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Want to Make it as a Musician in L.A.? Try Piano!

By Dorothea G. - Los Angeles Piano Teacher

So you want to be an awesome musician. Do you believe you will? Because that’s half of the effort right there – believing it. If you already do, then skip to the last paragraph of this article. But if you’re unsure, keep reading…

When you take piano lessons in Los Angeles, your success is within “Arm’s Reach.” I composed a song with that title on my piano recently, and licensed it to a feature film. I never forget how amazing it is that what pours out of my mind and my heart (and all over my piano) might actually be heard in a movie or TV show, or on someone else’s DVD player. I used to think that was all dreaming. That it was impossible. But why did I ever think that way?

My only enemy was the idea of “impossible.” But it’s NOT impossible - it’s a reality for me. So when I reflected on where that idea came from, I traced it back to loving friends and family who thought they were protecting me from delusions of grandeur. They told me, in so many words, not to set myself up for failure.

Let’s just clear this up here and now. There is no failure. There are only course corrections. I know this from years of practice and from teaching piano lessons. If my students thought of every wrong note as a failure, they would quit after the first two minutes of trying. So I help them to correct their course - note by note, chord by chord. It’s no different with our thinking – or with our life journey for that matter. We choose a song to learn. We make a thousand course corrections in the learning process. And then…we PLAY IT! If we believe we can, we will.

I chose piano because it was my passion, and it became my way of overcoming the impossible. Like no other instrument, you can hear an entire symphony on a piano! That’s why the genius composers of old were pianists. Do you hear simple melodies in your mind? Or do you hear multi-layered symphonic brilliance? In either case, you can make it real on a piano.

Okay, so you’re an awesome musician now - even if only in your mind. Now it’s time to find an instructor who can show you how to make that awesomeness live in the world, starting local piano lessons. Remember, once it’s locked into your mind, nothing is impossible.

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Cory M.

Hawthorne, CA

I have been teaching and performing on piano for 30 years.
We work on sight reading, ear training, and theory.
I have an easy style and like my students to enjoy their lessons.

About Cory

So you want to play an instrument? Well I have taught for over 40 years and have developed special programs for you on piano, guitar, bass, voice and other instruments for you to learn. From easy beginner to the most advanced, I will help you to learn the songs you love! Whether we use the most modern technology in my professional recording studio or just some chords or perhaps learning to sight read something for a talent show, I can take you all the way to the highest performance level. Your goals are my goals.
I have studied with some of the most famous teachers in the world, includi
ng Charlie Parker's pianist Walter Bishop Jr. and Dizzy Gillespie's musical director Mike Longo, among many others.
I also have the experience of over 400 gigs a year to bring to your lesson. I have performed on piano, guitar and bass and vocals with famous stars and some really great bands which will help me answer many of your questions. I am currently still working, teaching and recording all the time. I also have a professional recording studio in my home which you can take full advantage of.

*** Lesson Details ***
I want you to have fun learning and can help you with understanding and memorizing your songs.
I focus on sight-reading, ear training (like jamming and playing blues) and theory. You get to choose the areas you would like to learn.
Once we have established the basics including melody and chords, we will pick songs you want to learn to play with your friends or just by yourself. We can use music books or go on YouTube to learn your songs.
I have helped students with auditions as well as performances. After only a few lessons you will hear and see things differently than ever before.

*** Studio Equipment ***
My studio comes complete with acoustic and electric keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars, electric bass and amps to play through, as well as professional microphones for recording. I use ProTools for recording which is used in every major studio around the world and it's loaded with great software for demos or mastering songs.

*** Specialties ***
I teach beginner, intermediate and advanced students.
I teach all styles of music including Classical, Jazz, and Rock/Pop/Blues.
I also teach songwriting, performing and recording in my ProTools studio.
...

Reviews

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Deb R. January 14, 2016
Violin · Online
Verified Student
First online lesson and my Skype was not working. Cory quickly found a workaround. He was patient and engaged. I feel motivated to do my 'homework' and am confident this student/teacher match is a good one. I look forward to many more lessons!
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Richard P. January 13, 2016
Bass Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Cory is a great I am really excited by his approach and genuine love music overall. His enthusiasm comes through his teaching.
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Hunter U. December 10, 2015
Verified Student
He's absolutely amazing! Excellent instructor! Well rounded and well versed when in comes to music. Recommend!
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Cory M.

