Susie Davis

Innovative instruction in popular music styles for kids, teens and adults.

Susie Davis Playing


SUSIE DAVIS is a respected music educator, as well as professional vocalist, keyboardist, songwriter, guitarist and accordionist. She has been a music professional for 28 years, touring and recording with some of the top names in the music world including; Van Morrison, Prince, Sheila E., Billy Idol, Daryl Hall, Melissa Etheridge, Sinead O'Connor, Pat Benatar and Mick Jagger. She has worked extensively as a solo artist in the Bay Area and Los Angeles and currently tours and records with
Gator Beat - Those Darn Accordions and the Rubinoos Jr.

In 2000, Susie opened the Alleycats Music School in Fairfax,California, which rapidly earned the reputation as a place where aspiring musicians of all ages could learn in a supportive, creative and fun environment. In 2005, she moved to the East bay and currently teaches in Point Richmond and Marin.

Among her other credits; Susie has been a teacher at the Blue Bear School of Music in San Francisco, has been the Music Director for many theatrical productions in Marin County, coached and directed middle and high school choirs, and taught Rock 'n' Roll band classes for kids at Blue Star Music Camp and Blue Bear. She is also the founder of Girl Group, a popular singing and performance class for young girls.


“It is the beauty that we create that makes me feel the most love for mankind, therefore to me…it’s all about the arts. As a life long music professional, I know first hand the joy that self-expression through music can bring. As a teacher, my goal is to give students the tools that will help them open doors to their own creativity, so that the joy of self-expression can come into their lives as well”
– Susie Davis


Touring Experience

  • GATOR BEAT 2010-2012
  • THOSE DARN ACCORDIONS 2002-2010
  • RHYTHMTOWN JIVE 2002-2007
  • RUBINOOS - Japan & Spain Tours 2002-2007
  • PAT BENATAR - Inamorata Tour/Summer tours 1998-1999
  • MYLENE FARMER – Anamorphosee Tour (France) 1996
  • PAT BENATAR - Can't Stop Rockin'95 Tour 1995
  • DARYL HALL - Soul Alone Tour (Japan & Europe) 1994
  • JUDE COLE - Start the Car Tour 1993
  • PATTY SMYTHE - promotional tour 1993
  • MELISSA ETHERIDGE - Never Enough Tour 1992
  • SINEAD O'CONNOR - I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got Tour 1991
  • DEBORAH HARRY - Def, Dum, and Blonde Tour 1989
  • MICK JAGGER - Primitive Cool Tour (Australia, Indonesia) 1988
  • BELINDA CARLISLE - Heaven Is A Place On Earth Tour 1988
  • BILLY ID0L - Whiplash Smile Tour 1987
  • VAN MORRISON - No Guru, No Method, No Teacher Tour 1986
  • PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION - Purple Rain Tour 1984-1985
  • SHEILA E. - Glamorous Life Tour, Romance 1600 Tour 1984-1986

Discography

  • RUBINOOS JR. - BIFF BAFF BOING Pynotic Records 2010
  • MARC MOWREY - AS YOU LIKE IT Astrophonic Records 2007
  • THOSE DARN ACCORDIONS - SQUEEZE MACHINE Globe Records 2007
  • BOB BRADSHAW- ENJOY YOUR CONFUSION Fluke Records 2004
  • THOSE DARN ACCORDIONS - LAWNBALL Globe Records 2004
  • THE RUBINOOS - LIVE IN JAPAN - "Air Mail Records" 2004
  • HOLLY & THE ITALIANS - "Demos Federico" 2003
  • KAVIAR - "The Kaviar Sessions" KMG Records 2002
  • JACKSON BROWNE - "Get Up, Stand Up" - Amnesty International Promotional Island/Virgin 1998
  • MYLENE FARMER - "Live at Bercy" Polydor France 1996
  • JILL SOBULE - "Jill Sobule" Atlantic 1995
  • MELISSA ETHERIDGE - "Meet Me In The Back" Island single 1992
  • PATTY SMYTHE - "No Mistakes" MCA 1992
  • SINEAD O'CONNOR - "My Special Child" Chrysalis EP 1991
  • HALL AND OATES - "Change of Season" Arista 1990
  • HALL AND OATES - "Starting All Over Again" Arista single 1990
  • TACKHEAD - "Strange Things" SBK 1990
  • BILLY IDOL - "Mony Mony" Chrysalis single 1987
  • SHEILA E. - "Romance 1600" WB "Love Bizarre" WB single 1985
  • PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION - "I Would Die For You" WB single 1984

