Millbrae Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers Near Millbrae

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Millbrae including San Bruno, South San Francisco, Burlingame, San Mateo and Pacifica.

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Steven B.

Alameda, CA

I will teach you the basic concepts of how to compose songs and make those musical ideas of yours a reality. Through music theory techniques, progression theory, lyric concepts and ear training, we'll take that song that's "in your head" and make it into a reality you'll be proud of!

About Steven

Have you always wanted to learn how to play the piano, guitar or electric bass? Or maybe you've just felt like brushing up your musical knowledge and playing skills? Now’s your chance to fulfill those dreams!

About Me: San Francisco Bay area pianist/guitarist/bassist; I've been playing music for over 50 years. I'm classically trained with a solid foundation and knowledge of music theory, and have 35 years experience teaching, recording and performing. I have done session work and/or performed with members of Journey, Santana, Jackson Browne, Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers and Greg Allm
an to name a few. Let me take my education and experience and pass them on to you!

My main goal as a music instructor is to pass along my love and knowledge of playing music to my students, always vigilant for sharing shortcuts that will help the student to achieve their lesson goals faster. Some teachers teach only out of books. I am not such a teacher. Books solve the problem of learning music in generalizations and by their very nature, cannot take into consideration personal issues a student will encounter.

Most students are able to learn enough of the necessary mechanics at the first lesson to actually play something before they leave that lesson. This is important because they realize that playing music IS possible. I always enjoy the look on their face when they realize they have actually “played” their instrument at their first lesson.

I am not the sort of teacher who yells and screams if the student comes in unprepared. I realize that people come to me for a variety of reasons and I work with them with whatever they bring in. I am patient and if a student is not understanding a certain aspect, I bring into play alternate approaches. Not everyone assimilates information in the same way. Learning music should be an enjoyable adventure for the student and I venture to say that my students enjoy coming to their lessons. We have fun, and we learn.

>>> FYI: I'm happy to come to your home if traveling to my studio in Alameda isn't convenient for you, and I cover most of the East Bay, including Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Orinda, Lafayette, Walnut Creek and (of course) my own lovely town of Alameda. As much as I love our "City by the Bay", traveling to San Francisco, Marin, or the Peninsula just isn't cost or time effective for me; I apologize to you fine folks and potential students of the West Bay!
...

Reviews

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Billy May 17, 2016
Piano · In studio
wow amazing!
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Tim M. February 22, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Great teacher and great time taking the lessons! I wish we could take more lessons with him but we've recently moved out of the area. Thanks for everything Steven!
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Noor A. October 18, 2015
Classical Piano · In home
Verified Student
I was, initially, unsure whether I had made the right decision in using TakeLessons to revive my piano-playing skills, but after meeting Steven, I have no doubts that it was one of the best decisions I have yet to make.

Steven is wonderful! He is inspired and inspiring, encouraging, and his passion inspires passion - I could not have asked for better! Steven is an absolute pleasure, and I would absolutely recommend him to anyone!
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Steven B.

Steven B.

Alameda, CA 94501
(16)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Tracey H.

San Francisco, CA

I've been writing for 17 years, solo and as part of a band. I think I have an especially unique perspective of writing as a vocalist primarily, which can come with its own unique set of approaches and challenges. I like to work on songwriting as an authentic and intuitive extension of each individual's experience and creativity. There's no one-size-fits-all way to songwrite, and in working with my students on songwriting, my approach is to help guide you through what your process is, including finding and honing inspiration, making writing a part of your every day routine, lyric- and melody-writing, arrangement, dynamics, etc.

About Tracey

I've been singing, performing, songwriting, and studying voice for 20 years. I attended Berklee College of Music, where I studied Voice/Vocal Performance, and earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance from Musician's Institute in LA. I've been teaching since 2006, and work with a wide range of contemporary genres with a focus on rock, pop, country, folk, Americana, R&B, blues, and soul. I like to take a "back-to-basics" approach to voice by helping students develop the core aspects of breathing/breath control, correct vowel placement/vowel tuning, and a focus on muscle memory as
it relates to stretching the cords. I've been told my approach is simple yet effective, and a unique blend of classic concepts with a practical/modern approach to getting in tune with one's own unique voice. Currently a gigging musician and songwriter in SF, I am in the trenches alongside many of my students, which gives me a unique perspective and empathy for the many stages of personal and career development as a musician. I have a lot of first-hand experience with the music business and what it means to manage a band and a DIY-career. Another area I specialize in (and which is probably the nearest to my heart!), is performance anxiety. Having overcome performance anxiety myself and gone on to be a bandleader and gigging musician, I have a close relationship to this and take a special interest in helping students overcome their own fears and anxieties, identify their own voice and identity as a singer, and taking the steps to develop that.

