Bruce is beyond excellent. He has been teaching our son for over eight years beginning at 4 years-old. Bruce is tender but rigorous, encouraging but appropriately critical, and forever enthusiastic about his own craft. He takes the student where they want to go musically. At the same time, he challenges them to stretch and go places that they may not have contemplated.
I can recommend Bruce without hesitation for kids and adults. My adult daughter has driven an hour to take lessons from Bruce on how to teach piano.
I studied classical piano for ten years as a child in Ohio. I continued to play, and a few years ago decided to record a CD of my compositions. I wanted to "get back in shape", and a performer friend referred me to Bruce.
Bruce's instruction was exactly what I needed, polishing my technique and helping me develop a level of nuance that I never possessed as a teenager! I also had never learned to sing and play piano at the same time, and in a matter of only a couple weeks Bruce taught me how to accompany myself, which has expanded my songwriting and performing abilities manyfold.
I highly recommend Bruce as an instructor for both new and seasoned pianists.
Greg studied with me for several years starting at the age of ten, and is now a songwriter and music teacher.
Anytime I write a song, my strong foundation in music theory and chord progressions are my jumping off point. I have you to thank for them! I remember having so much fun taking lessons from you.
I remember a few years in, when I wanted to learn a new song (the Ren and Stimpy one), we would listen to a portion of it, and instead of telling me the notes to play, you said, "sing the first three notes." I sang them and then you said, "Now find them." :) You helped me develop my ear from very early on and I am so grateful for that.
I've later found a word for the learning challenges I have--dyslexia--which makes it hard to read english and music. The fact that you were able to provide such an exciting musical education without the focus being reading is why I am the musician I am today.
I love playing music! All instruments! All styles! Thank you for introducing music to me in the way my brain needed and showing me that music is fun!
Anyway, I've grown the past several years, and the songs that I write now are clean enough for children. :o) I've been working on compiling and recording my best twelve songs into a kid's album. I hope to complete it with in a year and I will be sure to get you a copy.
Bruce is that rare combination: he's an exquisite classical piano performer and composer, but also quite versatile in popular styles. Most importantly, he cares about you, how music fits into your life and how much fun you're having.
Whatever I brought to the lesson—whether refining the performance of an advanced classical piece, or picking up a pop song entirely by ear—he always gave me the tools that I needed to take it to the next stage.
He even encouraged me to improvise. With his unique approach, he made it simple. This eventually led me to composing, something I had no idea I was capable of before.
Bruce helped me gain confidence, which is why, although music was not my primary training in my school years, I am now doing full time what I love: teaching the piano
My 8 year old child has been taking piano lessons with Bruce Siegel for the last 15 months. Bruce is a really wonderful piano teacher - we were very lucky to find him.
The experience has been unexpectedly rich in many ways, for our entire family, as my husband and I both follow her progress and participate as much as we can. He is both kind and gentle, and yet, he does have high standards and expectations. He understands how young children learn music and he does not pressure her unduly. He is patient and clear in teaching her technique and the subtleties of music.
He started off by teaching her simple but lovely songs, not by reading music, but by showing her on the keyboard, which notes to play. She was quick to memorize the patterns, as children are, and it was a much easier introduction to playing the piano, essentially by ear. Within a few months, she quickly learned to play (with both hands) fairly complex pieces and now she is learning to read music.
He also asks her to learn the words of songs, and sing as she plays the piano, which is an added and complex skill. His selection of music is age/skill appropriate, and includes both classical and popular songs.
I highly recommend Bruce as a teacher for both children and adults!
I've been taking lessons from Bruce for less than a year. I have a passion for singing, and already he has me accompanying myself on songs that I love. Being new at this and also being a Senior Citizen, I marvel at how easy Bruce has made this. I didn't have to start out with a children's blue book or red book either. I started right off with the songs that I have been singing since my youth.
When Sophia comes back from her piano lesson, she's flying . . . It's not only the music, but the feeling of accomplishment.
I was on the lookout for a mentor to my teaching practice – and feel so grateful to have found you. Your guidance has been invaluable. I recently implemented some of your inspirational ideas with one of my very special students – and watching her eyes light up with excitement at her lessons has been especially gratifying for me. I was able to reach her in a way that went beyond presenting traditional musical concepts and theory.
Music has been a life long joy for me – and I especially love working with a teacher that helps me to pass that joy on with my own students.
