Learn about rhythm, melody, harmony, and dynamics, and how they apply to the french horn. Explore the range of your instrument through various scales. Build solid skills through understanding the mechanics of how your body and instrument work together.
*Disclaimer* I'm currently not taking beginner students on voice/singing, guitar, bass, drums, piano, and ukulele. I highly recommend my studio partners Melissa though. Please check out her profile:
I've been playing with classical ensembles and rock bands since 2001. Even though I started on classical trombone and rock guitar, I have come to expand my repertoire to a variety of instruments and genres. During my time in college I performed with the University choir, orchestra, and band. I also have organized, wrote/arranged for, and performed with a variety of bands in my home state of New Mexico, as well as Japan, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Since 2006 I have been an active teacher. This profession has taken me everywhere from working with classical guitar cla
sses in New Mexico high schools to Elementary students in Japan to a variety of private students of various musical instruments and genres everywhere I've been. Since relocating to the Bay Area in 2010, I've had the pleasure of working with lots of great students from kids to adults with a wide range of ambitions. Since 2012 I've been running my own full time studio.
Philosophy of Learning
Lessons are generally designed to work towards giving students the tools to accomplish their goals and become increasingly independent over time. While all students will study similar fundamentals regarding technique, theory, and performance, every lesson is as different as every person. What kind of music do you want to make? I'll tell you what you need to do to get there, and help you take the steps to achieve your aspirations. It's really important to know though that everyone makes their own experience. The process of learning music involves you learning as much about your own mind and body as it does any external concepts, so please keep in mind only you can move yourself forward.
I also love to help students put together a song, record, and produce it for them so that they can have a recording to share with their friends and family.
I also hold events for my students. (Check out our pictures and videos below!) Younger students have opportunities to perform for friends and family at my studio every few months. Adult students also occasionally have events where they get a chance to get together and play music as well.
Aside from in-studio lessons, students also have the option to sign up for online lessons via Skype. (*Online lessons offered during different times than in-studio lessons.)
*Unfortunately due to scheduling issues, I'm not currently accepting students for bi-weekly lessons. I can do regular weekly lessons, or occasional drop-in lessons, but bi-weekly appointments make it really hard for me to give the best scheduled times to my existing weekly students. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.
My studio is equipped with:
*A P.A. System
*Vocal and instrument microphones
*Guitars, Basses, Ukulele, Banjos, etc
*Two guitar amps and a bass amp
*Various percussion including a fully equipped acoustic drum set
*A Roland V-Drums electronic drum set
*An electric piano console and Yamaha organ
*A MicroKorg Synthesizer
*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, Saxophone, and Flute
*An extensive physical and virtual music library
*A recording system that students are not only welcome to use but encouraged to
*HD Webcam and condenser microphone for high fidelity online lessons via Skype
Jesse has given directions on how to successfully become a better musician. His approach and explanation on musical theories was much more understandable than what I was previously reading. Overall, I found the lessons to be very usefull.
June 28, 2019
Super kind, patient and teaches a lot in each session!
March 25, 2019
Jesse is very friendly and a fun teacher to be around.
I have been performing on the horn for 15 years now. In 2017 I graduated from UCLA with my Masters degree in French horn performance. In 2010, I graduated from Chapman University with my music education and music performance degree on French horn. I enjoy helping other French hornist master this instrument and hope they find the love and fun in playing this beast of an instrument!
Hi! My name is Beckie and I have played music for all of my life. I play and teach many different instruments such as the French horn, trumpet, piano, saxophone, mandolin, guitar, and voice.
I have my Masters in Music on French horn as well as two bachelor degrees in music performance on French horn and music education.
My first job was as at a Montessori Academy elementary school, where I was the brass coach for 3 years. This is where I fell in love with teaching. I have been teaching privately for 16 years now and love the one-on-one attention that I can give the students.
I have worked with many great organizations like the Los Angeles Philharmonic and various music studios/orchestras around Los Angeles.
I currently am a freelance musician, Elementary school music teacher, brass coach for two local high schools and a p
rivate music teacher! I perform with orchestras and groups all around the Los Angeles area. I have performed in such wonderful venues as the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Sydney Opera house, in which I was able to premier a piece!
I look forward to working with you or your child in helping to start or continue a musical instrument!
*** Lesson Details *** When I teach lessons, I like to check in with the student to see how their day was and how practicing throughout the week went. I am very patient and will teach at the student's pace. I expect the student to practice during the week, even if for just 10 minutes a day. I will always work with a student as long as it takes to have them understand what is difficult for them musically.
