Picture of songwriting lessons in River Edge, NJ

River Edge, NJ Songwriting Lessons

Looking for private in-home or in-studio Songwriting lessons? Our River Edge teachers are ready to get you started. Find your teacher today!

Featured On

Why TakeLessons?

Our teachers have taught

2 , 2 3 1 , 6 9 0

lessons and counting!

Popular Songwriting Teachers near River Edge, NJ

Check out some of our most popular teachers near River Edge, NJ including Bergenfield, New Milford, Paramus, Maywood and Oradell.

Showing 10 of 200+ results View More

About Spiros S.

Close
Profile_414012_DSCF0140
New York, NY

View Full Profile
About Spiros
SPIROS S.

Many years of teaching experience.
3 personal cds.
1996 award for best Rock album in Greece.
Conservatory trained.
A music Theory-Harmony degree from the Athens Conservatory
(Athens -Greece)
A degree in Musicology from Stockholm`s (Sweden) University.
6 years of regular appearances at BBKING`s club in NYC.
Music Therapy sessions while learning how to play the tunes that you love.
Blues-Rock-Jazz.
My playing is deeply influenced by the British masters
Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, David Gilmour,
and American guitarists Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan,B.B.King,Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton and many many others.
Some of my students come from the corporate world and use my lessons as music therapy.
Some of my students are now well respected pro guitar players.
All of my students love my lessons and benef
it greatly from them
in so many ways.

*** Lesson Details ***
I customize the lessons to fit the level of proficiency of my students,and to fit to their schedule of practicing.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Guitars,Bass,Amps,recording equipment

*** Specialties ***
Guitar,Bass,Ukulele,Bouzouki & Music Theory teacher.
Blues/Rock/Jazz & Greek Music
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Lawrence September 28, 2017
· Greek · In studio
Spiros is an excellent teacher. He is very knowledgable and employs very effective pedagogical techniques.
Silhouette-80
Andrea A. August 9, 2017
· Greek · In studio
Personable, knowledgeable, focused, and fun. I'm confident I'll be able to convey the key things I want to on my imminent trip to Greece.

Efcharisto
Silhouette-80
Louis Y. April 21, 2017
· Guitar · In home
really enjoyed the class
View Details
View Profile
Spiros S.

Spiros S.

New York, NY 10036
(5)
starting at
$70 / 60-min

About Juan C.

Close
Profile_88054_pi_DSC_7126
New York, NY

View Full Profile
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.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
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.
Thumb_86478_pi_undefine
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!
Silhouette-80
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.
View Details
View Profile
Juan C.

Juan C.

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

About Adam C.

Close
Profile_116212_pi_download%20%282%29
New York, NY
View Full Profile

I will break down the nuances of songwriting in a friendly, clear, and articulate manner. We will discuss various concepts of the acoustic guitar in the styles and songs you enjoy most.

About Adam
A graduate of the University of Rochester with a B.A. in Music and Psychology and trained at renowned National Guitar Workshop, Adam is an experienced teacher and performer on the guitar, piano, ukulele, and bass in a variety of styles, including rock, pop, jazz, classical, and folk. Adam loves to share his passion for music with others, and ever since his first student, an autistic child, Adam has sought to make learning music fun, regardless of age, style, and ability.

*** Lesson Details ***
My approach to teaching music is strictly an individualized one, catering to the specific interests and goals of each student. I believe that if learning music is truly enjoyable and fun, students will develop a sincere love for their instrument. In teaching children, my emphasis is on instilling in them a love of music. While progressing in mus
ic obviously requires preparation outside of lessons, I consciously avoid asking students to practice. Instead, I incorporate the music and styles that appeal most to the student and use them as vehicles for teaching concepts.

I strive to make learning music fun, regardless of age, style, and ability. I organize an annual recital to showcase my students' talents and hard work.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will provide all music and instructional materials, and ask that students provide a clean, quiet area to hold our lesson, ideally with a music stand. I also ask that a student provide their own instrument. If providing an instrument is not possible, I ask that the student notify me so I can provide an instrument for them in the interim.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in a wide range of styles on the acoustic and electric guitar, piano, ukulele, and bass.

