San Francisco Music Performance Lessons

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Popular Music Performance Teachers Near San Francisco

Check out some of our most popular teachers near San Francisco including Emeryville, Alameda, Brisbane, Sausalito and Daly City.

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John D.

Berkeley, CA

I have performed for a living since graduating high school in 2003 on 4 continents and in hundreds of different groups. From classical orchestras to intimate jazz bands to rock and roll to all sorts of world music, my versatility as a performer is what sets me apart from other musicians.

About John

*** Lesson Details ***
My students will develop a passion for music and a desire to play!

I like to get right to the experience of actually playing music. I start with learning songs, drum beats, and chord progressions and get to technique and music reading AFTER we have had some fun.

My key to successful teaching is to create a custom curriculum for each student. Some students are interested in the details of how to do it "right", and others just want to rock. I try to adapt to different learning styles and musical goals to give each student an ideal experience.

I want student
s to learn how to play, not just how to read or do drills. We will listen to music together, and talk about the function of each instrument. For drummers, I play bass lines on the piano and we lock into a groove. For piano students, I play along with drums or percussion. It's important for students to learn how to play with others, and to listen and get inspired by what's around them.

Students will have the option to perform in a student recital where you are backed by a band of professional musicians!

***John D.'s Biography***

I was born in Amsterdam, Holland, where my father worked as an opera singer. While listening to vocal warm-up arpeggios, my mother bounced me on her knee and taught me rhythms and rhymes.

In my family we beatbox, play piano, and sing together. The family moved to the States in 1995 where my parents worked as music teachers. My Dad is a voice professor at the University of Wisconsin, and my Mom runs an amazing music program at Country View Elementary School in Verona, WI.

I played in the band program throughout high-school and had an amazing and demanding music teacher and highly talented friends. The drumset became my passion and I played, blissfully and recklessly, as often possible. Our teacher took the high school band on a concert tour of Europe in 2002 in Austria, the Czech Republic, and Italy.

The band program led me to classical and contemporary music at the University of Wisconsin, where I honed my craft and discovered the profound breadth of music around the world. I paid my way through college as a member of the WI Army National Guard Band, a great wind ensemble with jazz and rock band components, and slowly built a career as a musician. I took every gig that came my way and created my own if nobody was calling. Pretty soon I became "œthe guy in, like, 8 different bands", including Funk, Rock, Jazz, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and West African bands. I've been working as a musician ever since, performing several nights per week, and teaching during the day.

I began teaching drum lessons to my friends when I was about 18 and realized I was really good at it. I began taking on private students and teaching group lessons and classes. Students of mine have achieved the highest ranks at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival in Wisconsin, and auditioned into the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra. I am on the annual faculty Wildcat Percussion Camp, was adjunct faculty at New York University, and directed the world percussion ensemble at the University of Wisconsin. I've worked as a teacher with the Madison Area School District, Wisconsin Youth Company, YMCA, Global Arts to Go, University Settlement, and in many different public schools in the New York metro area. I taught a high school class called "The Spirit of Jazz", and

I've learned how to be a real teacher, to put myself in your shoes to help you achieve your potential as a drummer, and as a musician. My teaching style is to de-mystify the art of percussion: getting great sounds out of the drums, being prepared for any style, practicing productively, and focusing your mind.

I have a Bachelor's degree in classical percussion from the University of Wisconsin, a Masters degree in Jazz Performance from NYU, and have traveled to Africa, Europe, and Latin America to perform, record, and study. I have performed with Badal Roy (Miles Davis), Chris Potter, Kenny Werner, Brad Shepik, Lenny Pickett, Chuchito Valdez, and many other great musicians. I was Adjunct Faculty at NYU'™s jazz program, and at the University of Wisconsin dance program. I've given masterclasses at Juilliard, University of Michigan, Lawrence Conservatory, and many other colleges. I played for 5 months in the Off-Broadway show "Fun Home", and toured and gigged with a wide variety of bands.

I've recorded on nearly 20 albums and have been involved in many other projects. Ask me anything you want in our music lessons!
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Reviews

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Nicole B. May 31, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
John's great. Patient, encouraging, and very good at teaching new skills and correcting bad habits.
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Kameron February 23, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Very impressed with his teaching methods and my son feels very comfortable with John.
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Eva L. September 25, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Our son enjoys working with John. He is very patient with young kids. I am amazed at what he's learned in a year!
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John D.

John D.

Emeryville, CA 94608
(9)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
208247_232343_22069

Steven B.

Alameda, CA

Having been a professional performance artist since 1972, I have practical as well as theoretic knowledge on how to make you shine on stage. I'll teach you basic techniques and "insider secrets" that will quickly have you looking and playing like a pro!

