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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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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 ***
Bass Amp, Basses, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Drumset

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide a music stand and amplifier if necessary. I do expect a student to own the essentials for practicing purposes. (i.e. lesson book, manuscript paper, tuner, metronome, instrument, etc.)

*** Specialties ***
Most of the genres I get called to play are closely jazz/pop related all though I have delved far outside of those boundaries. I believe in being well rounded stylistically to better find your true voice on your given instrument.
...

Reviews

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Audrey R. June 7, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Nathan is very patient and willing to show me, an adult student various ways of mastering a technique so I am comfortable with the lesson. 3 lessons down, and I am still excited and committed
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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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Nathan Y.

Nathan Y.

Downey, CA 90242
(5)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
214301_213534_1305321867

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 su
ccessful 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.

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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Queena S. June 28, 2015
Opera Voice · In studio
Verified Student
I lovvvvve Tanisha. She has this upbeat and vibrant personality; she's super sweet and nice. When it comes to singing, she has you pick out your own song that you would like to sing. She doesn't bombard you with songs and training that won't enhance your voice. I've already noticed changes to my voice and I'm only on my 6th lesson. Plus, she's not a teacher that watches the clock, so if she feels you need an extra 10 mins for vocal training, then you will exceed your time limit with no problem. She's there to help you and if I had to recommend a vocal coach, then of course it would be Tanisha Hall :)
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Star G. June 27, 2015
Vocal Training · In studio
Verified Student
Hands down the best vocal instructor LA has to offer. Not only is she extremely talented and knowledgable, she is deeply personally invested in all of her clients.
No where else can you find somewhere like her.
From vocal technique to preparing for shows, she knows her stuff.
If you want not only want a vocal coach but truly a musical mentor, go to Tanisha.
Works fantastically with all ages also. :)
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Queena S. May 22, 2015
Opera Voice · In studio
Verified Student
Though it was my first lesson, I didn't do anything that pertained to opera.
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Tanisha H.

Tanisha H.

Los Angeles, CA 90043
(54)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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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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Georgia L. June 3, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Great first lesson -- looking forward to next one!
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Jim C. May 31, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Great first lesson. As an absolute beginner he made me feel comfortable and set a framework to move forward.
Thumb_67961_pi_Pietro%27s%20Italy%20copy
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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Brian P.

Brian P.

Culver City, CA 90230
(19)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
Profile_60512_pi_header-with-layers

Seth D.

Inglewood, CA

I have been teaching over sixteen years.

I tailor each individual lesson to that persons goals, needs, wants, and styles.

My goal is to learn music the fun way. Along the way we'll learn theory, chords, scales, ear training, composition, reading music, tempo etc.

About Seth

Seth is available for one on one lessons on Saxophone, Clarinet, Piano, Guitar, Vocals and Music Theory. Available to all styles, ages and levels in your home or mine in Los Angeles, CA. Lessons are tailored to the individual styles and goals. Seth has been teaching for over sixteen years primarily working with children. He has worked with Grammy winning producers, touring musicians, helping them hone up on there music theory, and piano chops.

He graduated from the prestigious Lamont School Of Music with a Bachelor’s of Music in music composition.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons are
tailored to the individuals styles and goals!
I teach all styles with focus on having fun.
Theory, Reading Music, Ear Training, Chords etc.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I don't provide equipment, I expect the student to have there own equipment.
...

Reviews

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Michael Z. February 4, 2015
Singing · Online
I have been using your advice every time I practice. Again, I am extremely grateful for the advice you have given me: I have improved more in these last few days than in the weeks of practicing before our lesson. I was looking for a male vocal coach who had experience, and that is exactly what I needed!

Thank you for your time,
Michael Zhitnitsky
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Michael H. February 4, 2015
Music Recording · In studio
Hey Seth, Thank you so much for the great work you did engineering the recordings for Martini & Olive. We shot the videos today and the tracks were perfect. Had a blast working with you and hope to create more music with you soon. And your Triumph was pretty terrific a well. Cheers

Had a great recording session with Seth this week. He gave us good direction and really finessed our vocals and timing on the final recordings. Thank you Seth!

