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Michael is a freelance musician based in the Portland metropolitan area. His diverse skill set allows him to perform in a variety of musical groups. Michael is hired regularly to perform for: jazz and cover bands, weddings, corporate events, musicals, and studio sessions. He also leads and writes music for his own band that performs regularly in the Portland metropolitan area. He attended Mount Hood Community College and Portland State University. Michael graduated with a B.S. in biology and minored in jazz studies.
Many describe Michael as genuine and passionate. He has a youthful, energetic teaching style that works well with most students. Michael’s creativity and patience have allowed him to be successful with teaching students with learning disabilities. He has no problem using “outside of the box” techniques to help explain a tough concept.
Michael’s practice philosophy is simple. Make practice enjoyable and efficient. He has experienced the common pitfall of practicing scales for many hours only to retain little or nothing. Michael shows his students techniques to focus, and get more done with less wasted time. He caters his lessons to maximize every student’s potential. Lessons are customized to meet the student’s goals and learning style. Michael ensures that every student will have the technique, theory, and musical knowledge to be a complete musician that is comfortable in any musical genre or setting.
Some of Michael’s specialties:
Tone production – Michael believes that the first thing anyone notices about your playing is how you sound. He provides exercises to put his students on the path to sounding as lyrical as possible.
Improvisation – Michael is comfortable in improvising in all styles including: funk, jazz, Latin, soul, hip-hop etc…. He believes improvising is one of the most natural things for a human to do and is essential for today’s musician.
Jazz theory – Michael is well versed in analyzing chords and music structure.
Audition/recital prep – Michael has participated in many solo competitions, honor bands, and auditions. He draws from these experiences to prepare his students to be relaxed and confident in these situations.
I'm a multi-instrumentalist from the Northwest with lots of love for teaching people to groove. I got my bachelors in music from Whitman College with an emphasis in Jazz Performance. I can teach anyone to rock, swing or get unreasonably funky. Lessons can be casual or serious and I'm down to tell you how to get to Carnegie Hall or onto the stage at the local jam.
*** Lesson Details ***
I like to teach my students what they want to learn! I'm always game for setting up a fun path to being able to play your favorite songs as fast as possible. I don't scold or shame and having a blast is the name of my game. I can teach you to improvise, read music, become a strummer or virtuoso, it's all up to you.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in the basement studio, piano, guitars, amps, hand drums, a bass, woodwinds, FULL DRUM SET!
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can travel with a sax, flute, guitar, electric bass, and a didgeridoo....
*** Specialties ***
I'm a jazz musician! But I listen to and perform all styles of music. I have written string quartets, been the front man for a funk band, and recorded every style of music under the sun. I can teach Bach and the Beatles and explain how/ and why they intersect and are similar musically.
Oregon Music Hall of Famer, BM Performance, University of Oregon School of Music, transcribing, arranging, and performing, has enjoyed working with Les McCann, Tito Puente Jr., The Temptations, Melcochita, Ramsey Embick, Mary Sue Tobin, Mel Brown, Damien Erskine, Patrick Lamb, Al Criado, Devin Sanders, David Valdez, Martin Zarzar, Rafael Trujillo, Bret Malmquist, David "Buzz" Graham, Dr. Freddy Vilches, Matises, Terri Kuechle, Bryce Peltier, Julia Schlippert, Cat�n Lyles, Belinda Underwood, Zenda Torrey, Brian Casey, Tom Kay, Dave Mills, Chris B. Azorr, Tim Clarke, Karen America, Dana Heitman, Randy Rollofson, Yasha Marcinkiewicz, Jackson Coffey, Hank Hirsh, Dan Gaynor, Scott Wardinsky, Jon Hughes, Bernardo Gomez, Marti Mendenhall, Shelly Rudolph, Bruce Cole, Art Resnick, Steve Smith, Mike Doolin, Olem Alves, Nelson Salazar, Rich Halley, Los Rumberos del Caribe, Donny Osborne, Mike Van Liew, Damien Erskine, Pilon D'Azucar and many local Portland artists.
"Steven is very professional and extremely helpful. He always has a smile on and is serious about helping you phrase the music. I would highly recommend him to anyone."
"It's been really exciting so far! Jordan has been so helpful, so knowledgeable. I could not have found a better instructor and I'm getting better and better every day."
"My daughter's wedding was weeks away and I had never been able to dance a step. With Jenny's help, I came further than ever before in such short time in any subject."