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Littlerock, WA Songwriting Lessons

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About David C.

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Lakewood, WA
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With a masters degree in music composition and production, I can teach about nearly any aspect of composition, including arrangement, production, recording, formal structure, counterpoint, orchestration, notation, and more. From beginner to advanced.

Whether you just want to get better at your own song writing, or you want to write the next great symphony, I can accommodate you. I can help teach you how to write it, how to arrange it, how to orchestrate it, and how to record it at industry broadcast standard.

About David
Hello!

My name is David, and I am a music teacher of many different subjects. These include guitar, piano, bass, ukulele, recording, music theory, production, composition and film music composition.

All styles, and all ages. Classical, Rock, Alternative, Slide Guitar, Blues, Jazz, and more!

I have a Masters Degree in music from The University of Melbourne in Australia, as well as having the distinction of a Bachelors Degree in Music from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.

***********

Hello! :)

Many times a student will come to me after having been with another teacher for some time,.. they express to me that the other instructor did not teach them what they wanted to learn, nor did they achieve the result that they wanted.

The instructor perhaps had them mired in endless exercises and studies that were great
to get you READY to play music, but perhaps was not music in and of itself.

I find that when I get right down to the nitty gritty of playing, and show my students a song they love and know, and get them playing guitar by the end of the session that they are usually thrilled and excited.

In the end it makes them work harder and practice long because THEY ARE PLAYING MUSIC ON THE GUITAR!!!

Certainly exercises are of paramount importance, but when you can make that connection with a student and help them to relate to the guitar the exercises are ultimately easier to them, and the experience of playing guitar an enjoyable and less alienating task.

Grab your guitar and start today!! Let's get you playing TODAY!!!!

TESTIMONIALS:

“I've been working with David for a couple of months, and it has been a great experience. I'm new to bass, with a little guitar experience--he quickly sized up what I knew and had me working on exercises and a great bass line that got me playing right away. He has been very flexible and accommodating of my schedule needs, and he gives plenty of positive and constructive feedback. I've been working in education for nearly 30 years, and I know a great teacher when I see one. David fits the bill, and I'm lucky to be working with him.”

Rudy Ford, Principal
Charles Wright Middle School

“My son had been taking lessons for seven years and was losing interest. David's passion for music, knowledge of music theory, ability to read the student and know the best way to approach the lessons is exactly what my son needed. Along with his background in a wide variety of genres….classical, rock, jazz, etc. has made learning more exciting, resulting in a renewed interest.”

Tammy Sartain, University Place

“David is an outstanding instructor! My son is 5 years old and loves him. My son is occasionally a difficult child with his own special quirks, but David is so patient and observant and tailors the lessons as we go along week to week to keep my son engaged, encouraged and learning. I also have two younger children who must tag along to the lesson and even they are excited during the lessons and are already asking when they start their lessons! We will be starting at least one more child's lessons with him during this coming school year! He is great!”

Cherise Hartman, Parkland

“Loving the relaxed atmosphere with David. Bargain prices for the one on one experience with such an awesome, educated and talented musician.”

Raven Rose, Tacoma

“David is an amazing talent and provides me with much needed inspiration. In little over a year, I have learned a tremendous amount about nearly all styles of guitar, classical and lead guitar in particular. It's very helpful to have an awesome instructor who is extremely knowledgeable and very patient. His lesson plans are geared towards what I want to learn and the lessons that we work on cover all the techniques that are necessary to take my skills to the next level. He makes every lesson fun and he works with me until I am comfortable to move on.”

Larry Larrivee, Gig Harbor

“David tailors each lesson dynamically to my own progression which has been great. Gauges progression and gives you things to work on before the next lesson. Highly recommend him!”

Kory Jamison, Tacoma

"David has been our son's guitar instructor for the better part of a year. During that time we've appreciated his patient encouragement, especially during the early weeks of instruction. His ability to individually tailor his teaching to his students , incorporating their musical interests has helped our son progress quickly and helped keep him motivated. he really is a wonderful teacher."

Amy Lawty, Tacoma

"Where do I begin? I started with a guitar and a couple of chords...(A lot of desire but basically an empty canvas)." 'This was my life for a number of years until I met David.

