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Excelsior, MN Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers near Excelsior, MN

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Excelsior, MN including Victoria, Mound, Spring Park, Navarre and Minnetonka Beach.

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About Alex M.

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Minneapolis, MN

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I have been writing compositions & songs since the day after I picked up music in early 2002, everything from Barbershop Quartets to chamber orchestral music to progressive rock to film scores.

About Alex
Hey, my name is Alex. I'm a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass, keyboards, voice, drums, flute, etc.), composer, performer, recording artist, arranger/orchestrator/transcriber, recording engineer/producer & music educator.

I graduated from the University of St. Thomas "Cum Laude" in 2011 with a Bachelor's Degree in Guitar Performance, with minors in Music Production & Composition. While attending St. Thomas I served as the Music Theory tutor, as well as the live sound/stage/light/recording technician for student & faculty recitals.

I have been playing professionally & teaching for over a decade. My passion for music is something that I love to share with anyone else who feels inclined to make music. My goal is to share the skills & knowledge I've acquired throughout my experiences with those willing to learn & dedicate themselves
to the craft of making music.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am experienced in most major genres of music: classical, jazz, blues, rock, funk, folk, metal, acoustic fingerstyle/slap, instrumental rock, "shred," pop, world music, electronica, etc. & feel comfortable conveying the techniques, approaches & idioms to a student by breaking them down into digestible components, while making these new ideas relatable to material they are already familiar with.

In the end, I want the student to learn what they're most interested in learning. I'm here to answer any questions they may have & with my experiences, I feel confident that I will be able to either answer these questions or point them in the right direction. Some topics covered:

Scales/modes
Ear training
Instrument-specific techniques (ie bending, tapping, sweep picking, etc.)
Songwriting & Composition
Arranging & Orchestrating
Sight-reading
Improvisation
Chordal theory & how to read charts
Practice routines & approaches
Instrument maintenance
Instrument-based gear (guitars, amplifiers, effects, picks, slides, capos, etc.)

The student will learn at the pace they set for themselves & can only get out of it the amount of effort they put forth. I expect my students to practice on a regular basis (however brief each session may be). Consistency is key for progress to be made, & if they hold up their end of the bargain, the payoffs will be quite substantial!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Practice amplifier, tuner, music stand(s), guitar picks & cables.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide guitar neck paper. I expect the students to have their own instrument & any materials they may need to achieve the goals they've set for themselves (such as a weekly notebook).

*** Specialties ***
Progressive rock, classic rock, blues, jazz, funk, disco, classical, acoustic fingerstyle/slap, flamenco guitar; music theory, sight-reading, composition, songwriting, film scoring, music production.
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Reviews
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Stephanie August 20, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
I took beginner's guitar lessons with Alex. He took into account what my playing goals were, stylewise and whatnot. He's super knowledgeable on musical subjects besides just guitar. I've come away feeling that I have good foundational knowledge to build upon as I progress in my playing. I had the five lesson package, which I felt suited my needs. Tip: If you do something like that, space out your lessons at least every other week, so that you have time to practice and grasp what you're learning. Be sure to ask questions if something is new to you, especially if you're a beginner. I highly recommend guitar lessons from Alex!
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Eric April 19, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Alex was awesome. Super knowledgeable and a great teacher. It was an all around wonderful first lesson.
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Dave L. March 3, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Had a great experience the first lesson. Look forward to the next one.
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Alex M.

Alex M.

Minneapolis, MN 55406
(13)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Thomas C.

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Saint Paul, MN

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I allow students to be creative and show them how to prepare and notate the music they write

About Tom
A love of music began in the third grade. I started on a silver metal clarinet and have not stopped playing. I am a musician, composer, arranger and performer. I hold a B.A. in music and have taught in the schools for 28 years. I bring extensive knowledge and humor to my teaching. I enjoy working with all age levels and pride myself on being intensely positive.

*** Lesson Details ***
The focus of music lessons is to overcome problems and increase skill and enjoyment in performance. I always want to focus on what was done well and carefully work on skills that will increase enjoyment. I will play with you to model and help you self correct as you learn musical concepts and musicianship. We will use method books for fundamentals and supplement with music that interest the students. After a time students will learn skills needed to perf
orm a wider range of music

*** Studio Equipment ***
Most instruments

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect the student to provide an instrument, method book, stand and supplies for that instrument. I will bring an instrument to play along and model.