Cory M.

Hawthorne, CA 90250
(13)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Tanisha H.

Los Angeles, CA

Overall basic piano technique, vocal placement, harmony, music theory.

About Tanisha

Tanisha is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music's Vocal and Music Business programs. Since arriving to Los Angeles, Tanisha has built a solid career providing artist development services to professional entertainers, recording artists and actors. Her services include vocal coaching, piano lessons, music theory, songwriting, performance development, media and stage training. Tanisha is also an accomplished songwriter. She is a regular co-writer with platinum selling recording artist Shanice Wilson of "Flex and Shanice" on OWN. Tanisha also works closely with casting and produc
ers of the major network talent competitions The Voice, America's Got Talent and American Idol. Additionally, many of our clients can been seen and heard

In addition to teaching music, Tanisha has enjoyed a successful career in the entertainment industry working with top tier performers such as Chaka Khan, The Black Eyed Peas, Montell Jordan and Babyface to name a few. Accompanying her is a staff of accomplished performers and teachers who have credits throughout the entertainment industry. At the WHAA, her performing arts academy, she offers a conservatory-level curriculum focusing on the fundamental skills of technique, composition, artistry and performance in music, dance, drama and visual arts.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am a very fun loving person and believe in creating a positive environment where students feel comfortable to be themselves. At the same time I am a stickler for details and do not allow laziness. I believe a balance of fun with excellence has allowed my students to excel far beyond their own expectations. Good results takes HARD WORK! Please do not come to lessons with the expectation to sing like Beyoncé or play piano at Carnegie Hall after 4 lessons. Mastering your voice and instrument takes equal parts of time, hard work, dedication and patience.

My teaching style is individually based.
For vocal clients, I asses their strengths and weaknesses and develop a plan to build up their weak areas while helping them find "their own voice". I focus on breathing, intonation and control which I believe are the foundation of great singing ability. I use a classical Italian based program along with pop, R&B, jazz, and rock. I have vocal coached in many languages including Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.

For piano clients I focus on strength, dexterity and precision in fingering. I also help students learn to feel the music and bring their personality and touch to each piece they are performing.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Tanisha currently teaches at her performing arts academy the White H Arts Academy. There are private instruction rooms and a lobby waiting area for parents and guests. Parents may also sit in the lesson room if desired. Private lesson rooms include a piano, speakers, and a music stand.

The White H Arts Academy also has two state of the art mirrored dance rooms with sound systems and wireless microphones for practicing stage performances or rehearsing for a big show.

*** Specialties ***
Vocals: beg to adv
Piano: beg to inter

Vocal genres are classical (opera), pop, R&B, gospel, rock, jazz, blues and musical theater. I studied voice at Berklee College of Music. Have also studied Seth Riggs SLS (Speech Level Singing) method independently, however, I am not certified. I also teach in languages other than English including Spanish, Japanese and Chinese.

Piano instruction levels I teach are basic to intermediary focusing on classical, and general accompaniment abilities.
...

Reviews

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Sakara L. April 21, 2016
Vocal Training · Online
Verified Student
Tanisha is great!
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Anisa April 6, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
She's very personable and has a great ear.
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BINTA March 29, 2016
Singing · Online
Verified Student
She's very good at what she does.
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Tanisha H.

Tanisha H.

Los Angeles, CA 90043
(92)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Brenton K.

Los Angeles, CA

I have been playing the piano even longer than the bass, but I've never studied it as thoroughly. I can help you with many different types of playing. This is a great supplemental instrument if you are learning composition, arranging, theory, or ear training.

About Brenton

"Music is the best!" --Frank Zappa

That is the only thing I can claim to know for certain.

My ideals as a teacher are sound control, fun, and community. I teach all of my students how to play their instrument in a manner which they understand and enjoy. I demonstrate how much fun music can be once my student has the facility to create sound freely. And I inspire them to use this gift for bringing people closer together.

Since beginning my musical studies at California State University Northridge, I have been working as a musician in the greater Los Angeles area. Now over a decade
later, I continue to perform and teach - enjoying the whole ride wherever it takes me. While my primary instruments are Contrabass and Electric Bass Guitar, I have technical know how on a wide variety of instruments. Some of these include the violin, guitar, and piano.

