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Kelsey Edwards Photography - Catchlight Studios

Billy is theeee best. We met Billy prior to the pandemic. At the time my kids were 13 and 8. Billy let my teen lead the discovery on what music she wanted to learn. Understanding that because she was older, we had to capture her interest anyway we could. She spent 2 years doing piano but now does voice with Billy. She will be 18 in the fall! My son, he took a slightly different approach, taking advantage of his young age and instilling a strong foundation of reading music, notes and playing. While my son is not Mozart (my son's choice!), Billy has captured his attention through his kindness, patience and humor. As the world shifted in the pandemic, Billy, without missing a beat, shifted to zoom lessons and we've had our lessons that way ever since. Whether it's "in person" or "on zoom", Billy is a fantastic teacher!

Salee S, El Sobrante, CA

Billy is a wonderful empathic teacher of music. He has worked with my son for 7 years, providing piano and voice lessons during that time. He is flexible but firm as a teacher, and has forged a strong relationship with my child, enabling him to take risks and be responsible for his music development. Billy's technical knowledge of music and ability to convey that knowledge and support his students is outstanding. He adeptly transitioned to zoom during the pandemic while maintaining quality music instruction (not an easy task!). He also holds annual in person showcases for his students, so they have the opportunity to perform in front of a small audience of fellow students and families in a supportive environment. This has been an invaluable adjunct to my son's musical and personal development. I cannot recommend Billy enough!

Tonya F, San Anselmo, CA

Billy is a very sweet guy with a big voice. My two daughters have been seeing him for about 6 months for private voice lessons. There's several things we like about him. He's easygoing and good with kids, he lets the kids pick music that they want to sing (that's huge), and he communicates well and quickly. My husband did a lot of choir and vocal instruction and he said Billy knows his stuff.

Elizabeth S, Dallas, TX

Billy's a super patient, professional and caring teacher. He helped my daughter learn piano all through the pandemic, which was no small feat. Strong recommendation if you're looking for a music teacher.

Michael S, Alameda, CA

I have had a great experience learning from Billy these past few months. I haven't played an instrument in almost 20 years, so I was basically learning everything about music from scratch and had never played piano before. He is a friendly guy and I feel I have progressed a lot in a short time learning from him. Classes are always fun!

Keenan G, Dallas, TX

I have been working with Billy since December. Thought the whole zoom thing might be difficult but it has worked just great. I am continuing on with my lessons in zoom. His teaching style is great. I am an older adult and I took this on for something fun to do doing the pandemic and it has indeed been fun and I am making some progress. I really enjoy working with Billy and gave him a referral just the other day.

Gary S, Dallas, TX


Lawley Lessons embraces a great style for teaching piano. We asked that our daughters learn Chord Style piano with Billy Lawley, the proprietor. This means that the focus is not on Hanon or scales, but on learning how to play with the ear and with a chord centric focus. Our youngest has moved on to singing and accompanying herself. Billy and his team customize their teaching to keeping the kids motivated and moving forward. Versatile, and great with kids, I think it would be hard to find better.

Chas S, Oakland, CA

We checked out several piano teachers before choosing Billy for our daughter. His openness, flexibility and clear communication were deciding factors for us as parents. Our daughter enjoyed his easygoing, fun-loving nature, while also appreciating his constructive feedback and teaching style. Billy is a rare mix of fun and professional, and we would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a piano teacher. We haven't tried him out for voice lessons yet, but it sounds like he rocks at that too. :)

Prisna N, Berkeley, CA

My teenage son was very pleased with how much he learned from voice lessons with Billy, which both improved his singing and also broadened and deepened his overall musical background. Billy introduced him to many new genres of music and supported him as he stretched his technique and repertoire. They had a great rapport, and the lessons were a lot of fun. Billy also coached a rock band my son was in during his middle school years, and that was also a positive experience. If you are looking for a versatile and responsive music instructor, Billy is a wonderful choice.

Dana C, Oakland, CA

My daughter has been taking voice lessons with Billy for 4 years. She was 8 when she started and has blossomed into a great little singer. Most importantly she's gained so much confidence in herself. Billy has prepared her for theater auditions (including slate to sheet music if needed), national anthems for football games, talent show and stage performances. He's great because he is young and has a lot of patience with kids who may not be able to focus for long. Billy makes learning fun and is very professional at the same time. He has a great sense of humor and my daughter is very goofy, so laughter is a big part of the lesson every time. This has helped her to stick to the lessons and not get burned out or bored. He always lets her pick the songs she wants to learn, and even goes out of his way to find the best version & burn the music on CD for her performances if needed. He is very skilled at piano and accompanies her to help her learn the correct notes, or can change it to meet her range.  We are very fortunate to have found him and would recommend him to anyone looking for a music teacher!

