Rancho Santa Fe Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers Near Rancho Santa Fe

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Rancho Santa Fe including Del Mar, Solana Beach, Vista, Cardiff by the Sea and Encinitas.

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Ruben D.

Vista, CA

Taking ideas and developing structures to express those ideas with music.

About Ruben

Over the course of my musical career, I have had the opportunity to learn from many musicians. From University Professors to Street Corner Musicians, I have gathered much knowledge on how to play music. Applying that knowledge to my guitar playing has opened up many doors of opportunity and has made my life very interesting. One of my talents is to take complicated ideas and convey them in easy to understand ideas for my students. I now wish to share all my knowledge and experiences with you to enjoy a life of music.
Students of mine have been able to create their own music to record and p
erform. Ensembles that I have directed have performed at many local venues. I have also invited students to join me at my performances to help them become more confident in their playing.

I have been teaching guitar professionally since 2001 and performing professionally since 1994.

*** Lesson Details ***
Each lesson is custom made to directly benefit each student. The music the student enjoys listening to, is explored to identify what skills are needed to play that music on their instrument. Exercises are then tailored to give students the finger strength and dexterity to directly attain those needed skills.

Favorite songs are also examined to understand the musical theory concepts that were used to create those songs. Once those concepts are understood there is no stopping the student from creating their own music.

Parents and guardians are more than welcome to be part of the process. Involving parents in their children's education is my pleasure. My studio has a comfortable waiting area where you can wait until the lesson is done. Questions are always appreciated.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Two chairs, music, computer, internet, digital recording equipment, guitar, guitar amps, parents can sit in on lesson, bass, ukulele.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide whatever is necessary. Student should provide their instrument, music stand, and two chairs. Access to electrical outlet not mandatory.

*** Specialties ***
Latin, Rock, Blues, Classical


Cat W. July 2, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
First lesson...soooooo impressed!!! Love it!!!! Cant wait for next one!!!
Christina N. June 9, 2015
Guitar · In home
I can't say enough about how wonderful Ruben is! My son took weekly guitar lesson's with him for 8 1/2 years, and it was truly the best experience ever. Ruben's an incredible guitar player and passes on his great knowledge at every level. He's very personable, patient, and not only gets to know his student's strengths but where they need to work to help them grow as a musician. Ruben is an extraordinary teacher, and also became a great mentor and friend. We're so Appreciative and Thankful for him!
Stephanie R. June 9, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
My 9 year old son has been taking lessons with Ruben for a couple of years now. Ruben's patience is nothing short of amazing. He is so wonderful with my son and has instilled a love for music in him. He is an incredible teacher.
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Ruben D.

Ruben D.

Vista, CA 92084
starting at
$30 / 30-min

Sarah W.

Oceanside, CA

Through creativity and imagination.

About Sarah

I have a good sense on how to teach. I've been teaching little kids beginner piano and people basic vocal fundamentals for a few years now. It is something I enjoy and will always love doing.

Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, CA
3.5 GPA Graduation date 06/14/2013
Mira Costa Community College, San Diego, CA
3.0 GPA
Completed FALL 2012 3 credits Music Theory 1
Completed FALL 2013 4 units English 100
Completed FALL 2013 3 units Psychology 101 Honors
Completed FALL 2013 1.5 units Modern Dance
Completed SPRING 2014 3 units Astronomy / 1 unit Astronomy Lab
Completed SPRING 201
4 0.5 units Education Planning/ Assess
Completed FALL 2014 4.0 units Algebra I
Completed FALL 2014 4.0 English 201 Children's Literature
CURRENT SPRING 2015 4.0 Psychology 101
I am an Honors Scholar Student at MiraCosta and will be attending in order to learn my general education.
Fall 2013-Current
Vocal Instruction
2000 - 2013 Private and choral music instruction with Anne Whattoff and Renea Woodring. Emphasis on performance of classical, musical theater and choral music.

Technologically Savvy
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Networking
- *Willing to learn anything required.*

I speak, read, and write English.
I can speak and read *basic* American Sign Language as well as finger spelling.
I speak, and read *basic* Spanish.
- English
- Spanish

- Community Service
- Making other people happy (smile, laugh, etc.)
- Singing
- Reading
- Writing
- Piano
- Hot Tea
- Movies
- Smiling/Laughing
- Horseback Riding
- Camping
- Climbing Trees
- Interacting with people, especially children.
- Animals of all sorts.
- Dancing
- Family
- Friends
- Music
- Learning

2009 to CURRENT
Music Teacher
-Beginner Piano
-Both piano and vocals at the same time
I have nine students, currently, and will have 8 students over the Summer, privately.

