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David F.

Piano Teacher (and Polymath!)

Modesto, CA (95356)

Travel radius
40 miles
Hourly fee
$70.00
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I love to teach students of all ages. I have extensive experience (35+ years) as a professional pianist and piano teacher, and a music degree from UCLA in Music Composition (minor in Piano Performance).
I also have a Master's degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and enjoy tutoring students in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin (I also tutor in French and Spanish!).
I won the top entering freshman award at UCLA for academic achievement and have continued my studies in English, math, and science to the present (with a perfect score on the SAT in English, and 50 points short of perfect on the SAT math). One of my tutored students successfully completed Calculus III at the age of 14!
It is a joy and a privilege to help students reach their highest potential in these subjects. I would welcome and be humbled by the opportunity to teach you or someone you love.

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David’s subjects

Corporate Training:
ESL/ESOL, French, General Computer, Grammar, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Proofreading, Public Speaking, Spanish, Statistics
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Math, ACT Reading, ACT Science, ASVAB, GED, GRE, PSAT, SAT Math, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, TOEFL
Homeschool:
Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Elementary (K-6th), English, ESL/ESOL, French, Geometry, Piano, Prealgebra, Precalculus, Reading, SAT Math, SAT Reading, Spanish, Statistics, Study Skills, Writing
Special Needs:
Business:
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th), Elementary Math, Elementary Science, Grammar, Phonics, Reading, Spelling, Study Skills, Vocabulary
History:
American History, European History, Geography, Government & Politics, Music History, Religion, Social Studies, World History
Language:
ESL/ESOL, French, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Spanish, TOEFL
Science:
ACT Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science
Computer:
Math:
ACT Math, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Calculus, Geometry, Logic, Prealgebra, Precalculus, Probability, SAT Math, Statistics, Trigonometry
English:
ACT English, ACT Reading, Bible Studies, English, ESL/ESOL, Grammar, Proofreading, Public Speaking, Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, TOEFL, Vocabulary, Writing

Algebra 1

Precocious in math, David Foster began seeking out the "mysteries" of algebra in an advanced self-paced, individualized sixth grade class at his New Jersey grammar school. By the time Algebra I was offered at his California high school, David had already learned much of the curriculum through previous study. A Bank of America math scholarship awarded to him certified his achievements.
As a math major at UCLA, David continued to take courses using extensive algebra--receiving top grades for his efforts. One of his great joys has been seeing his algebra pupils penetrate the "mysteries" of what had so awed and scared them while still unknown!
In his tutoring, David seeks to impart overall structural comprehension as well as encouragement in such particular algebraic skills as function graphing, factoring, equation-solving, word problems, and more.

Algebra 2

As a high school student in Algebra 2, David F. set the bar with each test, often scoring 100%. This led to informal "teaching" of his fellow students, breaking down the concepts so that they too could understand the mathematical principles involved.

Later, as a math major at UCLA, David continued to excel in algebra and began to tutor in Algebra 2. More than thirty years of tutoring this subject has given him insight into many transferable concepts, whereby he relates new and potentially daunting Algebra 2 concepts to readily comprehensible life experiences (e.g., the pertinence of trigonometric ratios to everyday problems, not limited to surveying!).

Bible Studies

I am happy to have the Lord Jesus Christ as my undeserved Savior from sin (and thus from death and hell).
I have a Master of Divinity Degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. I have been an unworthy but grateful pastor in His Church since 1987; for the last 24 years I have pastored the same congregation.
While no mere mortal can fully master His unlimited Word, I am privileged to have been an ardent pupil of the Bible for over 40 years, studying many versions in English, Spanish and French. I enjoy Biblical Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic (the original languages of the Bible) and have done extensive study in those languages, as well as Latin.
I not only have studied Biblical languages, customs, archaeology, background, but better by far have come to know the everlasting Author Himself and His gracious love through His Son Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit.
I have no greater joy than to teach others the same Word, and see them be blessed by His mercy.

Calculus

David entered UCLA as a Math major--and received a 97% on his Honors Calculus final in the first quarter there! Since he started the class with an uncharacteristically low test score of C-, ending with an A+ and acing the final was a dramatic turnaround. This came about through diligent effort to teach himself Calculus, since the teacher was well nigh undecipherable in his presentation!

