Minneapolis Songwriting Lessons

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Check out some of our most popular teachers near Minneapolis including Hopkins, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Saint Paul and Mendota.

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Justin S.

Saint Paul, MN

About Justin

Hello! I'm Justin, a classically trained Baritone with an emphasis in opera and art song. I have earned my Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, and my Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota. In Stevens Point I sang the roles of Papageno in The Magic Flute, Marcello in La Boheme, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, and Marco in Gianni Schicchi. As part of the University of Minnesota Opera Theater I have covered Ford in Falstaff, and performed Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. My recital appearances most r
ecently include Robert Schumann’s Liederkreis Op. 24, Modest Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death, and multiple performances of Franz Schubert’s Die Winterreise in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. I have been a Studio Artist for the critically acclaimed Mill City Summer Opera for two consecutive seasons. My responsibilities as an SA include covering roles, singing in the chorus, participation in an opera scenes program, and leading a series of Opera Enrichment classes at the Lundstrum Center for Performing Arts. I am a member of the Minnesota Opera Chorus, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Chorale.

Alongside my passion for singing, I am an avid composer. I have completed a wide variety of pieces, from full orchestral works to string quartets, from 12-part choral pieces to art songs. Notable compositions include: Joys and Woes, a song cycle for Soprano; Charlotte, a song cycle for Soprano; Canticle No.1 for SATB chorus, which was marked for consideration at the UW-Stevens Point Choral Composition Competition; and the in-progress work for ensemble and voice titled “Sketches”.

I have been teaching voice for 5 years now, and have taught students ages 7-70, so I know first hand that it is never too early or too late to start singing! I have prepared students for auditions, recitals, and for just plain fun. I teach with confidence so you can sing with confidence, and I have found that it works wonders.

*** Lesson Details ***
I have been teaching private voice for five years, and have been successful in teaching a variety of students and musical styles. Though my singing background is predominantly classical, I use that training to nurture healthy, strong, and organic voices. I do this by teaching both the fundamentals of singing technique (breathing, support, resonance, anatomy), and the art of musicianship, which is essential to every style of singing. I approach my personal understanding of the voice from the angle of knowing it as an instrument, as opposed to a source of sound that can easily be taken for granted. This allows for an even mix of understanding the voice organically, and understanding how the different parts of the instrument can be manipulated. No two voices are the same, and likewise, no two students are the same. Because of this, I do not teach a pre-structured technique, but rather take the time with each student to understand their instrument and craft a technique that will work most healthily and efficiently for them.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano, access to a large quantity of classical and pop sheet music, spacious studio space, performance space, the occasional puppy, tea, music stands, and a cool fish.

*** Specialties ***
I am a trained classical baritone, and have experience in the musical theater genre as well. I teach all genres according to the Italian school of singing, which focuses on breathing and the minimization of stress while singing. As I say: classical training is only the approach, the style is up to the singer. I have been successful in teaching all types of genres through this approach. I am also an avid composer and songwriter, and regularly teach theory in my lessons.
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Reviews

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John H. March 8, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
I've had 3 lessons with Justin. Justin has a great knowledge of the voice and the breathing required for good singing. Justin has been great at helping me with my pre-stated goals, as well as pointing out other opportunities for improving my singing. The exercises he has prescribed have been very helpful. At our most recent lesson, Justin suggested a song for me to begin working on. It's a beautiful song, and I am looking forward to working on it with Justin's insightful guidance.
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Anisha C. May 7, 2013
Singing
Verified Student
Just the teacher I was looking for

I have been a student of Justin since November 2012 and the journey so far has been incredible. I have learnt valuable techniques that make all the difference in my singing performance. I have learnt how to comfortably hit the high notes, breathe correctly and project my voice better.
Justin pays attention to every detail(like Sherlock Holmes) during practice.Yes!! He can also figure out if you did not complete your homework for the week. He always knows just the right vocal, breathing or warm up exercise to help me perform better.
He is very patient and encouraging. I remember being very nervous the first class but he made me feel at ease. He took time to understand the goals I wanted to accomplish and the areas I wanted to improve. After the half hour,I knew I found the teacher I was looking for.
Every class I get to learn something new about music, performance or my capabilities and I have never been this excited about any class ever. All thanks to Justin. He's the best!!
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Joe D. January 10, 2013
Singing
Verified Student
I couldn't ask for more

Justin has been twice the teacher I hoped for. Not only does he have an incredible and comprehensive understanding of the anatomy of the voice, but he can explain concepts in simple and relatable terms. He is also great at diagnosing the causes of weaknesses, and being a couple steps ahead when progressing through them. And, best of all, he is receptive to the student, always asking for feedback about the lesson or exercises. Being 23 and just starting singing lessons, I was a little hesitant to begin, but working with Justin has been great.
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Justin S.

