Paul Smith-Stewart

Paul S.

Novato, CA
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I have been teaching bass and composition for the last 10 in many different styles of music such as: rock, jazz, funk and folk/americana. I am here to help you achieve your goals as a musician! We'll start with what you are currently interested in and expand outwards from there. Feel free to message me and we'll take it from there!

About Paul S.

I am a composer, professional musician and music educator. I have recorded and performed with many different artists, but am best known for my work with the Central Coast band Still Time. Starting in 2004, Still Time steadily expanded from a local college band to a national touring act and we successfully released four albums on our independent record label, When It Hits Records. In 2012 I became the Director of Performing Arts at my alma mater Marin Catholic College Preparatory in Marin County, CA. Along with my colleagues, I helped create a contemporary performing arts model which has since led to many graduates pursuing music, acting and film/tv in both the collegiate and professional worlds.

After graduating from Berklee College of Music in 2017, I released my first solo EP Transitions on Oak Ring Records. I am currently in my thesis semester for my Master's in Music Composition at Vermont College of Fine Arts. I continue to release music with my jazz group: my second EP Renewal in April of 2018, and a new single Autumn Has Come in collaboration with Bay Area vocalist/composer Rebecca Mimiaga in the Fall of 2019. I continue to expand my composition horizons, recently completing pieces for percussion trio and string quartet, as well as theme songs for several podcasts. I also perform as a bass player with notable SF Bay Area artists such as Jacob Aranda and The Good Bad.

Reviews

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5.0
9 Reviews
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Nadia S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Paul has been an incredible teacher. He is helping me learn the guitar and I’m a lot further ahead then I thought Id be. He is also helping me with my song writing and composing. I highly recommend him.

Posted Feb 29, 2020
Jeffrey
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

absolutely brilliant bass player. he's great at breaking things down in a way that you'll understand and he's extremely supportive.

Posted Dec 29, 2019
Robyn
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Inspirational! I love working with Paul. He is patient, fun, and incredibly talented and versatile.

I have improved so much working with him-- and he's also a really great person and all around cool guy.

Posted Dec 6, 2019
jack
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Paul is a very knowledgeable, experienced bass player (upright & electric)and composer who is able to transfer those skill to his students.

Posted Nov 22, 2019
Sarah
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Paul is such a great teacher. He is so knowledgable, so patient, and makes sure that he is helping you meet your own goals. I always feel encouraged, and that I am receiving honest and relevant feedback on how to improve. His calm, friendly, and professional demeanor puts me at ease and I really love learning from him.

Posted Nov 21, 2019
Bryan
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Paul’s knowledge base goes well beyond bass — as a high school English teacher, my interest in learning bass guitar was inspired by a love of the hip writings of the Beat Generation and an interest in their jazzy rhythms. The enthusiasm I brought to our lessons was met & surpassed by Paul, who thrilled to share historical anecdotes and highlights of the era, ultimately teaching me bass basics with a personalized Beat angle. The best teachers I’ve known seek student connection in order to individualize instruction. That’s how Paul rolls.

Posted Nov 20, 2019
Tim
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Paul is awesome. Paul created a really fun and inspiring environment. He was able to tailor lessons based on my interests. His experience and knowledge of classical, jazz and rock/contemporary music allows him to be versatile. I highly recommend Paul for kids and adults.

Posted Nov 12, 2019
Zelda
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Paul is patient...allowing me to try multiple times and experiment. He is also very creative with ideas and is always coming up with new suggestions when i struggle.

Posted Nov 11, 2019
John
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I had the pleasure to take bass lessons with Paul for several years. He was knowledgable, attentive, and patient while at the same time always advocating for me to challenge myself. I learned some great fundamental skills and how to come up with my own bass lines to incorporate into the band I play with. I highly recommend Paul if you are interested in getting better at the bass!