December 2013 to February 2014

July 2013 to January 2014
Starbucks Carlsbad, CA
Monday – Friday anywhere between 4:30am 12pm (Will be adjusted every 6 months)
-Making hot and cold beverages *Uses espresso machine and blender, etc.

VOLUNTEER Experience
Jun 2011 to Nov 2011
Spiritual Counseling and Astrology Encinitas, CA
Saturdays, and occasional various weekdays
various amount of work time.
- Paper Filing
- Organization
- Electronic Filing
- Information Input

Jun 2010 to Aug 2010
Live Scan Solutions Hillcrest, CA
- Answered Phones
- Handled Money Transactions
- QuickBooks
- Filing

2009 to Present
Occasional Babysitting
-3 month-years-old
-Ages 1-14

MUSIC Experience
(Soprano I and II and Alto Vocalist)

Vocal Music Conservatory, Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego, CA
2010-Present Over 1000 hours total, 6 hours/week
As a selected member of the Canyon Crest Academy Vocal Conservatory Program, I received private vocal instruction in a variety of musical genres including classical, musical theatre, contemporary, and jazz. I participated in ensemble work and collaborations with conservatories in other artistic disciplines.
Canyon Crest Academy Choir
I was a soprano in a 45-person choir that performs a very diverse array of music.

Chichester Psalms (Leonard Bernstein) Canyon Crest Academy Choir and Orchestra at St. Paul's Cathedral San Diego. Soprano soloist. Spring 2010.
Faure's Requiem (Gabriel Faure) Canyon Crest Academy Choir and Orchestra. Spring 2010.
A Ceremony of Carols (Benjamin Britten) Vocal Music Conservatory. Fall 2010.
5 Mystical Songs (Ralph Vaughan Williams) Canyon Crest Academy Choir and Orchestra. Fall 2010.
Messiah (George Frederic Handel) Canyon Crest Academy Choir and Orchestra. Fall 2011.
Two Love Songs (Robert Young. Texts from the Songs of Solomon and William Shakespeare.) Canyon Crest Academy. Spring 2013

Operas/ Operettas
Dido and Aeneas (Henry Purcell) Vocal Music Conservatory. Witch 2. Spring 2012.
A Gallery of Gilbert and Sullivan (W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, arranged by Kellie Evans O'Connor) Vocal Music Conservatory. Chorus member in 'Pirates of Penzance' and Gianetta in 'The Gondoliers'. Spring 2013.

Envision Collaborations
Chess (Benny Andersson) Spring 2010
PLAY (Canyon Crest Academy Students) Spring 2011
Serenada Schizophrana (Danny Elfman) Fall 2011
The Wall (Pink Floyd) Spring 2013
The Moby Dick Performance (Charles Dickenson) Spring 2013

Solo Performances
Vocal Conservatory Recital Level One Fall 2010
Vocal Conservatory Recital Level Two Fall 2011
Vocal Conservatory Senior Recital Fall 2012
Vocal Juries Fall 2010- 2013
I had adjudicated juries every term while in Conservatory to track my progress.

Non posso disperar, Sergio De Luca
French/ Catalan:
Bonne Nuit, Jules Massenet
Apres un reve, Gabriel Faure
Sensucht Kennt, Franz Schubert
O Kewler Wald, Johannes Brahus
Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, Phantom of the Opera
Before I Gaze at You Again, Camelot
Climb Every Mountain, Sound of Music
It's All I Have to Bring Today, Ernst Bacon
Orpheus with his Lute, Ralph Vaughan Williams
When Daisies Pied, Thomas Arne
Music for a While, Henry Purcell
Take Me To The World, Stephan Sondheim
My Johann, Edvard Grieg

RECORDING Experience:
I have experience with ProTools 11 and Avid, as well as setting up and taking down sets to record.

WRITING Experience:
I have been writing for most of my life and am looking to get published soon.

*** Lesson Details ***

Beginner Piano

Basic Music Theory

*** Studio Equipment ***
Bongo Drums
Cheap Ukulele
YAMAHA Digital Piano (with pedals)
Condenser Mic

*** Travel Equipment ***
Bongo Drums
Avid on my laptop
Condenser Mic

*** Specialties ***
Basic Theory

**MUST HAVE: Passion for Music**


Micah K. August 31, 2015
Within minutes of working with Sarah, she will help you find your vocal range, pinpoint the exact area you need to improve in, and walk you through the exercises necessary to improve. This method is highly cost effective in comparison to some instructors who don't get straight to the heart of the matter and simply stick to their standard curriculum.
Sarah W. January 2, 2014

Young and inspirational. "You learn something new everyday" is most definitely true with Sarah and how she teaches. She was slow at first, but one she got to know me and what I desired to learn from her, she was able to envision and teach me well. :)
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Sarah W.

