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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&rsqu
o;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.
...
Nathan Y. Downey, CA

I can assist in getting you to play at your full potential in a variety of styles! Let's get to it!

About Nathan

I have been involved with music since I was a child and it has been a blessing to be a part of such an awesome art form since day 1. I can get you started on reaching the next level immediately if you take courses with me. Being through many great teachers and programs myself i can assure you I know how to inspire talent within eager students in any age group. *** Lesson Details *** I plan to mold my teaching curriculum around you! Every student/musician is different and with patient, yet productive and precise determination. I will get you where you need to be (possibly faster than you thought possible,) Within a few months you will be fluent in reading and the ins and outs of all the notes of the instrument as well as reading and music in general. *** Studio Equipment *** ...

Reviews

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Alyssa R. March 31, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Nathan was very Detailed in his explanation and teaching, my daughter felt very comfortable with him.. Can't wait to hear her play a song on her own...
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Jewell May 14, 2014
I've been a music teacher for twelve years, and make a living as a professional Bass player- even took piano classes when I got my music degree. Nathan in Downey CA was completely awesome during our piano lessons. I had this ridiculous assumption that I had to always start chromatic and major diatonic scales on piano always on my first finger of either hand- which is apparently not at all actually necessary. Crazy, because that was the biggest blockade to me playing piano for the last 8 years and Nathan blew that ridiculous concept out of my mind. The smallest things that I get in the habit of and somehow that one thing got stuck in my head as the only way to do things. I feel bad for not signing up for lessons, like... 10 years ago. I practiced my scales for about two hours, and they're possibly the most boring thing to play- even for a musician. I feel like they've got some new life breathed into them.
Definitely get a lesson or two with Nathan on that expensive piano you've got sitting around. it's good to note that he explained everything really clearly and the web connection and clarity was great. I could see him being awesome for a young bass guitar student too, as he mentioned he also plays bass.
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Hosea March 6, 2014
Review

Nathan had a very helpful suggestion for switching from chord G to chord C which I was having trouble with. He is an excellent teacher and I highly recommend him.
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 currently co-writing an upcoming project with platinum selling recording artist Shanice Wilson. 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 ...

Reviews

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sheri H. January 27, 2015
Singing · Online
Verified Student
The best vocal coach my daughter has ever had. Very sweet, and knowledgeable of music and vocal training.
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Laurie A. October 13, 2014
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
I'm a 55 yr old female that hasn't taken voice lessons in the last 20+ years. From that time until recently I would just do karaoke off and on. I started taking lessons with Tanisha about seven months ago. She is the absolute best thing that has ever happened to my voice. Initially I just wanted to learn how to use my "alto" voice more effectively. I avoided singing soprano songs because it was very uncomfortable and it didn't sound right to me. But to my surprise Tanisha convinced me that I am in deed a first soprano. She started working with me on my singing with much attention on my upper range. Thanks to Tanisha, for the first time in my life I have started feeling like a real singer! She has truly taken me places vocally that I could have only dreamed of going. Even when I sing lower it sounds tons better. I practice consistently because I'm so excited about all of the progress I have made in just a seven month period. And I am just blown away that I have those high notes now! When it comes to the voice Tanisha is definitely a miracle worker! On top of that she has this bubbly personality and from the day that I met her I felt like I've been knowing her for years. She's like a new best friend!
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Dania S. September 4, 2014
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
For the past 6 months I have taken voice lessons with Tanisha. She has a very warm personality that makes you feel instantly comfortable and at ease. She is passionate about teaching and also tailors the lessons to who you are as an individual so that she can help to extract the very best out of you as a student. She is encouraging and never judgmental and meets you right where you are at. Most of all, she has abounding patience. I have seen an overall improvement in my vocal ability and can now sing in a range that I thought was impossible for me.
Brian P. Culver City, CA

About Brian

Brian discovered his talent and passion for teaching while still in college, and has been teaching guitar and piano in Southern California for over 20 years. Gifted at teaching students of all ages and abilities, he combines patience, creativity, imagination and boundless enthusiasm with solid professional training and experience. Brian also has over 10 years experience teaching piano and guitar to blind and autistic students. A lifelong musician, Brian received his first musical training at the age of 4 and 5 years when his actor/singer Dad and musically talented Grandma taught him to sing and play the mandolin. He began piano lessons at age 5, and formal guitar instruction at the age of 10 years. By the time he was a 14-year-old high school student, Brian was performing as lead

Reviews

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Pietro N. April 12, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Very good first lesson...great way of teaching. Very clear and patient.
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Anderson S May 14, 2014
Guitar Teacher

Brian's teaching approach is concise but very relaxed. His lessons are easy to follow and relevant to life encounters. As a member of the super seniors and a first time guitar students his teaching has given me hope of become a good guitar player.
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Derek H. March 6, 2014
Verified Student
Patient and Caring

Our experience with Brian as piano teacher to our two children has been incredible. He has brought each of them along at their own pace and they have learned to play very well. Brian has always been patient and kind.
This has been particularly important with our (now) 8 year old son who is autistic. He can get easily distracted, frustrated, bored, or just plain ornery and uncooperative. Mr. Brian has always exhibited great patience toward him, taking breaks when necessary and generally bringing our son along at his own pace--and our son has shown remarkable progress.
We highly recommend Brian as a piano teacher.
Paul T. Inglewood, CA

Students can opt for traditional style learning using one of the popular piano methods of study to tackle the technical, theoretical knowledge, and sight readings skills necessary to become a great pianist.