Posted Nov 9, 2019

Photos & Videos

7 Photos & Videos

Experience

Director of Performing Arts
Aug 2012 - Present

Marin Catholic College Preparatory

The Marin Catholic Performing Arts Department is a comprehensive program of musical and dramatic expression that is built into the cultural and religious fiber of the Marin Catholic community. Students will develop the skills to prepare themselves for the professional, academic, and religious worlds. Achieving this goal requires a multifaceted approach. Firstly, the students will receive instruction in theory, and technique from MC faculty and industry professionals alike. Secondly, students will prepare for life as a performer in the 21st century. They will be immersed in the technologies of today, and apply those skills in original, contemporary, and multidisciplinary ensembles. Exposure to a myriad of styles, medium, and performing opportunities are emphasized as a key component of development. Finally, students will be empowered with ownership of, and leadership within, the performing arts program. Students can organize their own groups, and design and run their own shows. With this set of skills and experiences, graduates will be ready to succeed in both academia and professional industries.

Bass Guitar
Oct 2004 - May 2012

Still Time

Still Time formed over a number of years while at the California Polytechnic State University. Dan Curcio and Chris “Haircut” Arntzen began their musical collaboration after meeting in the Sierra Madre dorms in the Fall of 2002. In 2003, Nick Bilich was introduced to Curcio through his girlfriend and Haircut discovered John Vucinich drumming on his knee in the hallway of the math building. The band was completed a year later in 2004 when Vucinich met bassist Paul “Slapmaster” playing in the university jazz band. With Paul playing the bass, Bilich switched from bass to guitar. They began playing a number of shows around the San Luis Obispo under the name Longview. This was soon changed to The New Longview as a tribute to Spinal Tap when they realized another band was already known as Longview. In 2005, they recorded an LP called Still Time and continued to play local gigs until their song "High Tide" began getting heavy rotation on local station KURQ and was featured in the compilation album SLO & Dysfunctional Vol. 3. As their popularity grew, they began opening for acts such as Pepper, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, and Ziggy Marley. Deciding that simply adding “The New” to their name did not distinguish themselves enough from Longview, the band changed their name to Still Time in 2007. This coincided with the release of their first major LP, Stream of Consciousness, in November. 2008 was one of Still Time's most dynamic years, performing at a number of instantly recognizable festivals such as Ranchita Rocks, the first annual Pozo Green Music Festival, and Cal Poly's Welcome Week Block Party. In addition to their spotlight live performance profile, Still Time has earned rotation spots on a number of terrestrial FM and internet radio stations, including features on Insomnia Radio, and live performances on a number of stations including KPIG's "Please Stand By". In addition to playing shows along the West Coast, Still Time released the album "See America," in Spring 2009 and "Call It What You Want", an EP, in 2011. Much to the dismay of their large fanbase, in 2011 the economic realities and rigors of maintaining a six-member band forced the members to disband and pursue other life endeavors while continuing to explore music interests individually. They went on indefinite hiatus after two final shows at the SLO Brew in San Luis Obispo, California in which they played "See America" in its entirety one night and "Stream of Consciousness" in its entirety the final night along with other classics and covers. And the end of the second show on May 19, 2012, the band played fan favorite "Come Alive" as their encore, the last song they would play live before going on hiatus. Lead singer and lyricist Dan Curcio has launched a successful solo career with the release of his first CD titled "Bonfire". By mid-2012, Curcio met and started collaborating with guitarist, keyboard and percussionist Nathan Towne to record and perform as Moonshiner. Bass player Paul moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area, earned his Bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Music Studies from Berklee College of Music, and is now the Director of Performing Arts at his alma mater, Marin Catholic College Preparatory. In addition to his teaching role, Paul is a professional composer having released two EPs (Transitions and Renewal) with his jazz collective and a single (Autumn Has Come) featuring vocalist/composer Rebecca Mimiaga. Paul received his Master's in Music Composition in February 2020 having composed pieces for percussion trio, string quartet, jazz fusion quintet and vocal jazz trio. He also continues to tour and record as a professional bass player with notable SF Bay Area artists such as Jacob Aranda and The Good Bad.

Education

Master of Fine Arts in Music Composition
Feb 2018 - Present

Vermont College of Fine Arts

Bachelor of Professional Studies in Interdisciplinary Music Studies
Sep 2015 - Sep 2017

Berklee College of Music

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Spanish

Limited Proficiency

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