Many years of live stage performance and studio session recording. Primarily focused on teaching mic technique, gear and equipt. troubleshooting and instrument care, such as tuning/intonation/re-stringing and drum head mounting/tuning
MUSIC INSTRUCTION AND ENJOYMENT OFFERED. Very enthusiastic and experienced musician available for instruction offering the following:
# In-depth written music theory coupled with an equivalent of ear training and tone recognition
# Introduction to performance skills with instruments that include:
Guitar - electric & acoustic Drum Kit and percussion rhythms Piano/Keyboard
# Group lessons or private instruction, depending on personal preferences and age groups
Personal experience includes:
1) 15 years of GUITAR: professional performance and composition. Styles include rock, folk, blues, chord progressions, and alternate tuning.
2) 15 years of DRUMS and PERCUSSION: Latin, swing, blues, as well as rock, funk, punk, and reduced to
p forty beats.
3) 15 years of PIANO: which utilize several years of personal instruction in classical, popular, and some ragtime, in addition to an intimate knowledge of Piano Proficiency (scales & modes, chord structures & inversions, common chord progressions, intervals, circle of 5th, and finger exercises)
4) 2 years of MUSIC THEORY and COMPOSITION at college level.
Lessons will include additional materials to the primary instrument such as sheet music for sight reading, rhythm patterns, tabletures, and chord charts.
***Above all, I encourage students to select those pieces, tunes, or songs that have appealed to them the most; perhaps even inspiring them to learn a musical instrument in the first place. Adaptations are a common and enjoyable part of the teaching process.
*** Lesson Details *** Expect efforts, on my part, to steer learning into areas of the students particular interest as well as conventional genres such as classical, popular, folk, blues, etc...
Moreover, I rely on ear training as a strong complement to written music theory and sight-reading; often using recorded music samples or simple patterns on a piano.
I try to balance method-type published lesson books with beginner, intermediate, or original composition sheet music to specifically selected pieces.
Ideally, with a reasonable practice schedule each week, full comprehension of the written music grand staff and an ear to catch a false note will become second nature. By then, more opportunities to learn actual pieces and styles become greater, having got the initial learning curve under the students belt.
*** Studio Equipment *** *snare drum *electronic keyboard/piano
*** Travel Equipment *** lesson material/music media samples can be provided for copy student would have own instrument
*** Specialties *** Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Drums, Percussion, Music Theory finger picking styles and chord progressions - guitar lead and rhythm patterns - electric guitar latin, blues, rock, jazz styles - drum kit & percussion classical & popular tunes - piano/keyboard
I'm into my second month of weekly guitar lessons with Brett and can't believe how well I am playing already!! I've had some basic guitar lessons in the past but still very much a beginner. Brett knew precisely where to start and what I needed next to advance my playing, and broke it down into attainable steps. So far I've learned a good handful of strum patterns; I can finally play two songs pretty well and sing along; and I am in the rudimentary stage of learning to finger pick. Really love the fact that beautiful sounds are coming from my instrument! Highly recommend if you're ready to make the commitment to becoming a capable player.
May 24, 2014
What a terrible experience. I signed up for lessons for my wife from Brett as a gift because he listed times that would work for my wife given that we have a young daughter, and have a hard time making time for lessons. Brett told us 3 days before the lesson that the time wouldn't work, then simply never showed for the rescheduled first lesson. Worse, he simply refused to do scheduling via email (he would leave voicemails and failed to return my wife's call when she called back as they were playing phone tag), and then told us he had another commitment during the slot we had supposedly reserved for him. Worse, he failed to update the site as he continually cancelled lessons and never showed up for scheduled times. I now have a huge hassle of getting a refund on the money I paid for lessons as opposed to a lovely gift for my wife. Life's too short and we're too busy for such an awful experience.
March 12, 2014
Great teacher for my young daughter
Brett has been a great teacher for my 5 year old daughter. She is just learning the basics of piano and Brett has been great at expanding her skill sets. She really enjoys practicing with him and actually looks forward to when he comes over every week!
I teach music performance at all skill levels. As a singer/songwriter/guitarist, I have a lifetime of performance experience, having played to audiences of all sizes in a wide variety of venues from coast to coast. So I can help you with every facet of your performance with the goal of making you as prepared, confident and polished as possible.
Jeff is a seasoned instructor in guitar, songwriting, music performance and music business. He also offers lessons in public speaking, voice-over performance and ukulele. He welcomes students of all ages and experience and has successfully and happily taught beginners to pro-level musicians and recording artists. Jeff is pleased to announce that he is currently accepting Takelessons online students via Skype.
Jeff can teach guitar and songwriting in all styles and is an adept acoustic and electric guitarist. His knowledge of chords is extensive and his acoustic fingerpicking skills are formidable. Jeff structures all lessons around the individual goals and playing level of his students. Jeff's students tend to study with him for quite some time, as his wealth of knowledge, diversity of instruction and patience are extraordinary
. Jeff prides himself on customizing every student's lessons based on their particular preferences, goals and skill level. "It's a very personalized kind of instruction, as I never take a cookie-cutter approach to teaching…". Jeff's 3 promises to all students is to give them personalized lessons, be attentive to their needs and goals. and to make them feel like every lesson is worth their investment of time and money. As long as students practice regularly, they can expect to dramatically increase their clarity of playing, their chord "inventory", their musical ear and awareness and play the songs they've always wanted to learn.