Now I must first admit, I am ADD so teaching me and captivating my attention is no easy task...David not only broke through that barrier but opened the door to world of music I had aways felt and now suddenly I could touch.

If you posses the desire to learn and the drive to work...the sky is the limit."

Wes Hough
City of Destiny
Tacoma, WA

"I am very happy with my decision to take lessons with David. In just 2 months I've gone from strumming some chords to understanding picking patterns, learning how to put together an entire song, and expanding my techniques. I am very surprised at how much technical skill I have been able to pick up in such a short period of time"

Marianne Burch, Tacoma

"I'm 46 years old and my only known talent is for overcomplicating things. I've always admired a good guitar player and wanted to learn to play myself--who doesn't?--but felt I didn't have the talent or just "couldn't do it." Then I found David and he said, 'Oh yes you can. Commit to 4 lessons up front and you'll see that you can.' I took the leap and sure enough, he had me playing blues riffs in less than one month. All I had to do was listen and do as he instructed me to and it all comes very naturally. There's no stress, just a whole lot of fun! If you're like me and you thought you couldn't play guitar, start with David and just have some fun with it. It's simple. You won't want to put the guitar down again!"

Dan DuBeau, Tacoma

I had been playing guitar for about 5 years and had only been self taught. I found myself completely stuck playing the same chords and not able to play riffs or solos at all. In my first lesson I was playing the blues with slides and hammer ons and pull offs. In a couple of lessons he had me soloing in different keys and playing riffs from guitar gods! He was able to teach me in a couple lessons what took me years trying to teach myself! He makes lessons so much fun because not only are you learning the music theory but he relates it to popular songs that you can practice along with. He also has so much knowledge in other aspects as well. He can teach you about music gear and amps or help you compose your own music. He caters to your style and taste in music and can teach you ANYTHING!

Ashley Allen

I love guitar period, but it's overtly frustrating when you have no idea where to start, or how to play at all. I went through multiple guitar instructors trying to learn how to play and each of them weren't very specific, or didn't hone in on any one thing at a time so you could really start to get it down and process it. Then we happened to find David, and he was really what we were looking for. I started picking up chords like no other, It helped, and is helping tremendously. He goes into depth about the song,letting you comprehend it a little more, and ultimately learning it quicker and better.

Skye Reed, Tacoma WA

I have had 4 different Blues guitar Teacher in the last 6 months, getting nowhere as far as really playing some Blues until I ran across David. The other teachers just wanted me to learn the pentatonic scales, Major and Minor. That took a lot of boring weeks and I am sure I will need to know those scales but I just wanted someone to show / teach me Blues chords, related to Blues songs and the timing to the chord changes so I could start playing some kind of Blues. I have had 6 one hour lessons so far with David and I am playing the Blues. The first 4 hours Dave showed me a E, A, B7 blues chord progression with some step up and step down notes. The 2nd 2 hours Dave showed me a A, D9, A7,E9 Blues chords and Blues timing with slides.

I take one hour Lessons every Thursday and in 6 hours I am playing the Blues. I picked up the guitar about 6 months ago, started teaching myself and not really getting anywhere. I am not a fast learner, about average in learning something new. Now I set a home Learning my guitar and polishing the Blues songs that David has taught me, starting to get FUN.

Les Fairley Tacoma, Wa.

Working with David has made me focus on areas of my chops that needed fine tuning. He provides the basic exercises and tools that, when practiced enough in a zen-like manner, clarifies your understanding of movement on the fret board, and makes you sound a bit more professional. Questions regarding speed, theory, notation, composition, and even string size, are ready for answer with David, which is what keeps me working with him. From begining, to intermediate, to professional levels, if you're looking to improve your chops, Dave's your guy.

Frank Lorenzo, Seattle WA

I had tried many different instructors and had become very frustrated with trying to learn guitar. Within one lesson David had me playing ACDC and RUSH! David just has a way of explaining things so that they make sense and doesn't waste any time getting right down to the nuts and bolts of guitar. A lot of other instructors spend alot of time getting you 'ready' to play guitar, but with David we got down to playing guitar right away!

