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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.

About Cory M.

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Hawthorne, CA
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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.
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Reviews
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Rob P. January 30, 2017
· Harmonica · In studio
Cory gave me a great first lesson and has a pleasant and helpful manner. I look forward to my next lesson!
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Elisa June 30, 2016
· Singing · In studio
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
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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Cory M.

Cory M.

Hawthorne, CA 90250
(15)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Edwin I.

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El Segundo, CA

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All genres - pop, folk, blues, rock, R&B, singer/songwriter, classical, world, etc.
Improvisation soloing
Proper technique
Repertoire
Music analysis

About Edwin
Hello! Thank you for your interest in taking guitar/piano/music lessons.

I am a professional teacher/studio musician/performer/producer with over 17 years of private teaching experience and a graduate of the University of Miami Studio Music and Jazz program in 2002 specializing in the guitar.

I am available to teach guitar(acoustic, electric, classical) for all levels, ages, and styles(pop to folk, rock to soul, world to classical) in English, Spanish and Japanese.

Other subjects taught include bass guitar, piano/keyboard, ukulele, banjo, mandolin, harmonium, classical percussion, mu
sic theory, composition(all styles from pop to classical), ear training, and studio production/engineering/mixing.

Born in Cali, Colombia on April 1979, I began my musical endeavors studying the piano at the age of 6. Early on I had the opportunity to play percussion in the school symphony while at the same time developed an intense interest in the instrument that would become my true love, the guitar.

During 1996-98 I studied jazz guitar at the New World School of the Arts music program under the direction of J.B. Dyas and Dr. Roby George. Upon graduation, I was immediately accepted to the University of Miami jazz guitar program under the direction of Randall Dollahan. It was during this time that I also refined my skills as a classical guitarist and as a composer/arranger. In addition, I began passing my knowledge onto friends and eventually began working as a teacher.

My ability to play almost any genre of music is the fruit of past experience playing with an impressive variety of music groups, including jazz combos, symphony orchestras, Andean world music ensembles, and several rock and pop groups as well. As a studio guitarist I have recorded for various artists including Jaci Velasquez, Carlos Ponce, Alexandre Pires, and Noelia.

*** Lesson Details ***
Now also available to teach online video chat lessons through Skype.

Every one of you is unique and there are many possible paths to reach your goals in music.

With my background and music industry experience, I am able to customize my lessons for you so that you can reach your desired goals. We will take some time to find out where your passion lies in music and I will use my experience and knowledge to create a customized lesson-plan that will allow us to focus on reaching your desired goals and at the same time maintain a well rounded music education.

I find this to be key in making the lessons and your practice sessions very enjoyable, fun and laid back - knowing that everything we practice, play and talk about is in line with your goals as a student.

I will also be playing along with you and demonstrating everything that we're working on - music is meant to be shared and played with others and it is important to have that experience of interaction from early on in your lessons.

So whether it's learning to accompany yourself or others, write songs, read music, understand harmony, solo, or just jam out to your favorite songs, you will be well on your way to reaching your goals within 6 months of my lessons.

Look forward to making music with you!

Want to learn a quick exercise for mastering the fretboard on your guitar? Check out my article on the TakeLessons blog here: http://takelessons.com/blog/guitar-fretboard-chart

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living room w/ grand piano and seating for parents.
Room/studio with professional recording equipment - Logic Pro X recording software, Mackie HR824 Studio Monitors, Miktech C4 Tube Microphone, UA6176 Preamp/compressor, Apogee Duet D/A converter.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide my instrument and teaching materials.
Students provide their instrument, music folders.

*** Specialties ***
All styles - pop, rock, classical, jazz, blues, folk, ethnic, latin, soul
...
Reviews
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David G. March 29, 2017
· Flamenco Guitar · In home
Edwin was a professional and patient teacher. He took time to correct my technique and sent me home w/ things to practice. Two thumbs up!
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Matthew March 27, 2017
· Ukulele · Online
Edwin quickly found where I needed the most help (strumming patterns), and within minutes was guiding me through progressions to help me make progress. He also gave me some lessons on notation and helped me write some progressions down so that I could practice between now and our next lesson. He listened to my goals and taught in a way that will help me meet them.
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Luca G. February 15, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Keeps the lesson moving and is very positive with feedback.
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Edwin I.

Edwin I.

El Segundo, CA 90245
(70)
starting at
$37 / 30-min

About Thomas K.

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Glendale, CA

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Strong instrumental playing begins with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of music and the simple act of making a sound from the instrument. Students learn to play music by ear first, and are later introduced to music notation. More advanced lessons emphasize sight-reading, expression, and improvisation.

