Lafayette Music Lessons

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Jessica W.

Lafayette, CA

About Jessica

Hi! My name is Jessica and I would love to be your voice and/or piano teacher! I have been studying and performing classical music for 21 years. My relationship with music started at age 9 with the Contra Costa Children's Choir and I have maintained my classical vocal studies ever since. Along with my vocal studies, I studied classical piano privately with Keith Snell for 7 years, competing and achieving high marks in regional competitions. I went on to receive her Bachelor's degree in Music at Mannes College of Music in New York City and finished my education at the San Francisco Conserv
atory of Music, where I received my Masters, receiving training in vocal pedagogy and physiology, as well as vocal performance. I graduated from SFCM in 2009 and immediately began perusing both a teaching and performing career.

I have maintained an active voice and piano studio since 2011 and also teach with Village Center for the Arts, giving private lessons as well as working with their In School Outreach Programs, teaching Beginning Piano Class and Musical Theater Workshop. Other teaching opportunities include Vocal Master Class with Acalanes High School Women's Ensemble, voice instructor and Alto section leader for Occidental Choral Retreat with Volti SF, Music Instructor with Gymboree, and volunteer pre-school music instructor at Fairmount Elementary in SF.

I am an active performer in the Bay Area as well, performing with the new music ensemble Volti, Lyric Theatre San Jose, Opera on Tap San Francisco, Urban Opera, West Coast Opera Works, San Francisco Baroque Opera, and Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute (BASOTI). I have also been employed as a performer on the east coast, making my professional debut with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in 2011 and singing the title role in Handel’s Radamisto with The Manhattan Opera Studio in August 2014.

During my many years studying music, I was inspired by several amazing teachers. They are responsible for making me the artist and musician I am today. My mission as a teacher is to pass on the wonderful knowledge and passion that was given to me onto a new group of eager young minds. I am truly a self proclaimed music dork and proud of it! I am a fun, patient, passionate teacher and am very excited to be a part of the TakeLessons team!

*** Lesson Details ***
In my lessons, I feel it is important for my students to have fun and to and enjoy the learning process. However I believe in order for both student and teacher to get the most out of the lesson, practicing at home is extremely important and I expect my students to do so. I will always send them home with a goal or assignment that should be reached or completed by the next lesson to the best of the students ability.

For my voice students, we always begin with breath. Proper breathing is the foundation for all good singing. Then we move on to warming up both the voice and the body. During warm-ups, we will focus technical concepts such as breath control and support, vowel placement, and optimum vocal production. In most lessons (time permitting) we will work through a piece of music, one of their choosing or, if needed, I will recommend a piece. We finish each lesson with a review of the concepts we discussed during the lesson and practice goals for the week.
For my piano students, I begin with finger placement and keyboard awareness. Depending on the students age and level, we will use both a music book and a music theory book (for very young students, I will hold off on the music theory and focus mostly on finger placement and keyboard awareness). Each week, I will assign two pieces of music and pages in the music theory book (again depending upon student's age and level). Students are expected to prepare the assignments by practicing at home and have them ready at the next lesson.

Communication is something very important to me as a teacher. I want my students to feel comfortable expressing their needs and/or concerns, musically or otherwise and hope they would appreciate me, as the teacher, to do the same.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Upright piano with seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide music and have a portable electronic keyboard.

*** Specialties ***
Classical voice is definitely my specialty. I believe good classical technique is the basis for all good singing and can be applied to genres such as musical theater and jazz. The only vocal styles I am NOT comfortable teaching are belting, pop or rock style vocal production.
...

Reviews

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Christine G. April 28, 2014
Classical Voice
Verified Student
Patient and encouraging

I'm always impressed with how Jessica is patient with our 7 year old daughter and still is able to draw her out and motivate her when she is tired from school. Jessica always finds creative ways to be inspirational. Both my husband and I drive 15 miles to be able to have Jessica teach our little girl. We think she is worth it. She has been flexible and always tried her best to work within our schedule and has even driven out to our house to cover a lesson when things didn't work out in the schedule.
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Kellian D. March 11, 2014
Piano
Verified Student
Wonderful teacher

Jessica is teaching piano and voice to my 10 year daughter, and I am so impressed with her skills as a teacher. She is patient, encouraging, and inspiring, and her love for both music and teaching is apparent. She is also extremely knowledgeable about music theory and uses a teaching method that's very effective and gets students actually playing music right away, without shortchanging their long term development as musicians. Jessica is a rare find, plus she comes to our house for lessons!
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Jeannemarie H. February 27, 2014
Piano
Verified Student
Jessica is great with kids and makes music so much fun!

I have two girls, ages 9 and 6. They both take piano with Jessica once a week. I can't express enough how great Jessica is with them and her ability to adjust to their ages and their ways of learning.
Jessica is so passionate about music which is demonstrated in her teaching style and of course all her education, training, and performances.
Jessica is so wonderful in her communication - showing such support throughout the lesson and has a great ability to explain the music so they understand.
My girls are very fortunate to have such a great mentor and teacher. Jessica is a true professional who is fully committed to music. We could not be happier!
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Jessica W.

