Kirkland Songwriting Lessons

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Kelly A.

Seattle, WA

Learn how to write songs, develop songwriting ideas, improve your lyrics, and discover new and interesting ways to compose music. Learn how to write the songs down (in music notation) so you can play them with other musicians. Learn to transcribe songs that you like (pick up by ear) and use them for inspiration.

About Kelly

After years of teaching all levels, and many different styles of voice and piano lessons, I can tell you this-- I LOVE teaching! My students have ranged from 5 to 65, from classical piano, or jazz/ pop piano to pop/ rock/ jazz singing, and no matter what we always have a great time. I guarantee that in our lessons, you will see progress almost immediately... but above all, learning music is FUN! A little extra info....
**In 2012 I finished a Masters degree at NYU in Jazz Studies, and just finished a new album of some jazz, folk, and original music.
**I perform in New York City and Seattle,
and I tour with my band a few times each year
**I taught jazz piano and voice lessons for four years at NYU and also through the New York Jazz Academy and Brooklyn Music Factory, from beginning to advanced, classical, pop or jazz -- and I teach rock bands how to learn music by ear and have fun playing with other people! I have also been teaching privately for six years out of my home.
**I organize and teach vocal workshop classes, where singers can learn how to work with a band.
**I am joining the Cornish College of the Arts adjunct jazz faculty in Spring 2015!

I moved back to Seattle in April 2014 after being in NYC for four years -- completing my Master of Music degree (NYU), living, teaching, and performing in Brooklyn and Manhattan. NYC was amazing, and I'd love to share with you all of the cool things I picked up during my time there. From 2005-2010, I lived in Seattle and taught music lessons. I graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in Jazz Performance (voice) and performed a lot around Seattle-- from jazz clubs to concert halls-- performing pop, rock, soul, jazz and even working in a Steely Dan Tribute Band!! (your parents might appreciate that more than you do)

More than anything, I'm fascinated by the different ways that students learn and always love figuring out what kind of learning works best for YOU.

*** Lesson Details ***
I love watching my students progress and enjoy their music, no matter what style they enjoy or what level they are. I work with students to pick out music that they'll enjoy working on-- it's always more fun to learn songs you love!
I'm a pretty laid back teacher, but I work to inspire my students to try their hardest and do the best that they can do. I will provide you will the exercises, materials, and right level of songs to help you meet your goals, and together we can assess a plan for our lessons.

In our lessons we will cover a variety of topics, including:

--Strong, Healthy TECHNIQUE so that you can gain a command of your instrument and play or sing whatever you choose. Through various EXERCISES you will develop strength, control, musicianship, and good habits.
(Vocalists:)
It is important to develop a healthy technique so that you can sing whatever you want without getting fatigued or injuring your voice. We'll work on developing strong technique and finding your own unique SOUND-- we'll choose music that is right for your vocal style and music that YOU connect with so you can really express yourself.
(Pianists):
No matter whether you want to play classical, pop, or jazz, you'll want your fingers to be strong and agile enough to get the sound that you want out of the instrument. With good technique you can play anything!

--Rhythm, subdivision, and groove

--Ear-training & Music Theory (chord qualities, pitch matching, easy transcription)

--Building your REPERTOIRE so that you have songs to play, and discussing techniques specific to each style of music you study

--Arranging or Communicating with a band (if that is something which interests you)

--Performance considerations.... developing confidence and personal expression!

My goal is to inspire students to play their instruments (or sing!), develop good habits and encourage healthy curiosity..... but most of all to Love Playing Music! 

*** Studio Equipment ***
full music room with 88 f/w keyboard with music stand, amp, microphone (if applicable), seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will provide lesson plans and corresponding handouts, exercises, examples, etc. If the student is taking piano lessons they should have access to a keyboard or piano at home. Where appropriate I can also bring a vocal microphone to work on microphone technique.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in jazz/ pop piano and voice, and have a strong background in classical and jazz theory and technique. I typically design a curricula which includes technical exercises from my classical background and then focus stylistically on the genre that the student is interested in. I have extensive experience both performing and teaching in many jazz, pop, rock and soul styles-- I try to help the student find their unique voice while establishing a strong foundation of healthy technique.
...