Thomas has studied piano for 15 years, and continues to play regularly. His education has included courses specifically on musical instruction methodologies, and he has been trained as a pianist at the collegiate level.

About Thomas
No one ever regrets learning an instrument… yet many grow old wishing they had taken music lessons! A talent they’ll be able to develop their entire life, your children will thank you for giving them the chance to learn music. And bonus points for you: after just a couple years, you’ll have free entertainment every Christmas!

Or maybe YOU’RE the one that wishes to learn! It is never too late to begin learning an instrument. Yes, I'm trying to get you to sign up for lessons, and yes I sincerely mean that. Everybody has the ability, and if you’re determined and interested, there’s nothing st
opping us from achieving this very special goal. (Interested in learning to compose? Scroll to the bottom to learn more.)

Everybody learns differently, and everybody likes different things. Whether it’s improvising or singing alongside a song you love or reading through a classical concerto, I’ll help prepare you or your child to tackle a wide variety of styles, without missing out on any of the basics that turn good players into phenomenal musicians. We all know it’s not about being the best. It’s about having fun, and playing music well is definitely fun.

Practice makes perfect! Learning an instrument helps build self-confidence and discipline. If your child’s bored, distracted, or just needs a constructive hobby, music is a great place to get them interested in something that will help them feel better about themselves, and the effects will be felt across everything else they do, through better studying habits to a more patient, diligent work ethic.

It’s also relaxing! Stressed about work? Need an escape? Maybe you want to sound like [insert piano player here]. Everybody has the power to learn an instrument. Seriously, there’s no such thing as “talent.” Just start lessons and get practicing! It really is that simple, and I’ll guide you through every step of the way.

I have a diverse background teaching students of all ages, from 3-year-olds to retirees alike, customizing what we learn to the individual student. We’ll learn how to read music just as easily as you read words; improvise and compose music of our own; and feel good playing any style: classical, jazz, rock, and all. My experience as a working musician in films, musical theater, and pop music, as well as classical concert music, allows me to appreciate and teach styles that many other instructors overlook, and I know full well that learning an instrument is not about becoming a professional; it’s about being able to connect to others or oneself through music… and also to just have fun! There’s no need to learn music we don’t like! It’s not about stuffing Beethoven into your kids’ ears… we just want to make music, be that Beethoven or Billy Joel.

Music lasts a lifetime. I know that’s a terrible cliché, but it’s true, and few other skills can claim that. I don’t want to sugarcoat it: it takes time to learn an instrument. It takes practice, and sometimes it’s frustrating. But the results are well worth it, and like a snowball rolling down a hill, the longer you do it, the faster you get… or something like that. There’s a legitimate analogy in there somewhere.

Now get out there and make some music! But start by signing up for lessons. I can’t wait to get started!

---

“What’s that chord?” “Why does all my music sound the same?” “How do I fix this voicing?” “I just can’t get it out of my head!” …sound familiar? You’ve probably hit a rut. Or maybe you’re just starting out. Either way, you want your music to sound new, exciting, and to come out exactly how you hear it in your head. Yes… you CAN learn to compose music, you CAN learn to be more creative, and you CAN learn to share your sound with the world.

Film music, classical, jazz… whatever your interest, all music comes from the same place, and by learning a handful of basic concepts, you can apply these to whatever style you’re trying to write. Learning to emulate another musician involves knowing what they’re doing. Learning to create a groundbreaking sound requires that you know what’s already been done, and how to achieve it. Step by step, we’ll work our way there.

We’ll learn how to write cool, interesting chord progressions, how to write beautiful melodies, and how to voice chords. We’ll learn how to control the mood of our music, from making it sound relaxed to adding tension wherever we want. Maybe you’re trying to write for an orchestra, or just a small band. By learning the basics, you can then easily break away from what’s been done and come up with something truly new… the goal of any aspiring composer!
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Reviews
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TJ April 4, 2017
· Saxophone · Online
Extremely comfortable to knowledgeable to work with
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Tanya January 13, 2017
· Piano · In home
While it was only our first lesson, my son and I are looking forward to learning with Thomas. He had great patience and seemed to look for our areas to work on as well as our interests in music.
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Sridevi K. December 17, 2016
· Flute · Online
He is very nice and helpful
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Thomas K.

Thomas K.

Glendale, CA 91204
(23)
starting at
$33.33 / 30-min

About Mauricio O.

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Hawthorne, CA

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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
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Maria February 4, 2017
· Piano · In studio
3rd lesson so far, and my daughter has learned so much!! She enjoys her classes with Mauricio and looks forward to each class. Mauricio has a small home studio with various musical instruments. His experience and skill in teaching music is quite apparent and much appreciated!
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Valeria I. January 20, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Looking forward to more lessons with Mauricio!
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Andrew May 2, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Great instructor! Always encourages me.
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Mauricio O.

