Lafayette Songwriting Lessons

Looking for private in-home or in-studio Songwriting lessons? Our Lafayette teachers are ready to get you started. Find your teacher today!

Use your current location
Featured On

Why TakeLessons?

Our teachers have taught
1 , 7 1 8 , 0 8 2
lessons and counting!

Popular Songwriting Teachers Near Lafayette

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

Showing 5 of 21 results View More
208247_232343_22069

Steven B.

Alameda, CA

I will teach you the basic concepts of how to compose songs and make those musical ideas of yours a reality. Through music theory techniques, progression theory, lyric concepts and ear training, we'll take that song that's "in your head" and make it into a reality you'll be proud of!

About Steven

Have you always wanted to learn how to play the piano, guitar or electric bass? Or maybe you've just felt like brushing up your musical knowledge and playing skills? Now’s your chance to fulfill those dreams!

About Me: San Francisco Bay area pianist/guitarist/bassist; I've been playing music for over 50 years. I'm classically trained with a solid foundation and knowledge of music theory, and have 35 years experience teaching, recording and performing. I have done session work and/or performed with members of Journey, Santana, Jackson Browne, Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers and Greg Allm
an to name a few. Let me take my education and experience and pass them on to you!

My main goal as a music instructor is to pass along my love and knowledge of playing music to my students, always vigilant for sharing shortcuts that will help the student to achieve their lesson goals faster. Some teachers teach only out of books. I am not such a teacher. Books solve the problem of learning music in generalizations and by their very nature, cannot take into consideration personal issues a student will encounter.

Most students are able to learn enough of the necessary mechanics at the first lesson to actually play something before they leave that lesson. This is important because they realize that playing music IS possible. I always enjoy the look on their face when they realize they have actually “played” their instrument at their first lesson.

I am not the sort of teacher who yells and screams if the student comes in unprepared. I realize that people come to me for a variety of reasons and I work with them with whatever they bring in. I am patient and if a student is not understanding a certain aspect, I bring into play alternate approaches. Not everyone assimilates information in the same way. Learning music should be an enjoyable adventure for the student and I venture to say that my students enjoy coming to their lessons. We have fun, and we learn.

>>> FYI: I'm happy to come to your home if traveling to my studio in Alameda isn't convenient for you, and I cover most of the East Bay, including Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Orinda, Lafayette, Walnut Creek and (of course) my own lovely town of Alameda. As much as I love our "City by the Bay", traveling to San Francisco, Marin, or the Peninsula just isn't cost or time effective for me; I apologize to you fine folks and potential students of the West Bay!
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Billy May 17, 2016
Piano · In studio
wow amazing!
Silhouette-80
Tim M. February 22, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Great teacher and great time taking the lessons! I wish we could take more lessons with him but we've recently moved out of the area. Thanks for everything Steven!
Silhouette-80
Noor A. October 18, 2015
Classical Piano · In home
Verified Student
I was, initially, unsure whether I had made the right decision in using TakeLessons to revive my piano-playing skills, but after meeting Steven, I have no doubts that it was one of the best decisions I have yet to make.

Steven is wonderful! He is inspired and inspiring, encouraging, and his passion inspires passion - I could not have asked for better! Steven is an absolute pleasure, and I would absolutely recommend him to anyone!
View More
View Profile
Steven B.

Steven B.

Alameda, CA 94501
(16)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
213893_265082_29530

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA

I teach and help people how to write songs at all levels. Whether you are a beginner, or more advanced and need new ideas to draw from. There is an endless reservoir of ideas and concepts to help you to create any kind of music imaginable.

About Mark

I have played on tour with several professional bands, playing rock, pop, blues, African, metal, and country. I now perform live in various bands and record original music as often as possible. My music has gotten airplay in many countries.

I started playing guitar at age 9, and recorded 2 singles in the LA area by age 14. I was a music major throughout High School and College. I also learned a lot by educating myself at the Brand Library in the Los Angeles Area, which specializes in the arts. I specialized in advanced music theory and improvisational techniques.

