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Music Lessons in San Francisco, CA

Welcome to San Francisco, the mecca of performing arts. While San Francisco may not have the musical history of other cities like New York or Nashville, what it does have is passion, and music groups ranging from classical to punk rock call the city home.

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That’s where we come in. If you’re looking to give your music career the boost that it needs, our San Francisco music lessons can help. Whether you’re looking to learn to play guitar, drums, violin, piano, or even fine-tune your voice, our certified and pre-screened music instructors will cater lessons to your individual goals and interests, ensuring an excellent experience.

We offer music classes ranging from beginner to advanced, and all ages are welcome. For our advanced students, we even offer courses in songwriting, music theory, music recording, voice training and music performance. If you can’t go to one of the many studio locations here in San Francisco or the surrounding area, don’t worry about it. We can come to you! Several of our dedicated music instructors are available for in-home lessons. Give us a call and we’ll help you set up the schedule that best fits your needs.

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Tracey H.

San Francisco, CA

About Tracey

I've been singing, performing, songwriting, and studying voice for 17 years. I attended Berklee College of Music, where I studied Voice/Vocal Performance, and earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance from Musician's Institute in LA. I've been teaching since 2006, and work with a wide range of contemporary genres with a focus on rock, pop, country, folk, Americana, R&B, blues, and soul. I like to take a "back-to-basics" approach to voice by helping students develop the core aspects of breathing/breath control, correct vowel placement/vowel tuning, and a focus on muscle memory as
it relates to stretching the cords. I've been told my approach is simple yet effective, and a unique blend of classic concepts with a practical/modern approach to getting in tune with one's one unique voice. Currently a gigging musician and songwriter in SF, I am in the trenches alongside many of my students, which gives me a unique perspective and empathy for the many stages of personal and career development as a musician. I have a lot of first-hand experience with the music business and what it means to manage a band and a DIY-career. Another area I specialize in (and which is probably the nearest to my heart!), is performance anxiety. Having overcome performance anxiety myself and gone on to be a bandleader and gigging musician, I have a close relationship to this and take a special interest in helping students overcome their own fears and anxieties, identify their own voice and identity as a singer, and taking the steps to develop that.

Mostly, I aim to debunk the mystery that the voice can be shrouded in, and change it from being elusive and temperamental to something that students can feel in control-of and at-ease with. I've taught a wide range of students, from young kids to a Marine (true story!), so am comfortable dealing with an equally-wide range of goals and voices.

*** Lesson Details ***
Well, my students tell me that I have the unique advantage of "being young/in touch with the real-world of the music business, but with real professional training and chops." That's about as good as I could have said it, I suppose! I like to pull from all the different facets of my experience and background to inform me as an instructor: formal education and training, as well as my first-hand experiences with my own band, my own struggles with performance anxiety, and my discovery of my own voice through the very methods I now teach to my students.
What that means for you is that rather than focus on a rigid set of rules, we'll focus on your voice and custom-fit a program that is built from solid vocal technique coupled with specific tools to help you develop your own voice and style. I do truly believe in building a solid foundation for you to build your voice upon, but am unconventional in that I believe the best way to learn to sing is by breaking down what is actually going on in there- in a way that students can understand and interpret themselves. Nerd alert: Vocal technique can actually quite liberating and fun! Yes, we will teach you how to breathe correctly; yes, you will be singing scales. But the key is that you'll know why you're singing each note, and what is going to get you to sing those notes more effectively. I believe in hard work because the voice is a musical instrument; but I also believe in making it easily digestible and fun.

In our lessons, you'll learn how to breathe correctly, test your vocal range, and start working on strengthening your head and chest voices to achieve some continuity in your range. We'll also develop the mask and what I like to call your "vendor voice." Oh yeah- it's good stuff. You'll have warm-ups and scales you can use on your own time to get ready for a gig or to continue strengthening the muscles.

*** Studio Equipment ***
PA/monitors, keyboard, microphones.

*** Travel Equipment ***
If I am traveling to you, I bring a laptop and small set of speakers on which to play recorded scales and pull up songs for song work. I also have a portable digital recorder to record lessons if that is desired.

