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Valley Cottage, NY Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers near Valley Cottage, NY

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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"
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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 John R.

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Pelham, NY
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Learn to write songs like a pro!

About John
*** Travel Equipment ***
I do not provide any equipment. I expect my students to have their own instruments, amplifiers and music.

*** Specialties ***
I am proficient in all guitar styles including blues, jazz, rock, folk and classical. I have a PhD in music and have been a professional musician for 30 years.
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Dina February 21, 2018
· Piano · In home
John was great
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John R.

John R.

Pelham, NY 10803
(1)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Carolyn O.

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New York, NY

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About Carolyn
Coming from a large extended family in Hawaii, I was surrounded by luau music, kachi-kachi dancing, Japanese bon dances, handsome local guys singing and playing their guitars and my aunties strumming their ukes and singing old songs. I reveled in walking alone in Nature or playing piano and singing in empty, stain-glassed churches – just wailing in the dark and colored light!

I studied: classical piano, organ, oboe, clarinet, violin, voice, and guitar. I sang in jazz trios and pop bands, earned income as a church organist/choir accompanist, and spent 15 years teaching private piano lessons to students of all ages.
I studied drawing and painting, I drew trees, animals, the ocean, sky and mountains, still life, and the people around me.

Upon arriving in New York City, I entered into a journey of playing at a Washington Heights gos
pel church, living in a building filled with musicians, accompanying vocal master classes, studying Sanskrit, Indian raga, world percussion, creative arts therapy and performance wellness.

I now compose and sing my songs - interweaving voice with keyboard or guitar. Besides teaching privately, I can be found performing my songs in clubs, outdoor festivals, coffee houses, and poetry/healing events. I currently attended a certificate program in sound & music healing and the focus of my music rests here. I incorporate many techniques to aid students in relaxation, breath awareness, and de-stressing.

Using traditional teaching methods, I create meaningful experiences for students by:
- being patient, flexible and creative in approach
- using visual, aural, and tactile teaching tools

*** Lesson Details ***
After 3 to 6 Months OF Lessons, you can use the important music fundamentals you've learned to create music you love.
After about a year, you are invited to share your music with others in an intimate family recital or a performance for charity in service to your community!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Upright piano, piano synthesizer, guitar, percussion instruments

*** Travel Equipment ***
Carolyn carries her own guitar, teaching aids, manuscript paper, pen/pencils, and handouts.

Recommended for students:
KEYBOARD - ideally, have your own keyboard/piano, piano books, staff paper
ACOUSTIC UKULELE/GUITAR - your own guitar, capo, tuner, staff & TAB paper (you can wait for teacher to help you choose)
VOICE - have sheet music, lyrics or charts of your songs
SONGWRITING - have manuscript paper, recording device and journal/tablets to record their ideas
ALL STUDENTS - small tablet for notes & keeping track of assignments and a recording device to hear your playing/singing/compositions (optional)

*** Specialties ***
Performing Singer-Songwriter specializing in improvisation and Sound & Music Healing.
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Reviews
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Vasco July 17, 2018
· Piano · In studio
Carolyn is terrific! I decided to finally learn to play the piano and learn music theory at 50! I am having an incredible learning experience with Carolyn. She is patient and is always one step ahead anticipating my challenges and helping me learn and improve.
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Altan May 29, 2018
· Singing · In home
Carolyn has a very positive attitude. My daughter looks forward to her singing lessons.
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Rachel M. April 10, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
Very nice and welcoming, I learned a lot a few sessions and enjoyed them.
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Carolyn O.

Carolyn O.

New York, NY 10024
(8)
starting at
$50 / 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 David N

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Elmont, NY
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About David
I am a 20 year musician with 11 years teaching experience. Born and raised in New York City, I attended Laguardia high school for music and art and afterward Queens College majoring in music. My main instruments are Clarinet, Drums, and Saxophone, but i also have a strong background in Piano, Trumpet, and Flute. I've taken private music lessons for the past 15 years with world class musicians, among them David Weber and Howard Hirsch. I've performed in every major concert hall in New York City, including Carnegie Hall when i was only 11 years old. I performed alongside many famous musicians, including the late Tito Puente.

*** Lesson Details ***
My teaching includes all aspects of music; Musical theory, sight singing, as well as Music History. My teaching style allows the child to have fun while they learn their instrument, but I emph
asize a strong practice regiment. Your child will understand that while learning music and an instrument can be fun, there will be some work involved if they want to become great. I usually use either the Alfred or Rubank method books to supplement a curriculum that I tailor make for each individual student. Any question or confusion a student has about anything during the lesson will be explained in detail and dealt with until he/she understands the concept. I've had many students pass all levels of the ABRSM and NYSSMA exams as well as receive academic scholarships for musical excellence.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in the living room, drums set, piano,

*** Travel Equipment ***
I require that students buy the books I suggest, but if it is necessary, I can provide photocopies of pages from the books that I own. I also require my students to provide all writing equipment.

