Susie is an extraordinary teacher; warm, patient, very encouraging, endlessly positive and lots of fun! She's the piano teacher you wish you'd had when you were young!
In her first year of learning piano, my daughter has made rapid progress. Early on, Susie had her playing contemporary songs alongside teaching theory and solid basics. Being able to play and sing along to hit songs is completely engaging for my kid and inspires her to do the "work" of learning the piano because she knows how much fun it is being able to play a song she loves!
Susie's studio is lovely - comfortable for waiting parents, easy access off the freeway, great parking. I'm so grateful my friend recommended Susie to us!
I wish I had Susie as my piano teacher when I was a kid! She's outstanding. She encourages her students to learn songs that they can sing and share with others, while also teaching the basics of music theory, sight reading, etc. Our kids play piano pretty well after less than two years of lessons -- and enjoy playing. I can't recommend Susie highly enough -- I've sent a few friends to study with her too.
Lessons with Susie have been life changing! I started up again after learning some piano as a kid but never knowing I could actually play the music I loved. I'm now doing that thanks to Susie D, who is both a talented musician and teacher! The lessons are the perfect balance of theory, songs and building my own creativity. I am 4 years in and forever grateful to Susie!!
My son originally started piano lessons at age 6 with a classical music-oriented instructor. My son was uninspired and wanted to quit. We then followed a friend's advice and gave Susie Davis a try. Her approach and musical sensibilities (rock, blues, pop, boogie-woogie) were such a fresh and fun change. My son happily took lessons from Susie for years and developed his abilities to sight read, play by ear and perform at recitals. I would (and have) strongly recommend Susie for children and adults who want to learn to play piano with a wonderful musician and person. Also, don't let the Pt. Richmond studio location deter you, we traveled for years from Albany and the travel time was 15 minutes and well worth the commute!
Our daughter is currently a Junior studying piano at Oakland School for the Arts. She began her piano training with Susie Davis at age 6 and continued with weekly 45 minute lessons for the next 5 years. We credit Susie with being one of our daughter's greatest heroes and role models. Because of Susie's creative influence and encouragement, our daughter is currently gigging regularly with her jazz quartet, composing and arranging her own music, and hoping to become a professional musician one day.
From the very first lesson, Susie establishes and cultivates a supportive atmosphere where her students are able to jump right in. And then, like magic, Susie's students are playing and singing numerous musical selections - all because Susie makes the learning fun and accessible. We will always be grateful for Susie Davis. She started our daughter on her musical journey - which continues to shape her passion for life.
If you are looking for a music teacher, look no more. Susie is a fantastic, caring music teacher. When my daughter was losing interest in her piano lessons (didn't enjoy the music selected for her, and didn't want to practice), I went in search of a new teacher. After one lesson with Susie, my daughter was hooked. Through Susie's method of teaching, and her interest in finding out what music my daughter liked, my daughter was learning the music she wanted to learn. Susie encouraged my daughter to sing along while playing the piano which, now, she is able to do with ease. Susie combines technique, notation and theory into each lesson, while still keeping the lessons fun and engaging. Music is a huge part of my child's life. She is able to figure out any piece of music she hears because of Susie's teaching. In fact, there are some people who call my child a 'human spotify'. I would strongly recommend Susie to any prospective families looking for an inspirational and effective music teacher.
Susie has tapped into an approach to teaching music that works. She has kept my daughter engaged and interested for years... from age 9 through puberty! Its a wonderful part of my daughter's life and I know we have Susie to thank for keeping her practicing and going to lessons week after week.
Susie Davis is a natural born musician and consummate performer. Her studio walls are covered with star studded photographs, platinum/gold albums and awards attesting to the fact that she's a star, and the "real deal". Her career has spanned genres and instruments, vocals, musical arranging, composing, and thankfully for her diverse group of students, teaching. I met Susie almost 20 years ago when my then small children took piano lessons in her Marin studio. Susie's innate sense of how to teach to reach each individual was as obvious then as it is now, and I remember her teaching me how to accompany my 4 year old son on the piano "jamming" in an effort to encourage him to develop his formidable musical skills. It worked, and he went on to study classical music and symphony performance. But that's not all....After I retired, I decided to learn to play the piano and have been taking lessons with Susie for over a year during which I've been astonished by Susie's patience and commitment to the process of teaching so that anyone, including me, can unlock the joy of making music. Oh, and if you're already an accomplished musician, just ask Mick Jagger, Susie can teach you how to do it better!!
“We just love Susie as a piano teacher and a person. She's fun, creative, enthusiastic, warm hearted and has my daughter really enjoying her lessons. A couple of years ago, she wanted to quit lessons (with another teacher). I asked her why she wanted to stop playing and she said it was because she couldn't sing to her classical piano songs and she loves singing so much. Because of her age, no voice teacher would work with her. I spoke to many. A friend of ours suggested Susie. We tried a lesson and she was hooked. We've been with her for almost 2 years now. Susie has been teaching her how to play the piano and sing at the same time. It is so much fun to listen to her play and sing.
Also, Susie worked with my daughter a few months back to create a CD of my daughter singing my favorite song to give to me as a birthday present. That was such a nice gift!
She also has art supplies in her waiting area so siblings or parents can sit there and draw. Personally, I enjoy the spirograph.”.
“This is a completely different experience for students than the usual ‘music lessons’! Susie is not only someone who can connect with her students, she also clearly loves teaching. By using popular music that is easily accessible even to younger students, she teaches theory together with keyboard skills. By having the students record their performances, they have something permanent to show their progress; my children love to listen to ‘their’ CD’s and even have their performances on their Ipods! If I had a music teacher like Susie when I was younger, I certainly would have stayed with music lessons much longer than I did”.
“My Daughter, age 12, loves playing songs of her choice. Susie has arranged piano versions of everything from the Ramones to Sheryl Crow, while also introducing Moonlight Sonata to her. When my daughter started piano, she was frustrated by lessons which relied solely on sight-reading. Susie’s method of getting her to understand pop/rock chord progressions revived her interest, and is making her a more independent improviser. Susie uses methods that each student responds to.”
“I have a ton of fun here at Alleycats. After my three other teachers, Susie makes the great stuff she is teaching fun and exciting. I love it when she asks me….’So what song do you want to do next?’. She lets it be all up to me!”
“Susie is an amazing teacher. She has a method of teaching that focuses on the area that you desire to excel in. She teaches in a way that is fun and always interesting. I have been studying with her for four years and have been entertained the whole time, as well as progressed dramatically.”