*** Specialties ***
Kodaly and Orff methods
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Reviews
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Simeon H. May 21, 2016
· Trumpet · In studio
My grandson is 8. He dreams about learning to play the trumpet. Today was his first lesson from Mr. Tom Cross. The lesson was delivered perfectly at his level. With positive reinforcement. Clear direction. Humor. All the way home my grandson smiled!
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Jennifer M. May 12, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Highly Recommended teacher. The teacher's flexibility, calm but firm demeanor and ability to relate to the student is awesome.
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Angelina May 6, 2016
· Singing · In studio
He is an excellent teacher, fun and well knowledgeable
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Thomas C.

Thomas C.

Saint Paul, MN 55118
(20)
starting at
$29 / 30-min

About Lauren V.

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Saint Paul, MN
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Songwriting lessons are flexible. If you are a beginner we will work on lyric basics. As an intermediate we will add in chord and melody writing. If you are an advanced writer, I can help critique your works and give suggestions on revisions, give techniques on structure, and/or encourage you by extending your sources of inspiration.

About Lauren
Lauren graduated from McNally Smith College of Music magna cum laude in 2011 with a bachelors in vocal performance. She played everywhere from Duluth. Minnesota to Lima, Peru: sharing the stage with artists as diverse as Andres Prado and Judi Donaghy. In addition to her McNally Smith Degree, Lauren received master classes from Bobby McFerrin and the New York Voices. Passionate about giving back to the community, Lauren instructed voice and piano students at the Urban Hub, a community center for inner city youth in Minneapolis MN. She spent the last 6 months of 2011 as an instructor at Jazz Jaus in Lima, Peru. She taught music theory, history, songwriting, and applied voice at ex'treme Institute by Nelly in St. Louis, MO for 3 years. She recently moved back to the Twin Cities to perform and teach.

*** Lesson Details ***
Every student
has an experience unique to themselves. I am strict about meeting the goals developed by each student. However, the learning process is highly individual. You will learn at a pace and with a curriculum we develop to best suit your learning style, musical preference, and goals.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect students will have a keyboard or piano.

*** Specialties ***
Trained 10 years in classical voice and piano.
Undergrad in contemporary voice.
12 years of theatre experience
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Lisa September 15, 2017
· Acting · In studio
My daughter looked forward to meeting with Lauren and felt like the work with Lauren was very helpful.
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Derek August 15, 2017
· Singing · In studio
My teen son enjoyed his first lesson and working with Lauren! He's looking forward to continuing to work with her.
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Cheenue June 19, 2017
· Singing · In studio
She made me feel like I wasn't doing anything wrong but at the same time encouraged me to keep improving through positive reinforcement.
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Lauren V.

Lauren V.

Minneapolis, MN 55410
(12)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Mark H.

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Maple Grove, MN
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About Mark
Mark H. has been a professional teacher, musician, and singer for over 20 years. He has taught Voice, Guitar, Acting, Bass Guitar, & Music Theory to students of all ages in various settings ranging from private lessons to college classrooms. He is a fun, experienced, passionate teacher willing to work with students of all levels from beginners to professionals. Mark absolutely loves helping all his students achieve their individual goals.

Mark has performed in musical groups that have played locally and toured nationally. He has opened for national recording artists such as Eddie Money, Blackfoot, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Molly Hatchet, and Shooting Star (to name just a few). He has extensive songwriting experience and has composed original songs for various local bands. He has also produced musical scores for theatrical productions at t
he University of Minnesota, Harmon Place Players, and the Rhombus Theater Company.

*** Lesson Details ***
Students can expect lessons to be structured while being tailored to their desires and goals. Mark likes to focus on what students want to learn while pushing them to challenge themselves. His goal is to “bring out the artist” in his students but he also understands lessons should be fun.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will suggest necessary teaching materials/books. Students need their own instruments.