Reviews

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Andy June 29, 2015
Music Theory · In studio
Kelly really knows her theory, inside and out. And she can explain how it all works. It's much easier to memorize a piece once you understand the theory behind it: the progression of the chords, and their functions. I wish my former teachers had known theory instead of making me memorize all those notes with no explanation.
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Eric K. June 22, 2015
Piano · In studio
I have been studying jazz piano on my own for a while and started lessons with Kelly a few months ago. Her knowledge of chord theory and practical application has helped me to move along very quickly. She is also very supportive and a pleasure to study with. I highly recommend her as an instructor.
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Tjorvi H. June 19, 2015
Singing · In home
Verified Student
When my family moved from Iceland earlier this year one of the first thing we did was searching for singing teacher for our 16 years old daughter an we could not have been luckier meeting Kelly. She welcomed our daughter and from first lesson my daughter has been improving her skills.
I can surely recommend her and am confident that anyone will become better musician learning from her!
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Kelly A.

Kelly A.

Seattle, WA 98103
(11)
starting at
$45 / 30-min
199666_178624_1327352145

Ben G.

Lynnwood, WA

I teach songwriting up to the advanced level, and composition up to the professional level.

About Ben

I have been teaching French Horn, piano and composition privately for about seven years, mainly in Snohomish and King counties. I have also coached horn players in local school bands during this time, as well as helping students with learning disabilities. There are many difficulties that students encounter when studying music, and I want to help you turn weaknesses into strengths, and help you find out where your greatest strengths (and interests) lie in music. I'll work with you to help you understand your own musical desires and goals, so that you can get the most out of your lessons. I
am committed to understanding each of my students, and to sharing my love of music with each one of them. I teach French Horn, piano, music theory and composition as well as songwriting. Currently, I teach in the South Snohomish County and North King County areas.

I was eight years old when I started taking piano lessons in Tacoma, WA. When I was 12, I discovered that I had perfect pitch while playing church hymns with my dad. This ability has served me well on a number of occasions. I discontinued formal piano lessons when I started college, but I continued to play piano on a nearly daily basis from that point on, keeping my technical skills at a very advanced level. I played trumpet in school bands starting in the 5th grade, and switched to French Horn in the 8th grade. The appeal of the horn may have had something to do with its rich, warm sound, its intricacy and complexity, and the demands that it placed on me to play with a high degree of pitch accuracy. I loved the challenge of playing accurately on the horn then, and I still do. As a horn student, I have studied with Jacqueline Shannon, Kathy Farner, Kathy Colton, Lawrence Lowe, Elizabeth Ward, Jeff Snedeker, Rodger Burnett and Stacie Eliason. As a horn performer, I have played with community and regional professional orchestras in Central Washington, Olympia, in the Tacoma Youth Symphony, and in numerous ensembles in college.

I have studied music at Tacoma Community College, Brigham Young University and Central Washington University. I received Bachelor of Arts in Music at Central Washington University. I plan on attending graduate school in the future, focusing on music composition and film composition, as well as French Horn and piano performance.

As a music composer, I have written works for many different ensembles, choral works, solo piano pieces, and works for solo instruments. I am drawn to rich harmonies and beautiful melodies, as well as interesting timbres and musical variety, in my own music and that of the music I listen to. I am easily able to visualize music in color, and I have a thorough understanding of how the elements of music combine together to affect emotions in listeners. This is one of the reasons that I am currently pursuing film and media composition.

As a student, teacher, performer and music composer, I know that there are countless musical topics that students are curious about. I feel that students should feel free to ask any question in the field of music, even if it may seem like a "dumb" question. I value the sincerity and passion for good music that so many students have. I will help you acquire the knowledge and skills that you need, so that you can see more clearly your own musical goals. Previous and current students I have, each have made improvements in their own playing and knowledge of music, some of whom have made vast improvements in their playing and knowledge of music.