Since then, he has led many math students from the very beginning stages of arithmetic through the "high altitudes" of Calculus I, II, III (college level) and beyond. His gift in teaching math is clarity, patience, and the ability to present "difficult" concepts in a straightforward and easily understood manner. He has a passion to help struggling students overcome mathematical challenges and strongly grasp mathematical concepts and structure.

Composition (Music)

I have a BA in Music Composition from UCLA. For 45 years I have composed music--classical, jazz, pop and more.
I scored a PBS special on the oil industry and produced the recording of the score in a studio in Hollywood. Recently I taught music theory at Cogswell Polytechnical Institute in Sunnyvale, California.

Ear Training

I was a top ear training student in my music classes at UCLA. I have taught ear training to many students for over 35 years--helping even students who thought they were "tone deaf."
When I taught at Cogswell Polytechnical College recently, part of the mandated curriculum was a complete course in ear training. I can sight-read and sight-sing music, hearing it first in my mind's ear; and when listening to music can create a mental score that I can then transcribe and/or realize at the piano.

Elementary (K-6th)

As part of David Foster's graduate program while obtaining his Master of Divinity in Berkeley, California, he received graduate level training in the education of young children as well as studying child development. Since obtaining his master's degree in 1987, David has continuously instructed and tutored K-6 children in phonics, math, reading, English grammar, French and Spanish, music and more. His students have been primarily tutored in independent study, but his teaching has also included classroom instruction.

Elementary Math

A strong foundation in elementary math allows a sturdy superstructure of more advanced math to be built with confidence and skill. It is often cracks in this "foundation" of elementary math, gaps in basic math skills, that cause later attempts at learning math to become uncertain and confusing.

I have enjoyed tutoring elementary math students for over 35 years. I take special delight in seeing the "fog" of mathematical confusion disappear as the rays of understanding and insight break through...confidence replacing uncertainty.

Even as a math major at UCLA in Honors Calculus, I still found the solid foundation in elementary math I had received so many years before enabling me; even the most advanced math often requires the most basic of math skills in order to solve problems and grasp concepts.

French

David began his lifelong study of French at the age of 12! After two years of French in junior high school, he took four long years of French in high school. By the end of this time, he was reading classic French novels straight through, having devoured French grammar and syntax.

After acceptance into UCLA, David continued to pursue French; as an entering freshman he tested into French 6! It was here at UCLA that he got his first good dose of conversational French. This continued, as he has been married to his French-Canadian wife since the age of 25, bringing a whole host of French-speaking relatives with whom to practice. To this day, David enjoys reading and speaking French as well as tutoring those who are learning the language.

General Computer

David F.'s fascination with computers began with the early versions of Radio Shack's TRS-80, and deepened as he tinkered with early IBM PC's and Apple machines. David took A+ Certification courses for several years, giving him a good basic knowledge of computer software and hardware. He has continued to work with and troubleshoot hardware and software problems for family and friends, maintaining and upgrading his General Computer knowledge while imparting this knowledge to others (including beginners!).

General Music

I received a BA in Music Composition from UCLA. I have been an active professional musician (pianist and composer) and teacher (most recently at Cogswell Polytechnical College in Sunnyvale, California, teaching Music Theory, Ear Training, and Keyboard Skills).
While at UCLA, I studied with the world-renowned master teacher Aube Tzerko for five years. He was a star pupil of Artur Schnabel and the teacher of Misha Dichter.
I have been commended personally by Frank Sinatra, Carol Burnett, Steve Allen and by famous musicians such as Dave Grusin and Dave Koz. As well as accompanying singers (solo and choral) and dancers, I have had a successful solo piano career.
I enjoy teaching all aspects of music and continue learning and growing myself, as I believe strongly that that contributes to the freshness of my own teaching.

Geometry

Geometry can be a forbidding subject for many new students. One reason is geometry's emphasis on logical reasoning and proofs, so neglected in many a math student's progress until their encounter with geometry. David F. delights in introducing each new student to the practical and essential world of geometry with gentleness and patience.

David's favorite high school subject, and one in which he excelled, was Geometry. He has continued to hone his skills through courses in geometry at UCLA while majoring in math. His geometry students have been well equipped for more difficult math ahead of them, math which demands so much geometric skill and logical reasoning.