*** Specialties ***
Rock, Jazz, Funk, Blues, Pop, etc
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Reviews
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Mike April 13, 2017
· Singing · In home
I've been a guitar player for a while and have wanted to learn how to sing along with the guitar. Mark has done an excellent job determining where I currently am as a singer and how I can get to where I want to be as a singer. He has started with the basics and explaining to me how you can improve as a singer by making routine out of several exercises. He has done a great job not just explaining what the exercises are, but why they are beneficial to me as a vocalist. After gathering a better sense of my voice, I have started bringing my guitar to lessons and he has helped me immensely to blend my voice with my instrument. Since doing these lessons, I've had the confidence in my voice to start performing at open-mic nights in the Twin Cities and I thank Mark for that! He is wonderful!
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Erik K. February 8, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
I found Mark through TakeLessons a little over a year ago when my dad and I were looking to start learning guitar. I could not have been more pleased with how accommodating Mark was with our schedules and different skill levels. Whether its reviewing what we learned the week prior or taking on something new we are being challenged every lesson. My dad and I have come a long way since we started last year and Mark is to thank for our success. I highly recommend Mark if you are just starting out or have a few years under your belt. He is crazy knowledgeable!
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Mark January 11, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Really knows his stuff and is very patient. Cares about you wanting to play to the best of your ability and really stays on topic and down to business but at the same time makes you feel comfortable when talking about your influences.
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Mark H.

Mark H.

Maple Grove, MN 55311
(12)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Eric C.

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Saint Paul, MN
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There are so many ways to write a song. Songwriting lessons will cover a lot of ground including but not limited to song structure, dynamics, melody, rhythm, harmony, etc.

About Eric
Performing and recording musician with several groups for over 15 years. Current projects include, Hot Date and Batteryboy among others. I have been teaching private lessons and classes in community education to students of all ages since 2007. I have also taught music in early childhood education as well as music therapy programs at Minnesota Veterans Homes. I am always excited to witness my students joy as they reach and exceed their goals.

*** Lesson Details ***
Relaxed lessons geared toward the students goals. Various styles and techniques; Fun and efficient practice exercises; Improvisation; Patience and attention to progress; Wide Chord Vocabulary; Music Theory in a way that is easy to understand; Tone development and playing by ear.

Every student is an individual and responds better to different teaching styles as well
as learn at their own pace. My goal as a teacher is to give you an enjoyable experience in learning a new instrument and to tailor the lessons based on your interests and goals. After the first few months a beginner student can expect to have learned basic techniques and useful skills to allow them to play simple songs and melodies with ease.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons are taught in a studio with amps, acoustic guitars and electric guitars, ukuleles, along with fretless and fretted bass guitars, drums, microphones, recording equipment and software, are available for a student to use during the lesson time.

*** Specialties ***
Simplifying concepts and process. Breaking down elements of how to play Pop, Jazz, Funk, Blues, Rock, Folk etc.
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Reviews
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Karin Eide July 21, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
Eric was the right fit for me. He started me on the basics in a very relaxed way. Plus - his favorite Beatle is George!
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Nicholas May 31, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Ive been working with Eric for over a year now and I can't recommend him enough. Whether you are looking to play guitar recreationally or professionally Eric is the person you want to help hone your skills. As someone who has tried to teach myself and failed I can say that after working with Eric not only do I understand music itself astronomically better but I also am able to produce music on a creative level that would have taken years to achieve without Eric. Lastly, to anyone who is on edge of whether they need a teacher or not, the answer is YES, absolutely and you won't find anyone better than Eric.
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Danna September 25, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
My sons have been taking guitar lessons from Eric. They love him! He's patient, funny, and cool, and is a great example of a passionate working artist.
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Eric C.

Eric C.

Saint Paul, MN 55101
(25)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Don S.

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Minneapolis, MN

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Coaching and instruction for aspiring songwriters

About Don
Upbeat, fun and patient. Professional performer/teacher with a BA in music (with honors) and English from Wesleyan University, graduate study in music education from University of St. Thomas and film production/screenwriting with honors from Minneapolis College (MCTC). Don
specializes in helping you to unleash your creativity and self-expression. Guitar, songwriting, composition/music production (Garageband, etc), computer-based "beat-making", ensembles, and pop vocal coaching. Tutoring and computer help also offered.

Many years experience in K-12 music and digital media technology (audio and video) working with gifted/talented and special needs students as well as in-school artist residencies. Adult students are a specialty and are most welcome!