Stevie Johannsen, Olympia WA

“I started receiving lessons from David a few years ago, to improve my guitar abilities. I always used to tell people, "I've been playing guitar since the Eighties, though you would never know it." At the time I started, I knew some Metal riffs, three-chord Punk Rock progressions, and simple 12-bar blues. Though I took two guitar classes and first-year Music Theory in college in the early Nineties, the only scale I could say I knew was "blues pentatonic," emphasis on the quotation marks.

My goal was to relearn Modes/Scales, and brush up on theory, so that I could write more complex material. David taught me that, and so much more. Over these few years, I've learned Progressive Rock, Fusion/Jazz, and even some Country styles, as well as a great deal more about Metal and, yes, even Punk from David. I can play leads and solos with much more proficiency, in timing with the rhythm, and more tonally correct, than I ever could before. He has also helped me read music better, construct more professional-sounding compositions, and has started me on my own path to produce my own recordings, from recommending and using recording software, to capturing dynamics with mic placement, to mixing the rough takes to get the most out of the sound.

For a musician of any level or caliber, having an instructor like David is a true asset--for he has the knowledge and skills to take an entry-level musician every step of the way to becoming a professional performer, recorder, mixer, engineer, and producer. The only limit to the lesson's potential is your own level of determination, which David quite expertly helps you to improve with every session. Even if your goal is to simply learn to play one song on one instrument--and David teaches MANY instruments--he will have you playing that song like the musician who wrote it before you realize it--as long as you stick with your practice between lessons. That part's up to you!”

Marc Q Digby, Apple Valley CA

*** Studio Equipment ***
Mac
Logic
Presonus
invariable guitars, amps, keyboards, and other stuff.
Tama drumset, Full Mic's.
University trained mind and honed skills. Who cares about the software.

*** Specialties ***
Generally come from conservatory/ classical background so utilize classical methods of teaching with a contemporary application to suit modern day application
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Reviews
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Daniel June 17, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
I have had one lesson with David, and it is enough to tell that he is a great teacher. He clearly knows how to play guitar. He is both encouraging and firm. He explained to me the expectations for my practice and what he wants me to learn by next week, but was also very understanding whenever I made a mistake. I told him about my experience in other hobbies, and from that he was able to use analogies that made sense to me that would help me learn the techniques he was teaching. I am very happy to have David as my guitar teacher.
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Rod February 1, 2017
· ·
David is a great teacher. He's patient and he never talks down to me as I can be a little slow.
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Rod K. January 27, 2017
· Music Recording · Online
My lessons involve music recording, including editing and arranging.

David quickly discovered what I do know what I desired and need to learn. He has helped me to make tremendous progress in just the three lessons. I look forward to each session. He has been able to make some very complex information simple and interesting. He proceeds at my pace and never complains when I need even the simplest things explained. I was so lucky to find him!
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David C.

David C.

Lakewood, WA 98498
(21)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Landon S.

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Medford, OR
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Learn about chord progressions, voice leading, melodic composing, accompaniment, writing lyrics, and a lot more!

About Landon
I am a full time musician and I love to share my passion with students. I am always learning more, as a lifelong learner. I hope you join me in having fun with music!

*** Lesson Details ***
I teach in a comfortable setting, working on technique and encouraging the student to develop a healthy, consistent practice. Students benefit from custom tailored curriculum suited to their needs, and the personal attention each needs to grow.

*** Travel Equipment ***
My students to provide their own instruments and books so that they can keep them and enjoy them for years. I provide a music stand and my own instruments.
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Reviews
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Madison D. June 14, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
Landon was professional polite and friendly. My daughter felt like she learned a lot and has a lot to practice. Great first lesson.
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louie January 24, 2017
· Singing · In home
Landon is awesome, , lots of great helpful knowledge . He know just how to help you.
Thank you Landon.
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Tye C. December 21, 2015
· Guitar · In home
Landon was very kind, knowledgeable & patient. Our grandson really liked him and looks forward to his next lesson.
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Landon S.

Landon S.

Online
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starting at
$27.99 / 30-min

About Kareem K.