Jessica W.

Lafayette, CA 94549
(7)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
211313_163832_26213

Didier B.

Concord, CA

About Didier

My music education began at age 8 when, after a year of pestering my parents, I got my first guitar. My self-taught forays began casually at first, until I was introduced to the likes of Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton (the Cream years) and then later, Frank Marino, John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, and Allan Holdsworth. By age 15, it was "all about the guitar: eat-sleep-school-guitar," with many countless hours burning the midnight oil, deciphering the solos of my heroes. I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area after high school and began studying guitar under the mentor-ship of virtuoso Marc Bonilla (who
has worked with such luminaries as Ronnie Montrose, Derek Sherinian, Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple). Bonilla has since moved to L.A. to pursue an impressive career as a film and T.V. composer, while I stayed on in the Bay Area as full time working guitarist/studio musician/composer/teacher.

My love and passion for teaching guitar is matched only by my love of studio and stage performance as a full time professional musician.

My ability to play many different styles of music has led me to a great diversity of music projects over the years. This versatility has afforded me work with Latin jazz, Caribbean (soca), nouveau flamenco, world-beat, hard rock, and blues bands all over the San Francisco Bay Area for the last 20 years. This also includes a stint with a San Francisco based funk-jazz quartet that performed, among other things, funky and creative renditions of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Herbie Hancock.

In 2005 I released a solo rock album called “Left Turn on Spanish Highway”. The music on this CD is a passionate blend of hard rock instrumental guitar with contemporary flamenco rhythms (think Gipsy Kings meets Joe Satriani). It has received a lot of five star reviews on online stores such as iTunes and CD Baby.

My Jeff Beck-ish electric guitar style has been repeatedly featured in live performances by the world-renowned vertical dance troupe Project Bandaloop in San Francisco, Oregon, and at the Banff Center for the arts in Alberta Canada.

My acoustic guitar performances are heavily featured on the 2004 album "Despi A Alma" by internationally acclaimed fado singer, Ramana Vieira, and subsequently, on her 2009 follow up release, “Lagrimas De Rainha”.

In the late 90’s, I had the opportunity of challenging my improvisational skills, by performing many seasons with San Francisco's longest running theater improv troupe, Flash Family, where I was called upon to create on-the-spot compositions in real-time, to match the actor’s unscripted and unpredictable story lines.

In the audio/visual world, I've composed music for film and a children's story. I frequently collaborate with local film, theater and T.V. composer Chris Houston (my musical contributions to Houston's compositions can be heard in the movie "Enchanted”, which in the past has enjoyed wide circulation on Showtime, and also on the soundtrack to the Marin Theater Company’s 2009 production of “Magic Forrest farm”, and the San Francisco Playhouse’s production of “Our Lady of 121st street.

Currently, I’m the lead guitarist for the San Francisco funk-rock originals band, FiveDown, fronted by R and B singer Ishtar Monique. Other music projects include co-writing, recording and producing an upcoming album for the Marin based hard rock band, Urban Fiction. I continue to perform on occasion around the bay area as solo guitarist for corporate events and weddings, and also with Ramana Vieira and ensemble where my Al Di Meola-style approach to acoustic lead guitar playing is sought.

*** Lesson Details ***
Think of me not only as your teacher, but also your dedicated coach, whose purpose and goal it is to help you reach your highest musical aspirations. I am very passionate about teaching guitar. Your success is my success. I’m also very patient and easy going but will push you gently when you need it, to ensure your continued musical growth and success. I will not only teach you what you want to learn, but also what you need to learn in order to progress. During your first lesson with me, I’ll spend some time finding out what your goals and aspirations are, then develop a lesson plan from there. The lesson plans are used as a guide and also as a way to track and monitor your progress.

You will be taking your lessons with me in my home recording studio, which will make learning a lot more fun, creative and rewarding. You’ll also be able to record yourself performing songs and pieces you’re working on, from time to time. Recording yourself is an excellent way to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie; it will also help you to develop a critical and discerning ear.

When applicable, I like to use my student’s favorite songs as a vehicle for learning crucial aspects of music study, which include music theory, scales, chords, arpeggios and of course, proper technique. I also like to encourage and support sight-reading for very young students and have developed ways to make that fun, interesting and rewarding.

*** Studio Equipment ***
The studio has a keyboard, computer with music tutorial software, and guitars. The studio also has an ample supply of books, DVD, and transcription materials. The studio also has amps to be a working studio. The studio also has a nice seating area for parents.

*** Specialties ***
Guitar (beginning to advanced): Rock, Blues, Funk, Fusion, Jazz, acoustic finger-style, hybrid picking, cage system, tremolo bar technique, two handed tapping, speed picking, alternate and legato picking. I also teach beginning Flamenco.