Video - Television

  • Mylene Farmer "Live at Bercy" (Concert Video)1996
  • Jill Sobule "Merry Xmas from the Family" (video) 1995
  • Daryl Hall BBC's "In Session" Japanese televised concert 1994
  • Jude Cole Tonight Show 1993
  • Patty Smythe "No Mistakes" (video) Tonight Show 1992
  • Tracy Chapman "Bang Bang" (video) 1992
  • Melissa Etheridge "2001" (video) Hanging With MTV Tonight Show 1992
  • Sinead O'Conner Saturday Night Live MTV awards 1990
  • Hall and Oates Thats What Friends Are For (ABC special) 1990
  • Deborah Harry Roller Games Arsenio "I Want That Man" (video) 1989
  • Mick Jagger "Deep Down Under" (Australian TV Special) "Primitive Cool" (video) "Party Doll" (video) 1988
  • Belinda Carlisle Belinda Live (concert video) Tonight Show 1988
  • Michael Jackson "Dirty Diana" (video) 1988
  • Billy Idol "Mony Mony" (video) 1987
  • Prince & the Revolution Prince & the Revolution Live (concert video) Grammy Awards "I Would Die for You/Baby I'm a Star" (video) 1985
  • Sheila E. "Love Bizarre' (video) "Romance 1600 Live" (performance video) "Sister Fate" (video) Krush Groove (WB Film) Saturday Night Live Tonight Show, Soul Train, Solid Gold American Music Awards ABC New Years Eve Special 1984
  • Greg Kihn Band "Reunited" "Our Love's In Jeopardy" (video) 1984 1983

Directing - Theatrical

  • Music Director 2010 Hairspray Stapleton Theatre Company All Age Cast
  • Music Director 2009 The Cradle Will Rock Marin Academy High School
  • Music Director 2007 Fame Stapleton Theatre Company All Age Cast
  • Music Director 2007 High School Musical St. Marks Elementary/Middle School
  • Music Director 2006/07 Marat Sade Marin Academy High School
  • Music Director 2006 Footloose Stapleton Theatre Company/All age cast
  • Music Director 2000 Lady Audley’s Secret Wade Thomas Elementary
  • Music Director 1999 Cinderella White Hill Middle School
  • Music Director 1997 –1999 Marilyn Izdebski Productions Plays for ages 5 – 7
  • Music Director 1997 Annie Get Your Gun San Rafael Young Performers Theatre
  • Music Director 1976 Marat Sade College Of Marin Drama Dept. Jim Dunlop/Director
.

SUSIE DAVIS performs at Diablo Valley College


Teaching Methods


Susie's balanced approach to music education emphasizes practical skills for people interested in; accompanying themselves as they sing, writing and recording their own songs, reading chord charts, playing by ear, improvising, playing in bands, performing live, and just having fun with music.

Students are taught fundamentals of theory, technique, and notation, while playing handpicked popular songs. Susie also incorporates digital recording technology into her sessions, allowing even the youngest students to take home CDs of songs and pieces they have learned, or even written themselves.

Songs are often recorded using drum machines and synthesizers to create a more contemporary sound. The recording experience and the encouragement to follow their own musical preferences keeps enthusiasm levels high.

Voice students are encouraged to learn basic piano, while piano and guitar students are encouraged to sing. Susie’s expertise in both fields provides a unique educational opportunity for young musicians.

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Music Lessons


Piano Lessons - Beginners receive instruction in basic skill such as note reading, theory, and technique while also exploring playing by ear, improvisation and composing. As technical development allows we move into a chord based method while continuing with music fundamentals. Once a child can make a chord, he or she can play simple songs they have heard on CD’s and be encouraged to sing along with themselves.

