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Wayne, NJ Songwriting Lessons

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About Nick R.

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Forest Hills, NY
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-singer/songwriter
-composition
-improvisation

About Nick
Professor Nick R. (guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, dobro/resonator/slide, tenor guitar, baritone resonator, bass, drums, composition) is currently the adjunct professor at Essex College, Jazz clinician for over 16 years via Kupferberg Center (Queens College) and has been on the staff at Great Neck Music Conservatory. Nick has given lectures at Manhattanville College, at Queens College and at schools, nationally.

-Down Beat magazine current issue [Jan/Feb 2016] Hot Jazz Jumpers' "The Very Next Thing" DVD/CD review

-Jazz Insider magazine current issue [Dec 2015]
2.5 page interview

-Just Jazz Guitar magazine interview [February 2015 issue]

-Vanity Fair magazine (August 2013) interview

"Summer of 2013, Nick R. performed at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's home. It was an honor to meet Paul McCartney and jam with him while
he played toy harmonica. Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Iridium, Bluenote, Birdland, U.N., IAJE, Cape Cod Jazz Festival, NJPAC, Sweet Rhythm, Smalls, Zinc Bar, Smoke Jazz Club, internationally: Japan, Spain, Russia, Brasil, St. Kitts, Canada, France, Bermuda, Sweden, Israel

-Toured/recorded and/or worked as sideman with Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Sonny Dallas, Victor Jones and Cultur-versy, Vince Giordano & The Night Hawks, Frank Vignola/Joe Ascione, Miles Griffith, David Pleasant, Jim Nolet (former violinist for the Jazz Passengers), Anastasia Rene, Jon Weber, Mona's Hot Four, Gordon Au's Grand Street Stompers, Michael Arenella's Dreamland Orchestra, with Jesse Gelber, Raphael McGregor, Emily Asher's Garden Party, and many other groups.

-Appears in Sam Mendes Film "Away We Go"

-Movie Soundtrack: King George.

-Guitar/banjo: "Jew Grows in Brooklyn," "Take Me Along," "The Big Apple Circus" + others.

-Banjo/Guitar Chair: "New Girl In Town" (Irish Rep Theatre)

-Author: Metallica Legendary Licks series,volume 1 & 2)
-Editor GRP chords (both Cherry Lane Music/Hal Leonard).

M.A. from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College
(partial scholarship)

B.S. from S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook, graduated magna cum laude. Dean's list all semesters

-Published interview (book): A New Face of Jazz (Cicily Janus)

-Playing guitar/banjo on first episode of new PBS cartoon "Peg and Cat"

- Current adjunct professor at Essex College

-Guest lecturing professor at Manhattanville College

-Substitute adjunct professor at Queens College

-Winning participant: I.A.J.E. with Miles Griffith's New Ting 2007. Performance and educational certificate granted.

-Winning participant; part-scholarship award: 2004 International Jazz Workshop at BANFF Centre, Canada (dir, Dave Douglas)

-Winning participant; full-scholarship award of the 2001 JAS academy in Aspen Colorado (dir, Christian McBride (Down Beat Dec. 2001)

-Studying Bol (Indian rhythmic system) with tabla player, Pandit Samir Chatterjee 2006-2007; 2013-current

-Studied with Pat Martino, Billy Bauer, Ben Monder, Tony Purrone, Pete Bernstein, Dr. Stephen Salerno, Dr. David Belser

-Studying African Rhythms with drummer, Harvey Wirht

*** Lesson Details ***
With over 20 years teaching experience, Nick is patient with children & adults. He has a creative, unique pedagogy emphasizing hearing through singing, ear-training & natural, organic listening. Nick instills healthy absorption of music while students have fun learning their music, sight reading, internalizing with focus on rhythm and time.
As a student, you will get to work on music that you, the student select as well as work on sight-reading, technique, ear-training. We will also work out of method books and use other sources of information.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Chairs, music stands, instrument stands, classical foot pedals, classical guitar pillows, guitar amps, guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, drum set. Students usually provide their own instruments but it's possible to borrow an instrument during the lesson at the studio on the first lesson. (free street parking right in front!)

