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Born in San Francisco, I began my piano studies at the age of four, and then followed with my recital debut at the age of six. At nine I performed at the Junior Bach Festival in Berkeley, and at eleven was given a marvelous opportunity to play on my own television program which aired on KCET-TV in San Francisco. While studying at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, I competed and placed as one of the finalists in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. After receiving my Bachelor’s Degree at San Francisco State University, I moved to Los Angeles in 1982 to pursue a career in music. I performed in numerous concerts around the greater Los Angeles area and in 1984, I was selected as one of the pianists to participate in the Olympic games opening ceremonies performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. After completing two-year programs at UCLA for each of the film scoring and sound engineering courses, I continued to broaden my career by delving into music composition for both film and television. Over the past twenty-five years I have developed extensive relationships in the entertainment industry and have not only built quite a wide range of composing credits, but also expanded my involvement in the industry as a producer and music supervisor.
I am a classical trained musician. I was brought up in Bloomington Indiana, the home of the no.1 rated music school in the States (by the teacher's association). Ever since I was 10, I was involved with the University music life. I had the fortune to study with Janos Starker - perhaps the greatest cello technician in the world! His playing style is comfortable, clean, natural, and free of tension problems. Anyone can learn this great technique and benefit from it. I stress this technique on all of the instruments we teach. I was the best teacher in Los Angeles area for producing the most competition winners of SYMF a few years back (cello).
Music and the arts are my life's passions. I grew up in a musical family where I was constantly exposed to every genre of music from boogie-woogie (played by my father on our piano) to opera (which we heard over the radio every Saturday morning). I graduated from Hood College for Women in Frederick, MD, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Applied Music, specifically in piano and voice. Although I had never had any formal training (I taught myself to sight read and play piano) until college, I was the first music student in 69 years to qualify to do an honors thesis in music. My thesis was "The Influence of Claude Debussy on the Evolution of Jazz in the America. " I presented my thesis at a Town Hall Performance in which I also sang and played a number of compositions by Claude Debussy. My classical training in voice was augmented by my study with Joseph Victor Laderoute, a visiting Professor from Peabody Conservatory. My training provided me with the necessary qualifications to audition for and to be employed by the San Diego Opera Co. I sang in the ensemble and had some small, but significant supporting roles.
I was born in Brazil and from a young age, like many others, had shown an interest for music and singing. I've since then lived in several countries where I've further developed and honed my skills in singing, music theory and piano, as well as having the ability to speak Portuguese, Spanish, Korean and German. After attending an International School in Germany, where I would often perform as part of the School Choir and taking part in musicals, and taking private lessons with classically trained and professional German-Australian Soprano Mary-Jane Martin, I then moved to England where I attended the Academy of Contemporary Music majoring in Music Business and in Vocals and later on moved here, to Los Angeles, where I attended the Musicians Institute majoring in Vocal Performance. While attending the Musicians Insitute, I entered a K-pop Singing Competition and won second place, amongst other learning opportunities like singing back-ground vocals for a few of my colleagues and teaching singing. I've discovered a passion for teaching as I started learning more and more about the technical aspects of singing and how I would see that any and everyone can learn how to sing well if instructored to do so with the help of the right instructor.
I have been in touring bands and in the studio for 30+ years. My mom was a music teacher and I have carried on the family tradition. I love nurturing musicians young and old and and have great success helping people find their music voice. I can teach music fundementals, but can take you even further teaching the theory of music, chords, scales, music composing and songwriting. I will give you solid techniques that you can use every day and apply to your music endeavors whether you want to become a professional or you just want to entertain your friends and family. We will have fun exploring the music you know and love and learn to expand your horizons into places you never knew existed. I am lifelong musician and love to share my knowledge. If all that interests you, then we will have a wonderful journey uncovering your inner musician and acquiring the tools you will be able to use for the rest of your life.
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One-on-one piano lessons straight from the comfort of your own home is a great way to learn to play the piano. 90% of our students choose to take lessons from home, mostly due to the convenience of not having to make travel arrangements both to and from their lessons. This is great for parents and students with busy schedules. The content of home lessons is exactly the same as studio lessons, however, you will need to have a keyboard or piano at your home. Home lessons provide the best learning environment, as it is a comfortable, familiar surrounding for students to learn in.
As piano lessons are customized to the needs of each individual student, we are able to better help you to achieve your goals. Beginning students may just want to learn an instrument out of interest and for fun, so the basics will be covered to get you up and running. This tends to include music theory and technical exercises, such as hand position, fingering, and playing scales and chords. Intermediate students may be working towards an exam, recital or performance, so will cover playing, performance and stylistic techniques such as legato, staccato, glissando, sight reading, working on speed, runs, fills, and solos. Other topics that may be covered in your piano lessons are things like expanding your repertoire, developing improvisation and jamming skills, and studying the various types of genre-based playing techniques and styles, such as Jazz, Ragtime, Blues, Rock, or Classical piano.
Learning a new musical skill as an adult is a great way to keep your brain fresh! We have many adult students actively taking lessons with us. In fact, adult students represent around 50% of our student base. The instructors in our network generally offer an individually tailored lesson plan to the needs of an adult student. You will learn the technique of the instrument, specific repertoire suited to your skill level, as well as learning how to read music and sight read.
The best instrument to get would be an upright or baby grand piano. However, if your finances are limited we suggest looking into a digital keyboard. Go with the best quality keyboard that you can afford. We suggest a keyboard with weighted keys so that there is more resistance on the keys than a toy piano. Most digital keyboards start at 61 keys, and go up to full size at 88 keys. You have to consider which keyboard would fit best in your home and your budget. A beginning student should get the keyboard before or immediately after beginning lessons, so that they may begin practicing as soon as the lessons commence.
Piano is a great first instrument for children who have never studied music before. The instructors in our network specialize in teaching younger children, and can develop an individual lesson plan for your child. The youngest age that we recommend starting piano lessons is age 4. The instructor will be able to teach your child to read music, beginning music theory and musicianship skills, and how to develop a love for playing the instrument.
Review by Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
Review by Ruslan
She is the most amazing teacher ever. She is not only w great teacher but she's so fun to work with. She has taught me so many things in such little amount of time things I didn't even know I could do. I recommend Andrea to everyone. She is an amazing singer and cares a lot about her students. She's the best!!
Review by Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
Review by Susan
My daughter is extremely happy and comfortable with Rachel, and looks forward to her piano lessons every week. She is a very kind and patient teacher, always using positive reenforcement with my daughter, which makes all the difference in the world to children. We definitely are looking forward to continued piano lessons with her. So glad we found her.
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 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 John
When I started with Darrell, I didn't know anything bout music. Nothing. We started with basic music theory & moved into scales and reading. It hasn't been very long at all, but my confidence is growing quickly. He does ask a lot from you and he expects you to keep up. But I can honestly say that if you are willing to work hard and spend the time at home doing what he asks, you will see the results. He wants you to succeed and takes pride in watching you grow. If you want it as bad as he does, you will see the result very quickly.
Review by Jeremy
Dr. Nedra C is incredible. She knows her craft in and out, it truly shows in her teaching. As well, she cares a great deal about the student, and preps plenty of material outside of the lesson for those that she teaches. I've had many different music teachers and am aware who's talented and cares, and who isn't. Dr. Nedra C is true phenomenal, and any student would be lucky to have her.
Review by Travis Dalenberg
Travis is the greatest. He knows his music and how to teach it. He gives you time to learn, but will not allow student time to get lazy. I know he teaches all age groups. Young pre-teens to us old folks 78 years young. I have been taking lessons from him since early December 2014. He is a true professional. You can't go wrong with him.
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