Voice Lessons - With a 20-year career as a professional singer, Susie knows how good vocal techniques can help eliminate strain, balance the voice throughout the range, and produce the richest, fullest, most natural sound possible. Lessons cover the basics of proper vocal technique; breathing and support, warm-ups, expanding range, tone-placement and articulation, and strengthening pitch accuracy. Tapes are made of each lesson to be used for practicing at home. Recordings of song performances are often made as a teaching tool and for students' personal archives.

Guitar Lessons - Susie teaches first year guitar which emphasizes technique development, learning simple chords, strumming, finger picking, basic notation reading, tablature reading, rhythmic training, ear training, and basic music theory.

Songwriting - Susie has guided many children into the creative world of songwriting. Beginning with simple chord progressions, students practice making up melodic and rhythmic phrases to go with the chords, find some words that fit and they're on their way. Students of all ages love to create their own music and songs. (With-out fail, a student will practice his/her own material much more devoutly than anything else assigned.) New songwriters often have melodic and lyrical ideas but no harmony (chords) to go with them. Susie helps aspiring writers find the right chords, offers arrangement suggestions, and produces a song demo, helping clients manifest a quality finished product.


Claims to Fame

  • Won first prize in a milk drinking contest at the Petaluma State Fair.
  • Won "Most Important Choir Member" award two years in a row in Junior High School.
  • Streaked a Tower of Power set at the Oakland Coliseum at the age of fifteen.
  • Got thrown out of a Seventh Day Adventist Boarding Academy for allegedly practicing witchcraft.
  • Met Michael Jackson's chimpanzee, "Bubbles".
  • Was bitten by Sheila E.'s dog.
  • Played the Category Game with David Bowie (who tried to cheat!)
  • Kayaked in the Bay of Fundy.
  • Adopted a baby pigeon found in an Atlanta garbage heap and took it on the Purple Rain tour (it loved the free rides on Prince's chartered plane.)
  • Got all four Ramones' autographs on a $1 food stamp.
  • Auditioned for (but was not hired by) Cher.
Susie Davis

Testimonials

Dr. Mike Harris (parent):

“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”.

Ann Siembieda (parent):

“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.”

Leah Whippy (age 11):

“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!”

Makaela Susnow (age 17):

“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.”

Listen and Download

Original Music:



Vagabond Girl - S. Davis C 2005.



Bring the Wagon Round - S. Davis C 2005



Opium King - S. Davis C 1998



Manic Depression - J Hendrix [ala Leon Russell]

Client testimonial one
Client testimonial two

Photo Gallery


Rock Star Photographs:

with Mick Jagger
Attack of the Mighty Mick
with Mick Jagger
I think he was hungry...
with Mick Jagger
Attack of the Mighty Mick continued
with Mick Jagger
With Van Morrison - The God Tour
with Shelia E 1985
Sheila E. 1985
with Mick Jagger
Daryl Hall Solo Tour - Japan
with Prince
Dancin' with Prince "Baby I'm a Star"
with Mick Jagger
Melissa Etheridge on the Tonight Show
Susie Davis with Billy Idol
Billy Idol - US Tour
With Debbie Harry
Getting ready for the chiropractor - Debbie Harry
Susie, Neil Geraldo, Nanny Pat Benatar
L to R - Susie, Neil Geraldo, Nanny Pat Benatar and baby daughter
With Sinead Oconnor
Sinead OConner - Saturday Night Live
With Tracy Chapman
Groovin' with Tracy Chapman
with Mick Jagger
Melissa Etheridge on the Tonight Show

Photo Archive


Historic Photographs:

Vita Rationale
Vita Rationale 1077
Screaming Tigers
Screaming Tigers 1979
KTIM
Susie the DJ at KTIM 1983
Broadway
Broadway 1983
Broadway
Broadway 1983-84
Greg Kihn
Greg Kihn video "Reunited" 1984
BooBoo Fine Jelly
Boo Boo Fine Jelly 1992
Hillary Jones, Gia Ciambotti, Lynne Davis, Lauren Ellis, Susie
The Scarlettes
The Scarletts 1993