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Tacoma, WA

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About Kareem
A native of the Pacific Northwest, saxophonist Kareem K is a performer, composer, and educator, who is in high demand for his talents both on and off the stage.

Growing up in the northwest with its vibrant music scene allowed Kareem the opportunity to study with, listen to and perform with world class jazz artists residing in the area. Artists such as Tracy Knoop, Jay Thomas, Don Lanphere, Bill Ramsay, Hadley Caliman, Julian Priester and many others had a large impact on Kareem early in his musical education. This direction and guidance continues to inspire and lead Kareem as he continues his lifelong passion undertaking a career as a professional musician.

Today, as a performing artist he spends most of his time leading his group for which he composes and arranges most of the music. The band is constantly on the move as a sought af
ter performing group and spends most of its time performing in and around the Pacific Northwest. When not leading his own group Kareem can be seen and heard performing as a sideman with many other top notch musical acts and projects, most notably The Paperboys from Vancouver BC.

As an educator Kareem divides his time teaching jazz improvisation as an artist in residence at The Tacoma School of the Arts, directing the award winning student jazz ensemble at Pierce College, conducting masterclasses and workshops at schools around the Puget Sound area, and maintaining a full load of private students. Along with his teaching duties Kareem is the director or The Tacoma Jazz Association, serves on the Tacoma Arts Commission, and is a D'Addario Woodwinds performing artist.

Kareem holds a Bachelors Degree of Music from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle Washington which he attended after receiving a full scholarship.

Throughout his years of teaching Kareem has worked with students of all ages and abilities, from beginners just getting started, to advanced players who simply want new ideas and direction.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons are relaxed and are focused on what you would like to learn.

I usually begin with assessing where students are in their abilities and then come up with a lesson plan based on what they already know and what they would like to accomplish.
They can be geared towards a 5 year old with no musical training whatsoever, or to an advanced musician who wants to further develop their skills.

Topics that I cover in lessons throughout a typical day of teaching include: Instrument technique, sight reading skills ( note and rhythm recognition ), memorization skills, music theory, ear training, improvising, and composing.

After 3 to 6 months of lessons and regular practice a beginning student should have a good command of their instrument and a strong foundation of sight reading. At this point we normally will also have started some music theory as well. For students wanting to focus on jazz we will have already begun improvising as well.

*** Studio Equipment ***
5x10 room w/ piano and seating for parents

*** Specialties ***
I focus on the basics of learning to read music and basic technique on the instruments that I teach. From there I proceed with theory, ear training, improvising, composition etc. It all depends on what the students want to learn. I am comfortable teaching classical music as well as jazz, rock, composition, and improvisation.
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Aarti M. June 2, 2017
· Piano ·
My daughter absolutely loves Mr. K!! He is very patient and takes his time to always answer ANY questions she has. She loves taking piano due to him being so awesome!! If you are looking for a great teacher for your little one there is no need to look any further!!
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Adam A. January 1, 2015
· Saxophone ·
Kareem has been teaching me since I was in the fourth grade. I am currently in 8th grade, and man what can I say, he's as good as it gets! After two years I was in my middle school jazz band, which is not easy for a person who has only been playing for two years. You, yourself will be able to see extreme progress within just a few lessons! You must know Kareem teaches at Pierce College, a class at the Tacoma School of the Arts (which I hopefully will be attending and taking his class), teaches numerous private students every week, and lastly he performs with a stellar jazz band of his own! He is extremely dedicated to the musical field. If I were anybody reading this review and wanted to start playing any of the variety of instruments he plays, I would call Kareem K.!

-Adam Allegro
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Robin J. December 7, 2014
· Saxophone · In studio
Kareem is a dedicated and diligent musician and teacher. He is able to share his love of music with students of all ages. Not only is he extremely capable of teaching students the technical aspects of music, but his lessons incorporate a wider perspective as well, such as, listening to different genres of music and asking his students to discuss what they hear. He is always positive and encourages students to do their best. He has style and class and it is a privilege that two of my children can study under his tutelage.
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Kareem K.

Kareem K.

Tacoma, WA 98409
(11)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Keanon K.

