Pleasant Hill Music Lessons

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Music Lesson Reviews from Students

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Popular Music Teachers near Pleasant Hill

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Pleasant Hill including Martinez, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Concord and Moraga.

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About Steven B.

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208247_232343_22069
Alameda, CA

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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!
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Reviews
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Billy May 17, 2016
· Piano · In studio
wow amazing!
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Tim M. February 22, 2016
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
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
Verified Student · Classical Piano · In home
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

About Mark B.

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213893_265082_29530
Castro Valley, CA
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About Mark
I have played on tour with several professional bands, playing rock, pop, blues, African, metal, and country. I now perform live in various bands and record original music as often as possible. My music has gotten airplay in many countries.

I started playing guitar at age 9, and recorded 2 singles in the LA area by age 14. I was a music major throughout High School and College. I also learned a lot by educating myself at the Brand Library in the Los Angeles Area, which specializes in the arts. I specialized in advanced music theory and improvisational techniques.

I have enjoye
d teaching music lessons since 1978.

I custom tailor a lesson plan to fit your individual needs and goals! I can teach you songs you'd like to learn instantly when I hear them on your iPod, mobile phone, cassette or CD that you bring in. I can explain musical theory and concepts many different ways to make sure you understand them. I am very friendly and patient.

Sometimes I might inject humor into the learning process to make it an enjoyable learning experience, and to help you remember the important things.
I love the satisfaction of seeing my students grow musically proficient and and seeing the JOY that it brings them. Many of my students have gone on to become professional. I am well-versed in many styles: Rock, Pop, Blues, Alternative, Country, R&B, Metal (and a few plastics and wood as well).

*** Lesson Details ***
I will develop a personal lesson plan for each individual student. During your lessons, I might cover topics ranging from learning how to play, starting from the basics (if you are a beginner), to choosing music that will inspire you on your level, to improving your technique, ear-training, music reading (if that's what you'd like), reading and understanding tabs (if that's what you'd like), knowing what it is that makes certain chords and notes sound good together for writing your own music, as well as guitar maintenance and adjustments, getting a good tone, amplifier settings, effect pedals (settings & placing them in the most effective order), recording tips, and where to get a decent pizza.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living Room or Studio, both very comfortable. Amplifiers, guitars, effects pedals, bass, ukulele, balalaika, drum set, PA system and recording equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide guitar, bass, or ukulele and amplifier when necessary, teaching tools. The student provides their guitar and paperwork I give them.

*** Specialties ***
Teach note reading using Alfred's New Guitar course. Genres: Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Alternative, Punk, Metal, Folk, Country, Hip Hop, Funk, R& B, New Age, Ambient.

I currently have 4 albums out under my name. My music is on a major new age compilation, and has been played on the radio in several countries, and several internet radio programs. I have played on other people's albums.
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Reviews
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Paul M. October 16, 2016
Verified Student · Bass Guitar · In studio
Hanging out like old times and had a Great lesson. Thanks Mark
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Michael P. July 6, 2016
Verified Student · Guitar · In studio
Mark was an excellent teacher, made me very comfortable. We talk about music and set some goal,he keeps a chart to know what his teaching each student and he write it all out on paper and he writes that you can understand his writing .so very happy. Mike
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Scott June 8, 2016
Verified Student · Acoustic Guitar · In home
First lesson. Mark really dialed in my skill level and completely exceeded my expectations in terms of material, lesson plan, genre etc. Even got to play one of his ridiculously sweet tele's.
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Mark B.

Mark B.

Castro Valley, CA 94546
(15)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Kristen K.

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224264_429334_43117
Berkeley, CA

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About Kristen
My name is Kristen K. and I am an accomplished violinist and teacher from Lexington, Kentucky. I began my musical studies at age 7 and quickly discovered my passion and love for music. As a young musician, I attended numerous summer music festivals, participated in the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra. I was a winner of two concerto competitions, which gave me the opportunity to perform solos with the youth orchestra. I continued my studies at the University of Kentucky as a Violin Performance major and it was there that I discovered my love for teaching music! After completing my performance
degree, I decided to also pursue a Bachelor’s in Music Education. During my college career, I served as a teaching assistant in the University of Kentucky String Project, I taught group and private lessons at several local middle and high schools, and also maintained my own private violin and viola studio. I was also awarded the McCracken Scholarship Award for Excellence in Music Education. The most rewarding part of teaching has been seeing my students continually improve and reach their goals!

In addition to teaching, I also am an avid performer. I have been a member of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra for 7 years and was a member of the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. I perform as a soloist, in chamber groups, and in orchestras regularly at various events and concerts. In the past few years I have attended international chamber music festivals in Prague, Czech Republic and in Lucca, Italy. I have also had the opportunity to perform with some of the world’s most renowned musicians including Itzhak Perlman, Midori, and Gil Shaham in additional to performing in the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and in Carnegie Hall in New York City. Studying music has provided me with many wonderful opportunities to learn and to grow. It is my goal to help students really love and enjoy playing music and develop the skills that allow us to share the magic of beautiful sound. Maintaining a high level of mastery as well as continuing to learn about the art of teaching are fundamentally equal and of highest priority for me. Through teaching music, I hope to inspire students and help them reach their potential.