I have enjoye
d teaching music lessons since 1978.

I custom tailor a lesson plan to fit your individual needs and goals! I can teach you songs you'd like to learn instantly when I hear them on your iPod, mobile phone, cassette or CD that you bring in. I can explain musical theory and concepts many different ways to make sure you understand them. I am very friendly and patient.

Sometimes I might inject humor into the learning process to make it an enjoyable learning experience, and to help you remember the important things.
I love the satisfaction of seeing my students grow musically proficient and and seeing the JOY that it brings them. Many of my students have gone on to become professional. I am well-versed in many styles: Rock, Pop, Blues, Alternative, Country, R&B, Metal (and a few plastics and wood as well).

*** Lesson Details ***
I will develop a personal lesson plan for each individual student. During your lessons, I might cover topics ranging from learning how to play, starting from the basics (if you are a beginner), to choosing music that will inspire you on your level, to improving your technique, ear-training, music reading (if that's what you'd like), reading and understanding tabs (if that's what you'd like), knowing what it is that makes certain chords and notes sound good together for writing your own music, as well as guitar maintenance and adjustments, getting a good tone, amplifier settings, effect pedals (settings & placing them in the most effective order), recording tips, and where to get a decent pizza.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living Room or Studio, both very comfortable. Amplifiers, guitars, effects pedals, bass, ukulele, balalaika, drum set, PA system and recording equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide guitar, bass, or ukulele and amplifier when necessary, teaching tools. The student provides their guitar and paperwork I give them.

*** Specialties ***
Teach note reading using Alfred's New Guitar course. Genres: Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Punk, Metal, Folk, Country, Hip Hop, Funk, R& B, New Age, Ambient.

I currently have 4 albums out under my name. My music is on a major new age compilation, and has been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs. I have played on other people's albums.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Michael P. July 6, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Mark was an excellent teacher, made me very comfortable. We talk about music and set some goal,he keeps a chart to know what his teaching each student and he write it all out on paper and he writes that you can understand his writing .so very happy. Mike
Silhouette-80
Scott June 8, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · In home
Verified Student
First lesson. Mark really dialed in my skill level and completely exceeded my expectations in terms of material, lesson plan, genre etc. Even got to play one of his ridiculously sweet tele's.
Silhouette-80
Ray A. July 8, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I think Mark is a good guitar player and the best guitar instructor i ever had. Igive him 5 star rating.
View More
View Profile
Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(14)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
222799_410897_41274

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 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

Silhouette-80
Evelynne L. January 7, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Connected well with my 9 year old daughter. Strong musical and teaching skills and a pleasure to work with. Run don't walk to see Arrica!
Silhouette-80
Richard M. October 1, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
First lesson very comfortable, relaxed yet structured, getting to know each others personality, musical abilities.
Take home exercises.
Looking forward to the next lesson.
Thanks Arrica
Silhouette-80
Julie B. September 10, 2015
Music Performance · In home
Arrica has been such a wonderful teacher for my 11-year-old daughter. (She was 9 when she started with Arrica.) Our girl has a lot of raw talent but needed some good instruction that wasn't too formal. Africa is just the right blend of traditional singing technique and fun rock-n-roll, record your own music on Garage band. We love her!
View More
View Profile
Arrica R.

Arrica R.

Oakland, CA 94611
(8)
starting at
$50 / 30-min
Profile_91867_pi_Nick Rattray

Nick R.

Oakland, CA

Co-write with Nick, or bring in your compositions for expert feedback. Nick has decades of songwriting experience, and has helped many students find their own unique voice. Don't keep putting it off, try it out!