For music, I like to use books. When we choose a book to play out of, I like to choose a book together so that the parent and the child are happy about the selection. Books vary based on what the needs are for each student. Books are to be purchased by the parent.
I usually play my instruments with the students, but being a freelance musician, I may need to save my chops for an upcoming gig. Not always, but happens from time to time :)
I also have a 24-hour cancellation/lesson change policy. If you are late for your lesson, I will try to accommodate the time but may have students or rehearsals afterward so it will not always be a guarantee. If you are going to be late, please text me BEFORE the scheduled lesson and make sure I confirm that I received your message. Lessons are to be every week as I DO NOT teach bi-weekly lessons.
*** Studio Equipment *** Lesson space is in my home w/ seating for parents and music stand for students. I also have a cat and a dog, so if you are allergic, please let me know! The dog and the cat are put away for the lessons as to not distract either one of us! They are pretty cute, though!
*** Travel Equipment *** I expect the student to provide music books and their own instruments and music stand.
*** Specialties *** I specialize in classical genres of playing but I am able to teach all different styles of music.
Outstanding instructor! Beckie is very positive and encouraging and my son has learned so much in just a few weeks. My son looks forward to his session each week. She is also an amazing musician herself and plays her instrument side by side with my son which allows him to hear and learn the individual notes.
Applauded for his “gleaming trumpet work” (Hyde Park Herald) and “dazzling virtuosity” (Grunion Gazette), Justin B. is a versatile musician, performing on both historical and modern trumpets. He specializes in early music, most notably in difficult high-register music for Baroque trumpet. Before formally studying Baroque trumpet, Justin won first prize in multiple historical instruments divisions of the National Trumpet Competition. As a highly sought-after solo/principal Baroque trumpeter, Dr. B. has performed with several leading early music ensembles throughout North America including American Bach Soloists, Apollo’s Fire, Washington Bach Consort, Tempesta di Mare, Musica Angelica, Scaramella, Bach Collegium San Diego, Lyra Baroque Orchestra, and many others.
Justin continues to perform as both a soloist and ensemble musician, combi
ning ongoing North American engagements with new collaborations with leading Baroque ensembles in Denmark as well as in the rest of Scandinavia and Europe. In Europe he has played with Camerata Øresund, Copenhagen Soloists, Barokksolistene, Arte dei Suonatori, Höör Barock, Enghave Barok, the Næstved Early Music Festival, Ensemble Hven, and several others.
As a modern trumpeter, Justin has experience performing in orchestras, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, pit orchestras for opera and musical theater, British brass bands, and numerous chamber ensembles. Before beginning his college career, he was principal trumpeter of the DC Youth Orchestra and had the opportunity to tour Japan as a trumpet soloist. He also performed regularly with the Prince George’s Philharmonic while in high school. More recently, he as appeared as a soloist with the South Dakota Symphony, the Firelands Symphony, and the Las Vegas Sinfonietta.
In addition to be being a trumpeter, Justin is also a countertenor and has sung with Apollo’s Fire and Opera Cleveland. While in Ohio, he was an alto section leader in the chamber and chancel choirs at Trinity Cathedral in downtown Cleveland and was the countertenor with Cantores Cleveland (now Contrapunctus). In addition, Justin briefly served as a bass section leader at Church of the Covenant in Cleveland. Justin also plays recorder.
Justin earned his DMA in trumpet performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He received his MA in early music performance practices from Case Western and his BM in trumpet performance from the University of Maryland. His primary trumpet teachers include Chris Gekker, Barry Bauguess, Steven Hendrickson, Steven Trinkle, and Justin Emerich. He has studied voice with Delores Zeigler, Ellen Hargis, and Aaron Sheehan. As a graduate assistant, Justin taught courses in ear training and music appreciation, and was a harpsichord tuner.
