Larkspur Piano Lessons

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Jim T.

Fairfax, CA

I've been teaching piano for over 20 years and emphasize the fundamental skills in the beginning: how to easily read music, play in time, sight-reading, basic music theory and basic scales and technique. I'm a versatile performing musician and composer myself and so love to teach all styles including classical, jazz, rock, blues and more! We have a student showcase party every year where all the students get together to perform and showcase their skills.

About Jim

My career in music began at an early age (four!) with classical piano lessons until the age of thirteen. After expanding my musical horizons in high school listening to jazz, blues and rock I attended Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA where I studied jazz & music theory with renowned jazz educator Ray Brown and jazz piano with Paul Nagle who has worked with Grammy award winning singer Bobby McFerrin among many others.
I have been performing solo and in groups since the Eighties in a variety of different genres including rock, jazz, blues, r&b, funk, reggae and everything in between! Perfo
rming with such artists as Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Dan Hicks, David Grisman, Tommy Castro, Eric McFadden, Mark Karan & Vinyl I have appeared at most of the major venues in the Bay Area including the Warfield Theatre, the Great American Music Hall, Yoshi's SF, the Regency, Bimbo's & the Sweetwater.
My teaching experience goes back over twenty years and I relocated to Marin County in the Bay Area in 1995 where I've been teaching extensively since 2002. Since then I have helped hundreds of students realize their dream of learning to play piano and keyboards as well as read music, play perfectly in time and learn songwriting skills. Playing music is fun & easy......I can show you just how easy it is!!

*** Lesson Details ***
My style is laid back with a large supply of patience and devotion to my students. I teach beginning , intermediate & advanced piano and keyboards (including organ). For adult beginning piano students I use the John Thompson Modern Course for the Piano Grade One along with Thompson's Note, Scale & Chord Speller books and flash cards for a quick and easy route to learning how to read music and basic music theory. For kids (5-7) I like Thompson's "Teaching Little Fingers to Play" along with the kid's music theory books by Linda Ng.
In the first six months students can expect to study basic finger exercises and scales, how to read music easily and quickly, how to play perfectly in time & develop a repertoire of songs to play. Once students have learned basic skills it is possible to explore many different genres including classical, jazz, blues, rock, reggae and much more. I customize the lessons to fit each student's needs and desires and can also help the students with songwriting and learning from the recorded works of great artists!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Beautiful 1884 carved English maplewood Estey upright piano!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide the books and supplies at cost...students should have some kind of keyboard to practice on...preferably a real piano although I have taught many students initially on electric keyboards.

*** Specialties ***
I teach beginning, intermediate & advanced piano in the styles of classical, jazz, blues, rock, r&b, pop, country, etc. ages 5-105! Usually I start beginners in the John Thompson method & speller books along with music flash cards and then am willing to shift into different styles as the students gain basic skills.
...

Reviews

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dorothee C. March 4, 2013
Piano
Great teacher for children, including jazz

Our 3 kids have taken piano lessons at our house with Jim for 6 years. Jim is a unique piano teacher, the kind that is hard to find in the bay area. He teaches classical music to beginners and confirmed students and goes to your house to teach. His training was in classical music, and he knows very well that it takes time and effort to get there, he is patient and encouraging, our kids NEVER felt pressured by him and still learned how to play in an exponential way. Thanks to Jim, they like to play for themselves AND in front of other people, which is one of Jim's important goals. Jim is now a renowned jazz piano player and cofounder of a band (Tre Mojo's) and we are always invited in his gigs when they take play in the bay area. Our son is learning jazz with him, it has been impressive to watch and hear, after a year he does know the jazz harmonies and can do impros. Every spring, Jim organizes a very nice recital where all his students come and perform various types of music (from Beethoven, Chopin, to the Beatles, to jazz impro. from beginner to professional level). Jim basically taught our children to play music with no stress, no competition, and still at a high level. Besides, Jim is highly professional, has NEVER been late, and always does what he says and -we believe- says what he thinks. There has never been a bump in our relationship. We would highly recommend him as a piano teacher.
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Jim T.

