- Levels Taught:
"Functional music theory" can sound daunting, but in fact it is fascinating, at least the way I teach it, using analogies appropriate to the age of the student, from chords like different types of sandwiches (yum!) to chord progressions like the materials and equipment used to build a house.
I also encourage my students from the start to EXPRESS themselves musically, emotionally, playfully, in ways that keep their imaginations engaged in their musical studies, rather than private lessons becoming stressful or tedious.
Note that young beginners should bring a ukulele that is an actual instrument rather than a toy. The most important difference is in the quality of the tuning pegs, allowing the ukulele to actually be tuned so the beginner can make satisfying sounds with it. If you're in doubt, stop in any music store and ask for help in assessing whether or not you need to upgrade it, or bring it to an initial lesson with me and let me take a look. Let's get started in my beautiful home teaching studio in Sherwood Forest!
- Teaches students:
- Ages 3+ and special needs
- Teaching since:
- September 1995
A musician since age 4, Teresa's dad took her early passion for music seriously. So she respects the power that parents have to foster their children's musical lives! She notes the many stories she has heard over the years: "If someone had just supported my interest"... "If my teacher had listened to what I wanted to learn."
These stories and her own passion for music-making inform her approach. A degreed music educator and multi-instrumentalist, she celebrates and uses the musical interests of her students to move them forward. She has three grown sons, including two touring musicians. Their musical lives also influence her work with children, young people, and adults. The point is to celebrate and develop each student's unique, interest-based musical self-expression.
In her home teaching studio in Sherwood Forest, CA, 30 minutes is the perfect lesson time for most purposes. Options include piano, voice, ukulele, beginning guitar, music reading/theory, and preparation for auditions. Teresa also conducts early childhood music sessions for 3 to 5 year-olds and is available to do group sessions.
45-minute and 60-minute sessions are also available as needed. Teresa recommends 45 minutes to an hour for audition preparation.
Teresa consults with schools and other organizations in developing music curricula and programming to support the expression of student interests and promote integrated 21st century learning. Music and the arts make an extraordinary difference in the lives of children and impact neurological development in ways that last a lifetime.+ Read More
Teresa coaches clients on personal and professional goals, relationships, and health and wellness. She specializes in a nurturing, balanced approach in which daily life should be very, very good!
In the midst of thirty years of educational, creative, and business positions and pursuits, from the deep south to New England and now in Southern California since 2004, Teresa has been teaching privately.
Orff Schulwerk is a venerable music education modality incorporating singing, movement, un-pitched and pitched percussion instruments, recorder, poetry, stories, songs, and the richness of repertoire from various cultural traditions.
Founded in 1907, NAfME is among the world’s largest arts education organizations. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers.+ Read More
Teresa really takes the time to help her students learn and develop in music. I've made a good amount of progress vocally in the past year and a lot of it is thanks to her coaching. I hope to learn more as I take more lessons with her.
She's an absolutely incredible instructor! She has helped me through many of my problem areas & brought out a better & more confident singer in me. Whatever you do, DON'T LOSE HER!!! She's truly amazing!!!
We had our first lesson today and my daughter and niece really like Teresa. She made them feel comfortable and excited to come back next week.
My son is fascinated with his music class. We couldn't have found a better instructor. Thank you Teresa ! You're amazing.
My daughter really enjoyed her lesson with Teresa. It was her first piano lesson that she has ever taken. She left there with excitement and looking forward her next lesson with her. In just 30 minutes she felt she had learned so much.
Teresa was very professional and kid friendly and made my daughter feel special and confident.
Teresa is a great instructor. My son was kind of hesitant on taking piano lessons, but after his first lesson he said "mommy, I can say I loved it. Ms. Teresa is very thorough and taught me in a way I know I will learn".
Teresa is amazing. MY daughter loves her lessons and has grown with each lesson.
We had a great first lesson! Teresa's home is a warm and welcoming environment. My son is looking forward to his next lesson!