About Steven

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 35 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 Allm
an to name a few. 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.

>>> FYI: I'm happy to come to your home if traveling to my studio in Alameda isn't convenient for you, and I cover most of the East Bay, including Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Orinda, Lafayette, Walnut Creek and (of course) my own lovely town of Alameda. As much as I love our "City by the Bay", traveling to San Francisco, Marin, or the Peninsula just isn't cost or time effective for me; I apologize to you fine folks and potential students of the West Bay!
...

Reviews

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Billy May 17, 2016
Piano · In studio
wow amazing!
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Tim M. February 22, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
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!
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Noor A. October 18, 2015
Classical Piano · In home
Verified Student
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!
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Steven B.

Steven B.

Alameda, CA 94501
(16)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
Profile_74132_pi_photo (87)

Tracey H.

San Francisco, CA

As a front woman to a rock/soul band, I've got some performance chops under my belt. I'm a standing testament to the fact that performance anxiety *can* be overcome- and with a vengeance! Performance techniques we'll go over include everything from microphone technique, to simple PA/monitor setup, live performance tips and tricks I've picked up over the years, and developing your own persona that feels natural, comfortable, and fun. I studied Dance for the first 18 years of my life, too, so we can throw some of that in there too. I draw from it frequently as a performer, actually. I've played big shows to small ones and run into a lot of things over the years. We can talk about it all. get ready for story time!

About Tracey

I've been singing, performing, songwriting, and studying voice for 20 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 own 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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Elizabeth N. August 4, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Tracey is super nice. I was not with them in the sdudio when she was teaching my daughter . She said I could definitely stay there though. My daughter was very happy with her.
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Elizabeth N. August 4, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Tracey is super nice. I was not with them in the sdudio when she was teaching my daughter . She said I could definitely stay there though. My daughter was very happy with her. This was the first lesson she he
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Richard Baker September 5, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Awesome!
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Tracey H.

Tracey H.

San Francisco, CA 94117
(5)
starting at
$60 / 30-min
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Thomas K.

San Francisco, CA

About Thomas

I've been teaching for over 10 years and I have never had more fun with it. I studied classical guitar for ten years earning a bachelor's and a master's degree in music. During my formal education I not only learned music theory, music history, ensemble playing, and composing, but more importantly I learned how to REALLY learn new things. This ability I try to pass on to my students.I love sharing the things I've learned from all of my various experiences whether it be from my classical guitar background or from one of my various pop/rock bands. I am a working musician and I still learn new th
ings every time I go out to play. It could be classical music at weddings, Jazz at clubs, or Rock and Roll at rowdy venues. There's a lesson to be learned from each.  

*** Lesson Details ***
Playing and understanding music is easy. The notion that it is only for the gifted and super talented is a lie.Fun is the first priority. Everybody wants to learn different things.  I tailor the lesson to the student and their goals. With guitar or theory/songwriting, each person has an 'ideal' they are striving for (rock guitarist ala Jimmy Page, Acoustic folk ala Bob Dylan, songwriter like Paul Simon, or classical guitarist like Andres Segovia).  I work with students to reach their ideal in a laid back, friendly manner.

I might teach out of a book or make our own book as we go along depending on the student, their experience level, and their goals. Each lesson will stress the important music fundamentals and making things easier. Every lesson and every student is different.  I have students as young as 5 whom I help learn music while they are learning how to read and write.  AND on the other side, I have students like my 81 year old mandolin student who has exciting ideas on how we should perform in our next recitals.Learning music is an investment.  Everyone learns at a different pace. There is no norm.  There is no "place they should be" at after a given time of lessons/practice.  I've had students that stagnated for YEARS and then TAKE OFF musically once they really decided to apply themselves.  If you are the parent of a student the best thing you can do is to be involved. After that, nature will take it's course.    

*** Studio Equipment ***
Some amplifiers, spare guitars, and plenty of nick-nacks.  

*** Travel Equipment ***
Instrument

*** Specialties ***
I am trained in classical guitar, but of course I've been playing and teaching electric guitar for years in different bands and professional settings.In addition, I am very passionate and knowledgeable about Irish/Celtic music and instruments i.e. Mandolin, Tin/Penny Whistle, Bouzouki
...

Reviews

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Justin H. May 12, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Thomas has been teaching my 13 year old daughter guitar. She is doing very well. Thomas is a wonderful teacher. I would recommend him to anyone. He helps her understand music theory while he patiently teaches her. He is always on time for her lesson.
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Jesse M. January 4, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
After just 1 lesson, I can tell that I picked the right teacher to help me with my musical goals! Thomas is patient, very knowledgable, and it seems like if I bring any project to him in future lessons, he'll be able to help with whatever I throw at him. Thanks again! I look forward to getting better and having Thomas help me along the way
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Justin S. September 30, 2015
Flamenco Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Thomas is an excellent guitar teacher who brings a lot of knowledge, patience, and flexibility to every lesson. He is very encouraging and knows how to explain techniques and concepts clearly to kids. He also has the ability to customize the lessons to your child's skill-level and interest. As a result, my child loves to practice on his own and looks forward to his weekly lessons with Thomas!!!
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Thomas K.

