Students are raving about their Music instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Sidd
"Cool guy, really easy to work with, gifted, and does't waste time."
San Diego, CA teacher:
Review by Nicole
"I love taking lessons with Natalie. She's personable and very encouraging. She's helping me a lot with learning to accompany myself, which is something I
've always wanted to learn. Highly recommended!"
Orlando, FL teacher:
Review by Jared
"Murray is a great teacher who is quick to identify areas for improvement, helpful exercises to make it happen, and keep it fun the whole time. He's also o
bviously very dedicated and passionate, as any professional musician must be."
Baltimore, MD teacher:
Review by Joannie
"I have been taking guitar lessons from Brian for a little over a year. His style is both patient and encouraging. I admire his ability to "hear the musi
c"....every note ! I am an adult who has wanted to learn guitar for many years and thrilled to have found Brian. He truly displays a desire to teach at a pace that is comfortable. I would recommend him to folks of all ages."
Hartford, CT teacher:
Review by Kevin
"This product has great features.
I didn't know exactly what to expect but I've been very pleasantly surprised. We emailed a bunch before the first lesson
and were able to jump right in with what I was working on. I've worked with a couple people on songwriting before but nothing has ever been so helpful. I definitely recommend him."
Minneapolis, MN teacher:
Review by Armand
"Amanda is motivating, inspirational and supportive...
When I decided to take voice lessons I was very unsure about my ability to learn the art of singing
. Amanda has completely erased that uncertainty by being very supportive, h onest, motivatiing and inspiring me to learn more about the control of this beautiful instrument we all have ."
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.
dorothee C. March 4, 2013
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.
Rob (aka R.J.): Born in Detroit, Michigan, RJ studied r&b and jazz from Motown drummers and Funk Brothers Benny Benjamin and Uriel Jones. From the age of fifteen he played in rhythm & blues and jazz combos around Detroit. He then studied privately with Berklee School of Music drum maestro, Gene Stuart, mallet studies with Mark Johnson at Michigan State University and earned a Bachelors Degree from Michigan State. He moved to San Francisco where he studied North Indian percussion and tabla with Zakir Hussain, trap set with jazz recording artist George Marsh. He is a consummate producer, perfo
rmer, recording artist and teacher. He plays and teaches all styles of rhythm including jazz, funk, blues, rock, latin, and world fusion. He teaches drumset, congas, djembe, tabla, cajon and hand percussion. In addition to teaching privately, RJ has directed special week-long drum and percussion focused ensemble productions at Drake High School and Marin Academy and was Music Director at Cascade Canyon (K-8) School for two years where he directed variety shows and produced scores for the drama department. In his teaching practice all ages are welcome and all levels including: beginners, intermediate students, advanced players, and professionals.
*** Lesson Details *** My approach to drum lessons is simple. I want my students to be excited about every stage of the process. I want to be as productive as possible with each student and want the lessons to be fun and focused. I want beginning students to learn the essentials of good posture, correct hand positions or grips (how to hold the sticks in matched and military grip), how to best use their hands and feet to get around the drumset and to then develop a solid foundation of applicable rudiments, rhythms and patterns. In fact, I have master drumset rudiments that help facilitate fluid movement around the drums in all directions. My studio is equipped with a top level TAMA drumset with Zildjian cymbals, congas, timbales, hand percussion, piano, vibes, excellent recording and listening equipment and speakers. I provide the necessary foundations of rudiments, rhythms, patterns and grooves. Then I show how to combine these essentials to the drumset. I combine these developments with essential reading studies so the student learns to read drum music and charts from the very beginning. I find out what kind of music the student listens to and likes and then I will use some of the more familiar tracks by those artists to help the student apply each pattern stylistically into actual arrangements…like a guitar teacher would teach some scales and chords, then apply them to actual songs. That way the student will remember the different patterns and remained engaged in the process. It’s a “see, say and do” approach. I have a saying that I use: “FREEDOM follows FUNCTION and function follows FORM.” First you learn the forms (rudiments, rhythms and patterns). Then, with practice, you become functional with the forms, rhythm patterns and combinations. Then you are free to use everything you learn as it relates to the music. Your are “free” to create and improvise both alone and with others.