Sarah W.

Oceanside, CA 92056
starting at
$30 / 30-min

Ferlyn F.

San Diego, CA

PLEASE NOTE: For a more accurate look into my experience and resume, please refer to my profile.

About Ferlyn

My Teaching Philosophy:
"Everyone is capable of dancing, playing an instrument, and understanding music & art performance; it is the desire, drive, determination, dedication and discipline instilled within a person and the guidance of the Method that will bring these abilities to light." - Ferlyn

I believe each and every person has a unique brand of movement, understanding of music, and learning style for any dance form or instrument. Whether it is hip hop, breaking, ballet, jazz, tap, ballroom, dancing for a wedding, birthday, or flash mob, playing the piano, singing or even learning the
theory of music or dance, I make sure to bring out the best quality within your learning, expand that knowledge and encourage you to become your fullest potential as my student. I bring a different light to each lesson of dance, piano and/or music and bring your abilities to a level that is more knowledgeable, adequately refined, near to perfection and professional over time, and definitely enjoyable.

My Biography:
I started at the age of 5 with the desire to perform and entertain. With the drive of a freestyle & street dancer, I emulated Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Michael Jackson as a few of my dance inspirations. I also grew up driven into the background of piano, having trained in various methods such as Alfred, Bastien, Faber, Carr-Glover & Glover, Thompson and Schuam, expanding my knowledge and range as a pianist of 25 years.

In Los Angeles, I was determined to make dance my professional career and earned my Baccalaureate in Dance at California State University, Los Angeles. I learned alongside notable and popular mentors and instructors, training in modern, hip hop, breaking, popping, locking, house, tap, jazz and ballet. I choreographed for weddings, birthdays, within multiple shows, as well as became an advanced member of Cal State LA Jazz Tap Corps and the campus' hip hop crew, Team Flight.

Under much dedication for my professional career, my experiences exponentially grew after college as the Dance Choreographer & Director for Crenshaw Arts/Tech Charter High School's dance troupe, CATCH Kids, a troupe renowned for being featured on the Tyra Banks Show and catching the eyes of a few known performers such as Tommy The Clown, Debbie Allen, and Janet Jackson. I was a Dance Instructor in various studios such as the American Vive Dance Foundation, King's Dance Center, Expressions Dance and Movement Center, and Kruciaal Element's The Dancehouse. I worked with Kruciaal Element Dance Company as the previous Assistant Director and part of their freestyle dance crew, Stylematix, and performed in shows and events across San Diego County and Los Angeles County, including Monster Bash San Diego, Mardi Gras in The Gaslamp District, Dancescape, The Hot Spot Alhambra and The Moxie Showcase.

My current disciplines are focused and centered around Southern California as the CEO & Director of a Dance Company. I aim at providing a unique family of dancers and training musicians to be at their best. I am working on several upcoming pieces and providing a dance company that integrates dance community and dance industry knowledge, with a side of the 3 Heart-"Be3ts". Additionally, I have extensive knowledge and experience in Filipino traditional dance, ballroom, social and line dancing, as well as a background in stage management, set design, and vocal training. My personal goals are to continue to express my passions, develop my talents, and especially motivate others to find their own true inner self, dancer, choreographer, musician, performer, entertainer and/or artist.

*** Lesson Details ***
In the Studio, we have an amazing speaker system, nice new wood laminate floors, and mirrors!
All lessons are provided via movement.

I will provide a speaker system and the dance lessons for On-Site (Traveling) Lessons.
It is necessary to provide at least an 8 foot by 8 foot clearance of space and concrete, wood, vinyl or laminate flooring.
If space is away from an outlet, please provide an extension cord.

Dancer must have ready the following for class:
- Towel
- Water
- Comfortable Clothing
- Appropriate Shoes:
----For Tap Dance Classes: Hard-Soled Shoes are recommended for Concrete and Vinyl (outside) flooring.
----For Wood and Laminate flooring: Please make sure all screw-in taps (not bolted) are in the toe and heel of taps on Tap Shoes.

[Dance shoes and outfits are not included in cost of lessons; however, I will recommend places to buy these items.]

At the studio and instructor's site, we have a Full 88-Key Digital Piano for all piano lessons!
I will provide the piano.

