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John D.

Berkeley, CA

Learning piano is a great way to build a musical foundation. Piano students will learn how to use their ears to pickup on their favorite songs, in addition to working through books and fundamentals. Recently, a student who started from scratch went part of the way through the method book until she reached "When the Saints Go Marching In". We learned the chord structure of the song, and she learned to improvise over the structure. She decided to do the student recital, and performed a super fun 5-minute version of the song with a professional band. The whole room was into it and it was magical! Contact me for piano lessons and see what can happen when you understand not just how to read notes, but how music works when you play with a real band.

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
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Liz J.

Sonoma, CA

With over 20 years of piano playing experience, Liz loves sharing the knowledge she's gathered over the years from the beginning of her music career. As the very first instrument Liz began to study, she's gathered immense detailed knowledge of piano music ranging from classical to contemporary to jazz to pop and even show-style.

About Liz

After graduating California Institute of the Arts with a multi-focus on several aspects of music including African dance, Indonesian gamelan, songwriting, recording, classical voice and piano, folk guitar, and more, Liz had the excellent opportunity to teach theater to a local musical theater summer youth program. All summer, she taught class sizes ranging from 10 to 26 students of the ages 5-10. Her initiative later led to being hired at this local community theater. Along with this theater teaching experience, she has been teaching piano, guitar, ukulele, flute & voice lessons for over 10 ye
ars. Her students have gone from knowing nothing about music to learning and performing entire pieces on their own as well as even auditioning & for agents and becoming signed artists in Los Angeles. Liz knows that it is her place in the world to teach music & spread positivity through her own music and would love nothing more than make learning music a positive and fun experience for everyone.

*** Lesson Details ***
I teach out of the Alfred's Piano course, but am open to trying out any music books you may already have in your home. I do expect my students to purchase the books they would like to learn out of and to have the material I have given them for homework ready, completed, and practiced by the time we have our weekly lesson. I recommend at least twenty to thirty minutes of practice every day, and will give rewards for having practiced well, and for performing well in our lessons. I would love it for my students to be clear on what they would like to learn, and I love using songs that the student enjoys to make his or her music learning process fun.

*** Studio Equipment ***
In my home studio, I have a full size Cable-Nelson upright piano, as well as two ukuleles, and two guitars (one acoustic-electric and one electric).

*** Travel Equipment ***
When I travel, I bring my own instrument that the student is learning on so that I can demonstrate, as well as a music stand if necessary.

*** Specialties ***
Pop, folk, opera, musical theater, classical, rock, reggae
...

Reviews

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Christopher M. December 9, 2015
Ukulele · Online
Verified Student
Liz is a skilled instructor who can communicate well in an online environment. She has a relaxed manner and encourages the student to extend him/herself in order to learn and improve. Liz understands music theory as well as technique and is a good fit for a beginner or an advanced player - young or old. She is on time and dependable, has varied musical taste and I recommend her to anyone looking to begin or improve.
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Christopher M. September 11, 2015
Ukulele · Online
Verified Student
Liz is a relaxed and helpful teacher.
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Jerry F. August 3, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
An easy manner to encourage doing things that you did not think you could do. Knows music theory and can explain. Enjoyable to work with. Wish I had her for an instructor when I started guitar in my early 70's.
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Liz J.

Liz J.

Sonoma, CA 95476
(7)
starting at
$50 / 30-min
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Astrid C.

Pinole, CA

I can teach beginner to intermediate piano, which would include scales, proper fingering techniques, teaching to play with both hands together and even into modes and Jazz chords and jazz theory. I believe my students need to learn music theory along with piano, other wise they don't understand what they are doing. Plus it will help them in the future with music.

About Astrid

I have worked with children with autism and other learning difficulties. I love helping students fall in love with music, like I did growing up with my vocal coaches. I am passionate about music and my students learning and excelling in their craft. I enjoy working with all ages and all types of music abilities.
...

Reviews

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Teresa "Tess" O. December 16, 2015
Singing · In home
Verified Student
Astrid makes learning fun, knowing how to motivate kids with encouragement and rewards, and keeping her expectations high. She rolls with their distractions and gets them right back on track, which I consider to be a superhero skill. She is always prepared with new songs and changes the key to fit their voices. My 7 and 9 year old have dramatically improved their ability to hit notes, something I could never do. I walked down the hall last week to hear my hyperactive boy playing scales and songs on the piano...without a reminder! I believe music skills will serve my children for a lifetime, and I am so grateful we have Astrid to ignite their interest!
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Brody B. September 30, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
My son is very happy taking lessons from Astrid. She is very encouraging of him and explains everything at a level he can understand at the same time challenging him to learn more.

I highly recommend Astrid!
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Rachel S. May 23, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
After looking for weeks for a vocal teacher, I came across Astrid here on TakeLessons and felt she might be a good person to try a few lessons with. I showed up the lesson to find out that she was the older sister of two of my good friends and to find out that she is the best vocal teacher I could have found! She's very patient, fun, talented, helpful, and silly, and she really makes learning to train my voice awesome! I take one 1/2 hour lesson usually once a week with her, and I've already completed two full songs with her in the few months I've been training with her!
Astrid is definitely someone I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a vocal coach, plus she has an awesome voice. Definitely going to continue lessons with her! :)
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Astrid C.

Astrid C.

Pinole, CA 94564
(5)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Matthew F.

Walnut Creek, CA

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

About Matthew

Hello!

