Thomas Kresge

Thomas K.

Glendale, CA
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

About Thomas K.

Piano, woodwinds, trumpet, composition
Chords, sight-reading, theory, jazz, classical, and pop

No one ever regrets learning an instrument… yet many grow old wishing they had taken music lessons! A talent they’ll be able to develop their entire life, your children will thank you for giving them the chance to learn music. And bonus points for you: after just a couple years, you’ll have free entertainment every Christmas!

Or maybe YOU’RE the one that wishes to learn! It is never too late to begin learning an instrument. Everybody has the ability, and if you’re determined and interested, there’s nothing stopping us from achieving this very special goal. (Interested in learning to compose? Scroll to the bottom to learn more.)

Everybody learns differently, and everybody likes different things. Whether it’s improvising or singing alongside a song you love or reading through a classical concerto, I’ll help prepare you or your child to tackle a wide variety of styles, without missing out on any of the basics that turn good players into phenomenal musicians. We all know it’s not about being the best. It’s about having fun, and playing music well is definitely fun. Music lessons include:

1. Building a really strong foundation so it's easy to interpret or understand any part, and to play it with the right amount of practice.

2. Learning to sight-read music, so you can play it well as soon as possible.

3. Learning how to improvise (make-up) music, learn music by ear, and to understand and create chords, which lets you play music in different ways.

4. Play different styles from classical to jazz to popular music.

5. Learning how to practice efficiently so you can learn music as fast as possible.

6. Composing our own original music.

Practice makes perfect! Learning an instrument helps build self-confidence and discipline. If your child’s bored, distracted, or just needs a constructive hobby, music is a great place to get them interested in something that will help them feel better about themselves, and the effects will be felt across everything else they do, through better studying habits to a more patient, diligent work ethic.

It’s also relaxing! Stressed about work? Need an escape? Everybody has the power to learn an instrument. Seriously, there’s no such thing as “talent.” Just start lessons and get practicing! It really is that simple, and I’ll guide you through every step of the way.

I have a diverse background teaching students of all ages, from 3-year-olds to retirees alike, customizing what we learn to the individual student. We’ll learn how to read music just as easily as you read words; improvise and compose music of our own; and feel good playing any style: classical, jazz, rock, and all. My experience as a working musician in films, musical theater, and pop music, as well as classical concert music, allows me to appreciate and teach styles that many other instructors overlook, and I know full well that learning an instrument is not about becoming a professional; it’s about being able to connect to others or oneself through music… and also to just have fun! There’s no need to learn music we don’t like! It’s not about stuffing Beethoven into your kids’ ears… we just want to make music, be that Beethoven or Billy Joel.

Learning an instrument is one of those few skills that will genuinely last you your whole life. I don’t want to sugarcoat it: it takes time to learn an instrument. It takes practice, and sometimes it’s frustrating. But the results are well worth it.

Now get out there and make some music! But start by signing up for lessons. I can’t wait to get started!


“What’s that chord?” “Why does all my music sound the same?” “How do I fix this voicing?” “I just can’t get it out of my head!” …sound familiar? You’ve probably hit a rut. Or maybe you’re just starting out. Either way, you want your music to sound new, exciting, and to come out exactly how you hear it in your head. Yes… you CAN learn to compose music, you CAN learn to be more creative, and you CAN learn to share your sound with the world.

Film music, classical, jazz… whatever your interest, all music comes from the same place, and by learning a handful of basic concepts, you can apply these to whatever style you’re trying to write. Learning to emulate another musician involves knowing what they’re doing. Learning to create a groundbreaking sound requires that you know what’s already been done, and how to achieve it. Step by step, we’ll work our way there.

We’ll learn how to write cool, interesting chord progressions, how to write beautiful melodies, and how to voice chords. We’ll learn how to control the mood of our music, from making it sound relaxed to adding tension wherever we want. Maybe you’re trying to write for an orchestra, or just a small band. By learning the basics, you can then easily break away from what’s been done and come up with something truly new… the goal of any aspiring composer!