*** Specialties ***
Nick's pedagogy emphasizes ear-training, singing, reading and truly hearing the music we are working on. Rather than rote teaching and guitar tablature, he instills natural listening, transcribing, sight-reading and proper technique. Lessons are always enjoyable as Nick observes each student's unique needs and listen's to their song preferences and musical goals. Students have the opportunity to learn pieces and genres they select and they are trained to figure out tunes by ear (ear-training) and transcribe.

Nick teaches:

-classical guitar and Brazilian guitar (nylon 6 string and nylon 7 string guitar)
-acoustic steel string guitar, electric 6 string and electric 7 string guitar
- jazz guitar + an eclectic mix of styles: blues, Brazilian music, Latin Jazz, Afro-Peruvian, Indian music, rock, heavy metal, funk, R & B, Motown, reggae + other genres.
- tenor banjo (traditional jazz, jazz from New Orleans, Dixieland and world music)
-5 string banjo (Earl Scruggs finger picking [bluegrass and country])
-tenor guitar
-ukulele
-mandolin
-resonator slide/Dobro.
-baritone resonator (slide)
...
Reviews
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Matthew H. January 18, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
He does a great job cater the lessons to your needs
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Bryan October 8, 2016
· Guitar · In home
At just my 1st lesson with Mr. Russo -- HE'S THE MAN!!! Very concerned with getting the most out teaching/reaching the student!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED; thanks to Takelessons!!!
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Sara G. October 3, 2016
· Ukulele · In home
Great musician, great instructor. Learned more than I ever thought I would be able to at this age. Very patient.
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Nick R.

Nick R.

Forest Hills, NY 11375
(16)
starting at
$42 / 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 Indigo S.

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Brooklyn, NY

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Find yourself through songwriting! Lessons cover everything from the basics of form, content and structure and tools to finding your own unique voice, to performance techniques and how to book your own gigs, record, tour, get press, and establish an online presence.

About Indigo
Indigo has been working in the performing arts since she was biting ankles, first as a dancer and vocalist, and later as a guitarist. She's composed music for and/or sung dozens of international television commercials, spots on Law and Order and songs in Films premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and as a lead guitarist and vocalist, toured the US, Canada, Europe and Iceland, extensively, performing in hundreds of theaters and rock clubs around the world, including-- Madison Square Garden, BAM, The Beacon Theater, Music Hall Of Williamsburg, The Bowery Ballroom, Club Nokia (LA), The Santa Barbara Bowl, The Chicago Theater, Baby's All Right, The Mercury Lounge, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (SF), Pickathon (Portland)

As a teacher, Indigo's method has, at it's core, a commitment to the idea of teaching a man to fish rather than giving hi
m a fish, and every student, regardless of age or experience will be taught to understand, first and foremost, how music works, so that he or she comes away, not only with the skills to play the material covered in the lessons, but, eventually, the ability to teach themselves any other material they're interested in.

With an emphasis on ear training, her natural approach to learning theory, makes even the most wary or challenged student understand with ease, and find pleasure in the process of learning. Rote memorization is eliminated and replaced by a deep understanding, which grows naturally, while technique improves alongside it. Students quickly find themselves able to play, sing and understand things previously only dreamed of.

These universal building blocks of music apply across all genres. Technique will be tailored to your specific interests, and from the start, a portion of each lesson will be devoted to learning the material of your choice.