*** Lesson Details ***
My teaching style is relaxed and understanding of where each student is at, while always maintaining a quick pace for learning new skills and always expecting the student to put forth their best effort. I am very encouraging and positive. I work with each student and his or her parents to determine short and long term goals and try to best provide the materials, instruction and motivation to achieve those goals!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in the living room, well lit, piano, music stands

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in teaching classical music but I also teach bluegrass and fiddle. I particularly like the Suzuki Method for beginning to intermediate students, but when they become more advanced I begin to incorporate concertos and sonatas.
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Reviews
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Josie January 13, 2017
Verified Student · Violin · In home
Kristen is very patient and sweet with our daughter who is pretty new to violin.
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Alex April 23, 2016
Verified Student · Violin · In studio
Great experience. Kristen is patient, organized, and observant. I look forward to my future learning experience with you.
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Keisha S. January 21, 2016
Verified Student · Violin · In studio
Very inspiring
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Kristen K.

Kristen K.

Berkeley, CA 94704
(16)
starting at
$27 / 30-min

About Ryan L.

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San Leandro, CA
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About Ryan
Ryan's passion for teaching allows him to customize each student's lesson to their individual needs and style. He works with students of all skill levels and all ages. See: Ryanscottlong.Net/lessons for more info on what Ryan covers.

BIO:
Having been described as a musician “with gut busting solos and dynamic versatility, Ryan Scott Long continues to push drumming to new levels. With his forward thinking approach, Ryan may be forming an exciting new style of drumming. Long has toured across the country in bands covering many different genres of music giving him a unique style that can only b
e formed through [his] immense experience under his belt.”*

Ryan’s project "Booker Long Duo" recently cut their second release "Booker Long Duo EP" featuring an explosively intense double drums collaboration with Grammy-winning drummer Thomas Pridgen alongside Mike Sopko on guitar.

His group "BroJazz” will be releasing their debut record May 3, 2016 and will be distributed worldwide by The LA Sound Group (Thundercat, Stanley Clarke).

BroJazz features multi-instrumentalist Ben Wallace-Ailsworth on bass and world class saxophonist Joshua Smith (Birth, Scott Amendola Quartet).

Ryan is proficient in jazz, rock, funk, Latin, hip-hop, and many more styles. Ryan is very tour friendly as he has toured all over the country.
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Reviews
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Gina April 21, 2016
· Drum · In studio
My teenage son has been taking drum lessons from Ryan for almost two years now. Ryan is the BEST instructor. He is patient with my son and very inspiring. My son enjoys taking lessons from Ryan. Not only is my son learning a lot, he is also gaining more self-confidence. I highly recommend Ryan as a drum instructor.
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K April 14, 2016
· Drum · In studio
great instructor! Ryan has taught and continues to tech me a lot in an entertaining way. Unlike other instructors I have had he teaches diverse methods, techniques, and styles. Overall a great experience!
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Robert Anthony Morales April 14, 2016
· Drum · In home
Ryan uses all his skills to access the best approach to teach student drummers. His insights go way beyond his youth. Said and done look at all the successful drummers he has tutored.
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Ryan L.

Ryan L.

San Leandro, CA 94578
(6)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Thomas W.

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Profile_87499_pi_TomWeeksSax
Danville, CA

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About Thomas
I am a saxophonist, composer, and improviser from the East Bay area. I am currently a graduate composition student at Mills College in Oakland, CA, studying with Roscoe Mitchell, Pauline Oliveros, Zeena Parkins, and Chris Brown, among others. I received my BM in Jazz Composition from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2012. I have been teaching saxophone and guitar lessons since 2005, and maintain an active schedule performing original music.

I have taught students saxophone and guitar independently in the Bay Area, Boston, and New York, in students' homes and my own home and rehearsal s
paces. I have taught children as young as 10 years old, adult beginners, and professional musicians learning to double on saxophone. I have taught students for up to five years consecutively, and have also given master class style one-off lessons.
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Reviews
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Yifan T. May 21, 2016
Verified Student · Saxophone · In home
Tom is awesome, he is always very patient to instruct my son how to use, play and maintain saxophone. I will very happy to continue to add more classes and recommend him to my friends.
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Yeonathan March 7, 2016
· Saxophone · In studio
Tom is a true gem of a teacher. As a student with some prior music experience but no saxophone experience, Tom was able to help me work on my saxophone technique while always mainting a creative, musical, and compositional approach to even the most mundane exercise. I truly wouldn't be half the musician I am today if it weren't for Tom's mentorship. Could not recommend him more.
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Harry March 7, 2016
· Saxophone · In home
As a percussionist transitioning over to the world of wind instruments, I can't thank Tom enough for helping to guide me along the way. He's great at breaking down larger concepts into smaller, more manageable pieces, and I never felt overwhelmed or pressured by his teaching methods. I really appreciated Tom's friendly and casual approach, as I know from prior experience that a convival atmosphere does wonders for helping to learn an instrument in a stress-free way. Can't recommend him enough, two thumbs up!

P.S. Be sure to ask him for jazz recommendations, the guy's got quite the taste!
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Thomas W.

Thomas W.

Danville, CA 94526
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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