Matthew Zemanek

Matthew Z.

Aliso Viejo, CA

About Matthew Z.

Matthew teaches: Ages 13 and up
Teaching since: June 2008
Last sign in: Within two months


I am a classically trained composer, guitarist, tenor, pianist and percussionist and I love sharing what I have learned with others and watching my students develop and grow. My goal is to teach my students until they are better than me, so I hold no secrets, tricks or techniques back and I devote my time and energy to help others become the best musicians, artists and people they can be. I have a BA in music composition and a BA in music history, both from California State University, San Bernardino. I play the guitar, bass, piano, drums, orchestral percussion, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, recorder, harmonica and didgeridoo and I am well versed in music theory, songwriting, recording, MIDI, arranging, singing (contemporary, broadway and opera), and acting/performing. I have performed in The United States, Austria, Spain, Australia and New Zealand and have 13 years of experience, development, mistakes and successes to offer my students. I love learning new things and have been teaching as a profession since 2007. I am also First Aid & CPR certified, Live Scan fingerprinted, FBI background checked, Safe Environment trained and a Child Abuse Mandated Reporter.

*** Lesson Details ***
I do not use a set curriculum. I prefer to discuss goals and music with my students and their parents to determine what genres, styles and techniques they are most interested in. I then use techniques I have gained through experience along with songs and classical exercises to develop strong technique, a developed ear and the ability to read music. I do expect students to be disciplined, practice regularly, and be prepared for lessons, enabling them to expect the same from me. Whether a student wants to be a classical virtuosi or learn how to play a song they heard on the radio, I will keep the lessons fun and interesting for anyone willing to practice and learn, and I will always to my best to cater to the student's individual needs and goals.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I provide all copies of music, handouts, exercises, etc. Students are expected (when applicable) to have an instrument in good, working condition.

*** Specialties ***
I form all of my lessons around being able to learn, memorize and play songs, read written musical notation (along with sight-reading & technical exercises), and improvisation (based on scales and exercises).

For guitar and it's relatives (bass, mandolin, ukulele, banjo) I can teach any style or genre of music, including modern tapping techniques, and I also teach TAB notation.

I teach both classical and popular piano, usually combining sight reading exercises while learning classical and/or popular repertoire.

I have experience acting and singing on stage in both non-musical and musical productions, as well as five years of classical vocal experience singing in collegiate ensembles. Being in these environments has equipped me with the tools and exercises to be able to teach everything from basic singing to fundamentals in Broadway and opera.

I also have a small studio in my home where I write and record, providing me with the opportunity to also teach recording, songwriting and music theory.

Photos and Videos

Performance of "Drifting" by Andy McKee on Acoustic Guitar. Andy McKee is a brilliant guitarist whose songs require extended techniques mixed with modern and folk playing styles.


Coordinator of Music for Life Teen Liturgy

May 2012 - Jul 2014
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church


Bachelor's of the Arts Degree in Music History

Sep 2010 - Jun 2013
California State University, San Bernardino

Bachelor's of the Arts Degree in Music Performance & Composition

Sep 2010 - Jun 2013
California State University, San Bernardino

Certificate in Film Composition: MIDI

Feb 2006 - Jun 2010
Riverside City College

Languages Spoken


Limited Proficiency


Limited Proficiency


Music - MIDI

Jun 2010
Riverside City College


Musician Of The Year

Jun 2013
Coyote Music Society

Outstanding Composer

Jun 2013
Coyote Music Society

Outstanding Composer

Jun 2012
Coyote Music Society


American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers

Dec 2011

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.

Write a Review

17 Reviews on Matthew Z.

Thumb_77617_pi_Craig and Wally
Craig woods Aug 9, 2015
Ukulele · In home
Verified Student
Matthew is not only a very talented musician and teacher but also a very pleasent person to learn from.
Risa May 14, 2014
Matt is very helpful! Taught me some nice skills and made me be able to sing confidently!
Bunny May 14, 2014
My lesson with Matthew was great. Even though I have experience with music he was able to help me out with small habits that I needed help breaking. Great teacher really well versed in different styles of music as well as small techniques which will help me build and become a better piano player. All around great experience for my first time taking a piano lesson. Thanks Matt!!!
Effie May 14, 2014
Gave me a greater understanding of my Algebra.

Thank you so much I really needed it.
Dirk May 14, 2014
Matt gave excellent advice to improve my singing. He was very structured and provided me with several new insights to improve my voice. Thank you!
Teodora Mar 6, 2014

Great advice from Matthew, he gave me some directions and some hints on where I should be looking to find that inspiration! Much appreciated! Glen, UK
Altagracia Mar 6, 2014

My instructor was great. He was patient encouraging and informative.
Deanne Mar 6, 2014

Thank you Matt for helping me. All my expieriance with TakeLessons have been great
Hedwig Mar 6, 2014

Mat was awesome! He sent me an initial email asking my objectives and points of interest. He reviewed some exercises with me, played some improv games, gave me tips on how to pursue acting, and things that I should and shouldn't do when starting in the acting field. He was very understanding with me since it was my first time with these exercises and challenged me.

After our helpout he was kind enough to send me an email outlining what that we discussed, and I hope to get back on another helpout with him in the future!
Marlo Mar 6, 2014

Thanks for all the help... It was really helpful and I think I will do better on my test thanks to you. Thank you.