Lafayette Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers Near Lafayette

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Lafayette including Orinda, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek and Canyon.

John D. Berkeley, CA

In order to write songs, you need to know how music works. My students learn, in a clear and fun method, how the structures of their favorite songs work. Let's start by learning about what we like to listen to, and then we'll have the tools to write something of our own!

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 students 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

Reviews

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Mike T. September 22, 2014
Percussion · In studio
I have been a colleague of John's for 16 years and he has always impressed me with his constant dedication to the craft of music. Though he is incredibly talented, he has always been one that works hard and asks questions without fear. In my experience, this is the kind of person that makes the best teachers. He has always loved music, drums, all percussion and more recently has been learning so much about music technology and how to express yourself with any media available. It would be a shame to pass up an opportunity to study with him!
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Daniel P. August 24, 2014
Drum · In studio
I was pretty new to drumming when I first started taking lessons from John, and I could barely play a simple back beat. Long story short - within 6 months I was playing my first show!

I was looking for a teacher with both rock/jazz and classical background, so John fit the bill perfectly. He also knows a lot about Latin American percussion and other styles from around the world, and has a great understanding of how these different styles relate to each other and the various techniques which can be applied.

During the first few lessons, we discussed my background and aims, and came up with a solid plan for how I should proceed. John's broad experience was really helpful for this process. I had been playing guitar and piano for many years before I started on drums, so I already had a decent grounding in musicality and theory. We therefore focused mainly on technique during lessons. John has a real gift for explaining things in an easily understandable way, as well as going into detail when required. Whenever I had trouble with a particular technique, John's advice would help me overcome it. He is also very helpful in suggesting suitable exercises and repertoire. John also provides a private blog containing lesson notes and useful links, and he was also happy for me to record lessons, which I found very useful. With John's help, I was able to progress pretty quickly, and after 6 months I started playing in a band with some friends, which has been awesome fun.

John is super friendly and engaging, and this makes lessons with him great fun. As well as being a fantastic drummer, it is clear that he really cares about the quality of his lessons, and about his students. I'm sure he would make a great teacher for students of all ability/background. John, you rock! Thanks!
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Annie H. October 13, 2013
Drum
Verified Student
Great Musician & Great Teacher

My son started taking lessons with John when he was 7. During the past few months my son has become more aware of the music around him. He looks forward to drums every week. John has great patients and is amazing at connected with children. He is able to keep my son focused, which can be a hard task of itself. He offers instruction while still valuing the individual's personality and taste. John not only shares his knowledge and personal experiences, but his passion.

I would recommend John to anyone in a heartbeat.
Gina B. Oakland, CA

About Gina

I graduated from Juilliard in dance and pursued modern dance and all sorts of theatre including musicals and music theatre and performing arts. I have taught children and grown ups for many years. I have a strong performing career and love the way teaching keeps me in a giving and learning place. *** Lesson Details *** With beginning students I am very laid back and patient and believe strongly that in the play of games and experiments technique will develop and manifest. As the student becomes more advanced I become more demanding as do the materials. As an acting teacher I have an advanced capacity to take students along all the way to professional and beyond. I am a member of the Actors Studio, the performing unions and studied since childhood at ACT and then all over the world ...

Reviews

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Monica P. April 17, 2014
Dance
Verified Student
Beyond expectations

From our first phone call, Gina became invested in my dance journey. From modern dance, to ballet and contemporary, Gina has guided me into a new world of performance and dance. Outside of our scheduled lessons, we are loosely collaborating on a creative project - something I thought was years away until I met Gina. She taught me tactical dance fundamentals while also helping me navigate the dance and theater scene in NYC. (with which she is very connected) The best thing for me was her flexibility with the learning process. She encourages everyone to make their own journey, never forcing too much structure but always being reliable. I look forward to continuing this journey. Thank you!
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Talia S. December 2, 2013
Singing
Verified Student
Gina provides a safe, constructive, playful, supportive, and judgement-free environment to explore and improve in.

I have been taking singing lessons with Gina for several months now. I have always been extremely self conscious of my voice but it's something I've always wanted to conquer. Gina has done a really nice job providing a safe, constructive, playful, supportive, and judgement-free environment to explore and improve in. I always appreciate how flexible she is with scheduling, as my hours are sometimes hard to predict. I really look forward to our time together. It's very therapeutic.
Anthony S. Oakland, CA

I have probably written over a hundred songs... but who keeps count?