*** Lesson Details ***
In individual lessons, instruction will be tailored to the indiv
idual desires and needs of each student. Fun "family-style" lessons with parent(s) and young children are also a new option.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Guitars, ukuleles, bass guitars, strum-sticks, various percussion instruments, ProTools Digi002, Garageband, Kurzweil 2500, Mac Pro Desktop computers, various keyboards, synthesizers and music composition/production software and amps.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Teacher brings instruments/supplies/books as needed, and can arrange to provide instruments for students as well.

*** Specialties ***
Individual or group instruction in folk, jazz, blues, rock, guitar/vocal performance coaching, songwriting, lyric writing, instrumental improvisation, digital media production/composition, iMovie, Garageband, "beat-making" and therapeutic music for youth, adult and special needs students. Tutoring/homework help in English, mac computers and basic academic subjects for K-12 and adult students. Technology (geek) help/support with computers, digital gadgets (especially Apple) for "non-techies".
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Reviews
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Brittany September 15, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
Don was very kind, patient, and encouraging. He brought over a lot of his own materials so it was much less stressful trying to find things to do.
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Barbara K. June 26, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Don does an outstanding job! He is able to connect authentically my son and customized the lessons to fit his learning style and needs. Don has drawn so much out of him musically and has also built a community of students that play together. He makes the lessons fun and engaging. He has opened up my 7-year old to the joy of playing and performing and has helped create a love of music. I highly recommend Don as a music teacher.
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Benjamin L. June 25, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Don was very patient with my son. He not only taught my son to play the Ukulele but also answered his numerous questions about video production.
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Don S.

Don S.

Minneapolis, MN 55426
(11)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Richard W.

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Minneapolis, MN
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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 studies to Rolling Stone articles. Also, Theory and Composition were my primary areas of study in college, and I currently have a Songwriting Vlog with over 1,000 subscribers.

About Richard
Rick's been teaching Guitar, Banjo, and Ukulele at his home, and at the Mount Olivet School of Music in South Minneapolis, ever since graduating with a degree in Music from the University of Minnesota Duluth 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.
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Reviews
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Penelope S. July 15, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
Richard was willing to introduce my 4 year old granddaughter to the instrument and he helped her with the most basic aspects of playing - how to hold it (he adjusted the strap to fit her properly) how to strum and how to use her left hand on the frets, etc. He was clear, concise, encouraging and patient!
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Huda G. March 12, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Great teacher! Funny, easy going and went along with me at the right pace. Totally recommend him.
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Emma R. January 24, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
My 7 year old daughter had a great experience with Rick and is looking forward to her next lesson!!
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Richard W.

Richard W.

Minneapolis, MN 55409
(15)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Alan B.

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Nashville, TN
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I have been working as a professional musician since 1987. In that time, I've played many roles alongside a wide range of established and emerging talent, from around the world, including band leader, accompanist, music producer, composer, arranger, co-writer, teacher, coach and mentor. Along the way, I have continued to pursue my passion for education, teaching private music lessons to amateurs, professionals and hobbyists from all walks of life.

As a professional composer/songwriter, I have written songs in a variety of styles, across multiple genres, alone and with others, and enjoyed over one hundred (100) cuts including single and music video releases on recording projects with a very wide range of emerging and established artists and bands. To date, as a writer and/or publisher, I have scored thirty-one (31) syncs on national television.

About Alan
Beginner, intermediate and advanced are all welcome. I give the same attention to teaching amateurs as I do professionals.
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Reviews
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Elisa July 31, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
relaxed, progress, professional... perfect
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Rudy April 21, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
A true professional in every sense of the word!
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Kim B. August 29, 2014
· Guitar · In studio
WOW - you guys read my mind so let me start with saying my teacher Alan is TERRIFIC - and I do mean TERRIFIC - when I first met him I felt so comfortable - his way of teaching is very patient and informative. Alan has a method of teaching that allows you to absorb valuable information while learning a skill. He makes the lessons simple and fun. Alan gives you the opportunity to learn at your own pace and that's wonderful for mature students that wish to learn something new. If I could - I would let everyone know that there is a chance to experience your musical dream - Just take a chance as a matter of fact take a Lesson.
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Alan B.

Alan B.

Online
(4)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Socrates S.