After honing his craft as a songwriter and performer, Jeff created and taught music classes at colleges, universities, and music schools throughout the country for many years, including UCLA Extension, Santa Monica College, Pasadena City College and The Harrison School Of Music. Jeff is currently teaching ukulele classes and songwriting classes at Tacoma Community College and Pierce College, both in Washington state.
When asked to summarize his views on teaching and music: "Teaching and playing music always puts a smile on my face; especially when I see that the student is having fun, learning what they want to learn and feeling the passion about music that motivated me to pursue my own musical career".
As a working singer/songwriter/guitarist, Jeff is known for his memorable melodies, intelligently crafted lyrics and heartfelt vocals. His compositions have earned him over 50 awards from various national and international songwriting contests and he's a former staff songwriter for the long-standing New York City-based publisher, Bourne Music. He has also won best music video awards at 3 international film festivals.
Some of the artists that Jeff has been compared to as a guitarist and vocalist include Keb' Mo', James Taylor, Kenny Loggins, Ry Cooder, John Mayer, Bill Withers, Jim Croce, and Don Henley.
Jeff is a NJ native, but lived and performed in Los Angeles for many years, where he worked in the studio or shared the stage with well-known artists such as Dave Koz, Norman Brown, John Daversa, Hiroshima, Little Richard and N'Dea Davenport.
Jeff catalog of over 450 songs and compositions spans virtually every genre, but many of his tunes are amalgams of pop, blues, jazz, R&B, country and rock. Quite a number of Jeff's songs have appeared in film and TV. One that Jeff is particularly proud of, is the dynamic pop ballad, "Journey Of The Heart" (co-written by Jeanne Smith), which was licensed by the N.C.A.A. (National Collegiate Athletic Association), who deemed it "the official anthem" of their NCAA Hall Of Champions facility in Indianapolis.
Jeff has commercially released 4 CD's of his original material: The most recent of these is his 2013 release, "Blujanova" (a merging of blues, jazz and bossa nova), which was praised by platinum selling and Grammy-nominated jazz star, Dave Koz: "Jeff's voice is so clean and pure...the production is lovely...warm and inviting...I love the interesting and surprising takes on some classics too, especially 'I Feel Good'…that brought a smile to my face!". The other CD's stretch into other genres. "Truthteller" (bluesy pop/rock and singer/songwriter material) "Me, Myself, and I" (acoustic) and "The Spin" (pop, rock, and country-tinged singer/songwriter material). All of Jeff's albums are on his label, Relevant Records. The late great John Braheny, author of the best-selling "The Craft And Business Of Songwriting (Writer's Digest Books), gave high praise to Jeff's CD, "The Spin", calling it "honest, crafty, melodic and the songs are all exceptional". Patch called Jeff "a consummate songwriter".
*** Lesson Details *** At the first lesson, I will ask you to tell me what songs you want to play and artists you want to play like and I will set the table for that by providing the chords you'll need, chord and scales and exercises to enable you to play them and guidelines and tricks on how to make it happen as quickly as possible. I know a wide variety of songs in all styles and styles, including current hit songs as well as pop, rock, blues, jazz, country songs. if you have a song or artist that I don't know already, I will learn it (often on the spot) and if not right then, at the next lesson. I have taught my students to play songs by artists as varied as Taylor Swift, U2, Jason Mraz, Adele, Eric Clapton, Django Reinhardt, Doc Watson. And that's just naming a few.
I always make it clear to my students at the first lesson: "There is no such thing as a stupid question". I want you to feel comfortable to stop me at any time to clarify what I am teaching you, ESPECIALLY if it is too difficult or vague. I pride myself on always being organized for your lesson and making sure that you grasp whatever it is I am teaching you. The goal is to get you to be able to play what you want as quickly as possible. This will take practice and dedication on your part, but I will do everything in my power to help you get there.
I never force anything on any of my students. but I feel it would be beneficial for you to learn to read music OR read tablature and chord diagrams. You tell me which one and we'll go in that direction. If you'd like to read music, then we can decide on a book for you. I have used Hal Leonard instructional books (with CD's! this way you can play with a backing track and get a sense of rhythm, which is very important), but I'm open to other method books you might have or like.
After 3 to 6 months, you will feel you are significantly more skilled on the guitar than you were before we started lessons. You will know more chords (and move from chord to chord), be able to do at least some basic fingerpicking and be able to read some music or tablature.
*** Specialties *** Acoustic fingerstyle guitar (a la James Taylor, John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Keb' Mo', Jason Mraz, John Martyn, Jim Croce, etc.
Blues guitar a la Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Keb' Mo', Jorma Kaukonen, Ry Cooder, etc.
Bossa nova guitar
Songwriting (any aspect and any level; musically, lyrically, structurally, etc.)
the songs of Taylor Swift---quite a few of my younger students want to play her material, so I have about 15 songs ready to teach you and always learning more (by popular demand)
Adapting songs that are keyboard-based and creating arrangements of them for acoustic guitar. Examples include songs by Adele, songs by Elton John, Irina Menzel's huge hit song from "Frozen", John Legend's "All Of Me", Coldplay's "Viva La Vida", etc.