Mostly, I aim to debunk the mystery that the voice can be shrouded in, and change it from being elusive and temperamental to something that students can feel in control-of and at-ease with. I've taught a wide range of students, from young kids to a Marine (true story!), so am comfortable dealing with an equally-wide range of goals and voices.

*** Lesson Details ***
Well, my students tell me that I have the unique advantage of "being young/in touch with the real-world of the music business, but with real professional training and chops." That's about as good as I could have said it, I suppose! I like to pull from all the different facets of my experience and background to inform me as an instructor: formal education and training, as well as my first-hand experiences with my own band, my own struggles with performance anxiety, and my discovery of my own voice through the very methods I now teach to my students.
What that means for you is that rather than focus on a rigid set of rules, we'll focus on your voice and custom-fit a program that is built from solid vocal technique coupled with specific tools to help you develop your own voice and style. I do truly believe in building a solid foundation for you to build your voice upon, but am unconventional in that I believe the best way to learn to sing is by breaking down what is actually going on in there- in a way that students can understand and interpret themselves. Nerd alert: Vocal technique can actually quite liberating and fun! Yes, we will teach you how to breathe correctly; yes, you will be singing scales. But the key is that you'll know why you're singing each note, and what is going to get you to sing those notes more effectively. I believe in hard work because the voice is a musical instrument; but I also believe in making it easily digestible and fun.

In our lessons, you'll learn how to breathe correctly, test your vocal range, and start working on strengthening your head and chest voices to achieve some continuity in your range. We'll also develop the mask and what I like to call your "vendor voice." Oh yeah- it's good stuff. You'll have warm-ups and scales you can use on your own time to get ready for a gig or to continue strengthening the muscles.

*** Studio Equipment ***
PA/monitors, keyboard, microphones.

*** Travel Equipment ***
If I am traveling to you, I bring a laptop and small set of speakers on which to play recorded scales and pull up songs for song work. I also have a portable digital recorder to record lessons if that is desired.

*** Specialties ***
I have experience with a wide range of styles, but my main genres of focus are rock, pop, Americana, country, blues, soul, and R&B.
I specialize in vowel tuning/correct vowel placement as a way to strengthen the muscles of the voice, in order to correct pitch/tone and solidify muscle memory as it relates to the voice as instrument. I teach from a "ground-up" approach, meaning I feel it's crucial for my students to understand how their voice works, why it works in certain ways, and how they can use vocal technique to their advantage as singers and performers. Building upon that strong foundation, I customize a program for each of my students to address their own set of strengths and challenges.
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Reviews

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Richard Baker September 5, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Awesome!
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Niki I. June 13, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Tracey is so good at making you feel comfortable. Obviously singing in front of someone, especially while they are critiquing you, is something that scares a lot of people and might make them shy away from taking lessons, but Tracey is the coolest person ever and in the handful of lessons I've had so far she makes me feel more comfortable and confident each time. I highly recommend her!!
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Julia J. May 6, 2014
Singing
Verified Student
One amazing teacher!

Tracey is a phenomenal voice teacher and I highly recommend her! She's organized, professional and very musically talented. But more than that, Tracey is extremely adept at communicating the subtle and hard to grasp vocal techniques that are so difficult to put into words. In addition to using analogies, she's great at using visual cues (drawings, arrows, notation# and relating vocal movements to colors, physical movements and sensations. She was more than willing to adapt her lessons for me so that I can gain the best understanding.

I have had other teachers in the past, and while they were all talented and very nice, only Tracey has been able to help me improve my singing voice. I improved more in 3 lessons with her than I did in 8 months of lessons with a previous teacher.

Tracey is also very kind and patient #very necessary with beginners!) and very good at correcting without criticizing. She went way out of her way to accomodate my schedule and even comes to my house for the lessons. I think she's the best and I'm sure you will too!
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Tracey H.

