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Peter L.

Oakland, CA


Study Piano, Composition, and Music Theory With Resident Artist

Replies in 1 hour
Background check passed as of 4/23/11
5.0 Avg. Rating
1 Ratings
1hr Response Time
Great tutor
— Robert, Hayward, CA on 9/20/13

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California State Univ Hayward
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley


California State Univ Hayward

University of California, Berkeley (Master's)

University of California, Berkeley (PhD)

About Peter

With a Ph. D. in Music Composition, I specialize in teaching piano, music composition and theory. These broad subject areas also include harmony, counterpoint, analysis, orchestration, music notation, and electronic music.

During the more than 30 years of my activity in music, I have had the great fortune of working, studying, teaching, performing and collaborating with a wide range of people. My experience ranges from children to seniors, professional musicians to non professional music lovers, avant-gardists to traditionalist, historians to composers, and from a wide range and mix of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. I have taught in the community college environment (Skyline College in San Bruno), at universities (U. C. Berkeley and Davis), at a public charter (K-8) School in Oakland (COVA), and in private studio piano lessons.

For the past year I have been playing music hours at numerous facilities specializing in care for the elderly including Alzheimer's and Dementia care facilities. This broad and extensive background prepares me well to be sensitive to the needs of the diverse student population which I am pleased to serve. I design my studio lessons in piano, composition or theory to meet the individual needs of each student. My teaching methods are therefore flexible and adaptive. I respond to the ongoing feedback from each student as I strive to reach just the right balance between content, technique, ability, interest, literacy, enjoyment and discipline.

Regardless of the age group, skill level, learning style, or cultural background, I have had great success applying my adaptive teaching approach to each unique situation, and I am confident that prospective students and their families will find my approach to be a great fit for learning music through lessons with me.
With a Ph. D. in Music Composition, I specialize in teaching piano, music composition and theory. These broad subject areas also include harmony, counterpoint, analysis, orchestration, music notation, and electronic music.
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24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 0 miles of Oakland, CA 94605
Background Check: Passed

"Great tutor"

- Robert, Hayward, CA on 9/20/13

"Very Patient and Knowledgeable Tutor"

- Fei, Pleasant Hill, CA on 2/19/12
Music History

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

Composition (Music)

I earned a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of California at Berkeley. My works have been performed locally, nationally, and internationally. I remain active as a composer and performer. Some of my prizes and awards for composition include the Lili Boulanger Memorial Prize, the George Ladd Paris Prize, a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellowship at U.C. Berkeley, and the Avery Claflin Memorial Fellowship at the Berkshire Music Center (Tanglewood).

Ear Training

With my formal academic training in music (B.A., M.A. and Ph.D.) and years of experience as an active pianist, accompanist, and composer, I am well equipped to assist those students who are interested to sharpen their listening skills. Whether it is to prepare for college entrance or placement exams, to augment current coursework in ear training, to get up to speed with remedial training, or to learn how to listen to the structure of music, the student working with me will have full confidence that "I've been there and done that".

General Music

It has always been my view that composition, performance and teaching are inseparable. For me, it is not possible to have one or two without the other(s). It is this holistic view of Music that enables me to be a generalist as well as a specialist. In this role of generalist I can offer guidance in a number of music disciplines which might not otherwise fit neatly into categories such as "piano" or "composition". The following scenarios are some of the areas which might be described as "General Music" and for which I could offer tutoring and guidance: (1) you love to sing but don't know how to read music, and learning how to read music would really help in your current choir assignment; (2) you don't understand "modern" music and would like to learn more about it; (3) you have heard that there is a mathematical component to music and would like to know more about this; (4) you are interested to learn how Western European music relates to music of other cultures. Though not exhaustive, this list should provide some insight into what is "General Music" and how I can address this area for you.

Music History

As a trained academic in the music arts, I have extensively studied the history of Western European music from the Renaissance (and before) to the present. I can offer guidance and tutoring in a general historical review of various periods of Western European music, or (and perhaps most importantly) a view of music history based on style, technique and evolution of Western European music through detailed study and analysis of specific works of the Masters.

Music Theory

Music Theory entails a broad range of music sub disciplines including (but not limited to) music literacy (the most basic level) and analysis (understanding the structure and form of music). For most students in the elementary and secondary school ages, music theory is essentially music literacy. More advanced and gifted students in this age group will naturally go beyond this basic level and begin to study harmony and counterpoint. Some may even try their hand at stylistic composition and beginning analysis. Whatever the student goal or level, being a composer myself I am well equipped to work with any level of student to attain his or her ultimate goal.


I have been active as a performing pianist and accompanist for over 30 years. I earned my B.A. in Piano at the California State University at Hayward. I have performed classical solo recitals, performed in piano ensembles, accompanied vocalists, instrumentalists and choirs, and performed jazz/pop music/happy hours. My special training and expertise as a pianist is in "classical" music covering literature from the Baroque through 20th and 21st Centuries. However, I am familiar with numerous styles of jazz, swing, pop, and theater/show music, and I do also regularly perform in these styles in a variety of venues. Throughout this time I have also taught private piano lessons to students ranging in age and experience from children (4-5 years old) to seniors (80 years old).

Sight Singing

Sight Singing as a separate discipline is really another aspect of ear training and general musicianship. Sight Singing requires the ability to hear and read music in one's head, and this is the essential ingredient for ear training as well. As a composer and pianist, I have developed this ability over many years, and to be honest, this is an ongoing activity - one never stops learning and developing. With the many years of my own development of internal hearing, sight singing, sight readying, and ear training, I am well equipped to guide those who want to begin to develop this skill, or those who want to take their skill to the next level.

California State Univ Hayward
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley


California State Univ Hayward

University of California, Berkeley (Master's)

University of California, Berkeley (PhD)

Great tutor — I felt very lucky indeed. He didn't waste anytime. It's always a pleasure to come across someone like him. He seemed to cover quite a bit in a relatively short amount of time. I was very impressed. ...

— Robert, Hayward, CA on 9/20/13

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $75.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Peter will travel within 0 miles of Oakland, CA 94605.

Background Check Status for Peter L.

Peter L. passed a background check on 4/23/11. The check was ordered by Peter through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

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