Tempe Songwriting Lessons

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Check out some of our most popular teachers near Tempe including Chandler, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Gilbert and Mesa.

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Derek S.

Tempe, AZ

About Derek

Hello there!

I love music! To me, it truly is a universal language, and nothing else can capture and express emotion quite like it. Ever since I picked up a guitar 15 years ago, I've been on a quest to learn and speak the language of music. One discovery I have made along the way is that I love teaching it to others, too!

Over the past 10 years, I've been busy immersing myself in music. The excitement of performing live on stage, the pride of writing a song that touches someone, the reward of watching a student learn something new—these are the things that fuel my passion. My dream is th
at my students will one day be able to experience these things!

I've been teaching guitar lessons for over 5 years, and I just recently graduated from ASU with a B.S. in psychology. Also, I am co-founder, producer, and engineer at an independent recording studio in Mesa, AZ. This broad range of experience makes me confident that I have lots to offer for every student, beginning to advanced.

*** Lesson Details ***
"Give a man a fish, and you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime."

This is my mentality when it comes to lesson curriculum. There are a lot of things involved in being a well-rounded guitar player, and by only learning to play random radio songs, you're missing out on the big picture! That's why I am an avid proponent of teaching music theory, note reading, music terminology, improvisation, songwriting, and more. These are the things that will feed you musically for a lifetime!

After just six months of taking lessons with me, students will have a firm grasp on the fundamentals of music, and they will be able to apply that knowledge to the songs they play. Students will also know how to play the guitar with proper technique due to scale knowledge, finger strength/dexterity exercises, and effective practice habits. They will even know about guitar maintenance, such as how to restring a guitar.

Lessons with me will truly allow you to understand every dimension of the guitar and musicianship!

*** Specialties ***
Guitar is my number one specialty—particularly classic rock, alternative rock, and popular styles, with a strength in bluesy solo technique. I have a modern teaching style, and I am very up to date with current music trends. I tend to focus on practical and transferable music skills—you know, the things that allow you to play with other musicians, learn new instruments, and be truly creative on the guitar! I am very adept in subjects related to real world music knowledge and application, such as songwriting, music theory, music recording, and music performance. Whether you're a hobbyist wanting to strum your way through folk classics, or a future musician looking to write songs and start a band, I have a way to make you love playing the guitar!
...

Reviews

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Wynter H. May 17, 2014
Bass Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Derek is an awesome instructor and mentor, and his studio is comfortable and clean. I agree with previous reviewers who said... BOOK HIM NOW!

Derek has a broad range of music theory knowledge and can play anything you ask for. He's also amazingly kind and supportive, adapting to the student's needs as you go along rather than adhering to a rigid schedule.

I've been taking bass guitar lessons with Derek for two months and I feel inspired. He always makes me feel like a rock star, while constantly challenging me to take my skills to the next level. I originally debated between two instructors on this site and I'm so glad I made the right choice!
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Mark T. August 17, 2013
Guitar
Verified Student
Great teacher - book him

I took lessons with Derek summer 2013. Derek did a great job of answering all my guitar and music theory questions. The techniques I learned under Derek were inline with my music interests.

Derek always did a great job of communicating with email. He was very flexible with scheduling and I always felt comfortable learning in his in-home studio.

Derek can play anything and he is very easy to work with - highly recommended.
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LYNND June 20, 2012
Fantastic Instructor!

In two lessons, Derek has simplified music for me and given me the tools to play a ton of songs already. I love that his lessons encompass some music theory, understanding of the instrument, and actual playing of a song. I feel like I learn something valuable each time. He gauges your skill level pretty well and delivers instruction at just the right pace. A fantastic instructor who presents music in a way that's easy to understand. I'm so glad I chose him as a guitar/ukelele instructor!
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Derek S.

Derek S.

Tempe, AZ 85281
(14)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Marty W.

Chandler, AZ

Songwriting is a pleasure and easy to learn once the basics are explored. Music Theory concepts are explored so songwriting comes naturally. A focus on the storytelling aspects of songwriting (along with emotional content) is covered. Let's get started - I love helping with your songwriting goals. Which - by the way - I make it a habit to encourage the songwriting aspirations of young singers and piano players. I respect and foster their efforts. I look forward to knowing that one day some of my students will look back over their childhood and say, "Oh yes - me? I started writing songs when I was eight." And, of course, for older students I have a lot of resources for assisting.

