Mack Rucks

Mack R.

Oakland, CA
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
I have been teaching piano for 35 years. I have had several student who started with me as beginners and advanced to playing in the jazz band in school. Over the years I have developed a unique technique for getting students started as beginners.

About Mack R.

I have a BS in music education received at Lehman College, Bronx, NY. I am a professional musician/ composer/ arranger.I received my teaching credentials at SFSU and have been a General music teacher as well as a, band teacher. I have studied trumpet with Classical ( Wilmer Wise)and Jazz musician (Bill Hardman) and big band arranging with Frank Foster( saxophonist and arranger with Count Basie Band). At present I am retired and teaching privately.

I have been teaching music for over 50 years as well as being a professional musician/ composer and arranger. I not only know my fundamentals inside and out, but also I know many tricks of the trade. Over the years I have developed special teaching techniques that enable students to make sense out of music and progress rapidly on their instruments.I love playing music and aim at stirring that same kind of excitement abut music in my students.

To each lesson I bring a unique mix, encouraging the student to pursue excellence and also have fun. I am well qualified to teach: woodwinds( oboe, flute, clarinet, all saxophones) brass(french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba), and piano.

*** Lesson Details ***
I make music interesting to learn. I encourage students to practice daily so they can improve. The more they improve the more fun they can have with music not only alone, but with others.

I am very patient with my students especially with beginners. I know that for them it is like learning a new language. Once they begin to increase their musical vocabulary, they will enjoy what they can do with music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Seating for parents, basement studio, piano, drum set

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students should provide their own instruments.


Write a Review
26 Reviews
Meg & Daunish E.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mack is a wonderful teacher. Offers a great mix of theory and fun. He has been spicing up the simple songs in the beginner's song books with some variations to practice. Recommended.

Posted Jun 25, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

This was for my son Chidalu a 9th grade Baritone Saxophone player. Mack was magnanimous and accommodated us all steps of the way. My son was impressed. He learned a lot from this first meeting.

Posted Mar 26, 2018
Tyler C.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Mack is a great teacher supportive, demanding, and keeps positive. Just what my 10 year old son needs.


Posted Feb 27, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

First clarinet lesson today with Mack Ruck. I'm a rank beginner, which is why I chose Mack. I figured that a band and orchestra teacher would have encountered many of me over his career in the schools, and know how to work with different styles of learning. He also would be able to explain stuff simply from the very base level. I was really right! I came out of the lesson knowing how to read and play middle C through A (not very well, but that's why we practice). I learned ways to make the note actually sound, what you can do to screw up the sound or make it clear and on-key. Not too shabby for starting the half hour without being able to make a sound on the clarinet. So he's a great teacher. He's also the most patient guy on earth, with nerves of iron!

Posted Sep 5, 2017
Emiliano A.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mack is an amazing teacher! He is kind but gently moved my son along in his musical skills.

Posted Aug 28, 2017
Evan X.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mack was awesome !

Posted Jul 23, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Fantastic. He evaluated my skill level perfectly in a short amount of time. I'm looking forward to more lessons!

Posted May 27, 2017
Yvonne R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mack is a good teacher.

Posted Apr 19, 2017
Peter V.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Thanks Mack!

Posted Apr 4, 2017
Malakai W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Excellent. Patient. Great teacher.

Posted Feb 20, 2017
Clyde Serda
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Adequate studio, explains music and demo well,

Posted Jan 11, 2017
Erik F.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mack is a great and patient teacher. Our son was assigned the only French Horn for his middle school beginning band class. We are clueless on how to help him. We found Mack on Takelessons. He got great reviews and lives not too far from us. After the first lesson, our son could play the entire C major scale! He can't wait for his next lesson. Thank you, Mack. We are so lucky to have you.

Posted Oct 2, 2016
Cynthia N.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Mac is a very patient and excellent instructor!

Posted Sep 14, 2016
Joseph L.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Just one lesson so far but Mack has me moving along with things to study and improve. He has a lot to offer and I very much appreciate his patience.

Posted Aug 24, 2016
Billy O.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son, 9, likes to learn from Mack - my son remembers what Mack told him to do and practice. This is quite a surprise for me considering how he dislikes teachers in general...

Posted Aug 18, 2016
Raymond H.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I had the pleasure of meeting and learning the trumpet with Mack. I must say for the small amount of time we had it was awesome.

Posted Aug 17, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Encouraging and engaging!

Posted May 16, 2016
Mandela D.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son can't wait to go back! He typically hate music lessons, but this time he was happy. I also love the fact that Mack didn't waste time with the usual useless speech that other music teachers in the past needed to go into before each lesson. Mack went straight into it, he showed my son exactly how to identify each key and that really made the first lesson better

Posted Mar 31, 2016
Gloria R.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Mr. Mack Is a very patient and great teacher.

Posted Feb 6, 2016
Kresimir T.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mack is great!

Posted Jan 17, 2016
Roya S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

It was excellent

Posted Oct 13, 2015
Jake W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very good teacher.

Posted Oct 11, 2015
Yolanda C B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

A very patient, kind, knowledgeable teacher who puts you at ease so you can focus on the lesson. I highly recommend him!!! I am convinced to continue taking lessons

Posted Aug 14, 2015
Sam B.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Mack's a great teacher, we recommend him!

Posted Jun 20, 2015
Thomas O.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

It's been more than a year of weekly lessons with Mack, and I could not be happier.

Mack is smart, quick, and knows how to handle kids to get results. There's no wheedling, bargaining or begging. It's just ok, do this, no, stop, do it again., No stop do it again, no stop do it again, and then good, that sounds good. I guess I should not be surprised, really, but my 13 yr old son cites this as what he likes best about Mack's instruction - it's all business.

Would I recommend Mack as a teacher for kid's music lessons? Yes, without reservation. Mack is an excellent teacher.

Posted Apr 15, 2015
David H

Patient and Helpful

It has been fun. Hopefully I'm learning something and getting better.

Posted May 14, 2014

Photos & Videos

7 Photos & Videos


Music Teacher
Jan 1964 - Present

Public Schools, music teaching companies.

I have taught band music or Elementary, Mid School, and High schools as well as after school bands for 40 years. I have also directed professional bands from 4-18 pieces.


BS in music education
Sep 1987 - Present

Lehman College

BS in music education
Sep 1986 - Present

Lehman College

BS in Music Education
Sep 1960 - Present

Morgan State(Balto) Leman College(Bronx,N)Y, SFSU(ca(



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Grant For The Arts
Feb 1980


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