Justin S.

Minneapolis, MN 55405
(4)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
224128_362353_1344120149

Arlys A.

Minneapolis, MN

About Arlys

**COMING TO EDEN PRAIRIE, MN STARTING JULY 1, 2015**

SESSIONS CAN BE SCHEDULED SAME DAY [Contact Arlys directly]

**Available internationally via Skype, Google Hangouts, Go2Meeting, etc.

All classes include techniques to help cultivate a calmly energized physical demeanor to help you enjoy singing, speaking publicly, auditioning, dancing, acting & performing. I use multifaceted exercises to help you find and feel the difference in sound immediately, and we follow-up by with learning daily exercise protocols that help develop the muscular structure to create an easily sustainable vocal
resonance.

My name is Arlys, and my vocal exploration began at age three singing solos at church. As a teenager, I performed with the concert choir and madrigal singers under the tutelage of Hal W., a teacher who affected me so deeply with his love of classical choral music that it changed my life, although I wouldn't realize it until much later. As a young artist, I wrote, sang and performed with numerous original rock, pop, funk & blues bands; simultaneously acting, singing, dancing or choreographing stage musicals.

Early on in my career I was lucky enough to get a private session with Jeannette LoVetri who first introduced me to Alexander Technique exercises that I use to this day, provided important information about the biology of the vocal system - beginning to change the way I thought about using my voice. Then, through overwork & improper vocal techniques I destroyed my voice. With the help of professional classical vocal instructor Bonnie F., I began the long process of rebuilding my voice from the ground up. My blessed teacher encouraged me endlessly, showing interest in how my dance background influenced my training, my posture and understanding of the exercises presented.

Bonnie noted my passion and desire to comprehend and translate classical singing practices and more importantly how they applied to all styles of music. She encouraged me, in turn, to begin coaching others. To that end I wound up studying with her for 6 years.

In 2000, I moved to Los Angeles and continued diversifying my voice and my training as a voice coach working briefly with Kathryn Grimm and Darlene Koldenhoven, and eventually studying Italian bel canto techniques with Linda Mitchell, rediscovering my classical voice by singing opera arias for the first time, and with a new found coloratura soprano range. The voice is such an amazing instrument, and because of its personal nature it can also be the most challenging.

My teaching style is infused with the knowledge that students of voice must be treated with great care, love and encouragement. Between performing and my own artistic studies, I have been teaching privately for over 15 years, mostly via referrals from other students, and substituting for my voice teacher at Culver City and Santa Monica Music Schools. After 12 years in Los Angeles, I have relocated back to my hometown of Minneapolis to guide other vocal explorers to unleash their authentic voice.

Arlys

*** Lesson Details ***
* Have you always wanted to sing?
* Would you like to speak with more ease without losing your voice?
* Would you like to consistently breathe more deeply and feel the expanse of your breath?

Our voice is the most personal expression we can share, and our breath is our life force. I feel very passionate about helping others create their own 'toolkit' of exercises that encourage proper posture and ease of deeper breath support; with vocal exercises that guide the vocal explorer to finding their most perfect resonance and pitch control. The end result is the ability to sing and speak easily, freely, and with confidence!

I am passionate about helping you find your unique voice. I believe the voice is such an amazing instrument and can be the most challenging to work with, psychologically, since it is so very personal and therefore must be treated with great care, love and encouragement.

I incorporate my experience with dance, Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi and other forms of physical exercise with bel canto vocal training to help me create a personalized set of tools for each student.

Since we only get the one instrument, my goal is to help you understand how your instrument works, and how best to care for it so that you can sing for years to come!

It's Your Journey!
Take It!