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  • B.M. Composition from George Mason University
  • Teaches Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Teaching since 2007

Reviews (31)

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Estefania Mar 5, 2019
Composition · In studio

So incredibly patient and knowledgeable!

Eric D. Jan 30, 2019
Piano · In studio

The first lesson was successful. My particular background in piano is unique, and my needs are atypical as well. I thought Thomas assessed my abilities, lack of abilities, and goals well and quickly. He started me on a different perspective on looking at music (reading the staff) that seems very helpful. I'm encouraged.

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Armen T. Sep 24, 2018
Piano · In studio

Excellent teacher!

Sally P. Sep 7, 2018
Piano · In studio

My first piano lesson with Thomas was great! I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to my next one...hopefully I'll be a little bit better by then ;)

Sylvie K. May 8, 2018
Clarinet · In studio

Thomas was very patient

Brendan Jan 14, 2018
Piano · Online

Thomas is a great piano teacher who is incredibly professional, patient and helpful. He is fantastic at noticing deficiencies in your playing and is able to get you to fix them without ever being overbearing or too harsh. He's incredibly patient, knowledgeable and incredibly flexible in his schedule. There were times when I had to change my lesson times and he always made sure to find time for us to get our lesson in. Thomas offers the best lessons for the best price! Whether you're a casual player or looking to help improve your chops, Thomas should be your first choice.

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Kathrin Jan 12, 2018
Flute · Online

I've just picked up flute after (literally) 50 years and been taking lessons with Thomas for several months. Lessons are enjoyable, and Thomas has taken great pains to gear them toward my goals for learning. Every lesson includes technique, musicality, and theory, with the theory taught through practical application rather than just as an abstraction. He also gives me guidance on how to practice, which was one of my key goals for taking lessons. I was concerned about whether I could find someone who understood how to teach adults - and am very pleased that I succeeded!

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Pinching M. May 24, 2017
Flute · In home

Try to understand the student needs. Very good teach skill!

TJ Apr 4, 2017
Saxophone · Online

Extremely comfortable to knowledgeable to work with

Tanya J. Jan 13, 2017
Piano · In home

While it was only our first lesson, my son and I are looking forward to learning with Thomas. He had great patience and seemed to look for our areas to work on as well as our interests in music.

Sridevi K. Dec 17, 2016
Flute · Online

He is very nice and helpful

Sridevi K. Dec 10, 2016
Flute · Online

April Nov 30, 2016
Piano · Online

Thomas is knowledgeable, personable, and most importantly...patient. Highly recommend.

Rachel Nov 13, 2016
Piano · In home

Thomas is very reliable, knowledgeable, and passionate about what he does. My girls have learned a lot in a short period of time.

Owen R. Nov 10, 2016
Saxophone · Online

I'm getting better!!!

Owen R. Nov 3, 2016
Saxophone · Online

I'm learning everyday.

Stephen Nov 3, 2016
Saxophone · In studio

I am 57 years old (no Spring chicken) and came to Thomas for tenor sax lessons. My purpose is to perform and record sax solos for classic rock and blues. Thomas does a great job with understanding my goals and giving me a road map to achieve them. Very patient and intuitive.

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Dimi Nov 3, 2016
Composition · In studio

Thomas has been great at patiently teaching me everything I've been wanting to learn for years, from composition to technique, I highly recommend him!

Owen R. Oct 27, 2016
Saxophone · Online


Owen R. Oct 13, 2016
Saxophone · Online

Thx for the tip!!

armen T. Oct 10, 2016
Trumpet · In home

Verry good person,verry good teacher,paisont and caring.verry professional

Owen R. Oct 3, 2016
Saxophone · Online

First lesson with Thomas went very well.

Frank P. Sep 16, 2016
Piano · In home

Thomas is dependable, patient and serious which is what our son needs to understand there's no goofing around when it's piano class time. Our son thoroughly enjoys his class.