Mauricio O.

Hawthorne, CA 90250
(9)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Connor C.

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Los Angeles, CA

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Piano has been my longest love affair. I play and teach all styles from Classical to traditional Irish accompaniment. I teach basic to advanced theory and performance skills depending on the student's desires. I have a BM in piano performance, so I'm extremely comfortable performing and teaching on piano. I'd love to help you discover your own individual piano style and find what music you love to play. If you want to learn to write music on piano, I can help you there too!

About Connor
I'm a film composer by trade, but I love teaching as well. I love sharing my passion for music with others. I have a BM from Appalachian State University in piano performance and music theory/composition. I also have an MFA in music composition for the screen from Columbia College Chicago. I studied abroad in Ireland for a summer and learned traditional Irish music. I've been playing piano and composing since I was a young child, and picked up folk instruments along the way. Folk music has been a constant source of joy in my life, and I am continually learning more about it. Music is wh
at gets me out of bed in the morning!
...
Reviews
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Kevin March 26, 2017
· Composition · Online
Personalizes the lessons towards your needs and helps you grow as a musician.
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Susan B. March 13, 2017
· Mandolin · In home
It was a great first lesson - she assessed where I was, fixed some technique problems I was having and gave me things to work on for next time. She's very friendly and approachable, which is great for new-student anxiety ;-).
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Saoirse January 7, 2017
· Accordion · Online
First lesson couldn't be better! Connor was totally patient with my kiddo, and she gave good advice on what to look for in a smaller accordion and variations in shoulder straps to help my tiny daughter not get tired from trying to hold up a big (at least for her) accordion.
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Connor C.

Connor C.

Los Angeles, CA 90026
(5)
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.

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.

 

Sign up below to get free access to all 20 videos in the piano lesson series!

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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.

Piano Tabs vs. Lead Sheets | Beginner Basics

Piano Tabs vs. Lead Sheets | Beginner Basics

You may have heard of guitar tabs, but what about tabs for pianists? Learn about how to read piano tabs, the difference between tabs and lead sheets, and more in the guest post by Tulsa, OK teacher Chris F... When learning songs on piano, you’ll find that there are a few ways the music can be notated. Often if an artist is popular enough, a music publishing company will notate their music and sell it, often by the album. This notated version of the music is generally referred to as a lead she … Read More

Piano Tabs vs. Lead Sheets | Beginner Basics
You may have heard of guitar tabs, but what about tabs for pianists? Learn about how to read piano tabs, the difference between tabs and lead sheets, and more in the guest post by Tulsa, OK teacher Chris F... When learning songs on piano, you’ll find that there are a few ways the music can be notated. Often if an artist is popular enough, a music publishing company will notate their music and sell it, often by the album. This notated version of the music is generally referred to as a lead she
4 Easy Ways to Find Piano Chords For Songs
Once you've learned the basics of piano, it's time to move on to playing actual songs! But how do you find the sheet music or piano chords for songs you love? Here are some helpful ideas from Austin, TX teacher Tosin A...   Probably the most important thing I do as a professional piano player is learning new songs. This has me spending a lot of time searching for chords. Over the last few years I've perfected my chord-finding skills, so I'll take you through my process of finding
How to Practice Piano: Tips for Exercises OFF the Keys! [Infographic]
We all know how important practicing is for aspiring piano players! But sometimes it can be a challenge to fit into your schedule. Luckily, there are ways to practice your technique while you're at work, in the car, or practically anywhere else! Continue reading this guest post by Spring Lake, MI piano teacher Val L. to find out how...   As you practice piano, taking the time to think about rhythm and technique is a huge challenge! You should always include scales and exercises in
5 Easy Pop Songs to Play On Piano
Looking for some fun and easy pop songs to play on the piano? Take a look at these suggestions from Greeley, CO teacher Andy W...   Playing your favorite songs on the piano doesn't have to be difficult. Start out with songs you enjoy and build from there. To get you started, here are five easy pop songs to play on piano today! "All About That Bass" - Meghan Trainor This is a fun, chart-topping song. The chords to this are A - Bmin - E - A. Each of these chords is played for two
True or False? Top 7 Piano Myths...Busted!
There are a lot of myths about learning how to play the piano. In this week's guest post, our friends from OnlinePianist.com dispel the seven most common myths about playing the piano...  One way to understand how valuable or how popular something is to our society is to understand the fallacies and myths surrounding it. Quite often, the more famous something is the more stories and pseudo-intellectual facts there happens to be about it. The piano it seems is not immune to these ela

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