Playa Vista Music Theory Lessons

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Popular Music Theory Teachers Near Playa Vista

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Playa Vista including Marina del Rey, Venice, Culver City, Playa del Rey and Inglewood.

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Cory M.

Hawthorne, CA

I have studied music theory with several and world class musicians including Mike Longo, Walter Bishop Jr. Warn Marsh.
We work on sight reading, ear training, and theory.
I have an easy style and like my students to enjoy their lessons.

About Cory

So you want to play an instrument? Well I have taught for over 40 years and have developed special programs for you on piano, guitar, bass, voice and other instruments for you to learn. From easy beginner to the most advanced, I will help you to learn the songs you love! Whether we use the most modern technology in my professional recording studio or just some chords or perhaps learning to sight read something for a talent show, I can take you all the way to the highest performance level. Your goals are my goals.
I have studied with some of the most famous teachers in the world, includi
ng Charlie Parker's pianist Walter Bishop Jr. and Dizzy Gillespie's musical director Mike Longo, among many others.
I also have the experience of over 400 gigs a year to bring to your lesson. I have performed on piano, guitar and bass and vocals with famous stars and some really great bands which will help me answer many of your questions. I am currently still working, teaching and recording all the time. I also have a professional recording studio in my home which you can take full advantage of.

*** Lesson Details ***
I want you to have fun learning and can help you with understanding and memorizing your songs.
I focus on sight-reading, ear training (like jamming and playing blues) and theory. You get to choose the areas you would like to learn.
Once we have established the basics including melody and chords, we will pick songs you want to learn to play with your friends or just by yourself. We can use music books or go on YouTube to learn your songs.
I have helped students with auditions as well as performances. After only a few lessons you will hear and see things differently than ever before.

*** Studio Equipment ***
My studio comes complete with acoustic and electric keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars, electric bass and amps to play through, as well as professional microphones for recording. I use ProTools for recording which is used in every major studio around the world and it's loaded with great software for demos or mastering songs.

*** Specialties ***
I teach beginner, intermediate and advanced students.
I teach all styles of music including Classical, Jazz, and Rock/Pop/Blues.
I also teach songwriting, performing and recording in my ProTools studio.


Jeff U. July 23, 2015
Organ · Online
Verified Student
First of all, he is very thorough. Cory is always thinking outside the box, brings new ideas to the table! He is not only a teacher, but a musician performer as well. When he teaches, he implements performance and teaches not only to play the instrument but to sound good. He is personable and direct. He is also very tolerant regardless of my blindness. I've had other instructors, and by far, Cory is the best!
cindy dunbar June 19, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
i was so stressed out as my son, a musician, asked me to sing with him at his wedding. yikes!! Boy, did I luck out when I randomly picked Cory for some quick singing lessons. He was so encouraging and helpful!! By the end of 5 lessons we made a recording of the song I am to sing. Well it looks like I won't humiliate myself or family. It was really amazing. He has incredible "in studio"effects and easily transferred the song to a key I could practice and actually "sing." I haven't "performed" yet (next week) but I am looking forward to it, thanks to Cory. Everyone should have at least "one" song that they can pull off for special events. Totally worth it!! Thanks to Cory I have if I could only learn to "shake my groove thang."
Dom A. June 5, 2015
Harmonica · Online
Verified Student
Cory is an excellent teacher. His lessons are a blast. He's done a great job of assessing my existing musical knowledge and goals for learning the harmonica, and customizing the lessons to allow me to learn quickly (as well as improve my grasp of theory in a fun and practical way).

I'd highly recommend him for anyone considering harmonica lessons (or lessons with one of the many other instruments he teaches).
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Cory M.

Cory M.

Hawthorne, CA 90250
starting at
$35 / 30-min

Brian P.

Culver City, CA

About Brian

Brian discovered his talent and passion for teaching while still in college, and has been teaching guitar and piano in Southern California for over 20 years. Gifted at teaching students of all ages and abilities, he combines patience, creativity, imagination and boundless enthusiasm with solid professional training and experience. Brian also has over 10 years experience teaching piano and guitar to blind and autistic students.

A lifelong musician, Brian received his first musical training at the age of 4 and 5 years when his actor/singer Dad and musically talented Grandma taught him to si
ng and play the mandolin. He began piano lessons at age 5, and formal guitar instruction at the age of 10 years.

By the time he was a 14-year-old high school student, Brian was performing as lead guitarist in rock bands around Southern California, developing mastery of rock guitar and blues performance and improvisation. Brian went on to complete a Bachelor's Degree in Classical Guitar Performance from California State University, Los Angeles.