Greek

My Master of Divinity degree from CDSP in Berkeley, California included studies in Biblical Greek. In the 25+ years since my degree, I have both studied and tutored Biblical Greek successfully (taken beginners with no knowledge of Greek, and brought them to capable reading of the Greek New Testament).
Note carefully: I am NOT a scholar of Modern Greek, and have only passable skills in Ancient Greek; my specialty is the Greek of the New Testament, Koine Greek.

Hebrew

Part of studying for my Master of Divinity degree from CDSP in Berkeley, California (which degree I received in 1987) was instruction in Biblical Hebrew. In the 25+ years since then, I have studied and taught Biblical Hebrew to many. Pupils starting with NO knowledge of Biblical Hebrew are now able to capably read the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) in the original language .
Note carefully: I am NOT a teacher of Modern Hebrew as spoken today in Israel; I do teach Ancient/Biblical Hebrew.

Logic

David Foster studied logic while an undergraduate at UCLA, and continued studies in logic and philosophy while earning his Master of Divinity at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He continues to tutor logic and critical reasoning to this day, thirty years later. David enjoys the rigor of critical thinking as applied to many different disciplines, and is thrilled to see his pupils gain mastery of sound reasoning skills.

Music History

My BA in Music Composition from UCLA involved extensive study of music history. I have continued to study and teach music history since that time (over 30 years), and enjoy examining all aspects of the history of music with students--biographical details of famous composer and performers past and present, timelines, detailed musical analysis of different musical styles, instrumentation, and more.
I have a special interest in classical music of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras (some Modern works also). I also have a great interest in popular music, from early jazz to contemporary artists.

Phonics

I have had professional training in phonics at UCLA, working with phonics experts in English, Italian, and German. I have also done extensive continuing education in this field. It is a joy for me to coach students in phonics--both verbally and in written form--as preparation for effective speaking and reading. I have successfully tutored students in phonics ranging in age from 2 years old to over 70 years of age.

Piano

I have been playing the piano professionally for 38 years and teaching the piano professionally for 37 years.
I was a student of the master teacher Aube Tzerko for 5 years at UCLA; maestro Tzerko was a top pupil and assistant to the great virtuoso Artur Schnabel--going back just three more teachers brings us to Ludwig van Beethoven (through Leschetizky and Czerny).
I won an award presented to me personally by Frank Sinatra for an original jazz piano solo composition which I performed for him. Pianist Dave Grusin and saxophonist Dave Koz were also members of bands in which I played while at the Aspen Music Festival (I was selected three summers to attend).
I have played classical and jazz piano, but also rock, Broadway, and pop music for over 30 years in San Francisco at Sinbad's Restaurant.
I love to teach piano to individual students and see them blossom musically.

Prealgebra

Prealgebra is the bridge between proficiency in basic mathematics and the foundational algebra that enables most math beyond. Prealgebra can be a joyous experience of guided discovery or a nail-biting experience of confusion depending on the guide leading the student through the subject.

David Foster has been tutoring in prealgebra for almost 40 years. He was tutoring fellow students informally while in 8th grade! He has continued to tutor both professionally and pro bono since his four years at UCLA (where he majored in Math).

Many of his former pupils have continued on with "A+" work through high school and college work in more advanced mathematics. With David Foster as a guide, the journey through prealgebra can be a pleasant and gratifying experience!

Precalculus

It has been a joy to tutor several individual students all the way through the maze of general mathematics, from the basics of arithmetic through precalculus and on to Calculus I-III and beyond, all at an A+ level.

I have also helped many others through various stages of this same mathematical odyssey. I am particularly interested in helping make difficult concepts emerge from obscurity to the light of day by patiently helping each individual student build on their strengths and confront their weaknesses with increasing confidence and skill.

