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Pine Brook, NJ Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers near Pine Brook, NJ

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About Dominic S.

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New York, NY
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I've written 50 songs in the past 4 years
Come in, and I'll help you with yours as well

About Dominic
Dominic Sahagun is an Assistant Professor of Voice at Berklee College of Music. Dominic has years of experience teaching people of all ages, and in all styles of music. Professionally, he has performed in National Tours, Off Broadway, and in major films.

"Music has always been my absolute favorite thing in the world.
As far as I know, I am the only teacher in New York City who teaches Voice, Piano, Guitar, Bass and Trumpet."

Currently Dominic's studio consists of -
An Academy Award winner
A Tony Award nominee
Four students are currently performing on Broadway

BFA The Boston Conservatory of Music
Lyric Baritone

Notable Quotes about S.:

Ken Nelson (Coldplay) - "Fantastic voice"
Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds - "Really cool songs"
Dan Grigsby (Keith Richards' Engineer) - "Genius"
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Reviews
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Simon August 16, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Dominic gave me great advice to start learning how to sing !
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Ariel B. October 11, 2016
· Trumpet · In home
He is great Trumpet teacher. He is professional and friendly. My son enjoyed his first lesson. Thank you
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Marla H. March 22, 2016
· Piano · In home
Dominic is fabulous. if you have a chance to work with him, do yourself a favor and do it!
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Dominic S.

Dominic S.

New York, NY 10019
(19)
starting at
$90 / 30-min

About Juan C.

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New York, NY

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About Juan
New York city composer and guitarist Juan Calderon is a native of Ecuador raised in Colombia. He immigrated to Miami at age 20 to escape the political climate of the late 90’s, and resides in Manhattan since 2008.

Juan’s music blends elements from his unique life experiences, having been raised as an only child by a single mother in a bohemian environment. He was a recording and touring rock guitarist in Colombia, and he has studied East Asian music extensively, inspired by interaction with musicians and artists in China, Japan, and Indonesia.

His latest accomplishments include a performance of his composition “Reino Incierto” at Carnegie Hall (2015) and Sounds of the City, as well as a performance of his guitar quartet composition “Rising” by the UK guitar quartet.

Juan Calderon currently studies classical guitar with Mark D
elPriora, chair of the Guitar Department at the Manhattan School of Music, where he earned a master degree in composition. His mentors include composers Susan Botti, Reiko Fueting, and electronic music pioneer Joel Chadabe. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Florida, where he studied jazz guitar with Tom Lippincott, and composition with Susan Epstein-Garcia.

Juan is also an avid cartoonist, collector of rare books and little cars, food adventurer and runner.

*** Lesson Details ***
Guitar teaching encompasses many disciplines. One has to be a bit of a psychologist in order to gauge a potential student needs and musical sensibilities. The mathematical aspect of musical notation and rhythm makes us part mathematicians. In the end, there is also a self-actualizing aspect to guitar teaching in the sense that we are always witness to those moments that made us decide a career on music.
During my years of guitar teaching I have encountered many types of students, and I have learned from them as much as they have learned from me as they make me question aspects of music that I would have never thought about. I have learned to not take for granted the definition of concepts such as rhythm and harmony, and to look at guitar technique from different perspectives as I find ways to accommodate to a student’s capabilities. Ultimately, it is also a job that requires a lot of planning and structure. My first step, generally, is to assess the student’s ability and interest to find material suitable for them. Then, I proceed to familiarize with the student’s musical tastes and sensibilities to assign practice material accordingly. For example, if the student is interested in rock or pop music, we will work on a particular song that fits his level and also solves a particular technical problem. During that process I will answer any of the student’s questions, and provide insight into musical terminology. We will also work on basic concepts of rhythm, melody, and harmony. My training as a composer and jazz guitarists also enables me to tap into the student’s creative side. In that case, we would start with a basic blues progression and blues scales, and work on the basics of improvisation or songwriting.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Basement studio w/ small keyboard, amp, acoustic guitar, 3 electric guitars, music books w/ seating for parents and lots of magazines!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide music sheets, students should have an instrument, tuner, paper, pencil, and a metronome.

