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Orinda Piano Lessons

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Popular Piano Teachers Near Orinda

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Steven B.

Alameda, CA

I began classical piano instruction in 1960 and took private lessons for ten years before branching out into all the other styles of music. I have taught, recorded and performed professionally since 1978, and will show you proper hand and finger technique, music theory, how to read notation and chord charts/symbols, and equally as important teach you how to play by ear. I teach all ages, all styles and all levels of piano, and will teach you how to have fun with it all along the way!

About Steven

Have you always wanted to learn how to play the piano, guitar or electric bass? Or maybe you've just felt like brushing up your musical knowledge and playing skills? Now’s your chance to fulfill those dreams!

About Me: San Francisco Bay area pianist/guitarist/bassist; I've been playing music for over 50 years. I'm classically trained with a solid foundation and knowledge of music theory, and have over 40 years experience teaching, recording and performing. I have done session work and/or performed with members of Journey, Santana, Jackson Browne, Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers and Greg
Allman to name a few, and am currently teaching piano, theory and bass to Mike Dirnt, the bassist for Green Day. Let me take my education and experience and pass them on to you!

My main goal as a music instructor is to pass along my love and knowledge of playing music to my students, always vigilant for sharing shortcuts that will help the student to achieve their lesson goals faster. Some teachers teach only out of books. I am not such a teacher. Books solve the problem of learning music in generalizations and by their very nature, cannot take into consideration personal issues a student will encounter.

Most students are able to learn enough of the necessary mechanics at the first lesson to actually play something before they leave that lesson. This is important because they realize that playing music IS possible. I always enjoy the look on their face when they realize they have actually “played” their instrument at their first lesson.

I am not the sort of teacher who yells and screams if the student comes in unprepared. I realize that people come to me for a variety of reasons and I work with them with whatever they bring in. I am patient and if a student is not understanding a certain aspect, I bring into play alternate approaches. Not everyone assimilates information in the same way. Learning music should be an enjoyable adventure for the student and I venture to say that my students enjoy coming to their lessons. We have fun, and we learn.

>>> FYI: I'm happy to come to your home if traveling to my studio in Alameda isn't convenient for you, and I cover most of the East Bay, including Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Orinda, Lafayette, Walnut Creek and (of course) my own lovely town of Alameda. As much as I love our "City by the Bay", traveling to San Francisco, Marin, or the Peninsula just isn't cost or time effective for me; I apologize to you fine folks and potential students of the West Bay!
...

Reviews

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Billy May 17, 2016
Piano · In studio
wow amazing!
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Tim M. February 22, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Great teacher and great time taking the lessons! I wish we could take more lessons with him but we've recently moved out of the area. Thanks for everything Steven!
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Noor A. October 18, 2015
Classical Piano · In home
Verified Student
I was, initially, unsure whether I had made the right decision in using TakeLessons to revive my piano-playing skills, but after meeting Steven, I have no doubts that it was one of the best decisions I have yet to make.

Steven is wonderful! He is inspired and inspiring, encouraging, and his passion inspires passion - I could not have asked for better! Steven is an absolute pleasure, and I would absolutely recommend him to anyone!
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Steven B.

Steven B.

Alameda, CA 94501
(16)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Maureen S.

San Leandro, CA

Levels 1-10 MTAC Certificate of Merit, College Level Classical and Jazz

About Maureen

•The styles I teach most often are jazz, classical and popular. Although I have studied many different genres, my specialties are saxophone and composition. I have studied with music teachers such as Anthony Braxton, Herb Pomeroy, Charlie Banacos, Jerry Bergonzi, Gary Burton, Joe Viola, Ken Pullig, John LaPorta, Hal Crook, James Newton and Ken Radnofsky. If you are enrolled by October, you have the opportunity to enroll in MTAC Certificate of Merit and Composer's Today programs and recitals.