About Nick

I am a professional musician and songwriter, who teaches voice, piano, guitar and songwriting. I've been performing, composing and recording since I was very young, and I have a bachelor's degree in music from UC Santa Cruz. I have released two full albums of original music, and am currently working on my third. I've performed professionally in New York, Los Angeles, and all over the Bay Area. I started teaching in 2005 when I was a music student at UCSC, and haven't looked back! My students have performed at clubs and concert venues, studied at schools such as the Conservatory of Vocal and In
strumental Arts, Oakland School of the Arts, and UC Santa Cruz. And some have made beautiful, original recordings of their own. I enjoy working with children and adults alike.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am easy going and friendly, and I've found that the first step toward success is building a great rapport with my students. We begin by assessing where you are and where you want to be. Some students thrive with a highly technical approach; some thrive in a less formal, more supportive environment; most do best with an approach that mixes the two. The important thing to know is that you will receive lessons that are specifically tailored to you. There's no single template.

I always encourages students to perform, no matter how big or small the venue. I hold regular studio recitals for all of my students. But this could also mean joining a choir, going to an open mic, or even preparing your own recital or show. I often records my students, or help them gain the skills to make recordings themselves. Music is for sharing!
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Mara C. August 18, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Very nice start for a "get to know each other lesson. Nick was very positive and encouraging with my daughter, 14 years old. 30 minutes was short, so we may increase to 45 down the road.
Silhouette-80
Eleanor W. April 13, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Nick is teaching beginner piano to my 3 children in the comfort of their
home. They absolutely enjoy it. He is patient & gives great direction. His
calm & encouraging demeanor allows them to focus on the music. Each of them
have made wonderful progress & look forward to their lessons each week.
Thank you Nick for your continued instruction! I highly recommend him.
Silhouette-80
Kara N. April 9, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Nick has been teaching my daughter (age 10) piano for the past 7 months and I could not be more pleased! I'll start by saying that my daughter had never before taken lessons and, to be certain, was a reluctant student at the onset. That said, she is progressing at an incredible pace under Nick's weekly instruction, and is genuinely loving the experience. In fact, I no longer have to remind her to practice each day, as she sits to play piano whenever she has free time!

Nick comes to our home every week, is punctual, flexible in scheduling, and always brings a warm smile, lots of encouragement, and a captivating variety of songs for my daughter to learn. He is truly wonderful with children (that magical balance of supportive and challenging), and is able to adeptly incorporate my daughter's individual learning style into his lessons.

I highly recommend Nick as an instructor and feel so grateful to have him supporting my daughter's musical education.
View More
View Profile
Nick R.

Nick R.

Oakland, CA 94605
(6)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
Profile_95001_pi_Dan-guitar

Danielle L.

Oakland, CA

As the creator and producer of San Diego IndieFest and Say It Records, I have a unique understanding of the industry, and love to share that with my students.

It's paramount to me that each student's lesson be customized to her / his specific goals and needs. Whether those are for personal enrichment or for professional aspirations, your lesson will be personalized according to what's important to you.

I LOVE to teach, and appreciate my wee ones just as much as my elders...those who consider themselves "tone deaf" as much as my advanced students. As far as Special Needs go - I feel we *ALL* have special needs....every child and every adult! ;)

About Danielle

Hello Students / Parents!

I specialize in providing a fun, inspiring and safe space for each student to reach their goals - whether that be for the novice singer whose been wrongfully told they shouldn't sing, the more experienced singer looking to do more with their music, or the budding songwriter, actor or speaker looking to develop the talent and drive they feel within them.

I always remember the inspiration and patience I received from my best teachers, so I strive to provide exactly that to my own students. I sing and teach most vocal styles, with the exception of opera and screamo
, and utilize my studio to create a supportive, empowering experience singing, writing and recording. I absolutely love to teach both children and adults and look forward to learning how to best support each one of my students in their individual path toward realizing their potential.

Here's a bit about my background and musical experience:

Bachelors of Fine Arts degree (Theatre/Voice) from United States International University Graduated Valedictorian
Chula Vista School of Creative and Performing Arts Graduated Valedictorian
Workshops and studying with Bill Doyle, Roy Mote, Andrew Barnicle, Jack Tygett, Leanne Summers, among others.

