Christopher Thornberry

Christopher T.

North Hollywood, CA

Lesson Details

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Christopher teaches



Christopher delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:
April 2010

While most 5 year olds were singing along to silly songs, I was entranced by the tribal drumming in the Michael Jackson's "Will you be there". When most Junior High student were listening to, well, whatever made them "cool", I was thinking of what John Lennon meant in his lyrics for "Strawberry Fields Forever." I have always had a deep passion for music that goes beyond the surface. I connect with the very soul of music.

Writing my first song at the age of 7, the creative fire began to use music to express what no other form of communication could. Struggling with the limitations of my vocal abilities at the age of 16, I decided to intensify my study of the voice, taking hundreds of private lessons in such techniques as Bel Canto Vocal Technique, Speech Level Singing(TM), Progressive Vocal Techniques(TM), and others, as well as reading dozens of books and hundreds of research articles on the mechanisms of the voice. While attending (and eventually graduating from) San Diego State University with a B.A in Music, I played hundreds of live shows, most of them coming from a residency in the heart of the historic Gaslamp District of San Diego, honing my skills as a vocalist, pianist, and guitarist. On the other side of the sound board, as an engineer, I have had the opportunity to work with such greats as Jefferson Starship, Hiromi Uehara, Dave Mason among others at one of San Diego's premier live venue "Anthology."

Since moving to LA, I have played hundred of local shows, toured around the US and to Russia, including playing the main stages at festivals with many thousands in attendance. I have recorded on records that have sold several million copies, including Robbie Williams (and his hit UK single "Candy") as well One Direction on their "Midnight Memories" album. I have worked with producers who's credits include Snow Patrol, U2, REM, Taylor Swift, One Direction, Robbie Williams, Silversun Pickups, The Fray, James Blunt, Neil Diamond, and many many more.

Since starting my love for composition at 7, I continues to write and record, not only singing, but playing guitar, bass guitar, piano/keys, drums, mandolin, and harmonica, as well as producing and engineering, and mixing the session himself. I am an actively gigging musician on Vocals, Piano, Guitar and Bass.

*** Lesson Details ***
First and foremost we will have a great time, and you will learn a ton. If you choose to only practice while we are in our lessons, you will get a little better. If apply the techniques and ideas we come up with during our lesson during the week, and practice everyday, you will improve in ways you never thought possible. If you are coming for voice you will learn to extend your range, intonation, pitch, as well as ways to connect with your audience. We will do funny little scales all designed to strengthen different areas of your voice to make you a diverse and confident singer. If you are coming for keyboards, I will emphasis the style of music YOU are interested in, whether pop/rock, jazz or even classical. Or maybe you are singer-songwriter looking to accompany yourself on keys or guitar, I have had 100's of hours performing solo gigs on both keyboard and guitar. I can also give you the fundamentals to set yourself up for success on Guitar, Bass Guitar, and Drums, as well as the Recording Arts. You will learn how nothing is more rewarding than making yourself the best musician you can be!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Computer, recording equipment, 100 square feet, keyboards, mic with PA, parents can sit in on lesson

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect the student to have the instrument on which they are taking lessons on ready and available.

*** Specialties ***
Although not a Speech Level Singing certified instructor, I have extensive training in SLS. As well as classical techniques such as Bel canto, I have studied modern techniques with the likes of CVT and Robert Lunte of TVS. We will find the areas that hold you back in your singing goals, and we will DEMOLISH them, and every vocal lesson will be recorded onto CD. Piano I am well versed in many of the Pop style Piano including Blues Piano, Funk, Singer-Songwriter, R&B, country, as well as atmospheric or synth playing (EG, playing strings convincingly on a keyboard). I can also teach beginning to lower intermediate Guitar and Bass guitar, teach you not only chord structures and scales, but how to get the most creatively out of your 4 or 6 string beast. We will learn songs and apply the theory involved with each song to better yourself as a musician, while loving the process.

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Session Piano Player
Jul 2012 - Present

Have played on records that have sold millions of copies, including One Direction (Midnight Memories) and Robbie Williams (including the #1 hit in the UK "candy" as well as "Losers" from the same album).

Music Teacher
Oct 2010 - Present
School of Rock, Takelessons, Private Clients

I have been teaching steadily since 2010. In that time, i have taught thousands of lessons with hundreds of students. The thing I am most proud of is how long I get to work with most my students. Many of my students have stayed with the lessons for 2 or more years! That shows a real teacher-student relationship and I am very lucky and proud of that fact.

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Live Performer
Jul 2010 - Present

I have had the honor to play hundreds of live shows on Keyboards, Vocals, Guitar, and Bass Guitar. In that time I have the honor to open for some amazing acts, including All American Rejects, Anna Nalick, Dear Tick, and many others. I have had the opportunity to play all over the country including festivals like CMJ, SXSW, and the Temecula Wine and Balloon Festival, and have been lucky to be on stages such as the outdoor stage at Universal City walk, the Henderson Pavilion, The Emporia Granada Theatre and many others.

