within a few weeks, and perhaps a melody with chords, if you are a beginner. Degree of difficulty will depend upon your age, experience and development, but even very simple songs can be played musically, with grace.

Of utmost importance to me is that every student learn to read music, and develop an understanding of music fundamentals. The level of sophistication will depend upon age and experience, but learning good musicianship is essential. At the same time, opportunities for creativity to develop through improvisation could be on the horizon for you. It is important to me that you want to learn and and want to become the best you can be.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have a piano and computer with Finale at my home. I provide music and practice sheets, etc.

*** Specialties ***
For voice, I teach classical style, including posture, breathing, tone production, vowel production, phrasing, diction, appropriate style and performance practice, and music reading. Materials I use include everything from folk songs to arias, and 16th century to contemporary compositions, in English, Italian, Latin, French and German. Voice is my primary interest. I am also competent to teach beginning theory, and beginning piano, both classical and standard popular, including improvisation from charts (melody, chords).
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Reviews
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Alexandra W. August 26, 2016
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
My daughter was happy. Donna is very kind and seems to have a lot of patience. So far so good.
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Jerry I. January 19, 2016
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
Very good. Right pace and understanding
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Cindy C. December 4, 2015
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
It's been great. Absolutely recommend!
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Donna D.

Donna D.

Corte Madera, CA 94925
(8)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Mack R.

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Oakland, CA

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I have been teaching piano for 35 years. I have had several student who started with me as beginners and advanced to playing in the jazz band in school. Over the years I have developed a unique technique for getting students started as beginners.

About Mack
I have a BS in music education received at Lehman College, Bronx, NY. I am a professional musician/ composer/ arranger.I received my teaching credentials at SFSU and have been a General music teacher as well as a, band teacher. I have studied trumpet with Classical ( Wilmer Wise)and Jazz musician (Bill Hardman) and big band arranging with Frank Foster( saxophonist and arranger with Count Basie Band). At present I am retired and teaching privately.

I have been teaching music for over 50 years as well as being a professional musician/ composer and arranger. I not only know my fundamentals ins
ide and out, but also I know many tricks of the trade. Over the years I have developed special teaching techniques that enable students to make sense out of music and progress rapidly on their instruments.I love playing music and aim at stirring that same kind of excitement abut music in my students.

To each lesson I bring a unique mix, encouraging the student to pursue excellence and also have fun. I am well qualified to teach: woodwinds( oboe, flute, clarinet, all saxophones) brass(french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba), and piano.

*** Lesson Details ***
I make music interesting to learn. I encourage students to practice daily so they can improve. The more they improve the more fun they can have with music not only alone, but with others.

I am very patient with my students especially with beginners. I know that for them it is like learning a new language. Once they begin to increase their musical vocabulary, they will enjoy what they can do with music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Seating for parents, basement studio, piano, drum set

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students should provide their own instruments.
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Reviews
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Malakai W. February 20, 2017
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
Excellent. Patient. Great teacher.
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Clyde Serda January 11, 2017
Verified Student · Clarinet · In home
Adequate studio, explains music and demo well,
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Erik F. October 2, 2016
Verified Student · French Horn · In studio
Mack is a great and patient teacher. Our son was assigned the only French Horn for his middle school beginning band class. We are clueless on how to help him. We found Mack on Takelessons. He got great reviews and lives not too far from us. After the first lesson, our son could play the entire C major scale! He can't wait for his next lesson. Thank you, Mack. We are so lucky to have you.
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Mack R.

Mack R.

Oakland, CA 94607
(17)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Steve S.

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San Francisco, CA

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I believe music should be a natural and fun part of everyone's life!

Lessons are tailored to help guide and facilitate each individual in their own personal journey - diving deeper into their exploration and love of music.

As inspiration grows, we become more and more focused in your own goals and desire to learn about, create and play music.

Lessons become as detailed and serious - or as light and fun as needed to really help you to play and ENJOY playing piano/making music!

About Steve
Hi! Music learning should be natural and fun - I am Professional working/touring pianist/keyboardist (Masters Degree and Bachelors Degree in jazz piano performance) and former adjunct professor of jazz/popular piano and beginning piano at Diablo Valley College and Contra Costa College, and band director of grades 3-8.

I am fluent in all styles and have a long resume of professional and teaching experience as well the ability to teach all ages and types of current or future musicians who are passionate about diving deeper into learning and developing their craft.

Whether you are a hobby
ist, long-time pro, or curious beginner - we can work together on staying inspired and creating the music you desire to make!!

Professionally I specialize in improvisation, jazz, blues rock, pop, funk, soul, American songbook standards, keyboards, Hammond B-3, as well as specific classical (Chopin, Bach, Satie, Beethoven etc)

Please inquire to find out more about my experience and to get in touch with references!

Best,

Steve
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Reviews
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neslihan D. February 20, 2017
Verified Student · Piano · In home
Steve has the right balanced approach to teaching, he's not overwhelming but on the other hand encourages me to push my limits to improve. He's experience shows through his comments and how he understands the underlying problem/issue. He will point out to the source of the mistake. He has a very calm and relatable personality. After a long break to piano playing, I find myself lucky to have found such a great teacher. I highly recommend Steve.
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Bryan January 31, 2017
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
My first lesson with Steve was fantastic. Having little to no formal history with the piano myself, the idea of learning the instrument seemed a little intimidating, but Steve is so professional and knowledgable, I couldn't help but feel at ease. He takes the time to get to know your specific learning strategies, tastes, and skill so that he can personally tailor your sessions. Going in, I was excited and a little nervous, but I left our session feeling genuinely confident in my learning ability. He's a great guy too - I can't recommend him enough.
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Peter M. July 5, 2016
· Piano · In home
Steve is an incredible teacher. He brings his musicianship and academic experience together to deliver a highly professional and fun lesson. Steve has an uncanny ability to make things that seem hard at first, simple to understand and absorb. Although he has the academic and professional music background to to teach at the college level (he has), he is able to meet the student where they happen to be - beginner or expert. Steve's patience pays off for the student; I've been surprised at how well I can play things I've never dreamed of playing....all the while enjoying the journey immensely. I highly recommend Steve as a teacher.
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Steve S.

Steve S.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(3)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

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