"After seeing Danielle, I was impressed with her intensity as a performer. Her ability to get behind a lyric was stunning, she lives every line. As an artistic performer, I've yet to see better."
-Tony Ferguson / Interscope Records: No Doubt, Bush, Fisher

My original band, Danielle and The Masses, has been recording and performing live since 2001. We are endorsed by Ani Difranco, The Black Eyed Peas, The Bruce Hornsby Band, and have shared the stage with artists as Jamie Foxx, CAKE, Metric, En Vogue, David Byrne, Berlin, Margaret Cho, Cyndi Lauper, Jonatha Brooke, Beth Hart, Semi Precious Weapons and more.

I have written and performed music and voice over for Ace Ventura, Nutty Professor, VH1, various TV shows and independent documentaries, Eveoke Dance Theatre, among others, as well as having recorded eight professional CDs of various styles on various record labels.

For over ten years, my record / production company, Say It Records has been producing socially conscious music events throughout San Diego and Southern California that promote independent music, film, art, community and human rights. I also co-own Durga Sound, a teaching and production studio, with producer Alicia Champion, as well as San Diego IndieFest, a powerful community event which promotes and supports music, film, art and civic engagement.

I have a great time utilizing my contacts in the industry to help my students get work/ press / entrance into the schools of their choice, etc. For example, I'm happy to report that just last year we were able to book eight musicians on GLEE, as well as lots more in other capacities including using their music in commercials and film and helping them get cast in local theatre and accepted into arts-centered schools.

*** Lesson Details ***
I start on the first lesson by becoming clear about what the new student's goals and desires are from there, we start developing technique to achieve those goals along with having fun right away doing what they came for - singing, writing, voice over, acting or using a combination of these things be it for professional purposes or personal fulfillment. Every lesson is personally customized to meet the specific goals of each student. As a teacher, I'm encouraging and fun, passionate and positive. While I'm definitely not "strict", I do appreciate focus and drive. However, I often work with people who have special needs and are working on developing those very things. I'm especially good at helping people through progress plateaus, roadblocks, stage fright, loss/ stress. Using music as a means of release and healing - for both kids and adults - is something I do a lot of and am very comfortable with.

As far as technique is concerned, I focus on utilizing posture, correct breathing and developing relaxed, strong support, so that the muscles are developed properly and without stress, enabling the student's voice to constantly grow while also steering clear of the injury that can accompany the straining that often happens when singing without proper technique.

I strongly encourage students to record their lessons on a mobile device so they can practice easily on their own, and so they eventually have a record of how far they've grown.
We mostly use tracks to develop repertoire, prepare for auditioning and performances, and to have fun singing the music that excites each student the most.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Apple Mac Pro Quad Core running OS 10.8.3
Avid Pro Tools 10 HDX
Propellor Reason 4.0
UA 2-610 Microphone Pre-amp
UA LA-610 Microphone Pre-amp and Compressor
UA Teletronix LA2A Compressor/ Limiter
Behringer ADA 8000
more...

*** Specialties ***
Using music, writing and voice as a means of expressing yourself, growing as a performance artist, coping in challenging times, as well as a means of going professional and earning income are all areas I specialize in. Utilizing proper technique and learning how to sing / speak safely is also an area I focus on a great deal.

Learning precisely what each student wants is the key factor in my decision on how to achieve their goals. For example, using Speech Level Singing is definitely entrenched in my teaching, but I may not highlight it as much for those who want a more classical sound.