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BA in Music
Aug 2006 - May 2010
San Diego State University

Photos & Videos

Mad World covered by Chris Thornberry. Orginally by Tears for Fears, but made especially famous by Gary Jules and Michael Andrews. This one was done with help from a Shure SM7B microphone, Classik reverb by Ik Multimedia, a Casio Privia PX330 on the Elec. Piano 1 setting M-audio Profire 2626 into protools. This is one of the songs that I can just feel the mood while I am singing so strong, my mind actually wanders into rather dark places, but I love it! Enjoy!
Chris Thornberry covers "I am the walrus" from Magical Mystery Tour. Done with a taylor 414 guitar, Shure Sm7B and GT57 mic recorded into pro-tools. Great song.
Photo by Christopher T.

Photo by Christopher T.

Photo by Christopher T.

Photo by Christopher T.
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14 Reviews

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Jenny K. Oct 31, 2013
Guitar ·

Really enjoying myself

Chris makes learning really fun. I look forward to my lessons and just told him the other day that I wish my lesson was for 3 hours. I go to Chris for 1.5hr every other week and that gives me to time to practice for 2 weeks. We cover a lot of ground. Chris gives me structure to follow and that helps me. I've only had a few lessons with Chris but I can tell that I am going to make that big leap this year from "practicing" music to "playing" music.

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Timothy C. May 15, 2013
Singing ·

Excellent Teacher

Chris is extremely talented and very knowledgable of the technical aspects of the voice. He doesn't have a rigid cookie-cutter lesson plan that he just pulls out for everyone regardless of his/her level. He has a great ear for whatever problems you may have, and as a result he's able to cater his lesson plan to your needs. He has a wide array of vocal exercises for exactly this purpose. He knows a lot about a variety of genres, so he's able to help you build your voice while still maintaining the style that you prefer. He records every lesson on a cd/usb drive (whichever you prefer), so it's very convenient and easy to practice throughout the week without missing any of the feedback that he gives. It's also great to hear yourself gradually improve throughout your time with him.
I've been able to expand my vocal range by over an octave during my time with Chris and now I feel much more confident in my vocal ability. Chris is a great teacher and I definitely recommend that you give him a shot!

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JudithB Jul 10, 2012

Our 15-year-old son loves his guitar lessons with Chris

Our teenage son really looks forward to his guitar lessons with Chris. Chris is extremely knowledgeable and inspiring. He offers concrete suggestions and provides written updates to our son's status via the TakeLessons journal.

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EasterH Apr 1, 2012

It is best that you ask my daughter Tiffany Haney who is an adult. From the feedback she has given me, she absolutely loves Christopher. She says he brings out the best in her and makes her feel that she can do even better with practice.

PaulS3 Feb 25, 2012

All that jazz!

love that jazz scale that you are teaching Koji, my wife loves it too! Doing great with Kai too. Thanks!

RubenP Feb 13, 2012

Look no further for a great teacher.

Chris is VERY talented instructor. His talent and technical knowledge of signing (and music in general) is vast. He is very practical in his choice of tools and exercises to match your needs. He has a great ear for what your problem areas and and can help you through them.As others have mentioned, he's patient, and supportive, but also pushes you to improve at every lesson. You won't regret choosing him to teach you.As a 40 year old guy who decided, "hey, I really want to learn to sing", I could not be happier with my choice of instructors.

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SharonS2 Feb 3, 2012

Awesome Teacher

Christopher is so patient with my 8 year old daughter. She has always wanted to play electric guitar and after the third lesson she was playing Adele's Someone Like You.I would recommend Christopher to everyone!!!

MelissaL Dec 23, 2011

Brilliant Teacher

Chris is the best music teacher we've ever had. He's inspiring, nurturing and fun. My girls are thriving under his instruction. Thanks Chris.

EdithM Dec 12, 2011

teaching a novice 9 year old

He is very patient and incorporates pop music to the lessons. My son liked Bruno mars and he had him playing the first few lines in the first lesson!my child did NOT have any musical experience at all nor anyone in the family is inclined to it. However, kid is showing some interest and Chris seems able to fuel that fire even more.

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AnnMarieC Oct 8, 2011

he is an excellent teacher, very patient and complimenting on all progress

Debs Aug 31, 2011

Beyond our wildest expectations. Excellent!

My 21 year old daughter takes singing and guitar with Chris. She has become extremely enthusiastic about her practicing due to the uplifting, inspirational manner in which Chris teaches and he is obviously very accomplished in all of the subjects that he offers. Chris is quite the find!

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NaemahM Jun 22, 2011


We tried guitar lessons once before, but my son lost interest and getting him to practice was a chore. With Christopher, my son has a great time and is once again excited about playing an instrument. I appreciate Christopher's patience and candor. He clearly loves what he does. I agree with my son who recently told me, " Christopher is just a really great guycan my lesson be longer?"

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SeanM1 Jun 22, 2011

Another great lesson. Really enjoy working with chris, he's very laid back and fun.I'd recommend him to anyone wishing to learn the guitar.

JillV Jun 19, 2011

Great teacher

Christopher is teaching guitar to my son who is 8. Little boys are often unmotivated to practice but Christopher has a way of getting him excited about the process and he is really interested in becoming a better guitar player now. Christopher listens to what my son tells him and adjusts his teaching to make it more enjoyable for him. He is very relaxed in his teaching style and a very nice person too.

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