Jim T.

Fairfax, CA 94930
(1)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
198704_167327_14050

Sandra M.

San Francisco, CA

Beginning students can expect to learn note reading and technique exercises designed to strengthen the fingers and help the student recognize common musical patterns, as well as starting to play simple songs immediately, and then songs using left hand chords.

Intermediate students can expect to learn more difficult pieces involving left hand and right hand chords, as well as basics in musical interpretation and improvisation.

Advanced students can expect a focus on the musical subtleties on more advanced works.

About Sandra

I am a classically trained pianist and trumpet player with a
bachelor's degree in music education. I have taught for over 20
years, to both adults and children, with a focus on classical basics
and music theory for beginners and stylistic development in various musical styles for intermediate and advanced students. I teach from a standard
method, but adapt my teaching style to the personality and learning
strengths of my students.

I teach from my home in the Castro neighborhood.

*** Lesson Details ***
You can expect a calm teaching atmosphere and a generally laid back approach t
o your learning. I am experienced in teaching students of all musical backgrounds or none, and adjust my expectations accordingly. I teach from a standard method, but incorporate other methods as well depending on what you want from your lessons. We will work together to determine how you learn best and what you want from your lessons. If you are a beginner, within 3-6 months you will know how to read music, know basic theory, and be able to perform pieces suited to your level at recital. If you are intermediate or advanced, we will focus on your technique and understanding of the music you are playing or desire to play.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Yamaha Spinet Piano

*** Specialties ***
I am classically trained, but well-versed in many styles.
...

Reviews

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Elisabeth G. January 29, 2013
Verified Student
Excellent in all regards

Sandy is great. She is supportive and encourages me beyond what I think I can do (and usually I can do it). I've only been working with her for 3 weeks and already my high notes (my biggest problem) are much better and I'm sight reading at a much higher level. She is helping me to have a goal (an audition about 5-6 months) which gives me the incentive to practice when the going gets tough. She is helping me to bring my love of music back into my life.
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ChristineH July 23, 2012
Sandy is extremely patient! She is very fun to work with and I am enjoying my lessons thus far. Thanks Sandy!
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BrunoO July 13, 2012
Very happy

Sandy rocks! She's just really smart and always finds a way to keep me focused and entertained. Really happy with my trumpet classes :)
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Sandra M.

Sandra M.

San Francisco, CA 94114
(14)
starting at
$42 / 30-min
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Donna D.

Corte Madera, CA

I take students of any age, starting with age 8, who are just beginning with their musical journey, or who are returning to the piano after many years. I teach the basics, including basic rhythms, notation, scales, arpeggios, chords, etc. as well as learning pieces. I am interested in the musical styles of the various periods of music history, and keyboard literature from the Baroque to the 21st century. I structure lessons to suit the needs and desires of each student.

About Donna

I love to sing, and I have a passion for teaching students to sing well. I have sung in choruses all my life, and have been inspired by fine conductors and great composers. I am certain that music enlivens my life like nothing else, and it can do that for everyone. Whether you sing in the shower, or in the choir, or with a few friends, or in an opera, you can find your song.

Learning to play the piano, from the very beginning, or picking up where you left off in the past, will bring a spark to your life. Whether you want to play for yourself or some friends, or want to get on track to becom
ing a concert pianist, music will enrich your life.

My students develop an appreciation for music of the Renaissance up through the 21st century. They are willing to delve into exciting territory while learning to read music, establishing confidence in their own musicianship. They discover the music within themselves, while learning the technique necessary to be the best musicians they can be.

I enjoy teaching high school, middle school, and elementary students as well as adults. I Love teaching beginners. I am trained in vocal pedagogy, music theory, music history, repertoire, performance practice and methods.

My formal education:
B.A., UC, Berkeley (Phi Beta Kappa)
M.A., Occidental College
M.S. Pepperdine University
Lifetime General Secondary Teaching Credential

Teachers and mentors:
Howard Swan, Mary Jones, Edward Lawton, Robert Commanday, Roger Wagner, Linda Anderson, Boyd Jarrell, Paul Smith.

