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Completed on 10-17-17
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Mark V S. - Piano, Guitar, Accordion, Audio engineering, Songwriting, Synthesizer, Music composition, Music production Teacher

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$100per hour

Classical Music Lessons

Piano Lessons

Specifically: KEYBOARDS.

Forget boring lessons!

I can show you my Method to make playing & creating FUN and efficient regardless your skill level!

Whether you want to learn the real thing or just bought the latest synthesizer, there are certain techniques and approaches I have found in the past 30+ years to work like DYNAMITE -- IF... someone shows you a new way of playing.

I have not only taught myself by ear but have over the years successfully taught many students my Method of getting good on a keyboard. I do not approach lessons in the "traditional" sense beyond proper posture and common sense ways to avoid injury. I get to the core of learning to play the instrument in a way that is EASY, FUN, and incredibly TO-THE-POINT!

If your goal is NOT to be a classically trained pianist, but rather: you want to learn to EXPRESS yourself on ANY keyboard you have available to you in a way that is stress-free, inspiring, and efficient... you've found your new Maestro!

9 and Up

Guitar Lessons

The acoustic guitar is a go-to instrument of choice for songwriting, even for top electronic music artists. I can show you the basics of rhythm, chords progressions, and useful tips to inspire you to write your own songs whether pop, folk, alternative, filmic, or simply how to play it for fun and relaxation. Nylon or steel string is up to you -- the approach remains the same, and once you learn my techniques, you can apply them to many other string instruments as well. Ready to have some fun?

Any style with a good melody or rhythm.
9 and Up

Accordion Lessons

I still don't understand why so many people laugh when you say "accordion"! Let's show them different! This is one of the most expressive, international, fun, and emotional instruments out there! So much more than just "polkas": Argentinian tangos, German beer songs, French cafe, Southern Zydeco, Irish Celtic music, Russian folk, Italian melodic, and the list goes on... Bottom line: I love this instrument because it is FUN and VERY "produceable". Half of it is an arsenal of buttons while the other half is a good 'ol keyboard, and depending on which model you have, there are many tonal buttons to thoroughly change its personality -- no electricity needed!

I can teach you how to create some fun and inspired music on it regardless of your musical tastes, as long as you have a PIANO ACCORDION -- not JUST buttons like a bayan or concertina (sorry -- please note that I do NOT teach chromatic/diatonic button accordion or "virtual/electronic accordions" such as the Roland series -- just traditional, acoustic ones.)

9 and Up

Audio engineering Lessons

Ready to have some fun learning Pro Tools the easy way? Excited to get to your MUSIC -- not just technical mumbo-jumbo? Want to learn about sound design, recording, editing, mixing, and production? No matter what medium you choose to capture your art, at some point, your song, composition, beat, or spoken word must be recorded. There are some basic things to understand when the time comes to see the flashing red light. I can navigate those waters with you and show you methods that not only work quickly and professionally but can make you sound great!

Any style with a good melody. I specialize in melodies.
9 and Up

Songwriting Lessons

It's all about THE HOOK! Know your audience. Find your voice. Share a story worth sharing. Understand the old cliche that less really is more. Regardless your instrument, a song is a slice of time that should move people. I can show you how.

9 and Up

Synthesizer Lessons

I got into synths & MIDI in 1984 & never looked back! I take an intuitive approach to programming and integrating them into a song, composition, or score and can share with you some of my techniques to get you inspired to create, save, integrate, and share your unique sound. I've had the advantage of growing up with MIDI and truly seeing, experiencing, and appreciating their evolution through the years. I've been collecting rare synthesizers since that time and really enjoy each synth's unique personality and potential. I have my favorites but am aware that every synth has much to offer when you understand the basics of synthesis, programming, combining, alternating, and simply passionately embracing what they CAN do rather than forcing them to be something they are not.

sound design
9 and Up

Music composition Lessons

Learn my Method of creating catchy hooks, memorable themes, & music that will have an impact on your audience and clients regardless of style.

Discover how to get inspired and follow your muse.

Find formulas that always work.

Watch your skills EXPLODE once you start connecting the dots I will show you!

Hit the ground SPRINTING -- not just "running"!

Save time and cut to the good stuff!

Get creative and realize that it can be VERY EASY and TONS OF FUN!

Then find out how to best arrange your ideas so that your listeners will feel your intentions.

Please note that my method does NOT focus on traditional music theory, sight-reading, notation and such.

My lessons focus on: intuition, inspiration, progressions, combinations, unique approaches and FUN so you can make melodic and memorable music in record time!

I specialize in creating memories that will be in your head for a long time.
9 and Up

Music production Lessons

Pro Tools software has been the heart of what I do for the past 20+ years! I have created curricula at FOUR famous schools in Los Angeles centered around Pro Tools... and it is my platform of choice in which to compose because it is so easy and fast. I can show you, from experience, the real do's and don'ts of using this software from ground up. I have learned what works and what doesn't and am passionate about sharing my wisdom with you so you don't have to waste your time or get frustrated. Instead, GET INSPIRED to ask yourself not "How do I do this?" but rather: "What do I want to do with it?" I can get you to that level in a minimal amount of time.

pro tools
9 and Up


Hey guys! Thanks for stopping by to learn a little bit about me — I really appreciate it!

