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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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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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Vanessa V. September 15, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Wow!!! The lesson blew my mind. Tanisha really has a knack for teaching in the most accessible, efficient and effective way.
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Telecia L. August 28, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
My first lesson with Tanisha was incredible! She is an amazing vocal coach. I was a tad bit discouraged before I met with her, but now I look forward to my next lesson!
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Donna B. August 27, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
My first experience with Tanisha was very enlightening. She really is a woman of many talents. Professional and a sense of humor.
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Tanisha H.

Tanisha H.

Los Angeles, CA 90043
(110)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
208352_231713_22213

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 si
ng 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 guitarist in rock bands around Southern California, developing mastery of rock guitar and blues performance and improvisation. Brian went on to complete a Bachelor's Degree in Classical Guitar Performance from California State University, Los Angeles.

Passionate about all kinds of music, Brian's studies include choral music and conducting, Gregorian chant (at the Monastery of St. Pierre de Solesmes, France), and Master Classes with Andrés Segovia and Christopher Parkening. In 1984, he participated as a member of the Honor Choir for the ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, which included recording of original music by Philip Glass for the Olympic Games under the direction of David L. Wolper and Mr. Glass.

As a jazz guitarist, Brian continues to grow musically in association with his colleagues of the Naomi Jazz Group, and other close musical friends who include students of the late, great Ted Greene.

*** Lesson Details ***
METHOD BOOKS:
FOR PIANO: Faber & Faber Method Series
Dozen A Day Technique series
FOR GUITAR:
STEEL STRINGS: Mel Bay, Alfreds Method Book
CLASSICAL: Fredric Noad
Julio Segraras Method
JAZZ: Stanford Jazz Workshop
The National Guitar Workshop's Jazz Guitar Method Series
Real Easy Books: Beginning & Intermediate Levels

MY APPROACH:
I focus on four areas that I think are essential to being a good music teacher:

• the uniqueness of each student;
• the fact that enjoyment (fun!) maximizes learning;
• the importance of proper technique and an understanding of music theory to build self-confidence;
• the development of musicianship through performance.

EACH STUDENT IS UNIQUE:
My first interest with each new student is to discover how he or she learns, and then to apply appropriate teaching techniques to maximize their potential. I gear my lesson plans to the individual and strive to optimize the learning potential of the student.

ENJOYMENT MAXIMIZES LEARNING:
In a lesson with me you can expect to never be bored, to laugh a lot, learn a lot, be positively engaged emotionally and challenged intellectually. I believe that learning is maximized when the student is enjoying the experience, and is faced with challenges appropriate to their skill level. I aim to make learning music fun, choosing musical selections to learn in the style and genre that relate to the student's interests and aspiration.

TECHNIQUE & UNDERSTANDING OF MUSIC THEORY TO BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE:
When my students perform in concerts, recitals, juries, auditions, recording sessions or simply for friends and family, they have self-confidence because they know precisely the "how" and "why" of everything required to perform well. My goal with students is to build a solid foundation in instrumental technique and thorough understanding of Music Theory at their appropriate level.

PERFORMANCE:
On a monthly basis, all my students practice performing pieces they are working on during the lesson time, with family/friends as an audience if desired and appropriate, and/or using digital recording to help the student develop a critical ear for their own playing.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Music stands, guitar/s and guitar stands, Dynarelle cushion, footrests, Korg 88 fully--weighted digital keyboard, Zoom H4 digital recorder.

As well, I have guitars and equipment both for teaching and performance of various styles, as below. Students will have the opportunity to learn about, play and become familiar with any of these instruments/equipment according to their interests and skill levels.

GUITARS:

CLASSICAL: Ramirez Model 1A Classical (professional concert level instrument)
Cordoba (teaching/practice instrument)
Hohner Acoustic (electric)

ROCK: Fender Stratocaster (pre-CBS)
Shechter Omen6
Shechter Elite Series C1

FOLK: Martin (steel string)
Dobro

JAZZ: Oscar Schmidt by Washburn (hollow body electric)
Gibson SG (electric)

OTHER EQUIPMENT:

AMPS: Fender Twin reverb
Pevey practice amp
Rock amp

Boss GT8 Effects Pedal

*** Travel Equipment ***
Guitar stands, guitar/s, Zoom H4 digital recorder. Generally I do not transport my Korg 88 keyboard to the student's home for lessons, but I can if necessary. However, I do require that piano students have their own piano/keyboard or at least reliable access to one for practice between lessons.

Guitar students should also have their own guitar. I can advise on appropriate instruments and can help students find a suitable guitar for their learning level and price range.
...

Reviews

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Lynne F. February 16, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Brian is a great teacher. He is very patient, accommodating, and open to meeting his students halfway. His teaching skills work well for all ages. He's wonderful at helping his students achieve their goals, even if they are at a later age and stuck in old habits.
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Lara February 2, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Brian is an amazing, fun, professional, skilled piano instructor! I have been able to very quickly move into pieces that I had not even considered a possibility. He listens, cares about your goals and has a great ability to assess and determine what work and exercises will get you to where you want to be. Highly recommend :)
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Georgia L. June 3, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Great first lesson -- looking forward to next one!
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Brian P.

Brian P.

Culver City, CA 90230
(21)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
351484_kww7t493mmv22b8cdmj8

Joseph R.