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Chicago, IL

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About Keanon
I love everything about teaching! I love music; it is my life. I sleep, breathe and dream music. I am a Columbia University Chicago graduate; I graduated with a degree in Music with a concentration in Classical Voice. I have performed in numerous operas and musicals, as well as, sung on Gospel Cruises all around the world. In my eyes, the student is the main focus so whatever issues, concerns or request the student may have I will treat them with priority. I am all about strengthening the natural born talent and making my students the best vocalist they can be. I'm here to serve the students and that is what I will do until they are confident in their gift...music.

*** Lesson Details ***
I take music very seriously but at the same time I like my lessons to be fun and a joyous experience. I am very patient and helpful with any strugg
les that may seem too hard to the student. I will start my students off with the basic vocal warm ups and then move on to material that they would like to cover and if so the student doesn't have material to cover, I will present them with material. Being a singer is not easy at all, so I will challenge my students by giving exercises that challenge them to sing for proficient. I will also bring in material that is brand new and ask the students questions about the piece. The student is in the lesson to learn everything about music, so any type of material that I feel will benefit them and help them move closer to their goal, I will definitely present to them. After 3 to 6 months students will be able to sing in the 3 minor keys and the major key. The student will also have knowledge and know how to sing at least 3 different modes. The singer will know how to read basic sheet music and perform it with solfege. The singer will also have 4 songs of my choice or their choice mastered and ready to perform in front of an audience. Lastly, the singer will have knowledge of proper breath control while performing, usage of a microphone, and intonation.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano/ Keyboard
Music Stand
Water

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in classical, gospel and R and B singing.
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Reviews
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Neil February 3, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Keanon is a GREAT teacher/artist/musician/mentor

I've been working with Keanon for almost a year now. Aside from being an amazing vocalist himself, he does everything he can to help students reach their full potential and find their voice. He makes lessons fun while constantly keeping you challenged. There's always encouragement from him to strive to be better, which can really bring the best out of singers. Whether you're simply singing for hobby, performing for shows/auditions, or ready to record, Keanon has something to offer to any aspiring musician. He has a passion and love for music and understands it's a gift that must be shared with the world.
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DeMarcus 'DeMuziq' February 3, 2016
· Music Performance · In studio
Keanon did a great job with catering to each singer's style in the group workshop. He is highly knowledgeable about singing and gives great pointers to make your song sound better. I highly recommend a vocal session with him if you plan singing for an audition, a performance, or if you just want to sing for fun!
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Kaiisha February 2, 2016
· Music Performance · In studio
Keanon is a great instructor and performer and is extremely versed in his field. He also has a great personality and is a pleasure to work with.
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Keanon K.

Keanon K.

Online
(12)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Mary P.

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Croton on Hudson, NY
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1992 Tony Nomination "Best Original Score"
MFA NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program
BMI Workshop
Ms. P. plays and musicals have been developed and produced in New York City and regionally, at Goodpeed Opera, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Barrington Stage Co., San Jose Rep., York Players, Lambs Theatre, Surflight Theatre, Willows Theatre and have won a total of ten San Francisco Bay Area Critics Awards.

About Mary
Mary is a Tony nominated writer, actress, and teacher whose Broadway credits include Martha Jefferson in "1776" and Grace Farrell in "Annie". She was a starring soloist In Leonard Bernstein's "Mass" at the Kennedy Center and the Metropolitan Opera and toured as featured vocal with Michel LeGand in concerts including Carnegie Hall. Off Broadway credits include her own musical, "Cradle Song". She studied voice with the great Sue Seton and later with opera star and tenor coach at the Metropolitan Opera, Felix Knight. She teaches a combination of both their legendary techniques. As an actor, she studied acting with Sanford Meisner in NYC, the Rheinhardt Seminar in Vienna, Austria and has been teaching and directing beginning, intermediate and professionsl singers and actors for over fifteen years. Former students have appeared on "Thirt
y Rock", Gilmore Girls", "Law and Order" and others. Her goal in working with her students is not only to teach healthy vocal technique, but in keeping with her theatre background, her strong belief that "Every song is a scene or monoglogue" leads her to make sure the student know what they are singing or speaking about, and can do so with a clarity of emotion and dramatic intent.
She has a BA in theatre/voice from the University of Kansas where she serves on the Advisory Board For the Department of Theatre and Film and has an MFA from the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts where she is a guest lecturer. She is a member of AEA, SAG/AFTRA, AGMA and The Dramatists Guild.
"Mary is able to reach not only those students who are already excited about theater but inspire those who have no previous knowledge of it. To watch these young men and women become more and more accomplished is a marvelous thing. She inspired them all."...Mark St. Germain, Obie winning playwright.