Passionate about all kinds of music, Brian's studies include choral music and conducting, Gregorian chant (at the Monastery of St. Pierre de Solesmes, France), and Master Classes with Andrés Segovia and Christopher Parkening. In 1984, he participated as a member of the Honor Choir for the ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, which included recording of original music by Philip Glass for the Olympic Games under the direction of David L. Wolper and Mr. Glass.

As a jazz guitarist, Brian continues to grow musically in association with his colleagues of the Naomi Jazz Group, and other close musical friends who include students of the late, great Ted Greene.

*** Lesson Details ***
FOR PIANO: Faber & Faber Method Series
Dozen A Day Technique series
STEEL STRINGS: Mel Bay, Alfreds Method Book
CLASSICAL: Fredric Noad
Julio Segraras Method
JAZZ: Stanford Jazz Workshop
The National Guitar Workshop's Jazz Guitar Method Series
Real Easy Books: Beginning & Intermediate Levels

I focus on four areas that I think are essential to being a good music teacher:

• the uniqueness of each student;
• the fact that enjoyment (fun!) maximizes learning;
• the importance of proper technique and an understanding of music theory to build self-confidence;
• the development of musicianship through performance.

My first interest with each new student is to discover how he or she learns, and then to apply appropriate teaching techniques to maximize their potential. I gear my lesson plans to the individual and strive to optimize the learning potential of the student.

In a lesson with me you can expect to never be bored, to laugh a lot, learn a lot, be positively engaged emotionally and challenged intellectually. I believe that learning is maximized when the student is enjoying the experience, and is faced with challenges appropriate to their skill level. I aim to make learning music fun, choosing musical selections to learn in the style and genre that relate to the student's interests and aspiration.

When my students perform in concerts, recitals, juries, auditions, recording sessions or simply for friends and family, they have self-confidence because they know precisely the "how" and "why" of everything required to perform well. My goal with students is to build a solid foundation in instrumental technique and thorough understanding of Music Theory at their appropriate level.

On a monthly basis, all my students practice performing pieces they are working on during the lesson time, with family/friends as an audience if desired and appropriate, and/or using digital recording to help the student develop a critical ear for their own playing.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Music stands, guitar/s and guitar stands, Dynarelle cushion, footrests, Korg 88 fully--weighted digital keyboard, Zoom H4 digital recorder.

As well, I have guitars and equipment both for teaching and performance of various styles, as below. Students will have the opportunity to learn about, play and become familiar with any of these instruments/equipment according to their interests and skill levels.


CLASSICAL: Ramirez Model 1A Classical (professional concert level instrument)
Cordoba (teaching/practice instrument)
Hohner Acoustic (electric)

ROCK: Fender Stratocaster (pre-CBS)
Shechter Omen6
Shechter Elite Series C1

FOLK: Martin (steel string)

JAZZ: Oscar Schmidt by Washburn (hollow body electric)
Gibson SG (electric)


AMPS: Fender Twin reverb
Pevey practice amp
Rock amp

Boss GT8 Effects Pedal

*** Travel Equipment ***
Guitar stands, guitar/s, Zoom H4 digital recorder. Generally I do not transport my Korg 88 keyboard to the student's home for lessons, but I can if necessary. However, I do require that piano students have their own piano/keyboard or at least reliable access to one for practice between lessons.

Guitar students should also have their own guitar. I can advise on appropriate instruments and can help students find a suitable guitar for their learning level and price range.


Georgia L. June 3, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Great first lesson -- looking forward to next one!
Jim C. May 31, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Great first lesson. As an absolute beginner he made me feel comfortable and set a framework to move forward.
Pietro N. April 12, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Very good first lesson...great way of teaching. Very clear and patient.
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Brian P.

Brian P.

Culver City, CA 90230
starting at
$40 / 30-min

Paul T.

Inglewood, CA

The language of music is more easily learned when you understand the backbone holding together otherwise strange concepts and rules. It is very logical and rewarding to unlock the puzzles with fun games, exercises and applications of the theory that operates in almost all the music you listen to. Plus, armed with solid theory knowledge and some ear training you can teach yourself your favorite hit songs and even start writing your own.

I always include a bit of theory in the instrument lessons to accompany and enrich but you can also receive instruction solely in theory if you wish.

About Paul

I am a firm believer in the power of music to heal, entertain, and teach. It is our first and most vital universal human language and as such, I believe we all have the ability to learn how to communicate beautifully with music to express our deepest feelings. As a teacher it is my privilege and pleasure to help you develop.