In the last twenty years, I have enjoyed being a participant in music at the College of Marin, through choral, vocal, opera and piano classes. I currently serve as volunteer assistant to the Director of Choral Activities.

I am particularly proud of my experience as instructional aide and coach for music students with disabilities at the College of Marin, including students with developmental disabilities and autism.

Past classroom experience:
Long Beach Unified School District, Choral Music Teacher
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Choral Music Teacher
Low Heywood School and King School (prep schools), Stamford, CT, Choral Music Teacher

*** Lesson Details ***
Voice students can expect to learn how to produce tone beautifully, using correct posture and breathing, and proper vowel production, rhythmic precision, pitch accuracy, carefully formed phrases, and musical and stylistic interpretation. But beyond technique is the amazing art of communicating with other people the wonders of the music. You should expect to make good progress in all of these areas in just a few weeks. I hope you will come with serious interest in developing your beautiful voice.

Repertoire might include folk songs, art songs and arias from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries. Songs might be in English, or possibly in Italian, Latin, German or French, if you interested. We would sit down together and decide what dreams and goals you have, and then choose music to get you going down the path to those dreams and goals.

You can expect to have learned several new songs, and to have brought them to performance level in the first 3-6 months. If you have a goal to learn music for an audition, contest or festival, that can happen.

Piano students can expect to learn everything about the keyboard, posture, proper use right and left hands, scales, chords, arpeggios, and fun exercises leading to good technique, rhythmic accuracy, speed and fluency. Playing beautifully, with artfulness and expressiveness will be priorities.

Repertoire might include beginning to intermediate compositions from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries. We would sit down together and decide what pieces to choose which would help you get on a path to your musical dreams and goals, and what would be appropriate for your age and development as a musician.

You can expect to be playing pieces with 2 hands within a few weeks, and perhaps a melody with chords, if you are a beginner. Degree of difficulty will depend upon your age, experience and development, but even very simple songs can be played musically, with grace.

Of utmost importance to me is that every student learn to read music, and develop an understanding of music fundamentals. The level of sophistication will depend upon age and experience, but learning good musicianship is essential. At the same time, opportunities for creativity to develop through improvisation could be on the horizon for you. It is important to me that you want to learn and and want to become the best you can be.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have a piano and computer with Finale at my home. I provide music and practice sheets, etc.

*** Specialties ***
For voice, I teach classical style, including posture, breathing, tone production, vowel production, phrasing, diction, appropriate style and performance practice, and music reading. Materials I use include everything from folk songs to arias, and 16th century to contemporary compositions, in English, Italian, Latin, French and German. Voice is my primary interest. I am also competent to teach beginning theory, and beginning piano, both classical and standard popular, including improvisation from charts (melody, chords).
...

Reviews

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AndreaS February 16, 2012
Very nice singing classes

Donna is a very warm teacher, her way of teaching is very encouraging and supportive. I enjoyed her classes and learned a lot, more than only singing. I would surely recommend her as a teacher.
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carmenl May 17, 2011
Donna is a great teacher. Gives me the direction I need to focus and progress and enough freedom to experiment with what I'm trying to learn. She also reveals some of mystery of how music works.
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LenoraY June 15, 2010
Feedback for Donna

Donna's method of teaching gets quick results. She simplifies, presents and reinforces concepts such that I've managed to make progress with each lesson. Highly intelligent yet flexible, Donna was quick to analyze my learning process/style. Therefore, when I do falter, she knows exactly why - and helps me make adjustments.
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Donna D.

Donna D.

Corte Madera, CA 94925
(4)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Benjamin G.

San Francisco, CA

• Provide interactive and engaging private lessons to students of all ages.
• Improvise and sight-read with students to help develop a working knowledge of musicality and movement.
• Help students listen to and understand the music they know and love through musical development and ear training.

About Benjamin

I have been studying music my entire life. I first sat down at the piano at four years old and have never strayed. After attending a performing arts high school, I studied music composition and theory at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. My studies not only enhanced my passion for music, but gave me an understanding of it and the listening experience. My desire to share this love and excitement led me to become a piano teacher. Developing my own teaching practice has required intense organizational skills and independent motivation and enhanced my ability to work with others as I interact w
ith my students, their teachers, and parents. In this position, I have had the pleasure of expanding my students’ musical understanding by introducing them to new and different styles and genres of music.