*** Lesson Details ***
In a one hour lesson, we will spend twenty five minutes on vocal exercises designed to teach support and placement. Having performed leads on and Off Broadway, I know that without good technique you can't do eight shows a week, do back to back sets in a nightclub or cabaret or tour as a pop or rock singer. The second half of the lesson is spent on songs. As an acting as well as vocal coach, I focus on dramatics as well as musical interpretation. A singer must be connected to the words as well as the music. I hope to teach you to love singing as much as I do.

*** Studio Equipment ***
casio keyboard, speakers, desk, extensive library of scripts and sheet music, internet

*** Specialties ***
pop and musical theatre singing
college and theatre auditions/monologues and song performance
...
Reviews
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Alexa W. June 22, 2016
· Singing · In home
Nice teacher, looking forward to the next lesson.
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Maggie June 16, 2016
· Singing · In studio
Mary Phillips is excellent! I highly recommend her. Her knowledge of technique and her ability to explain it's proper applications helped my daughter improve not only her vocal quality but her range. Mary also worked on building her self confidence and attitude. I've notice a significant improvement in her approach to auditions. She is less nervous and more confident in her skills. We had a hard time trying to find an instructor who values someone with a lower range. I wish we had found her earlier!
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Harper March 25, 2016
· Acting · Online
Mary was an absolute godsend! I started lessons with her to help prepare for college theatre auditions. I was so overwhelmed with the whole process and didn't even know where to begin picking monologues and songs. Mary helped me so much by sending different monologues that she thought would fit and we would go from there. She was always there to answer any questions I had, and I had a lot! She is patient and encouraging and our lessons were always a lot of fun but I also learned so much! I also took voice lessons from Mary and in doing so, my voice has greatly improved and so has my confidence. I just finished all of my auditions and I truly could not have done this without her. I couldn't recommend her more!
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Mary P.

Mary P.

Online
(9)
starting at
$50 / 45-min
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About Joseph M.

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Huntington Station, NY

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35 + yrs playing/teaching/composition experience
Classical to Jazz
Fun mixed with work

About Joseph
Local tutor;

Will travel to you, or we can use my studios located in Nassau, Suffolk and all 5 boroughs.

My name is Dr. Joseph M., Ba/Ma/Dma, in Education and Performance. I have reference lists a mile long, (with phone #'s, so you contact my previous and current

clients), full of success story after success story!

22 yrs teaching experience. I have sent thousands of children to Nyssma. Most of my students have scored; "Outstandings", (lvls 1-4), and A+'s, (lvls 5-6). Have gotten students

into All-County,

All State, and All National honor bands. This requires a ranked Nyssma level 6 score of 100.

I have prepared students for auditions to the finest music schools in the world, Julliard, The Curtis Institute, Berklee, etc.

My students have appeared on Broadway, have played at Birdland/the Bluenote, and have won
Grammys.........

I play and teach all styles; Classical, rock, Broadway, jazz,pop, etc.....

I have performed at the world class, A-list level in all the above mentioned styles as well.

I believe it is critical to be humble, down to earth and easy to work with, no matter how accomplished, student, teacher, or parent. :)..................
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Reviews
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Dana September 18, 2016
· Saxophone · In home
Very professional and thorough!
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louis R. August 9, 2016
· Saxophone · In home
First lesson with my grandson. My grandson enjoyed it. Joseph was very professional.
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Joshua W. April 19, 2016
· Singing · In home
We couldn't be more pleased and thrilled to have discovered Dr. Merkel. He is committed, gifted, firm, yet kind,
with my son. Thank you Dr. Joe!!!
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Joseph M.