Indigo also specializes in coaching songwriters, and can, in a gentle and non-invasive way, help to guide you through the process of both mastering craft, and establishing your own individual voice as a writer.
...
Reviews
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michael graham February 3, 2018
· Guitar · Online
Indigo is an amazing teacher. While she is a professional musician with a deep understanding of music theory, I am an intermediate guitar player and don’t spend much time on theory - i mostly want to work on playing songs and singing, and she jumps right into what i am working on with enthusiasm and an open mind. She is good at explaining things and she is also always smiling and super nice. Can’t say enough good things.
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Daniel September 17, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Indigo is able to break down the guitar in a way that is clear and empowering, and very musical. You will be a better musician if you follow through on her revelations.
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Jeff August 16, 2017
· Songwriting · Online
Indigo is a fabulous and diverse teacher! I've been taking lessons with her for about 9 months. Although my lessons are "officially" for songwriting, we divide our time among that, guitar technique, and music theory. I've experienced so much progress and fun in several areas, and I attribute that to Indigo's teaching and guidance. I even wrote and produced my first solo song! Don't miss the chance to work with a great musician and teacher!
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Indigo S.

Indigo S.

Brooklyn, NY 11215
(37)
starting at
$60 / 30-min

About Steven W.

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Cortlandt Manor, NY
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Although songwriting is indeed an art, there are also techniques, tips and tricks that can help aspiring songwriters perfect their craft. I've had my original songs covered by other artists and played on the radio...and I can help you achieve those same goals. Let's worth together to help you write the next hit!

About Steven
Hailing from New York City, Steven W. has been involved in the performing arts his entire life, which began as he received his training from a number prestigious arts institutions...Julliard (where he studied piano), New York University (where he studied music education), and the Katie Agresta Vocal Studio (whose other students include Sting, Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper, Annie Lenox and many more, including the casts of numerous Broadway shows).

Steven is currently an indie rock solo singer/musician/producer with a number of albums in release (on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and more); recently spent two months as NY's #1 indie artist on Reverbnation's charts, and continues to perform all over the country. Steven also records and tours with country artists, playing huge festivals all over the world.

Having performed on small cabaret stages
for just a few people, and in stadiums for 60,000, he believes in not only teaching technique, but also how to tailor a performance for the appropriate situation. It's this combination of technical training, and performance experience, that Steven brings to his classes as a teacher.

*** Lesson Details ***
Voice - emphasizing proper breathing techniques, vocal exercise for improving tone and range, while working on songs (both traditional and popular).

Piano - proper technique, music reading, exercises, basic music theory, and material including popular songs.

Guitar - technique, reading (either standard musical notation and/or tabs), understanding chord charts, finger exercises, while working on learning new songs.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Roland 88 key weighted action keyboard
Full Logic Studio with all instrument samples
Taylor, Breedlove and D'Angelico acoustic guitars
Fender Strat
Guild S100
JBL Monitors

*** Travel Equipment ***
Acoustic and/or electric guitar(s)
Small portable keyboard
...
Reviews
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John W. November 13, 2013
· Singing ·
A great teacher.

Steven is professional, fun to work with, and gets great results.
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Steven W.

Steven W.

Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567
(1)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Marcin W.

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Brooklyn, NY
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About Marcin
At the age of 12 Marcin began learning guitar by himself. Beginning the educational process through tabs and other internet resources available to him. While in college Marcin began studying classical guitar, composition, theory and history and in 2012 received a Masters from Hunter college in performance and composition. It is in college that he progressed the most technically. As a guitarist he is versatile as he feels comfortable reading music, playing jazz standards, funk, blues, rock, and improvising freely
During his first few years in college he began playing and trying other instruments such as piano, bass guitar, bongos, and to this day, continually learns and studies diverse instruments

As a composer, he has composed music for Trios, Quartets, Quintets, Sextets, Orchestras of various instrument permutations, Choirs, and also
a short opera.

Marcin has been teaching since 2010 and greatly enjoys seeing students grow and improve. He breaks down all his concepts in great detail, making them easy to digest and comprehend.
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Reviews
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Donna T. November 3, 2014
· Classical Guitar · In studio
I have always wanted to play the guitar but felt too intimidated. A friend told me about TakeLessons and I chose Marcin because he seemed to have a lot of different experiences with music.

