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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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Glynis D.

Long Beach, CA

I have been playing piano since age 3 and teaching for 10 years. I believe it is very important to understand the theory that goes along with what you are playing, so I include some theory in all of my lessons. I love teaching piano and I hope to share the joy of music with others.

About Glynis

Glynis has been reading music since before she knew how to read words. Her mother started teaching her piano lessons at age 3, and she started taking voice lessons at age 7. She learned from an early age to practice every day. She has taught all levels and ages of piano and voice for many years. Glynis specializes in jazz voice, but has a very strong classical and musical theatre background. She is an arranger, composer, educator, and singer. She received her AA in Professional Music from SWCC, school for music vocations, then got her BA in Jazz Studies, Vocal Performance at CSU Sacramento. Sh
e is currently working on her Masters in Jazz Studies, Vocal Performance at the Bob Cole Conservatory inside of CSU Long Beach. While studying she is the Graduate Assistant for Christine Guter, and directs the 2nd vocal jazz ensemble, Jazz and Tonic, at the school.

*** Lesson Details ***
My teaching philosophy is to have a safe, positive, fun, and effective learning environment for all of my students. I believe it is important to be a well rounded musician, therefore I love my students to have a solid understanding of what they are doing. I strongly encourage all of my students to learn theory along with piano or voice, so they understand what they are doing. Each student is unique, therefore each student has a different lesson plan. I do expect that my students will practice during the week in order to grow, since this helps them reach their goals. I do let students pick some of their own repertoire, since it is very important for them to be motivated during the week. I can teach from early Baroque music to modern day and everything in between. Music is expression, therefore I believe it is very important for my students to love what they are working on.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in my apartment with a keyboard.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can bring a keyboard, but it would be easier if they had one.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in jazz voice, with a strong background in classical and musical theatre. I also specialize in piano, music theory, songwriting and arranging.
...

Reviews

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Brenna P. July 6, 2016
Singing · In home
Verified Student
Glynis was flexible and tailored her teaching style to fit our daughter. She is great with kids. Our 8-year-old is really looking forward to the next lesson and she couldn't stop singing after Glynis left.
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Linda S. June 14, 2016
Classical Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Glynis, has been a great teacher for my daughter Sophia. Sophia caught on quickly and really enjoys her lessons. Glynis is very calm and explains lesson well for her to understand.. She also enjoys hearing Glynis sing the tunes of the songs. It's been a joy having her as her teacher.
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Laura D. April 1, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Glynis was absolutely fabulous as a piano teacher for my daughter. She is calm, sweet, prepared, and knowledgeable. Always prompt and never late. Her teaching style helped my daughter improve incredible amounts over two years. It also helps that she is flexible with scheduling, and she smells great too!
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Glynis D.

Glynis D.

Long Beach, CA 90805
(20)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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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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Elisa June 30, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Fun first lesson. Very informative. Explained pitch, tone and timing in terms I could easily understand. Comfortable studio and close to my house! Can recommend wholeheartedly!!
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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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Cory M.

Cory M.

Hawthorne, CA 90250
(14)
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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Bentou K. August 3, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
I really enjoyed her lessons, she has helped me develop my head voice and i already see a difference.
-thanks
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Terry J. June 22, 2016
Vocal Training · Online
Verified Student
Just had my first lesson with Tanisha and it was pretty awesome. She's warm, personable, knowledgeable with a high level of professional. Definitely one of the best I've ever had!
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Bray K. June 22, 2016
Singing · Online
Verified Student
Mrs. Tanisha is the best instructor ever!!!! I love taking lessons from her!
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Tanisha H.

Tanisha H.

Los Angeles, CA 90043
(106)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Sara J.

Los Angeles, CA

To learn the basics of piano.

About Sara

Sara J originated from Pasadena, CA where she began her musical studies at the age of 7. Not only was she involved with her school's music programs, she performed with groups such as the Crown City Symphony (formerly known as the Crown City Chamber Players) and the Pasadena Summer Youth Chamber Orchestra, and took violin lessons for five years with violin instructor Roberta Wilcox.

After transferring from Pasadena City College, (studying with, violinist and conductor, Andrei Ganea and, member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Paul Stein) she received her Bachelor's of Music degree in Perform
ance from the University of Redlands under the instruction of Pavel Farkas. In April 2014, she graduated from the Master's of Music program at the University of Redlands earning a degree in Violin Performance under the instruction of Jeanne Skrocki.

She has performed with orchestras like the Coachella Valley Symphony, Redlands Symphony Orchestra, and Pasadena Summer Youth Chamber Orchestra. She is also involved in a Piano Trio and has performed as a Colonial Fiddle Musician on Riley’s Farm in Oak Glen at the Hawk’s Head Tavern. You may also find Sara playing many events as part of a string quartet throughout the Coachella Valley, Inland Empire, and Los Angeles county.

Ms. J is very passionate for music and tries to instill that same passion into her students by teaching them both the technicality and musicality of different pieces. She believes that when one learns how to play an instrument, one must also learn the principles of music in general. When a musician knows every facet of a piece they are playing, performing the music becomes a deeper experience for the performer and audience, whether that piece be a Beethoven Concerto or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. She strives to help the students become very knowledgeable, not only in playing the violin itself, but also in music theory, history, ear training, wise practicing, and performance etiquette.
...