My 5 year old son told me that he really like her and wants to learn from her. We can't wait for the next lesson with Teresa.
Working with Teresa has been an absolute pleasure that I know will pay off in the long term. Thanks to her, my life and my home has been filled with music that I love to play and share with others. It is rare to find a teacher willing to listen to what the student desires to learn and then take the right steps for them to achieve their musical goals. The best thing I can say about Teresa is her ability to not only teach children but adults like myself, in a manner where based upon one's age and learning ability, they are able to become successful.+ Read More
I cant tell you enough of great things about Teresa. Wow, spending those 30 minutes each time with her are the highlights of my week. She is sensitive and very quickly detects your individual - personal and musical needs, and I am beyond impressed with her knowledge of music and training. Thank you so much, Dear Teresa. More teachers like you, please !!+ Read More
Unfortunately our awesome music teacher moved away and finding a new one to match my daughter was going to be a hurdle, thankfully we found Teresa. At first I was concerned with a 30 minute lesson, but realized how much time was being wasted before. Her time management is superb, she delves quickly to the core of what your student needs, and since she teaches such a wide array of instruments her musicality is unmatched. My daughter (Kelly), was understandably anxious at first, but now is happy and excelling, playing classical and Tom Petty :-) .+ Read More
As both a music teacher AND a person, Teresa is a real gem! She's been teaching my daughter ukulele for about 9 months now, and the amount of progress we've witnessed is amazing! I'm a musician myself, and have known quite a few music teachers through the years, and I know firsthand how truly difficult it is to find a good one, and Teresa is a GREAT one. In addition to that, she's such a warm, kind, intuitive person that's she's just a joy to be around, in general. I can't recommend her highly enough!+ Read More
As a student of Teresa's I can say myself and my family are very pleased with the progress I have made all thanks to her! She is a teacher who truly listens and proceeds according to what the student desires to learn, rather than taking a very traditional method. To be able to learn pieces of my generation, rather than that of the past, it makes the learning experience and my talent pay off much more in the long-term. Thanks to Teresa, my life has become much more musical and has gained an escape within the keys of my piano.+ Read More
She is a really great teacher, my daughter is very happy and she now know basic songs.
Teresa is excellent with my 8 year old daughter. We found her on-line and a truly fun and amazing journey has started for our family. Teresa is knowledgeable, kind, and has made learning fun. She encourages my daughters inner voice and has let her be creative and fostered her development with solid theory and she's developing an "ear" for notes. Not sure if there is a correlation, but her math comprehension is improving in school as well. My daughter has come to love the instrument and is interested in transitioning to guitar as she's ready. This process is happening organically and with joy. So delighted that we met Teresa.+ Read More
Teresa is simply magical. She is an extraordinary music teacher. My son William is 6 and is learning to play the piano. He loves his time with Teresa and usually wishes his lesson was longer. This is a boy that does not care much for your typical soccer or karate class but music has stuck! He has FUN. Teresa makes it a FUN time.
As if that weren't enough, the waiting room for parents is so calming, peaceful, and a joy for me, personally! My husband and I both look forward to sitting there, browsing a cool magazine.
Take lessons from Teresa! She is pure good energy and talent!
Teresa is a wonderful teacher. She is patient and encouraging. She makes the lessons easy and interesting. I look forward to my next lesson.
Teresa really got me moving when I was stuck in a career transition. Her probing questions, clarification of issues and excellent suggestions provided the enthusiastic direction I needed to get my new business well underway. Teresa is a caring, warm person who is passionate about her work, and passionate about her clients. Her holistic approach to coaching embraces a wide range of pathways to change. I cannot recommend her highly enough.+ Read More
I'm a first time music enthusiast! I know NOTHING about music. I left knowing how to tune my ukulele, the C, F,G chords, and the beginning portions of a Bob Marley "Three Little Birds" song! Teresa was wonderful, knowledgeable, and very comfortable to be around! I'm excited to work with her, and see where my skills develop! ;) I already am going to refer her to my friends!+ Read More
Teresa and I have worked together as music teachers and on other music projects. She is a skilled and experienced music teacher that I would recommend to anyone. What really sets her apart is her positive presence -- not only is she fun to be around, but her personality makes you feel supported in working toward your goals.+ Read More
Teresa is great. She is very patient and very good at carrying on conversations with little ones. My 6 yo daughter’s been going to her home for weekly Ukulele lessons for about 2 months now, and my daughter adores her. Teresa is always willing to be flexible with switching lesson time to fit my ever changing schedule.