Mona A. Aug 22, 2015
Saxophone · In home

Thomas is very nice, knowledgeable and serious, I like serious teachers cause I learn more. He has attention to every detail and motivates me to reach my goal :)
Thank you Thomas

Mia Aug 14, 2015
Piano · In home

Thomas was great; reliable and on time. He was clear with instructions and expectations. My son enjoyed piano with Thomas!

Sam Aug 12, 2015
Flute · In home

Thomas taught Scarlet (8) flute for 6 months and was fantastic. Scarlet enjoyed the lessons and we wish he hadn't left Seattle. He put in place the building blocks that we hope will lead to Scarlet becoming an accomplished flautist in the coming years. Thanks Thomas!

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Alexandra Aug 3, 2015
Flute · In home

Thomas is a great teacher. He is patient (especially because English is not my first language). I learned a lot with him. I really recommend his class. Hopefully, as soon as possible,I will book more classes! Alexandra Junqueira Tesser.

Sherry L. Jul 28, 2015
Clarinet · In home

Thomas was easy to work with, flexible and dependent. He helped my daughter build confidence and develop skills without pressure. He was easy to communicate with and exceeded out expectations. Pleasure to work with.

Mythu Chiem Jul 26, 2015
Piano · In home

Thomas has been teaching my kids piano for about a year. He comes to our house once a week for two hours each time. Thomas is reliable and punctual. While Thomas is very busy, he has never once been late and he rarely had to reschedule his lessons. Thomas is a serious teacher, and the kids learn a lot from him.

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Isabella Jul 7, 2015
Trumpet · In home

Thomas is great- gets right to the meat of the lesson and makes my daughter want to practice!

Donna H. Aug 6, 2014
Piano · In studio

Thomas has requested that I write a letter of recommendation on his behalf.
Thomas worked as an instructor for Piano Keys 4 Kids from September 2013 to June 2014. As the owner of Piano Keys 4 Kids, I assigned Thomas with duties as an instructor in an after school enrichment program in several public elementary schools. Specifically, Thomas taught children in grades K-3 the basic fundamentals of the piano using a curriculum developed by Piano Keys 4 Kids. His group class time was approximately 1 hour in length. Based on his college class schedule he accepted as many school assignments as possible.
Over the time that I have known Thomas he has consistently performed his duties with competence. Thomas was not only reliable in attending every class he was assigned, but very prompt in delivering an update on the progress of his classes.
With the depth of Thomas' musical skills, he can be an outstanding piano teacher in both the private and group setting.
While Thomas leaving our company to attend graduate school is a loss to us, I have every confidence that Thomas will thrive in graduate studies as well as in his music instructor endeavors. Thomas is an intelligent and committed individual.

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Sep 2014 - Jun 2015

Music Lessons on Wheels

Elementary level piano classes and private in-home lessons for piano, saxophone, and clarinet

Sep 2014 - Dec 2014

Music Teachers Network

Private piano instructor

Feb 2014 - Jun 2014

MusIQ Club

Taught piano classes to elementary-aged children using a computer-based learning system.

Sep 2013 - Jun 2014

Piano Keys 4 Kids

Taught piano and choir classes to elementary school children


M.M. Film Scoring
Sep 2014 - Jul 2015

Seattle Film Institute (Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program)

B.M. Composition
Aug 2010 - May 2014

George Mason University



Fluent / Native Proficiency


American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Jan 2016
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.
Society of Composers and Lyricists
Aug 2015
The Society Of Composers & Lyricists is an organization consisting of Hollywood's professional motion picture, Television, and multimedia music composers, songwriters and lyricists, with histories in the art of scoring for motion pictures and television. Many of its members have won or been nominated for Oscars, Emmys and Grammy Awards.
Society of Composers, Inc.
Oct 2012
SCI is an independent organization concerned with the fellowship, collaboration, career goals, and objectives of new and contemporary music composers and those interested in topics related to composition.