Within six month my students will have a firm grasp of essential rudiments, rhythms, patterns, sticking, single and double bass drumset techniques and be reading charts for the drumset. Later on, as part of the student’s development, I will introduce them to different styles of music including jazz, African, Afro-Cuban, Latin and Brazilian rhythms and patterns so that the student becomes a well-rounded player.
*** Studio Equipment *** My Private Studio is on the first floor of my house: there is a six-piece professional series TAMA drumset and an assortment of K. and A. Zildjian cymbals, a piano, set of vibes, timbales, congas, bongos, djembe and a variety of hand percussion. There are additional chairs to sit on, Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons.
*** Travel Equipment *** Five and six piece drum sets, hard cases, three congas with cases, bongos in a hard case, timbales in a hard case, trap case for stands, cymbal case and stick bag.
*** Specialties *** Trapset all styles, African djembe and shekere, Latin congas and timbales, Indian tablas.
Barbara S. October 29, 2013
Drum Verified Student
I Got Lucky
A year and a half ago I decided to try to learn how to play an instrument, and chose drums. Learning how to also read and write music for drumming was high on my list. I also needed this to be a fun adventure with no real public performance goals for the first couple of years. It needed to be a stress reducer from the demands of the day job. Finding and working with RJ has been a total kick in the pants. I couldn't ask for a better coach. He hasn't let me get stuck in any one form, I'm learning all of them. It's hard! But I couldn't imagine not drumming now. It's very exciting, and I look forward to learning more over the coming years.
KatyV January 11, 2012
You won't find a better teacher than Rob. He obviously knows music, both theory and application. He is concerned about proper technique, but also enjoyment and variety, which means that you get it all. I'm learning tons more than I thought I would.
I love to sing, and I have a passion for teaching students to sing well. I have sung in choruses all my life, and have been inspired by fine conductors and great composers. I am certain that music enlivens my life like nothing else, and it can do that for everyone. Whether you sing in the shower, or in the choir, or with a few friends, or in an opera, you can find your song.
Learning to play the piano, from the very beginning, or picking up where you left off in the past, will bring a spark to your life. Whether you want to play for yourself or some friends, or want to get on track to becom
ing a concert pianist, music will enrich your life.
My students develop an appreciation for music of the Renaissance up through the 21st century. They are willing to delve into exciting territory while learning to read music, establishing confidence in their own musicianship. They discover the music within themselves, while learning the technique necessary to be the best musicians they can be.
I enjoy teaching high school, middle school, and elementary students as well as adults. I Love teaching beginners. I am trained in vocal pedagogy, music theory, music history, repertoire, performance practice and methods.
My formal education: B.A., UC, Berkeley (Phi Beta Kappa) M.A., Occidental College M.S. Pepperdine University Lifetime General Secondary Teaching Credential
Teachers and mentors: Howard Swan, Mary Jones, Edward Lawton, Robert Commanday, Roger Wagner, Linda Anderson, Boyd Jarrell, Paul Smith.
In the last twenty years, I have enjoyed being a participant in music at the College of Marin, through choral, vocal, opera and piano classes. I currently serve as volunteer assistant to the Director of Choral Activities.
I am particularly proud of my experience as instructional aide and coach for music students with disabilities at the College of Marin, including students with developmental disabilities and autism.
Past classroom experience: Long Beach Unified School District, Choral Music Teacher Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Choral Music Teacher Low Heywood School and King School (prep schools), Stamford, CT, Choral Music Teacher
*** Lesson Details *** Voice students can expect to learn how to produce tone beautifully, using correct posture and breathing, and proper vowel production, rhythmic precision, pitch accuracy, carefully formed phrases, and musical and stylistic interpretation. But beyond technique is the amazing art of communicating with other people the wonders of the music. You should expect to make good progress in all of these areas in just a few weeks. I hope you will come with serious interest in developing your beautiful voice.
Repertoire might include folk songs, art songs and arias from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries. Songs might be in English, or possibly in Italian, Latin, German or French, if you interested. We would sit down together and decide what dreams and goals you have, and then choose music to get you going down the path to those dreams and goals.
You can expect to have learned several new songs, and to have brought them to performance level in the first 3-6 months. If you have a goal to learn music for an audition, contest or festival, that can happen.
Piano students can expect to learn everything about the keyboard, posture, proper use right and left hands, scales, chords, arpeggios, and fun exercises leading to good technique, rhythmic accuracy, speed and fluency. Playing beautifully, with artfulness and expressiveness will be priorities.
