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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.
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LeAnna S. Los Angeles, CA

Piano lessons for beginners to musicians who want to learn piano. Provide basic techniques like finger exercises, scales and arpeggios. Then focus on ear training and working on a song.

About LeAnna

Hello, welcome to my profile and thank you for taking the time to check it out. I am happy to introduce myself to you and share that teaching the performing arts is one of the greatest joys of my life. I am a performing artist and teacher in Los Angeles, teaching a variety of classes from music, dance and theatre. I graduated from San Francisco State University in 2009 where I received a BA in Classical Music, a BA in Dance with a focus in choreography, and a minor in Multi-Cultural Theatre. I have such a strong, well-rounded background in many styles because I value creative exploration. As a vocalist, I studied classical voice since I was 16 years old, trained at SFSU and La Universidad de Catolica in Santiago, Chile and consider that as strong foundation, but always explored ...

Reviews

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Jessica A. March 18, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Awesome lesson! LeAnna is so nice and so amazing!
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Julia L. February 12, 2015
Speaking Voice · In studio
Verified Student
LeAnna is a very thoughtful and mindful instructor. The lessons with LeAnna are organized and structured in a way that strategically presents the information to the student. I feel that LeAnna brings herself and her experience into all the lessons she teaches and is just wonderful!
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David S. September 21, 2014
I am a composer and LeAnna has performed some of my vocal music. Her last performances of my work was a soprano duet at two very large grand ballroom. Both times people rose to their feet and a number of people were moved to tears. It was a great success!

LeAnna has a very beautiful, pure tone in her singing.
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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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.
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Shakira March 6, 2014
Review

I just had an extremely useful piano lesson with Nathan.

Thank you, Nathan!
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.
Crystal S. Los Angeles, CA

Crystal teaches technique, theory, sight reading, ear training, chord structure and composition. Twice yearly recital opportunities are available.

About Crystal

Crystal brings a lifetime’s experience of professional musicianship to each of her lessons. Born into a family of musicians, she sang her first solo at age 2. She also benefits her students with an extraordinarily diverse musical background, having worked as a vocalist in gospel, country, musical theater, jazz, classical, rock, pop and soul styles. Her performing career has taken her from L.A. church meetings to London’s Houses of Parliament. Crystal hails originally from Los Angeles, CA - where her musical parents gave her a head start by including her in the family business the moment she was able to contribute. She went on to study classical voice, piano and music theory at The Boston Conservatory of Music. After concluding her studies in London, she returned home and began working ...

Reviews

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Tamura H. September 29, 2013
Singing
Verified Student
Amazing singng instructor

Crystal has increased my daughter’s self-esteem and expressiveness through song. My daughter is now writing her own poetry and song lyrics, as well as being able to combat her once shyness quality. She loves to perform in front of others now and has a confidence level that amazes me, especially now that she is going into those “teen” years. I think a lot of thanks needs to go to Crystal, for assisting my daughter in reaching her current creative level!
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Tamura H. September 29, 2013
Piano
Verified Student
Great piano instructor

Crystal is an amazing piano instructor. She is patient, understanding and dedicated. My daughter has learned so much from her. My daughter’s love for music has increased immensely since learning how to play the piano. This would never have been able to be accomplished without Crystal’s professional and caring teaching style.
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Stacey N. February 13, 2013
Singing
Verified Student
Wonderful person and excellent instruction

I have been taking lessons from Crystal for a few months now. I took lessons from others before I moved to the area, and I have had multiple new breakthroughs with Crystal. She is great at finding the language that allows me to understand adjustments, and is very patient and understanding. I was at ease from the first moment I met her. I highly recommend her to other adults looking to get into singing of any kind!
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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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.
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Andrea H. March 6, 2014
Verified Student
Great All-Around

Brian is an awesome music teacher. He is kind, patient, knowledgeable about music theory and a pleasure to be around. He teaches me piano, and is good about introducing new pieces to me, as well as teaching me the more complex nuances within each piece.

He is also great with kids! I have 2 little ones, and whenever they happen to be around for my lesson time, Brian keeps them engaged with music. Whether it's trying to play something themselves on the piano, accompanying them on the guitar, or bringing fun music-related props, Brian makes it fun

I highly recommend Brian as a piano teacher, and he is also a very talented guitarist! 5*!
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

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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 Tips to Master Staccato on the Piano

As you learn how to play piano notes, chords, scales, and songs, at some point you'll come across the term "staccato." What exactly does it mean, and how do you play it? Read on as New Paltz, NY teacher Cheryl E. shares her helpful tips...    Mastering staccato on the piano can be extremely beneficial, not only for performance of staccato passages but also for using it as a tool to help you memorize legato segments, improve your dexterity and finger strength, and smooth out your p … Read More
7 Tips to Master Staccato on the Piano
As you learn how to play piano notes, chords, scales, and songs, at some point you'll come across the term "staccato." What exactly does it mean, and how do you play it? Read on as New Paltz, NY teacher Cheryl E. shares her helpful tips...    Mastering staccato on the piano can be extremely beneficial, not only for performance of staccato passages but also for using it as a tool to help you memorize legato segments, improve your dexterity and finger strength, and smooth out your p
8 Simple Steps for Learning Fast Piano Songs
Struggling to get through the fast piano songs you're dying to play? Here, Helendale, CA teacher Sylvia S. shares her tips for success...   Piano is an easy instrument to learn. You push a key, and a note sounds. Compared to instruments like the violin, which can take months and months of dedicated practice before a pleasant sound comes out, piano seems like a walk in the park. But because of this, it’s also one of the easiest instruments to learn to play poorly. Many piano stu
Should You Learn Piano by Ear? When it Works, and How to Practice
One of the most satisfying skills you can ever learn is mastering a musical instrument.  Whether it’s a skill you pick up in school, or you’ve come to it later in life, the sense of achievement you’ll get from mastering anything from simple folk tunes to complex sonatas and studies by the great masters is almost without equal.  The social element of music has been part of our society since civilization began, and without a doubt, music is the only truly international language, existing in every
5 Awe-Inspiring Kids Playing Piano
Whether playing Mozart or the Muppets, or even "Mary Had a Little Lamb", nothing beats the joy on a child's face when they've conquered a new song! No doubt you've seen or heard video clips of children showing off their talents on the keys, and it's pretty inspiring to see. A quick search on YouTube will pull up tons of kids playing piano, some so young you'll be amazed. Here, we've selected a few of our favorites that are definitely worth watching: Nine-Year-Old's Improptu Costco Performanc
Piano Basics: 20 Ways to Instantly Improve
From piano basics to the more advanced techniques - what are the best ways to instantly improve your playing? Take a look at these 20 helpful tips from Augustine, FL teacher Heather L...   Maybe you're a brand new piano beginner, ready to start your journey. Maybe you're a seasoned pianist who's found himself in a state of stagnated growth. Either way, you could use a boost for your skills. Here's a list of 20 ways to instantly improve: Stretch before you play. So much pain, a

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