•9/1997 – Present San Lorenzo (CA) Unified School District Independent Music Teacher 9/1990 – 11/19
97 St. Felicitas School San
Leandro, CA St. John School Fiat School of Music Music Unlimited San Lorenzo, CA Pinole, CA San Leandro, CA Provide individual and group music instruction to people from age 3 to 99. Deliver instruction based on Music Teachers National Association Certificate of Merit Curriculum for Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet and Piano. Incorporate Jazz
Improvisation, Theory and Harmony lessons

• Listed in Who’s Who Among International Professional Educators. • Listed in Who’s Who in American Education • Listed in Who’s Who Among American Women • Listed in Who’s Who in America • Six Lessons published in • Recognition for Self-Assembly Method Instructional Design Theory • Published article in OnCUE, Journal of Computer Using Educators

• Krause Center of Innovation 2005-2006 EWYL Cohort Participant • Krause Center of Innovation 2006-2007 EWYL Fellows Participant • Iisme (Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education) Fellow 2004: Intranet Web Designer at Applied Materials using Macromedia Dreamweaver and Contribute • Alameda County Representative to the CTAP Technology Leadership Academy at the Alameda County Office of Education (2000). Co-leader of Staff Development Program for Grade 4-8 Technology Integration • Taught University of Phoenix class for Technology Integration • IMTC class teacher in FrontPage and MS Paint • Member San Lorenzo Unified School District Ed Tech Committee and Lorenzo Manor Elementary Ed Tech Committee. • Past District Web Page Coordinator and FrontPage Trainer • Participant in Intel Teach to the Future training • Provide opportunities for children to meet Technology Standards• Incorporate technology into the curriculum using desktops and wireless laptops, FL Studio, Cubasis VST 4.0, Music Ace, Band in a Box, Finale Notepad, Silver Burdett MIDI Connection, Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Office Suite, recording and burning CDs, DVDs, etc. • Manage a High School Computer Music Lab. • MarcoPolo trainer.• Teach Music Technology classes after school for the Gifted and Talented (GATE Program).

• Member Music Educators National Conference • Member Technology Institute for Music Educators. Lesson plan published on their Web Site. • Member California Music Educators and present music technology sessions for educators at the Bay Section Conferences.

• Deliver instruction in the area of the curriculum pertaining to National and District Music Standards. • Create and implement lesson plans, rubrics and assessments. • Organize and produce Winter and Spring Concerts. • Experience working with children with challenging behaviors and disabilities (Special Day Class and Continuation School).

• Provide children with learning experiences that promote their cognitive, social and emotional development.  • Experience in teaching students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. • Communicate with parents. Handle record-keeping of grades and attendance. • Work cooperatively with other education professionals. 

• Organize and produce Winter and Spring Recitals, including County Recitals for the National Guild of Piano Teachers. Communicate with parents. Handle advertising and record-keeping of tuition payments. • Vice-President of the Alameda County Branch of the Music Teachers Association of California. Attend Board meetings and plan guest speakers • Licensed Kindermusik instructor for children ages 18 mos. to 7 years. • Students chosen for State and County Honors Recitals. • Listed in National Honor Roll, National Guild of Piano Teachers; Member Music Teacher’s National Association. • Taught Undergraduate Musicianship class as a Graduate Assistant at Mills College.

•Professional Freelance Musician 9/1984 – 12/1995 Boston, MA; Bay Area, CA Performed own compositions and others works in various styles in innumerable local venues and clubs such as The Oakland Museum, Yerba Buena Gardens, The Valencia Café, Trans America Building, the Marriott Hotel, as well as in Las Vegas. She have performed with musicians such as Vijay Iyer, Anthony Braxton, MC
Hammer, Luciana Souza, Lloyd Nibbs (Skatalites), Fred Lonberg-Holm,
Andy Borger (Norah Jones), Stuart Popejoy, Aaron Stewart, Sheila
Sofian, William Calhoun (Living Color), Sean Kennerly (Samiam) and Joey Cheezhee.• CD Recording on Curious Pogos Records:Frederick Lonberg Holm’s “Theory of Motion”. • Composed music on Sheila Sofian’s Animations “Faith and Patience” and “Secret Rage”. Won 15 awards in International and National Film Festivals. Broadcast on WHYY TV12 and WYBE TV35 Educational Stations. • Honorable Mention in Composition: City of Oakland Creative Arts Fellowship. • Live Performances on KPFA, KNBR and KALX radio stations.

