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Banjo Lessons & Classes in Northwest Hills - Far West

Find the perfect teacher or instructor in Northwest Hills - Far West for private banjo lessons in your home or in their studio.

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About Jesse M.

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Sunnyvale, CA

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Learn basics about rhythm, harmony, and melody, and how they apply to the banjo.

About Jesse
*Disclaimer*
I'm currently not taking beginner students on guitar, bass, drums, piano, or ukulele. I highly recommend my studio partners Andrew and Melissa though. Please check out their profiles for the following topics:

Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano, and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/andrew-i5

Piano and Ukulele
https://takelessons.com/profile/melissa-m62

My Background

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 Are
a.

Since 2006 I have been an active teacher. This profession has taken me everywhere from working with classical guitar classes 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 along.

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.

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 the "Young Musicians Showcase" every few months where individual students and band classes have a chance to perform and celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family.
Adult students 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:

*Multiple Music Stands

*P.A. System

*Vocal and instrument microphones

*Guitars, Basses, and a Banjo

*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

*A MicroKorg Synthesizer

*A Tuba, Trombone, Cornet, 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
...
Reviews
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Robert O. August 10, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Rajeev July 18, 2017
· Trumpet · In studio
After a break of more than a year I wanted to restart my Trumpet lessons. I chose Jesse based on the reviews and Jesse did not disappoint. He is very patient and focused teacher. I liked his structured method and tools he uses. I was able to get back in groove in no time.

Highly recommended.
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BRIAN July 18, 2017
· Japanese · Online
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Jesse M.

Jesse M.

Online
(86)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Phil H.

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Rochester, NY

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About Phil
I have my degree from The Eastman School of Music and have played rock and roll for decades. My joy is bringing people to music and music playing. As Music is an infinite language it has always been an eternal joy to teach and relate to my beloved students what music can say to them and what they can convey to others.

*** Lesson Details ***
"If music is not fun it is useless" I urge my students to play their instruments not practice! I will teach music theory as I teach you any style or all styles. Patience is the key and I am constantly filled with it. You will progress as you learn the ins and outs of your instrument and music.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Room setup for lessons, with small keyboard and instruments. Ample parking available, parents can sit in on lessons and waiting area available.

*** Travel Equipment ***
The student is
expected to provide the instrument including full keyboard or piano.

*** Specialties ***
all
...
Reviews
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Pamela March 19, 2017
· Flute · In studio
Phil is so wonderful. After I retired I wanted to learn to play the flute, so I signed up for 30 minutes. I signed for 30 because you never know if you and the instructor are going to get along. I discovered that while I was in session I did fairly well. But once home alone, I would end up in tears. I decided to go from learning the flute to learning the clarinet. I was afraid I would have to find another teacher, but no. Phil pulled out his clarinet and I have been happy ever since! He has a calm demeanor, never talks down to you, multi-talented and encourages you. I finally had to go from 30 minutes to an hour. I found I would have about 15 minutes of questions on symbols, word meanings, etc.; which only left me 15 minutes of actual music. So this may also be something to think about.
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Yvonne Bryant September 28, 2015
· Mandolin · In home
Enjoying the lessons. Phil is very knowledgeable and pleasant.
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Shulamit G. May 19, 2013
· Drum ·
great teacher

my son has really been enjoying hand drum lessons with phil. he's courteous and kind, and is good at engaging my almost-six year old and keeping him on task. he also is laid back and creates an atmosphere of fun, letting my son take the lead at times and being very collaborative.
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Phil H.

Phil H.

Online
(3)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Gio A.

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New York, NY
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I've played guitar since I was eight years old and various other stringed instruments for several years. I love the banjo sound and played a bit on my original album Heliotropism. I'd love to help novice players get their feet wet with the instrument, strumming and plucking away at their favorite songs.

About Gio
I studied music at UCF (Orlando), focusing on classical and jazz guitar, but I also have years of experience playing rock, blues, folk, hip-hop, and musical theater on both guitar and drums.

