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I am a very patient, knowledgeable and experienced music instructor who loves working with students of all ages. I graduated from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education and a lifetime California state teaching credential. I also graduated from the Naval School of Music with top honors and I served in the Marine Corps as a bandsman playing the French Horn. I have taught music in many public, private and charter schools in California for over 30 years. I also taught music in primary schools in Edinburgh, Scotland for five years. I am currently teaching music at Cinnabar Charter School in Petaluma. I am also an accomplished pianist and songwriter having won awards for song writing in the children's music category.
I have worked for many years teaching, counseling and assisting students with their love and joy of music. During my teaching career I have also helped students with conflict resolution, coping skills, issues with and surrounding pride and culture, college selection, application processes, financing and preparation for college. I have taught a very diverse group of students, which has allowed me to learn various approaches to communicating and working with students from all walks of life. In addition, I have toured the world performing Jazz and other styles with various bands, taught upright and electric bass privately, and have released two CD’s of original compositions.
I was born and raised in Oakland. I have been playing guitar for over 15 years and congas for over 10 years. I went to Berkeley High School where I played guitar in the BHS Jazz Ensemble. I then attended the New School in New York City, majoring in jazz guitar studies. I have studied guitar with Steve Erquiaga, Dave Creamer and Jack Wilkins, and congas with Josh Jones, Sandy Perez and other Cuban percussionists. I have also studied voice with Jane Sharp and piano with Ellen Wasserman. I as the guitarist for the Cal State East Bay Jazz Ensemble and was also a member of the CSUEB Percussion Ensemble. Jacob graduated from Cal State Monterey Bay with a B.A. in music recording technology and from Cal State East Bay with a M.A. in music composition. Over the years I have performed with musicians such as Josh Jones, Michael Aaberg, Dayna Stephens, Ambrose Akinmusere, Jonathan Finlayson, Geoff Brennan, and Ray Brown. Mr. Kessel has performed at the Montreux, Umbria, and Vienne Jazz Festivals. I currently play guitar, congas and sing in a variety of performance settings around the Bay Area. I am also a music producer and songwriter, as well as a designer. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my dogs and exploring new restaurants and music venues. I also like studying computer programming.
I have been paying guitar for over 15 years. My love of improvisation brought me to the California Jazz Conservatory where I have been studying since 2012. In fall 2016 I will graduate with a B.M. in Jazz Studies, focusing on guitar. I play in a local rock/funk band, The Electic Soul Factory, and I am a founder a of The Moldy Fig Improvised Music Collective, for which I compose and arrange the material.
I'm a passionate and motivated instructor who loves working with students and sharing my experience. In 2010, I graduated from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary music in New York city with a bachelors in music performance/production. Performing and producing music all around the world has been one of the greater experiences of my life as a musician. I have performed at the Bern jazz festival in Switzerland, at the Bitter End (and many other clubs) in New York, and the Monterey jazz festival.
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Once you’ve met with your teacher for your risk free trial lesson, continuing with Musika is easy! If you are satisfied with your lesson, all you have to do is register with us to continue! The trial will count as your first lesson if you continue, however, with our Great Match Guarantee™ if for any reason you decide not to continue then the trial is FREE. Go ahead give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.
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Each lesson is tailored to the student's individual needs. No single teaching method is used by all teachers, and while some instructors will recommend certain method books, the lessons will be taught depending on the needs of the student. Generally, lessons will cover aspects of how to technically play the instrument correctly, how to work on overall musicianship skills, and how to read music. However if the student has any personal goals, the teacher will focus more attention on helping the student accomplish them.
In home lessons are the most convenient way to bring music into your life. By not having to add another destination to your busy schedule, you are maximizing your time, not to mention your budget by not having to pay for travel expenses. You will receive the same custom lessons as our in studio lessons, except in the the comfort of your own home.
We recommend starting bass lessons around age 10, and usually no earlier than age 8. Bass strings are thicker and heavier than guitar strings, so the student's hands must be strong enough to fret the notes, and be able to carry the bass comfortably. The bass is a great instrument for teens, and skills learned during lessons can lead students to playing in school Jazz band.
Any adult can start bass lessons with Musika. Even with no prior experience, bass can be a great instrument to start learning music. Bass is utilized in many popular genres and adults can learn to play along with their favorite songs.
The most popular instrument with beginning bass students is a standard 4-string bass. This will be more than sufficient for you to learn and develop your skills as you begin and continue on with lessons. Most music stores will have a variety to choose from such as instruments made by Ibanez, Fender, or Gibson. If you are going into lessons with the goal to play heavy metal, or rock music, you may want to look into a 5 string bass. This extra string allows the student access to lower notes that are used in those genres.
Review by Yury
I would like to thank Polina for the series of classical piano lessons I've taken recently. Polina is a fantastic teacher and a high class performer, and I'm really happy I had a chance to meet her! I believe anyone can benefit from the teaching method Polina is practicing regardless of the student proficiency - from beginners to advanced performers. It was a pleasure for me to study classical piano courses under the guidance of such an intelligent & professional teacher! Without doubt, my playing technique has improved a lot and I have signed up for the new classes online already.
Review by Jennifer
Dave is a fantastic teacher. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to students that I think is invaluable. At the same time, this does not limit him from working with beginning students. He is very communicative with the parents as far as schedule changes. We are so grateful to have found him!!
Review by Clinton Poskozim
Martina has been a great teacher. Our son is 8 and had taken some piano lessons before starting with Martina. She came right in and got him to improve. She does a great job of giving him just enough of a challenge to make him work and learn but not any pieces that are so overwhelming he can't get them. She has helped him through a lot of early music theory so that he not only can play the piano but understands the music he is reading in all of its complexity.
Review by Jacob Solomon
Ileen is a very attentive instuctor. she is patient and works hard to see her student succeed. if a concept is unclear she expains it in other ways to ensure understanding. I would highly recommend ileen to students of all levels who want to learn guitar and music theory to thoroughly enjoy the instrument and music
Review by Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
Review by Julie Buranelli
My daughter really enjoys her lessons with Pavel. She is an absolute beginner and Pavel is right with her as she learns the basics. She is completely engaged and always looks forward to her lesson. He packs a lot of learning into their 30 minute time slot - he gets right to it as soon as he walks in the door! He is a great teacher - we highly recommend!
Review by Elsahatzipavlou
Erin has been a wonderful voice/piano teacher for our 7 year old daughter. She is talented, patient, and has a wonderful demeanor. She has been consistent with her teaching in piano and voice. She keeps record of where the students leave off so that they know what to expect the following week. I would definitely recommend Erin to anyone looking for a skilled piano/voice teacher.
Review by Maurice Romero
This is the 1st time I've ever taken lessons, and Robert has been a pleasure to work with. I've made quick progress and have enjoyed the process. I'm always listening for those tips that you can't find in a book. I can count on Robert to be strict on the fundamentals and am clear it will make a difference in the long run.
Review by Stevengournay
There are only a handful of people I count in my life who were great teachers, and Laura is one of them. Her musicianship is so secure as are her technique and personality that she zeros in on my weaknesses and devises exercises to strengthen them, and during the lesson it is not "Do this, no, do that" which is unnerving to a novice. She understands the most important part of study is relaxation, so that is easy to achieve with such a confident and compassionate human. Music is her life and she is eager to share her talent with everyone. A rare find, indeed!
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