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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'm a patient instructor that allows each person to grow at their own pace. We all have a goal of what we want to achieve and I guide you toward that goal. My primary goal is to create great musicians- people who are versed in many styles and have a handle on music as a language. I want to share my knowledge to help you find your musical voice and the creativity you seek through the guitar.
I'm an open minded teacher and musician whose aim is sharing his skills and experience in order to give his students one more inspiration. I started with the classical guitar in 1994 and attended the Music School in Garlasco (PV), Italy, earning a merit certificate. After some years being self-taught, I attended the Lizard Academy and took lessons from teacher Fabio Casali, a Jazz musician, and I earned a merit certificate. Before moving to the United States I took classes from another teacher of the CPM in Milan, who helped me correct my mistakes. I think there's always something to learn or to correct. In the meantime I played and recorded some demos with different bands, an experience that certainly enriched me as a guitar player and gave me some personal satisfaction like being in a band recommended by a Heavy Metal magazine called Metal Shock.
I have studied music for over 25 years. I graduated from California State University, East Bay in 2010, and have completed 1 year of my M.M. in Trombone Performance from the University of North Texas. I am currently based in the SF Bay Area and plan to continue my studies here. I have extensive experience playing in many ensembles in many different styles, such as: orchestra, brass quintet, jazz band, rock band, horn sections, chamber music, as well as numerous others. I have participated in Masterclasses with reknowned conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen and Gustavo Dudamel. I have studied Music History and Music Education in depth as well, and I have a deep understanding of musical styles and form.
I am a instructor with 10 years of experience giving 15-20 guitar lessons a week who loves sharing the gift of music. I've also performed jazz, rock, pop and other styles of music in groups and solo at many types of venues, including a few jazz festival appearances in addition to jazz clubs and a small number of sponsored concerts under my own name. Along the the way I released a CD that was played on 30 public radio stations and performed with many excellent musicians from the Bay Area, East Coast and Europe.
Since We Started
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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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If possible, it is beneficial for younger students to begin their learning on a smaller sized guitar. Half or three-quarter sized acoustic guitars are most suitable for young learners. Provided they are comfortable with holding the guitar, older students can start on an electric model. There are a range of different model guitars that are suitable for students, and can be found between the $150 to $200 price range. Remember though, that electric guitarists will need amplification and cables, which need to be purchased at additional costs. The best chance a student will have of liking and enjoying their guitar playing is to invest in good, high quality instruments, as they tend to be easier to play.
Whatever your current ability level, we recommend that students wanting to take guitar lessons have a clear aim in mind. Maybe there is a song you have always wanted to be able to play? Or maybe you want to develop your songwriting skills? Whatever your goals may be, the experienced teachers in our network can help you achieve them with expert knowledge. Whether it be learning to play a sequence of chords, jamming a cool riff, or mastering that guitar solo, developing the required skills and co-ordination can take time. Taking regular lessons and practicing on a daily basis is the best way to achieve your goals.
Kids just want to have one thing when they are learning how to play the guitar - FUN! Our teachers will work with you to make it as easy as possible to start learning the guitar, but it does take a lot of hard work and daily practice to improve. Students typically begin by playing easy songs on one or two strings while learning to read music. Only then, do they move on to learning how to strum chords and read chord charts.
Our guitar students will typically learn how to hold, tune, and familiarize themselves with the components and notes of the guitar, basic playing techniques such as fretting, fingering, and strumming, and learn the various chord-types that they will need in order to play their favorite songs, such as power chords, open chords, and barre chords. Students will also get to learn music theory, and will cover aspects such as reading music, learning different scales, and how to apply these different elements together as part of a full composition. Students will learn the theory and techniques that underlie a wide range of musical genres, and will have fun developing their guitar playing during their lessons. Eventually, students will get to enjoy learning and playing along to their favorite songs!