*** Specialties ***
I teach fundamentals of music theory, principles of jazz improvisation, classical guitar technique and repertoire, song writing, pop songs, sight reading, and overall musicianship, as well as Jazz, Rock, Blues, Bossa Nova, and other Latin Styles.
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Reviews
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Dawn G. July 13, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Juan is wonderful and very knowledgeable in music. He is very patient and makes you feel comfortable. I leave a lesson feeling like I am accomplished and relaxed. It nice to see progress in such a little time. I go home with enthusiasm to learn more and want practice to do so.
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Chrystine R. February 14, 2016
· Classical Guitar · In studio
With a patient and intuitive approach, Juan tailors each lesson to fit not only the student’s skill level, but also desire for depth of understanding. When I first began taking lessons, I was only able to plunk a few chords and play along with a few basic songs. However, over the course of a year and a half with Juan, I gained a foundational knowledge of the classical guitar, as well as the confidence to site read and play a range of other styles of guitar music. He seamlessly integrated music theory concepts into song studies, helping me learn major/minor scales and chord shapes, and then apply this knowledge to better understand song structures and composition. It has been such a great experience learning from Juan, especially because he is both an exemplary teacher and guitar player!
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Dionne T. May 4, 2015
· Guitar · In studio
Juan is awesome. He makes learning guitar easy and never complicates it .. and makes it fun. He's a great teacher.
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Juan C.

Juan C.

New York, NY 10027
(9)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Martin N.

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Brooklyn, NY
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About Martin
Hello students and parents!

I have been teaching bass, guitar, and piano for over 10 years and have been playing all those instruments for over 12 years. I have experience teaching kids as young as five as well as adults. I enjoy having a variety of students.

I received a Bachelors in Music from Manhattan School of Music where my major was Jazz Bass Performance. I also studied a wide range of other subjects including piano, composition, and arranging. I am currently in my second year of a Masters in Music Education at Teachers College (Columbia University).

I am very passionate about music as well as teaching and I want to inspire my students.

I play with a variety of artists in New York City and have toured extensively both nationally and internationally.

I have performed with artists including Ethan Iverson, Albert "Tooti
e" Heath, Billy Hart, Greg Osby, Jason Moran, Dave Liebman, Steve Wilson, Ambrose Akinmusire and Aaron Parks and have studied with teachers including Jay Anderson, David Grossman, Larry Grenadier and Ben Street.

I look forward to helping you grow as a musician and learning from you as well!

All the best,
Martin

*** Lesson Details ***
My primary mission is to help you accomplish the goals you have set for yourself. Within the first lesson I want to learn what you hope to achieve. I always ask my students what music they love and want to learn more about.

I want to use the music that you connect with to help you grow on your instrument. I will also teach you the techniques needed to play the instrument and expose you to the different styles possible on the instrument.

I tailor my teaching to each student's needs, concerns, strengths and weaknesses. I use a variety of teaching tools, including books and recordings, based on what I think will help you.

I am very patient, fun, and engaging. I guarantee that within 1 lesson you will feel inspired and ready to embark on an exciting musical journey.

*** Studio Equipment ***
The studio lessons take place in the living room with a piano, upright bass, and guitar. Seating is available.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I use public transportation. I expect the student to provide an instrument and if possible, the book we are working through. Otherwise I will provide the book.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in jazz, but can teach classical, rock, pop, funk, r and b,
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Martin N.

Martin N.

Brooklyn, NY 11225
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Andrew P.

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Brooklyn, NY

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About Andrew
Hello! How are you? What do you love about music? What do you want to learn? I can help you get there.
Playing music is demanding, and can be an amazing experience, so my main approach in teaching is to keep it fun, and keep it focused. For the past 16 years, I’ve developed my own style, teaching hundreds of students from age 5 to 75, in most types of music. The early lessons are for starting to learn basic techniques and music theory. We can also begin to play your favorite songs and musical styles. Eventually, lessons will often begin with me asking “What are we working on today!?” and the student will bring me their work and questions. We laugh a lot, work really hard, and make some great music!

Let me know if you have any questions, and hope to work with you soon!
Thanks, Andrew
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Andrew P.

Andrew P.

Brooklyn, NY 11211
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Alex H.