I’ve learned SO much from you and just want to let you know how much I appreciate everything you’ve taught me! Specifically: Memorization, the falling technique and of course, all the material for teaching songs and chords to children. Invaluable and memorable!
I am an intermediate adult student, and had two teachers before Bruce. Each time I would start with enthusiasm and see it slowly fade. I would be less drawn to practicing and eventually it would feel like a chore.
I started with Bruce like I had the previous two much the same, but this time things were quite different. It turns out I was missing so many basics with technique from my other teachers. Simple songs that I would play before sound so much nicer now after some time spent on my technique.
At first I was eager to play music, but I could see the importance of correcting my technique. After that I was quite surprised by what came next. I was actually asked to pick songs I wanted to learn to play, anything. Most of what I picked was too difficult for my ability, but Bruce was nice enough to create a new arrangement of my most favorite song. It was one I had wanted to play all of my adult life.
Now I am truly enjoying practice (when my work schedule allows) and Bruce is very understanding with my pace.
Bruce is my fourth teacher (if you count the one I had as a child) and the experience is in a whole different category. It isn't just scales, or simple pieces played cold. I am actually connecting with the music and though my speed may be slower as he is more thorough in the lessons, I am enjoying the trip and would not trade it for any other way.
Thank you for helping us have so much more fun with music.
Bruce has been teaching my 7 year old daughter for the past 6 months and I must say, I am beyond thrilled with the whole experience. I took piano lessons at her age and it was an entirely different experience (i.e. not fun, a chore and just not inspiring).
Bruce has an awesome approach to teaching. We focused on learning the keys, melodies, great technique before even touching on reading music.
My daughter mentioned that she loved the song "Octopus's Garden" and next thing you know, he came up with an arrangement that she could handle and also brought singing into the mix. Singing!!! She has now moved on to learning "Imagine."
I am also re-learning piano in the process...it has been a very rewarding experience. I'm a big fan of Bruce. He's the real deal!
I learned a lot from you. You are a magnificent player, exellent teacher and all around good guy.
Thank you again for your marvelous teaching abilities, and showing me there's more to life than just reading sheet music (badly). Thanks to you I'm now enjoying the piano more than I ever have.
I took lessons as a child and played as an adult for many years but stopped after injuring my hand. Now that I am retired I want to play again and I needed a teacher.
I was so lucky to find Bruce via his web site, and I have been studying with him for 6 months.
He is a wonderfully flexible teacher who has tailored the lessons to my ability and interests. He has very eclectic musical tastes that cover all styles of music from Bach to Blues and the Beatles. I am having a ball!
Thank you for sharing your passion for music with Alyssa—you have given her a great beginning to what I know willl be a lifelong love of piano.
We will never forget coming to your cozy, peaceful, corner of the world. Nor will we forget your sense of humor, impeccable teaching skills—and most of all, your respect and dedication to your students.
We will miss you and forever be searching for your clone in Davis.
We left Los Angeles over ten years ago, and at a recent family reunion, I asked my older kids (25, 23 & 22), all proficient at piano and violin, who was the best teacher in their many years of teachers...hands down: the answer was Bruce Siegel. The only teacher we ever had that the kids came home fighting over the piano.
I now live in China with my two younger kids (ages 6 & 8) by a second marriage, and their teacher there is so by the book, well...my kids prefer a trip to the dentist.
So we're visiting L.A. for a couple of months, and needing to stimulate the kids to enjoy music and motivate them to play, I asked Bruce if he could help. We are all grateful that he found the time to take them on. After several lessons with Bruce, we were driving to see Yosemite, and my kids wanted me to stop the car and find a piano—not just once, I might add.
Bruce has opened up a whole new world for all my kids.
We did some research on Westside piano teachers. After meeting more than seven, thankfully, we found Bruce. He's professional, versatile, and most importantly, patient.
Bruce has taught our son for a few years now and is aware of Ethan's challenges, and has been especially good at keeping his interest. My son has learnt to play classical, jazz and other types of music. Ethan has taken an interest in improvising, and Bruce has been fine-tuning and sharpening his abilities in that area. Ethan is also learning to play by ear as well as to accompany his own singing.
Bruce admits to his rare errors, which I think makes Ethan feel more connected. I find it extremely easy to recommend Bruce as a teacher.