From classical violin to jazz piano my early musical education not only spanned genres and instruments but also geographically from Austin Texas to Madison Wisconsin and finally brought me to Los Angeles where I currently reside and work teaching and playing in seve
ral bands. I embrace this diversity as I embrace my own mixed Peruvian and American cultural heritage.

Helping you or your child reach your musical dreams in a friendly-nurturing environment is my sincere desire and obligation as your teacher. Discipline is required and to be expected, however, an overly rigid or demanding routine can do more harm than good. I believe attention must be paid to individual learning styles. Therefore, as a teacher I have learned to observe carefully at first and custom tailor a practice routine with each student aimed at achieving their goals. I believe the study of music helps foster a deep level of self-confidence and self realization, which eventually leads the student to discover a portion of himself he would otherwise never know. My goal is to inspire others with this joy, which is everyone's birthright and an important key in finding happiness.

A gifted singer-songwriter of Pop, Rock, World and Reggae songs that possess that timeless quality. He has recorded with 2 time Grammy nominated producer Barry Goldberg (Eagles, Robbie Robertson, Verve Pipe, Marilyn Manson). He has released three CDs, had songs featured in compilations and in feature length film, toured North America, and taught guitar, piano, and voice both privately and in an all ages Montessori school in Santa Monica. He consistently played in a variety of bands while earning an A.A. in music from SMC and later a B.A. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA, where he earned distinction as an excellent student both academically and in musical performance. He brought passion to his performances with legends, Fransisco Aguabellas Afro Cuban ensemble, Brazilian Batucada ensemble, African-American gospel choir, music and dance of Ghana, and the Balinese Gamelan ensemble. As a member of several original LA bands, (Las Manchas, Samson Simpson, Toussaint, Mentone, and Cloth) he has performed at world famous venues and toured North America. He co-wrote and co-produced the first EP records by Samson Simson with Ronen Navah, and also co-produced Mentone's first full-length record, "Empire" with Ronen Navah and Aki Ehara" Currently he is developing his new band, Spicy Fernandez, which has released a few singles on the internet and is getting a good buzz from Industry heavy weights.

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe in custom tailoring a curriculum to fit the students needs, while still providing them with the same basic tools all musicians need to develop in order to play well (both with themselves and with others). Obviously, some students require more structure and discipline, while others have a stronger work ethic. Some may even need a teacher that is more laid back to balance them out, but more so my job is to facilitate learning and guide. A student studying with me can expect to receive a general assessment of their skill level in musicianship, theory, and on their instrument within the first couple of lessons (or once I feel that I have experienced enough of their abilities). Based on that assessment, I will work with the student to develop a plan of small goals to work toward. Progress will be monitored weekly and larger goals will unfold naturally in accord with the students’ dreams and musical ambitions. Within 3 to 6 months of study with me students will learn to play at least one song, basic scales, exercises, finger positions, and have a solid foundation for listening to, and playing to rhythm.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Full acoustic upright, Wurlizter electric piano, and keyboard synths, a computer based digital audio the front room of my house. Has a full set-up for a band.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide copies of some sheet music, a library of music books, percussion instruments, digital recordings of lessons.
I expect that they provide their own instrument, pencil, notebook, 3-ring binder for sheet music, stereo/mp3 player, CD player, etc.

*** Specialties ***
I excel at popular music genres such as pop, blues, R&B, rock, and jazz. I am also trained classically and enjoy the challenges of standard repertoire from Bach to Chopin.
I began studying music as a student of the Suzuki method. However, today I find that my own practice resembles most closely, the Kodály, Dalcroze, and Orff-Schulwerk methodologies in philosophy and application.


Shiva A. August 25, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Paul is very talented and, a very good and patient teacher. He is prepared for the class even before you arrive at his place, and communicates his thoughts very clearly. He is ready for a challenge if you give him a random song which you wanted to practice, and he begins to play the song on the guitar without any tabs or notes, instead just by listening to it a couple of times.

He's great to work with, and I'd choose him as my guitar teacher again if I ever live in the surrounding area.
Beatriz B. April 23, 2014
Verified Student
Have learned so much and more to learn

Paul is very passionate about music and teaching in general. He does a fantastic job when it comes to instructing and I'm excited to see future progress within my skills. I Definitely recommend him for great music taste and for creating a good atmosphere with his students.
MichaelK1 October 19, 2011

Paul is an attentive, intelligent and multi talented instructor - highly recommended.
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Paul T.

Paul T.

Inglewood, CA 90302
starting at
$35 / 30-min

Travis H.

Los Angeles, CA

I teach all levels!

About Travis

I grew up in Los Angeles and went on to attend the University of Redlands .While at University, I played in the University Orchestra and a variety of other ensembles. In addition to violin, I also studied jazz guitar, so classical music is definitely not the only musical style I am familiar with.

