Beginner, intermediate and advanced instruction in songwriting of all styles (except rap/hip-hop, electronica, or heavy metal). I am an award winning songwriter and an active singer-songwriter with over 20 years of experience teaching songwriting classes at colleges and music schools in California and New Jersey. I know every facet of songwriting extensively.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!!
“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 F., Principal 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 S., 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 H., Parkland
“Loving the relaxed atmosphere with David. Bargain prices for the one on one experience with such an awesome, educated and talented musician.”
Raven R., 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 L., 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 J., 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 L., 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 H. 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 B., 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 D., 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!
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 R., 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 F. 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 L., 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 J., 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 D., 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
I actually feel I got somewhere on the first lesson. He starts by teaching a song. Love it.
April 26, 2019
Awesome lesson very knowledgeable and fun to be around
February 4, 2019
I have been taking guitar lessons with David for a year and a half. It has been a blast to learn guitar from him. Whenever possible, he likes to structure his lessons so that you're playing music and it doesn't feel like you're doing drills, but when I have to work on something specific he gives me great drills to work on.
I've learned everything from Bach to AC/DC, from The Beatles to Rush. David encourages me that I'm improving, but also pushes me to continue to improve.
I am learning a lot under his tutelage, and I am going to keep learning as much as I can.
I have a Masters degree in Music Composition and can teach up to professional level of any style or instrument for composition and song writing.
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.
Everyone's a Poet/Singer/Songwriter at heart! We all have songs and melodies and poetic fancies that have been sleeping inside of us (sometimes for years), and we long to bring them out, but somehow lack the tools, and, most importantly, the encouragement to share our creative treasure trove with others, and, even for our own self satisfaction. As an awarding and published poet, (see Amazon.com for my "Kaleidoscope: Life's Meaningful Reflections" series of books and audio books) I'll help you begin to express your thoughts, emotions, and stories in your own songs, and in your own unique style that will bring your message to the world! No time like the present to start!
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.
Learn how to write songs, develop songwriting ideas, improve your lyrics, and discover new and interesting ways to compose music. Learn how to write the songs down (in music notation) so you can play them with other musicians. Learn to transcribe songs that you like (pick up by ear) and use them for inspiration.
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!
Students will learn how to compose their own music with a foundation of music theory and ear training. They will also understand the processes of different musical instruments and how to effectively write for the performers of that instrument
*all lessons are always taylored to be appropriate vocally and dramatically for age, voice type, and ability
Hello! My name is Serena!
Music shapes my life and has made me the person I am today. My experience in training in opera, musical theatre, jazz, and pop has expanded my musical skills and knowledge. Not only have I been trained in performance, but I have also studied music history, music theory, conducting, movement training, ballet, Alexander Technique, acting, yoga, stage craft, improvisation, other languages, diction and the International Phonetic Alphabet, voice science and anatomy, and vocal pedagogy. I have completed my Bachelor of Music in Operatic Vocal Performance from the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University under the tutelage of the legendary Carol Vaness. I have also studied with acclaimed teachers and coaches around the world including Dr. Kari Ragan and Maestro Dean Williamson.
This year has been w
onderfully packed with performance for Seattle Opera. I just closed out a 78 performance run of CINDERELLA IN SPAIN where I sang the role of CINDERELLA and was even on the poster! I also performed the roles for the Seattle Opera preview performances of GRETEL in HANSEL UND GRETEL, VIOLETTA in LA TRAVIATA, KATYA in KATYA KABANOVA, and QUEEN OF THE NIGHT in MAGIC FLUTE. I made my Seattle Opera debut singing ALITSA and RACCOON in their touring production of "OUR EARTH", as well as performing on the mainstage in many productions. My upcoming performances include singing in the Seattle Opera kick off to the season SUMMERFEST in July; and OLYMPIA in LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN with Pacific Northwest Opera. My other roles include ALKANDRE in PENELOPE with Vespertine Opera in Seattle, WA; FRASQUITA in CARMEN with OperaBend in Bend, Oregon and Pacific Northwest Opera; and SUSANNA in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with the Seattle Opera Guild. I also made my international debut in December 2014 singing GRETEL in HANSEL UND GRETEL with Opera Mariposa in Vancouver, BC. I have also been the featured soloist as "Christine" in Ten Grand's Phantom of the Opera at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA, and many lead roles in both opera and musical theatre: such as Semele (Semele), Marie (La Fille du Regiment), Gretel (Hansel und Gretel), Countess Ceprano and Gilda (Rigoletto), Blondchen (Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail), Maria (West Side Story), La Fee (Cendrillon), Sarah Brown (Guys and Dolls), Cathy (The Last 5 Years), Rosina (Barber of Seville), and more! I have also been part of jazz ensembles, and won the Battle of the Bands at Indiana University with a rock group! I am proud to have won the Seattle Opera Guild/Opera Plus Young Artist Scholarship Award for the 2015/2016 season, the Encouragement Award in the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions, First Place in the National Classical Singers Competition, the C.M. Gerber Scholarship, Music Dean's Scholarship, Music Faculty Award, First Place at Washington State Solo and Ensemble Competitions, First Place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) National Competitions, and many more!