Tracey H.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(3)
starting at
$60 / 30-min
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Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA

I teach and help people how to write songs at all levels. Whether you are a beginner, or more advanced and need new ideas to draw from. There is an endless reservoir of ideas and concepts to help you to create any kind of music imaginable.

About Mark

I have played on tour with several professional bands, playing rock, pop, blues, African, metal, and country. I now perform live in various bands and record original music as often as possible. My music has gotten airplay in many countries.

I started playing guitar at age 9, and recorded 2 singles in the LA area by age 14. I was a music major throughout High School and College. I also learned a lot by educating myself at the Brand Library in the Los Angeles Area, which specializes in the arts. I specialized in advanced music theory and improvisational techniques.

I have enjoye
d teaching music lessons since 1978.

I custom tailor a lesson plan to fit your individual needs and goals! I can teach you songs you'd like to learn instantly when I hear them on your iPod, mobile phone, cassette or CD that you bring in. I can explain musical theory and concepts many different ways to make sure you understand them. I am very friendly and patient.

Sometimes I might inject humor into the learning process to make it an enjoyable learning experience, and to help you remember the important things.
I love the satisfaction of seeing my students grow musically proficient and and seeing the JOY that it brings them. Many of my students have gone on to become professional. I am well-versed in many styles: Rock, Pop, Blues, Alternative, Country, R&B, Metal (and a few plastics and wood as well).

*** Lesson Details ***
I will develop a personal lesson plan for each individual student. During your lessons, I might cover topics ranging from learning how to play, starting from the basics (if you are a beginner), to choosing music that will inspire you on your level, to improving your technique, ear-training, music reading (if that's what you'd like), reading and understanding tabs (if that's what you'd like), knowing what it is that makes certain chords and notes sound good together for writing your own music, as well as guitar maintenance and adjustments, getting a good tone, amplifier settings, effect pedals (settings & placing them in the most effective order), recording tips, and where to get a decent pizza.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living Room or Studio, both very comfortable. Amplifiers, guitars, effects pedals, bass, ukulele, balalaika, drum set, PA system and recording equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide guitar, bass, or ukulele and amplifier when necessary, teaching tools. The student provides their guitar and paperwork I give them.

*** Specialties ***
Teach note reading using Alfred's New Guitar course. Genres: Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Punk, Metal, Folk, Country, Hip Hop, Funk, R& B, New Age, Ambient.

I currently have 4 albums out under my name. My music is on a major new age compilation, and has been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs. I have played on other people's albums.
...

Reviews

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Michael P. July 6, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Mark was an excellent teacher, made me very comfortable. We talk about music and set some goal,he keeps a chart to know what his teaching each student and he write it all out on paper and he writes that you can understand his writing .so very happy. Mike
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Scott June 8, 2016
Acoustic Guitar · In home
Verified Student
First lesson. Mark really dialed in my skill level and completely exceeded my expectations in terms of material, lesson plan, genre etc. Even got to play one of his ridiculously sweet tele's.
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Ray A. July 8, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I think Mark is a good guitar player and the best guitar instructor i ever had. Igive him 5 star rating.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(14)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Thomas K.

San Francisco, CA

About Thomas

I've been teaching for over 10 years and I have never had more fun with it. I studied classical guitar for ten years earning a bachelor's and a master's degree in music. During my formal education I not only learned music theory, music history, ensemble playing, and composing, but more importantly I learned how to REALLY learn new things. This ability I try to pass on to my students.I love sharing the things I've learned from all of my various experiences whether it be from my classical guitar background or from one of my various pop/rock bands. I am a working musician and I still learn new th
ings every time I go out to play. It could be classical music at weddings, Jazz at clubs, or Rock and Roll at rowdy venues. There's a lesson to be learned from each.  

*** Lesson Details ***
Playing and understanding music is easy. The notion that it is only for the gifted and super talented is a lie.Fun is the first priority. Everybody wants to learn different things.  I tailor the lesson to the student and their goals. With guitar or theory/songwriting, each person has an 'ideal' they are striving for (rock guitarist ala Jimmy Page, Acoustic folk ala Bob Dylan, songwriter like Paul Simon, or classical guitarist like Andres Segovia).  I work with students to reach their ideal in a laid back, friendly manner.