“The orchestra brought out the pulsy organ-grinder quality in the first movement of Concerto 3, but it was [Brandenburg] Concerto 2 that was the real show-stopper. Justin [B.], on Baroque trumpet, trilled his way nearly effortlessly through one of the most difficult parts in the repertoire, the highest notes piercingly clear above the orchestra.” (Post-Bulletin)
“It [the Baroque trumpet] is more difficult to play than its modern counterpart, but it’s a fascinating and arresting sound. The trumpet part in the second [Brandenburg] concerto is famous for its fiendish difficulties, and Justin [B.] played it with aplomb.” (Edmonton Journal)
“Skilled [Baroque trumpet] players can play the notes of the harmonic series with such instruments. A very refined embouchure is needed to “lip” or flatten or sharpen the impure harmonics of the notes of the 11th and 13th harmonics. The most virtuosic could use such techniques to produce certain chromatic notes outside this series…Justin [B.] made such skills seem effortless…” (Classical Voice of North Carolina)
“…trumpeter Justin [B.] displayed dazzling virtuosity in the solo cantata [“Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen”]…”(Grunion Gazette)
“A good trumpet player is hard to find, and an excellent one harder still. It’s again still rarer to find a great player of the baroque trumpet, since the instrument is considerably harder to play than its modern counterpart (smaller embouchure, no valves) and this may explain why Justin [B.] is so darn busy and why he plays with, well, basically everyone.” (The WholeNote)
He is very knowledgeable and professional! I’m relearning the basics and his sessions have been very helpful to me. I plan to continue!
August 14, 2019
Justin is one of the most helpful trumpet teachers I have ever had. He adjusts the level of lessons in order to make them both challenging and enjoyable. He makes sure that I have a solid foundation and continue to practice scales and basic techniques. He also demonstrates how I should play certain pieces and what they should sound like, rather than simply telling me, which I find very helpful when learning.
August 12, 2019
There is no doubt that Justin is dedicated in working with his student and a good teacher. Our son Isac is improving every time. He enjoys the training with Justin and enjoys playing the trumpet so much that now he goes on YouTube to find popular songs he can learn to play.
All this is thanks to Justin and his good teaching skills.
Kristen is a classically-trained French Hornist and Los Angeles to New York City transplant with over 15 years of teaching experience. In addition to a decade-long career as the French Horn soloist in Blast!, a Tony and Emmy award-winning theatrical production, Kristen has toured as a pit-musician for shows like the national tour of 42nd Street, performed in theme park shows at Disneyland, and recorded for film, musical artists, and other digital media in Los Angeles. Kristen holds a Bachelor of Music in French Horn Performance from the University of Southern California and a Master of Fine Arts in brass performance from California Institute of the Arts.
Kristen is a classically-trained French Hornist and recent Los Angeles to New York City transplant. In addition to a decade-long career as the French Horn soloist in Blast!, a Tony and Emmy award-winning theatrical production, Kristen has toured as a pit-musician for shows like the national tour of 42nd Street, performed in theme park shows at Disneyland, and recorded for film, musical artists, and other digital media in Los Angeles. Kristen holds a Bachelor of Music in French Horn performance from the University of Southern California and a Master of Fine Arts in brass performance from California Institute of the Arts.
Kristen has been teaching privately and through schools and organizations for over 15 years. She is also the founding Director of Music for CITYstage.
Hired Kristen to help our son Eliot who was played French horn but was really interested in doing drum corps. I have to say, my husband and I eavesdropped on their lessons and Kristen really is a very patient and encouraging teacher. Our son was really happy and even I could tell he improved during his time studying with her. Would highly recommend.
November 21, 2017
Kristen was my horn tutor during my year of study abroad. I arrived in the country with one goal, to march in a drum and bugle corps for my age out year. It would be an understatement to say she really helped me make the most of my musical experience in the country.
I was really impressed. Kristen draws on the richness of her own performing experiences and she has a natural talent for teaching. I always left her lessons with fresh energy, a new challenge and just enough technical and musical direction to be pushing beyond my comfort zones as a musician.
I don't want to hammer the zero-to-hero story, but with Kristen's help I went from no marching experience, to marching on mellophone in a world class drum and bugle corps that summer. It was the most amazing year of musical development, both outdoors and in a solo and concert ensemble settings, and I owe a large part of that to Kristen for her supportive approach, flexibility and, of course, her expertise.
I should add, she's really relatable and I had great fun during lessons. 10/10 would take lessons again if I were in the right country!
25 years of professional experience in the fields of solo, chamber music, orchestral, opera and commercial. I will teach you sound production, articulation, style and repertoire, basic and extended techniques. 10 years+ of college teaching experience.
Will travel further than listed by special arrangement (call take lessons to inquire) - especially via easy public transit. Professional internationally touring musician for 20+ years, Classical, Broadway, Experimental, Early music. Bachelor of Music; Norwegian State Academy, Master's of Music; Mannes College of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts; Stony Brook University (expected completion Spring 2015). Faculty positions held at Rowan University, NJ, University of Tennessee, TN, University of Akron, OH, International Festival Institute, TX, Siena Summer Music, Siena, Italy
Excellent experience. Persistent getting through technology challenges. Enjoyable lessons. Great teacher.