*** Lesson Details ***
Provide interactive and engaging private lessons to students of all ages at my studio and their homes.
Teach piano, music theory, and composition to students of all ages and skill levels.
Develop lesson plans, practice activities, and homework assignments tailor-made for each student maintaining their interest and heightening their skill.
Improvise and sight-read with students to helping them develop a working knowledge of musicality and movement.
Arrange popular songs and simplify advanced compositions to suit my students’ skill levels.
Help students listen to and understand the music they know and love through musical development and ear training.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have 2 upright piano's and sound proofing equipment that helps reduce the intensity of the pianos.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in improvisation and ear training. I love teaching in the postmodernist classical genre. I also love teaching popular styles and methods where the student chooses what direction they would like to go. I do not force my students to play music they don't appreciate.
...

Reviews

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Lance June 12, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Great first lesson
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Lauren D. March 6, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Very good at reassuring me when I'm stressed out from the piece I'm learning... which is all the time. He is very helpful and really knows his stuff!!
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Gayle S. December 13, 2014
Music Theory · In studio
Verified Student
Benjamin is excellent, a music theory whisperer. In a few hours, my son went from a complete block to totally understanding and completing of all the music theory he was assigned. Most of all, he now understands the concepts and application and use. Really amazing work, incredible teacher. Can't say enough.
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Benjamin G.

Benjamin G.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(10)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Jacquelyn W.

San Francisco, CA

About Jacquelyn

Hello! My name is Jackie and I am a concert pianist and singer living and working in San Francisco. I teach students of all levels and ages. I love working with children as well as adults, whether they have professional aspirations or simply want to pursue music as a hobby. I have a master's degree in piano performance, and I am currently pursuing a second Master's degree in Vocal Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. I have had the privilege of performing with orchestras around the United States. I have performed in Carnegie Hall, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D
.C.

I am a very friendly and enthusiastic teacher, and I desire to help every student develop a love of music and become the very best they can be. I believe in working toward goals that will bring each individual student satisfaction and accomplishment. I have helped many students prepare for the ABRSM exams (the graded assessment tests set by the Royal Academy of Music). I have also taught college music theory and ear-training classes.
...

Reviews

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Rodil (Deo) D. March 23, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Have you seen conservatory conductor-teacher Fletcher rip into jazz drummer-student Andy in the movie Whiplash? Famous quotes: "Were you rushing or dragging?", "There are no two words in the English language more harmful than 'good job'."

Thankfully, Jackie is in NO way like Fletcher. She's kind and very encouraging, though firm and exacting at the same time. She will not say 'good job' if you don't deserve it. If you've seen her youtube piano and singing videos, you know that she comes from an impeccable classical background, so understandably her standard is very high. She doesn't tolerate 'sloppy' playing. I've been studying with her for 6 months plus, and I'm still trying to earn a star on my drop-rolls. I'm also still struggling to maintain a technique that does not vacillate between legato and staccato when doing scales with a metronome.

Before coming to Jackie, I could not read sheet music, and can only 'play by ear' (improvise) the melody/accompaniment while reading lyrics and chords from sites such as ultimate-guitar. I tried all kinds of software and apps, including 'Playground Sessions' and 'Piano Marvel' but with limited success. However, I just recently tried the new 'Flowkey' webapp, and was pleasantly surprised to see that I can now handle some of the beginner and intermediate level sheet music.

Here's a youtube video of some of us, her students, performing in our piano/voice recital: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r01ElWcOVmg

There's just no substitute to a real great personal teacher like Jackie, who can not only guide you, but ultimately motivate and inspire you.
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Robert S. May 19, 2014
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Excellent professional teacher - extremely well qualified to teach and or perform - listens well and responds with easy to understand effective communication.
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Jacquelyn W.

Jacquelyn W.

San Francisco, CA 94102
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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