I might teach out of a book or make our own book as we go along depending on the student, their experience level, and their goals. Each lesson will stress the important music fundamentals and making things easier. Every lesson and every student is different.  I have students as young as 5 whom I help learn music while they are learning how to read and write.  AND on the other side, I have students like my 81 year old mandolin student who has exciting ideas on how we should perform in our next recitals.Learning music is an investment.  Everyone learns at a different pace. There is no norm.  There is no "place they should be" at after a given time of lessons/practice.  I've had students that stagnated for YEARS and then TAKE OFF musically once they really decided to apply themselves.  If you are the parent of a student the best thing you can do is to be involved. After that, nature will take it's course.    

*** Studio Equipment ***
Some amplifiers, spare guitars, and plenty of nick-nacks.  

*** Travel Equipment ***
Instrument

*** Specialties ***
I am trained in classical guitar, but of course I've been playing and teaching electric guitar for years in different bands and professional settings.In addition, I am very passionate and knowledgeable about Irish/Celtic music and instruments i.e. Mandolin, Tin/Penny Whistle, Bouzouki
...

Reviews

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Justin H. May 12, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Thomas has been teaching my 13 year old daughter guitar. She is doing very well. Thomas is a wonderful teacher. I would recommend him to anyone. He helps her understand music theory while he patiently teaches her. He is always on time for her lesson.
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Jesse M. January 4, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
After just 1 lesson, I can tell that I picked the right teacher to help me with my musical goals! Thomas is patient, very knowledgable, and it seems like if I bring any project to him in future lessons, he'll be able to help with whatever I throw at him. Thanks again! I look forward to getting better and having Thomas help me along the way
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Justin S. September 30, 2015
Flamenco Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Thomas is an excellent guitar teacher who brings a lot of knowledge, patience, and flexibility to every lesson. He is very encouraging and knows how to explain techniques and concepts clearly to kids. He also has the ability to customize the lessons to your child's skill-level and interest. As a result, my child loves to practice on his own and looks forward to his weekly lessons with Thomas!!!
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Thomas K.

Thomas K.

San Francisco, CA 94114
(13)
starting at
$37.50 / 30-min
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Benjamin G.

San Francisco, CA

Composition, song writing and arranging.

About Benjamin

I have been studying music my entire life. I first sat down at the piano at four years old and have never strayed. After attending a performing arts high school, I studied music composition and theory at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. My studies not only enhanced my passion for music, but gave me an understanding of it and the listening experience. My desire to share this love and excitement led me to become a piano teacher. Developing my own teaching practice has required intense organizational skills and independent motivation and enhanced my ability to work with others as I interact w
ith my students, their teachers, and parents. In this position, I have had the pleasure of expanding my students’ musical understanding by introducing them to new and different styles and genres of music.

*** Lesson Details ***
Provide interactive and engaging private lessons to students of all ages at my studio and their homes.
Teach piano, music theory, and composition to students of all ages and skill levels.
Develop lesson plans, practice activities, and homework assignments tailor-made for each student maintaining their interest and heightening their skill.
Improvise and sight-read with students to helping them develop a working knowledge of musicality and movement.
Arrange popular songs and simplify advanced compositions to suit my students’ skill levels.
Help students listen to and understand the music they know and love through musical development and ear training.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have 2 upright piano's and sound proofing equipment that helps reduce the intensity of the pianos.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in improvisation and ear training. I love teaching in the postmodernist classical genre. I also love teaching popular styles and methods where the student chooses what direction they would like to go. I do not force my students to play music they don't appreciate.
...

Reviews

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Dan Briton May 16, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Benjamin is a wonderful teacher! I always look forward to seeing him for a lesson and my playing ability increased EXTREMELY during my time with him!
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Charlotte R. November 20, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Benjamin is the best teacher ever, talented, nice and open to every type of music you want to learn!
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Dan Briton July 28, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Ben is patient when I am moving slowly through exersizes, he makes sure that I really understand how to read music and he is the #1 reason for me being able to learn the piano. He is very encouraging and I'd recomend him to anybody who seriously wants to learn how to play!
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Benjamin G.

Benjamin G.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(16)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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