July 14, 2019
As others have stated Karl is very patient with a new learner. His explanations are thorough and understandable. I make progress from lesson to lesson (for the most part) and look forward to the next lesson.
I use a variety of materials to best fit what the student needs and would like to get out of taking lessons. I enjoy teaching and playing music and I try to make sure my students have fun as well!
Hello! My name is Phillip M. and I have been playing the Horn for 15 years now. I started back in elementary school and haven't looked back since. After high school, I went to Central Michigan University where I earned my Bachelor of Music in Horn Performance while studying under Dr. Bruce Bonnell. While I was at CMU, I performed with the Symphony Band, Wind Symphony, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Marching Band, Horn Choir, and a Horn Quartet. I then went to Western Illinois University where I studied under Dr. Randall Faust and earned my Masters in Horn Performance. While at WIU I performed with the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Brass Ensemble, and Horn Ensemble. I also played with several local organizations while at WIU including the Quincy Symphony Orchestra, Monmouth Civic Orchestra, Quincy Community Theatre, and
the Knox-Galesburg Symphony. I also have solo experience and have put on a junior recital, senior recital, two graduate recitals, and I performed the Hindemith Horn Sonata with the WIU Symphony Orchestra as a Concerto Competition winner as well as participate in many horn studio recitals during my college career. I am now living in Rochester Hills where I have been teaching private lessons, teaching Horn sectionals to local schools, and performing in several local orchestras including the Oakland Symphony Orchestra and Macomb Symphony Orchestra. I am willing and happy to teach all levels of musicians and I hope you consider me if you are interested.
Great first lesson with Phillip! Looking forward to many more.
August 23, 2019
February 6, 2019
Phillip was on time and professional, introduced himself and coordinated with us appropriately. His first lesson made our twelve-year-old feel comfortable and she really got a kick out of when he asked her what she thought SHE needed to work on. He did a wonderful job expressing her creative outlet and was very comfortable in the mechanics of the French horne. Would recommend any time!
I have a degree in music education which has taught me about all woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. I can help you achieve all of your performance goals.
I am a hardworking and passionate individual who loves music and loves teaching. I want to share my passion and interest for music with as many students as I can so that they can find new and different ways to express themselves. I love seeing students accomplish more than they thought they were capable of ever doing, and it is what keeps me passionate about teaching.
Chloe.. was excellent! My daughter learned a lot in just 30 minutes. She’s excited about her next lesson.
August 7, 2018
My daughters anxiety was high the first day of highschool for band. The students were seasoned and Lauryn had not practiced in months. Chloe eased Lauryn’s nerves and gave her the confidence she needed in just the 1st lesson! She’s awesome!
"Becky was great! Kind and gentle teaching manner. Brody is excited to have homework and looks forward to next week!"
"Great first lesson! Olivier is very thorough and very encouraging, and my daughter is very happy with him!"
"Dr. Merkel is the first tutor we have come across that is honest, forthright and actually TEACHES my daughter what she needs to know to reach her goals. H
e doesn't just tell her what he thinks she wants to hear to get her to come back next week. He's the real deal. He is a gentle corrector while being stern enough to instill what is necessary to succeed. The difference in her after four weeks with the Doc is amazing when compared to the last EIGHT YEARS she has been playing without his tutelage. We cannot say enough about him at this point and are thankful to have found such an expert!"
"He wrote us a list of what Erik needs for music, he said that he is going to write some music as well, and recommended us to have our instrument tuned and
cleaned. He had his instrument out and ready to play with him when we arrived."
"Encouraging, receptive, genuine, and able to connect with my child on her level to give her a good start in learning her instrument. Pretty great for a fi
rst lesson.The studio was a really small area but not a problem for us."
"As a musician, Zac is above and beyond talented. Because of his proficiency and excellence, he offers great insight and helpful hints on how to play prope
rly and with support, two extremely important parts of being a musician. Lastly, it is quite obvious what music means to him. His passion is inspiring, and makes me want to continue to pursue and practice my instrument. His lessons helped me develop from a second part to a first part, enabling me to play higher and more challenging parts for my band. Knowing that I was able to leave better than I started makes myself feel lucky and appreciative that I was able to take lessons with a person like Zac. Overall, one of the best music instructors I have had the pleasure of working with."
"Great first lesson!"
"he's pretty awesome. he's really helpful and a really nice guy. very helpful"
"I haven't taken lessons from Xin, but as a colleague of hers at the Eastman School of Music, I can honestly say that she is one of the best and most dedic
ated horn players I've ever met. I have no doubt that Xin's skills as a musician would transfer well to her teaching. You won't go wrong with her."