Teaching brings me such joy! To share the love of music and to educate the musicians of tomorrow is both gratifying and inspiring. I have been teaching since 2005 and provide a fun and focused learning experience where there are no "wrong" questions, and everybody's unique voice is celebrated! Many of my students have gone on to study music in college, and have landed lead roles in musical theatre, choir solos, All State and All Northwest choirs, and won awards in Classical competitions.
In my spare time, I like to hike, eat good food, and spend time with family and friends!
*** Lesson Details *** My studio provides musical knowledge through private lessons including healthy vocal technique, basic understanding of music theory, and basic piano skills. I encourage a fun and focused environment. Come ready to learn, and let's make music!
A typical lesson will include vocalises that detail proper technique, some ear training work, some music theory training, and will be followed by repertoire. During this time, students will learn how to produce clear and authentic diction (English and other languages), breath management, phrase shaping, smooth transitions between higher and lower pitches, stylistic ornamentation, as well as dramatic involvement of the piece.
Students will learn the importance of the foundations of breath support, and how to create a healthy sound for any genre while keeping the unique qualities of their own voice-- no cookie-cutter singers here! Students will also learn how to read music, practice effectively, perform authentically, and take care of their delicate instrument for a lifetime of singing!
While Skype is a marvelous tool that has revolutionized the world of teaching, nothing can replicate natural acoustics. In-studio lessons are suggested for a clearer and more personable lesson. **Skype lessons are reserved for long distance students only**
STUDIO ABSENCE and CANCELLATION POLICIES: Regularly scheduled and attended lessons are the best way to see positive changes in your voice! The smooth running of the Studio Schedule helps make that happen. Therefore, missing lessons is discouraged and make up lessons/cancellations are not given in the Studio unless: - I have had a performance or rehearsal that conflicts with our lesson time and cannot have the lesson as scheduled. If this occurs, I will inform you of the event as soon as possible and give you the option of a make up lesson or cancelling the lesson. - Notices of foreseen cancellations (family vacations, religious holidays, school functions, special occasions etc.) are eligible for rescheduling or cancellation if given before the first lesson of the month. - Of course, life can throw us for a loop! Illness, emergencies, and unforeseen events may possibly be given make ups or cancellations and will be determined at the Studio's discretion. (In the matter of illness: standard procedure is that if the student can attend work/school, they should come to their lesson. A cold can easily be worked around. If the voice is affected (for singing students), Studio time can still be used to work on ear training, music theory, music history, etc.)
All other absences will result in the lesson being marked as "missed". A hard copy of the Studio Policies and further details will be given to the student at the first lesson. Please feel free to ask any questions or clarifications.
*** Studio Equipment *** The studio lessons take place in a designated area of my home. The room includes seating for parents to observe lessons as well as a weighted keyboard (88 keys), music stand, desk, and materials. No pets. Lots of street parking is available. Shopping and coffee/food located within walking distance.
*** Specialties *** Specialties: Classical/Opera Other styles and genres: Musical Theatre, Jazz, Pop, and Rock.
Serena taught my 8 year old son for 9 beginner lessons. The scheduling did not work out for us to continue.
I loved her teaching style! She is calm but also fun for the boy. He loved the warm up exercises. In only 30 minutes of class they were able to play several little pieces. My son could then practice and master them at home. That gave him a sense of accomplishment. This approach is better than working on a hard piece and being frustrated. She focused on sight reading from the start instead of memorizing which is a great habit.
April 24, 2019
Serena is very knowledgeable and super helpful with my daughter' s audition prep. Highly recommend!
April 17, 2019
Serena is excellent! She shares my interest in both vocal training and vocal pedagogy, so she can explain the physiology of what I'm doing wrong when that happens - frequently in my case. She is a delight to work with. Encouraging. Intelligent. Professional. I'm sad to have to drop lessons for now.