Recording on Garageband. I became so skilled with Garageband that I was asked to give seminars at Apple Store locations, showcasing my recordings and how to use the program.
I have been teaching French Horn, piano and composition privately for about eleven years, mainly in Snohomish and King counties. I have also coached horn players in local school bands during this time, as well as helping students with learning disabilities. There are many difficulties that students encounter when studying music, and I want to help you turn weaknesses into strengths, and help you find out where your greatest strengths (and interests) lie in music. I'll work with you to help you understand your own musical desires and goals, so that you can get the most out of your lessons. I am committed to understanding each of my students, and to sharing my love of music with each one of them. I teach French Horn, piano, music theory and composition as well as songwriting. Currently, I teach in the South Snohomish County and North
King County areas.
I was eight years old when I started taking piano lessons in Tacoma, WA. When I was 12, I discovered that I had perfect pitch while playing church hymns with my dad. This ability has served me well on a number of occasions. I discontinued formal piano lessons when I started college, but I continued to play piano on a nearly daily basis from that point on, keeping my technical skills at a very advanced level. I played trumpet in school bands starting in the 5th grade, and switched to French Horn in the 8th grade. The appeal of the horn may have had something to do with its rich, warm sound, its intricacy and complexity, and the demands that it placed on me to play with a high degree of pitch accuracy. I loved the challenge of playing accurately on the horn then, and I still do. As a horn student, I have studied with Jacqueline Shannon, Kathy Farner, Kathy Colton, Lawrence Lowe, Elizabeth Ward, Jeff Snedeker, Rodger Burnett and Stacey Eliason. As a horn performer, I have played with community and regional professional orchestras in the Seattle area, Central Washington, Olympia, in the Tacoma Youth Symphony, and in numerous ensembles in college.
I have studied music at Tacoma Community College, Brigham Young University and Central Washington University. I received Bachelor of Arts in Music at Central Washington University. I plan on attending graduate school in the future, focusing on music composition and film composition, as well as French Horn and piano performance.
As a music composer, I have written works for many different ensembles, choral works, solo piano pieces, and works for solo instruments. I am drawn to rich harmonies and beautiful melodies, as well as interesting timbres and musical variety, in my own music and that of the music I listen to. I am easily able to visualize music in color, and I have a thorough understanding of how the elements of music combine together to affect emotions in listeners. This is one of the reasons that I am currently pursuing film and media composition.
As a student, teacher, performer and music composer, I know that there are countless musical topics that students are curious about. I feel that students should feel free to ask any question in the field of music, even if it may seem like a "dumb" question. I value the sincerity and passion for good music that so many students have. I will help you acquire the knowledge and skills that you need, so that you can see more clearly your own musical goals. Previous and current students I have, each have made improvements in their own playing and knowledge of music, some of whom have made vast improvements in their playing and knowledge of music.
As I have taught music privately for a little while now, and can reasonably compare how I teach with other instructors that I know well, I can say with certainty that there are at least a few areas of my teaching that are somewhat unique and highly beneficial for certain students, if not most students. I value ear training and using flashcards with beginner students quite a bit, and am fond of teaching not only the "nuts and bolts" of music, but also, how music "works", such that a student of mine can write their own music if they have the desire to do so. I also try to assign a wide variety of music for each student (which differs according to each student's musical interests, abilities, and areas of their playing that need to be improved), especially as they improve and approach the intermediate levels of playing. There are many reasons I do this, but for the student, it is very important that they do not feel particularly "bored" with the music they are playing. I also have found that students who have a more sensitive nature tend to be more comfortable with the way I teach, as I reserve higher, stricter expectations for more advanced, older students. I also try to always be as patient, kind, and considerate with every student as I can be. Lastly, I highly encourage questions and feedback at any time during a lesson, and I try to create an atmosphere where the student feels comfortable to do so.
I accept students from seven years old on up, but I prefer horn students to be at least ten years old before starting lessons, unless they have noticeably greater abilities to focus for a certain period of time than other children their age.
Employment and Musical Experience:
Transcription Work for David Templeton, Composer, 2010
Private Composition Instructor, January 2009-Present
Private Horn Instructor, January 2009-Present
Private Piano Instructor, Fall 2006-Spring 2007, January 2009-Present
Principal Horn: Ensign Symphony Orchestra, December 2014
Second Horn: Thalia Symphony Orchestra, 2016-present
Fourth Horn: Olympia Symphony, September 2012
Third Horn: Mid-Columbia Symphony, February-May 2007
Second Horn: Washington East Opera, Barber of Seville, January 2006
Substitute Third Horn: Yakima Symphony, Winter 2006
Third/Fourth Horn: Wenatchee Symphony, Fall 2005
Substitute Horn: Leavenworth Summer Music Theater: Summer 2005
1st Horn: Shoreline Community Church, Christmas 2004
Principal Horn: Central Washington University Symphony, Chamber Orchestras
Principal Horn: Central Washington University Wind Ensemble
Finalist, Northwest Horn Workshop Mock Auditions, March 2005
Graduate, Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program
Post-Baccalaureate Music Education Courses: Central Washington University, 2006-2007
Bachelor of Arts in Music: Central Washington University, Summer 2006
Associate of Arts and Sciences: Tacoma Community College, Fall 2002
Served 2 Year Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
*** Lesson Details *** I have always wanted people I interact with to be, as a general rule, comfortable and relaxed in any setting. This certainly applies to the students I teach. However, students can expect that musical improvement will only occur through daily practice and constant effort. That being said, I am more interested in helping students overcome any difficulties in this area through reviewing their own practice habits and motivations, rather than using harsh discipline. It is crucial that students see the connection between their own practicing and musical improvement. Once this occurs, they can take more responsibility for their own progress with that added awareness.