About Marty

Open up to your own unique voice. Play piano with energy and freedom.

"With singing, your body is your instrument. Helping you become all you can be as a performer is my number one goal. Protecting your voice is a close second as we work to strengthen your vocal range and the quality of your sound. As well, piano students will learn techniques that will speed up their comprehension of sight reading and/or improvisation. Teaching gives me an opportunity to energize my students and share with them historically proven techniques - as well as new ways of practicing and performing." - Marty


Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Marty moved to the Phoenix, AZ area eight years ago. Marty has over 20 years of performing and teaching experience. She studied for three years at the School of Music, University of Colorado, Boulder. She has studied in the Masters program in vocal pedagogy and has performed in a variety of venues from blues to opera.

You will find her pedagogy technique to be respectful of the masters that have come before her. She is also open to new techniques from belting (in popular music), to microphone usage skills. As a student, you will be invited to perform in student recitals. You will be joining a team of dedicated, passionate performers who know the pleasure of performing.

As a beginning and intermediate piano instructor, Marty will guide you in the basics of sight reading. If you prefer, your piano classes will consist primarily of improvisation and chord progressions (you will also learn a little bit of sight reading which will help you 'flesh out' the melody). You will gain a solid foundation in music theory as well as an introduction into the vast world of music history. All age ranges are welcome, from the beginning elementary student, to the retiree just now finding the time to pursue their passion to perform.

I have authored a variety of music theory articles to assist you with your progress. We use these in the lessons to speed up your assimilation of the material. You will receive support via this literature and will quickly recognize how music theory supports your efforts with either singing or playing the piano.

*** Lesson Details ***
Your voice is unique to you. How you currently sing and what you want to sing will be the foundation from which we work. We will explore your voice and strengthen it via breath and physical exercises and practice with a repertoire that suits your individual tastes. We will also prepare your mind for quick and fluid articulation of your musical sensitivities.

Music theory and various musical explorations will assist you in moving forward in the most rapid manner possible. Whether you are twelve years old or sixty-five, you will find fun as well as perceptive methods for strengthening your passion for musical performance.

Since your body is your instrument, I am very conscious of the need to assist you in waking your body up in order to perform most successfully. The warm-up exercises include not only traditional vocalizes, but also methods for stretching your body and strengthening your diaphragmatic breathing. My students become very aware of any residual tension in their bodies. Singing is a wonderful way to get in touch with - and expel - any way in which you might 'close down' or 'tense down' your physical body. By working with a caring professional, you will learn how to freely share your unique talent with the world.

As we progress through the series of classes, you will use breathing exercises to activate the thoracic (throat & chest) and visceral (stomach) cavities. Your lessons will continue into specific vocalization exercises; such as singing scales, triads and specific exercises to assist you with fluid musical expression. Traditional ear training will also be a part of the lessons for intermediate students.

Many of the lessons I teach include a theme of working on confidence, vocal projection, breath support, finding and releasing tension, vocal range expansion, audition preparation and stage performance. All singing includes a core of story-telling. You will be encouraged to 'deconstruct' a song and discover the story, along with the emotions that are found in the lyrics of the songs you will sing.

______________________

In a similar fashion, my piano students will work on exercises to establish kinesthetic learning or muscle-memory. I have a unique method for sharing chord-progressions and piano improvisation. You will learn to quickly share music in a satisfying and pleasing manner that will surprise you and the people who hear your music. From your unique 'ear,' and via your new-found understanding of music theory, music will pour out of your piano.

As a piano student, you will also be exposed to lessons of the masters who have taught for hundreds of years. Sight-reading at the piano is a very enjoyable skill. It is also a foundation from which we will work (while taking in mind your particular interests). Again, whether a pre-teen or a senior citizen (or anyone in between!) who has finally found the time to explore their musical talent - you will find classes uniquely suited to your musical trajectory.

Your lessons will proceed as you acquire the ability to successfully perform your exercises and musical literature. Playing the piano fluidly and sharing your abilities with others is an amazing experience! It is my intent to ensure that your progress is swift, enjoyable and based on the work of the masters who have come before us! See you soon... Cordially, Marty W.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano, metronome, microphone and amp. I can provide supplemental piano music; in some cases, students will need to purchase their own music. I also have an area where parents can wait for lessons to end. We also have a market or restaurant close-by as well.