I explain music theory in a fun, clear, and articulate manner and show its benefits and application in song writing, learning music, and playing by ear. My extensive background in rock, classical, pop, folk, and jazz allows for a truly cater my instruction to my student's tastes.

I make it my mission to structure my lessons on my student's goals and interests and avoid imposing concepts that don't interest my students.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Theo B. July 20, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
Adam is prompt, professional and patient. He allows you to learn at your own pace and makes lessons fun by teaching popular songs.
Silhouette-80
Augustin T. May 27, 2016
· Bass Guitar · In home
Since our first lesson I've been progressing nonstop. He's a great teacher for both learning songs and exploring the nuts and bolts of music.
Silhouette-80
Tamar M. August 12, 2015
· Ukulele · In home
Adam does a great job of adjusting to the student's level of experience. I'm a beginner with some minimal uke experience, and he adjusted the pace of the lesson accordingly. I especially like his emphasis on contemporary music; he seems to have fun with music which, as someone who endured years of strict classical piano training as a kid, I find very refreshing.
View Details
View Profile
Adam C.

Adam C.

New York, NY 10017
(5)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

About Rob S.

Close
299194_w7gdlbw2j3snkxr5r25f
New York, NY
View Full Profile

I have many years of both teaching advanced music composition and songwriting as well as years of professional experience as a composer and producer. We will cover all aspects of composition and songwriting for any genre including analysis, harmonic/chord structures and progressions, approaches to melody, counter melody and counterpoint and how to apply these to various styles of music and composition, including arranging and orchestration from rock and pop to jazz and full orchestrations.

About Rob
I am an accomplished, award-winning guitarist, composer and teacher and have been teaching guitar and music for 20 years. I have both a Bachelor's and a Masters Degree in Music. I teach all levels from beginner to advanced, including at the university level, and all styles (rock, jazz, blues, folk, funk, metal, shred, pop, R&B, classical, etc.). I am also a professional performer, composer, arranger, studio musician and producer, experienced in all forms, styles and genre of music.

As an experienced teacher of composition, arranging, orchestration, music theory and guitar, I have developed my own personal teaching concepts and methods for improving technique, chord/scale theory and counterpoint for various styles and genres of music. I have taught privately, in music schools, and at the university and college level.

I am located in
New York City in Midtown Manhattan on the West Side. I began performing professionally at age 16, doing session work, teaching and performing. I attended the National Guitar Summer Workshop, New Milford, Connecticut, to diversify my skills, participating in master classes with guitar icons Vinnie Moore, Stanley Jordan and Mick Goodrick.

I started college at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, and completed a Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude, studying jazz guitar and composition/arranging, as well as completd the Honors program at Temple University's Esther Boyer College of Music. My studies included jazz guitar with Tom Giacobetti and Ed Flanagan; jazz composition/arranging with Don Glanden, Ben Schacter and Larry McKenna; and classical composition with Matthew Greenbaum, Ph.D., Maurice Wright, D.M.A., Richard Brodhead, Ph.D., and Mark Rimple, D.M.A. I also conducted/arranged the School's Jazz Vocal Ensemble and was awarded membership in the Golden Key Honor Society. I also studied guitar privately with Shrapnel/Tone Center recording artist Greg Howe, Lasers Edge recording artist Scott McGill and Jazz icons Pat Martino (Blue Note) and Jimmy Bruno (Mel Bay).

I earned a Masters of Arts degree in music composition at Rutgers University, studying with world renowned, Pulitzer Prize winning composer Charles Wuorinen. In my first year, he was awarded a Teaching Assistantship in Music Composition and Theory.