-Judy of Martini and Olive
Seth worked with us (Martini & Olive) engineering our Medleys — and he was patient inciteful and so helpful — massaging our intricate comedy melodies for our music video. We are a quirky fast funny funky lounge act and he understood our concerns musically and comically. We spent hours with him and he was a joy the entire time. Thanks Seth!
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Kelly Y. February 4, 2015
Piano · In home
Seth is working with my 9 year old and my 6 year old and is just great. He’s the perfect blend of classical and cool, which goes over well with the kids, inspiring a love of music while really learning form and technique. He’s also giving me refresher lessons so it’s good to see him work with all three levels at one time. We highly recommend Seth!
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Seth D.

Seth D.

Inglewood, CA 90303
(23)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
212649_233134_1297447193

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 seve
ral 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 is my sincere desire and obligation as your teacher. Discipline is required and to be expected, however, an overly rigid or demanding routine can do more harm than good. I believe attention must be paid to individual learning styles. Therefore, as a teacher I have learned to observe carefully at first and custom tailor a practice routine with each student aimed at achieving their goals. I believe the study of music helps foster a deep level of self-confidence and self realization, which eventually leads the student to discover a portion of himself he would otherwise never know. My goal is to inspire others with this joy, which is everyone's birthright and an important key in finding happiness.

A gifted singer-songwriter of Pop, Rock, World and Reggae songs that possess that timeless quality. He has recorded with 2 time Grammy nominated producer Barry Goldberg (Eagles, Robbie Robertson, Verve Pipe, Marilyn Manson). He has released three CDs, had songs featured in compilations and in feature length film, toured North America, and taught guitar, piano, and voice both privately and in an all ages Montessori school in Santa Monica. He consistently played in a variety of bands while earning an A.A. in music from SMC and later a B.A. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA, where he earned distinction as an excellent student both academically and in musical performance. He brought passion to his performances with legends, Fransisco Aguabellas Afro Cuban ensemble, Brazilian Batucada ensemble, African-American gospel choir, music and dance of Ghana, and the Balinese Gamelan ensemble. As a member of several original LA bands, (Las Manchas, Samson Simpson, Toussaint, Mentone, and Cloth) he has performed at world famous venues and toured North America. He co-wrote and co-produced the first EP records by Samson Simson with Ronen Navah, and also co-produced Mentone's first full-length record, "Empire" with Ronen Navah and Aki Ehara" Currently he is developing his new band, Spicy Fernandez, which has released a few singles on the internet and is getting a good buzz from Industry heavy weights.

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe in custom tailoring a curriculum to fit the students needs, while still providing them with the same basic tools all musicians need to develop in order to play well (both with themselves and with others). Obviously, some students require more structure and discipline, while others have a stronger work ethic. Some may even need a teacher that is more laid back to balance them out, but more so my job is to facilitate learning and guide. A student studying with me can expect to receive a general assessment of their skill level in musicianship, theory, and on their instrument within the first couple of lessons (or once I feel that I have experienced enough of their abilities). Based on that assessment, I will work with the student to develop a plan of small goals to work toward. Progress will be monitored weekly and larger goals will unfold naturally in accord with the students’ dreams and musical ambitions. Within 3 to 6 months of study with me students will learn to play at least one song, basic scales, exercises, finger positions, and have a solid foundation for listening to, and playing to rhythm.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Full acoustic upright, Wurlizter electric piano, and keyboard synths, a computer based digital audio workstation...guitars...percussion...in the front room of my house. Has a full set-up for a band.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide copies of some sheet music, a library of music books, percussion instruments, digital recordings of lessons.
I expect that they provide their own instrument, pencil, notebook, 3-ring binder for sheet music, stereo/mp3 player, CD player, etc.

*** Specialties ***
I excel at popular music genres such as pop, blues, R&B, rock, and jazz. I am also trained classically and enjoy the challenges of standard repertoire from Bach to Chopin.
I began studying music as a student of the Suzuki method. However, today I find that my own practice resembles most closely, the Kodály, Dalcroze, and Orff-Schulwerk methodologies in philosophy and application.
...

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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Paul T.

Paul T.

Inglewood, CA 90302
(4)
starting at
$35 / 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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Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, check out the Piano articles on our blog.

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10 Wedding Processionals You Can Play on Piano
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