I am lucky enough to study with Tamsen Beseke, who is a member of the LA Opera and a prolific session musician. I have also studied with Jeanne Skrocki, who is currently the Concertmaster of the Redlands Symphony Orchestra and the Assistant Concertmaster of the Pacific Symphony.

My musical exp
erience with violin is not confined to classical! I also have experience with other styles, including Irish folk music and bluegrass. While classical is my bread and butter, I can take a more rounded approach in terms of exposure to musical styles if desired.

*** Lesson Details ***
My approach to teaching lessons emphasizes making a friendly connection with my student. In my experience the student will learn the most when he or she feels comfortable asking questions and communicating with the instructor. I want my student to have fun and feel like progress is being made!

For beginners, the very first thing we go over is proper posture and bow hold. From there, we will move on to musical examples and basic violin techniques. I also incorporate basic music theory concepts into my lessons as needed. I have a strong grasp of that topic, and can teach my students more about it as necessary.

The materials I use include Suzuki(my favorite), String Builder, Laoureux, among others. I learned from a variety of materials in my lessons, and I find that great results come from using the best parts of multiple sources of materials.

*** Studio Equipment ***
The studio: lessons are taught in the living room. The student is expected to provide his or her own violin. Music stands are available. Parking is on the street.

Local Park: the lessons are in the community recreation center in a separate rehearsal room.

Seating is available at both locations.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide all printed materials, but I ask that my students to have their own violin.

*** Specialties ***
Classical, Blues, Folk, Bluegrass, Gypsy Jazz


Kimberlee Mahnken October 4, 2015
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Travis is an excellent teacher. As an adult learning to play an instrument with absolutely no prior experience he was incredibly patient and instructive. I'm looking forward to learning more with him. He's also very friendly and I felt very comfortable.
Ceagal S. September 10, 2015
Violin · In home
Verified Student
Travis has been my son's violin teacher for almost 2 years. My son new absolutely nothing about the instrument except that it spoke to his heart. Travis, who always has a big smile on his face, patiently brought my son from the first awkward finger positions to being able to stand in front of an audience at a party and confidently play three songs! Travis always comes on time. He is flexible and understanding when scheduling issues come up. And he is just an all around super nice guy. I would Highly recommend him!
Shelley September 8, 2015
Violin · In home
My son loves his violin lessons with Travis! Travis is patient and encouraging, and lets my son go at his own pace. The result is that my son has chosen to keep up with his lessons despite being a busy middle school student with lots of other interests. He can sight read, and is completely unafraid to try to play a piece he's never seen before. He continues to find joy in music, in part because of Travis' teaching style.

I highly recommend Travis!
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Travis H.

Travis H.

Los Angeles, CA 90025
starting at
$30 / 30-min

Alexandra P.

San Mateo, CA

I have been teaching music theory for ten years in my private studios and in classrooms.

I focus on beginning theory from note reading and rhythm recognition through to the ABRSM theory exams.

I also teach and tutor theory from the Laitz and Kastka Payne theory textbooks.

My desire is to help people understand music theory in an easy and fun way.

About Alexandra

Alexandra has been teaching harp around the country for fifteen years through her personal harp studio and the Salvi Showroom in Southern California. She has also worked as a sectional coach for the Orange County Youth Symphony, Asia America Youth Symphony, and Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra. Her students are currently attending Eastman School of Music, Columbia University, Barnard College, Harvard University, Boston College, University of Pennslyvania, Princeton University, Northwestern University, University of Notre Dame, Yale University and Purdue University among others. Her st
udents have also appeared on National television as well as playing for the Grammy Awards.

A strong supporter of the American Harp Society, she is currently the President of the Orange County Chapter of the American Harp Society, and serves as a Member of the Board of the American Harp Society Foundation. Alexandra is also co-chairman of the distinguished Anne Adams Awards Harp Competition where she has been a main Director for fifteen years.

Alexandra received her Bachelor's Degree from DePauw University, majoring in Music and Anthropology. She also completed premedical studies at DePauw after spending her Junior year studying harp at the University of Oregon. She received her Master's Degree from Roosevelt University in Orchestral Studies, and did post graduate work at the University of Southern California in Harp Performance and Anthropology.

Alexandra's harp teachers have included: Sarah Bullen, Sally Maxwell, Edward Druzinsky, JoAnn Turovsky, Harriet Thompson Moore, Kara Bershad, Faye Seeman, Joy Andreasen, and Neva Lydiard. She has also had many mentors who have guided her life and career including: Kathleen Bride, Victor Salvi, Sally Maxwell, Patricia Masri- Fletcher, Robin Gordon- Cartier, Carrie Kourkoumelis, Dr. Craig Pare, and Karen Thielen.