Reviews

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Se June 23, 2016
Violin · In home
Verified Student
She is friendly and explains well for how to do. I am satisfied with her till now.
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Se June 23, 2016
Violin · In home
Verified Student
She is friendly and explain well for how to do. I am satisfied with her till now.
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Ruby D. June 15, 2016
Violin · In home
Verified Student
My daughter said that Sara was nice. I like the fact that she left her "homework" to practice for the week.
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Sara J.

Sara J.

Los Angeles, CA 90004
(7)
starting at
$50 / 30-min
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Ryan S.

Los Angeles, CA

Experienced piano teacher of 7 years! My lesson plan is simple : 1. we warm up with basic scales + finger exercises, 2. we focus on tone + proper technique, and 3. we play a variety of solo pieces, duets, and ensemble music (I prepare backing tracks to help w/ rhythm and timing... or play the parts myself).

The time devoted to each portion of the lesson is totally adjustable. You will learn what you want to learn at your own pace.

About Ryan

Experienced cello, drum, piano, and guitar player of 20 years. Has a MFA degree in music composition + a BFA in music performance. Recorded professionally for tv shows such as "Glee," "Entertainment Tonight," and "Extra." Also records for "Sonoton Recordings." Currently resides in Los Angeles, California. Teaches locally, in-studio, or online. Occasionally travels to Japan to perform + teach.
...

Reviews

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Michael A. August 12, 2016
Cello · Online
Verified Student
Great job. I think Ryan is what I needed.
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Robert Charles April 3, 2016
Cello · In home
Verified Student
Well I'm in my second year of cello and Ryan has been a tremendous and very positive part of it!! His attention and feedback have always been positive and he pushes me to challenge myself which I love. I'm so grateful to have found Ryan and I look forward to every lesson! I plan on having him as my teacher for as long as I can and highly suggest to anyone looking to learn the cello to try him out. You'll be as happy as I am that you did!!
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TANEISHA C. January 8, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Ryan is Awesome! He is very patient with my 9yr old. We've been taking drum lessons for a little over 2 months and my son already knows how to read sheet music, and even learned to play a few songs. I am very impressed! Ryan is very encouraging and positive during the lessons. My son leaves with a sense of motivation and confidence after every lesson! As long as he keeps his interest in playing drums, we will certainly stick with Ryan. Thanks, Ryan!!!
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Ryan S.

Ryan S.

Los Angeles, CA 90013
(12)
starting at
$25 / 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.

Video #2:
Piano Basics

Learn about proper posture, hand placement, and other beginner essentials.

Video #3:
Reading Piano Notes

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

Video #4:
Time and Key Signatures

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

Video #5:
Understanding Rhythm

Follow along to master quarter notes, quarter rests, and half rests.

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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.

Pianist Spotlight: Billy Joel, The Modern-Day Piano Man

Sing us a song, you’re the piano man. Sing us a song tonight Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody And you’ve got us feelin’ alright If you’ve ever visited a piano bar, you may understand what Billy Joel is singing about in his legendary song, “Piano Man”. For a piano man, sheet music is not always part of the equation. Lounge patrons often call out the names of songs they would like to hear, and the pianist is expected to quickly comply and keep the patrons happy and in a celebratory … Read More
Pianist Spotlight: Billy Joel, The Modern-Day Piano Man
Sing us a song, you’re the piano man. Sing us a song tonight Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody And you’ve got us feelin’ alright If you’ve ever visited a piano bar, you may understand what Billy Joel is singing about in his legendary song, “Piano Man”. For a piano man, sheet music is not always part of the equation. Lounge patrons often call out the names of songs they would like to hear, and the pianist is expected to quickly comply and keep the patrons happy and in a celebratory
How to Measure the Success of Your Child’s Piano Lessons
Piano lessons for kids are an investment -- so how do you know your investment is worthwhile? Here are some tips for checking in and making sure your child is learning piano at the right pace, courtesy of Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T...   If your child has recently started taking private lessons, there are certain benchmarks you can follow to assess musical progress as he or she is learning piano. Many parents are unaware of how to track and measure their child's musical abilities.
6 Kids' Games for Learning Piano Music
Is your child struggling to stay focused when they're practicing the piano? That's normal--it just means it might be time to add something new to the routine! Get some great ideas for music games for kids in this guest post by Santa Cruz, CA teacher John S...   Can your 4- to 6-year-old keep her focus through the entirety of a traditional piano practice? Music demands a tremendous amount of attention, in several different areas at once: reading music, being careful about pitch, rh
Do You Have the Skills to Become a Piano Teacher?
Did you know that teaching others is one of the best ways to learn piano -- as well as continue learning, if you're at an advanced level? Here, St. Augustine, FL teacher Heather L. shares what it takes to teach...   Being a piano teacher can be tremendously rewarding and fulfilling. The art of guiding a student on a journey of learning is one that comes naturally to some, but can certainly be learned by others who have the right skills. The phrase "piano teacher" brings to mind
What's the Fastest Way to Learn Piano? You Might Be Surprised!
Memorizing, beginning with scales, starting with songs, recognizing notes – there are many ways of learning to play the piano, and good teachers will tweak their methods to accommodate each student’s abilities and desires. While each method has their own merit, still some people have this question: what is the fastest way to learn piano? Is there one? They may be more eager about the destination and less concerned about the journey, but the journey is very important. But there is one technique t

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