The material chosen for each student will vary considerably, depending on their current knowledge, experience and ability level, innate abilities, musical tastes and priorities. The progress that is made will, to a large extent, be determined by the student's practice habits and natural ability. However, over the course of a few months or so, students should see noticeable improvement in their own musical abilities, if they practice and pay attention during lessons.
*** Studio Equipment *** Piano, music stand, computer/printer, metronome
*** Travel Equipment *** -French Horn: pencil, mute, tuner/metronome, maintenance/cleaning supplies, some books depending on if it is a first lesson, etc. I bring my own horn, and expect the student to have their horn. I also expect them to have a music journal to use as a reference for practicing and keeping track of their progress. Occasionally, I will employ a recording device for the purpose of assessing personal teaching effectiveness, or for the student to evaluate their progress/record their practicing. -Piano: Metronome, pencil, some books if it is a first lesson, music journal, possibly a recording device from time to time. -Music Theory/Composition: Music paper, pencil, music journal.
*** Specialties *** Regarding method of instruction/teaching style, I am student oriented, and tend to adapt to each student's personality and learning style. I tend to teach more in the classical genres, with some pop/film music thrown in for variety (from time to time). I prefer using the Bastian, Alfred, and/or John Thompson piano methods, and Pottag-Hovey, Maxime-Alphonse books, etc. for French Horn.
Ben is a wonderful teacher! He is very dedicated and patient. My kids play piano greatly improved since they started with Ben.
September 14, 2017
Ben is great if you want your child to love piano. He is a fun teacher and was very patient with my son, who was a bit turned off from music due to prior experiences. He actually wrote songs for my son to play since he needed more time at the beginner level. He was great when my son was nervous at recitals and festivals and had strategies to help him deal with nerves.
September 14, 2017
Not good for beginners. Ben is knowledgeable, however.
For me, having parents of different ethnicity and siblings that were much older than me, I was heavily impacted by the wide variety of music to which my family members listened. The force of this crayon box of rhythms and sounds captivated and affected me so much that it is the key experience that I draw from in making my own music today.
I grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska (a small town in the center of the state) so my only option for entertainment and fun was getting involved in the arts! I started performing at a very young age as both a dancer and a musician. I studied classical ballet, modern dance, hip hop and street dance, and world dance traditions throughout my formative years, which helped me to gain rhythmical fluency. I started my
formal music training when I began to play the cello. From then on, I was hooked on the sound and I immersed myself in music as much as I could; performing, competing, working in as many musical groups and productions as possible (as both a vocalist and cellist), and even teaching.
I moved to Seattle in 2003 to study opera at Cornish College of the arts, only to later change my major to Jazz, and then again to Latin music studies. Since graduating from Cornish in 2007, with my Bachelor of Music degree, I have been actively and diligently working in the local music scene; performing and recording with artists and groups of many different styles. Everything from various Latin genres, to Rock, to R&B/Soul, to Hip Hop, and Jazz. Through my music, I aim to reach out to people of all cultures. I also aim to teach my own students with the hope that they too can discover the same continuous love of music that I have grown to feel (and still am growing to feel) over the years. :)
*** Studio Equipment *** 88 key piano, cello, various percussion instruments, guitars, ukulele, library, computer, lessons are given in a private studio.
*** Specialties *** As far as voice goes, I teach all genres and styles but I personally specialize in the Latin genres. I teach all aspects of the music; rhythm, harmony, theory. I even teach performance; how to work with a band in real-time communication, song communication (or story telling as I like to call it), and developing ones own personal style. I believe that there is much more to singing than just vocal technique alone, so I believe in teaching musical fundamentals and functions so that my students will not only be considered vocalists, but competent musicians.
Excellent teacher and flexible related to schedule so I can take classes and work normally! Full of knowledge. Awesome class👍
October 12, 2019
My daughter LOVED her first lesson! She was smiling from ear to ear following her lesson and was excited to share what she learned. Makala provided tips to support at home practice. I am happy to have found such a wonderful teacher to introduce piano to my daughter.
September 30, 2019
Makala is an inspirational teacher/mentor. She takes time to learn what I like, and tries to adjust our lessons in-the-moment to my personal learning style. I feel connected and safe in our lessons, and love the way she challenges me. Thank you for making music a positive force in my life, Makala.
Award-Winning Teacher - Networked/played with members of Heart, Bad Company & Queensryche. Learn Your Favorite Songs Quickly & Accurately.