I like to meet students were they are musically and build from there. Typically, I like to use a repertoire of songs that inspire them; using their favorite songs (when appropriate) as a means of learning theory, harmony, and technique. Over the years, I've learned that the most important first step with any student (specially beginners), is to get them playing right away - the emphasis is always on fostering love and enjoyment for music - as they move through proficiency levels at their own pace. Having said that, I do like to make sure they are pleasantly challenged but not frustrated (beginners), is to get them playing right away - the emphasis is always on fostering love and enjoyment for music - as they move through proficiency levels at their own pace. Having said that, I do like to make sure they are pleasantly challenged but not frustrated.
...

Reviews

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Auncharee W. June 4, 2013
Guitar
Verified Student
Didier is an Amazing Teacher!

My 8 yr old daughter has been taking lessons from Didier for the past 6 months and looks forward to her lessons each week. He challenges her while still keeping it fun and teaches her songs that interests her. Didier is a wonderful instructor who is very patient, kind, knowledgeable and easy to talk to. He is an extremely talented and passionate musician who enjoys teaching and it shows.
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Sailaja S. November 13, 2012
Guitar
Verified Student
Guitar lessons experience with Didier

Hi,here to share my wonderful experience in taking guitar lessons with Didier. Being a beginner, I have started learning the way to hold the guitar, strings, it's notations etc from him, off course the journey still continues.....I am happy that I found an instructor with lots of patience, talent and skill to groom me further in this music world:)
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Josephb February 28, 2012
Great Teacher

My son is attending lessons with Didier for few months now. He started from scratch and now he is starting to rock. We drive for lessons every weekend from far away and it is definitely worthy...
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Didier B.

Didier B.

Concord, CA 94519
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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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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Dave July 9, 2015
Singing · In studio
Arrica is an excellent teacher and our lessons are always fun and enlightening. My wife and I are taking lessons in order to sing harmonies and duets better, and Arrica designed exercises for us to do just that. She is flexible with what we want to do while also offering structure to the lessons and goals.
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Ken B. July 2, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Off to a great start! Arrica offered a very accessible teaching style that this beginner adult student truly enjoyed!
Humming all the way to my second lesson!
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Samantha P. September 5, 2014
Singing · In home
Verified Student
Arrica is a wonderful singing coach! My nine-year-old daughter thoroughly enjoys their time together each week. Arrica always follows my daughter’s lead and gauges her interest in particular songs while also giving input and suggestions that further her progress and challenge her at just the right level. Her kind and patient demeanor has also helped my daughter, whom is somewhat shy, feel completely at ease. I can see through my daughter’s lesson with Arrica that she is very passionate and committed to her work. I would whole-heartedly recommend Arrica to anyone whom is looking for an amazing singing coach.
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Arrica R.

Arrica R.

Oakland, CA 94611
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Vir M.

Berkeley, CA

About Vir

I am a graduate of U.C. Berkeley.;I have been teaching and performing music for over 15 years. I have toured the United States and other countries playing many types of music. I play Guitar and Bass and Sing   I teach in a fun style that emphasizes the students creativity.  Styles range from Rock, Folk, Electronic, Jazz,  African, World, Hip Hop to Country.  I can give you the skills to go to the next level.  From 5-99 years old!

*** Lesson Details ***
A typical lesson would look like this:  Depending on your level we would first work on some new chords and/or a new scale and how to play them
.  We "jam" a little to get the feel.  I have a really great way of teaching theory that will get you playing what you want.  The second half we usually focus on learning a song of your choice or working on an original of yours. I am very personable and easygoing.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Have guitars and amps, basses and amps, drum set, microphones and recording equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Have equipment

*** Specialties ***
Rock, World, Hip Hop, Folk, Electronica, Classical, Jazz
...

Reviews

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caroline S. April 23, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Vir is a gifted teacher. He has taught my son guitar for more than a year. He meets my son where ever he's at in his practice, attention and interests with calm, skilled focus and intention . Vir's background as performing musician infuses his teaching with an enthusiasm and creativity of practicing his teaching. We are truly grateful for Vir.
Silhouette-80
Alexander S. March 6, 2014
Singing
Verified Student
A Guru

Vir is beyond your typical vocal coach. He was a huge help on things like pitch accuracy and phrasing, but more than anything, his focus on getting me to tap into and harness my inner power has already paid huge dividends in my recordings and performances. Further, Vir is an amazing person to know and his home-studio in Berkeley is magnificent!
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Vir M.

Vir M.

Berkeley, CA 94708
(2)
starting at
$35 / 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 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

Silhouette-80
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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Diana D. May 17, 2014
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
My daughter has been taking singing lessons with Frank for 2 years. She started lessons when she was only four and a half years old. She is now 9 years old and Frank is one of the best vocal teachers she has ever had. Frank is amazing with kids. He keeps my daughter focused and has fun with her at the same time. My daughter looks forward to her class every week. We've seen great improvement in her singing as well as her confidence. I have been extremely happy with Frank and would highly recommend him to anyone looking for vocal lessons--young and old.
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Frank R.

Frank R.

Concord, CA 94518
(5)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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