Steven Berk
Alameda, CA
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Steven Berk

Steven B.

Alameda, CA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Profile-student-favorite Student Favorite
This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
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Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I began classical piano instruction in 1960 and took private lessons for ten years before branching out into all the other styles of music. I have taught, recorded and performed professionally since 1978, and will show you proper hand and finger technique, music theory, how to read notation and chord charts/symbols, and equally as important teach you how to play by ear. I teach all ages, all styles and all levels of piano, and will teach you how to have fun with it all along the way!

About Steven B.

Have you always wanted to learn how to play the piano, guitar or electric bass? Or maybe you've just felt like brushing up your musical knowledge and playing skills? Now’s your chance to fulfill those dreams!

About Me: San Francisco Bay area pianist/guitarist/bassist; I've been playing music for over 50 years. I'm classically trained with a solid foundation and knowledge of music theory, and have over 40 years experience teaching, recording and performing. I have done session work and/or performed with members of Journey, Santana, Jackson Browne, Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers and Greg Allman to name a few, and am currently teaching piano, theory and bass to Mike Dirnt, the bassist for Green Day. Let me take my education and experience and pass them on to you!

My main goal as a music instructor is to pass along my love and knowledge of playing music to my students, always vigilant for sharing shortcuts that will help the student to achieve their lesson goals faster. Some teachers teach only out of books. I am not such a teacher. Books solve the problem of learning music in generalizations and by their very nature, cannot take into consideration personal issues a student will encounter.

Most students are able to learn enough of the necessary mechanics at the first lesson to actually play something before they leave that lesson. This is important because they realize that playing music IS possible. I always enjoy the look on their face when they realize they have actually “played” their instrument at their first lesson.

I am not the sort of teacher who yells and screams if the student comes in unprepared. I realize that people come to me for a variety of reasons and I work with them with whatever they bring in. I am patient and if a student is not understanding a certain aspect, I bring into play alternate approaches. Not everyone assimilates information in the same way. Learning music should be an enjoyable adventure for the student and I venture to say that my students enjoy coming to their lessons. We have fun, and we learn.

My current rates are $40 per half hour, $60 per 45 minutes and $80 per hour, and believe me... you will get your money's worth! Also I should note that due to my current students, plus teaching at a private school in Sausalito and recording sessions, my time constraints only allow me to teach lessons out of my home studio in Alameda. Hopefully this will work for you as well!

Reviews

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24 Reviews
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Debora H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Wonderful first lesson with Steven. Steven shows a real interest in teaching. My success is his sucess. I learned a lot at the first lesson. He’s very knowledgeable, informative and has an easy going and fun teaching style. Looking forward to future lessons!

Posted Jul 6, 2020
Sue M.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Great. He’s very talented I’m excited to begin working with him.

Posted Feb 6, 2020
Lavernne
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I've been taking lessons from Steven for I think two years now and he's helped me so much not only in reading music but also in ear training and in my song writing. He's incredibly patient and fun to work with. He also has a really nice cat.

Posted Jun 24, 2018
Chuck B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great experience

Posted Jun 5, 2018
Brett M.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Just getting started, but Stevens clearly the teacher for me. He really listens, and really knows his stuff. Looking forward to many more lessons.

Posted May 2, 2018
Loverna Q.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

A GREAT MUSIC TEACHER!
My daughter wants to learn to play an electric guitar. Then, we met Steven through Take Lessons. We initially planned on getting the guitar lesson first but Steven introduced her playing the piano as well. He is very knowledgeable in teaching how to play an instrument and does so in a way so that the child can understand. Thanks a lot Steven!

Posted Nov 19, 2017
Maxim
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Steven is an awesome teacher. Very patient. Highly recommend him for acoustic guitar and for piano lessons.

Posted Nov 9, 2017
Eric H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Steve is a rare find - an accomplished musician, a great teacher, and a genuinely nice guy. My 10 year old and I have been taking lessons with him for the past year, and our progress/improvement has been significant and noticeable. Particularly with my son, Steve is patient, supportive, and very encouraging, and he teaches at just the right level. He always makes sure that we cover music theory along with learning our favorite songs in order to get the most out of our training. My enjoyment of piano has increased significantly since starting lessons with Steve, and each time we leave a lesson he says: "Have fun with it!" I highly recommend Steve as a teacher.