Music Performance is one of my specialties..
It's all about calming those Nerves So You The Best "You" Can Come Out And Perform The Way You Were Born To Play.
Once You Understand Some Basic Concepts, You Will Truly See You Are On The Fast Track!
Hi.. My name is Matt. I'm a very energetic, friendly, understanding & passionate music coach who has worked with students & clientele throughout the US. Possessing more than 30 years of music training & music industry experience, I've been able to take people's Playing to amazing levels.
I've networked or shared the stage with many famous NW music legends: 1.) Roger Fisher- Heart-2013 Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame Inductee 2.) I'm Pacific NW Guitarist for Rudy Parris from NBC TV's "The Voice!" - Go Team Blake! 3.) Lynn Sorensen- Paul Rogers/Bad Co/KZOK's Spike & Impalers 4.) Donny Evola - Geoff Tate/Former Queensryche/Foghat 5.) Jeff Kathan- Paul Rogers/Bad Company/Montrose 6.) Doug Mcgrew- Geoff Tate/Former Queensryche Singer/Operation Mindcrime
In fact everyone I've mentioned above are pro all the way and great guys as well. I
"m honored to have played with them.
I challenge my students to view music more than just as a "skill", but also a tool to communicate effectively and to combat life's obstacles.
I have had many guitar teachers myself including one true Famous Rock Star legend here in Pacific NW. Congrats Rog. U Earned It, & inspire myself, & others everyday.
You got to know the rules 1st, before you can then break the rules. This is how you develop your own unique style. And it's what separates the Pro Players from the rest of the pack.
But even if you don't want to play professionally, maybe you just want to learn a few chords, licks, songs, for yourself, or to impress friends. That's okay too!
I welcome every level and style. I always learn something from my students. That's what music is all about. Learning & trading tips and licks from other musicians.
Bottom Line Is... I can help you learn and progress on your instrument faster...
Let me be the Music Coach to get you there!
*** Lesson Details *** The most important thing in a lesson with me is to learn while having FUN! I am a very laid-back teacher who wants to focus on music making you smile. We will choose material and a pace of learning that will keep you excited to rehearse and return the following lesson improved!
PERSONALIZE your guitar lessons by learning techniques used by your favorite artists in "their" songs. FEEL FREE learning in a comfortable atmosphere where you can excel successfully as a musician! CONQUER shyness and insecurities by unleashing the dynamic performer in you!
Most All Styles/Genres/Experience Levels Taught - We go over everything systematically. Music Theory, Songwriting, Chords, Scales, Determining Key Of Songs, Performance, etc
After 3 to 6 months, you should expect to be playing some of your favorite songs and artists accurately
Be sure to check out some of my you tube demos. Let me be the Music Coach to get you there!
*** Studio Equipment *** I have a Sound Proof Pro Recording Studio, PA System, guitars, basses, amps, drums, recording gear, mics, mic stands, strobe & lights, fog machine, seating for parents.
Sorry No Disco Ball Yet.. You Can Bring Your Own If You Want Though. I've Got Some Bell Bottoms Somewhere Around The Studio Here.
*** Travel Equipment *** *** Brand New*** Now Offering Music Lessons Online (From My Recording Studio To Your Home via Skype) I'm really excited to add that to offer lessons online through TakeLessons! It's a great thing to get to work with students all over this country and I'm looking forward to help pioneer the future of music lessons!
*** Specialties *** *Teachers classified as a Student Favorite have taught a minimum of 25 lessons and have received the highest feedback rating from students.
My Unique Specialty - is teaching students the rudimental basics 1st, & then how to copy your favorite artists off the CD, radio or iPod, almost note for note. Believe me, it can be done. You just have to know what to listen for..
Brand New - MEASURE your success by recording your music progress along the way. I do own a recording studio, so we can record students progress via audio or video and then post to my You Tube channel.
a holistic approach to music performance, incorporating improvisation
I'm a professional composer, teacher, and pianist - and I like to keep active doing all three throughout my community. On July 31, 2013 TakeLessons featured me on Seattle King 5's morning TV news program - I taught a miniature lesson and discussed the impact of piano lessons on the brain. My piano and composition lessons are very in-depth, but also very flexible. Because of my thorough knowledge and experience with music, I can teach all ages, skill levels, and an array of important subjects - including piano, ear-training, music theory, improvisation, composition, creativity, music history, ethnomusicology, and percussion. I cater to each student's interests as well as incorporate many of these subjects into my piano lessons so that every student gains a thorough understanding of music and becomes a well-rounded musician.
I started ta
king Suzuki piano lessons when I was 5 and quickly fell in love with the piano. Since the Suzuki method incorporates such thorough ear-training and the ability to play without sheet music, I quickly began to explore my creative side and was improvising on the piano by age 7. Naturally, this led to composition! Music was flowing through me, and I was able to both improvise and compose my inspirations on the piano. I entered and placed in the Reflections state composition contest each year. Throughout my youth, I was also very involved with the band (played trumpet), dance, drama and attended many symphonies, ballets, plays and operas - giving me a well-rounded artistic upbringing.