*** Studio Equipment ***
IN-STUDIO: Lessons in separate "studio" room, electric piano, mirror, music stands, table for your water, chair.
Waiting Room: Parents/loved ones can lounge in the large comfortable community room; read a book, lounge in the sun, watch TV.

ONLINE VOCAL EXPLORERS PLEASE NOTE: Technical issues can sometimes make online classes frustrating for all parties. These tips can help minimize frustration:

* General computer proficiency: use sites like YouTube for free instructions on how to use Skype, GoogleHangouts or Go2Meeting

* If you are not comfortable using a computer, please plan to be patient and spend some lesson time being guided through setup

* To obtain the clearest connection, use a newer smartphone, iPad or late-model laptop

* Use a secure site like www.speakeasy.net/speedtest to identify your internet upload and download speeds

* Download the application (Skype or Google Hangouts) and test the connection with a friend prior to your first lesson

Accountability: We are equally responsible for knowing if our internet connections will work.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Skype, Google Hangouts, Oovoo, Go2Meeting or other web video-conferencing tools.

*** Specialties ***
My specialty is helping you find the healthiest way to access your voice, speaking or singing. Whether it's pop; rock, Broadway belting or classical Italian bel canto singing, my focus is to help you find your authentic voice.

________________________________________________________

Arlys also spent many years in the Information Technology industry, specializing as a software application trainer, computer technician and project manager. [Resume available upon request]
...

Reviews

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Scott T. June 16, 2015
Speaking Voice · In home
Verified Student
Arlys has given me valuable insights into developing my speaking voice and helping me to find a comfortable pitch and rate. After only 3 lessons I have improved dramatically. I recommend her highly. Very sincere and professional.
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Raji T. May 11, 2015
Singing · Online
Verified Student
A great teacher for my teenage daughter.
Arlys, I am so glad I found you through takelessons website.

Thanks.
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Malayna G. April 12, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Arlys goes ubove and beyond expectation. I am so very thankful that she is my grandaughters instructor.
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Arlys A.

Arlys A.

Minneapolis, MN 55404
(17)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
226169_fykz49xp87dfc4lndgnv

Jessica Y.

Minneapolis, MN

About Jessica

Over the course of my music career, I've worn a lot of different hats including: member of the Board of Admissions for Berklee College of Music, singer/songwriter independently releasing 2 albums of original music, touring artists performing around the country, monthly singer/songwriter series host in both Chicago and Boston, band leader with many different musicians, and music teacher of the internationally acclaimed early childhood program, Music Together, in both Chicago and the Twin Cities.

My music training began when I was a young girl in church choir in Memphis, TN. Since then, I've
had the opportunity to study in a lot of different ways including guitar lessons at the age of 10, classical training on flute throughout high school and a year at UMass Amherst, coursework in ear training, harmony and guitar at Berklee College of music, guitar lessons at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, and Music Education courses at Concordia St. Paul.

All of these experiences have exposed me to a variety of skill levels and forms of musical expression – working with people from infancy through adulthood. I love exposing people to new styles and sounds and helping to make singing and playing guitar an accessible form of expression in daily life.

*** Lesson Details ***
Having spent the last 4 years working with children and families, I have a special place in my heart and a knack for lesson planning for family music. So, if you are a parent hoping to make music with your children, I'm your teacher! And, if you are the parent of a budding musician who's ready to try an instrument, I can help with that, too!

Having spent the last 7 years as a professional singer/songwriter, I have a special place in my heart and a knack for lesson planning for singer/songwriters! So, if you're a budding songwriter looking for gentle feedback or constructive criticism on your songs, I can help! Or, if you're interested in contemporary singer/songwriter music, I can help you expand your repertoire.

I was taught to play guitar and sing at the same time, so I will always encourage that in my students. However, if you are looking for help with basic note or tab reading and want to get some scale patterns in your fingers for soloing, I can get you started on that path as well. I am best suited for work with very beginners (from choosing an instrument and strumming your first chords) to intermediate players (who already know a few chords and are looking to expand their repertoire).

Guitar is a great social instrument in that it is portable, affordable and can easily be incorporated into events like family cookouts, campfires and holiday get together. My goal is to help you make music a regular part of your daily life and I look forward to hearing your goals!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Our studio is a separate room in our house. We have a, keyboard and various percussion and stringed instruments for instruction and gigging that we may occasionally incorporate into lessons. We also have seating for parents.