*** Specialties ***
I have experience with a wide range of styles, but my main genres of focus are rock, pop, Americana, country, blues, soul, and R&B.
I specialize in vowel tuning/correct vowel placement as a way to strengthen the muscles of the voice, in order to correct pitch/tone and solidify muscle memory as it relates to the voice as instrument. I teach from a "ground-up" approach, meaning I feel it's crucial for my students to understand how their voice works, why it works in certain ways, and how they can use vocal technique to their advantage as singers and performers. Building upon that strong foundation, I customize a program for each of my students to address their own set of strengths and challenges.
...

Reviews

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Niki I. June 13, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Tracey is so good at making you feel comfortable. Obviously singing in front of someone, especially while they are critiquing you, is something that scares a lot of people and might make them shy away from taking lessons, but Tracey is the coolest person ever and in the handful of lessons I've had so far she makes me feel more comfortable and confident each time. I highly recommend her!!
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Julia J. May 6, 2014
Singing
Verified Student
One amazing teacher!

Tracey is a phenomenal voice teacher and I highly recommend her! She's organized, professional and very musically talented. But more than that, Tracey is extremely adept at communicating the subtle and hard to grasp vocal techniques that are so difficult to put into words. In addition to using analogies, she's great at using visual cues (drawings, arrows, notation# and relating vocal movements to colors, physical movements and sensations. She was more than willing to adapt her lessons for me so that I can gain the best understanding.

I have had other teachers in the past, and while they were all talented and very nice, only Tracey has been able to help me improve my singing voice. I improved more in 3 lessons with her than I did in 8 months of lessons with a previous teacher.

Tracey is also very kind and patient #very necessary with beginners!) and very good at correcting without criticizing. She went way out of her way to accomodate my schedule and even comes to my house for the lessons. I think she's the best and I'm sure you will too!
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Tracey H.

Tracey H.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(2)
starting at
$45 / 30-min
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Jim T.

Fairfax, CA

About Jim

My career in music began at an early age (four!) with classical piano lessons until the age of thirteen. After expanding my musical horizons in high school listening to jazz, blues and rock I attended Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA where I studied jazz & music theory with renowned jazz educator Ray Brown and jazz piano with Paul Nagle who has worked with Grammy award winning singer Bobby McFerrin among many others.
I have been performing solo and in groups since the Eighties in a variety of different genres including rock, jazz, blues, r&b, funk, reggae and everything in between! Perfo
rming with such artists as Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Dan Hicks, David Grisman, Tommy Castro, Eric McFadden, Mark Karan & Vinyl I have appeared at most of the major venues in the Bay Area including the Warfield Theatre, the Great American Music Hall, Yoshi's SF, the Regency, Bimbo's & the Sweetwater.
My teaching experience goes back over twenty years and I relocated to Marin County in the Bay Area in 1995 where I've been teaching extensively since 2002. Since then I have helped hundreds of students realize their dream of learning to play piano and keyboards as well as read music, play perfectly in time and learn songwriting skills. Playing music is fun & easy......I can show you just how easy it is!!

*** Lesson Details ***
My style is laid back with a large supply of patience and devotion to my students. I teach beginning , intermediate & advanced piano and keyboards (including organ). For adult beginning piano students I use the John Thompson Modern Course for the Piano Grade One along with Thompson's Note, Scale & Chord Speller books and flash cards for a quick and easy route to learning how to read music and basic music theory. For kids (5-7) I like Thompson's "Teaching Little Fingers to Play" along with the kid's music theory books by Linda Ng.
In the first six months students can expect to study basic finger exercises and scales, how to read music easily and quickly, how to play perfectly in time & develop a repertoire of songs to play. Once students have learned basic skills it is possible to explore many different genres including classical, jazz, blues, rock, reggae and much more. I customize the lessons to fit each student's needs and desires and can also help the students with songwriting and learning from the recorded works of great artists!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Beautiful 1884 carved English maplewood Estey upright piano!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide the books and supplies at cost...students should have some kind of keyboard to practice on...preferably a real piano although I have taught many students initially on electric keyboards.