I pursued my passion and earned a Bachelor's degree in music composition from Mills College, followed by a Master's degree in music composition from the renowned California Institute of the Arts. My thorough education has taught me to compose for any instrument or ensemble as well as compose for film, dance, and theater. It has also taught me to understand the piano in-depth, along with theory and ear-training. Since graduating in 2006, I have scored several films, received commissions to compose for ensembles and musicians, and taught both composition and piano lessons. I also created an ensemble named SIRÃoNa that I composed for, managed, and performed piano, percussion, and indigenous flutes in, and I was interviewed and featured on NPR along with local radio stations and newspapers. I have produced two CD's. Most recently, I composed a score for a silent film, premiering live with the Seattle Jazz Ensemble as part of the moisture festival in Seattle.
Do you want to learn to sit at any piano and simply play what you feel? Or turn that tune running through your head into a song that you or others can perform? Or to master every detail of a piece of music so that you can express it exactly as the composer intended? I can teach you! I encourage all ages and backgrounds to explore their creative musical passions and discover the endless possibilities of piano performance and music composition!
*** Lesson Details *** When teaching piano, I take a similar approach to the Suzuki method. But instead of teaching from the Suzuki books, I teach my own composed exercises and pieces that I believe are more fun and accessible to today's student of any age! I create MP3 recordings of each exercise and have students listen to and memorize the exercises in their own time.This is a very important aspect of my lessons that thoroughly develops the ear - giving the student the ability to play the exercise from memory and to deeply understand the connection between their actions and the resulting sound.
I develop my exercises to progress each student through an increasing degree of technique difficulty and musical parameters - such as rhythm, melody, chords, harmony, key and range. Beginning exercises will isolate a specific musical parameter to bring thorough understanding of its possibilities, while advanced exercises and pieces will work on coordinating multiple parameters and techniques at the same time. Within 6 months, a beginner piano student will have tackled and perfected simple yet fun exercises that incorporate each major musical parameter, as well as develop correct posture and finger technique, and have developed some ear training and basic music theory skills. I also have my students do creative exercises, which develop more thorough ear training and the ability to eventually improvise and compose on the piano. More advanced piano students will perfect their ability to interpret and express each piece of music that they play and will receive thorough ear training, music theory lessons, and develop their creative abilities through piano improvisation and composition. Once they have tackled the fundamentals, intermediate and advanced piano students will learn the classics as well.
Along with piano lessons, I'm also highly qualified to teach music composition - including beginning to advanced composition, music theory, composing for any instrument or ensemble, Sibelius computer notation program, film scoring, and orchestration.
*** Studio Equipment *** Private room, desk, professional digital piano - 88 keys fully weighted, piano bench. 2 professional cameras and iMac computer for online lessons. Percussion instruments for young students. Sibelius for composition students... Parents can sit in.
*** Travel Equipment *** I expect students to have their own piano or keyboard when having a lesson in their home.
*** Specialties *** Piano, Composition, Suzuki method, Classical, Contemporary, Ear Training, Memory Training, Piano Improvisation, Music Theory, Piano Ergonomics, In-depth Holistic Approach, Music History, Rhythm and Percussion. Success in teaching ages 3 and up, all backgrounds and ages.
You CAN Sing those Great Songs with Full Voiced Power, Ease and Beauty and learn to "Perform" them with ease and professional mastery!
"Classical" Singing is simply using the real voice that you came here with in the natural way that it was meant to function before we got in our own way and could no longer remember how to sing and speak freely. As I stated in my upcoming book, "All God's Chillun' Got A Voice", "No, you have not lost your voice, its just the PRODUCTION that got a little messed up!" That is fixable! All we have to do is to understand how the system works, and then adjust our actions accordingly. It works every time. Perfectly executed vocal techniques that have been proven time after time, and that have stood the tests of time WILL bring you the same successes and joys that they have been bringing other singers for eons. Successful Singers don't have to "be born with" some super duper vocal apparatus that is somehow magically better than everybody else's; they ...
Become the masterful Singer that you really ARE! Learn to bring out the natural beauty and power of your Voice, and to match your own unique personality and vocal qualities to complementing repertoire in order to show your voice and talents in their best light. We'll develop the repertoire that fits YOU. You'll learn how the Voice works and where it really comes from, and probably be amazed at the almost immediate widening of your vocal range.
Trained by one of the Metropolitan Opera's most beloved Voice Coaches, Vanessa brings to the world of music a wonderfully varied Performing and Teaching career ranging from Opera to Broadway. She holds a BA degree in Music Performance from the School of Fine and Applied Arts of Boston University, and is an award winning Poet. Vanessa has produced, hosted, sung, and broadcast over 2,500 te
levision programs, concertized and spoken in the US and abroad, recorded nine albums in various languages, co-authored an Early Childhood Education book which included training in the use of music for the young, authored three autobiographical "Poetry with a Purpose" poetry books and accompanying cd's offered to inspire thought and creativity in others (see Vanessa Conaway Pace on Amazon and in bookstores), and teaches Voice to her private and group students.
