Mark Banning Music Lessons

Mark Banning Music Lessons

5.0 (3)
20 hires on
1 employee
44 years in business

About this pro

I have been a recording artist since age 13 and have been successfully teaching music lessons for well over 30 years. Some of my students have become professional guitarists and are writing articles in guitar magazines!  I show my students the quickest and most productive way  to reach their musical goals, while making it all very fun, in a relaxed & friendly environment.  I am very friendly and patient.  I will show you to learn good habits and technique on your instrument.

I live and breathe music. I love to share my knowledge and my gift for others to enjoy.  It really blesses me to see my students get better on their instrument.  It brings great joy to my students and myself alike!

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Castro Valley, CA 94546
Email verified
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3 Reviews


  • Earl Thomas

    Easy to work with and very knowledgeable.

  • Ziba S

    Mark is an excellent teacher and very fun to work with! I wanted to learn a specific song on the bass guitar and Mark not only taught me how to play the song but also wrote up the tabs of the song for me. If you want to learn from a professional and have fun doing it, Mark is your guy!

  • Mark Vandenbroek

    I started taking guitar lessons from Mark Banning a few years ago. I do not read music, but wanted to just learn songs I could play. While learning each song my understanding of tabs, bar chords, strumming, and timing was increasing. Now, I have gained the confidence to play the lead guitar, and have formed a band, which meets weekly. I give Mark a lot of credit for keeping me interested in playing and learning. He has a way of adjusting his methods of teaching based on each individual needs. His easy going style of teaching, and knowledgeable techniques, have made me feel relaxed while playing and has boosted my confidence. Mark your an exceptional guitarist, musician, and teacher. Thank you, Mark, for keeping me inspired!

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

First, I find out how much experience the student has (if any) on their instrument and any other instruments they have played before.  Then I find out what their musical goals are and what kind of music they like.  I keep my students motivated by teaching them music that they enjoy.  I also make time for answering any questions about music.

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

I was a music major in high school.  At age 19, I started playing professionally (6 nights a week) in Los Angeles, while educating myself musically in libraries.  Later, I took music and music business classes at colleges and a university.  I still educate myself to this day.

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

$30/half-hour lessons

$45/45-minute lessons

$60/hour lessons

How did you get started teaching?

I first started teaching guitar lessons in a music store in North Hollywood in 1978. I got the job by asking if I could teach there and by playing guitar in this store. When I moved to Northern California, I did the same thing and started teaching in 4 different stores in 4 different towns.  I now teach out of my home studio. It is very comfortable  here with plenty of room and a peaceful environment.

What types of students have you worked with?

Boys, girls, men & women from age 7 to 77.  The majority of my current students are over 50.  I've taught beginners, intermediant and professional musicians.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I recently recorded a few songs in my home studio that are getting major radio airplay in Europe!  One of them went to number 1!

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

Hire me!  That's good advice!  Hehe haha.  Seriously, a student should hire a teacher who has many years teaching experience along with constant live performance experience. There are many "teachers" out there that will just teach you the same thing they teach everybody, regardless of your personal needs and preferences.  Many teachers will not look carefully at their students' technique, causing them to learn bad habits that can hunder them later down the road. If I see something that can hinder you and I feel it is important for your sake, I will mention it to you and help you to fix it.  If it is not important, I won't mention it. 

If you hire someone else and are not learning well or having fun, hire me.  Life is too short for sticking with bad teachers.

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

Think about what excites you about the instrument you want to learn.  Think about how you would like to develop musically, and how far you would like to take your musical knowledge.  Some students want to "play by the campfire" while others want to play with other friends.  Some want to get into a band.  In other words, think about your musical goals.  Many people just want to start lessons and then develop their goals.  That's OK too!

Again, it is important to hire a teacher who has a lot of experience (lie me) to get the best results.