I have been teaching guitar, drums, and piano for about eight years to students of all ages. Music is what I'm passionate about and it's what I enjoy. I want to inspire that same passion into the hearts and minds of others.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am a laid-back teacher, fun, and I focus on the needs, abilities, and ambitions of the student. In turn, students must realize that learning an instrument takes a lot of work and dedication. One can't expect to learn very much if s/he only practices or thinks about the instrument during the lesson. If the student is willing to put some time into practicing, then I will help them go far!

*** Studi
o Equipment ***
I have several guitars, a drum kit, djembe, mandolin, clarinet and full-size keyboard.

*** Specialties ***
Guitar: Classical, jazz, American or Irish folk, rock and pop; lead or rhythm.
Drums & Percussion: All genres
Piano: Classical (includes sight reading)
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Reviews
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Ian C. July 7, 2017
· Drum · In studio
1 lesson and he wants to go back so it is a win for me.. Gio is an educator and knowledgeable on many instruments.
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Steve May 6, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Gio is an encouraging and helpful teacher!
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Julianne April 26, 2016
· Piano · In studio
My son Joseph just completed his 5th lesson with Gio and he LOVES his piano classes. Gio is very patient and dedicated to Joseph. Glad that my son is taking lessons from him.
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Gio A.

Gio A.

Online
(15)
starting at
$28 / 30-min

About Sam K.

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Oakdale, PA
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Bluegrass (Scruggs/Keith) and Old-Timey (Clawhammer)

About Sam
I play and teach Guitar (Electric/Acoustic), Bass (Electric/Upright), 5-String Banjo (Bluegrass and Old-timey), Violin/Fiddle, Mandolin, Dobro, Pedal Steel Guitar and Lap Steel Guitar, Ukulele, Piano and Piano Accordion. I have been teaching in the Pittsburgh area for over 20 years and owned my music studio/store for over 10 years. I have instructional book/cd(s) and instruments for purchase or rentals usually available on-site. I am experienced and friendly. Parking lot is free and off-street.
...
Reviews
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Marc S. October 8, 2016
· Fiddle · In studio
Great first lesson with Sam. Learned a lot the entire way through
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Karen May 27, 2016
· Banjo · In studio
I went into banjo lessons not knowing if I could master the instrument or not, being nearly 70 years old. While by no means a master (and never going to be), I have learned so much from Sam and he has shown such patience with me. I often leave my lessons wondering how he ever puts up with me - but he does. His encourgement, laid-back style, expertise and knowledge of music (plus theory) and the banjo is impressive. His good nature makes my lessons so much more pleasant. I would say Sam is a a great teacher for both a beginner or an accomplished musician or in between. He likes to talk and demonstrate (nice and slowly if requested) so I would recommend hour-long lessons at first.
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D. B. February 4, 2016
· Banjo · In studio
Four lessons with Sam have been amazing. I had previous banjo lessons and plodded from one song to the next. Sam has expanded the entire scope of music for me. I continue with the lesions and enjoy music much more
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Sam K.

Sam K.

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(7)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Mel P.

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Union, MO
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5 string banjo Skruggs style bluegrass.

About Mel
I have tons of experience and formal university training in music education.
...
Reviews
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Louis O. January 7, 2017
· Violin · In studio
Mel is an excellent instructor, not to mention his experience and expertise as a violinist. Our son is five and looks forward to his lessons. We do not have a music background, and with Mel's instruction we have found it easy to practice at home.