•EDUCATION Ph.D. in Education (10/2013). Specialization in Professional Studies Capella University Teaching Credential: K-12 Single Subject Music 8/1999 Chapman University GPA 3.9 US-CA-Concord Master of Fine Arts degree in Electronic Music and Recording Media with an emphasis in Composition 5/1992 Mills College GPA 3.64 US-CA-Oakland Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging 5/1987 Berklee College of Music US-CA-Boston GPA 3.59 Cum Laude

*** Lesson Details ***
I am interested in teaching you what you need and want to learn so that you achieve your dreams. Please note that I only take serious students who will practice at least 30 minutes every day or 35 a day 6 days a week at home. I would like you to keep a log of how much you practice. This will enable you to make progress through the curriculum as you will be a beginner for the first 3.3 years, an intermediate for the next 3.3 years, and then an advanced student for 3.3 years. I will give you assignments to do over the week, and the next week we will go over them, learn something new and get new assignments. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Currently I am converting my detached garage into a music studio with keyboard and instruments. There is a sitting room where parents can wait for their children. In the meantume, we will have lessons in my living/dining room.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Metronome, CD Boom Box

*** Specialties ***
Jazz, classical, popular, saxophone, composition, music, flute, clarinet, piano, violin, trumpet, trombone, french horn, tuba, baritone, oboe, songwriting, recording, children's music Composition
Arranging
Songwriting
Reading and Notating Music
Music Software such as FL Studio, Band in a Box, Reason and GarageBand. Bring your laptop to lessons!
Music Theory
Improvisation
Minor Key Harmony
Extended and Secondary Dominants
Tritone Substitution
Modal Interchange
Altered Dominant Scale
Diminished Harmony
Non-Functional Harmony
...

Reviews

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Ruth January 9, 2017
Piano · In studio
Dr. Maureen Spranza, is a great music teacher, my son is taking piano classes with her and I'm very grateful with her, because she always take the extra time to make sure my kid is learning, my kid loves Mrs. Maureen because she is a great teacher but also she is a great human being, she really cares about her students. And she not only plays the piano, she plays all the instruments, I hope to see my son become a great musician thanks to the dedication that Maureen puts in his classes, my kid loves his piano classes, every time after clases he came home very exited to practice what he learned and al of this if because Dr. Maureen encourage him to be better in Avery class
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Nana December 2, 2016
Piano · In studio
Dr. Spranza is one of the best piano teachers in the Bay Area. My two daughters take weekly lessons with her. She encourages them and empowers them to do their best. She teaches them both theory and practicals. They have participated in an informal recital and are now registered to take part in the MTAC Certificate of Merit program.

As parents, we see a big improvement in our daughters' piano playing skills. They even practice on their own, without us telling them to. All thanks to Dr. Spranza.
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Jee November 2, 2016
Piano · In studio
Maureen Spranza, PhD, is a gifted music teacher. Not only does she teach well, but she is also an accomplished musician. "Ms. Maureen", as we call her, has over 20 years of experience working with students of all levels. She teaches piano, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, flute saxophone, and violin.

My 8 and 10 year old boys both take 30 minutes of weekly piano lessons from Ms Maureen at Music Unlimited in San Leandro. Their instruction includes all facets of learning - from ear training, to technique, to theory. My 8 year old is a beginner and my 10 year old has been playing for 3 years. Her lessons include an optional Certificate of Merit program that "offers performance, development and evaluation opportunities for students". To learn more, visit http://www.mtac.org.

I really appreciate how she encourages participation in recitals throughout the year, which allows her students to perform both informally and formally to other students, teachers, and family.

We are extremely lucky to have found Ms. Maureen!!! The kids are progressing and are having fun learning. They are filling our house with beautiful music. I highly recommend her to piano learners of all ages!
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Maureen S.

Maureen S.

San Leandro, CA 94577
(10)
starting at
$50 / 30-min
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Kathryn G.

San Francisco, CA

About Kathryn

From the moment Kat was tall enough to reach the keys she made so much noise on her family's piano that they eventually bought a kid-sized version to keep in her room. When Kat turned 7 her family got her the best present ever; lessons with an amazing piano teacher.