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Brooklyn, NY

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About Alex
Having grown up with a father who ran a guitar shop and a professional singer for a mother, music was just another language to communicate with in our house. Learning to speak through music taught me how to focus and develop new skills, which helped me in school with everything that I have ever had to learn.

In 5th grade I started playing bass guitar at home, trombone in the school music program, and private lessons for piano. This exposed me to a wide range of music very early on.

When I was a teenager, I was the youngest person to study at Victor Wooten's first bass/nature camp in 2000, a week long master class with some of the world's most decorated musicians in Montgomery Bell State Park outside of Nashville. I played in local bands in the Berkshires, wrote music for Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, and sang such roles as Val
jean in Les Miserables and John Wilkes Booth in Assassins, as well played in orchestras across the county. I performed as both a bass player and a vocalist in the Massachusetts All-State Jazz Ensemble at Symphony Hall in Boston.

I moved to New York to get a degree in Theater as a singer and actor in 2004. Since then I've been fortunate enough to work in NY orchestras, cabarets, theater and national TV, tour the world with a variety of musical artists, work as a studio musician recording albums for songwriters, and develop musical education programs. Most recently I curated and taught the bass guitar curriculum for Yousician, a Helsinki-based music app with 25 million users in 154 countries worldwide. That has been an invaluable experience, working alongside educators and programmers in one of the world's leading countries in both education and technology.

Music has been a life-directing guide for me; from the wonder of discovery to the mastery of new and exciting techniques, music has always been a sort of way for us to communicate intimately, yet on a universal scale. To pass the same experience on to others is such a gift, and one I value greatly.

"When words fail, music speaks."

So, let's start talking!
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Reviews
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Jessica M. December 5, 2015
· Singing · In home
Alex is an excellent teacher who has helped me to understand not only where I can make improvements, but also given me a wide range of techniques I can use to do so. His knowledge of breathing techniques is particularly impressive, as his understanding of the impact of nerves and anxiety on the vocal. Alex's teaching style enables him to convey everything from the simple to complicated in an easily understandable, highly effective and very friendly way. I have only had a few lessons with Alex, but have made huge strides already. Very highly recommended!
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Austin August 21, 2015
· Singing · In studio
So far my experience with Alex is going extremely well, within the past few months of taking vocal lessons for the first time Alex has given me a plethora of ways to view and appreciate music to help me grow as a singer. His insightful analogies will not only make you chuckle at times but will actually enhance your knowledge of music as well.
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Kenneth J Bassett August 20, 2015
· Guitar · In studio
I have truly enjoyed my guitar lessons with Alex. After only a handful of sessions with Alex I have been able to dramatically improve my guitar skills including both my technical approach as well as my music theory knowledge. I look forward to continuing my work with Alex and highly recommend him to anyone considering.
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Alex H.

Alex H.

Brooklyn, NY 11215
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Max R.

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New York, NY
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About Max
I'm a music teacher by day, musician by night!

I've been teaching both privately (guitar, piano, voice, and songwriting) and publicly (both on Long Island and in New York City) for about ten years. In addition, I'm an active songwriter and performer, playing guitar and piano and singing in a number of bands.

I will work one-on-one with students to develop a personalized curriculum that is tailored to their specific goals. Whether you want to be an acoustic singer-songwriter or a monster rock soloist, I'm the teacher for you!
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Max R.

Max R.

New York, NY 10034
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Brendon R.

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Brooklyn, NY

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Lessons will be highly tailored to each individual student, songwriters on any instrument welcome. Topics may include storytelling, structure, chord progressions, arrangement, accompaniment, the relationship of music to text, emotions vs intellect, beats, recording, and more.

About Brendon
I am a composer, guitarist, arranger, engraver, and songwriter located in Brooklyn. I completed an M.M. in Composition at the Yale School of Music in 2014, and have taught extensively for the past eight years in a variety of settings. I currently teach guitar at Saint David's School in Manhattan, and taught private composition lessons and TA'd electronic music courses at Yale. I've also taught guitar and musicianship in public elementary and high schools in San Francisco and New Haven, as well as several music schools and my own private guitar studio.