- Louis O.'s parents
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Anna August 10, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Although I was forced to select a subject of Acoustic Guitar on the review form, my children and I have also taken lessons with Mel Parker on every subject in the pick list plus a few more. Theory, composition, recording. Improvisation techniques, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo, violin, bass, mandolin, ear training, techniques applied to all music genre's, group and solo performance techniques, ETC! The main point here is that as an accomplished and talented musician, Mel Parker is fluent in the music industry and very skilled at teaching all skill levels, from beginner to pro. He can teach very rigid focused lessons or he can shift and adjust the lesson instantly to meet the needs of the student. My children have been able to explore and experiment different instruments, genre's and other areas of the music industry as their interests grew and changed over the years. They have had many changes in their interests but the one constant has been the TEACHER! It is wonderful to be able to have 1 teacher adjust his education for the ever changing and growing needs of my family. Both of my children are now very accomplished award winning performers and we all agree that Mel Parker has been/is the primary influencer in their accomplishments.
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Kim August 10, 2016
· Violin · In home
My daughter has been one of Mel's violin students for 5+ years. He is an accomplished musician who teaches his students with a kind and gracious demeanor. She also has had the opportunity to play solo's in recitals and yearly contests that Mel's studio arranges for his students. Because of his well-rounded attention to instruction, practice, and performance, her growth as a violinist has been immense. This growth has also allowed her to compete at the district and state level in school.
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Mel P.

Mel P.

Online
(7)
starting at
$29 / 30-min
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About Derek V.

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Austin, TX
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I have been teaching banjo since 2007 and can guide a student with folk/ bluegrass/ old timey and pop.

About Derek
TEACHING MISSION: Capture the joy of playing music. Inspire continual playing and/or practice, regardless of student's lifestyle/career choices.
I start the first lesson with a student wish list (songs, goals, etc) and every lesson we take significant steps towards the goals.

Skills: Guitar/Mandolin/Piano/Bass/Banjo/Recording/DJ Technology

Education: B.M. Classical/ Jazz Guitar Performance, University of Colorado, 2003
B.S. Audio Engineering/ Production, Middle Tennessee State University, 1997

Teaching Experience:
-The Musicians Woodshed (Austin) Sept 2013- Present
-Brooklyn Music Lessons (NYC) 2010-2013
-University of Colorado (Boulder) 2000-2010
-Naropa University (Boulder) 2007-2010
-The Lesson Studio (Boulder) 2005-2009

Performance Experience:
Freelance Musician/ Arranger/ Composer 2000-Present
I have played guita
r, mandolin, bouzouki, keyboards, or bass in folk, classical,
...
Reviews
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Rollin May 26, 2017
· Banjo · In studio
As an adult learning to play an instrument for the first time, very little has come naturally. I had tried two other instructors prior to Derek and felt as though I made little progress with them. Derek's approach is much more intuitive and the progress more obvious. great teacher with a sound approach.
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David November 10, 2016
· Banjo · Online
Great teacher, very clear, patient communication. Can't wait for the next lesson!
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John White October 30, 2016
· Mandolin · In studio
Talented guy, easy to understand and very patient!
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Derek V.

Derek V.

Austin, TX 78748
(10)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Anna S.

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Portland, OR

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I have played banjo for nine years. I can teach both Scruggs/three finger style and clawhammer. We will learn banjo standards, how to read tab, different picking patterns, scales, chords
Clawhammer: drop thumb, double thumb, drive.

Ultimately lessons will give you the basics and confidence to start going out to picking circles/jams and maybe even forming your own band.

About Anna
My name is Anna Smith, I am a songwriter, vocalist, guitarist, pianist, banjo and mandolin player. I graduated at the University of Colorado with a Bachelors of Music Performance, and an emphasis in Songwriting

As a professional musician I've released 3 albums with my band Birds of a Feather Circus House and Ancient Elk. I have gone on a few national tours. Received runner up in the 2011 Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival Songwriting competition.

I've performed in several different types of bands ranging from Folk, Bluegrass, Psych Rock, Electronic and Funk/R&B/Soul. The versatility I've gained from this makes it easy to help my students customize what they want to learn.

Vocal students will learn proper technique, healthy vocal habits, an emphasis in breath control. I teach students how to find their voice, and how to best use it w
ith techniques that will increase their vocal range, improve tone, diction and pitch.