Joseph M.

Online
(10)
starting at
$27.50 / 30-min

About Ryan B.

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Chicago, IL

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I've helped many band members, friends and students to write songs and would be glad to help any future students. But songwriting is a very personal thing and so rather than push too many ideas on a student, I find it's ideal to provide them with tools and let their creativity take over.

About Ryan
Ryan is a musician from Jefferson Park who plays a plethora of different instruments. He specializes in guitar, banjo, mandolin and ukulele, but also dabbles in accordion, piano, drums, harmonica and several others. Learning to play instruments is one of the true pleasures in his life and he hopes he can make it one of yours, too.

As a teacher Ryan's goals are fairly simple. First and foremost he wants to make his lessons comfortable, interesting and fun. A close second is to build a strong foundation on the basics, so as we learn more advanced techniques we have a solid base of technique to build upon. And third, an understanding of the theory and history behind the music is a great way to engage in the music beyond just the rote learning of technique.

After a brief foray in physics, Ryan settle into a degree in music at the Univer
sity of Illinois, specializing in Ethnomusicology (the study of music of different cultures). This education gave him a strong background in music theory and history in the Western tradition, but also opened him up to a vast experience of a diverse cross section of music from around the world. His insatiable love for learning new instruments started here, where he studied music from West Africa to Bali.

Currently Ryan is a co-lead singer, songwriter and stringed instrument player for the local band Distant Brothers, a folk rock band based out of Chicago. They play venues throughout the Midwest, with some of the notable venues being House of Blues, Metro and Cubby Bear in Chicago. Another highlight of his time with the band has been a collaboration with Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra, where he not only was able to play in collaboration with the orchestra, but joined in the arranging and conceptualization of some of the pieces played.
...
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Ana May 12, 2017
· Ukulele · Online
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Brian March 19, 2017
· Mandolin · In studio
Extremely knowledgable, nice and overall great teacher. I'm extremely happy with my first mandolin lesson and can't wait to practice what Ryan taught me and return for my next lesson.
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Blanche D. March 10, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Great lesson! Ryan is patient, thoughtful, and teaches things step by step so it isn't overwhelming. Can't wait to come home from work and practice!
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Ryan B.

Ryan B.

Online
(12)
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Elliot W.

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Olympia, WA
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Improve your songwriting skills by studying several techniques used to help lyric writing, chord progressions, rhythm, and melodic content!

About Elliot
Hi, there! My name is Elliot and I'm very excited to start working with you! I've been teaching lessons since 2011 and love watching students grow and succeed during our time together (and beyond). I have Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Voice from Western Michigan University and a Master's degree in Jazz Vocal Performance from the University of Miami. I also have significant experience in the musical theater world, having music directed several shows for community programs and high schools.

My approach to teaching is to bring out self-expression, joy, and artistry in each of my students. My goal is for you to reach your highest potential! Have an upcoming audition or performance? We can work hard to make sure it's a massive success! Love singing and want to gain experience and expertise? You're in the right place! Whatever your goal,
I will work hard with you to make it a fun and enjoyable learning experience.
...
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Grace March 17, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Eliot is so gentle and great with our child! Highly recommended!
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Janice M. July 1, 2015
· Singing · In studio
My son liked his ability to connect with Elliot. He is a really cool and fun guy to get singing lessons from. Recommend!
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Elliot W.

Elliot W.

Olympia, WA 98512
(2)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Lauren P.

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Pacific Grove, CA
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Songwriting students will learn about the bones of what makes a great song. We study poetry as well as music composition theory to find the sweet spot where a song becomes a story. Elements like meter, rhyme scheme, song layout, story perspective, key selection, chordal theory, observational writing, and daily writing practice will hone your ability to craft significant and beautiful songs.

About Lauren
I am a professional electric violinist and rock vocalist. I have been playing in touring bands for 8 years and have released over 5 albums. I play multiple crazy violins from traditional 4-string all the way up to a fretted 7-string! I am one of the few violinists in the world who sings and plays at the same time! I also am known for my highly complex live looping techniques which allow me to be a one woman band.