*** Specialties ***
all methods and styles. I've played clarinet and saxophone for orchestras, symphonic bands, and jazz bands. I've played drums for jazz, rock, and acoustic sets.
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Reviews
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Steve H. July 8, 2018
· Piano · In home
David is patient and kind with our son.
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Noah January 19, 2018
· Saxophone · In home
My son really enjoyed his first lesson. Looking forward to how he will progress.
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Matt January 8, 2018
· Trumpet · In home
David came on time for our schedule lesson and came in ready to go. He helped my son the corrected way to blow trumpet (which he never learn from school) and broke down lesson so that he is not over wheeled. In just first lesson, I can hear the difference in my son's use of trumpet.
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David N

David N

Elmont, NY 11003
(21)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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About Indigo S.

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New York, 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.
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Reviews
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Lara July 17, 2018
· Guitar · Online
I truly enjoyed my first lesson with Indigo. She's a wonderful instructor. She explains very clearly with a calm and precise approach. I truly feel she can teach me how to be a better guitarist in a structured, positive and comfortable way. She immediately put me at ease without judgement and without the dreaded "mansplaining" that I often got from male instructors in the past. I'm definitely coming back for more lessons.
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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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Indigo S.

Indigo S.

New York, NY 10128
(38)
starting at
$60 / 30-min

About Matthew K.

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New York, NY
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About Matthew
I have been playing professionally for over 30 years and have taught for over 10. I am proficient on keyboards, guitar, bass, ukelele, as well as lead and harmony vocals and songwriting. My focus is on developing your musical intuition through ear training, and accessing the music within. I have a home recording studio to help with the learning process. I provide a fun, safe, non-critical environment where you can access your inner musician in the most enjoyable way possible.

Many of my students have gone onto become prolific songwriters and musicians and have recorded albums. Even beginners can learn quickly from my method which emphasizes techniques for keeping learning music fun.

My 10th CD was released last year on Sojourn Records and was featured as NPR song of the day. Over the years my music has received much critical accl
aim as I have continued to tour the world. I have opened for legends such as David Bowie, Ron Sexsmith, Robyn Hitchcock, Morphine, Bob Mould, Freedy Johnston, among many others. I have produced over a dozen albums by other artists and songwriters, and composed for major motion pictures including last years film, WON’T BACK DOWN starring Maggie Gyllenhaal.

“In a career spanning more than 20 years, he has established himself as one of America's great under-the-radar songwriters. Had he emerged five decades back, he might have been a Tin Pan Alley stalwart, turning out intelligent, accessible songwriting with the clockwork genius of and Gary Goffin. His work is rife with the clever, incisive tunefulness that marked that era.”-- National Public Radio

*** Lesson Details ***
Students can expect to discover or re-discover their love for music and and their own natural musical inclinations. Many students report an increased sense of joy and possibility in their own lives. Curriculum depends on level of student, but is focused on being able to play favorite songs, develop comfort and ease in playing style, and accessing creativity and originality in approach. After 3 to 6 months working with me, most students can feel comfortable calling themselves a musician!

*** Specialties ***
I teach mainly guitar, keyboards, ukelele, and voice from beginning up to intermediate. I try to incorporate songwriting into the process as i find that it speeds up the process and helps to encourage enthusiasm and a more focused effort and better results. I am fluent in most styles but come from a folk, rock, country, pop background. I also have a home studio and use recording techniques to develop style and vocal ability.
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Vishal June 25, 2018
· Piano · In studio
Have learned a lot ! Started learning my favorite song too. He takes things slower if needed and let’s you decide the pace of the course. I feel like I have gained so much on just 5 classes
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David June 6, 2018
· Ukulele · In studio
Had my first lesson with Matthew last night. He was great - quickly figured out my skill level, and came up with some songs that fit me well. They were easy enough that I can learn them, but with some challenging parts to make it fun. The pace of the lesson was great; we mixed teaching with playing, and he even threw in some intro music theory tidbits to help me understand better what I was doing. I left motivated to practice, and I'm looking forward to my next lesson.
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Herb .. May 9, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
The first lesson was excellent! Matthew makes learning the guitar very enjoyable and uncomplicated.
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Matthew K.

Matthew K.

New York, NY 10014
(20)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Dr. Desmond M.