*** Travel Equipment ***
When traveling to student's homes - they need to have a piano. In some cases, students also need to buy their own voice or piano books. In the event that a vocal student prefers in-home lessons and does not have a piano, I can bring an electric piano to the lessons (let's talk!).

*** Specialties ***
Barbara Doscher method of Opera Voice and Singing
Have experience with conducting choral music
Piano - beginner and intermediate sight reading
Piano - chord progression and music theory (some songwriting)
...

Reviews

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Hannah April 9, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
All I can say is, WOW! We are so happy that we made the switch to Ms. Marty!
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JoAnn P. December 19, 2014
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
We love Marty. My daughter has been with her 2 1/2 years. There is a special relationship with my daughter and Ms. Marty that I never hear from any other teacher. Respect! I'm speaking of the respect that Ms. Marty shows her students. When she speaks to my daughter she treats her with such respect and kindness. Francesca will always have the skills Marty has taught her and continues growing and blossoming under her tutelage.
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Kathleen C. December 14, 2014
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Marty can guide you go down whatever musical path that interests you. She tells you what you need to do to achieve great quality, but never makes you feel bad if you don't make it.

Instruction is always individualized and positive. She always looks for what you do best and helps you develop your strengths. She works with you to overcome your weaknesses. Taking classes with her is a great pleasure.
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Marty W.

Marty W.

Chandler, AZ 85224
(24)
starting at
$31 / 30-min
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Karen R.

Mesa, AZ

I teach songwriting basis which include: Composition, music theory, different musical styles, how dynamics, rhythm, and musical styles will affect the meaning of the song, etc.

About Karen

Karen R. was born and raised in a musical family in Lindstrom, Minnesota. Karen has loved to sing and play instruments almost all of her life, and became passionate about music early in her childhood. She has played 7 instruments proficiently including piano, bass guitar, acoustic guitar, ukulele, trombone, recorder, and voice (also an instrument). As a child, Karen took private instruction in piano and classical guitar. She sang and played guitar in her first band in the fifth grade! In high school she played trombone in band, bass guitar in stage band, and sang in the high school choir and s
tage chorus. In high school, she also sang and played acoustic and bass guitar in a rock band called the 6 pack, which performed for school dances and community events. Karen was also the singer and guitarist, leading the Young Life group. Even though Karen has had training in many instruments, she has had the most training in voice.

As an adult, Karen has sung extensively in church choirs, women's ensembles, and has been a featured vocal soloist at church services, Christian retreats, and women's ministry events. She was extensively involved in vocal music at Grace Community Christian Church, where she was the singer and guitarist leading and teaching songs to women Bible study groups, preschoolers at vacation Bible school, and Kids Praise Club for elementary aged children. For Kids Praise Club, she also taught the children the choreography for the performances. Presently, Karen is a Choir Director for the Choristers at First Presbyterian Church (FPC) in Mesa, AZ., and also taught singing and choreography to the children at VBS at FPC. Karen also had a main roles as Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man in April of 2013, and Mrs. Bucket in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in April, 2014, performed by the First Players at FPC. Additionally. Karen is presently a substitute elementary school teacher at Grace Community Christian School, and recently taught class guitar and class piano to students at East Valley Educational Program.

During Karen's college career, she was a voice major at Mesa Community College (MCC) and Grand Canyon University (GCU). At MCC, she performed in the Sun Valley Chorale (SVC) and Cadence women vocal jazz ensemble. SVC performed classical songs at the Mesa Arts Center, and Cadence performed jazz songs for MCC events. Karen was also involved in musical theater at MCC. Karen was an opera singer at Night at the Opera, and a Broadway singer at Broadway Bound, both at MCC. At GCU, Karen has been in the President Singers, Canyon Singers, Canyon Chorale, and Union Choirs. Canyon Singers were the honor students and ambassadors for GCU and traveled locally and out of state to recruit students for GCU. As a voice major, Karen has had 9 semesters (4 ½ years) of private voice instruction under the tuteladge of Dr. Cathy Hauan at MCC, and Dr. Sheila Corley at GCU. Karen has three degrees from GCU: A Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a Minor in Music, a Master's of Education in Reading and Curriculum, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. Music is Karens passion and she desires to teach it to all ages and stages of people. Music is the universal language and creates joy and healing in the soul.