Posted Jun 10, 2017
Billy
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

wow amazing!

Posted May 17, 2016
Tim M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great teacher and great time taking the lessons! I wish we could take more lessons with him but we've recently moved out of the area. Thanks for everything Steven!

Posted Feb 22, 2016
Noor A.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I was, initially, unsure whether I had made the right decision in using TakeLessons to revive my piano-playing skills, but after meeting Steven, I have no doubts that it was one of the best decisions I have yet to make.

Steven is wonderful! He is inspired and inspiring, encouraging, and his passion inspires passion - I could not have asked for better! Steven is an absolute pleasure, and I would absolutely recommend him to anyone!

Posted Oct 18, 2015
Tim M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I've been taking piano lessons with Steven for over a year now and the experience has been great!

Steven listens to your needs and wants as an artist and tailors a program just for you. Steven is very patient and supportive. Oh, and trust me you will never get through a lesson without laughter! His drills and exercises allow you to see growth and instant development.

If you are looking for an overly critical teacher who points out your every flaw and has you start over after every mistake, Steven is not the teacher for you! But, if you are looking for an instructor who will take you and your music as seriously as you do, and have fun in the process, Steven is the instructor for you!

Good luck on your journey!

Posted Aug 20, 2015
Warren S.

Great Guitar Teacher

I'm really enjoying taking guitar lessons from Steven. He's easy going, fun to learn from and is not only teaching the mechanics of playing guitar but also the ear training and theory behind music in general and performance in particular.

Posted Jan 11, 2014
JulieB1

My son, Jake, is really enjoying his lessons with Steven. I am very impressed with all that my son has learned. Steven is patient, positive and keeps my son excited for each lesson. Perfect fit.Thank you!

Posted Mar 26, 2012
AlejandroF

Great teacher

Posted Feb 23, 2012
BrendaS1

Taylor's Gramma

We are so thankful to have found Steven ! He is just amazing with my Grandaughter and she is only 6yrs. old. She's doing very well with Steven and looks forward to every lesson. He is a very joyful and pleasant man as well. We all love him, including our dogs!

Posted Aug 2, 2011
HeidiJ

Parent

Steven has completely clicked with both of my kids' very different learning styles and personal goals. My older one just said that she now wishes she could take lessons 5 days a week!

Posted Jul 14, 2011
SusanS9

Having fun!

Hiya Steve. Just want to share something with you that's pretty cool. My daughter has a keyboard {one of those cheapie ones} and I was screwing around on it. I was thinking of my favorite classical piece, Gustav Mahler's "Funeral March" which is pretty much Frere Jacques in a minor key. So, I kind of pecked out Frere Jacques and then substituted some flats and it was real similar to Funeral March. Very cool!! :-)

Posted Jun 24, 2011
JeanetteP

he is a excellent teacher, my daughter enjoys his class

Posted Jun 24, 2011
TamiH

The lessons have been very helpful and I have learned a lot. The lessons are very informative and I always go away with something new that I have learned and for that I am very grateful.

Posted Apr 6, 2011
PaulP3

Mr

Excellent teacher, very patient, I highly recommend Steven he is awesome!

Posted Jan 19, 2011
RachelJ

Steven is a very skilled instructor. I feel confident choosing him as my teacher because he has a great deal of experience, and his teaching style is very professional.

Posted Dec 21, 2010
AlfonsoA

Practice

Steven, it's going good. I keep working on my finger dexterity it's getting better. Thanks Steven

Posted Oct 28, 2010
MaryF4

Steven is really good at relating to my childrens learning styles and adapting his teaching style to them. He has a charismatic presence and my children enjoy their lessons. I would recommend him every time anyone asks for a music instructor.

Posted Sep 10, 2010

Photos & Videos

6 Photos & Videos

Experience

Studio Recording Artist
Jun 1980 - Sep 1982

Fantasy Records, Berkeley

I was contracted to the band Journey to assist keyboardist Jonathan Cain with synth patches and sounds, and helping him create keyboard parts.

Education

AA Music Theory
Sep 1973 - Jun 1975

Laney College

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