*** Specialties ***
I have been trained and registered Music Together Teacher for early childhood music education. As a guitarist, I specialize in folk music and songwriting.
...

Reviews

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Katelyn H. May 14, 2014
Acoustic Guitar
Verified Student
Adult Beginner Loving My Lessons!

I picked up the guitar a couple of months ago and have been taking lessons with Jess since I started playing. She tailors the lessons to what I want to learn, so I'm very motivated to practice and play. I picked up the guitar for fun, and Jess has helped make it so enjoyable. As a beginner, I really appreciate her patience and encouragement. She has a really laid back, comfortable style, and I always look forward to my lessons. I've improved a ton taking lessons from her!
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John R. February 17, 2013
Guitar
Great Guitar Instructor

Jessica teaches our two boys ages 7 and 11 together. They have now had four lessons with her and they look forward to going each week. In a matter of weeks she has them learning songs they love, like Bon Jovi's Living On a Prayer.

She is always prepared for lessons, keeps it fun for the boys and motivates them to keep working by setting good goals and sending them Utube videos to play along with her.

We drive 20 miles to do lessons with her and its worth every mile. She really is the best!
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Elizabeth V. October 30, 2012
Guitar
Fantastic with young children

Jessica is always prepared with a lesson plan. She is an avid researcher of child development and loves finding ways to incorporate her learnings into her teachings. I also appreciate her fun smile and bubbly attitude.
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Jessica Y.

Jessica Y.

Minneapolis, MN 55413
(3)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
404548_2lqrsbnqk8fj6xp2h5yk

Aaron T.

Saint Paul, MN

I first began writing songs as a 13 year old and have kept at it my whole life. I have written and released many songs on my own and have also been one of the primary songwriters in three separate bands. My college degree also involved many songwriting classes and projects. The styles I typically write include rock, pop-rock, pop, folk, indie, dance, and electronic.

About Aaron

I am extremely passionate about music, and even more so passionate about helping others. To combine the two through providing musical instruction is something I have always enjoyed doing.

I have been playing guitar and drums for over a decade and teaching for about half of that time. I have a Bachelor of Music in Contemporary, Urban, and Pop Music with guitar as my primary instrument and drums as my secondary. I obtained my degree from Columbia College Chicago. While in school, I also spent much of my time studying songwriting and music production. I have played and toured with many differe
nt bands with music from a variety of styles and genres, and have spent vast amounts of time in the studio recording and producing myself and various other artists.

In terms of teaching lessons, I realize that all students have individual ways of learning and have their own goals in mind in relation to their musical ability. I desire to provide lessons that allow students to reach those goals in the most enjoyable and effective way possible. 
...

Reviews

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andy B. November 24, 2014
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Aaron has been an excellent teacher for my 9 year old son.
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Aaron T.

Aaron T.

Saint Paul, MN 55112
(1)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
416936_7g3d8gypc2vkjtb5sgjh

Rick W.

Minneapolis, MN

Having written over 200 original songs, I love to share my process, as well as the songwriting processes of other songwriters, which I've learned through various channels, including everything from University study to Rolling Stone articles.

About Rick

Rick's been teaching Pop Styles Guitar at the Mount Olivet School of Music in South Minneapolis (M-Th) ever since graduating with a degree in Music from the University of Minnesota (T.C. and Duluth Campuses) in 2003. He also teaches traveling lessons to students in the south and southwest metro areas. Rick plays around town in 3 bands and also does the occasional Musical Pit Orchestra and Wedding gig. He also taught at Dayjams Rock Music camp in St. Paul for the five summers of its existence. In his spare time he writes YA Stories and Musicals, as well as running a Songwriting and Music Theory
Blog about Tonal Trends in popular music, and a Guitar Curriculum Blog based on Karate Belts.