I teach contemporary violin, voice, and production. I can help with everything from songwriting all the way up to guiding you through producing and recording your music. I have a bachelors degree from Stanford University and a Masters Degree in Communication from the University of Washington.
...
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Lauren P.

Lauren P.

Online
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Ezra S.

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Portland, OR

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Once you have learned the fundamentals of music theory, we can talk about how to incorporate these principles into your own songwriting!

About Ezra
I currently work as a remote mentor at Pyramind, a music production company in San Francisco.

My goal as a teacher is to unlock the creative potential within people. I believe that music education should empower the student to bring the contents of their imagination into full expression. Discipline and practice is only half the battle. You will learn all of the fundamentals of music theory, but the fun really begins when we start looking at your favorite songs and learning how to incorporate those ideas into your own creative process.

As a performing musician, I have fifteen years experience writing music for bands, studio recording, pressing cds and vinyl through record labels, touring nationally, writing and publishing two books on music theory, giving public talks for large audiences, and have been featured as interview guest on
several radio shows and podcasts.
...
Reviews
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Jessica September 14, 2017
· Music Theory ·
Ezra is a great teacher, he breaks down complex music theory concepts and make them more digestible and fun. He's one of those rare intellectuals that is patient and empathic, which shows in his teaching style.
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Kyle September 13, 2017
· Music Theory · Online
Very informative, great work!!
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Vanessa September 13, 2017
· ·
Ezra views life through the eyes of magic and mystery. Anything he teaches will be a moving experience and I highly recommend learning from such a great teacher.
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Ezra S.

Ezra S.

Online
(3)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, check out the Songwriting articles on our blog.

6 Resources for Creating Your Own Sheet Music

6 Resources for Creating Your Own Sheet Music

As you develop your musical skills, you may become interested in writing your own music. While learning to play an instrument and being able to play others' music is a wonderful skill, nothing compares to creating sheet music full of your own compositions! As a budding songwriter, you’ll need to add some additional skills to your repertoire. Writing music can be as simple as putting a pen to paper, or you can take advantage of the many songwriting tools technology offers. Whether you’re sketchi … Read More

6 Resources for Creating Your Own Sheet Music
As you develop your musical skills, you may become interested in writing your own music. While learning to play an instrument and being able to play others' music is a wonderful skill, nothing compares to creating sheet music full of your own compositions! As a budding songwriter, you’ll need to add some additional skills to your repertoire. Writing music can be as simple as putting a pen to paper, or you can take advantage of the many songwriting tools technology offers. Whether you’re sketchi
Quiz: What Should You Write Your Next Song About?
Writing songs is hard enough work without having to deal with songwriters' block! To help you find inspiration for your next song, we created this easy personality quiz. Take the quiz and find out what your next hit single will be about... For more songwriting tips and songwriting prompts, check out our infographic guide 25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block! Share your songwriting ideas, struggles, triumphs, and questions in the comments below.   Interested in
Tips for Writing a Song | Starting Songs And Ending Writer's Block
Feeling stuck? Get back on track with these helpful tips for writing a song, courtesy of Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   One of the most frequent problems that songwriting students encounter is pushing past writer's block and generating ideas for new songs. So here are several tips for writing a song that will help you overcome a creative dry spell and get you back to creative productivity. Start With A Title Think of some interesting subjects that you think would make goo
5 Reasons Why Songwriters Should Collaborate
This article was originally published on Soundfly and is being shared as part of Songwriting Week! Join the conversation on social media (#SongwritingWeek) for even more tips, articles, and resources.   So many musicians and songwriters stress the importance of collaboration. But without knowing how collaboration could benefit your work, why would you share an idea you’ve spent countless hours thinking about, only to open yourself up to criticism? As it turns out, all those advice
25 Ways to Break Free from Songwriters' Block
Every songwriter runs into writers' block at some point in their career. To help you dig your way out of the dreaded doldrums of songwriters' block, we put together 25 songwriting tips and prompts plus great songs to inspire you. Check out these songwriting tips and find your muse today!   Bonus: Take the quiz to find out what you should write your next song about! Write about your day. Think your life is boring and you have nothing to say? Check out the lyrics to thi

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