I WILL NOT have a digital piano provided for On-Site (Travel) Lessons. Please have an upright, grand or digital piano ready (76 keys or more is ok; a Full 88-key Keyboard or Piano is recommended).

For Advanced Piano Lessons: A Full 88-key Keyboard or Piano is necessary.

[Piano books, notebooks and supplementary materials are not included in cost of lessons; however, I will recommend places to buy these items.]

*** Specialties ***
Hip Hop, Breaking, Popping, Locking, Whacking, House, Bebop Tap, Contemporary, Modern, Jazz and Ballet.
Over 15 years of experience and training.
Taught various dance genres officially since 2005.

Classical Pianist for over 25+ years.
Taught Piano for over 10 years.

For a more accurate look into my experience and resume, please refer to my profile. Also, any advanced, duet, group, weddings, birthdays, or any special occasion will differ than the usual lesson rate.


Rob A. June 5, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Excellent teacher, willing to meet my personal goals
Lesly P. June 2, 2015
Tap Dance · In studio
Verified Student
Ferlyn is professional and accomplished yet she condescends to me as a novice iin such a patient, warm and kind way. I never realized how much i could learn. I had the idea that i would suffer under the tutelage of a harsh dance taskmaster that you learn about in movies and books. NOT SO; i look forward to my class which is such a pleasure!
Dena H. May 20, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Ferlyn is a great teacher! She interacts well with my daughter and knows when to recognize growth and areas of improvement. My daughter and Ferlyn get along very well which is always comforting!
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Ferlyn F.

Ferlyn F.

San Diego, CA 92126
starting at
$20 / 30-min

Marianne K.

San Diego, CA

About Marianne

I am a native of Michigan and have attended Michigan State University. I have taught elementary music education with an emphasis on band and vocal music. I specialize in Piano studies with beginning, intermediate and advance students. Vocal studies, beginning intermediate and advanced, specializing in good voice structure. This includes Broadway musicals, pop and jazz. I teach beginning and intermediate Woodwinds. I have done advanced studies in Europe including University of Innsbruck, University of Graz in Austria as well as Moscow Conservatory in Russia. I am affiliated with the Assoc
iated Board of the Royal School of Music in London, England and have students participating in the Practical as well as the Theory Boards.

I believe in a good progressive music education and pride myself on giving my all to share the LOVE, MAGIC AND MIRACLE of MUSIC.


David S. September 6, 2015
Clarinet · In home
Verified Student
The first day went well. He is very enthused!
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Marianne K.

Marianne K.

San Diego, CA 92128
starting at
$35 / 30-min

Thomas M.

Del Mar, CA

How do you teach someone how to write a great song? The short answer: you can't! I know, this coming from someone charging money for lessons on how to write songs. I can teach you the elements of a great song. I can show you ways to get started, ways to develop ideas, ways to structure the parts. Great songs have something else; something greater than the sum of its parts. Great songs have personality. Great songs come from the heart. Great songs are made by PEOPLE. That is you! You are ultimately the one putting together these elements. You are not inventing a new language or a 13th note, you are mixing the ingredients to make the dish. I'm just the grocery store. The really friendly, super fresh, incredibly extensive grocery store.

I began writing music seriously at around the age of 14. At this stage, it was all trial and error. I had no idea how chords worked so I just went for it, using my ears to guide me. It was "I like that, what's next?" When I began my Music Major at ...

About Thomas

I LOVE to teach and I am looking for a few rad students! I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in Music as well as minors in both Religion and Philosophy from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. After graduating in 2004, I moved to Philadelphia with my band, The Gravy who had been playing shows all over the East Coast from Vermont to Virginia. I worked in both the Pro Audio and Guitar sections of a large music store which taught me all about gear, recording and live sound. I began working at School of Rock in Downingtown, PA in October of 2005. In May of 2008, I relocated t
o San Diego and began working at the Vista (now Oceanside) branch of the School of Rock where I was Music Director until 2012 when I left to pursuit a more rigorous performance schedule with my band The Blue Moonies as well as my solo project called The Tommy Mitchell Show. Three of my students are just beginning their first year at Berklee College of Music in Boston. I have a home studio in Del Mar complete with Cubase 7.5 Artist.


Jim B. September 23, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I really enjoy learning guitar theory from Thomas. He is very enthusiastic and fun.
Jack W. September 15, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Great working with kids!
Alan J. June 9, 2015
Blues Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I've been playing guitar for many years, but Thomas was able to have me look at scales in a new light, and he gave me a good basis for playing the blues. I have several things to practice during the week. Looking forward to the next lesson.
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Thomas M.

Thomas M.

Del Mar, CA 92014
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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