I pursued additional studies (and master classes) in composition with celebrated composers Aaron Jay Kernis, Harvey Sollberger, Jukka Tiensuu, David Felder, Mario Davidovsky, Charles Fussell, Austin Clarkson and George Russell; film score orchestration with Scott Smalley (Film Music Institute) and film scoring with Rick Baitz (The Manhattan Producer's Alliance), as well as performance studies with Wynton Marsalis, Max Roach, Billy Taylor, Bill Shindling, Magmus Andersson, Stu Hamm, Terry Bozzio, Frank Gambale, Larry Mitchell, Andy Timmons, Adrian Legg and Blues Saraceno.

I was the Music Director and conductor for the Mondfleck Orchestra, Music Director and Composer-In-Residence for the Trash Can Society Theater Company and composer for improv theater group, The Glass Metropolis Project.

I released my critically acclaimed debut CD, a collection of virtuosic instrumental guitar music and have been interviewed and featured in many publications and websites worldwide, including Guitar Player, Guitar World, 20th Century Guitar, Guitar Chef (Italy), Guitar Mania (Canada), among many others. I was selected as a Top 5 Finalist in the 2006 North American Rock Guitar Competition, presented by Guitar Player magazine and Gibson guitars and was inducted as a new member into the 2007 Independent Artist Registry.

I was selected to be a part of the June in Buffalo Festival for Emerging Composers in Buffalo, New York, where celebrated pianist Marilyn Nonken performed my solo piano piece, Aerial Surveying. I was commissioned to compose, conduct and perform the music for Sirens, a modern dance presentation in collaboration with celebrated choreographer Julia Ritter. I was also commissioned to write a modern composition for Renaissance lute titled A Mosaic of Cement and Barbed Wire, performed at the Sarah Lawrence Summer Guitar Institute. My piece, Like Giants Through a Keyhole, trio for flute, cello and piano performed as part of the Network for New Music's Cross-Currents in Jazz and New Music: The Schooling and School of Stefan Wolpe series. My orchestra composition, Ideological Explosions of the Absurd Hero, was performed in Milan, Italy.

My music has been featured throughout film and television. I have composed the scores for many feature films, television, web and ad campaigns, and my music has been featured on MTV, VH1, NBC, CBS, ABC, Discovery, History Channel, PBS, etc.

I was a featured speaker at the Music for My Web Series Panel as part of the BlogWorld & New Media Expo held at the Javits Center in NYC on June 7, 2012.

I am a proud endorsee of Seymour Duncan pickups, Morley pedals, Madison Amps, Curt Mangan strings and Neck Sock.

*ASCAP affiliated composer and publisher

*International Alliance Of Composer's member

*Independent Film Project (IFP) member

*** Lesson Details ***
Guitar, Music Theory, Composition/Arranging, Songwriting, Improvisation and Home Recording.

Instruction in any style - Rock, Jazz, Blues, Funk, Metal, Shred, Progressive, Classical, Folk, R&B, etc.,

*20 Years of Teaching experience, privately, in music schools and in universities. *

ALL LEVELS
For all ages. From beginner to advanced!

I am also a University Faculty and hold both a Bachelors of Music and Masters in Music

I am located in Midtown Manhattan on the West Side in a relaxed comfortable environment.

Learn the kind of music you want to learn. We will always focus on the music you want to play and use examples of the music and performers that you want to play to teach each new technique. That way it’s always FUN! The way it should be.

Learn the techniques to reach your fullest potential in speed, dexterity, strength and musicality. My technique, derived from classical, jazz, fusion, rock, blues, metal and shred players, includes specific exercises to help develop proficiency in both hands for the best results.

Music Theory: Musical concepts and terminologies, presented in the simplest and clearest way, unlock musicians’ secrets and help you understand and apply theoretical ideas to achieve your greatest potential and musical competence.

Improvisation: Learn soloing, melodic phrasing, rhythmic analysis and how to apply various musical styles and articulations, along with scales for all types of chords and key structures, including major/minor, pentatonic, blues, modes, harmonic and melodic minor modes, as well as exotic and synthetic scales - all skills for lead guitarists. Practice diverse approaches to various musical genres and proficiencies.

