Alexander Atwood

Alexander A.

7 Reviews
Tacoma, WA

About Alexander A.

Background check: Last verified 12/19/2014
Alexander passed a background check on 12/19/2014 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
For more information, please click here.

Alexander teaches: Ages 5 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: December 2005
Last sign in: Yesterday

Overview

My name is Alex, and my passion is teaching music. I offer clients a unique learning experience with customized lesson plans and personalized attention to fit your exact goals and needs. These aren’t just words to me…they are a commitment I make to everyone that I have the pleasure of working with.

Here’s who I am…

I earned a Bachelor's of Music from Berklee College of Music where I studied Bass Performance and Composition. I have years of experience playing upright and electric bass in many styles such as rock, jazz, orchestral, and big band. I’ve studied a variety of instruments over the last 20 years including guitar, bass, drums, ukulele, and piano.

Here’s what I can do for you…

I will give you my full attention and unyielding patience with each and every lesson. Together we will explore the principals of music that will enable you to learn to play in any style you choose to study. Ultimately my job is not to teach you to play, but to show you how to teach yourself. I will arm you with a thorough understanding of technique and theory.

I love working with kids and adults. I love brand new players with no experience as well as seasoned players who just want to fill in some gaps in their knowledge. Whatever your age, and wherever you’re at with your playing, I hope you will give me the chance to help you have more fun and confidence in music.

Every player I work with gets access to a personal online Lesson Journal where you can see my notes from our lessons, do homework from your “Stuff to work on” lists, and access my entire digital library! Every lesson is designed just for you.

Let’s get started…

You can take lessons at my studio, in your home, or online via Skype.

For lessons in my studio, I can provide instruments and amplifiers for both of us.

There is ample seating for parents to sit in on lessons. Parking is available in the driveway.

You’re going to love your lessons!
-Alex

Photos and Videos

Alex plays bass on the song "Bootlegger" for Whiskey N Rye's new album.

Experience

Owner/Instructor May 2006 - Present
Step By Step Music

I teach, I write my own teaching materials, and I take care of my clients. What else is needed?

Education

Bass Performance and Composition Jan 2000 - May 2003
Berklee College of Music
Bachelor's of Music in Film Scoring Jan 2000 - May 2003
Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA

Languages Spoken

Sign Language Limited Proficiency

Certifications

Bachelor's of Music in Film Scoring May 2003
Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA

At Berklee I majored in Film Scoring, which is writing musical scores for movies and TV. My time at Berklee included in-depth studies of composition, bass performance, classical harmony, jazz theory, and piano. I was surrounded by nothing but music for four years and departed Boston with a wealth of musical knowledge.

Write a Review

7 Reviews on Alexander A.

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Cole M. May 24, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I have had 3 lessons with Alexander so far and I have 2 more left. I'm still up in the air whether I will continue lessons with him or not. Here's why;

Sustains: Professional and Knowledgeable; Alexander definitely knows what he's talking about. I've noticed major improvements since I've started working with him. Keep in mind, I practice a lot on my own, but Alexander provides you with the tools and materials you need to continue growing in the fastest way possible. He doesn't have a teaching method set in stone. He tailors each lesson to benefit the student based on where he or she is skill-wise. Alexander observes you closely while you play and offers you advice and solutions to specific problems when he notices you struggling. Some of my issues are solved immediately.

Improves: Alexander lacks, in my opinion, a very important virtue that I believe all teachers should possess. A passion to teach you. You forget this when you are sitting with him in his studio, but the realization comes back and hits you when the clock hits 30 minutes exact and he says, "And that's all we have time for." Let me be very clear, -I'm receiving what a paid for-, so I'm not upset. I just think a teacher should invest in a student's growth and their commitment to the student shouldn't be based solely on what they make out of it financially. Unfortunately, I know that if the money ever stops coming in our lessons will end immediately. Once again, I can't complain or be upset. I paid for a service and I'm receiving it.

This was made clear to me again last week when I had to cancel a lesson.
The teachers need a 24-hour notice for cancellations which is fair and understandable. However, I didn't know this at the time so when I cancelled he only had about 4 hours notice. His initial response was that, "He understood but TakeLessons will charge you for the lesson anyway. Let me know if you still want to meet." After texting him back explaining my problem with that, he went ahead and ensured I wasn't charged. Let me repeat, -In the end he did help me-, but if I hadn't said anything he would've let TakeLessons charge me.

Conclusion: 4 stars. I paid for a service and I'm receiving it well. Alexander's talent for teaching really shines when you listen to his advice, act on it, and notice yourself improving. Understand that improvement comes from practicing on your own time, but Alexander will provide you with everything you need to expedite your growth.
Remember, however, this is a business. If they stop profiting from you don't expect any leniency.
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jeff T. May 24, 2014
Bass Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I've had a good experience with Alex. He has a very thoughtful approach and is very knowledgeable. I think he is a great teacher and would fully recommend him.
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Nira D. Nov 27, 2013
Upright Bass
Verified Student
Excellent Teacher

Along with being incredibly knowledgeable, Alex has the patience and communication skills that really make him excel as a teacher. As a complete beginner to the upright bass (and music in general), I find Alex breaks concepts down in a clear, step-by-step fashion, so that it is not overwhelming. He also gives useful tips on how to be a better learner when tackling challenges, which helps make my personal practice even more effective. Alex is approachable and eager to answer questions even in between classes - I highly recommend him as teacher!
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Rayann W. Nov 3, 2013
Upright Bass
Verified Student
Alex is the best music teacher ever!!!

Alex is an excellent teacher. He is great with kids and their parents. He is very patient and makes learning the bass fun. Alex provides feedback to the students and their parents which is helpful in the learning process. Our experience with Alex has been wonderful and we would recommend him to others.
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Evan P. Jun 5, 2013
Bass Guitar
Verified Student
Fantastic Teacher!

Alex is an awesome teacher! His ability to communicate information in a way that is easily understood no matter the complexity is a rare thing. Alex is obviously extremely passionate about teaching and music. Alex goes above the expected level of effort from a teacher, making sure every lesson has new and interesting material to be covered, as well as staying in contact as needed outside of lessons to answer any questions that may arise while practicing. If you are looking for someone who is dedicated to your learning process, as well as doing everything they can to keep material interesting and fun, I would suggest Alex.
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Nancy A. Apr 15, 2013
Upright Bass
Highly recommendable.

Alex can explain complicated things in a way that makes it accessible.
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Tracy T. Feb 3, 2013
Guitar
Alex is a great teacher

I love taking lessons from Alex. At first I was skeptical about taking lessons via Skype but it really works great. It is such a time saver to be able to take the lessons from my home. Alex is very patient and always is prepared. I had been particularly interested in practicing guitar rhythms. He put together rhythm exercises in several keys for me to practice. He sends them to me in advance so I can practice. He is really good at letting me go my own pace while still pushing me to work on stuff that is not as easy. He is honest and isn't uncomfortable telling me I didn't stay on beat. However, his criticism doesn't make you feel bad or like a hopeless musician. My rhythm playing has vastly improved since I started taking lessons from Alex.