As a guitarist, I perform with legendary NYC experimental groups the Glenn Branca Ensemble and Dither Quartet, as well as my own groups Invisible Anatomy and Marateck. I've played at the Barbican in London, on the Beijing Modern Music Festival, the Ellnora Guitar Festival, and Lincoln C
enter Out of Doors, among many others. As a composer, my work has received support from the ASCAP Foundation, Roulette Intermedium, and the Jerome Fund for New Music, and been performed on four continents. My teachers and mentors have included Mark Stewart (Paul Simon's musical director), Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang, and guitarist Jack Sanders (winner of the American Guitar Society's lifetime achievement award).
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Reviews
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Fred September 30, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Great first lesson. Looking forward to learning a lot.
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Kelly C. September 9, 2017
· Composition · Online
Brendon always has fresh ideas and his incredible skill and experience always brings something valuable and original to each lesson. His abilities are astounding and is always highly in tune with my specific strengths and weaknesses.. Thanks so much Brendon!!
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Kelly C. July 11, 2017
· Composition · Online
What a great lesson, thanks Brendon! The attention and detail of suggestions are spot on and very useful.. ! I leave these lessons feeling like I'm in such good hands..!
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Brendon R.

Brendon R.

Brooklyn, NY 11222
(15)
starting at
$60 / 60-min

About Gabbi C.

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Brooklyn, NY

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Students can expect a thoughtful, patient and kind teacher who wants to help them grow and mature as writers. We'll spend time focusing on chords, melodic development, song structure, and (if you're a beginner) analyzing the works of other great songwriters. I also like to include arranging techniques to help my students bring their songs to a full band if they want to.

About Gabbi
I am a professional vocalist and composer, with a BFA and BMus in Jazz Performance, and over 10 years of performance and recording experience internationally, including appearances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center with NY's premiere a cappella ensemble Khorikos, and the Knitting Factory with Brooklyn-based indie band RVBY MY DEAR; as well as commercial voiceover work for major brands. I specialize in teaching Jazz, Pop/Contemporary, Broadway and Choral singing, songwriting, theory, ear training and arranging, as well as Beginner – Intermediate Piano.
All ages and levels are welcome - including college and high school students preparing for auditions! Whether you’re looking to take your music to the next level professionally, or want to learn just for fun, lessons are tailored to your ability and musical interests. I don't believe in a
one-size-fits-all approach to music, and I encourage and guide my students to find what it is about their voice that makes them unique.
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Reviews
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helena October 30, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Highly recommend.
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Holger March 30, 2017
· Piano · In studio
Highly recommend!
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Ebony March 19, 2017
· Singing · In home
Gabbi is awesome! I'm so happy I'm taking lessons with her. Very pleased.
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Gabbi C.

Gabbi C.

Brooklyn, NY 11211
(16)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Natalie W.

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South Plainfield, NJ
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Songwriting very special ,There isn't exactly a wrong way to do it in my opinion but there is a better way. I am a Lyric and Melody writer. You may also hear Lyrics and Melody writers being referred to as "Top Liners" Topics like song structure, Melody writing, Finding the "Right Lyrics", Writers Block, Song splits, choosing a performance rights society are all covered in our lessons.

About Natalie
Ive been in the music industry for 10yrs , I got started singing myself and soon after found a major love for songwriting. In 2007 I landed a Major Publishing deal with Sony ATV and also became 1/2 of a notable songwriting Duo "Pen Up Girls" . As a Pen Up Girl I have had the joy of working with Many top Major artist, as well as a host of New artist.

In my career so far I have written on 3 Grammy Nominated albums as well as albums that have had "US Gold" and "International Platinum" status. I love Music . My goal is to pass on what I have learned.
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Natalie W.

Natalie W.

South Plainfield, NJ 07080
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Ken F.

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Brooklyn, NY

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Brooklyn-based private music teacher operating in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Over a decade of experience teaching a broad range of styles to students of all ages and backgrounds. Strong focus on the individual student's personal interests and goals. Master's degree in music composition with years of experience touring globally and recording for both major and indie labels. Whether you're new to songwriting or need some help honing your skills, it's my passion to get people writing the kinds of songs they want to hear!

