Brian The Music Teacher - Piano, Guitar & Songwriting Lessons

Brian The Music Teacher - Piano, Guitar & Songwriting Lessons

5.0 (5)
1 hire on
22 years in business

About this pro

With over 15 years of private and classroom teaching experience, I offer beginner to intermediate piano, guitar, and songwriting lessons at competitive rates. I am flexible with my teaching approach, and comfortable teaching many different styles of music. Every student gains access to a Google Classroom in which lesson materials, videos, and other resources are centrally stored for easy access, and grown according to the student's goals and progress. In addition to traditional note-reading methods, students also have the option of learning chord-style playing, which can often build momentum and independence much quicker. I believe that beginning musicians are most empowered toward musicianship through learning how to play music that is familiar and inspiring to them, and I am skilled at breaking down songs into bite-sized pieces that are easy to follow, even for complete beginners.

I hold a BA in Music and an MA in Music Education, and have worked extensively in New York City public schools to expand Music programming beyond traditional band, orchestra and chorus formats.

I will come to your home in Midtown East, UES, Harlem, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk or surrounding areas, and teach students from anywhere around the world via video-conference. If interested, please respond with a short email including your location and prior musical experience.

Thank you for your consideration! I hope to hear from you soon.

From the day that I first picked up a guitar in the early 90's, I've experienced music as a vehicle for meeting three fundamental human needs:

1) wonder and joy

2) personal accomplishment 

3) connectedness

Helping people discover how music can address these and other needs in their own lives has been the most rewarding part of my work as a Music Educator. I believe that a person's favorite music provides a small glimpse into a beautiful and unique identity, and that the piano or guitar is one of the most rewarding tools a person can choose to express it.

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New Canaan, CT 06840
Email verified
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5 Reviews


  • Mikyung Jeung

    My 4years old son loves the piano lesson time and waits for teacher Brian all the week. He is an amazing musician, teacher and he knows how to teach music to the kids!

  • Mikyung Jeung

  • Noah Lee

    Brian taught me how to play piano not just from the book, but by improvisation and enabling me to play the music I wanted to play.

  • Keannie Roseborough

    What I liked was how hard Mr. Duran worked with us and for us. He saw things in us that we or our parents didn’t see in us. He always believed in us and no matter how hard things got he never gave up.

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

I first ask the student to share a few of their favorite songs, artists, and motivations/goals. I then go over the basics of how to produce sound on the instrument, including correct posture, hand position, and note execution. From there I provide bite-sized steps to get students into a routine of producing sound as much as possible, and teach them more technique and music vocabulary along the way as they build their skills. Eventually, between their time with me and in individuals practice, they begin playing at least one or two of their favorite songs, and are excited to continue the learning process. I also frequnetly use the HookTheory songwriting free software as a way to reinforce concepts and vary the lesson format, so we spend some time away from the instrument but still learning the language of music. Check it out!

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

I hold a BA in Music and an MA in Music Education, and have worked extensively in New York City public schools to expand Music programming beyond traditional band, orchestra and chorus formats. My teaching philosophy and belief in the benefits of everyday musicianship for all people has been reflected through guitar and keyboard ensembles that I've established as promising 21st-century options for whole-group music instruction.

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

After 1 individual trial lesson, my rates are as follows:

30 minute lesson - $45 (5 minimum = $225)

45 minute lesson - $55 (5 minimum = $275)

60 minute lesson - $70 (5 minimum = $350)

How did you get started teaching?

I started teaching private guitar lessons while I was still in high school, after my friends, thier families, and my teachers saw how much I loved to play. During my senior year of college I maintained a private studio of 35+ guitar and bass students, many of whom formed groups and played gigs together. I have continued teaching private guitar, bass, keyboard and songwriting lessons over the last 15 years as I have become more active as a classroom Music teacher in NYC public schools.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with students aged 5 and above, from a variety of different walks of life, some with special needs.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Every year for the past four years I have run a Summer Music Academy in my elementary school. Over the last year, though I've stepped out of the classroom into an administrative role, I've greatly enjoyed coaching teachers in methods I've developed for group keyboard instruction. The Summer Music Academy has allowed me to both teach and coach at the same time. 

My family and I also took a vacation in the 1000 Islands in northern NY, and we had a blast!

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

Find a teacher who can communicate clearly, break complexity down into simple parts, who is organized, and who can relate to your goals and interests in an authentic and encouraging manner.

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

1) Am I playing for personal enjoyment, public performance, or both?

2) What are my end performance goals? Do I want to perform in a formal recital, at an open-mic night at the local pub, in a rock band or school jazz band?

3) What songs or pieces of music would I like to learn the most?

4) How much time per week / per day can I devote to practicing? What time commitment would be too much for me?

5) What skills will I need to master before I referring to myself as a musician?

6) Hopefully this goes well and I love the lessons. If not, however, at what point will I know this is no longer worth the investment?