*** Lesson Details *** The atmosphere is relaxed in our comfortable professional studio. We work hard, and enjoy the journey as we develop your voice and repertoire with a focus on whatever style of singing you choose. It won't be long until you will see that songs that were previously too high or too low are now comfortably within your grasp. And, you will be able to sing for longer periods of time without getting tired or injuring your voice. You might also want the experience of practicing stage presence, working with trax, learning how to relate to an audience, and learning microphone technique, all of which will add to the professionalism of your most excellent and enjoyable career.
*** Studio Equipment *** Music studio room w/ piano and seating for parents
*** Specialties *** I specialize in finding the student's unique voice, and helping them to understand its natural operation in order to set it free to be used in any style they choose to sing. The Italian Bel Canto method describes the basic singing technique, and is the foundation from which a healthy and versatile voice can be developed. My upcoming book, "All God's Chillun' Got A Voice" How To Find It, and Release It As A Creative Toolâ, discusses both the technical and esoteric sides of the singing voice, its operation and purposes.
Vanessa is amazing teacher!!! The best I ever had!!!!
April 30, 2019
I am a professional speaker and I decided to pursue some speaker voice coaching. This was my first lesson and Vanessa was friendly and great personality. I felt comfortable with her
immediately. She provided education, demonstration, observed me apply the techniques, and offered constructive feedback. After the class, I was excited to practice what I learned. I will definitely continue to go back to Vanessa. I highly recommend her.
March 16, 2019
Vanessa is wonderful. I was able to learn so much it a short period of time. She is an excellent teacher. When work slows down, I am going to take additional classes with Vanessa. She is definitely a 5 star person. I wish that I got to hear hear sing one of her favorite songs. My lessons focused on speaking voice.
After years of teaching all levels, and many different styles of voice and piano lessons, I can tell you this-- I LOVE teaching! My students have ranged from 5 to over 65, from classical piano, or jazz/pop piano, to pop/rock/jazz singing, to songwriting and/or ear-training, and no matter what we always have a great time. I guarantee that in our lessons, you will see progress almost immediately... but above all, learning music is FUN! A little extra info.... **In 2012 I finished a Masters degree at NYU in Jazz Studies, and recorded an album of some jazz, folk, and original music. **I perform in New York City and Seattle, and I tour with my band a few times each year **In 2019 I wrote some new original songs and collaborated with a producer (Andrew Vait - SISTERS, Little Wins) and will be releasing some fun, brand new music in the summ
er 2019 (electro/synth-based funky pop music with a hint of nostalgia) **I taught jazz piano and voice lessons for four years at NYU and also through the New York Jazz Academy and Brooklyn Music Factory, from beginning to advanced, classical, pop or jazz -- and I teach rock bands how to learn music by ear and have fun playing with other people! I have also been teaching privately (independent home studio) since 2007. **I organize and teach vocal workshop classes, where singers can learn how to work with a band. **I also organize and teach songwriting classes, where you can learn how to get into writing songs and performing or recording your own music, either as a solo artist, or with a band! **I joined the Cornish College of the Arts adjunct jazz faculty in Spring 2015! I teach private lessons in voice, piano, and songwriting, Piano classes (Piano I, II, III, IV), The Art of Songwriting class, Vocal Standards Class, Ear Training I & II, and in the past I also taught a vocal anatomy/production/professionalism class called VOX: MIND/BODY. I also put together showcases each semester for my private students to perform their music at local clubs/venues in downtown Seattle.
I moved back to Seattle in April 2014 after being in NYC for four years -- completing my Master of Music degree (NYU), living, teaching, and performing in Brooklyn and Manhattan. NYC was amazing, and I'd love to share with you all of the cool things I picked up during my time there. From 2005-2010, I lived in Seattle and taught music lessons. I graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in Jazz Performance (voice) and performed a lot around Seattle-- from jazz clubs to concert halls-- performing pop, rock, soul, jazz and even working in a Steely Dan Tribute Band!! (your parents might appreciate that more than you do). I actually still perform actively with the Steely Dan tribute band (Nearly Dan), and we perform at some of the premier venues in Seattle, such as Jazz Alley and the Triple Door.
More than anything, I'm fascinated by the different ways that students learn and always love figuring out what kind of learning works best for YOU.
*** Lesson Details *** I love watching my students progress and enjoy their music, no matter what style they enjoy or what level they are. I work with students to pick out music that they'll enjoy working on-- it's always more fun to learn songs you love! I'm a pretty laid back teacher, but I work to inspire my students to try their hardest and do the best that they can do. I will provide you will the exercises, materials, and right level of songs to help you meet your goals, and together we can create a plan for our lessons.
In our lessons we will cover a variety of topics, including:
--Strong, Healthy TECHNIQUE so that you can gain a command of your instrument and play or sing whatever you choose. Through various EXERCISES you will develop strength, control, musicianship, and good habits. (Vocalists:) It is important to develop a healthy technique so that you can sing whatever you want without getting fatigued or injuring your voice. We'll work on developing strong technique and finding your own unique SOUND-- we'll choose music that is right for your vocal style and music that YOU connect with so you can really express yourself. (Pianists): No matter whether you want to play classical, pop, or jazz, you'll want your fingers to be strong and agile enough to get the sound that you want out of the instrument. With good technique you can play anything!