*** Lesson Details ***
Depending on student interest, lessons can consist of Ear Training, Improv/Jamming, learning Popular Guitar Riffs/Changes/Parts/Etc., Note Reading, the Music Biz, and learning about all the cool new Music Technologies of the day. Rick also loves to transcribe any and all music the student wants to learn but for which they cannot find the sheet music or internet tab. Rick prefers to teach what the student wants to learn, but if they're not sure what that is, he helps them figure that out.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Wifi, Computer, and iPhone. I make good use of technology during lessons. Much used apps include Guitarbots, Slow Down Music Trainer, TabPro, and the Guitar Toolkit (metronome, tuner, etc.)

*** Travel Equipment ***
Music Stand (if needed), and iPhone tech.

*** Specialties ***
Music Theory and Songwriting.
...

Reviews

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Kirk B. July 13, 2015
Ukulele · In home
Verified Student
Rick is very knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and patient! On every visit I gain greater knowledge of music, my instrument and how to play it. Rick keeps the lessons challenging and fun! It is always a joy to meet with him.
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John E. October 31, 2014
Ukulele · In studio
Verified Student
Rick has been great in writing out (and instructing me how to play) music that I have enjoyed... Really knowledgeable and patient... It was a really good experience.. I would continue, but my schedule has become too cluttered..
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James R. October 14, 2014
Ukulele · In home
Verified Student
Rick taught our 7-year old son for quite a few months, and did a fantastic job. We were pleased with his energy, enthusiasm, and ability to connect with young people.

We were sad when our son decided that he'd like to take a break from music and play more tennis, but hope that this, his first musical experience, will inspire him to return to it at some later point.

I highly recommend Rick.
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Rick W.

Rick W.

Minneapolis, MN 55409
(3)
starting at
$24 / 30-min

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Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

Students are raving about their Songwriting instructors on TakeLessons. Check out some of these recent reviews.

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, check out the Songwriting articles on our blog.

Songwriting Tips | The Wisdom of a One-Of-Kind Song Title

What's in a name? If you're looking for songwriting tips as you pen your next tune, check out this advice from Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   There is not one "right" or preferred way to write a song. It's a very individual choice. Some songwriters start out with a patch of melody or a line or two of lyric as their creative catalyst. Others will initiate the songwriting muse with a unique and instantly-captivating song title or writing from their emotions. And in this ever-cr … Read More
Songwriting Tips | The Wisdom of a One-Of-Kind Song Title
What's in a name? If you're looking for songwriting tips as you pen your next tune, check out this advice from Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   There is not one "right" or preferred way to write a song. It's a very individual choice. Some songwriters start out with a patch of melody or a line or two of lyric as their creative catalyst. Others will initiate the songwriting muse with a unique and instantly-captivating song title or writing from their emotions. And in this ever-cr
How to Write Lyrics: Steps to Success for Any Musical Style
Interested in learning how to write lyrics and songs? Here, New Jersey guitar teacher Matthew H. explains an easy 3-step process to follow...  Songwriting is not easy; just ask any composer or lyricist. While the musical composition is highly important (making sure the melody is catchy without sounding too trite), having a strong, relatable message to go along with a great tune is just as, if not more, important. Here are some tips on how to write lyrics for a good song. 1) What is the
6 Resources for Creating Your Own Sheet Music
As you develop your musical skills, you may become interested in writing your own music. While learning to play an instrument and being able to play others' music is a wonderful skill, nothing compares to creating sheet music full of your own compositions! As a budding songwriter, you’ll need to add some additional skills to your repertoire. Writing music can be as simple as putting a pen to paper, or you can take advantage of the many songwriting tools technology offers. Whether you’re sketchi
Tips for Writing a Song | Starting Songs And Ending Writer's Block
Feeling stuck? Get back on track with these helpful tips for writing a song, courtesy of Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   One of the most frequent problems that songwriting students encounter is pushing past writer's block and generating ideas for new songs. So here are several tips for writing a song that will help you overcome a creative dry spell and get you back to creative productivity. Start With A Title Think of some interesting subjects that you think would make goo
The Anatomy of a Hit Pop Song [Infographic]
When you're learning how to write a song, looking at how other songs are structured can be a great place to start. Like looking at a map before you go on a roadtrip, checking out the basic elements of songs you love gives you a sense of how they were written and what you need to do to write a song of your own. If analyzing all your favorite songs sounds like a daunting task (it is), you're in luck. The Billboard Experiment wanted to know if there was a formula that could determine which songs

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