Marcin was extremely professional and nice and made me feel at ease. He made it easy to ask questions and explained things really well for me. I took five lessons with him (I've been traveling and haven't been back yet) and was able to play a few songs. What I really like was Marcin's enthusiasm, which, for me, is really encouraging. He was interested in my goals and kept them in mind with each lessons. I could tell that he was preparing each lesson just for me and based on my progress and I felt that I could be honest with what I was doing. Totally recommend Marcin for lesson!
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Zhenxing L. June 6, 2014
· Guitar · In studio
Marchin has prepared a lot to satisfy my goal and he teaches me how to practice independently in the future. So, I can keep improving my guitar skills myself without the lesson.
More over, his lesson is pretty casual and funny. I feel comfortable with it.

All in all. For me, as a starter. He's a good guitar teacher.
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Marcin W.

Marcin W.

Brooklyn, NY 11209
(2)
starting at
$50 / 30-min
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About Elizabeth P.

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New York, NY

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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
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Rahm January 19, 2018
· Trombone · In home
First lesson today went very well— my son (12) is excited to continue! Looking forward to hopefully many more! Thanks, Elizabeth, for being very responsive and prepared.
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Ashley H. January 8, 2018
· Ukulele · In home
My daughter was so excited to play the Ukulele after her first lesson. She has already completed her practice sheet 5 Times.
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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.
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Elizabeth P.

Elizabeth P.

New York, NY 10003
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Ben R.

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Jersey City, NJ
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I have written and recorded with a number of successful bands, including as the primary songwriter, and in collaborative arrangements. I believe equally in the importance of a strong theoretical background, and in the importance of subverting conventions.

About Ben
Hi, there! My name is Ben and I can't wait to meet you! I've been teaching private lessons since 2012 and have taught students of all ages from 3 to adult. I have experience not just with teaching but also with writing, recording, and performing music in successful bands and on multiple instruments and in multiple genres. I am comfortable teaching piano, guitar, and bass guitar, and I especially love teaching music theory. I have extensive theory training at the college level and have written and composed extensively in the classical, rock, jazz, and folk traditions. I look forward to meeting you and helping you to achieve your musical goals.
...
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Ben R.

Ben R.

Jersey City, NJ 07307
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Josh L.

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Brooklyn, NY

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I offer private sessions for students looking to learn the fundamentals of songwriting or to further develop their existing songwriting abilities alongside an experienced and impartial teacher. Songwriting instruction focuses on rock, pop, country and blues idioms. In depth analysis of song arrangements, the relationship of lyrics to melody, bass line development are just some of the areas I cover.

About Josh
Josh, multi-instrumentalist for Norah Jones and many others graduated Berklee College of Music in 1995. He has been playing professionally and teaching privately since then. He appears on albums by James Taylor and The Lemonheads to name a few and has performed live with everyone from Brian Wilson to Miley Cyrus. Click here to watch and listen to some recordings and performances.
...
Reviews
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Fabio October 18, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Josh is an incredible musician, teacher, guitar, and bass player (haven't tried his singing lessons yet). His knowledge on both theoretic and practical aspects of music (acquired during his studies as well as several tours with world class bands) is very broad which makes his lessons fun and dynamic, a major plus for motivation and learning process.
With his "hands on" guitar lessons we quickly built a fun song's set which was custom made for my skills level at the time. Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" was among one of the first songs I learned, and by then I had basic chord's as well as a couple major scale positions knowledge.
I ve been seeing Josh (lately via Skype, which saves me 1 hour a day in commute) for the past 3.5yrs and nowadays I am actually playing with a band which goes live every now and then, despite my challenging 10+ daily work hours.
Josh was instrumental to keep me motivated all the time, I strongly recommend giving him a try.
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Jim October 17, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Josh Lattanzi is an excellent guitar teacher. He is a knowledgable, skilled and accomplished musician who has really helped me make sense of what has always been a confusing instrument for me.

Josh's style is patient, supportive and also very funny. He's the reason I love playing guitar and didn't get scared off by bar chords.

He also can play absolutely anything, and tailors my lessons to help me play the kind of stuff I write the best possible way. I am really grateful to be taught by him and will continue to take lessons as long as he's teaching.
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Jamie B October 15, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Where do I start?