Students that have already tried this approach and either found success or failure may also decide to learn with a custom tailored approach which mainly focusses on improvisation techniques, and learning by ear. Students are guided toward developing good musicianship whether choosing to focus on jazz, classical, gospel and blues, or pop and rock styles of playing.

About Paul

I am a firm believer in the power of music to heal, entertain, and teach. It is our first and most vital universal human language and as such, I believe we all have the ability to learn how to communicate beautifully with music to express our deepest feelings. As a teacher it is my privilege and pleasure to help you develop. From classical violin to jazz piano my early musical education not only spanned genres and instruments but also geographically from Austin Texas to Madison Wisconsin and finally brought me to Los Angeles where I currently reside and work teaching and playing in several bands. I embrace this diversity as I embrace my own mixed Peruvian and American cultural heritage. Helping you or your child reach your musical dreams in a friendly-nurturing environment ...

Reviews

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Beatriz B. April 23, 2014
Piano
Verified Student
Have learned so much and more to learn

Paul is very passionate about music and teaching in general. He does a fantastic job when it comes to instructing and I'm excited to see future progress within my skills. I Definitely recommend him for great music taste and for creating a good atmosphere with his students.
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MichaelK1 October 19, 2011
GREAT TEACHER

Paul is an attentive, intelligent and multi talented instructor - highly recommended.
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PatriciaW October 10, 2011
Max

Max wanted me to tell you that today he practiced really well, stayed focused, and enjoyed himself! Thank you, Patricia
John E. Los Angeles, CA

Reading music notation, beginning/intermediate piano, chords/scales, etc.

About John

I've been playing music for over twenty years as a brass player, pianist, guitarist, composer, and electronic musician. I've studied and performed across the country—starting in Seattle, then New York and the northeast, and finally here in Los Angeles. As a performer, I have trained and play extensively on the French horn, trumpet, trombone, piano, and guitar. I perform in a variety of styles—from classical to jazz and pop/rock styles. As a composer and sound designer, I work in a variety of settings, from composing for orchestra, string quartet, percussion, and groups of all shapes and sizes, to designing sound for theater and film. I earned my Bachelor's degree at Bennington College in Vermont and my Master's degree at CalArts. I play all around LA as a freelance orchestral ...

Reviews

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Christoffer S. August 19, 2014
Composition · In studio
John is a brilliant composer and instrumentalist. I worked with him extensively while studying at CalArts. His musicianship and knowledge of music theory is in depth, and he is easily able to pass this information on to students. I highly recommend him as a teacher to any level of musician.
Jojo Y. Los Angeles, CA

I am willing to teach beginners that have never touched a piano before. I don't expect prior piano experiences on the first lesson. I will be teaching basic piano techniques to build up a strong foundation. I will also select easy, beginner-level repertoires for the students when they are ready. I will teach some very basic music theory as well. My goal is to keep the students interested in their early stage of piano study. I specialize in classical piano but I can also play some jazz.

About Jojo

Hello! I am Jojo, a current Undergraduate studying Piano Performance (BM) at University of Southern California. I have been playing piano for eleven years as of now. I am looking to work with beginners of any level as a side job while I pursue my piano career. I do not have much professional prior teaching experience (only a few lessons here and there to my friends) but I would love to work with kids to ignite their love for piano! It will be both a learning experience for myself and my student and I am sure it will be a fun experience. I can accommodate any scheduling conflict if needed. . I hope you enjoy my music!

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Piano Lesson Reviews from Students

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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.

7 Common Reasons You're Not Improving at the Piano

Feeling stuck? Read on as Memphis, TN teacher Kevin F. shares how to diagnose your struggles and find the right fix...   You've had it. You've been playing the piano and working on a particular piece for six months and have gotten nowhere. There’s a good chance you’re suffering from one of the following reasons for not improving, so let’s take a look at common problems and their common fixes. 1. You’re not practicing enough. There is a great propensity among musicians, beginne … Read More
7 Common Reasons You're Not Improving at the Piano
Feeling stuck? Read on as Memphis, TN teacher Kevin F. shares how to diagnose your struggles and find the right fix...   You've had it. You've been playing the piano and working on a particular piece for six months and have gotten nowhere. There’s a good chance you’re suffering from one of the following reasons for not improving, so let’s take a look at common problems and their common fixes. 1. You’re not practicing enough. There is a great propensity among musicians, beginne
5 Piano Exercises That Target Your Left Hand
As you're playing the piano, does it feel like your left hand just can't keep up with the right? Here, Corona, CA teacher Milton J. shares a few piano exercises to add to your practice to target this common struggle... The dreaded left hand. The hand with a mind of its own, the hand that lags behind the right, and the hand that does not seem that smart. While all of these conjectures are common, it stems from a lack of detailed attention to developing the accompanying left hand in conjunction w
Kids' Piano Lessons: How Often Should My Child Practice?
Wondering how to best provide support and encouragement for your kids' piano lessons, particularly when it comes to practicing? Here's some great advice from Augustine, FL piano teacher Heather L...   When it comes to kids' piano lessons, how often should a student be practicing? This is a common question that I've often received over the years. Parents find the best instructors for their children, invest time and resources in their music education, but aren't sure quite what to d
How to Buy Your First Piano
Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to buy your first piano. Buying a piano can seem overwhelming, but knowing what to look for and which questions to ask can make this once-in-a-lifetime purchase an incredibly exciting experience! Where Do You Start? Before you even begin your research, consider the following: • What is your budget? • How much space do you have in your home - is a piano reasonable or should you purchase a keyboard instead? For your first piano, do some shop
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.

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