Portola Valley Music Lessons

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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
$50 / 30-min
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Kathleen B.

Menlo Park, CA

About Kathleen

I am a classically-trained opera singer. I have a Bachelors and Masters in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy (teaching), and have sung professionally in the U.S. and Europe. I have sung Opera, Operetta, Musical Theater and Concerts, as well as choral and cantorial singing. I have been a finalist and winner of vocal competitions in both the United States and Europe.
I have been teaching voice since 1980, and have worked with students of all ages, from 14 to 75. I have also directed and designed for musical theater and opera. Because I love singing, I want to bring that to my s
tudents as well, whatever kind of music they want to sing.

In addition to music, I also teach English (ESL), Accent Reduction, German, U.S. & World History. I have my CBEST Credential And ESL Certification. I do private tutoring and teach classes.

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe that learning how to breath is the key to good singing. After 3 months of study, my students will have learned how to breathe, which improves both their singing and speaking voices. Good breathing is the key to good singing and a healthy voice. With a healthy, well-trained voice, my students can be valuable members of any vocal ensemble, and enjoy their singing, For solo singing, good breathing is most important, whether singing opera, musical theater or pop music, because it gives a beautiful, full quality to the voice.
I always begin a lesson with warm-up exercises, to check breathing and vocal placement. Once the (vocal) engine is warmed-up, then we begin to sing. I try to get to know my students, so that, together, we can choose music that will enable them to reach their goals and is both fun and challenging for them to sing.

In addition to music, I also teach English (ESL), Accent Reduction, German, U.S. & World History. I have my CBEST Credential And ESL Certification. I do private tutoring and teach classes.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Separate studio with Piano
I have a MacBook Pro laptop computer + stereo speakers, to provide recorded accompaniment, when necessary.

*** Travel Equipment ***
If a student wishes to have on-site lessons, I require that a piano or keyboard be available for the lessons.
I usually travel with my MacBook Pro laptop computer & stereo speakers, to provide recorded accompaniment, when necessary.

*** Specialties ***
I am a trained opera/oratorio singer, but I teach Broadway, Pop, choral and classical singers.

I have had many international students who didn't speak English well. Music is an international language that helps me communicate with all of my students!
...

Reviews

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Leah Y. L. May 6, 2014
Singing
Verified Student
Excellent Voice Teacher

Mrs. B is a wonderful and dedicated teacher who focuses diligently during class sessions. She thoroughly explains terms and technique and is friendly and sociable. Her extensive knowledge of languages comes extremely useful in Italian arias and other folk songs as to explain the meanings of words and to convey motion. Her classes are enjoyable and fun, while still being comprehensively academic.
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marjie H. May 20, 2013
Opera Voice
Verified Student
I have improved a lot thanks to Kathleen

To date, 3 lessons, but still have improved enormously. High notes once scary are beginning to float. She, in few words, but vivid gesture has shown me well-grounded use of my body.
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paulh December 29, 2010
Speaker

She was good and gave helpful, useful techniques right from the get-go. Had it not been for the distance and my highly compacted schedule, I would have continued.
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Kathleen B.

Kathleen B.

Menlo Park, CA 94025
(3)
starting at
$40 / 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
$45 / 30-min
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Deborah R.

Palo Alto, CA

About Deborah

ABOUT ME:

Deborah R, is a versatile Mezzo Soprano having studied Opera, Theater, Music and Dance she is known for her exciting, high energy performances and for creating memorable and endearing characters. With a uniquely flexible voice, as comfortable in Verdi as it is in Rossini, she has delighted audiences around the world with her rich timbre and sparkling coloratura.
From her beginnings as a young musician in the San Francisco Bay Area, she has toured internationally, with a variety of musical ensembles in concert halls such as: Santori Hall in Tokyo, Disney Hall with the Los Angeles
Philharmonic, The Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. Most recently, Ms. R was a featured soloist at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing where she performed with the Peoples Liberation Army Orchestra. She has given recitals in Mexico and across the United States, giving voice to her research into the lesser known Art Songs of great Classical composers.
In the summer of 2008, she created the role of Principessa Louling under the baton of Bruno Riggacci in the World Premier of his one act opera €œDodici personaggi in cerca di voce.” Some of her opera credits include Cendrillon, Die Fledermaus, Hansel and Gretel, Griffelkin by the late great Lucas Foss and West Coast premier of the new opera Miss Lonelyhearts. With Orchestra she has performed Handel’s Messiah and Brockes passion, Durufle’s Requiem and this past summer, she was the featured soloist with the Capriccio Chamber Orchestra in their toast to Vienna.
Ms. R is the recipient of several awards including the Schoenfeld Award from the Holt Memorial Scholarship Competition and 1st place in the Pacific Musical Society Competition made famous by its first winner, violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
Ms. R holds a Master of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with international opera diva Mignon Dunn, and a Bachelors from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. She has performed in Masterclasses with Karen Morrow and Luana Devol. She is also a featured vocalist on several independent film soundtracks.
...

Reviews

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Marc R. October 20, 2014
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Very helpful and patient. I am enjoying this very new experience!
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Deborah R.

Deborah R.

Palo Alto, CA 94303
(1)
starting at
$45 / 30-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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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.
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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.
Silhouette-80
Taeho O. June 3, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Susan is a wonderful teacher who loves working with her students! She has helped me gain a lot of confidence in my voice as well as giving me a strong foundation into the basics of singing.
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Susan J.

Susan J.

Mountain View, CA 94040
(12)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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