I'm also happy to teach students who already have technical facility are interested in learning about things like musicality, melodic phrasing, harmonic analysis, rhythmic accuracy, ear training, reading in various clefs, improvisation, and much more.

Let's jam!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can bring whatever I need to a lesson, but I expect all of my students to take the initiative to have all necessary equipment for playing. That being said, if a problem ever arises in the procuring of this equipment, I am always happy to help in anyway that I can.
...

Reviews

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Samuel D. April 21, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Very involved and informative, great lesson. I really enjoyed myself!
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Aidan S. February 14, 2016
Upright Bass · In studio
Verified Student
Very easygoing, knowledgeable, and knows how to teach clearly and effectively. Good experience
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Ben November 16, 2015
Violin · In studio
Brenton is an excellent music teacher. Our son really enjoys and has made good advances on the violin as a result of his amazing ability and adaptability to accommodate each individual student. He is super kind and patient.
If it weren't for us moving, we would be continuing lessons with him for a long time!
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Brenton K.

Brenton K.

Los Angeles, CA 90034
(6)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Mauricio O.

Hawthorne, CA

Whether you're just wanting to learn the piano as an absolute beginner, looking to review and start studying again, or you're a singer / songwriter who desires to learn the piano to write songs or accompany yourself on stage, let's get in contact and start with some lessons.

About Mauricio

Guitar instructor, producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with more of 10 years of experience in variety of musical genres. Completed studies at Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, CA. With record of success in teaching private guitar lessons as well some group lessons, composition, performance and recording. Creative and artistic with excellent and friendly communication skills. Also knowledgeable in digital audio production. Instruments taught include acoustic & electric guitar, nylon spanish guitar as well bass guitar and piano. I have taught students from the age of five to over si
xty. Styles taught include rock, blues, jazz, pop rock, latin, metal, funk, and classical. Effective and friendly communicator with well-developed instructional and presentation skills. Able to relate a student of all types with various goals and create long term constructive relationships. Worked as a Music coach with kids in the spectrum (Asperger Syndrome).
...

Reviews

Thumb_571990cc5f5e4_review_Oso%20and%20Maeve
Paula April 21, 2016
Guitar · In home
Mauricio is a very talented musician. He's friendly, punctual and professional. He's always more than happy to answer my questions. He was also very patient when helping me choose a guitar for my father. Mauricio is currently teaching my father how to play a Nylon Spanish Guitar (beginner). My father loves his lessons with him and always looks forward to the next one. As of now, he's only had 4 lessons, but he's already more confident. I can also see how much my father has learned and improved in such a short amount of time. We will definitely continue guitar lessons with Mauricio and I would recommend him to any age group.
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Alexis L. April 27, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Mauricio has been a perfect fit as a guitar teacher for my ten year old son who, until meeting Mauricio, was totally apathetic about learning an instrument. The list of discared wood winds, strings, & percussion is long... Now my kiddo looks forward to his lessons because of Mauricio. He practices (during the week!!!), and he walks away from his time with Mauricio with the kind of happy grin on his face typically reserved for video games and nachos. Mauricio is ever punctual, solicitous, accommodating, friendly, and kind. We feel very lucky to have him in our lives and couldn't recommend him more highly to others.
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Kim F. February 2, 2015
Guitar · In home
My mother hired Mauricio through Take lessons for my 9 year old son. He absolutely progressed every time he saw Mauricio, and had a wonderful time learning and playing with him. He has great technique and a wonderful way of communicating. Thumbs up!!!
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Mauricio O.

Mauricio O.

Hawthorne, CA 90250
(6)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
Profile_67187_pi_Headshot_Guitar

Lilia B.

Los Angeles, CA

I also teach the piano, all ages, to beginner and intermediate level students. I am open to teaching pretty much any style of piano music, including classical, rock, jazz, world music, and avant-garde/experimental technique and composition (including extended techniques). I use a combination os curriculum books and musical pieces in whatever style(s) the student is interested in.

