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Music Lesson Reviews from Students

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Popular Music Teachers Near Portola Valley

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Portola Valley including Palo Alto, Los Altos, Stanford, Atherton and La Honda.

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Jesse M.

Palo Alto, CA

About Jesse

My Background

I've been playing with classical ensembles and rock bands since 2001. Even though I started on classical trombone and rock guitar, I have come to expand my repertoire to a variety of instruments and genres. During my time in college I performed with the University choir, orchestra, and band. I also have organized, wrote/arranged for, and performed with a variety of bands in my home state of New Mexico, as well as Japan, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Since 2006 I have been an active teacher. This profession has taken me everywhere from working with classical guitar class
es in New Mexico high schools to Elementary students in Japan to a variety of private students of various musical instruments and genres everywhere I've been. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2010, I've had the pleasure of working with lots of great students from kids to adults with a wide range of ambitions. Since 2012 I've been running my own full time studio along with my wife, Melissa. We're very happy to be developing our own business, and are ready to help you any way we can. She specializes in beginning piano lessons for children. Please check her account on TakeLessons if that's what you're looking for:
https://takelessons.com/profile/melissa-m62

Philosophy of Learning

Lessons are generally in a relaxed setting and designed to work towards accomplishing student determined goals. While all students will study similar fundamentals regarding technique, theory, and performance, every lesson is as different as every person. What kind of music do you want to make? I'll tell you what you need to do to get there, and help you take the steps to achieve your aspirations.

I also love to help students put together a song, record, and produce it for them so that they can have a recording to share with their friends and family.

Lessons with small children are more focused on just having fun while developing a good musical foundation, but I prefer for them to have as much personal ownership of their lesson as possible like my older students as well.

I also hold events for my students. (Check out our pictures and videos below!)
Younger students have the "Young Musicians Showcase" every few months where individual students and band classes have a chance to perform and celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family.
Adult students occasionally have events where they get a chance to get together and play music as well.

Aside from in-studio lessons, students also have the option to sign up for online lessons via Skype.
(*Online lessons offered during different times than in-studio lessons.)

*Unfortunately due to scheduling issues, I'm not currently accepting students for bi-weekly lessons. I can do regular weekly lessons, or occasional drop-in lessons, but bi-weekly appointments make it really hard for me to give the best scheduled times to my existing weekly students. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

My studio is equipped with:

*Multiple Music Stands

*P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, and a Banjo

*Two guitar amps and a bass amp

*Various percussion including a fully equipped drum set

*An electric piano console

*A Trombone, Cornet, and Flute

*An extensive physical and virtual music library

*A recording system that students are not only welcome to use but encouraged to

*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
...

Reviews

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Cindy July 6, 2015
Piano · In studio
Jesse has been a wonderful guitar and piano teacher for my 17-year old son, and has been above and beyond patient with him. He has tried a variety of techniques to encourage Jack's interest and to inspire him. I am sure that Jesse's very personalized teaching style would be great with any age student. I can attest from experience that he can really relate to teenagers. He will not give up on them and truly wants them to learn--and to love--music.
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Randy C. May 11, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Jesse is a fantastic teacher. Really loved the way he had my daughter start working immediately on popular songs from her favorite artists--that was just a wonderful way of keeping her interested while also working on basics. He always tries to get her to think for herself about what's she's doing. He also has the patience of a saint for those lessons when she seems to be mentally out of it!
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Lisa W. May 11, 2015
Ukulele · In studio
Verified Student
Jesse is a great instructor. I'm an adult who had no experience with music before. He is very patient and finds new ways to explain concepts I don't understand the first time. He uses my favorite songs to teach me new skills. He also takes time to find other songs for me to play. He urges me to do my best, and not to be afraid to make mistakes. I have learned a great deal about music and can hardly wait to go to my lessons!
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Palo Alto, CA 94303
(52)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
Profile_44472_pi_Pierce_Peter_Brandt_InMenlo

Pierce Peter B.