I definitely excel with the following: first timers, very young kids, students working through stage fright, artists looking to develop their own original project, those seeking growth in their process of writing / recording / performing, those who are interested in using music and / or writing as therapy as well as with amateurs who've always wanted to do something musical but who think they are "too old" or too "untalented/short/tall/ fill in the blank" to try. I believe we all have something to say with our lives - finding the voice within you can be an incredibly powerful and transformative experience!
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Kim Noriega January 15, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
If there were ten stars available I'd rate Danielle 10 stars! She's a natural teacher--knowledgeable, patient, inspiring and clearly cares deeply about helping people be their best. Plus, she's got a great sense of humor and adds a touch playfulness to each lesson. And of course, she can sing like nobody's business!
Silhouette-80
Jocelyn October 18, 2015
Singing · In studio
I came to Danielle as someone who loved to sing as a child and had some natural ability but had kind of 'lost my voice' somewhere along my way into my 20s. Singing had become a heavy, loaded, personal thing that I felt scared of or very shy about. Danielle created a safe space and provided excellent guidance for me to get reacquainted with my own sound, my own voice, and it was a very powerful experience. Thank you Danielle!
Thumb_80756_pi_d
Kara R. October 4, 2015
Songwriting · In studio
Verified Student
Danielle is one of the most connected, in tune, emotionally intelligent individuals I've ever met. A truly gifted teacher and artist, she is the whole package! Absolutely priceless experience, would highly recommend these lessons to anyone looking to find his/her voice.
View More
View Profile
Danielle L.

Danielle L.

Oakland, CA 94611
(21)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

How it Works

From finding the perfect teacher to managing payments, scheduling and tracking your progress,
we take care of all the details, so you can focus on learning. Learn More

Search for a teacher

Compare hundreds of teachers based on the criteria that matter to you, including background checks, age and experience.

Schedule your lessons

When you've found the perfect match, schedule your lessons online using the teacher's real-time availability.

GetStarted
BrowseListings

Connect with your teacher

Your teacher will welcome you with a personalized curriculum to meet your specific goals and you'll be able to manage your entire schedule through our free online account.

Can't find a teacher in Lafayette?

No problem. Our online lesson platform connects you with any teacher, anywhere. All you
need is a reliable Internet connection, a webcam and a microphone.

 
Online

Convenient

Zero travel time is great for a busy schedule.

Affordable

Typically priced lower than local lessons.

Effective

Online students stick with lessons as long as local students.

Learn More

Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

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

Get Started With Free Resources

Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

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

Quiz: What Should You Write Your Next Song About?

Writing songs is hard enough work without having to deal with songwriters' block! To help you find inspiration for your next song, we created this easy personality quiz. Take the quiz and find out what your next hit single will be about... For more songwriting tips and songwriting prompts, check out our infographic guide 25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block! Share your songwriting ideas, struggles, triumphs, and questions in the comments below.   Interested in … Read More
Quiz: What Should You Write Your Next Song About?
Writing songs is hard enough work without having to deal with songwriters' block! To help you find inspiration for your next song, we created this easy personality quiz. Take the quiz and find out what your next hit single will be about... For more songwriting tips and songwriting prompts, check out our infographic guide 25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block! Share your songwriting ideas, struggles, triumphs, and questions in the comments below.   Interested in
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
25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block
Every songwriter runs into writers' block at some point in their career. To help you dig your way out of the dreaded doldrums of songwriters' block, we put together 25 songwriting tips and prompts plus great songs to inspire you. Check out these songwriting tips and find your muse today!   Bonus: Take the quiz to find out what you should write your next song about! Write about your day. Think your life is boring and you have nothing to say? Check out the lyrics to thi
5 Reasons Why Songwriters Should Collaborate
This article was originally published on Soundfly and is being shared as part of Songwriting Week! Join the conversation on social media (#SongwritingWeek) for even more tips, articles, and resources.   So many musicians and songwriters stress the importance of collaboration. But without knowing how collaboration could benefit your work, why would you share an idea you’ve spent countless hours thinking about, only to open yourself up to criticism? As it turns out, all those advice
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

Are You a Teacher?

Find out how TakeLessons can help you grow and manage your business

Learn More