I can teach you how to write for all styles of music as well as help to produce and fine tune your compositions
I have been teaching guitar almost 20 years and as an instructor, My teaching method comes from a curriculum I have developed which uses popular guitar driven rock tunes as musical etudes. Educating the student with valuable theory, reading, technique, and scale theory, while remaining fun. As a songwriter I have worked with companies like Wild Whirled Music which writes and records music for use in film and television as well as songwriter and producer greats such as Tim James, Antonina Armato, and legendary Desmond Child. With Wild Whirled Music I have had my songs placed on MTV, FOX, TNT, VH1, CW, E!, Bravo, FX, USA and TLC on shows such as LA Ink, Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Parks and Recreation, Mentalist, Psych, Bones, The Office, The Adam Sandler Film "That's My Boy" and the Greg Kinnear film “Stuck In Love”
I am 4 or 5 lessons in with Jared and I am truly and entirely thrilled with the progress I am seeing and the depth of guitar knowledge I have gained. Jared has a way of teaching that not only allows for actually playing right away but learning the foundations of knowing the guitar and music. I can see that this allows for not just playing "songs" but making music of my own. This is the freedom of "knowing" the guitar.
December 11, 2018
Headline: Jared is amazing teacher.
Jared has excellent knowledge of music foundations and music theory.
Knows styles and genres, knows not only how to play but create too... And how this style was born.
He helps to build habit to do things right - I'm talking about technique - or, in other words - how to use your hands!
Same time he's extremely patient.
I'd like to recommend Jared for everyone who want's to learn play guitar (don't look at your age), his teaching approach works great, because he is teaching you and adjust classes for you.
June 14, 2018
Jared is real patient and easy to learn from, he keeps things simple and makes sure you understand.
I started writing songs when I was 15 and that was 32 years ago. I have been the lead singer/songwriter/guitarist in many bands and have been performing and recording for over 30 years. I teach the foundations of music theory,chord progressions, melody, harmony and more on the road to writing you own songs. If you're already a songwriter, I can help workshop your songs with experienced, professional advice.
Music lessons for all ages and levels on guitar, bass, violin, cello, ukulele, banjo and voice/singing. Private studio in downtown Redmond. I have been teaching for over 10 years, performing and recording as a singer/songwriter/guitarist for over 25 years. Berklee College of Music alumnus. All styles of guitar, classical, jazz, blues, rock, acoustic, electric. Suzuki method violin and cello as well as fiddle and folk styles.
"Fawn is original, passionate and a musical genius who makes learning fun
Fawnâs way of teaching is quite original, passionate and always to the point.
She can make the most insecure person get out of their own way and become more secure. Working with her, I get a glimpse of genius in action. She really is a musical genius and I have been learning an incredible amount from her. My songs keep getting better under her training and guidance and I finally got a placement in a sitcom from her re-write. I look forward to watching my own abilities continue to grow and become stronger."
"I really enjoyed my first lesson with Amy, looking forward to more!"
"This was my 3rd lesson with Loralee and I really enjoy her "get to it" attitude. She is always well prepared and has many exercises to work through toget
her. She doesn't waste any time. I feel she understood what I needed early on with little guidance from me. She's pleasant and enjoyable to work with. Looking forward to my next lesson."
"Axel is very welcoming and have an easy and entrenaining way to teach kids. My son, 10 years old, is very happy with his classes and is very excited for t
he upcoming classes and feels he will be able to achieve his goals with Axel’s guidance"
"Melaena is an amazing teacher! She is patient, encouraging, and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. I really enjoyed sitting through her songwrit
ing lesson. She was well organized and had exercises to go through that were challenging and fun. I can definitely see myself improving as a songwriter with more lessons with her."
"Kristina is great! I learned many tips and a few tools so far and am looking forward to my next class with her!"
"When I first took lessons with Triana, I thought I was a pretty good song writer. Looking back I can see how much I have improved. I always felt like my s
ongs could be better, but I didn't know how I could get them to the place I wanted. Triana has an uncanny ability to hear the best version of your song and guide you towards it. I never felt like she was writing for me, but helping me hear the places in my own song that needed work. I feel like my songs are so much stronger now and, more importantly, I can see the places in my own song that need work and can make them better on my own!"
"i took rock history, rock appreciation and rock theory from joe, who rocks
very good guitar teacher! joe is a PRO"
"I've learned so much about songwriting with Melaena and can't recommend her highly enough! I've had some really important break throughs from our session
s and I always leave feeling inspired and excited about music."
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