As I have taught music privately for a little while now, and can reasonably compare how I teach with other instructors that I know well, I can say with certainty that there are at least a few areas of my teaching that are somewhat unique and highly beneficial for certain students, if not most students. I value ear training and using flashcards with beginner students quite a bit, and am fond of teaching not only the "nuts and bolts" of music, but also, how music "works", such that a student of mine can write their own music if they have the desire to do so. I also try to assign a wide variety of music for each student (which differs according to each student's musical interests, abilities, and areas of their playing that need to be improved), especially as they improve and approach the intermediate levels of playing. There are many reasons I do this, but for the student, it is very important that they do not feel particularly "bored" with the music they are playing. I also have found that students who have a more sensitive nature tend to be more comfortable with the way I teach, as I reserve higher, stricter expectations for more advanced, older students. I also try to always be as patient, kind, and considerate with every student as I can be. Lastly, I highly encourage questions and feedback at any time during a lesson, and I try to create an atmosphere where the student feels comfortable to do so.

I accept students from five years old on up, but I prefer horn students to be at least ten years old before starting lessons, unless they have noticeably greater abilities to focus for a certain period of time than other children their age.

Employment and Musical Experience:

Transcription Work for David Templeton, Composer, 2010

Private Composition Instructor, January 2009-Present

Private Horn Instructor, January 2009-Present

Private Piano Instructor, Fall 2006-Spring 2007, January 2009-Present

Summer Camp Counselor: Lutheran Summer Music, Summer 2006

Principal Horn: Ensign Symphony Orchestra, December 2014

Fourth Horn: Olympia Symphony, September 2012

Third Horn: Mid-Columbia Symphony, February-May 2007

Second Horn: Washington East Opera, Barber of Seville, January 2006

Substitute Third Horn: Yakima Symphony, Winter 2006

Third/Fourth Horn: Wenatchee Symphony, Fall 2005

Substitute Horn: Leavenworth Summer Music Theater: Summer 2005

1st Horn: Shoreline Community Church, Christmas 2004

Principal Horn: Central Washington University Symphony, Chamber Orchestras

Principal Horn: Central Washington University Wind Ensemble

Finalist, Northwest Horn Workshop Mock Auditions, March 2005

Education:

Graduate, Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program

Post-Baccalaureate Music Education Courses: Central Washington University, 2006-2007

Bachelor of Arts in Music: Central Washington University, Summer 2006

Associate of Arts and Sciences: Tacoma Community College, Fall 2002

Other:

Eagle Scout

Served 2 Year Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Music Composer/Arranger

*** Lesson Details ***
I have always wanted people I interact with to be, as a general rule, comfortable and relaxed in any setting. This certainly applies to the students I teach. However, students can expect that musical improvement will only occur through daily practice and constant effort. That being said, I am more interested in helping students overcome any difficulties in this area through reviewing their own practice habits and motivations, rather than using harsh discipline. It is crucial that students see the connection between their own practicing and musical improvement. Once this occurs, they can take more responsibility for their own progress with that added awareness.

The material chosen for each student will vary considerably, depending on their current knowledge, experience and ability level, innate abilities, musical tastes and priorities. The progress that is made will, to a large extent, be determined by the student's practice habits and natural ability. However, over the course of a few months or so, students should see noticeable improvement in their own musical abilities, if they practice and pay attention during lessons.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano, music stand, computer/printer, metronome

*** Travel Equipment ***
-French Horn: pencil, mute, tuner/metronome, maintenance/cleaning supplies, some books depending on if it is a first lesson, etc. I bring my own horn, and expect the student to have their horn. I also expect them to have a music journal to use as a reference for practicing and keeping track of their progress. Occasionally, I will employ a recording device for the purpose of assessing personal teaching effectiveness, or for the student to evaluate their progress/record their practicing.
-Piano: Metronome, pencil, some books if it is a first lesson, music journal, possibly a recording device from time to time.
-Music Theory/Composition: Music paper, pencil, music journal.