I’ve been “Specializing In Melody” since the age of 5 when I discovered my natural ability to play and create catchy tunes by teaching myself the harmonica by ear. I went on to learn the accordion at 10, the piano at 12, MIDI and synthesizers at 15, the guitar at 30, and a long list of other exotic instruments along the way, completely by ear.

I have collected rare synthesizers since 1984 and have well over 80 in my collection.

I am also Pro Tools certified and have been teaching Pro Tools, MIDI, music production, composing, keyboard techniques & sound design since 1998 having won numerous academic awards.

I have a BA from UCSC in an individual major of Audio/Visual Composition.

I wear many hats including my first passion as a prolific composer, BMI/BMG songwriter, producer, sound designer, Pro Tools editor, MIDI expert & programmer, writer, consultant, and of course teacher inspiring my students to become better than they ever dreamed possible all while having FUN!


MIDI Association:

The MIDI Associations mission is to nurture an inclusive global community of people who create music and art with MIDI. The www.MIDI.org website is the central repository of information about anything related to MIDI technology, from classic legacy gear to next- gen protocols on the horizon.

Broadcast Music Inc.:

One of three United States performing rights organizations, along with ASCAP and SESAC. It collects license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. In FY 2013, BMI collected more than $944 million in licensing fees and distributed $814 million in royalties. I have been a BMI member with my publishing company, Syntax Error Music, since 1991.


Instructor Jun 2015 - Present: Garnish Music Production School, Los Angeles

I teach my 36-Hour "Getting Creative In Pro Tools" curriculum there where I focus on using Pro Tools from start to finish while emphasizing creativity and fun.

Instructor Jul 2008 - Jun 2016: Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles

I created the Pro Tools curriculum for the music production, sound design, and post-production classes in the Digital Media Department whose audio side I also helped to create.

Instructor Jul 2004 - Nov 2014: The Los Angeles Recording School

I spear-headed the new Pro Tools department, designed the curriculum, and hosted the music production demos for their Open House for many, many years. I taught Pro Tools, Reason, Cubase, Nuendo, MIDI, sound design, music production, effects, recording, editing, mixing, post production, and gave individual lessons on keyboards, sampling, songwriting, and composing.

Instructor Jul 1998 - Jul 2004: The Los Angeles Recording Workshop

Before this school became The Los Angeles Recording School, I created the Pro Tools curriculum here centered on music production, MIDI, recording, editing, automating, mixing, and mastering as well as sound design and post-production.

Questions and Answers

What experience do you have teaching kids?

How do your lessons for adults differ from lessons for children?

Why are you a music teacher?

Why should I choose you as my teacher?

What do you do during the first lesson?

How long will it take me to get good on my instrument?

Photos and Videos


Certificate: Pro Tools Operator Music

Nov 2002 - Oct 2003Video Symphony, Burbank, CA

Certificate: Pro Tools Operator Post

Nov 2002 - Oct 2003Video Symphony, Burbank, CA

Certificate with honors: 600-Hour Recording Engin

Jul 1996 - Mar 1997Los Angeles Recording Workshop, North Hollywood, CA

B.A. in an individual major: Audio/Visual Composi

Aug 1988 - Jun 1990University of California at Santa Cruz

A.A. emphasizing Music, Film, and English

Aug 1986 - Jun 1988Monterey Peninsula College

Diploma with honors, emphasizing Music and English

Sep 1982 - Jun 1986Robert Louis Stevenson High School (Stevenson), Pebble Beach, CA


Outstanding Faculty Award 2013-2014

June 2014Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles

Chosen directly by my students.

Pro Tools Instructor Of The Month

November 2012The Los Angeles Recording School

Chosen directly by my students.

Shining Star Award for Open House, Music Production

January 2012The Los Angeles Recording School

For demoing Pro Tools, composition, MIDI, and music production to prospective students.

Outstanding Faculty Award 2009-2010

June 2010Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Los Angeles

Chosen directly by my students.

Nomination for: Best Techno Album

November 2004J.P.F. Music Awards

My debut CD album release, "As Above So Below" (under my a.k.a. of Havoc Razor) was nominated from over 10,000 albums submitted from over 80 countries worldwide in over 50 genres.

Best Techno Song, 5th Place

November 2004J.P.F. Music Awards

My song "Liberté", from my debut CD album release, "As Above So Below" (under my a.k.a. of Havoc Razor) was chosen from over 140,000 songs submitted from around the world.

#50 in the Top 50 Club Songs of San Francisco

August 2002DJ Pool of San Francisco

My song "Untied We Strand", from my debut CD album release, "As Above So Below" (under my a.k.a. of Havoc Razor) reached #50 in the charts of top 50 club songs of San Francisco in 2002.

Languages Spoken

  • EnglishFluent/Native Proficiency
  • RussianFluent/Native Proficiency
  • GermanLimited Proficiency


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