About Anthony

My latest article for TAKELESSONS: http://takelessons.com/blog/ukulele-or-guitar-for-kids-zo1 I have a BA in Music from CUNY College of Staten Island and a MM in Composition from CUNY Brooklyn College. I have been teaching Music in NYC Public Schools since 2005 where I have taught thousands of students ages 5 through 14; General Music and Instrumental studies. I have taught private lessons as young as 4 and as mature as 65. The best part of my week is when I get to work with my IS 192 Wind Band, we are working on my latest arrangements of Rock n' Roll and Punk Rock tunes which range from Blue Suede Shoes to Blitzkreig Bop. In addition to my work as an educator, I am a working musician and composer. I have just completed a full length musical titled Work, a short comedic film for ...

Reviews

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Renate K. December 12, 2014
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Our (then) 8 years old daughter took guitar lessons by Anthony last year. Anthony is a great teacher with a lot of humor, patience and expertise. It worked perfectly for our daughter and she loved the lessons and learned a lot. We would highly recommend Anthony to others.
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Katie M. November 22, 2014
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Anthony is a fantastic guitar instructor for our 7 year old son. He is patient and clear, kind and fun-loving. My son is learning quickly and looks forward to his lesson time with Anthony. Anthony is always punctual and professional. We highly recommend Anthony as a guitar teacher.
Arrica R. Oakland, CA

I've been studying songwriting for over 20 years and I've professionally released several albums. I am grateful to have had my music licensed by Starbucks, NBC, The CW network, NikeWomen.com, and MTV. Whether you've never written a song before or are just in need of growth and guidance with your existing body of work, we'll work together to expand your songwriting skill set and repertoire.

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 ...

Reviews

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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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Adam H. November 11, 2013
Singing
Verified Student
Amazing Voice Coach

Arrica has been amazing! She is an extremely talented and very supportive teacher. Our daughter is making great progress and not only enjoys singing more than before, she loves Arrica and looks forward to their time together. We couldn't be happier.
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Maria R. August 8, 2013
Singing
Verified Student
Thanks to Arrica, I'm learning to sing!

Arrica is a talented singer, songwriter and musician. I have been taking lessons from her for several months and have witnessed significant improvement. There is no getting around the need to practice regularly (in order to see results) but Arrica provides the encouragement and guidance necessary to make the effort enjoyable and rewarding. She is very accommodating when it comes to scheduling, lesson planning, etc. She is kind, generous and a joy to spend time with. I highly recommend her!
Ken W. Concord, CA

Application of lesson coarsework and individually created musical pieces

About Ken

At age 12 Ken picked up a guitar and fell in love with the instrument. He began with an obsession with Metallica and related bands that later evolved to a passion for classical and jazz music, music theory. From 2008 -2010 completed the music program at Diablo Valley College in June of 2010, which includes extensive coursework in Music theory, Piano and Guitar. Since 2011 Ken has been a Jazz Guitar Performance Major at Cal State East Bay. There he has studied Classical and jazz Guitar performance with world class musicians. "Music has many different levels and the beautiful thing is there is a place for everybody. I have spent a lot of time throughout my music career going “back to basics” in order to become a better musician. We are all capable of becoming great musicians and just

Reviews

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Rahul S. November 6, 2014
Classical Guitar · In home
Ken is an awesome teacher and an great person. He teaches my 5 year daughter and she loves his lessons and his jovial approach. Within 4 weeks, she has picked up a lot of things and is improving day by day. He is patient as you ought to be with the kids and yet persistent enough to stick to the task.