Eva C, Martinez, CA

Billy has been teaching both my daughters piano for some time now. At my request, he began with chord-style piano, so they could get hooked on the instrument and see quick results with some of their favorite pop tunes. Now he is weaving in the more traditional, classical style, at their request. The girls really enjoy their lessons! He understood their musical interests in a heart-beat. He is quick to see where they are having trouble and breaks the tough spots down into digestible bits for them. And he has a great ear! I love what they are learning and how they are learning it. They know their chords, are reading music, are beginning to understand pedals, phrasing and dynamics.  He knows his stuff, communicates well, and keeps the lessons fun for the kids. They can actually play now, and they love it.

Hildreth W, Oakland, CA

Billy is great with my 8-year-old son, keeping the piano lessons fun. He manages to mix various elements in 30 minutes (theory, technique, performance). My son stays engaged and focused throughout. Billy is also really good with scheduling and communicating any changes to lesson times, etc. Highly recommended.

Matthew B, Oakland, CA

I was fortunate to get a introduction lesson with Billy a few months ago and since that time, I have integrated a new awareness of the sound my voice has the capacity to make -- all in ONE lesson. Billy is very fun, open, playful and extremely educated in his craft. I instantly felt grounded and aware of each thing he taught me. I appreciated his guidance, support and knowledge of the use of how sound travels within the body. I look forward to another lesson with him when the time is right and I highly recommend him!

Chris Y, Oakland, CA


Billy is amazing!!!  Our daughter has become so positive about her piano and singing.  Billy is so encouraging and a beautiful mentor for her.  We hope Billy will coach her for many years!



Monica D, Oakland, CA

I have been taking voice lessons with Billy as a beginner and have had a great experience. He is very knowledgeable and caters the lesson to where I am at. I feel challenged and like I am learning a lot. I would definitely recommend him!

Allison W, Burlingame, CA

It had been about 8 years since I had sang in a chorus/community theater and I was looking to join a chorus and needed A LOT of practice and cleaning of the rusty pipes. Billy was very patient and encouraging with them. At the beginning I was nervous to sing out loud by myself and he was quickly able to help me work through that. He was a great teacher to get me back on track!

Keith W, Vallejo, CA

Billy is great! My daughter started with piano lessons but when her interest turned more to singing than to learning piano, Billy adapted. Now she creates her own lyrics while Billy plays the piano. He even records her creations and sends them to me. One day I hope she'll actually learn to play the piano but in the meantime, she's having fun with music, so I'm happy!

Amy V, Alameda, CA

Billy is a fantastic teacher. He has a talent for teaching kids. He has a lovely sense of humor which goes a long way with little ones. At the same time, he's firm when he needs his student to focus on the materials. He has two studios you can choose from. Singing is a great way to build confidence.

P L, Oakland, CA

My 16 year old son absolutely loves Billy's piano lessons. Great communication, and very flexible.  My son has tried 2 other instruments and instructors and didn't stay with them, the fact that Billy has been able to maintain working with him for over a year is wonderful! My son is getting better and better at playing the piano and reading sheet music.

Elizabeth D, Hayward, CA

Both of my girls enjoy Billy's vocal lessons. He is sincerely and strongly invested in them as people and performers, and they respond well to his feedback. He has a realistic grasp of their strengths and weaknesses, and he isn't just going through the motions or pandering to parents like some other music teachers we have known. He is very flexible with our scheduling needs. Highly recommended.

Andrew T, Clayton, CA

I've been taking voice lessons from Billy for several months now, and I find he is knowledgeable, patient, enthusiastic, professional, and willing to be flexible with appointments when he can. Music is his passion, and teaching his forte. I highly recommend Lawley Lessons and Billy.

Richard S, Oakland, CA

Billy Lawley (Lawley Lessons) primarily teaches children. But I have been working with him since May 2018 and find him wonderfully supportive, teaches in an encouraging manner, and is fun to boot.

Ora C, Concord, CA


Great voice coach! Very patient and really knows how to work with each person where they are at in their process.

Cheryl C, Garland, TX

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