Teresa is not only knowledgable, warm and loving with her students but flexible with schedules. She's been teaching my son to play the drums for a year now, and she recently started him on the piano! We drive all the way from Calabasas to her because she is so worth the trip, my son and I adore her!+ Read More
This review is in regards to Teresa teaching my 7-year-old daughter to play the ukulele, but I have to begin with my own journey as a musician. I’m a 53 year old jazz sax player who didn’t start playing until I was 33, so I never took music classes in school, meaning that most of my training and instruction came from private one-on-one lessons as opposed to group lessons. That being the case, I have had a lot of experience with music teachers, both first hand and through feedback from other music students that I’ve known, and I can tell you that great music teachers are few and far between, and I mean that sincerely. Living in Los Angeles, we’re surrounded by great players – some of the best players in the world call this city home – but just because a person is a great musician doesn’t mean they are also a great music teacher.
Being a great teacher means being able to distill the information that you have to share into a form that the student can understand and use, while at the same time keeping them motivated and excited about learning – and about practicing! It’s a rare gift and Teresa definitely has it!
About a year before meeting Teresa, my daughter tried piano for a few months, also with a private teacher. The results were ok, but her progress was slow, she wasn’t excited about it and practice was definitely a chore for her. But for the longest time she’s said that it’s her dream to one day become a rock star, so we thought maybe ukulele would be something good to try. We never really planned for her lessons to become a long-term commitment. We figured she’d learn a few chords, learn to play a couple of songs, and then kind of explore the instrument on her own to see if it ‘stuck’, thereby avoiding the ‘chore’ of having to practice on a regular schedule.
I also expected that I would have to go through several teachers before I found one that was even halfway decent. But we hit the lottery with Teresa! It was clear from the first lesson that she was a very special teacher (and person)! She’s one of those people that just glows – always positive, always in a great mood, and one of those people that it’s just a joy to be around.
She and my daughter hit it off right away. And that’s all great, but if she wasn’t a competent teacher, then ultimately it would be a waste of time and money in regards to our objective – teaching my daughter to become a musician. But Teresa is the most fantastic teacher! In addition to being able to inspire and motivate, she’s also shown the ability to translate complex info, like music theory, in such a way that a 7-year-old not only understands it, but is excited about it. She’s also been really great at being flexible in her study plan. Many of the music teachers that I’ve met, even the good ones, like to go from A to B to C, etc., following what they have determined is the best route for guiding the student on the journey to become a better musician. But sometimes you have to be able to deviate from that plan, to include additional material necessary to keep the student inspired. And again, Teresa is excellent at that! My daughter has brought several songs to her that she wanted to learn, and not only was Teresa open to teaching them to her, but she spent a considerable amount of her free time creating lead sheets for these songs so that my daughter could learn them!
I could go on singing her praises all day, but suffice it to say, my wife and I think the world of Teresa and are amazed and delighted at the progress my daughter is making with her (she’s already performed at one recital – singing and playing simultaneously, and she’ll probably be doing another one in the fall!). So if you’re looking for a music teacher, we can’t recommend her highly enough! (Note: though she teaches our daughter ukulele, I know that she teaches other instruments, as well. For sure piano, voice, drums and guitar, but I’ve seen a trumpet in her studio, so she may teach that as well!)
Teresa is a wonderful instructor. She taught me exactly what I needed to work on and I hope to improve overtime with her help. Most importantly, she made the lesson fun. I would recommend Teresa to anyone.