About Lilia

Hello, my name is Lilia and I can't wait to meet you! I have a diverse background in teaching and offer private lessons in guitar and piano, with a balance between theory, playing technique, and playing the songs that you love to listen to. I graduated from the California Institute of the Arts (a.k.a. CalArts) in 2014 and earned a degree in Guitar Performance. In addition to guitar, I also teach music theory, musicianship skills, composition, songwriting, and beginning piano. While at CalArts, I worked as a tutor for general education courses, with emphasis on writing. Across all skills that I
teach, I always love helping my students find the passion and perseverance to achieve their goals. Whether you are just starting out or wanting to hone your skills and enter the professional arena, I would love to work with you on reaching your goals!
...

Reviews

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Alexis G. March 11, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
My daughter has learned so much in a short time. Lilia is a fantastic instructor. I would highly recommend her.
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Camille P. June 25, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Camille was happy with instructor,Lilia. She is looking forward to her next lesson.
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woody A. March 8, 2015
Music Performance · In studio
Lilia has the most amazingly diverse set of talents ever ! She can teach you music , (guitar being the specialty ) gymnastics , or fitness . She is a fabulous , trustworthy person and you should sign up for lessons immediately !
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Lilia B.

Lilia B.

Los Angeles, CA 90021
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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Free Piano Lessons with an Expert Teacher

Learn how to play the piano in these video tutorials from a professional piano teacher!

Have you always wanted to play the piano? We’re here to help! Get started with these 20 video tutorials hosted by San Diego, CA piano teacher Jordan M, one of our expert instructors with TakeLessons.com. In this free video series, you’ll get an introduction to the instrument and learn a few easy exercises to get you reading music and understanding rhythm!

Video #1: Intro to the Piano

Intro to the Piano: Learn about the parts of the piano and how to find the all-important Middle C.

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Learn about the treble and bass clefs, and tips for remembering the notes on the piano.

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Learn what all those sharps and flats really mean, and how to decode your music.

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Understanding Rhythm

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Recent Piano Articles from the Blog

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

In the Pits: How to Succeed as an Orchestral Pianist

Being a piano player may seem like a very solitary way to go about learning an instrument. As a piano student, you may yearn to make music with others, and if you're naturally drawn toward group music making, it may be that you already study an orchestral instrument, or sing with a choir. You may also have extended your piano training to accompany some of your friends for concerts or exams, or explored the wide variety of chamber music repertoire available involving the piano. However, had you c … Read More
In the Pits: How to Succeed as an Orchestral Pianist
Being a piano player may seem like a very solitary way to go about learning an instrument. As a piano student, you may yearn to make music with others, and if you're naturally drawn toward group music making, it may be that you already study an orchestral instrument, or sing with a choir. You may also have extended your piano training to accompany some of your friends for concerts or exams, or explored the wide variety of chamber music repertoire available involving the piano. However, had you c
3 Tips for Raising a Piano Prodigy
Think you have a child piano prodigy on your hands -- or simply want to encourage your son or daughter to explore music and art? Here are some tips for providing encouragement from Aurora, CO piano teacher Jon F...   Parents, I know what you are thinking: people who play piano are either born with a given talent, or none at all. I believe that is simply false, because whether you're a genius or a simple person, piano is one of the best activities that everyone can learn. I come fro
Hack Your Digital Keyboard With These 5 Cool Ideas
Have you recently purchased a keyboard or digital piano, and want to explore all the cool things you can do with it? Take a look at these ideas from Corona, CA teacher Milton J...   So, we all know this piano instrument is one of the coolest things created in the world (this is fact, not opinion). Because of that, we also understand it is a wonderfully flexible instrument in that we can use it for many different genres of music. As we take piano lessons, it's important to start wit
Kawai vs. Yamaha: Who Makes Better Pianos?
Getting ready to buy your first piano, but not sure which manufacturer to look into? Here, St. Augustine, FL teacher Heather L. shares a bit about two of the best piano brands...   Two of the first questions that I get from parents of my piano students are "What kind of piano should I get?" and "What are the best piano brands?" The facts of the matter are that our modern piano is a 19th century invention about which many people, even pianists, don't know a lot about, and the curre
Getting Started: 5 Wonderful Piano Books for Kids
When a child begins playing piano, the first few months must be entertaining enough to keep them engaged, but educational enough that they feel they are making progress. There are many piano books for kids available, but a few provide the right mix of familiarity and challenges likely to keep your child's attention. The majority of beginning piano books for kids include nursery rhymes and children’s songs, so finding a book that they can enjoy is easy. However, it is balancing this with less fam

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