Josh Lattanzi's guitar lessons are simply the best. I started taking lessons with Josh after I graduated college. I was moving to New York to pursue songwriting and found Josh's website online, deciding to try out a lesson based on his experience as a musician and a teacher.

Now, over five years later I can confidently say that if I hadn't chosen Josh my career as a songwriter would be completely different. He goes above and beyond for his students.

I am simply incredibly lucky to have taken that initial step of a first lesson with Josh of NYC Guitar Lessons.

Josh is a patient, focused but fun teacher. His breadth and depth of knowledge of music, guitar and other instruments is extensive, and lends to thorough and thoughtful teaching.

The thing that I love most about taking lessons with Josh is that he is incredibly flexible, willing and able to tailor each student's lessons based on what their ultimate guitar goals are. It made it easy to refer friends to him that wanted to lean basics of guitar and suggest lessons to friends in the songwriting community who had more specific goals in mind.

I really can't speak highly enough about my experiences as an NYC guitar lessons student with Josh.
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Josh L.

Josh L.

Brooklyn, NY 11215
(4)
starting at
$70 / 30-min

About Caleb C.

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Valley Cottage, NY
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I have a lot of experience writing and performing original music and I can help demystify the elusive art of songwriting.

About Caleb
I have over 10 years of teaching experience. I am currently teaching private guitar lessons at Purchase College and teach in-home private music lessons at affordable rates to students of all levels in the Rockland and Westchester area. I offer private lessons in:​

Electric or Acoustic Guitar (all styles)
Electric Bass
Songwriting
Singing

I've performed with my band throughout the NYC area; we've performed at The Bitter End, The Bowery Electric, Pianos and many other metropolitan area venues.

I have a Bachelor of Music degree and am currently a Master of Music candidate in Studio Composition at Purchase College.
...
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Andrew December 2, 2017
· Guitar · In home
I never played a musical instrument before but shortly after beginning my guitar lessons with Caleb I was learning a lot and playing some pretty cool songs. And having a lot of fun doing it!
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Caleb C.

Caleb C.

Valley Cottage, NY 10989
(1)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Alessandra Z.

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Brooklyn, NY
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I've been songwriting for several years, I have my own distribution deal in songwriting and have taught lessons large and small with students of many ages in the subject. I want you to get the best song you can from our lesson!

About Alessandra
I've been teaching at studios and afterschool programs for multiple years. I've been working with children as well as adult students, and been told by multiple students that I've given them advice that many exclusive professionals have given. I have my degree in Vocal Performance from Berklee College of Music, so I know what I'm talking about, haha! I'm punctual, energetic, and go above and beyond to ensure my students have a fantastic lesson. I have been throughly background checked by a non-profit after school program, as well, and will get another one on TL soon.
...
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Alessandra Z.

Alessandra Z.

Brooklyn, NY 11221
starting at
$42 / 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

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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.

3 Things Songwriters Should Always Keep in Mind

3 Things Songwriters Should Always Keep in Mind

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 … Read More

3 Things Songwriters Should Always Keep in Mind
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
25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block
Every songwriter runs into writers' block at some point in their career. To help you dig your way out of the dreaded doldrums of songwriters' block, we put together 25 songwriting tips and prompts plus great songs to inspire you. Check out these songwriting tips and find your muse today!   Bonus: Take the quiz to find out what you should write your next song about! Write about your day. Think your life is boring and you have nothing to say? Check out the lyrics to thi
How to Write Lyrics: Steps to Success for Any Musical Style
Interested in learning how to write lyrics and songs? Here, New Jersey guitar teacher Matthew H. explains an easy 3-step process to follow...  Songwriting is not easy; just ask any composer or lyricist. While the musical composition is highly important (making sure the melody is catchy without sounding too trite), having a strong, relatable message to go along with a great tune is just as, if not more, important. Here are some tips on how to write lyrics for a good song. 1) What is the
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

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