Soloing: Master advanced techniques including legato, alternate, economy and hybrid picking, sweep picking, arpeggios, double stops and much more. Become an accomplished melodic guitarist, know how to play whatever you want and reach your optimum level of proficiency.

Chord Structures: Learn modulation, transposition, inversions, voicings and the use of extended and advanced chords from basic triads to sevenths and compound extensions, as well as songwriting, accompaniment and creating chord progressions. You will explore the essential vocabulary and exercises for writing guitar parts, songs and chord-based harmonies.

Composition: Cover all aspects of composition and songwriting for any genre including analysis, harmonic/chord structures and progressions, approaches to melody, counter melody and counterpoint and how to apply these to various styles of music and composition, including arranging and orchestration from rock and pop to jazz and full orchestrations.

Lessons are developed to meet your individual needs and ensure your progress.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have guitars available that students are welcome to use in their lessons, as well as amplifiers, etc.

*** Specialties ***
I am an experienced teacher of guitar, composition, arranging, orchestration, music theory and have developed my own personal teaching concepts and methods for improving technique, chord/scale theory and counterpoint for various styles and genres of music including advanced techniques for Jazz, Pop, Rock, Metal, Shred, Fusion, Blues, others. I have developed teaching methods to improve a students speed, accuracy and facility on the instrument. I am a professional freelance, live, studio and session guitarist, composer, arranger and producer.
...
Reviews
Thumb_108439_pi_John_Hardin_
John H. October 21, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Rob is outstanding. It is clear from about 5 minutes into your first lesson that he is a true master teacher and guitar player. Everything he teaches is clear, achievable, and fun to work on. I'm having a blast! I recommend him very highly.
Silhouette-80
Hillel G. September 25, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Rob is just great and exceeded expectations. He has such a great energy and is extraordinarily knowledgeable and capable. I would suggest him as a teacher without hesitation.
Silhouette-80
Gregory B. August 24, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Great guy. Incredible instructions!
View Details
View Profile
Rob S.

Rob S.

New York, NY 10036
(18)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Rob S.

Close
Profile_32056_pi_%20Wall%20of%20Fame
West Nyack, NY
View Full Profile

I've composed songs which have been featured on albums, TV, radio and motion pictures by myself and other artists.

About Rob
I have over 50 years experience teaching guitar and bass.

I have devised many shortcuts and know every trick and method for instant results.

Sheet music and instructional cds are included in the tuition price.
I teach all styles, levels and genres.

Beginners will be playing songs as of their first lesson.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Skip November 25, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
I have been taking lessons with Rob for over 10 years now. When I began, I knew nothing about music and had no previous experience playing an instrument. Rob made learning the guitar fun. I now gig regularly around New York City and often get compliments on my guitar playing. I believe I owe all my guitar skills to Rob.
View Details
View Profile
Rob S.

Rob S.

West Nyack, NY 10994
(1)
starting at
$50 / 45-min
View More
View Previous

About Elizabeth P.

Close
Profile_92709_pi_1404935_10152138272022193_1646708984_o
New York, NY

View Full Profile

Songwriting is so much fun and one of the best ways we can express ourselves through music. You'll learn the basics of what makes a good song and the way to pull your best work out of your head! Learn to write any genre of music that you love!