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Los Angeles, CA

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Learn College Level Songwriting skills. I have 7 years of songwriting and i have worked with the best artist development teacher in Los Angeles, including Robin Randal who wrote songs for the tv series "Bay Watch" and many others. I will teach their techniques and exercises to writing popular hit songs as well as give you professional insights and encouragement to finishing song.

About Socrates
Hello, My name is Socrates, I'm originally from Brazil and I came to Los Angeles to study and pursue my dreams in Music. I went through a lot to get where I am now and I got my College Degree from Musicians Institute in the Vocal Program. I May look young but I have a lot of experience and, although I love teaching, I am also a performer and continue to do so as much as I can.
Not only will I be able to teach a variety of vocal techniques, but I will also help with the performing side of singing, where you can express yourself truthfully.
"I believe music has an amazing power to touch one's Heart, and my dream is to share this power"
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Reviews
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Royer March 12, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Great teacher! I noticed a difference in my voice in just the first few lessons. He really takes time to develop the different voice registers. Would highly recommend taking lessons with Socrates.
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Socrates S.

Socrates S.

Online
(1)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Annie A.

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Nashville, TN
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I can help with the basics of songwriting and putting words and music together, all the way up to the advanced and polishing songs you've already written!

About Annie
Annie brings a unique set of experiences to every musical venture she embarks on. She is a classically trained vocalist who traveled the country and the world with the renowned Millikin University Choir during her undergraduate studies. Adams graduated with a degree in Commercial music, and spent her time outside of University Choir singing in jazz and contemporary ensembles, working and performing in the recording studio, and practicing songwriting. After graduation, she moved to Nashville, where she resides today, writing and performing original country music under the stage name Annie Kennedy. All of these experiences make her a well rounded and versatile performer and teacher. For her students, she can help them find their unique voice and style, while teaching classical sensibilities and vocal technique for healthy delivery and perfo
rmance.
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Emily May 24, 2017
· Christian Gospel · In studio
LOVE training with Annie! She has really given me the confidence to sing out within our choir. Whenever I am struggling with how to sing a certain word or phrase, she always provides the best solution for my voice and vocal range. Annie will provide the best training for you no matter what type of music you are wanting to sing!
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Jefferey May 22, 2017
· Singing · In home
Annie is an extremely multi-talented singer: She can sing classical to country. Annie is musically educated and an excellent teacher. She directs our St. Joseph Youth Choir - and the kids LOVE "Ms. Annie." You will find studying with Ms, Adams a positive and educational experience!
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Jaclyn May 18, 2017
· Music Performance · In home
My 4 year old daughter has been taking piano lessons from Annie for around 2-3 months and she LOVES it! Mrs Annie is so kind and patient with her, she is progressively getting better and more interested with each lesson. I would recommend Annie to anyone who is looking for music or voice lessons! We love her
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Annie A.

Annie A.

Online
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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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.

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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 … Read More

Tips for Writing a Song | Starting Songs And Ending Writer's Block
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6 Destructive Beliefs That Hold Beginner Musicians Back
Do you ever wonder how good your skills would be now if you started practicing a year ago? A question like this should motivate, not dishearten you. In this article, guest writer Elizabeth Kane will take you through six destructive beliefs you might face as you're learning how to become a musician, and how you can overcome them...   Mind Over Matter Your mind is a powerful tool. Your thoughts dictate just about every conscious decision you make. Whether you're a beginner guitari
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Are you perfectly content performing the pieces of famous composers and lyricists... or do you want to make your own contribution? If you want to learn how to become a songwriter, check out this guest post by teacher Eric C...   The world of music is as vast as the world that we live in. Some genres have existed for thousands of years, while others are still being created today. This is all because music is constantly evolving. The evolution of music comes from songwriters and
Logic Pro Tutorial: How To Create An Audio Slow-Down Effect
Want to add a cool slow-down effect to your music? Learn how in this Logic Pro tutorial from Brevard, NC teacher John C...   If you've listened to popular radio in the past several years, and I’m guessing you have, you've heard either a vocal melody line or an instrumental part of a song make a particular effect. Listen to the following Fall Out Boy song and pay attention to the music in the background at 00:27 seconds, again at 1:27, and once again at 2:27: Did you hear it? Th
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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