About Ken
A recent transplant to the Park Slope area, I'm a composer and multi-instrumentalist originally from Raleigh, North Carolina. Prior to receiving my master's degree in composition from Mannes (The New School), I was the lead guitarist in the indie rock band Annuals. As part of this group I signed with two major record labels, appeared on national television programs such as Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and performed globally both on tour and at prominent festivals such as Bonnaroo, Coachella, Glastonbury (England), and Roskilde (Denmark).

I have been teaching private music lessons for twelve years, both freelance and as part of various organizations. My approach to teaching is highly dynamic—I don't use the same method with every student and I have no stylistic prejudices or an agenda to push. I approach each student as an individual
, tailoring lesson plans to suit their personal goals and interests. I have experience playing and teaching an extensive range of styles including pop, rock, jazz, country, metal, and classical. One of my main goals is to foster a sense of musical understanding with every student so that they may learn to combine technical, theoretical, and aural skills into a unified whole.

Most students want to learn to play songs they know and love. To that end, I get students playing the music they want to play right from the beginning, often through personally crafted arrangements of songs/pieces of the student's choosing, specifically tailored to their current skill level. This way, technical and theoretical skills are learned through direct experience with actual music, and only very rarely through rote exercise.

For more advanced players, I offer an array of strategies designed to take your playing to the next level. I find that the most common shortcomings of advanced players are conceptual. The technical skills are there but the level of conceptual and theoretical understanding has hit a wall. Many players find themselves playing the same chord shapes, melodic patterns, and harmonic progressions over and over again. I've had much success over the years in getting advanced students out of this rut and helping open up new pathways for exploration in both improvisation and composition.
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Reviews
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Christopher Cross April 8, 2017
· Guitar ·
I've been playing off and on for 15 years and am mostly self taught. I knew what I wanted to learn but was having trouble figuring it out on my own. In the first lesson Ken was able to zero in on what I want to learn and the best way to go about it. In three lessons I feel that I understand the guitar so much more than I have in the past 15 years of playing. Not only from a technical standpoint, but also in a "feel" sense. On my own I could learn all the scales, chords, and songs I wanted, but Ken has helped me to make sense of everything and use these skills to become a better player all around.
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Brittany Pare February 8, 2017
· Piano ·
Ken is an incredibly talented musician and teacher and I would recommend him to anyone. He tailors his lessons to meet the individual goals of his students. If I wasn't understanding something, he knew how to explain it in a different way until I understood. He also taught me some techniques for figuring out songs on my own which I really appreciate since I am about move out of NYC. However, if I wasn't leaving I would still be taking lessons with him!
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adam baker March 24, 2016
· Guitar ·
Ken is an outstanding musician/composer who I have had the privilege of taking lessons from for years up until I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a music production career. My favorite part about Ken is his perceptiveness in teaching. He can always tell when i am not understanding something, and he will address it before I have to say "I don't get it." Which would keep my confidence level up during the lesson. He is also EXTREMELY versatile in his musical ability. I have come to him with everything from death metal, to impressionist classical, to electronica and he never skips a beat. He is very passionate about music, which transfers to his students easily due to his easy going nature, and natural skill for teaching. It is no exaggeration in my mind to say he is the best musician I have ever known personally. On top of all of this, Ken is an incredible song writer, and composer.... He does it all!
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Ken F.

Ken F.

Brooklyn, NY 11215
(5)
starting at
$40 / 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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Our teachers have taught

2 , 2 0 2 , 1 2 7

lessons and counting!

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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

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
Quiz: What Should You Write Your Next Song About?
Writing songs is hard enough work without having to deal with songwriters' block! To help you find inspiration for your next song, we created this easy personality quiz. Take the quiz and find out what your next hit single will be about... For more songwriting tips and songwriting prompts, check out our infographic guide 25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block! Share your songwriting ideas, struggles, triumphs, and questions in the comments below.   Interested in
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
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
Are You Really Ready To Record Your Song Or Book A Vocal Session?
Think you're ready to write your own song and record it? Songwriting can be an arduous process - but seeing the final product is an amazing feeling. Read on for a helpful pre-recording checklist from Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   Whether you're singing your own song or hiring a vocalist to sing on your demo or master, there are many layers of preparation needed to ensure optimum results. Some songwriters like to wing it and hope that things will magically work out because th

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