My name is Matthew, and I teach many people of different ages academic topics from arithmetic to algebra 2/trigonometry, science, reading/grammar, as well as all kinds of music and instruments!

I hold a Masters of Arts in Music Composition from Mills College in Oakland, CA and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from UC Santa Cruz.

Musically, I specialize in drum set and percussion, piano, voice, and guitar instruction (4 and 6 string) woodwinds, brass, and violin family strings. I have been teaching in Walnut Creek at my home studio/office for 10 years, worked with local schools such
as Walnut Creek Intermediate, Meher School, Las Lomas High School, and Stanley Middle School.

Some basic pedagogical ideas:

I make sure each student learns the necessary techniques, rhythms as well as reading and performing skills that each player must posses on their instrument or voice to properly play the instrument. Alongside this crucial, ever-lasting quest to have a good sound and play the repertoire of the instrument I teach many other aspects of music that most students indulge in as they progress. These including but not limited to ear-training, improvising, composition, theory, music history and appreciation, transcribing, arranging and performing popular music, basic tracking and recording/computer compositions, as well as basic singing and drumming.
Each student has different goals and interests that draw them toward certain aspects of music. My goal is to supplement the basic music training while offering guidance in more complex areas of music that bring excitement and enjoyment to learning. I work with each student to find not only what aspects of music they are interested in but also what styles and groups they enjoy and aspire to play or just enjoying listening or singing along.
Balancing all of this during a 30-60 min lesson and then during your practice time in the week can be tough, so I work with each student to set priorities and goals based on their interest and skill and follow through with them!

Here are a few of my BASIC POLICIES; please read so you can know if we will be a good fit. If you have any questions about them feel free to ask, but I rarely make exceptions!

-I only accept students who take weekly lessons

-I only accept students (usually) who have already started reading

-All students and parents must be on a fairly flexible schedule and reply to phone calls or texts on the day of lessons. With 30+ concurrent students and families, schedules are constantly changing to accommodate each other. If it works for everyone to help another student out by switching, then I will request that of you, but I ALWAYS GUARANTEE YOUR SCHEDULED LESSON TIME.

-I always guarantee your full lesson time. Driving from my home studio and house to house around the East Bay during the after school/work hours does come with traffic delays, so I ask that each student (unless previously noted) keeps 10-15 minutes before and after their lesson free in case of an unexpected delay or cancellation.

- I require AT LEAST 72 HOURS ADVANCED NOTICE FOR RESCHEDULES. If you need to reschedule then I prefer knowing a week in advance. IF YOU CANCEL WITHIN 72 HOURS I DO NOT GUARANTEE A MAKEUP SPOT.

-I rent beginner instruments so that you can get started while I help you shop for an instrument. This includes weekly checkups, maintenance, changing strings, cleaning, and covers any basic damage done to the instrument (for example, broken bridges, broken bow hair, pegs, tuning parts, replacing strings, minor dents on brass). This does not cover non-reusable parts (strings, reeds, drum heads, cork/slide/valve oil, rosin) as well as damage to the body of the instrument or theft. I charge $45 dollars a month flat for the instrument and service.

If you are at all interested for yourself or your child please don't hesitate to call and ask questions.

Have a great day!
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Reviews

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Sam Maldonado January 11, 2016
Composition · In studio
Verified Student
great time at my first lesson
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Denise S. October 31, 2015
Viola · In studio
Verified Student
My daughter took lessons with Matthew for 5 months and we are severely disappointed. We originally switched because he was constantly changing the days/times of our lesson to accommodate his schedule or that of new clients, which is a terrible way to do business. However, after having one lesson with a new teacher, we realized that my daughter never learned the basics of viola playing - how to hold the instrument properly, how tightly the bow should be strung, the names of the parts of the instrument, etc. He also rented us an instrument that didn't tune properly at twice the cost of what local music stores were charging. She also was not properly measured for that instrument, which I learned was standard. Since I am not musically trained, I went on faith that she was being taught properly. After the first lesson with a teacher who actually knew what they were doing, my daughter was in tears over all the things she didn't know. I feel like all those basics should have been covered in the first month of instruction. In addition, his bio states that he has been teaching for 10 years. At his current age, that would mean he started teaching at the age of 13 or 14. I'm very disappointed in our experience with both this instructor and with Take Lessons for not vetting their instructors properly.
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Adriana September 25, 2015
Violin · In home
Verified Student
It was excellent. He has the patience and the knowledge. I do recommend him.
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Matthew F.

Matthew F.

Walnut Creek, CA 94596
(5)
starting at
$45 / 30-min
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Rebecca K.

Vallejo, CA

Patience, support and practice are the only things required to play the piano. I can help with all of them!

About Rebecca

Hello! I am a classically trained vocalist and percussionist, with a BA in Music, specializing in Education and Theory. I have taught band, choir, orchestra and piano in high school and middle school. I have also done Music Directing with kids aged 7-14 for various musicals and have taught elementary students aged 4-9, so I am ready for whatever you've got! I have also appeared on stage in various settings including opera, musical theater, solo work and even the occasional karaoke night. I am willing to work with your schedule and offer scholarships to those who are willing to earn them!
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Reviews

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Rylante R. January 25, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
My son really enjoyed his first lesson. I can't wait to see how he grows
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Megan M. January 24, 2016
Cello · In home
Verified Student
Rebecca is a very good teacher with lots of patience.
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Andera H. October 12, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
It was wonderful she knows what she is talking about She's a very good teacher
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Rebecca K.

Rebecca K.

Vallejo, CA 94590
(5)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

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

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

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