*** Specialties ***
I teach beginning, intermediate & advanced piano in the styles of classical, jazz, blues, rock, r&b, pop, country, etc. ages 5-105! Usually I start beginners in the John Thompson method & speller books along with music flash cards and then am willing to shift into different styles as the students gain basic skills.
...

Reviews

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dorothee C. March 4, 2013
Piano
Great teacher for children, including jazz

Our 3 kids have taken piano lessons at our house with Jim for 6 years. Jim is a unique piano teacher, the kind that is hard to find in the bay area. He teaches classical music to beginners and confirmed students and goes to your house to teach. His training was in classical music, and he knows very well that it takes time and effort to get there, he is patient and encouraging, our kids NEVER felt pressured by him and still learned how to play in an exponential way. Thanks to Jim, they like to play for themselves AND in front of other people, which is one of Jim's important goals. Jim is now a renowned jazz piano player and cofounder of a band (Tre Mojo's) and we are always invited in his gigs when they take play in the bay area. Our son is learning jazz with him, it has been impressive to watch and hear, after a year he does know the jazz harmonies and can do impros. Every spring, Jim organizes a very nice recital where all his students come and perform various types of music (from Beethoven, Chopin, to the Beatles, to jazz impro. from beginner to professional level). Jim basically taught our children to play music with no stress, no competition, and still at a high level. Besides, Jim is highly professional, has NEVER been late, and always does what he says and -we believe- says what he thinks. There has never been a bump in our relationship. We would highly recommend him as a piano teacher.
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Jim T.

Jim T.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(1)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
198704_167327_14050

Sandra M.

San Francisco, CA

About Sandra

I am a classically trained pianist and trumpet player with a
bachelor's degree in music education. I have taught for over 20
years, to both adults and children, with a focus on classical basics
and music theory for beginners and stylistic development in various musical styles for intermediate and advanced students. I teach from a standard
method, but adapt my teaching style to the personality and learning
strengths of my students.

I teach from my home in the Castro neighborhood.

*** Lesson Details ***
You can expect a calm teaching atmosphere and a generally laid back approach t
o your learning. I am experienced in teaching students of all musical backgrounds or none, and adjust my expectations accordingly. I teach from a standard method, but incorporate other methods as well depending on what you want from your lessons. We will work together to determine how you learn best and what you want from your lessons. If you are a beginner, within 3-6 months you will know how to read music, know basic theory, and be able to perform pieces suited to your level at recital. If you are intermediate or advanced, we will focus on your technique and understanding of the music you are playing or desire to play.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Yamaha Spinet Piano

*** Specialties ***
I am classically trained, but well-versed in many styles.
...

Reviews

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Elisabeth G. January 29, 2013
Verified Student
Excellent in all regards

Sandy is great. She is supportive and encourages me beyond what I think I can do (and usually I can do it). I've only been working with her for 3 weeks and already my high notes (my biggest problem) are much better and I'm sight reading at a much higher level. She is helping me to have a goal (an audition about 5-6 months) which gives me the incentive to practice when the going gets tough. She is helping me to bring my love of music back into my life.
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ChristineH July 23, 2012
Sandy is extremely patient! She is very fun to work with and I am enjoying my lessons thus far. Thanks Sandy!
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BrunoO July 13, 2012
Very happy

Sandy rocks! She's just really smart and always finds a way to keep me focused and entertained. Really happy with my trumpet classes :)
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Sandra M.

Sandra M.

San Francisco, CA 94114
(14)
starting at
$42 / 30-min
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Benjamin G.

San Francisco, CA

About Benjamin

I have been studying music my entire life. I first sat down at the piano at four years old and have never strayed. After attending a performing arts high school, I studied music composition and theory at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. My studies not only enhanced my passion for music, but gave me an understanding of it and the listening experience. My desire to share this love and excitement led me to become a piano teacher. Developing my own teaching practice has required intense organizational skills and independent motivation and enhanced my ability to work with others as I interact w
ith my students, their teachers, and parents. In this position, I have had the pleasure of expanding my students’ musical understanding by introducing them to new and different styles and genres of music.