Menlo Park, CA

About Pierce Peter

Hello! Thanks for checking out my profile. I offer two types of sessions: VOICE LESSONS (for males only) and PERFORMANCE COACHING (for males and females). My lessons are fun but also informative and I take great pride in helping my students make progress and succeed! Please see below for more information...

•••• VOICE LESSONS FOR MALES ONLY ••••
(age 9–adult, beginner–intermediate levels)
I offer voice lessons for male singers interested in singing musical theater, standards, pop, and light rock. My lessons focus on enhancing the beauty and individuality of your true, natural voice and o
n training you to use your voice with versatility, freedom, ease, and endurance, without discomfort in the throat. We will work on proper breathing technique, using your whole body as your instrument, and working through any vocal problems and/or replacing any bad habits you may have. We'll also work on developing the all-important "mix voice" when appropriate. As needed, voice lessons also include Performance Coaching (to prepare you for auditions and performances). Females (ages 9–adult) may be accepted on a limited basis.

•••• PERFORMANCE COACHING FOR MALES AND FEMALES ••••
(all ages and experience levels)
Being a great singer requires much more than just a great voice! This work focuses on the art of song acting, auditioning, and performance for singers and actors in musical theater and other genres of music performance. Whether you're preparing for a specific audition or performance, or just doing the important work of training, cultivating, and improving your song acting and performance skills, this work is essential for singers. I work with singer-actors and actor-singers of all levels of skill and experience (adults, teens, and kids).

In Performance Coaching sessions, you'll learn:
+ how to eloquently interpret song lyrics with depth and understanding.
+ how to make the song your own while still being truthful to the lyric.
+ how to color your journey through the song with the dynamics.
+ how to best use body language, blocking, and movement.
+ what to do with your hands and eyes.
+ when to sustain a note and when not to.
+ when to "sing pretty" and when not to.
+ how to relate to your audience whether in a performance or audition.
+ other important principles and techniques for great song performance.

I've been teaching kids and adults since 1996, in private sessions and in master classes and workshops at institutions around the country. I'm currently on the faculty of American Conservatory Theater's (ACT) Young Conservatory in San Francisco, and recently received ACT's Distinguished Artist Mentor Award.

I've been a professional singer since 1987, singing in Broadway productions, major regional theatrical productions, concert halls, clubs, cabarets, recordings, and even cruise ships and amusement parks (in the early days!). I studied voice with Stanford University Professors Gregory Wait and Evelyn Draper, with Halbert Blair at the University of Southern California (USC), and with acclaimed international voice teacher, Edward Sayegh in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. In New York City, I studied with Bruce Kolb, and with coaches Brad Garside, Sara Louise Lazarus, and Phil Hall. I studied music and drama at USC and hold a BA from San Jose State University.
...

Reviews

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Lori H. February 21, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Pierce,

Has been a great help to my son in identifying the right songs for his upcoming audition. Pierce goes above and beyond to help his students.
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Myra G. August 13, 2014
Broadway Singing · In studio
Verified Student
My 16 year old daughter had the wonderful opportunity to take lessons from Pierce and he was outstanding as an Instructor. His energy and passion for music and teaching really comes through in his lessons and was an excellent vocal coach. Besides the singing aspect, my daughter loved his insights and tips on stage performance and auditioning. Pierce is a wealth of knowledge, an excellent teacher and most of all, a great person, who you would find friendly and full of integrity. I wholeheartedly recommend Pierce for lessons.
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Kuhoo E. August 11, 2014
Broadway Singing · In studio
Verified Student
My 12 year old daughter had the ability to sing but lacked everything else - technique, acting, strength, and stamina - That's where Pierce came in. He taught her how to emote when singing, how to control her expressions and how to sing with confidence. His care and commitment meant the world to my daughter - she had someone in her court that had a vested interest in her success. As a mother, that meant the world to me. Pierce is wonderful - he is upbeat, hugely talented, and a joy to work with. I would recommend him any and everyday.
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Pierce Peter B.

