Mansfield Music

Mansfield Music

5.0 (5)
2 employees

About this pro

I teach many instruments: Piano, Guitar, Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Ukelele, and more.

I design a custom approach for each student. What makes me different from other teachers is that I have extensive experience in many diverse fields of music—classical, jazz, rock, pop, etc.—as a result of a professional music career working with performers and publishers in every style imaginable.

I also teach students of all ages, usually from 4 years old to senior citizens. Beginners are welcome!

Please visit my website for more detailed information about lessons, and how to get the most out of music lessons.

I enjoy interacting with people, finding how each person learns and develops. Everyone is different! I enjoy spreading the joy of music! 

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Berkeley, CA 94702
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5 Reviews


  • KC

    Ernie Mansfield is a superb music teacher. He is encouraging, thorough, and knowledgeable. He makes learning fun and exciting.

  • Larry Lynch

    My son took keyboard lessons from Ernie and he loved the experience. Ernie excels at teaching. He shares a lot of knowledge so his students get a better understanding of the experience. Most of all, Ernie makes sure that it’s fun.

  • Robin K

    We highly recommend Ernie Mansfield for piano lessons. Our 10 year old daughter has been taking lessons for several years and she thoroughly enjoys herself. I’ve overhead them singing together loudly and playing the piano. It’s very sweet. Ernie is low key and low stress, but our daughter is learning how to read music and play the piano. He’s kind, loving, and patient — very good with kids. He doesn’t push them, but lets them learn at their own pace. The students also perform at recitals. This is entirely voluntary, and teaches them preparation and discipline. In fact, our child loves her lessons so much that her grandma has started guitar lessons!

  • Douglas Beckstein

    As a child I took 3 years of piano lessons then guitar, ukulele and singing in church and school choirs. Two years singing at Glide Church was a wonderful experience! But something was missing. I could not play piano. Last year, I was lucky to find Ernie. He can PLAY and TEACH music. Not every musician can do BOTH. I am 60 years old and I have enjoyed learning with Ernie, and I highly recommend him!

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Normally, we start with a Trial Lesson. You can then see how I work, and if we are a good fit. If you choose to take ongoing lessons, then you can register for weekly lessons. I try to find a method of working with each student. "One size does not fit all." Having said that, I do believe in working with method books, and I endeavor to find the right book for each student. I do teach students to read music. But I also encourage and work with students who want to improvise, and I teach many styles, including jazz, folk, "soft" rock, and pop, as well as classical music. 

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I studied flute, sax, piano, and music composition at Interlochen Arts Academy, Oberlin Conservatory, University of Illinois, and University of the State of New York.

I started my studies as a classical musician, later I studied jazz. From the age of 19 I have been a professional musician, playing classical, jazz, rock, folk, and pop music. I have performed and recorded in Europe and the United States, for over 30 years.

Also, for many years I worked on the production of many music publications, including the well-known piano methods of Kjos Music Co., and jazz books of Sher Music.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Normally, we start with a Trial Lesson. You pay for this lesson at the time of the lesson. There is no further cost or obligation. If you choose to take ongoing lessons, then you would register for ongoing lessons. I work with students once a week on an ongoing basis. I teach all lessons here at my residential studio near the North Berkeley BART station.

The current cost for a Trial Lesson is $39 for a half-hour lesson, and $74 for a one/hour lesson. Time permitting, I can also offer 45-minute lessons at $58.

If you decide to Register for Lessons, there is an initial Registration Fee of $35 and then you pay in advance per month using our AutoPayment system. 

The current cost for ongoing lessons is $156/month for half-hour lessons (ie, 4 lessons); and $296/month for one-hour lessons.

We use Studio AutoPay, a system used nationwide by thousands of studios. Through this system we accept payment by credit card or eCheck.

We also offer gift lessons, drop-in lessons, and other options, so please inquire. Drop-in lessons (occasional lessons) are at a slightly higher cost.

How did you get started teaching?

I began teaching as a Music Theory Tutor at Interlochen Arts Academy when I was still a student. Later, throughout college and throughout my professional music career, I had some private students. From the 1980s onward, I taught at Cazadero Music and Arts Camps, and Jazz Camp West. I was also a coach with Oakland East Bay Symphony (OEBS) for their School Music Program. Around 2003 I decided to start private teaching full time. Prior to that time, I was working in Music Pubishing with many music book authors, including the Bastiens and Keith Snell of Kjos Music, and with the Sher Music Jazz Publications.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with students of all ages and skill levels. The youngest students I have worked with are 4 years old, these are beginning piano students. The oldest students have been retirees in their 80s and even 90s. 

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

If you are serious about learning an instrument, it is best to commit to at least several months of weekly, ongoing lessons. You must be willing to practice at least a lttle bit each day. Realize that it will take a long time to be proficient at an instrument, and that weekly lessons are important.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Are you willing to commit to weekly, ongoing lessons for at least several months? Are you willing to try to practice every day, if possible? Are you choosing a teacher who is located close to your home?