Alexandra has performed in many master classes given by such internationally known harpists as Skaila Kanga, Jana Bouskova, Marie Pierre Langlamet, and Bryn Lewis. She has also organized many masterclasses and events featuring: Kathleen Bride, Sarah Bullen, Gwyneth Wentink, Patricia Masri - Fletcher, Louise Vickerman, Sivan Magen, Sasha Boldachev, Ina Zdorovetchi, Angel Padilla Crespo, Elzbieta Szmytt, Susan Allen, Gayle Levant, Stella Castelucci, Robin Gordon Cartier, Emmanuel Ceysson, Yolanda Kondonasis, and Kim Robertson.
Alexandra has performed extensively throughout North America and Europe as a soloist, with small ensembles, and as an orchestral harpist. She has appeared in several television shows such as General Hospital. Her playing,"Is filled with care, artistry, and mature interpretation. She is a talented musician, well rounded in her knowledge of music, and has a healthy curiosity in areas beyond music." (Donald Chen, conductor) "Everything I heard was sensitive, artistic, and had beautiful intonation." (Richard Ferrin, violist emeritus, Chicago Symphony Orchestra).

In addition to playing, Alexandra has also served as the Ambassador for Salvi Harps in North America for the past eight years. She has given numerous masterclasses and workshops in addition to performing at National Harp Conferences and National and Regional music showcases. In her role as National Sales Manager, she has also helped harpists from all over the world find their dream harps learn to care for them.

Apart from harp activities, Alexandra also enjoys coaching rowing, participation in sports activities, and writing articles for various journals including: The American Harp Journal, Chicago Health Magazine, and Atlanta Health Magazine. She also enjoys working on music startup companies.

*** Lesson Details ***

As a harp teacher, all of my
students play scales, arpeggios, and technical exercises in
their lessons. I believe having a strong technical base is the foundation for
every part of playing and you can't learn without it. I will set the repertoire
for students according to their technical progress and although I may
take into consideration a student's desires to learn a certain piece, there has
to be time and they have to be ready for it. I have both short term and long
term goals for each student that involve theory, technical ability, and
repertoire both orchestral and solo. Adult students still have to learn
technique, it makes things much more fun and easy six months later, I promise! Beginning students will learn how to read notes, understand basic theory, and technique in a short amount of time, so don't be scared if you have never had a music lesson before. 

I require all students make
at least an hour a day commitment to practice. I teach mostly the Grandjany method of harp technique, however, I also use Salzedo and Renie methods
at times to fit a particular students' build and unique physical attributes as well as what the piece requires. I
have studied all techniques throughout my education and I find them all
beneficial for different reasons. I do, however, believe everyone is built
differently and the technique should help the harpist play and not hinder them
from achieving their goals. Everyone learns at a different speed, but as a
brand new musician, after six months practicing regularly, you should be able
to read music fluently, understand basic theory concepts, be able to play with
both hands and four fingers on each hand, play all of the basic scales and
arpeggios musically and be able to play at least one piece memorized.
Curriculum is based on the student's technical ability and issues and is
individually created – if you learn slower than someone else, don’t worry about
your pace. In the end, lessons are about you personally and not someone else.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have harps and a piano at my studio, so you do not need to bring your harp to lessons. If you don't own a harp, you can rent one for around $45/month from several sources. 

*** Specialties ***
HARP - Grandjany Technique with an incorporation of Salzedo and French school depending on the player's body type and technical difficulties. I make use of the ABRSM as well as local, national, and international competitions depending on the student's level of commitment.


Carol M. September 30, 2015
Harp · In home
Verified Student
Alexandra was the most patient and caring teacher. She is very interested in going at the student's pace. She excelled my expatiations! Thank you Alexandra!
Yana T. June 13, 2015
Harp · In studio
Alexandra Perdew is a one of a kind instructor. She not only pushes her students to excel, but I truly believe that she inspires greatness. She treats her students with the utmost respect and works diligently to provide them with every possible resource needed for learning. She is not a teacher who will let anyone get by with putting in half the effort. She motivates me to work and perform at the highest level possible.
Melody T. June 10, 2015
Harp · In studio
Alexandra Perdew is an amazing teacher. I could not be where I am or had great opportunities such as performing at the Grammys if it wasn't for her help and support. Alex always pushes me to do my best and is truly passionate about her work!
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Alexandra P.

Alexandra P.

Los Angeles, CA 90064
starting at
$60 / 60-min

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