Presently, Karen owns her own home music studio called Starshine School of Music in which she teaches piano, voice, and guitar. Karen also teaches Take Lessons music students (an online music student placement company) piano, voice, and guitar in her home. Karen is also an active Mary Kay Consultant.

*** Lesson Details ***
Karen's teaching style is very patient, nurturing, encouraging, and fun-loving. Karen is a teacher who sets loving but firm boundaries and guidelines. She implements structure and organization, but is not overly strict and harsh. She believes in encouraging, loving, and imparting knowledge with her students so that they will maximize their potentiality and their inner musical stars will shine.
Karen teaches piano, voice, guitar, and music theory for beginning through intermediate (for voice she teaches beginning through advanced). The curriculum that Karen uses is varied according to the student's personality and learning level. She uses her vast knowledge and information from her education and past experiences, and also Alfred Essentials of Music Theory, Alfred's Instructional books, Hal Leonard Pro-vocal Series, Faber Piano Adventures for all levels, and other resources. She also uses an assignment lesson plan book so that each student will know her clear objectives, what is expected of them and so that communication is established with the student's parents if the student is under 18. Additionally, Karen uses incentives, a point system, and rewards for self-discipline, consistent practicing, musical accomplishment and growth, and a good attitude.
Karen's students learn and perform remarkably well because of her very loving, organized, and comprehensive teaching style. They progress in amazing ways on a weekly and monthly basis. They look forward to coming to their lessons because they are treated with such respect and care. They know that Karen has such a passion and love for music, which is so contagious and is passed on to them. Therefore, these music lessons are enjoyable and enriching for the teacher and student alike.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Guitar, Kimball piano, CD and cassette players, extensive music literature, Demo and Karaoke CD's.

*** Specialties ***
I have been classically trained as a voice major at college level. However, I have had so much musical experience (singing, and playing guitar and piano) in varied genres including rock and roll, Broadway and theatrical music, country western, Christian contemporary, folk songs, and children's music. I am very familiar with all kinds of music.
...

Reviews

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Mark R. May 12, 2015
Karen is very conscientious, creative, and compassionate. She loves people, students young and old, and loves to encourage their best efforts in their areas of interest. Musically, she is gifted with a beautiful voice and a good understanding of the fundamentals of music. She motivates her students to excel by instilling in them a strong desire to practice and to study, and she makes it fun!
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Hector L. July 28, 2014
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
My daughter goes to Karen for singing lessons. She loves going to her and enjoys the positive environment that Karen cultivates.
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Alice D. July 23, 2014
Music Performance · In studio
Karen’s recitals, showcasing 6 to 12 students each time, always thrill
me. Men, women, boys, & girls of all ages and various degrees of
achievement stand before their audience with confidence. They have
practiced, not only the pieces which they play, but showmanship, not
pushy or cocky, but polite and welcoming. They make eye contact and
smile; some invite the crowd to sing along on the choruses. Even the
1st year students exude confidence.

The crowd returns those smiles, along with cheers and clapping. One
can tell that Karen has kindly and persistently shown and encouraged
each student. If any show fear, she does not chide; she accompanies
them in the performance and nods approval as they continue. I watch
that fear subside. They are then met with handshakes and pats on the
back. Next time, they will be even more eager to share the pieces that
they worked on and not expect criticism.

Karen picks a theme and arranges guitar, piano, and voice selections,
intermingled into a program that leaves a person well entertained and
planning to come back next time. I am not related to any of the
participants and have no obligation to be at the recitals. I love the
music, the talent, and the progress that I see and hear. You, too,
will be glad you came.
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Karen R.

Karen R.

Mesa, AZ 85202
(6)
starting at
$29 / 30-min
219055_359465_1326295224

Phillip Z.

Chandler, AZ

I consider 'song writing' one chapter in the larger context of composition. Composition involves utilizing the various musical elements (rhythm, melody, harmony, timbre, form) to create a musical work. Great composers are very accomplished musicians, as are great improvisors. The art of improvisation is the art of spontaneous composition.

All my advanced students study composition in some form, as part of learning their instrument. My 'composition' students usually learn chord function theory (12 assignment course) and are generally proficient enough on a chordal instrument (piano or guitar) to at least play simple chord progressions.

One aspect of composition studies involves analyzing a variety of songs to see what makes them work. We also approach writing from a variety of points of view. As with learning a musical instrument, the art of song writing and composition can result in a lifetime of exciting musical exploration.