--Rhythm, subdivision, and groove
--Ear-training & Music Theory (chord qualities, pitch matching, easy transcription)
--Building your REPERTOIRE so that you have songs to play, and discussing techniques specific to each style of music you study
--Arranging or Communicating with a band (if that is something which interests you)
--Performance considerations.... developing confidence and personal expression!
My goal is to inspire students to play their instruments (or sing!), develop good habits and encourage healthy curiosity..... but most of all to LOVE playing music!
*** Studio Equipment *** full music room with 88 f/w keyboard with music stand, amp, microphone (if applicable), acoustic guitar, seating for parents.
I will provide lesson plans and corresponding handouts, exercises, examples, etc. If the student is taking piano lessons they should have access to a keyboard or piano at home. I also have a vocal microphone & amp to work on microphone technique.
*** Specialties *** I specialize in jazz/pop piano and voice, and have a strong background in classical and jazz theory and technique. I typically design curricula which include technical exercises from my classical background and then focus stylistically on the genre that the student is interested in. I have extensive experience both performing and teaching in many jazz, pop, rock and soul styles-- I try to help the student find their unique voice while establishing a strong foundation of healthy technique.
Kelly is super friendly, encouraging and helpful. After a couple lessons I’ve already learned so much that I never learned while in choir or working with my previous voice coach. I’m really looking forward to continue working with her and excited to see what we can accomplish together.
July 8, 2019
Supportive vibe, good skills, just right.
March 30, 2019
Kelly made the singing lesson easy, pleasant and practical. At the end of my first lesson, I already felt the improvement of my singing. She is awesome!
"Excellent musician, vocalist and performer. Worth your time and money to utilize T King as your instructor."
"Bill is a thoughtful teacher, an amazing musician, and a really caring guy
I would highly recommend Bill! He is such a great player and teacher! He has h
elped enormously with my saxophone playing, clarinet playing, and improvising.
Since my saxophone playing is already fairly advanced. In our lessons on saxophone focus heavily on advanced jazz improvisation topics, like standard tunes, and transcription. He is so knowledgeable on these advanced topics but is really great at showing me the basics so that I can learn at my own level and pace.
On clarinet Bill and I work on more classical studies and instrument technique to get my clarinet playing more on track.
Bill is such a patient and motivating teacher. It is clear that he cares deeply about MY SUCCESS in music. He has helped me feel good about my musical progress and inspired me to work harder!
He has even given me lots of great music business advice, and helped me think about what I want out of music in my life.
Bill is so easy to get along with and is really careful to explain things in a way that I can understand them.
Its been really awesome getting to know and work with him!"
"Two thumbs up!!!!!"
"Ms. Bonner has been such an inspirational teacher over all the years she has taught me. She has helped me improve my clarinet techniques by pushing me to
join various bands and best of all, introduced me to Jazz. Also, she is a really fun teacher, always making her lessons fun and entertaining. Without her, I wouldn't have the enthusiasm I have now for music."
"The thing is, everyone wants to hone their skills when it comes to performance, but getting the skills isn't the only thing that you need to do. That is w
here Jan comes in, she can teach you how to sing, she can tell you when your act is not up to par. More importantly, she can teach you how to relate to your music (most likely you can't), and how to build a relationship with the audience in the short amount of time you're on stage (you probably don't know how to do that either). Jan has worked with people at every level and so she has really honed her craft when it comes to teaching. If you are a student of music performance, she can take you to that next level no matter where you are at. I've taken voice lessons in a private setting by a former vocal-music pro who has worked with former Mrs. Kentucky winners, and with teachers on the University/Collegiate level. Jan is the best I've had so far.
Notes: 1. Come eager to learn, not eager to talk about your life story. A lot of students go to lessons and talk a lot. You don't want to do that, you will miss out on the instructions and performance philosophies that you need from her. Listen more than you talk.
2. Come with clear objectives. If you don't have them, spend time with her developing those objectives. She is an objective oriented person when it comes to teaching, be an objective oriented student.
3. She has really competitive prices for her teaching quality. The hour is worth it.
4. Come with a lot of respect, she will give you a lot of respect if not more. She treated me almost like I was an old friend, and she is a really charming lady. Be nice to her : )
5. She is a really nice person and won't hurt your feelings. She has really good social awareness so you don't have to be afraid of that. If you can drop your ego at the door and take criticism, go ahead and ask her for that extra bit that you need to get you even further. Have some skin in the game.
6. Don't waste your time trying to figure out how good of a teacher she is during your lesson, you can read that stuff online. Come to her studio to get work done.
7. Ask questions that she can give quick answers to (it helps her know that you're hungry to learn). Bring something to write with."
"Cheryl came by our Church Music Ministry in Detroit, and demonstrated her great music skills, dexterity, singing excellence, and versatility on both Organ
and Piano. Her many years of experience make her an outstanding choice for professional music training. Her congeniality warmed the hearts of our Choir members and others she encountered."
"Jesus is an excellent teacher in every way. He is personable, patient, flexible and has great rapport with my daughter. I feel very lucky to have found su
ch a wonderdul teacher."
"Really enjoyed my first lesson. Leah explains things in a way that is very helpful and easy to understand. I'm really looking forward to my next lesson!"