Public Speaking

As a pastor, I have been a professional public speaker for almost 40 years. I know how to speak effectively to small groups in a home setting, and on occasion have addressed large groups in a public setting (once to several thousand on a visit to Ethiopia in Africa).
As valedictorian of my high school graduating class, I spoke to several thousand people on behalf of the Class of 1978, after sufficient academic preparation with speech and English instruction (I received A's in these classes).
In graduate school, part of my Master's degree preparing me for a lifetime of public speaking was a Public Speaking seminar; this included weekly addresses graded and critiqued by the Speech coach on communication skills and diction. I got an A in this class also, as well in a preaching practicum.
All through my ministry I have been personally invited to lead preaching and teaching seminars (San Diego, California; Monterrey, Mexico; Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; Guayaquil, Ecuador; two trips to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic; Addis Abeba, Ethiopia). These were mostly 10-day seminars where I was selected to address groups of 30-100 pastors for four to five hours a day, teaching on a variety of subjects.
As a professional teacher I have had the privilege to speak on hundreds of topics, ranging from personal motivation to spiritual meditation.
Teaching the verbal and mental skills that prepare for effective public speaking is a joy for me.

Religion

I have a Master of Divinity degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California (1987). I have also served as an ordained pastor since that time, as an Episcopal priest and as a non-denominational senior pastor.

I have made a lifelong commitment to learning about religion, its varieties and history, its commonalities and the differences found in various expressions of religion.

I seek to be objective and open-hearted in tutoring and in life generally, yet freely admit the subjective nature of my own commitment to Jesus Christ as Messiah and Son of God.

Social Studies

While majoring in music composition at UCLA, David Foster took a minor in history (studying many aspects of world history, but concentrating on Russian history and the history of Islam). He pursued his historical studies into the ancient world while a graduate student at Church Divinity School of the Pacific; a demonstrated competence in the history of the cultures mentioned in the Bible (including the cultures of the ancient Near East, the Greek and Roman Empires) as well as the cultures of medieval and modern Europe was part of the degree process.

A continuing fascination with cultures and languages has marked David's life: trips to Africa, South America, and the Caribbean, and interactions in their native tongue with French-speaking Quebecois, Spanish-speaking Mexicans and Dominicans and Salvadoreans, Amharic-speaking Ethiopians to name a few (others include Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, and others).
This rich diversity of study and travel, friendships and scholarship, make David Foster an excellent tutor in social studies.

Songwriting

David Foster has had his songs critiqued and approved of by James Vellutato, personal friend and vice president of A & R for Sony worldwide. His music has won an award and personal commendation from Frank Sinatra (Royce Hall awards ceremony at UCLA in 1981) as well as Patty Duke. Dave Grusin and other well-known artists have expressed their personal enjoyment of his music, and his songs were given positive feedback in a personal meeting with Seals & Crofts publishers near the height of their fame in the 1970's.

Study Skills

From kindergarten through the end of four years undergraduate study at UCLA, I received all A's in every subject*...I know how to study!
I have a BA from UCLA, and a Master's degree from CDSP; during those years of study, I developed a system of study that works for the breakdown of ANY subject. There is no "secret" to this system, just the systematic application of basic learning principles put into practice; anyone can "learn how to learn."
I enjoy sharing this knowledge with others, and seeing them apply in their own unique way these enduring principles to achieve lasting scholastic results.

World History

Extensive studies in Arabic and Russian history topped off David Foster's world history minor. These were just part of his upper division course work which he completed while at UCLA.
David's later global travels to Africa, South America, and the Caribbean, have added depth to his grasp of cultures. Staying with locals in their homes while traveling has given him sensitivity to the differences in perspective that exist within the vast subject of World History.
Several long-term students tutored by David have credited their multi-year study of World History with David as giving them a solid foundation upon which they could build a lifetime appreciation of history.
For example one of David's previous students recently visited his home, bringing history DVD's purchased from a museum to watch with David. While viewing these historical documentaries together, the former student freely expressed his own passion for history, a passion ignited while under David's tutelage.

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Education

UCLA (Music)

CDSP (Master's)

Excellent Tutor! Mr. F. has been an excellent tutor! He has an amazing ability to simplify complex topics and make them relatable. I had the most difficult time in AP Calculus until I got help from him. Now I thoroughly enjoy the topic! I would recommend any student who is struggling in any subject to see Mr. F. He has an incredible knowledge base and is able to present the information in a way that the student wi ...

— Kirk from Ripon, CA on 5/6/14);

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $70.00

Cancellation: 36 hours notice required

Travel policy

David will travel within 40 miles of Modesto, CA 95356.

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