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Bronx, NY
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I have more than 10 years songwriting experience

About Dr. Desmond
I have a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. I am also certified by the State of New York to teach vocal and instrumental music from K-12. I have more than 10 years of professional international performing and teaching experience. I have had students win awards in music festivals even shortly after working with them. I have worked with ages 5-90 as well as students with special needs. My lessons are planned, thorough and fun. If you are looking for results, I am the teacher for you. I will refer you to another teacher if I can't help you.

*** Lesson Details ***
My lessons include exercises, repertoire building, sight-reading/music theory and intonation help.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano Keyboard
Djembe
Acoustic/Electric Bass Guitar
Acoustic/Electric Classical Guitar
Digital Audio Workstation
Microphones
Mic Stands

*** Speci
alties ***
I specialize in technique, repertoire building, sight-reading/music theory, improvement of intonation, and audition and contest preparation.
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Roy F Williams May 20, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
I'm new at playing the guitar and don't learn to fast. His patients with me was incredible. I'm looking forward to my next lesson.
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Janet K. April 25, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Great teacher. Only reason I stopped taking lessons was that he moved away.
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Yohav A. October 2, 2016
· Singing · In studio
I have known Desmond for two years now as he has been my vocal coach. Desmond has been exceptional in guiding me through my progress. He is able to make each lesson enjoyable and gives me the sense of achievement. He continues to challenge me in order to better myself. Desmond believes that in order to be able to sing properly, one has to free himself from within, so he makes certain to take some time out in order to get comfortable and in the zone. I highly recommend Desmond as a vocal coach as it is a privilege to work with him.
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Dr. Desmond M.

Dr. Desmond M.

Bronx, NY 10475
(9)
starting at
$49 / 60-min

About Chris B.

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Butler, NJ

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Contrary to popular belief, creativity is teachable. If you understand the inner workings of music, then you'll be better equipped to write effective songs.

About Chris
My name is Chris B. and I've been playing music for most of my life.

The best lesson that I've personally learned is that a musician is never done learning. Once you start believing that you know everything there is to know about your instrument then you've stopped growing musically. Personally, I've also learned that I enjoy sharing my knowledge of music with others and exposing students to new techniques and concepts.

I strongly believe that these traits are the most important aspects of teaching music to others. No matter how advanced my playing skills might progress, I’ll always be able to relate to any type of student because I’m still learning something new everyday!
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Terri Krzesinski November 7, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Chris is a great teacher! He makes you feel very comfortable. As a beginner player, Chris breaks down everything so you can easily follow. He is friendly and patient and I highly recommend him! He is the BEST!!
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Pennie October 4, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
I've been taking lessons from Chris for 2 months now. He's exceptional in his teaching methods and makes each lesson enjoyable. I'm a beginner and learning my first chorded song. He's been excellent at taking his time and breaking the song down to where I feel comfortable playing.
He's easily reached by email, and has sent me audio files of himself playing the song we're working on to help me with my practice. I leave my lessons pumped and excited to play. I highly recommend him!!
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Pennie July 21, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
I had my second lesson with Chris today. He's exactly the type of teacher I've searched for. He's very easy going and optimistic. I appreciate the fact he grabs his guitar and plays along with me, it makes learning rhythm so much easier for someone who learns by seeing and following along. I highly recommend him.
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Chris B.

Chris B.

Butler, NJ 07405
(33)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Christiaan S.

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New York, NY

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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 is a multi-talented performer in theater, opera, and pop music. He played Gaston in the Broadway tour of Beauty and the Beast. Something of a bad boy, he was kicked out of Opera School for singing jazz, yet he went on to earn three music degrees, and work with opera legend Marilyn Horne and avant-garde 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. Look for his new single That's When You Know.

Christiaan enjoys seeing people succeed, so his approach to teaching is a combination of play and practice. Ultimately we sing because we want to bring people joy, yet to do so, we must hone our talents to perfection. By mixing the joy of music with disci
pline, we achieve our greatest dreams.
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Luca F. June 25, 2018
· Singing · In studio
Christiaan is a very nice and competent vocal trainer.
He’s patient and it doesn’t get frustrated easily.
The time flies when I work with him and I definitely saw improvements just after 5 lessons.
It really makes you want to keep studying and working hard!
Thanks prof!
Luca
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Allana .. April 10, 2018
· Singing · In home
Best singing instructor I’ve ever had! Over the years it’s been hard to find a balance of a good learning experience and comfortability when taking lessons. One or the other was always lacking, but not with Christiaan! I learn so much AND have a good time. I feel myself improving and getting more confident each lesson.
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William March 25, 2018
· Singing · In studio
Great, thanks a lot! got somewhere!
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Christiaan S.

Christiaan S.

New York, NY 10005
(22)
starting at
$125 / 30-min

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Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

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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
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 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
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

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