Thomas K.

San Francisco, CA 94114
(13)
starting at
$37.50 / 30-min
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Samuel N.

San Francisco, CA

-Proper posture
-Working on Nerves
-Accuracy when playing under pressure
-Playing with confidence
-How to have fun when you perform!

About Samuel

Hello, I'm Sam, and I've been playing the viola for 13 years, and teaching for a total of 6-7 years. I'm at graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, but I'm a native born South Dakotan. I'll tell you a little bit about myself as a teacher.

I love sharing what I've learned with students, and I'm particularly interested in teaching students what they want to work on, but also giving them the tools that they need to succeed. I teach from either a traditional standpoint, or from Suzuki books in order to teach technical facility.

I don't provide instruments or the accessories t
hat go along with it, so please be prepared to have those things. I'll also provide a list of music that you should order after our first lesson.

I always hope to open the eyes of my students and teach that confidence and hard work can not only progress them in learning music but with most skills in life. Most importantly I never want my students to feel that music is a burden! I want them to always enjoy themselves when they are practicing or performing.

My Performance Bio:

Sam N. is a native born South Dakotan who began his viola studies at the age of ten. He began taking private lessons at the age of fourteen with his teacher Carol Knowles. Eventually, he continued his studies in South Dakota with San Francisco Conservatory alumni Kate Weeks. Sam is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with Jodi Levitz. He has participated in master classes with Helen Callus, Jay Liu, Jonathan Vinocour, Jerzy Kosmala, Hank Dutt, William Goodwin, Jackie Schwandt, and Kelly Hall-Tompkins. Mr. N. was the principle violist of the South Dakota All State Orchestra from 2007-2009, principle violist of the J. Laiten Weed Honors Orchestra from 2008-2010, and a member of the Black Hills Symphony from 2006-2010. In 2008, he was the 1st prize winner of the Lucy Palermo Weed String Competition, and won South Dakota's ASTA viola division. Two years later, he received the Henry Charles Smith Award in the SDSO's Young Musician's Competition, and also claimed 2nd prize in the BHSO's Young Artist Competition. In 2011-2012, he was also invited in to the Orlando Chamber Soloists Apprentice Program. Sam is also the former principle violist of the San Francisco Youth Orchestra which toured Germany in the summer of 2012. Featured performances took place in the concert halls at the Gastieg in Munich and Berlin Philharmonic. In 2013-2014 Sam was the principle violist of the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra.
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Reviews

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Chris P. July 1, 2016
Viola · In home
Verified Student
I'm one of Sam's adult students, and have taken 3 lessons from him. He's incredibly skilled and a joy to learn from. Sam's an excellent teacher for a few reasons: he's the epitome of a patient teacher (learning a stringed instrument requires a LOT of patience), he's punctual, and he's focused yet flexible (he's got a good sense of what you need to learn, but is willing to customize his lesson for you). I've enjoyed learning from Sam and am looking forward to more lessons!
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melis June 3, 2016
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Sam is real professional. He knows how to communicate with you, and where to focus on as your weakness part... I can say that his passion about violin, effected me a lot.
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Srinivas Parthasarathy March 16, 2016
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Sam is great..very patient and makes the lesson enjoyable.
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Samuel N.

Samuel N.

San Francisco, CA 94102
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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Recent Music Performance Articles from the Blog

Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, check out the Music Performance articles on our blog.

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When you become a musician -- whether you're playing the guitar, the drums, or another instrument -- you'll notice a pattern when others find out about your skills. Read on to learn what they don't tell you about becoming a musician, in this guest post by Brookings, SD teacher Carl S...     Every musician has his or her own story. Some people play as a hobby and may play the occasional gig. Others are gigging frequently or perhaps teaching music. No matter what type of musician you ar … Read More
What They Don’t Tell You About Becoming a Musician
When you become a musician -- whether you're playing the guitar, the drums, or another instrument -- you'll notice a pattern when others find out about your skills. Read on to learn what they don't tell you about becoming a musician, in this guest post by Brookings, SD teacher Carl S...     Every musician has his or her own story. Some people play as a hobby and may play the occasional gig. Others are gigging frequently or perhaps teaching music. No matter what type of musician you ar
Music Criticism: How To Handle a Critical Audience
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Open Mic 101: How to Overcome Stage Fright & More
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