Richard Kalman

Richard K.

Berkeley, CA

Lesson Details



Richard delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 8+

Teaching since:
February 1992

With a BA in Music, Richard is lead vocalist/keyboardist for his jazz harmony group, a former member of two award winning choirs, and busy teacher of piano, vocals, and guitar.
In the sixties, Richard was enamored by the contemporary folk scene; the Blues, Dylan, Joan Baez, and the entire folk movement. He quickly learned the guitar and absorbed all the changes in popular music; folk rock, blues, rhythm & blues; the Beatles, the Rolling Stones.He belonged to several informal performing folk, blues, and rock groups.

In the seventies and eighties he rekindled an interest in piano and started enjoying the wonders of jazz and popular music.

In the nineties, his interest in jazz became a full time preoccupation. He obtained a BA in Music in '91 and began offering lessons in piano and jazz vocals immediately. He sang with two dynamic choirs: the Oakland Jazz Choir for six years and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir for 2 years; deepening his love and interest in choral jazz and gospel music.

In the past 12 years, he has taught Chorus at 3rd --5th grade and at high school levels in the public schools. He began offering vocal jazz and jazz combo workshops at Adult Schools and Community Centers and at Blue Bear School in SF.

From his home studio, he offered private voice, guitar, and piano lessons to beginners of all ages; and vocal coaching to numerous students preparing for auditions for musicals, college classes, singing contests, weddings and special events.

In 1997, he formed a vocal jazz quintet, CON ALMA, which performs in bay area clubs, at festivals, and private events and fundraisers. He writes most of the arrangements for the group and produced the first CD, which was completed in 2001.

In 2007, Richard became the vocal director of the Albany (CA) Adult School Big Band, a 25 piece big band which has now expanded to include a vocal program with 4 singers! With Richard as part of the leadership team, the big band has expanded its repertoire, improved its playing and performance, and boosted its public performances considerably.

Richard also became the vocal director of a 10-voice jazz a Capella chorus based in Marin County, CA. that sings classic jazz standards and performs about four times per year.

EDUCATION: BA in Music, focusing on Jazz Studies, CSU Sonoma. - Workshops with Jazz Recording Artists: Madeline Eastman, Mark Murphy, Kitty Margolis, Faye Carol, Sheila Jordan. - Studied Jazz Piano with Mark Levine. - Attended numerous summer and winter sessions organized by Jazz Camp West and Rhythmic Concepts, Inc. - Graduate studies in Music at CSU Dominguez Hills, focus on Music and Composition. Jazz Combo studies at Jazz school in Berkeley, CA.

*** Lesson Details ***
My first concerns with new students--young or old--are to discover the music in their heart they are compelled to learn; to gauge their capabilities and to start building skills right away that will propel them forward and give them a sense of accomplishment. Students often arrive at my door expressing little confidence in their abilities. When they discover that I will help them learn the music that excites them, they forget their fears and start learning!

I offer students a range of learning opportunities from one on one lessons to small group or family lessons. I offer vocal jazz classes for those wanting a group singing experience. I help students write music and transform it into a professional format; I help singers build their repertoire and improve their singing dexterity; I help singers with recording projects so they can market their musical skills.

Students and parents can expect that they will be presented with new, challenging, fun music at each lesson that is appropriate for the level at which they come to the lesson. Lessons are designed to build skills incrementally, and to encourage a sense of accomplishment as they go along. Students and parents can expect that Richard will discuss lesson plans with them, listen to their needs and goals, and take that into consideration in designing lessons. Richard is patient, flexible supportive, encouraging, but also he expects lessons to be completed and directions to be followed. Richard actively seeks the participation of parents in their children's musical experience. Curriculum is varied; it depends on the needs of the student. Richard uses a combination of standard approved workbooks and lesson books and draws as well from his considerable library of musical materials. Richard offers instruction in light classical (for beginners), broadway, blues, pop, rock, folk, ethnic, jazz, gospel, soul, and R & B.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Upright Yamaha Piano, Two Yamaha Piano Keyboards, Martin Guitar, Percussion instruments, A library of sheet music from jazz to pop, cassette recorder, instructional material and handouts.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Sound System for up to six singers or instrumentalists.

*** Specialties ***
I teach fundamental singing techniques from voice training books. I work with jazz, popular music, blues, gospel, folk, ethnic music, and broadway singing, I have had rap, hip hop, soul and r & B students, I work with beginning classical piano books as well as books for blues and jazz piano for new students.

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Photos & Videos

Albany Big Band performs Moonlight Serenade, 3/09.
Vocalists Richard Kalman, Julia Shaletzky, Catherine DeCuir, David Peck. The Albany Big Band is a jazz band class co-led by instructor Richard Kalman
Performance at Solano Stroll Street Festival, 9/2012, Albany. CA.
Photo by Richard K.

Photo by Richard K.

Photo by Richard K.

Photo by Richard K.


2 Reviews

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DrewS Jun 16, 2010

Finding a way into music

Richard is an observant, patient and talented teacher. He covered the basics of scales and theory and greatly improved my hearing and tone. Also, more importantly, Richard paid attention to my taste in music and gave me songs to learn that fit my sensibility. I truly enjoyed our time together making and learning music.

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MelisaM Jul 10, 2008

Good music teacher..

He knows his stuff!! As a teacher he will make you feel welcomed, celebrate your growth,motivate you, help lower your anxiety and go at your own pace!!.......

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