*** Specialties ***
*Teachers marked as a Student Favorite have taught a minimum of 25 lessons and have received the highest feedback rating from students.No specific methods in particular, and I tend to teach more in the classical genres, with some pop/film music thrown in for variety (from time to time). I prefer using the Bastian, Alfred, and/or John Thompson piano methods, and Pottag-Hovey, Maxime-Alphonse, etc. for French Horn.
...

Reviews

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Sheila M. May 29, 2014
Piano · In home
Verified Student
I was apprehensive to the type of instructor I would hire. As we got over the first two sessions and able to get more acquainted, I like that Ben paid attention to the type of music I wanted to learn and tailored his lesson based on my skills level.
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DeidreD July 27, 2012
This Music Man is great!

Having taken piano lessons for over 40 years on and off, Ben is a refreshing change. He makes me laugh and learn in new ways and has rejuvinated my love of playing music. (Even though I had to bring out the dusty Hanon book!)
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DaynaT May 3, 2011
Tre's mom; REALTOR/Broker

Ben is teaching Tre wonderfully. He is really getting to know Tre and adjust the lessons accordingly. Tre likes his lessons and seems engaged in the songs, material (theory, practice book and flash cards) and process. It helps that Ben is patient, seems to be a good listener and gives helpful praise when Tre gets a concept or improves in his technique. Keep doing what your doing Ben. We care that it is all a positive experience for everyone : )Dayna
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Ben G.

Ben G.

Kenmore, WA 98028
(5)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Greg D.

Kirkland, WA

About Greg

I have been playing guitar since I was 14 and I have not looked back since. I love music and I love helping other people discover the joys it can bring. In college I studied classical guitar and got experience playing in many different groups. I currently perform in and around the Seattle area.

*** Lesson Details ***
My lessons are tailored to each individual student, to their interests and needs. I generally use the Hal Leonard Guitar method but I will use any method best suited for the goals you want to reach. Whatever method we use will be supplemented with other songs and exercises.

My lessons tend to be laid back and fun but also challenging. I expect students to do their best and make an effort.

*** Studio Equipment ***
The lessons are taught in my studio with an amp, guitar, music stand, books, and seating.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students are required to have their own instrument. I do have instruments available to rent.

*** Specialties ***
*Teachers marked as a Student Favorite have taught a minimum of 25 lessons and have received the highest feedback rating from students.Fingerstyle Guitar, Classical Guitar, Folk, Rock, Christian, Worship,
Hal Leonard Method
...

Reviews

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Charlie A. March 6, 2014
Verified Student
Highly Recommended

Greg is knowledgeable, patient, and a fantastic teacher. Attending lessons is a great way for me to take a break from my work day and Greg makes it a relaxing experience.
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Carlene B. September 14, 2012
Guitar
Verified Student
I highly recommend Greg...

Greg is an excellent teacher. Very easy going manner and willing to start where ever you are as a musician. Gives great feedback, lessons to work on that are challenging and fun, and at a pace that's comfortable.
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LizP2 May 22, 2012
Great Experience. Can't wait for my second lesson.
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Greg D.

Greg D.

Kirkland, WA 98034
(4)
starting at
$27 / 30-min
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John Paul S.

Seattle, WA

Having published over 25 original works of music, I can help you take your songwriting to the next level!

About John Paul

I have been teaching voice and music lessons for several years now to a wide range and variety of students. I have successfully helped individuals learn how to sing, speak, act, write songs, and play the piano. Some students come to me to build their confidence or skills. Other students come to me just to have a really great time. All my students grow from their experiences learning music with me. I use a variety of methods and it all depends on what you, as a student, are needing from your lessons.

