|Where are you located and how much do you charge?
I'm located in Mar Vista, California. A community on the west side of Los Angeles, near Marina del Rey, Culver City, Santa Monica, Venice, and Westchester.
Rates for private lessons:
For more information email me at Bruce (at) BruceSiegel (dot) com (I wrote out at and dot to avoid spam. Please use the proper format.) Or call 310-827-1375 weekdays.
Maybe, but only for a week or so. One or two meetings may give you some idea of what instruction, and a real live music teacher, are all about. But you won't fully understand the process until you start practicing on your own. That's when the real fun, and the real work, kick in.
For the past few years I've been teaching a woman who's 75 years old and was a beginner when she started with me. Despite her arthritis, she's doing wonderfully and is thoroughly enjoying herself. (She fired her therapist after a few weeks of lessons.)
I enjoy teaching any child whose parent or parents want to be supportively engaged in the process at lessons and at home. The younger the child, the greater the degree of parental involvement required.
If you're looking strictly for singing lessons, I'm probably not the right teacher for you. I work with singing in the following ways:
I improvise and I love to play jazz tunes, but I don't consider myself a jazz player or teacher. Jazz is a pretty sophisticated language, a special dialect, you might say, that I haven't really pursued.
When I play jazz music, I'm usually reading jazz arrangements, and that doesn't make me a jazz player. Jazz is improvisation. When I do improvise, my music doesn't usually sound like jazz. Got it?
Having said that, if you visit my audio page you can listen to tunes that will make plain that I do incorporate many of the elements of jazz and blues into my own music.
You can learn to play using a keyboard. Many of my students have done so. On the other hand, long-term students usually purchase or rent a piano at some point in their development. I'll explain.
Keyboards have a number of advantages. They're usually less expensive, and, unlike pianos, they don't require tuning (which costs close to $100 and should be done at least twice a year). Keyboards also boast a variety of instrumental sounds, and, if used with headphones, can enable late-night practice that won't disturb others.
Having said all that, I recommend learning to play on a piano whenever possible. While the electronic instruments are getting closer and closer to duplicating the sound and feel of the piano, they still have a long way to go. A well-maintained piano is infinitely responsive to the touch. It offers a vehicle for truly intimate expression, much like the human voice.
(2.20.10 update: At the top of this page, you can listen to a recording of classical music I made on my new Roland keyboard. Yes, I'm gradually warming to the world of digital music.)
Try to get an instrument that has these features:
Touch sensitivity. A keyboard with this feature enables you to vary the volume of sound of each individual note, just as you can with a piano. The more force that's applied to the key, the louder the sound.
Two relatively inexpensive keyboards that meet those requirements are the Casio PX-130 and the Yamaha P105 (an update of the P95).
Not sure what keyboard to buy? Check out the great PianoWorld forum dedicated to questions like that.
That information would fill a book. And, in fact, it does. I strongly recommend The Piano Book by Larry Fine, the bible for anyone who is seeking to buy, rent, or properly maintain a piano. It's available at bookstores.
Yes! Nothing pleases me more than helping to build the foundation for a lifetime of self-expression. It means a lot to me to be engaged with the entire spectrum of learners: young, old, beginning, advanced, amateur, professional.
Most students come once a week. Adults sometimes come every other week.
I prefer not to tell my students exactly how much to practice. As with any pursuit, the level of dedication and commitment varies enormously from person to person. Two hours a day might be perfect for you, and so might fifteen minutes. Discovering what works best in the context of your own unique life story is half the fun.
This much is certain, however. The abilities that reward us most richly are the ones we practice regularly, the ones we devote ourselves to heart and soul.
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