About Phillip

I teach music. The guitar, bass guitar, and ukulele just happen to be the particular instruments I choose. Music as a language, discipline, and art, is the goal. I've been teaching, performing, studying, composing, for some thirty years. I've studied and gigged in the classical, jazz, rock, blues, R & B, and country idioms. I've taught composition and improvisation to instruments other than guitar, (vocalists, fiddle, sax, piano, trumpet) I've taught all ages and levels. I currently pursue a doctorate of music in guitar at university. Students learn many things when studying with me.
They learn physically how to play a particular instrument while learning music as its own language. Students learn how to learn, learn self-discipline, and access their musical expression, all potential life changing experiences. I am happy and excited to announce I am available for on-line lessons, and will now be able to work with students from all over the world, regardless of distance or location!

*** Lesson Details ***
I am laid back, but at the same time very goal directed. I like to do technique and/or vocabulary, note reading, and songs every lesson. After six months students are able to to 'jam', (improvise over chord changes such as the blues). They are well on their way to becoming literate, probably a third way through the first book. They probably can play a half dozen songs well, and are starting to strum (comp) chord progressions in a musically rhythmic way. They may even have played in a couple concerts by then.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Office studio w/ guitar, bass, amps, and seating for parents, computer with skype capability.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I bring my guitar and writing tools, extra picks, extra paper etc. Students provide their own instrument, method book, staff paper, notebook paper. Hopefully they have a music stand and their own guitar picks and other items relevant for the study of their instrument.

*** Specialties ***
Classical, jazz, rock, blues, country, bluegrass, theory/composition, improvisation
...

Reviews

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Chuck W. June 12, 2015
Ukulele · In studio
Verified Student
Phillip was very insightful and made my lesson very applicable to me!
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MT Q. February 6, 2015
Ukulele · Online
Verified Student
I've been taking online lessons with Phil for almost two years now and have been enjoying every minute of it. It is very seldom you come across someone who truly loves music and shines through in teaching style. His love for music is an inspiration for me. Phil is an experienced professional, reliable, enthusiastic and his lessons are always meaningful and productive. If you're wanting to learn how to play the guitar or uke, Phil is the guy. Never to late to learn how to play an instrument. He is the best. ;-)
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Laurie P. February 3, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Phillip has been absolutley wonderful with my 7 year old son. He was able to teach him to play a song within the first two lessons. Since then he has laid the groundwork to build on to transform my son into a bonafide guitarist. He has worked on technique, reading music, chords, scales and keeping rhythm. He is very patient and jokes around keeping the lessons light and fun. He is very responsive to emails and is flexible with lesson times. I cannot recommend him highly enough!
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Phillip Z.

Phillip Z.

Chandler, AZ 85225
(11)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
Profile_52227_pi_Dee%20Fleming

Dee F.

Scottsdale, AZ

I write currently for film and television. Over 30 years experience as a songwriter and composer. Have won awards for songwriting; currently compose for film and television.

About Dee

*** Travel Equipment ***
Books. Students must have their own instrument (keyboards are acceptable for taking piano lessons). I always council students on brand, quality of instrument they are purchasing before they buy it.

*** Specialties *** I have been a public school music educator for over 20 years, and have taught band, orchestra, and choir which enables me to teach many instruments and voice. I also have been a language and reading tutor for over 6 years and have worked with students with special needs for over 10 years.
I studied classical guitar with master guitarist, Christo
pher Parkening, at Montana State University where I graduated with a B.M.E. I also did graduate work at MSU in composition. I teach Suzuki piano and violin. I am an accomplished composer/songwriter with many published and recorded songs and instrumental works through ASCAP. I endeavor to make learning fun, and enjoy teaching students of all ages!
...

Reviews

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Jorden H. June 19, 2015
Viola · In home
Verified Student
On behalf of Jorden, she truly enjoyed her session. She liked the guidance, direction and takeaways and practicing as instructed to be ready for her next session. Thank you Dee!
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Krista G. June 3, 2015
Cello · In home
Verified Student
Dee is a pro, our kids have improved and she keeps them challenged. Would recommend her to any parent looking for a dependable and talented music teacher.
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Mike D. May 21, 2015
Classical Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Great teacher. Quickly corrected years of technical mistakes. She covered a wide variety of fundamentals in a short time covering a broad range of music.
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Dee F.

Dee F.

Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(7)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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