About Elizabeth
Hi there! I am a classically trained, professional trombone player, ukulele player and songwriter working in New York City. I've been helping my students achieve their musical goals for 2 years! It's important to me that my students have a strong technical foundation that allows them to have fun and make beautiful music. From my lessons, you can expect to grow your skills as an overall musician, as well as in your specific lesson subject. Musicians make well rounded human beings and I love being a part of that process! Contact me today!
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Helena S. December 9, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Elizabeth is a great teacher. I am very impressed with how she continues to move my child forward with learning to play without my daughter really even knowing it. She is very patient with her and also goes with the flow. If my daughter wants to spontaneously create a new song Elizabeth will go with it and even create a chart so they can play it properly. Very much looking forward to continuing more lessons with Elizabeth and watching my daughter grow with her.
Silhouette-80
Jay W. October 8, 2017
· Trombone · In home
Outstanding teacher!
Thumb_599b15ae11181_review_Bowden_Jeff_LMG-200x300
Jeff August 21, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Elizabeth is a very patient teacher. I wanted to take a few lessons on Ukulele so I could get a practical proficiency before a recent trip to Hawaii with family and friends. She was very patient and understanding with my beginner level, but I could tell that she has the ability to teach those with more ability than I have as well. The way she described how I should approach the instrument from a technique perspective was very clear and efficient, and when she would demonstrate chords and exercises she always played so beautifully. I felt as though I genuinely improved at every lesson. Not to mention her flexibility in finding time scheduling our lesson, and all around friendly and positive attitude. I could not recommend Elizabeth more.
View Details
View Profile
Elizabeth P.

Elizabeth P.

New York, NY 10003
(3)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Stephen K.

Close
Profile_115368_pi_headshoot
Mahwah, NJ

View Full Profile

Feeling sad? What about happy? Learn to channel these emotions and use them in a creative outlet. There is nothing better than taking something that started out as an idea and seeing it bloom into something more than just an idea.

About Stephen
My name is Steve and I cant wait to meet you! I've been playing guitar for 5 years and teaching for the last 2! Currently, I am playing guitar for singer/songwriter aReJay Ella while studying under guitarist Jack Broad. I love helping people expand their love for music and being creative all while improving drastically on their instrument. My lessons are meant to be goal oriented and non stressful. Whatever your goal as a musician may be, I can help you achieve it in the most natural, fun way! Anything else you may be curious about, please, feel free to reach out. I'm here to help! I hope to hear from you soon and look forward to helping you reach your goals!
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Simona (. August 28, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Steve is a natural teacher. He is very methodical and demanding but also knows how to intrigue a newbie. He was able to engage my 9 year old daughter and at the same time he kept her challenged. She has learned so much in just 5 lessons. Most importantly, she now has the confidence and desire to attempt to develop her newly acquired skills on her own.
Silhouette-80
Benjamin B. June 9, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Very professional.
Silhouette-80
Robbie June 7, 2017
· Guitar · In home
My son absolutely loved this instructor. He was more excited about learning to play the guitar after Stephen left then ever before! He is absolutely looking forward to his next session.
View Details
View Profile
Stephen K.

Stephen K.

Mahwah, NJ 07430
(7)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Brian T.

Close
Profile_103541_pi_IMG_1288
Brooklyn, NY

View Full Profile

I have been writing songs for 16 years and am an avid writer and poet.

About Brian
I am a professional bassist, guitarist, songwriter, and producer. I graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Studio Music and Jazz, with bass as my principal instrument. In addition to freelancing around New York and touring, I am the house bassist at a jazz jam session in Brooklyn. I've been a professional gigging musician and teacher since around 2003.

I'm laid back, easygoing, and I have 15 years experience teaching beginners up through advanced students.

short list of artists/ensembles I've performed or recorded with:

Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio
Roosevelt Collier
Great Good Fine OK
G. Love
Sam Pacetti
Troy Roberts
Griffin Anthony
Brevard Festival Orchestra
University of Miami Symphony
...
Reviews
Thumb_5914c81885242_review_IMG_0568
Jordan May 11, 2017
· Bass Guitar ·
Brian is an excellent musician and a very good communicator. He is so chill, and a very clear speaker. I'm really looking forward to jamming with him again! :)
Silhouette-80
Carlos May 1, 2017
· Bass Guitar · In home
I started taking lessons from Brian as a 40 year old complete beginner. I would highly recommend him as an ​extremely knowledgeable, patient, and encouraging teacher... not to mention an amazing musician.
Thumb_59060bf90d6c2_review_IMG_1228
Jared April 30, 2017
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Brian not only teaches you the fundamentals of your specific instrument he also teaches you about music in general! He has such an understanding of so many genres which helped me become very versatile. Brian not only made me a fantastic "bassist" he made me a fantastic "musician". His teachings have opened the doors for me to pursue a very succesful career in the music business, appearing on several records and embarking on national tours.
View Details
View Profile
Brian T.

