"When I first started to play piano, I was lucky enough to study with jazz giant pianist/teacher Don Haas (1936-2001) Benny Goodman, Sammy Davis Jr., Willie Nelson, Hi-Lows. Don was one of the most sought-after piano and music theory teachers in the country at the time, with a waiting list of over 300 students. Within two years of studying with him, I was recording, arranging, composing, and touring with a number of popular bands in the Bay Area and across the country. I studied with Don for eight years and refined and modeled my own teaching style around many of the core principles Don used to teach so many of today's top musicians. Don was gracious enough to refer many of my early students to me, and I didn't let him or them down. He also got me started with the skills of arranging and orchestrating. I furthered my education in College, majoring in music, and went on to work as a studio musician playing on countless records and recordings.
Teaching music is a skill. Like anything, it takes years to master. I have worked hard over the years to fine-tune and hone my skills as a teacher and motivator. Just because someone might be an accomplished musician does not mean they can teach those skills to another person. You have to learn what to teach and when is the right time to explain things so the student is not overwhelmed or confused. I have this experience, and it is reflected in the continued growth of all my students".
8 Reasons to study Piano and Music Theory with Brian Withycombe
Private Access to one of the most successful piano teachers in the country. His experience and knowledge are unique and invaluable.
28 years of experience teaching students of all levels, from beginners to touring professionals.
No one-size-fits-all method. Every student is unique in how they learn and process information, which is reflected in Brian's approach to each and every student.
Because Brian comes to you, you can study in the comfort of your own home on "your "instrument and not in some little room in the back of a music store.
Most all of Brian's students end up studying with him for years. This is a testament to his dedication, teaching approach, and how he keeps the sparks of creativity continually developing and expanding.
Every student has questions that are simply not covered anywhere in textbooks or posted videos. Getting those essential answers right away leads to confidence and the inspiration to keep learning.
He understands how to teach and, more importantly, how to properly motivate students to achieve their goals.
For students wishing to advance to the pro or semi-pro level for playing gigs, composing, arranging, or recording, Brian’s mentoring program covers all of these skills and more. He has a wealth of knowledge, information, and advice about careers in the entertainment industry, how to best be prepared, and what pitfalls to avoid.
"It doesn’t matter if you have played all your life or never touched an instrument.... I love teaching students at all levels."
"My wife and I are so grateful we found Brian. Our son is passionate about jazz piano but his former teacher didn't have the experience or skills to take him to the next level. After trying out some other jazz teachers, we were fortunate to find Brian. He is the real deal! His encyclopedic knowledge of songs and his deep understanding of music theory make a powerful combination. He formulates a clear plan for filling in gaps and taking the student where they need to go. And of course, his playing is inspirational! We've seen remarkable progress in just a few months. We recommend him 100%".
MD, CLD Stanford Medical Center
"When you know more about music than you can actually play… you will practice more...because knowledge is a powerful motivator. “
"I studied with Brian for 3 years and he is not only an amazing and respected player but also a great teacher. I now play in a couple performing Bay Area bands and the knowledge and skills he taught me are still relevant and I use them every day".
-Mark F., Musician / Tech Support Manager
“Brian is an awesome piano instructor. He’s an amazingly talented musician but he’s great at coaching at any level, including beginners like myself. He really strikes the right balance between pushing to make you better, while making sure learning is enjoyable and fun. He picks music you’ll enjoy studying and enjoy practicing, so even with a super busy schedule you look forward to the lessons. With Brian, you’re learning from the absolute best.”
-Javier O., V.P. Facebook
"Brian, I wanted to drop a short note and thank you for your support and instruction. I could not be happier with my progress and continually look forward to every lesson. Even my nephew who plays in a local band was impressed with my playing and is now asking me questions about music ! You have made a huge difference in my life and I now have another outlet for expressing my feelings".
V.P., Wells Fargo
"I wanted to reach out and say thank you for inspiring me at a young age. I've always been a music nerd, but for some reason, I played the shit out of Sarge's Heroes and the music always stood out clearly in my mind. This was about the time I was going wild with the free finale notepad download. Anyway, my partner Jim Goodwin and I are scoring our third slam for Tennis Channel and just got a call to redo the theme from City of Heroes which triggered all my memories of your music. All of this simply to say thank you. If I can inspire one kid the way you inspired me, I will have succeeded."
-Hobbs Magaret, Egghead Music
"The key linking musicians is music theory. Learning music by studying its construction, its inherited rules, its varying styles, its past and its future is the glue that gives music its structure and provides new players with the language of music needed to communicate.
Understanding music theory will transform the way you see, hear, and eventually, play music. Great musicians don’t think about music theory much when they play; they think about playing. They "are in" the moment! They get beyond the theory. But to get to that point, you need to master your knowledge of music… That is the key to learning and playing music for years".
Brian Withycombe 2022
Accepting piano and music theory students.
one-hour lessons | private piano & theory lessons | in your home
LIVE online lessons via Skype or FaceTime.
In-home, private piano and music theory lessons available in
Atherton, Menlo Park, Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, Woodside, Los Altos, Portola Valley, Stanford, Mountain View, San Carlos, Hillsborough, Belmont, Millbrae, Half Moon Bay, El Granada, Montara, Pacifica & Moss Beach.