Downey, CA

Classical and Jazz piano

About Joseph

Joseph R. has 5 years of experience teaching students elementary, middle school-aged children and adults on to how to play keyboard, guitar, flute and saxophone while sharing his learning experience with them as a self-taught saxophone and flute player and his more conventional education on piano and guitar.

Joe started developing his musical talent through piano lessons at the age of 7. After only a year of formal study, he began to experiment with other instruments such as the bamboo flute, the guitar and the drums. When he moved to the United States at the age of 13, he was introduced to
the school’s band where he chose to hone his skills with the flute. Since then, he has been exposed to classical and symphonic repertoire. During high school, he joined the marching band and at the same time, found interest in jazz and alto saxophone. He decided to pursue a career in music by majoring in Jazz Studies and Performance at the University of California in Irvine where he has received his Bachelors degree in Music. He is currently performing at local jazz clubs, formal events and concerts. He would like to continue to inspire his students while nurturing his passion.

*** Lesson Details ***
Scale Mastery
Instrumental Technique
Note Reading/Sight-Reading
Ear Training (!)
Live Performance
Music in the real world

*** Studio Equipment ***
Wurlitzer upright piano
Roland D20
BX5a monitors
BX8a monitors
Shure, MXL mic's
M-Audio Profire 610
Yamaha YAS-82ZII

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide manuscript paper. Student provides instrument and have the option to purchase my music books.

*** Specialties ***
I train my students the classical approach for their beginning and intermediate stages, and specialize in Jazz and Pop music.
...

Reviews

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Jeff P. August 5, 2015
Saxophone · In studio
Verified Student
Joe is a great instructor. He has done a fantastic job explaining concepts in an understandable way, and utilizes a lot of computer tools to help the lessons, such as backing tracks. I would definitely recommend him as a teacher.
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Darian C. July 2, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Couldn't be happier with my piano lessons. Joseph has really catered the lessons towards me and my needs. He's a great teacher, very patient, and encouraging.
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Jeff P. June 2, 2014
Saxophone · In home
Verified Student
I am happy with Joseph teaching. He knows his stuff. I like the fact that he plays a lot of different instruments and has electronics to boot.
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Joseph R.

Joseph R.

Downey, CA 90240
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
Profile_28449_pi_timothymschmidtcom00 (8)

Brianna S.

Los Angeles, CA

Scales, technique, fingering patterns, note recognition, reading sheet music, using the pedal, sight reading, and harmonization.

About Brianna

Hi, I'm Bri! I'm a graduate of North Central College with a BA in Music (Emphasis in Composition and Percussion) and a minor in History. I absolutely love music, every single aspect of it. I love to make music a part of everybody's lives who want and need it. I want to help you with your musical needs. I have been playing percussion for 17 years, singing for 23, and playing piano for 19 years. I was a member of a recording and performing Chicago band, Oblio and Arrow, where I provided backing vocals and helped with the song arrangements. I also record vocals for different artists hooks, jingle
s, choruses, and entire songs (covers and originals).

History has always fascinated me. They way our world has developed and changed, and continues to evolve is amazing. Everything can be tied back to the past, and I feel it's important to take a look back, put yourself in that time, and really study how things were to help understand why things are the way they are now.

Crocheting and knitting are a couple of good habits/hobbies I picked up about 8 years ago. I sell scarves online and I'm always working on some sort of project. I will have you knitting and pearling with the best of them!

Music, history, crochet, and knitting....I'm your girl!
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Sravani K. July 27, 2016
Knitting · Online
Verified Student
good
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Karla June 23, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Really enjoyed my first lesson, can't wait for the next !
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Tithi June 9, 2016
Online
I have only taken one lesson so far...but she really explains tips to students; I am looking forward to attending the next lesson!
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Brianna S.

Brianna S.

Los Angeles, CA 90029
(23)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
Profile_95304_pi_Max Bergmanis Headshot

Max B.

Los Angeles, CA

Interested in learning pop, rock, blues, gospel piano? My passion is in making music with all these genres
First, we will work on building the foundations of good piano-playing and then explore each student's unique interests. They love Rihanna, let's learn "Work." Fetty Wap? "Trap Queen." I want them to have fun and play something they can be proud of.
I have a Yamaha MOX8 keyboard and Hartke amp on which my students will learn.

About Max

What's up, my name's Max Bergmanis and I'm glad you stumbled on my profile! The first thing you should know is that I'm absolutely in love with music and its teaching process.

I started playing when I was just three years old. I asked my parents to start me up on this journey. It has been an amazing, self-fulfilling process. I attended the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and earned a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Piano. I'm patient and adaptable as a teacher and will always listen to my students' needs.

If you've got any questions at all, please don't hesitate to
ask me!
...

Reviews

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Susan August 10, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Max has been my daughter's piano teacher for several months and she really enjoys her lessons with him. He is patient and easy to get along with. He makes piano fun and she is always motivated to learn when she is with him.
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Janis Y. August 3, 2016
Piano · In studio
Max's passion for piano is so clear, and his love for music and dedication to the instrument are both qualities that are infectious. Fluent in many styles of music, he has the ability to positively impact many students. HIGHLY recommend this teacher!
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Cheyanne A. June 25, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Max was very patient with both grandchildren. He quickly assessed their individual skill levels and taught accordingly. Both seemed excited to continue.
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Max B.

Max B.

Los Angeles, CA 90004
(6)
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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