Musika deals primarily with home lessons for students. The location is the only difference between our in-home lessons and our studio lessons. As they do not have to travel to their lessons, home guitar lessons can be highly convenient for those parents and students with a busy schedule. For younger students in particular, having guitar lessons in the comfort of their own home can be of great benefit. They will feel more safe and relaxed in familiar surroundings, allowing them to focus on learning and enjoying playing the guitar.
Review by Ro J.
“My son has been instructed by Mark for almost four years. Mark is an outstanding teacher. His credentials are by themselves impressive, but his ability to relate his knowledge to kids is even more so. Connor's ability to understand and read music is fantastic. Mark also knows the performance side of playing drums and has encouraged Connor to actually incorporate his knowledge to play alone and in a band. He is patient and encouraging which is what motivates Connor to work and practice. He is a mentor as well as a teacher. He is superior at what he does and we highly recommend him.” Ro J.
Review by Roberta
My 4 year old son is quite energetic. Another piano teacher tried to teach him before Peter and could not get my son to listen to him at all. That teacher told me that my son had no interest and that we needed to wait before having my son take lessons. Peter started teaching my son a few weeks later. He quickly developed a great rapport with my son. I was astounded when my son sat down and listened to Peter during the first lesson. Peter has remarkable patience and is a natural working with children. He knows when to follow the child's lead. My son is very interested in how the piano works, so Peter takes the time to teach him about this. He is able to use my son's interests (superheroes, Lego, Star Wars, etc.) to refocus him back to playing the piano. Between lessons, he brainstorms on how he can teach my son better. For example, my son was playing the notes, but not understanding rhythm, so Peter looked into it and came back the next week with a new plan which helped. My son looks forward to his lesson every week. When he hears the doorbell ring on lesson day, he exclaims, "Yay! Peter's here!"
Review by Carol A
“Lynn is my music hero! She can listen to any song and write down the chords. She will adjust to make it easier or harder whatever your abilities. I have a busy schedule and often don't have time to practice between lessons and she is cool with that. She also will adjust lesson times when she is able which fits my hectic schedule. I'm glad my first guitar teacher "fired" me ....that allowed me to meet Lynn.” - Carol A., M.D., Aug 2015
Review by Jenn
My son and I both take lessons with Micheal. My son started on the ukulele and recently started the guitar. He is excellent with children. Very patient and very intuitive to the child's ability. He is also an excellent teacher for adults. I had not touched my guitar in several years and in a couple months not only to I remember everything I forgot but I'm learning many new techniques and am a much better player than I've ever been.
Review by Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.
Review by Ashley S.
Ali was an amazing voice coach! She taught in a way that made sense to me, and helped me find the voice placements I needed. I didn't know I could sound like that! My development with her was leaps and bounds rather than tiny dreadful steps that happen when you don't know what's going on! Ali was dedicated to helping me work on an audition for a music scholarship and I nailed it all thanks to her, seriously. I can't thank her enough! She helped me with the tools and confidence I needed to sing in the real world alone rather than just back row in a large choir.
Review by Shelonda
Henry is teaching my daughter how to play piano. Henry is an excellent teacher, we really like and appreciate him. His teaching style works very well for my daughter, she is comfortable which makes learning enjoyable. Henry is very patient and I can see that he is passionate about teaching music. Great teacher for sure.
Review by Venessea Gilbert
Rebecca has been super with my son! He is 8yrs old and has mild aspergers. He has never played an instrument before but after one lesson with his teacher he could keep a beat on his drums. She is able to keep his attention and really makes it fun! She is flexible and easy going. I highly recommend her for any lessons. Very nice teacher! Thank you Rebecca for your outstanding service!!
Review by Nancy
Darrell is A-Maz-Ing! He demands results from his students and therefore results come quickly. The time he spends teaching is intense and packed with great instruction. He is a tough teacher but offers lots of valuable instruction that is applicable for music as well as life in general. I highly recommend Darrell if you are ready for results!
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