Kat also began to study flute several years later and soon realized that music was the life for her. She majored in music in both high school and college graduating with a BA in Music from St. Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin.

Kat has a very diverse career in music. From a full time private music teacher to the Musi
cal Director of a Burning Man Opera, to the Section Leader for a Youth Orchestra, to the keyboard player in a Theatrical Heavy Metal Band, Kat is always thrilled to stretch her wings and try new things.

*** Lesson Details ***

I teach Tuesdays and Wednesdays in San Francisco, and the rest of the week in the Santa Cruz area!

PLEASE NOTE - because I commute into SF to teach I do not offer in-home lessons. I teach at a lovely studio in the inner sunset!

I have a ridiculous sense of humor. I believe in stickers, high fives, and celebratory fist-bumps. And yes, that goes for the adults as well.

I always looked forward to my lessons because they were so fun, even if I knew I hadn't practiced enough. That is exactly what I try to create for every student I work with.

Besides the humor, I customize lesson plans to fit you. Not just the types of music you want to learn, but HOW you learn. My number one goal is that you completely understand what you are learning. I don't mind in the least if I need to explain a new lesson 10 different ways-€“ we will work together until you really get it! Understanding what you're doing makes it so much more fun.

Have a favorite song stuck in your head, but the sheet music is still too hard? No problem. I'm happy to write the song out for you at your own level. I want you to enjoy yourself, and if that means Lady GaGa then I'm happy to oblige. I will probably stick Mozart in when you're not looking just to make sure you're learning a lot of different things, but that's what teachers are for.

Of course we cover fundamentals and start with the basics. I typically incorporate music theory and ear training with your lessons as well . In 6 months on piano, with regular practice, you will be comfortably reading music and playing songs you enjoy with both hands AT THE SAME TIME! (Gasp!) On flute in 6 months you will also be able to read music comfortably, will no longer feel like you are about to drop the flute at any given moment, will have a solid range of notes and have a solid feeling of control while you play.

I look forward to sharing music with you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
piano, seating for parents

*** Specialties ***
My number one goal is comprehension -to make sure that all of my students really understand what they are doing. I work very hard to ensure an atmosphere where all of my students - no matter their age - can feel comfortable to say "I don't understand".
...

Reviews

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Andrea February 9, 2017
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
My first lesson with Kathryn was fantastic. As an adult student, I was a bit embarrassed by knowing absolutely nothing about piano, and Kathryn would have none of it! She was wonderfully disarming, positive, and really knew how to structure the lesson so that I'd walk out motivated. I'm thrilled to continue lessons with her on the piano.
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Mia January 23, 2017
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Doing great so far!
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Padraig (. December 7, 2016
Flute · In studio
Verified Student
She was a very patient, knowledgeable & encouraging teacher. I would highly recommend her.
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Kathryn G.

Kathryn G.

San Francisco, CA 94122
(33)
starting at
$31 / 30-min
206292_305375_1329669137

Mack R.

Oakland, CA

I have been teaching piano for 35 years. I have had several student who started with me as beginners and advanced to playing in the jazz band in school. Over the years I have developed a unique technique for getting students started as beginners.

About Mack

I have a BS in music education received at Lehman College, Bronx, NY. I am a professional musician/ composer/ arranger.I received my teaching credentials at SFSU and have been a General music teacher as well as a, band teacher. I have studied trumpet with Classical ( Wilmer Wise)and Jazz musician (Bill Hardman) and big band arranging with Frank Foster( saxophonist and arranger with Count Basie Band). At present I am retired and teaching privately.

I have been teaching music for over 50 years as well as being a professional musician/ composer and arranger. I not only know my fundamentals ins
ide and out, but also I know many tricks of the trade. Over the years I have developed special teaching techniques that enable students to make sense out of music and progress rapidly on their instruments.I love playing music and aim at stirring that same kind of excitement abut music in my students.

To each lesson I bring a unique mix, encouraging the student to pursue excellence and also have fun. I am well qualified to teach: woodwinds( oboe, flute, clarinet, all saxophones) brass(french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba), and piano.

