Piano Teachers Lynda Arnold - Learning with Lynda


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Learning with Lynda
Lynda Arnold
Piano Teacher Oakland, California
Lynda teaches beginning through advanced piano/keyboard and flute playing as well as beginning guitar and voice in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her methods include traditional music reading instruction as well as improvisation and songwriting depending on the desire of the student and/or parent.

Music theory and good technique are strong components of private lessons. Lynda also teaches digital recording techniques using popular software like ProTools, Reason, Ableton Live along with the basics of composition or ‘making tracks’ using these tools. Students are able to showcase their accomplishments at yearly recitals or ‘performance practice’ events.

Lessons are $35/half hour or $70/hour paid monthly at the beginning of each month. Most students take one half hour lesson per week. 45 minute and hour lessons are also available.

Music Books can be purchased at music stores around the Bay Area like Bronstein’s Music on Grand Ave in South San Francisco, or Best Music in Downtown Oakland. Search your local listings for music stores in your area to find the closest retailer. Or, you can order books and sheet music from sites like Sheet Music Plus or Music Notes. Both are highly recommended.


Piano is a gateway instrument. Learning piano can open the door to learning other instruments with greater ease. The frequency range of the piano covers most instruments and continues to be an important first instrument for many. Beginning piano students start with the Alfred Basic Piano Series which is grouped into 6 levels. Adult piano students follow a similar path using the Alfred method in 3 Levels. Songs and/or books from the Faber method are often used or substituted. Both methods are widely used and provide a steady increase in difficulty incorporating a variety of styles of music. At the same time, students learn music theory through supplemental Alfred theory books. More intermediate students use the Julie Johnson method of music theory used by music teachers the world over for its clear, concise and repetitive approach to learning the basic skills. Advanced beginning students start learning all the major and minor scales, harmonized scales in triads, and basic chord progressions around the Circle of 5ths at their own pace until completion. Knowledge of the building blocks of music can lead to way to improvising, playing by ear and composing which is open to any student who shows interest. After students achieve a basic reading level, they are encouraged to bring in popular songs or any tune he/she would like to learn. Lynda likes to teach the Blues form, which is a popular music style with a basic chord progression that beginning piano players can understand. Knowledge of the Blues form paves the way for improvising and learning jazz as well as other popular styles of music.


Beginning flute students are often part of elementary, middle or high school band programs and seek to broaden their skills and work on band music in private lessons. Sometimes the group lesson environment offered at school, if at all, does not provide enough one on one training for students that need a little extra attention. Lynda works with students and uses a variety of the band methods like Yamaha, Essential Elements or Accent on Achievement to coach beginning flute students through the basics. A great deal of time is spent on embouchure, breath support, pitch/intonation and working on developing a clear tone on every note. This learning curve is different for every player and has to be achieved before tackling more advanced flute music. There is a vast repertoire for flute depending on the interest of the student. After the basic technique and band methods are completed there are easy to advanced classical music books, often with piano accompaniment included. There has been a proliferation of pop, film music and jazz song books in the past decade for flute for students more interested in that direction. Many books now come with a CD or DVD so that student can play along with a complete backing track. Not only does this help the student get a better sense of their part, but also provides training for working with other musicians in the future and staying in time, or tempo. Lynda often works on flute duets with her students and has working knowledge and experience on the most basic duets to the most advanced such as Kuhlau. Advanced students also play scales, etudes, learning various extended techniques and tone studies with methods like the Trevor Wye series. Adventuring into the world of improvisation is also encouraged.

Beginning Guitar

Lynda teaches basic guitar playing using the Alfred Basic Guitar series and the Progressive Rhythm Guitar method. The Alfred series focuses first on single note or melodic playing with a steady progression into strumming chords while the rhythm guitar method starts with learning chord shapes, strumming techniques and varies chord progressions. After learning the basic techniques, notes and chords more advanced teachers can be recommended for students who wish to continue their guitar studies. Many piano students have shown interest in learning guitar after a few years of studying piano and found that they can pick it up rather quickly.

Basic Voice Instruction

Lynda has studied voice with a few teachers over the years and also worked with other seasoned singer-songwriters on finding her voice through collaboration. She often uses warm-up exercises from Anne Peckham’s The Contemporary Singer and elements of Speech Level singing technique which has a heavy emphasis on developing a full, smooth range through various repetitive vocal exercises and scales. Every one has strong and weak ranges to their voice. With practice and attention, everyone can find their strong vocal ranges as well as start to identify and work on expanding what is possible individually. Students interested in developing their voice should have an idea of what songs they want to learn and bring those to the lesson. Basic vocal technique can also be incorporated into piano lessons.

Digital Recording/Composition Using Software Tools

Lynda has produced several albums and has experience with every phase of the recording process from the brainstorming and songwriting phase, recording, arranging, mixing and preparing recordings for release. She can also assist with online marketing through social networks, consult on studio equipment and consult on various music distribution companies for budding artists.

Digital music recording is an exciting, ever-developing field. Learning the ins and outs of a basic recording set-up, even on the project studio level, can be daunting. Recording and software instruction can be tailored to the individual needs of each student. You can learn how to use a software sequencer like Pro Tools, Reason, Ableton Live or Garageband as well as learn how to compose and design your own samples and sounds. It all depends on the type of music you want to make. Instruction works best if you have the software, a good computer, a keyboard controller that plugs into the computer via USB and at least a good pair of headphones so you can review and practice at home. You may also choose to work on your compositions during lesson time. After a couple months of learning the basics, you could be well into making your own music tracks!

Contact Info

Phone:  5104696295Email:  info@learningwithlynda.com
Website:  http://www.learningwithlynda.comFacebook:  
Twitter:  Member Since:   2012-05-23

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Video:   Student Piano Recital
Date:   2012-05-24 10:37:04
Description:   Learning with Lynda Student Piano Recital at Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland


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