I am really looking forward to them picking up songs in the coming lessons. I will recommend him anytime and completely vouch for his credentials and ability as an excellent guitarist as well as teacher.
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Jon C. August 18, 2014
Classical Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Ken is a talented musician, nice person, and a fantastic teacher. I wanted to branch out into classical guitar after many years of playing other styles. Ken was good at adapting to my background and goals.
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Francesca G. June 30, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Ken W. is an awesome teacher, my daughter loves her lessons with Ken, he is very patient kind and makes my daughter feel very comfortable. He also is very positive inspiring. I plan on keeping Ken as my daughters instructor for a very very long time
Yonatan T. Berkeley, CA

About Yonatan

Yonatan recently graduated from UC Santa Cruz, with a B.A. in classical guitar and electronic music. Since then, he has been teaching music full-time both in large classes and to individuals. When he is not teaching, he is performing with one of his folk, blues, or rock bands. Yonatan has enjoyed teaching music for over 3 years. He teaches Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Accordion, Theory, Ukulele, and songwriting. Throughout his childhood his musical education was non-traditional, as he learned to play by listening to the musicians that inspired him, and aimed to replicate their playing while defining his own style. Later in his life, he understood the benefit of formal training, which led him to receive a B.A. in music. For this reason, Yonatan's lessons incorporate both ways he ...

Reviews

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Matt W. October 30, 2014
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Yonatan is a fabulous teacher! He taught our 10 year old son beginning guitar and our 13 year old daughter advanced guitar and ukulele. He was a master at discovering our kids' interests and abilities and teaching them from where they were.He was very creative and motivating with our son, balancing his teaching by engaging our son in writing his own songs while also learning skills. Our daughter is more advanced and interested in playing others' songs and composing her own on guitar, ukulele, and piano - all of which Yona plays. Her playing and her confidence steadily improved with Yona's guidance. We highly recommend Yona for any age level. He is a kind and nurturing mentor and person.
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Roger F. October 27, 2014
Ukulele · In studio
Yona is awesome; not only a great musician but also can help a "rank beginner" like me. He is insightful, creative at helping me overcome various hurdles to learning how to play the Ukulele. He is a gem, and I highly recommend him for all levels of musical ability.
Thanks, Yona.
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Jessica S. December 18, 2013
Guitar
an amazing teacher for any level or age!

Yonatan has inspired my whole family into playing music. He is incredibly patient with my two children, who are each excited about learning both ukulele and banjo with him. I am taking guitar, and could not be more pleased with Yonatan's thoughtful and very effective approach to teaching. I have already improved so much and endorse him wholeheartedly.

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Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

Students are raving about their Songwriting instructors on TakeLessons. Check out some of these recent reviews.

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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.

How to Write Lyrics: Steps to Success for Any Musical Style

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 … Read More
How to Write Lyrics: Steps to Success for Any Musical Style
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
Logic Pro Tutorial: How To Create An Audio Slow-Down Effect
Want to add a cool slow-down effect to your music? Learn how in this Logic Pro tutorial from Brevard, NC teacher John C...   If you've listened to popular radio in the past several years, and I’m guessing you have, you've heard either a vocal melody line or an instrumental part of a song make a particular effect. Listen to the following Fall Out Boy song and pay attention to the music in the background at 00:27 seconds, again at 1:27, and once again at 2:27: Did you hear it? Th
6 Resources for Creating Your Own Sheet Music
As you develop your musical skills, you may become interested in writing your own music. While learning to play an instrument and being able to play others' music is a wonderful skill, nothing compares to creating sheet music full of your own compositions! As a budding songwriter, you’ll need to add some additional skills to your repertoire. Writing music can be as simple as putting a pen to paper, or you can take advantage of the many songwriting tools technology offers. Whether you’re sketchi
Songwriting Tips | The Wisdom of a One-Of-Kind Song Title
What's in a name? If you're looking for songwriting tips as you pen your next tune, check out this advice from Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   There is not one "right" or preferred way to write a song. It's a very individual choice. Some songwriters start out with a patch of melody or a line or two of lyric as their creative catalyst. Others will initiate the songwriting muse with a unique and instantly-captivating song title or writing from their emotions. And in this ever-cr
How To Write a Song Today: 4 Easy Steps
Learning how to write a song is easier than you think! Greeley, CO teacher Andy W. outlines the steps here...  Don’t you wish you could write a song that tells your own story - whether it’s about love, hardships, or finding humor in life? There’s no reason that you can’t do that today! To help get you started, here are four easy steps to writing your own song: 1. Play chords or a riff. 2. Sing or hum over the harmony. 3. Repeat steps 1-2 to form a chorus and then a bridge. 4. Place

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