*** Lesson Details ***
I make music interesting to learn. I encourage students to practice daily so they can improve. The more they improve the more fun they can have with music not only alone, but with others.

I am very patient with my students especially with beginners. I know that for them it is like learning a new language. Once they begin to increase their musical vocabulary, they will enjoy what they can do with music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Seating for parents, basement studio, piano, drum set

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students should provide their own instruments.
...

Reviews

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Malakai W. February 20, 2017
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Excellent. Patient. Great teacher.
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Clyde Serda January 11, 2017
Clarinet · In home
Verified Student
Adequate studio, explains music and demo well,
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Erik F. October 2, 2016
French Horn · In studio
Verified Student
Mack is a great and patient teacher. Our son was assigned the only French Horn for his middle school beginning band class. We are clueless on how to help him. We found Mack on Takelessons. He got great reviews and lives not too far from us. After the first lesson, our son could play the entire C major scale! He can't wait for his next lesson. Thank you, Mack. We are so lucky to have you.
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Mack R.

Mack R.

Oakland, CA 94607
(17)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
Profile_91116_pi_IMG_2982

Steve S.

San Francisco, CA

I believe music should be a natural and fun part of everyone's life!

Lessons are tailored to help guide and facilitate each individual in their own personal journey - diving deeper into their exploration and love of music.

As inspiration grows, we become more and more focused in your own goals and desire to learn about, create and play music.

Lessons become as detailed and serious - or as light and fun as needed to really help you to play and ENJOY playing piano/making music!

About Steve

Hi! Music learning should be natural and fun - I am Professional working/touring pianist/keyboardist (Masters Degree and Bachelors Degree in jazz piano performance) and former adjunct professor of jazz/popular piano and beginning piano at Diablo Valley College and Contra Costa College, and band director of grades 3-8.

I am fluent in all styles and have a long resume of professional and teaching experience as well the ability to teach all ages and types of current or future musicians who are passionate about diving deeper into learning and developing their craft.

Whether you are a hobby
ist, long-time pro, or curious beginner - we can work together on staying inspired and creating the music you desire to make!!

Professionally I specialize in improvisation, jazz, blues rock, pop, funk, soul, American songbook standards, keyboards, Hammond B-3, as well as specific classical (Chopin, Bach, Satie, Beethoven etc)

Please inquire to find out more about my experience and to get in touch with references!

Best,

Steve
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
neslihan D. February 20, 2017
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Steve has the right balanced approach to teaching, he's not overwhelming but on the other hand encourages me to push my limits to improve. He's experience shows through his comments and how he understands the underlying problem/issue. He will point out to the source of the mistake. He has a very calm and relatable personality. After a long break to piano playing, I find myself lucky to have found such a great teacher. I highly recommend Steve.
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Bryan January 31, 2017
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
My first lesson with Steve was fantastic. Having little to no formal history with the piano myself, the idea of learning the instrument seemed a little intimidating, but Steve is so professional and knowledgable, I couldn't help but feel at ease. He takes the time to get to know your specific learning strategies, tastes, and skill so that he can personally tailor your sessions. Going in, I was excited and a little nervous, but I left our session feeling genuinely confident in my learning ability. He's a great guy too - I can't recommend him enough.
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Peter M. July 5, 2016
Piano · In home
Steve is an incredible teacher. He brings his musicianship and academic experience together to deliver a highly professional and fun lesson. Steve has an uncanny ability to make things that seem hard at first, simple to understand and absorb. Although he has the academic and professional music background to to teach at the college level (he has), he is able to meet the student where they happen to be - beginner or expert. Steve's patience pays off for the student; I've been surprised at how well I can play things I've never dreamed of playing....all the while enjoying the journey immensely. I highly recommend Steve as a teacher.
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Steve S.

Steve S.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(3)
starting at
$50 / 30-min

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Learn how to play the piano in these video tutorials from a professional piano teacher!

Have you always wanted to play the piano? We’re here to help! Get started with these 20 video tutorials hosted by San Diego, CA piano teacher Jordan M, one of our expert instructors with TakeLessons.com. In this free video series, you’ll get an introduction to the instrument and learn a few easy exercises to get you reading music and understanding rhythm!

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