Pierce Peter B.

Menlo Park, CA 94025
(3)
starting at
$60 / 30-min
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Sheri L.

Palo Alto, CA

About Sheri

Playing music is so much fun! I have enjoyed music my whole life and being able teach music makes me very happy. Here is what one parent says about my teaching style... "Sheri, Is a lot of fun to work with. Her positive attitude on life flows from her which then helps others to have the same feelings. She is very encouraging and thoughtful of others needs. Her talents in music are un-measurable." May 31, 2011

Currently I am working on my Master's Degree in Music Education and I especially love to teach drums!

I have many years of experience teaching music and I am extremely
patient with those who may need a little extra encouragement or need a creative approach to learning.

If you have a talent show, performance, contest, or just want to have fun playing the drums, come and learn with me.

I'™m looking forward to working with you soon!
-Sheri

*** Lesson Details ***
With extensive experience in classical and contemporary (pop, rock, funk, R&B) music, I put equal focus on technique and fostering a musician'™s personal style and passion for music. I understand that every student learns in a way that is unique to them, and I will do my best to discover each student's learning style. I like to combine technical work with fun time playing duets together, improvising, and exploring a wide variety of styles and genres of music. I will train you for recitals, competitions, a music career, or just for fun!

For beginners, within 3-6 months, we'll begin discovering how to read notes and rhythms and understand the language of music. We'll learn how to play some of your favorite songs and learn some that you might not know. We'll discover what you really want to learn and achieve while taking lessons, and we'll work toward those goals!

For the intermediate student, we will begin to discover how to get you more comfortable on your instrument, building a great foundation and understanding of music reading and basic music theory. We'll also learn performance techniques and how to have a great stage presence in front of a live audience! For all my students, it's a journey that is exciting, unique to each individual.

My studio is in a safe, family-friendly, smoke-free environment. We have no pets and are careful about allergies. Parents are always welcome, and encouraged to attend lessons, or just sit and relax in the waiting area.

*** Studio Equipment ***
My music studio has two drum kits, PA system, recording equipment, microphones, keyboards, and lots of other fun instruments!

A comfortable waiting area is also provided.

*** Specialties ***
I play drums in a band. I specialize in rock, R&B, funk and taught drum line at a local high school. I also play flute, Irish whistle, recorder and can teach music theory up through the college level. I have lots of experience with performance.
...

Reviews

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Gary W. July 20, 2015
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Fun playing along and fine suggestions. Expected a bit more "testing" on the first visit. Buying the book, so expect more homework on the second visit.
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Susie B. October 29, 2014
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
My Daughter started taking lessons with Sheri in the Spring and is LOVING the drums! Sheri is SO enthusiastic and has a real connections with kids. She has sparked a passion in my daughter and I think she is Fantastic!
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Divya S. September 27, 2013
Drum
Verified Student
Sheri is an awesome teacher!

Sheri is a natural and amazing teacher. She is so positive and encouraging and I always look forward to her lessons. It is evident that she gets a lot of joy out of teaching music and working with students and that enthusiasm transfer to you and makes you enjoy the lessons and motivates you to learn. She is patient and she understand your strengths and weaknesses and breaks down complex pieces such that you can pick it up easily. I was probably her last student for the day and yet she has always been bubbling with energy and enthusiasm every single time I walk in for my lessons.
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Sheri L.

Sheri L.

Palo Alto, CA 94306
(11)
starting at
$50 / 30-min
346831_j3wwpxcgczdc23zb48tn

Cristopher H.

Redwood City, CA

About Cristopher

As a musician that has played since middle school, I have studied and worked to become a teacher. I've played in numerous bands, though the most famously known being Picture Me Broken. I've been teaching for about four years now and am always finding new ways to understand and help accomplish my students' goals. I've studied music theory and composition from Mike Keller (Letters From the fire) and David Meckler (Canada College music department).I'm currently working on an independent album that is set to release early September this year featuring my own content and songs inspired by collabora
tions with students.