Teresa is the best! She had my two daughters ages 6 and 8 playing and composing music in a few short months. She encourages student creativity which makes for fun and enjoyable lessons. I can't say enough about Teresa, she's wonderful music teacher!!+ Read More
My daughter Madison really enjoyed the lesson.
She opened up to Teresa which is hard for her.
Teresa was fantastic with my 8yo daughter. My daughter loved her first singing lesson and I enjoyed seeing the interaction of both during the lesson.
Our first class was amazing!! We are very excited to continue next week.
Our first class was amazing!! We are very excited to continue next week.
If I ever lived too far to visit Teresa for lessons, I would hope that she could Skype for lessons because there is no other teacher I'd want than her. She absolutely loves music and desperately wants to share the joy and beauty of music with everyone.
She has been so patient and kind teaching music/singing to my 4 year old. My wife, my son and I are having a blast!
So blessed to have found Teresa. She has been teaching my daughter piano for the last 6 months. She is so kind and so loving in her teaching style. My daughter had never played piano before meeting with Teresa, and is now creating her very own music and accompanying it with her beautiful voice. Teresa is wonderful at letting my daughter independently take the lead in her learning style, with Teresa lovingly being the wind beneath her wings. We love you Teresa! Thank you for everything.+ Read More
It was a great lesson. Teresa is good at teaching. I love her teaching style. It was very efficient and enjoyable.
Low-key, low-stress lesson for adult. Fun also! I was sent home with appropriate assignments. The lesson time was productive.
First lesson completed. Teresa is wonderful. She absolutely LOVES music and is so excited to share it with others. Can't wait to continue my lessons.
Teresa is an excellent music teacher!
My daughter received a ukulele as a gift from her grandparents. My husband and I wanted her to take lessons, but we were hesitant. She had taken music lessons previously, with a different instructor, with little success and mostly frustration. But then we found Teresa.......
Teresa took the time to learn about my daughter's strengths and weaknesses, and planned her lessons accordingly. She utilizes several different teaching modalities into her lessons (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) with amazing results. Teresa is a truly dedicated teacher who is both knowledgeable and passionate about what she does. My daughter looks forward to each lesson!
Teresa is a pure gem! Her patience, respect, passion and her infectious love for music is evident during every lesson. After the first meeting, my daughter knew immediately she wanted to pursue playing the piano.Teresa has been amazing in fostering this passion! Each week my daughter can't wait to go back!!+ Read More
Teresa is such a wonderful teacher and great with the girls. She's patient and generous as a teacher. She allows the girls to use their intuitive musical skills in her teachings. Teresa allows students to think outside the box along with traditional piano teachings. Overall Teresa is amazing!!!+ Read More
Teresa is a wonderful intuitive teacher who takes her time to help children that are not so musically tuned to appreciate music. My 11 yr. old boy did not know what instrument to play nor did he want to play one, but Teresa was able to pinpoint one that he could start with and he progressed so much. My 6 yr. old daughter enjoyed a more free spirited song and instruments approach where she was introduced to sounds and singing. Milena wants to play the Piano now. I my self never played an instrument and I wanted my kids to be more tuned than me, I am so lucky to have found the guidance of such resourceful and kind spirited Lady. Thank You Teresa.+ Read More
Teresa is an amazing teacher. She is sensitive and intuitive about each of her students. That means that she can work closely with a single child or guide the talents and energy of several different children at once, even if their ages widely differ! What's more, her classes combine several different disciplines at once. Therefore, even if you sign up for one type of instrument or area, she will combine it with other types of disciplines such as body movement, instruments, and singing. My children both adore working with Teresa and come away feeling fulfilled.+ Read More
Teresa was wonderful with my 9 year old daughter. Her approach to teaching music goes far beyond the standard "lesson". She is kind, gentle, and supportive, and my daughter loved working with her. There was never any pressure, and Teresa helped her have the confidence she needed to get on stage and perform, which is something she will remember forever. Thanks so much!+ Read More