Repertoire might include beginning to intermediate compositions from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic eras, as well as compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries. We would sit down together and decide what pieces to choose which would help you get on a path to your musical dreams and goals, and what would be appropriate for your age and development as a musician.
You can expect to be playing pieces with 2 hands within a few weeks, and perhaps a melody with chords, if you are a beginner. Degree of difficulty will depend upon your age, experience and development, but even very simple songs can be played musically, with grace.
Of utmost importance to me is that every student learn to read music, and develop an understanding of music fundamentals. The level of sophistication will depend upon age and experience, but learning good musicianship is essential. At the same time, opportunities for creativity to develop through improvisation could be on the horizon for you. It is important to me that you want to learn and and want to become the best you can be.
*** Studio Equipment *** I have a piano and computer with Finale at my home. I provide music and practice sheets, etc.
*** Specialties *** For voice, I teach classical style, including posture, breathing, tone production, vowel production, phrasing, diction, appropriate style and performance practice, and music reading. Materials I use include everything from folk songs to arias, and 16th century to contemporary compositions, in English, Italian, Latin, French and German. Voice is my primary interest. I am also competent to teach beginning theory, and beginning piano, both classical and standard popular, including improvisation from charts (melody, chords).
AndreaS February 16, 2012
Very nice singing classes
Donna is a very warm teacher, her way of teaching is very encouraging and supportive. I enjoyed her classes and learned a lot, more than only singing. I would surely recommend her as a teacher.
carmenl May 17, 2011
Donna is a great teacher. Gives me the direction I need to focus and progress and enough freedom to experiment with what I'm trying to learn. She also reveals some of mystery of how music works.
LenoraY June 15, 2010
Feedback for Donna
Donna's method of teaching gets quick results. She simplifies, presents and reinforces concepts such that I've managed to make progress with each lesson. Highly intelligent yet flexible, Donna was quick to analyze my learning process/style. Therefore, when I do falter, she knows exactly why - and helps me make adjustments.
For the last ten years I have made the process of learning music an exciting and rewarding endeavor for all ages and levels. I am teach piano, songwriting, composition, and music theory, and music production, and am fluent in Spanish.
My teaching methods include all the basic elements (technique, theory, ear training, sight-reading, performance, etc.), but the key here is that the lessons are specifically tailored for and suited to you, the student. Drawing on my experience as an Artist Developer, for more seasoned music students, I have mentored many a musician as they find their a musica
l path, whether it be artist/performer, composer/arranger, accompanist, songwriter, etc.
I have studied with over 12 music professors, both in the classroom and individually for 6 years at Saddleback Community College in Orange County. I have also studied a number of styles while composing for and performing in various small ensembles, including: world music, classical, pop, jazz, and musical theatre.
I continue to produce and compose music for myself and other artists as well.
*** Lesson Details *** I each student in the way they need to be met: if they need a serious approach to their musical goals, I meet them with the same intensity (and raise them a few!). Most students seem to prefer a laid back, more "fun" approach, which I am excellent at providing as well. For piano students, the Faber books serve as a springboard to go into playing their favorite kind of music, whether it's pop, jazz, or classical.
*** Specialties *** Classical, jazz, and pop styles of piano Songwriting in most genres (except rap) Pop styles of singing and guitar
Dami M. December 22, 2014
In studio Verified Student
My child was resistant to learning the guitar - thought it was too hard - but was able to make strides and now enjoys it due to Peter's patience! He made the lessons fun, too.
Melissa R. December 10, 2014
Arrangement and Composition ·
I had the privilege to work with Peter in Artist Development. He was instrumental in helping be unlock my creative blocks. His passion for music and musicians is evident in his breath. He really cares about the art of expression and will always go the extra mile to help artists grow their authentic self and passion. I highly recommend Peter to anyone. His excellent songwriting and composition skills, along with his Music Industry expertise and connections are an added bonus that could expand to endless future collaborations and possibilities.
brittany G. December 8, 2014
I have worked with and learned from Peter D. for a little over 2 years and am SO happy with how much I have learned. Peter is classically trained but is also open to many music styles and experimentation. Not only is he an exceptional musician himself, he really knows how to "diagnose" each student and create the lesson around their needs. You will not be bored in Peter's class!