*** Lesson Details ***
I find it's easiest to asses the level at which a student is at and work from there, moving towards the goal set by the student. My styles focus on technique and work back to theory. I play anything and everything from country to Santana, Metallica, to everything in between. I teach everything from covers to theory to original works.

*** Studio Equipment ***
The equipment I have for the studio are a couple of my electric guitars: Midnight Blue Schecter Omen 6, Ibanez S470DXQM, First Act 7A013756, Ibanez F0509338. One acoustic guitar (for now) My BOSS ME-33 special effects pedal, my Raven RG20 amplifier, and my Fender Frontman 15G amplifier. I also have multiple iMacs for Garageband and a recording studio. (services of which cost additional value for use)

*** Travel Equipment ***
The equipment I have for travel are a couple of my electric guitars: Midnight Blue Schecter Omen 6, Ibanez S470DXQM, First Act 7A013756, Ibanez F0509338. My BOSS ME-33 special effects pedal, my Raven RG20 amplifier, and my Fender Frontman 15G amplifier.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in technique so I can help even the newest of players find their style and learn how to work on memorizing the fretboard without even having to look at it or your finger placement.
...

Reviews

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Kelton K. August 13, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
A great teacher who listens to the kids and seems to know that letting them play songs that they want to play will make them want to practice! He is teaching theory, technique and fun at the same time. Kelton was bored with so much theory and playing 'baby' songs that he didn't know. Cristopher's did his first recital with the song that my son wants to learn, too! I've already recommended him to neighbors and friends.
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Bernardo M. January 20, 2014
Guitar
I loved Working with this Guy

I loved working with Chris. He is by far the best teacher i have ever had. I remember thinking that i would never ever be able to play a guitar in my live time despite really wanting to. Then here Chris comes along and after much practicing and support i started to slowly get better at it. Despite me struggling constantly he didnt give up on me and constantly pushed for me to keep trying until i finally mastered a certain technique or part of a song. Even to this day i still ask him for advice and help from time to time. This guy is a great teacher.
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Evelyn M. January 14, 2014
Guitar
This Product is Great

Cristopher is an awesome teacher. He is always teaching us is a cool way. Also, when one of his students is down he always gives us good advice. He is an incredible guitar teacher. If I could choose another guitar teacher I would still choose Cristopher-H.
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Cristopher H.

Cristopher H.

Redwood City, CA 94063
(4)
starting at
$29 / 45-min
Profile_58578_pi_Susan%20J.

Susan J.

Mountain View, CA

About Susan

I started teaching because I have a passion for teaching, as well as helping students reach their true potential. I not only teach the students looking to learn their craft, but also those looking to better their ability. My goal is to impart my knowledge and love of music, theater and speech to all of my students.

I have been a professional Actress, Show Singer, Commercial Voice-Over Artist and Teacher for the past 25 years in the Bay Area. I have a BA in Theater Arts from University of Minnesota, as well as from San Jose State University. I have studied Theater, Dance, Music, and Mime at
the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. I have 30 units in "Early Childhood and Development" from DeAnza College in San Jose, CA.

I am also a member of the AFTRA, SAG and EQUITY unions.
...

Reviews

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Tamari G. August 22, 2015
Acting · In home
Verified Student
Tamari really enjoyed the vocal warm ups
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Bob L. July 1, 2015
Speaking Voice · In home
Verified Student
Susan helped me with my speaking voice and we focused on a wedding speech I had planned to give as the father of the bride. Her feedback was invaluable and the speech was a resounding success. Not sure I could have pulled it off as well as I did without her help.
Silhouette-80
Ryan H. June 13, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Susan is kind, effective, and pushes me to sing my best. I can feel my voice growing stronger and more confident with every lesson. I look forward to our sessions every week with a smile.
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Susan J.

Susan J.

Mountain View, CA 94040
(13)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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