Guitar students: I can teach the basics of reading music, chords, scales, modes, picking patterns. I have experience in performing a number of guitar styles from folk, bluegrass, flat picking, finger style, travis-picking, bossa nova, jazz, pop, blues/lead guitar

Piano students: I can teach beginning/intermediate piano students how to read music, play scales, chords, learn contemporary songs of the students choice.

Songwriting students: I can help you become a better songwriter by teaching you different song forms, assigning various songwriting prompts, exploring poetic/lyrical devises, learn about publishing and licensing your music.

I love to mentor students in finding their own voice, increase level of confidence and expand their range of musicality.
...
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Anna S.

Anna S.

Online
starting at
$42 / 30-min

About Barton D.

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Nashville, TN

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Each lesson, we will work on developing a solid, bluegrass foundation, as we approach the basics of the 5-string banjo together.

We will start by learning the correct right hand technique and then focus on the left hand. I will also teach you how to read banjo tablature, so that you can work through the bluegrass songs, rolls, and chord formations that I will provide for you each week.

From there, I will give you some options. We can work through the traditional Earl Scruggs songs, or we can go off-the-beaten path, so to speak. If you like Mumford & Sons, Avett Brothers, Trampled By Turtles, or any of these "New-Age" bands that feature banjo, then we can go with a more modern approach to the 5-string!

From the very first lesson, I will make a point to jam with you. I think playing songs WITH me is just as important as playing them FOR me. Being able to jam with other musicians is huge aspect to learning an instrument that often gets overlooked by teachers. It's also WHY we ...

About Barton
Hello! I am a Nashville native and have been playing 5-string banjo for 7 years now. I am an avid songwriter and formed an Americana-roots band, Boy Named Banjo, back in 2011. We played Bonnaroo in 2015, and have performed at many historic venues like The Bijou Theatre, The Altamont Theatre, Eddie's Attic, and Mercy Lounge, to name a few.

In May of 2016, I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Sewanee: The University of the South, where I was an American Studies Major (with a focus on American music) and a Music Minor.

In my 3 years of teaching the banjo, I've always emphasized to my students the importance of jamming with others. I want you to experience the joy of playing music with somebody else as soon as possible - that's what it's all about! While giving you a solid foundation, I will dedicate time during each lesson to doing just
that, so YOU can take what I give you and run with it!
...
Reviews
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Josh B. November 7, 2016
· Banjo · In home
I sought an instructor who would be interested in what I hoped to learn, melodic beautiful banjo as well as blue grass staples. As a song writer that elicits specific emotions in his music and an accomplished player, Barton fits that bill well. Most important he bring a joy to playing that is infectious, and he is careful to teach technique. I've had a lesson per week since early July and have been thrilled with the progress.
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Tess October 27, 2016
· Banjo · In studio
Barton is the BEST! He is really patient and extremely good at the banjo and I would recommend him to anyone who wants to learn. Really nice guy and a great teacher
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Erin October 27, 2016
· Banjo · In studio
Barton was very prepared and organized for each lesson. I really enjoyed taking from him while he was still in college at Sewanee. He helped me get started and now I've been playing for several years! I would highly recommend him to anybody learning the banjo for the first time!
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Barton D.

Barton D.

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(3)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About David J.

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Ypsilanti, MI
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s incredible as touring and performing can be, I have a huge passion for teaching banjo too. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an advanced player, it’s important to me to show you that banjo is not just a bluegrass instrument, but an incredibly versatile conduit to EVERY type of music.

Though I mostly teach three-finger style (from beginner to advanced lessons), I teach the occasional clawhammer lesson as well. We can talk about anything you’d like– I maintain the importance of keeping lessons personal and only going in the direction you want.

About David
Hey, my name is David Jones (Davey Jones if you’d like). I’ve been playing banjo for almost 20 years, more than ten of which have been on a professional level. I’m a founding member of the Southeast Michigan indie band Frontier Ruckus, with whom I’ve played over a thousand shows across the U.S and Europe.
...
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David J.

David J.

Online
starting at
$34 / 30-min

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