Hi! I have studied, performed and taught the violincello (the cello), electric bass and contra-bass (acoustic, upright or double bass) for over two decades. I have played in symphonies, orchestras, chamber music ensembles, rock , blues , R&B, funk, and bluegrass bands, jazz combos, and Indian kirtan ensembles, performing everything from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky to Stevie Wonder and Miles Davis. Among numerous outstanding players and teachers, I have studied with Cameron Sawzin of the Boston Virtuosi as well as with renowned bassist Victor Wooten at his camp in Tennessee and California.
I take an intuitive approach to my lessons, focusing on the feel and tone of the music. I have found this to be the fastest and most effective way for my students to learn. I also put emphasis on technique, specifically healthy posture and body alignment in relation to your instrument. You should take lessons with me if you want to realize your dream of becoming a great auditory artist . I never employ pressure tactics with my students. I only facilitate inspiration, knowledge and understanding. I love teaching and sharing the Joy of music with others. Working with music for so many years I have become aware of the fears in our society surrounding playing music and learning a new instrument. I help my students to see through these fear-based thought patterns compassionately and patiently so that they can truly Make Their Musical Dreams Come True. All ages welcome. It is never too early or too late to start!
Chengjin Z. May 20, 2015
In studio Verified Student
I had a great experience learning drum with Dan.I have zero experience with drum, I asked Dan to help me play a song based on the video I like, he figured out how the drummer did it right away and taught me different style of playing it.
He is very patient and professional on what he is teaching. He knows how to help me to process different drum beats on my own pace, and encourage me to try out new things in each lesson. After taking his class, I enjoy playing and practicing drum on my spare time.
I am very happy to learn drum from Dan, and recommend him to people who is interested in learning or improving their music skills.
Mia R. July 14, 2014
I would highly recommend Daniel! He has a true gift for teaching in a way that supports students to blossom in their own unique way. A deep listener with a talent for finding what lights up each person's musical inspiration; Daniel is patient, supportive, and a talented musician. I left lessons feeling inspired to practice instead of obligated to. Best teacher I ever had!
Ben M. March 28, 2014
Finally a teacher I can learn from!
Dan came over to my apt and was very polite and a good listener. I told him what I wanted to learn and the types of music I liked. We talked for a bit and I instantly felt comfortable. After a good laugh we launched right in! I found his teaching style to be invigorating! We "jammed" on the first chord pattern he showed me and it actually sounded good. After a few more tricks I was hooked. I left my first session with Dan feeling not only inspired, but also informed. I had material to practice. Dan is a very fun, smart, broadly trained talent to learn from. I highly recommend him. A true musician!
Dreaming of playing the bass? Get inspired with this list of the best bass guitar songs, as chosen by Jamaica Plain, MA teacher Christopher S...
This article is written for all those bass players out there who are looking for their staple bass lines in the musical world. I am a guitarist, however, I began my musical journey on the deep grounding sounds of the bass. I played the bass in numerous bands throughout high school and college and it has always been an instrument that has resonated wi …
7 of the Best Bass Guitar Songs
Dreaming of playing the bass? Get inspired with this list of the best bass guitar songs, as chosen by Jamaica Plain, MA teacher Christopher S...
This article is written for all those bass players out there who are looking for their staple bass lines in the musical world. I am a guitarist, however, I began my musical journey on the deep grounding sounds of the bass. I played the bass in numerous bands throughout high school and college and it has always been an instrument that has resonated wi
Top 5 Piano Books for Beginners
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Subdivision: The Easy Trick for Reading Rhythms Right
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Science-Backed Rituals to Calm Your Nerves Before a Piano Recital
Do the butterflies in your stomach seem to turn into bats before each and every piano recital? You are not alone. Millions suffer from performance anxiety, or stage fright, from actors to professional athletes. But you dont have to let this anxiety prevent you from letting your talent shine for the world to see!
Is anxiety affecting you before your piano recital? Look for these signs:
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5 Excellent Online Resources for Singers
As you learn how to improve your singing voice with private lessons, you can also make the most of your time in between the lessons with helpful online resources, websites, and videos. Read on as Gambrills, MD teacher Shannon F. shares some of her favorites...
The Internet is a big place. There are so many websites, videos, and blogs for singers of all ages and ability levels. Sifting through them can be daunting, but having too many helpful resources is a good problem for students