John Seales

John S.

Santa Cruz, CA

Lesson Details

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John teaches



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

Teaching since:
February 2014

I'm classically trained as a singer, and currently sing with L'harmonia, a quartet of soloists focusing on renaissance polyphony.

I have broad experience singing, playing piano, guitar, and drums, Korean instruments, and programming beats using computers. I'™m well versed in classical, popular, and world styles. As well as teaching instrumental techniques, I teach music theory and analysis, and coach composition to budding songwriters and electronic music producers.

I have a doctorate in music composition from UCSC, and have written a lot of music for a wide variety of instrumental and vocal forces. I studied traditional music in Korea for one year on a research grant from the Korea Foundation. I also write songs in a pop/rock style, and compose electronic music for TV ads. I enjoy having a creative musical mind, and find great delight in the musical creativity of my students.

I'm a computer programmer in Python, Matlab, C, and other languages, having done back-end programming for a music app "JamBandit." I've put out my own music app, "œKey In" on Apple'™s app store, and will soon release a second, "Helixician."

Music is a great joy and pleasure in my life. It's very meaningful to me to help students gain skills and confidence so that they can realize their desire to be musical.

*** Studio Equipment ***

Drum set

*** Specialties ***
Music composition
Music Theory

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Musicianship and Piano Skills teacher
Oct 2003 - Jun 2009

I taught undergraduate music theory students "Musicianship labs." They consisted of exercises to sing or play on the piano. I enjoyed helping students build their music reading and performance skills. Several of my students have gone on to great things, and I'm proud to have contributed in my small way.

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DMA Music Composition
Sep 2007 - Jun 2012
University of California at Santa Cruz
DMA Music Composition
Sep 2006 - Jun 2012
MA Music
Oct 2003 - Jun 2006
BA Music
Sep 2001 - Jun 2003
BA Mathematics
Jun 1988 - Jun 1991


Limited Proficiency
Limited Proficiency
Limited Proficiency
Limited Proficiency


Research Fellowship
Apr 2010
Korea Foundation

Photos & Videos

Photo by John S.

Photo by John S.


4 Reviews

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Robert L. Nov 1, 2014
Cello · In studio

I appreciate John's patience and style in working with me on the Cello, given my issues with dexterity, range of motion and some memory deficits, as a result of a major stroke, of which I am thankful to have survived. It takes a special person with incredible patience like John, to be willing to take this journey with me, to a place where the healing power of music lives. I anticipate a great ride!

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Catherine C. Mar 12, 2014
Singing ·

Great Vocal Coach - he has helped me live my dream of singing (on my bucket list for years)

John is so tal'ented, plays multiple instruments, he's artistic and laid back (So Santa Cruz) and he helps me with breathing, posture, finding the right key for me, being able to put the emphasis where it belongs and just be comfortable expressing my inner self with confidence. I LOVE HIM! He is helping me live my dream. He lives right down the street from the beach so I can park on the overlook and practice singing along with my favorite artist - Brian McKnight on the way home after lessons.

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Heddi C. Jan 16, 2014
Piano ·

Great music teacher

John has been teaching my son (age 12) piano for the last eight months. We have been really impressed by how knowledgeable he is about a wide range of music and music theory and how patient and supportive he is with our son. John is great at working with kids where they are at and taking them to the next level. He's flexible in his approach and really tailors his teaching to the student. I would recommend John as a teacher to any level of student.

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andrew S. Jan 16, 2014
Singing ·

Excellent Teacher

I've been taking vocal lessons from John for the last three years. We sing together in a Renaissance Choir, where John is one of the strongest members. After struggling with the complexity of the music, I asked John for lessons.

His direction has significantly helped as he has a strong command of diction, language, rhythm, direction, phrasing, mood and form.

At my request, John's is also giving my Godson piano lessons, which he truly enjoys because John emphasizes his creativity. They work on the basics and composition and improvisation, which really keeps my Godson engaged in the lessons

John is an excellent teacher because he nurtures and tailors his lessons to the student’s interest and strengths.

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