About Susan Keiter

Experienced Teacher & Musician

wide headshotI have been teaching music for 15 years, and a professional musician for 30 years.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Southern California and a Masters degree in Counseling from San Francisco State University.  In addition to my classical training,
I teach and perform popular music, musical theater, liturgical and chamber choral music.
I teach music theory, I compose and arrange music, and I coach individuals and groups preparing for auditions and performances.

In addition to private lessons, my experience includes teaching music education in public elementary schools, coaching small choral ensembles and a large community choir, and stage-managing choral groups.  I have prepared students for Oakland School of the Arts auditions, and soloists for Woodminster Summer Musicals.  I’ve directed high school students in musical productions, and I have toured internationally with several classical chamber choirs.  I play guitar, violin and flute, and I have taught beginning violin and flute to children.  I also volunteer at Crocker Highlands Elementary School, where I teach instrumental music and music theory.

Trained Counselor

I use my counseling skills every time I teach.  I’ve been a counselor for 30 years, providing personal and college counseling in a variety of educational settings.  Students learn best in a safe environment where they are engaged in discovery and when their unique strengths and challenges are acknowledged.  I use humor and playfulness to help students suspend their inner critic and enjoy the learning process.

I am especially successful with adult students, and students who had negative experiences with prior music teachers.  I also am skilled with students with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, or other processing challenges.

Engaged Community Member

I donate my time and skills to community organizations.  I teach singing and lead sing-a-longs with East Bay Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, and I coach singing groups for Distaff Singers, an all-women choral group.  I have worked in higher education equity for 25 years, directing and counseling under-represented students to help them achieve 4-year college degrees and succeed professionally.  I also am a co-founder of East Bay College Fund, an Oakland nonprofit organization that provides 4-year college scholarships, college counseling, mentoring and life skills training to Oakland public high school graduates.

Home Studio

I teach in my home in Oakland, near the Grand Lake Theater. I have two cats and a friendly dog who enjoy watching lessons, and are very nonjudgmental.


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