*** Lesson Details ***
Provide interactive and engaging private lessons to students of all ages at my studio and their homes.
Teach piano, music theory, and composition to students of all ages and skill levels.
Develop lesson plans, practice activities, and homework assignments tailor-made for each student maintaining their interest and heightening their skill.
Improvise and sight-read with students to helping them develop a working knowledge of musicality and movement.
Arrange popular songs and simplify advanced compositions to suit my students’ skill levels.
Help students listen to and understand the music they know and love through musical development and ear training.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have 2 upright piano's and sound proofing equipment that helps reduce the intensity of the pianos.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in improvisation and ear training. I love teaching in the postmodernist classical genre. I also love teaching popular styles and methods where the student chooses what direction they would like to go. I do not force my students to play music they don't appreciate.
...

Reviews

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Lance June 12, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Great first lesson
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Lauren D. March 6, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Very good at reassuring me when I'm stressed out from the piece I'm learning... which is all the time. He is very helpful and really knows his stuff!!
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Gayle S. December 13, 2014
Music Theory · In studio
Verified Student
Benjamin is excellent, a music theory whisperer. In a few hours, my son went from a complete block to totally understanding and completing of all the music theory he was assigned. Most of all, he now understands the concepts and application and use. Really amazing work, incredible teacher. Can't say enough.
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Benjamin G.

Benjamin G.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(10)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
Profile_29596_pi_176886_611126839788_895130_o

Jacquelyn W.

San Francisco, CA

About Jacquelyn

Hello! My name is Jackie and I am a concert pianist and singer living and working in San Francisco. I teach students of all levels and ages. I love working with children as well as adults, whether they have professional aspirations or simply want to pursue music as a hobby. I have a master's degree in piano performance, and I am currently pursuing a second Master's degree in Vocal Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. I have had the privilege of performing with orchestras around the United States. I have performed in Carnegie Hall, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D
.C.

I am a very friendly and enthusiastic teacher, and I desire to help every student develop a love of music and become the very best they can be. I believe in working toward goals that will bring each individual student satisfaction and accomplishment. I have helped many students prepare for the ABRSM exams (the graded assessment tests set by the Royal Academy of Music). I have also taught college music theory and ear-training classes.
...

Reviews

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Rodil (Deo) D. March 23, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Have you seen conservatory conductor-teacher Fletcher rip into jazz drummer-student Andy in the movie Whiplash? Famous quotes: "Were you rushing or dragging?", "There are no two words in the English language more harmful than 'good job'."

Thankfully, Jackie is in NO way like Fletcher. She's kind and very encouraging, though firm and exacting at the same time. She will not say 'good job' if you don't deserve it. If you've seen her youtube piano and singing videos, you know that she comes from an impeccable classical background, so understandably her standard is very high. She doesn't tolerate 'sloppy' playing. I've been studying with her for 6 months plus, and I'm still trying to earn a star on my drop-rolls. I'm also still struggling to maintain a technique that does not vacillate between legato and staccato when doing scales with a metronome.

Before coming to Jackie, I could not read sheet music, and can only 'play by ear' (improvise) the melody/accompaniment while reading lyrics and chords from sites such as ultimate-guitar. I tried all kinds of software and apps, including 'Playground Sessions' and 'Piano Marvel' but with limited success. However, I just recently tried the new 'Flowkey' webapp, and was pleasantly surprised to see that I can now handle some of the beginner and intermediate level sheet music.

Here's a youtube video of some of us, her students, performing in our piano/voice recital: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r01ElWcOVmg

There's just no substitute to a real great personal teacher like Jackie, who can not only guide you, but ultimately motivate and inspire you.
Silhouette-80
Robert S. May 19, 2014
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Excellent professional teacher - extremely well qualified to teach and or perform - listens well and responds with easy to understand effective communication.
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Jacquelyn W.

Jacquelyn W.

San Francisco, CA 94102
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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