My background is diverse. I have written and recorded dozens of musical albums over the las
t decade. I often perform for music and theater events in Seattle and Washington. I have a bachelor of science in contemporary vocal performance and a master of arts in information and learning technologies (educational psychology and online learning). I am very involved in the theater industry within Seattle and direct productions from time to time.

I work out of my apartment close to Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington. I can also arrange online lessons. I am, however, not mobile.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you!
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Reviews

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Elyse N. December 12, 2014
Singing · In studio
John Paul is an amazingly talented artist (performer, writer, teacher, singer, producer, composer, director...the list is seriously too long). We have worked together as professional singers, and I have collaborated with him on an album that he wrote/produced/recorded/edited himself. He is a kind and inspiring person who LOVES music more than anything in the world. I wholeheartedly recommend him to students of all ages who want to find and express their creative voice in the world.
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RUTHI L. March 15, 2014
Singing
Best teacher ever

JP has been teaching Mya for almost 2 years (since she was 6 years old) and Mya has been loving each lesson, can't wait for the next one, and has grown in many ways, that have exceeded our expectations.
JP is extremely patient, always positive, and knows how to reinforce the confidence whenever needed, provide clues for improvement that are very useful and positive. JP is an outstanding teacher.
The lessons are always a good mix of warming up, theory, singing, expressing emotions, new creations and also recording.
JP brings the best out of Mya, and makes her feel that he is also enjoying it.
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John Paul S.

John Paul S.

Seattle, WA 98122
(2)
starting at
$45 / 45-min
Profile_56875_pi_Josh%20B%20083

Joshua B.

Seattle, WA

I have written music for small wind ensembles, including wind quartets as well as a group of bassoon players.

I currently write a few songs per week on my guitar, which often times have vocal melodies and sometimes words.

About Joshua

While building a professional career, I'm looking to re-engage with my roots and experience as a educator. I specialize in helping kids learn how to learn. It's one thing to teach a student the answer, but it's exponentially better to teach students how to find the answer for themselves, encouraging and guiding along the way.

I grew up in Ohio and went to one school district my entire public school life where I took honors and Advanced Placement classes through high school. I also participated in band, earning membership into the Ohio All-State Honor band two times.

I went to Ohi
o State University for college, earned a BA in Music Education, and graduated Suma Kum Laude. I also spent 4 years in the Ohio State University Marching Band.

I have a breadth of experience for someone my age having worked with youth in schools and on social programs, both in English and Spanish, and some in Hebrew.

I currently live in Madison Valley.
...

Reviews

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Irlanda G. June 14, 2015
Math · In home
Verified Student
I'd like to write a quick testimonial about the tutor I found here on Takelessons. Joshua has worked with my 1st grade brother for about 8 weeks and he has made impressive progress in both his reading and math skills. He has also helped discover my brothers learning condition, dyslexia, but it seems like Joshua has had no problem with that. My brother has enjoyed working with him and is demonstrating new learning, this delights me. Joshua has also developed a fun relationship with my other brothers too. I could not more strongly recommend Joshua to tutor any student.
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Geoff M. May 28, 2015
Spanish · In studio
Verified Student
Josh is good and was good at helping us set reasonable goals. It was fun!
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Joshua B.

Joshua B.

Seattle, WA 98112
(2)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

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

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Tips for Writing a Song | Starting Songs And Ending Writer's Block
Feeling stuck? Get back on track with these helpful tips for writing a song, courtesy of Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   One of the most frequent problems that songwriting students encounter is pushing past writer's block and generating ideas for new songs. So here are several tips for writing a song that will help you overcome a creative dry spell and get you back to creative productivity. Start With A Title Think of some interesting subjects that you think would make goo
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Interested in learning how to write lyrics and songs? Here, New Jersey guitar teacher Matthew H. explains an easy 3-step process to follow...  Songwriting is not easy; just ask any composer or lyricist. While the musical composition is highly important (making sure the melody is catchy without sounding too trite), having a strong, relatable message to go along with a great tune is just as, if not more, important. Here are some tips on how to write lyrics for a good song. 1) What is the
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