Brian T.

Brooklyn, NY 11221
(5)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Ken F.

Close
Profile_106026_pi_kflo%20mug
Brooklyn, NY

View Full Profile

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.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
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.
Silhouette-80
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!
Silhouette-80
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!
View Details
View Profile
Ken F.

Ken F.

Brooklyn, NY 11215
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Christiaan S.

Close
Profile_117153_pi_Carnegie%20Website%20photo
New York, NY

View Full Profile

I've co-written songs with Chris Eaton (Janet Jackson, Keith Urban, Amy Grant) and Jay Stolar. I can help you make the track and write the lyric.

About Christiaan
Christiaan Smith, former Gaston in the Broadway tour of Beauty and the Beast, was kicked out of opera school for singing jazz with Miles Davis' bassist but still went on to sing opera in Pavarotti's home town in Italy and work with opera legend Marilyn Horne and composer Jake Heggie. Now he's in New York studying with Lady Gaga's teacher and singing his own arrangements of Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, and John Mayer at Carnegie Hall while writing and recording pop songs in Nashville and the U.K.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Gian December 8, 2017
· Ableton · In studio
Christiaan was so helpful and knowledgeable about Ableton software. He helped me navigate and load new sounds, as well as work on some original music with such ease. He has an amazing grasp of music composition that strengthens the what one can do with this software. i really gained a lot from my lesson.
Silhouette-80
Jan December 6, 2017
· Vocal Training · Online
I have always enjoyed singing and never had formal training. Christiaan is a patient and encouraging instructor. I learned so much about control and breathing in a short time. He has such extensive knowledge to share.
Silhouette-80
Jessica December 6, 2017
· Singing · In home
Christiaan is an awesome instructor. He guides me through the most informative and productive lessons! Highly recommend him to anyone looking to improve at any level!
View Details
View Profile
Christiaan S.

Christiaan S.

New York, NY 10005
(5)
starting at
$125 / 30-min

How it Works

From finding the perfect teacher to managing payments, scheduling and tracking your progress, we take care of all the details, so you can focus on learning. Learn More

Search for a teacher

Compare hundreds of teachers based on the criteria that matter to you, including background checks, age and experience.

Schedule your lessons

When you've found the perfect match, schedule your lessons online using the teacher's real-time availability.

Connect with your teacher

Your teacher will welcome you with a personalized curriculum to meet your specific goals and you'll be able to manage your entire schedule through our free online account.

Can't find a teacher in River Edge, NJ?

No problem. Our online lesson platform connects you with any teacher, anywhere. All you need is a reliable Internet connection, a webcam and a microphone.

Convenient

Zero travel time is great for a busy schedule.

Affordable

Typically priced lower than local lessons.

Effective

Online students stick with lessons as long as local students.

Learn More

Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

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

And they're not alone!

Our teachers have taught

2 , 2 2 6 , 0 0 8

lessons and counting!

Get Started with Free Resources

Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

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

6 Resources for Creating Your Own Sheet Music

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 … Read More

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
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
How To Write a Song Today: 4 Easy Steps
Learning how to write a song is easier than you think! Greeley, CO teacher Andy W. outlines the steps here...  Don’t you wish you could write a song that tells your own story - whether it’s about love, hardships, or finding humor in life? There’s no reason that you can’t do that today! To help get you started, here are four easy steps to writing your own song: 1. Play chords or a riff. 2. Sing or hum over the harmony. 3. Repeat steps 1-2 to form a chorus and then a bridge. 4. Place
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
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

Are You a Teacher?

Find out how TakeLessons can help you grow and manage your business

Learn More