Gladstone Songwriting Lessons

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Check out some of our most popular teachers near Gladstone including Happy Valley, Lake Oswego, Clackamas, West Linn and Marylhurst.

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Benjamin Z.

Portland, OR

Song-writing/composition lessons that focus on your specific needs.

About Benjamin

Benjamin Z. began his musical journey when he was 9 with classical piano lessons in Chicago. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree (Piano; Jazz Emphasis) at Portland State University in 2011. Benjamin has studied and performed straight ahead Jazz, Western Classical, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Funk, Experimental and electronic genres. He has composed and arranged for many types of ensembles including jazz vocal groups, jazz chamber groups (trios, quartets, etc), vocal ensembles and Big-bands.

Benjamin has experience working with students ranging from preschool to senior citizens in all skill lev
els. He has worked with adult group-piano classes at the collegiate level, coaching elementary students in after school music programs, group children'™s classes, and individual instruction. Benjamin welcomes students of all ages, styles, and skill levels.

*** Lesson Details ***
"As a teacher I offer a great deal of knowledge in many styles of music as well as a genuine motivation to impart the love I have for music performance. My journey through music has blessed me with experience in western classical, jazz, blues, and popular styles; all of which allows me to instruct students in whatever their musical goals may be. The lessons are always rooted in observing excellent pianistic technique and fundamental musicianship (ear training, reading music notation, etc). Finally, my students know me to be a patient instructor that consistently works to teach the material in a way that is accessible and relevant to the student's goals."

*** Travel Equipment ***

The student should have a notebook to record our lessons in, a piano/keyboard to play and receive instruction on, and what ever music material I have assigned (course work, lesson book, etc). The keyboard should be 88-key and weighted. If the student is very young then it is not critical that the keyboard have weighted keys but it is still preferable.

*** Specialties ***

Voice and Piano

Instrumental and Vocal technique.

Jazz Repertoire: Standards, Comping, Improvisational studies

Western Classical Music. I have studied many classical styles: baroque, classical, romantic, and modern classical music.

Music Theory: Conservatory, Popular, and Jazz Styles.

Ethnic Musics: Several native musics from the far and middle east (Maqqam, Indian Hindustani, Japanese folk musics)
...

Reviews

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Eliana K. June 16, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Gentle yet firm and directive in his ability and approach to teach the young.
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Eliana K. June 16, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Gentle yet firm and directive in his ability and approach to teach the young.
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Samuel K. May 1, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Getting up and singing in front of someone for the first time is intimidating. For some reason, we think of singing as something we should already know how to do. Every singing instructor's first challenge is to get their new pupil to sing. Benjamin passed that with flying colors. He cracked jokes, and sang silly songs to me before ever asking me to sing. Eventually, I gave it a shot.

That first lesson took place about two months ago, and since then my singing has gone from off-key and unbearable to pretty ok. Today I received my first impromptu complement on my singing. It was a big deal. Anyone who has ever experienced real stage fright knows that this is a big deal. And if I hadn't started learning from Benjamin, it wouldn't have happened. I do not think anyone else could have actually gotten me to sing. And if anyone else had, I'm not sure they'd have known what to do with me. Run screaming, maybe. Benjamin didn't do that, however. He gave me vocal exercises, and tips not only for practicing, but for practicing in a way that would not harm my vocal chords. He assed my vocal range, gave me warmup exercises, and a few bits of repertoire to start working on. It's working wonders. The difference between my singing a month ago and my singing today is palpable (I checked my recordings, so I can prove it!).

If you're a little nervous about starting singing, this man is your man. He'll set you at ease, and in no time you'll be able to sing.
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Benjamin Z.

Benjamin Z.

Portland, OR 97215
(6)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Chuck M.

Portland, OR

About Chuck

Chuck recently moved to Portland, Oregon from Gainesville, Florida, where he was a staple of the music teaching and performing community for more than 25 years. Originally from Chicago, Chuck completed his BA in Music History and Masters of Music (MM) at the University of Florida. Chuck became obsessed with The Beatles when he began piano lessons at age 12. His first attempt at composing was actually improvising melodies over the ending chords to "Hey Jude". Along with playing Beatles tunes Chuck learned classic standards from a set of Reader's Digest Songbooks inherited from his grandmot
her.

Chuck has performed with classic rock, top 40, funk, R&B, and jazz groups, and has served as an opening act for Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and legendary Texas bluesman Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. As a soloist he's played classical music, blues, jazz, and original compositions. Before devoting himself to music full time, he worked for 8 years as a radio announcer on WUFT-FM Gainesville hosting shows such as "Nothing but the Blues", "Montage" (acoustic jazz), and "Musica Antiqua" (Renaissance and Medieval).

Chuck has taught students of all ages and skill levels in piano, guitar, organ, flute, digital keyboards, recorder, and ukulele. He's also a multi-faceted composer whose instrumental pieces are infused with elements of classical, blues, and jazz styles.

Chuck's teaching philosophy: "In my 25 years of teaching I’ve found that everyone learns in different ways and at different rates of progress, so each of my students is treated as a unique individual. I try to get to know my students in the first few lessons so I can be more sensitive to their personalities. This helps me choose the best teaching approach for them. From the very first lesson I create a relaxed setting so students feel no apprehension, especially when trying something new. This allows them to feel free to take chances and experience playing music as something enjoyable, not a life or death situation! The biggest measure of my effectiveness as a teacher is when my students embrace new challenges and the opportunity to improve".

*** Lesson Details ***
My primary goal as a teacher is to present musical material in a way that keeps students excited about what they are learning. Even with absolute beginners, I will have a student playing actual songs that they are interested in as quickly as possible. Along with way I include fundamentals such as scales, strength-building exercises, rudiments of theory, and ear training. Some of the method books I use include the Alfred and Faber and Faber series, and Hanon's The Virtuoso Pianist, among many others. These materials are always supplemented with arrangements and transcriptions of popular songs and classical pieces, along with original exercises designed to teach specific styles and techniques. I also use interactive music websites to introduce students to concepts of music theory. The styles that I cover include classical, rock, jazz, and blues. As students progress in their creativity, I also introduce them to composition and improvisation.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Kawai K50 upright piano, music playback devices, Hammond C3 organ, multiple keyboards/synthesizers, acoustic and electric guitars, amplifiers, computer recording equipment; parents are encouraged to sit in on lessons.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I don't provide any specific equipment. Piano students should have either a well-tuned piano or full-sized weighted-key digital keyboard (Casio Privia, for example). Guitar students should have a well set up electric or acoustic guitar and an amplifier (for an electric guitar).

*** Specialties ***
I teach students of all ages and skill levels. The styles that I cover include classical, rock, jazz, and blues. I also teacher recording techniques using computer software including Ableton Live, Reason, and Pro Tools.
...

Reviews

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JIA Z. February 12, 2014
Piano
Verified Student
Mr. Michaelson is the best teacher I've met at Portland.

I do appreciate Chuck for his professional piano lessons and kind. My son enjoyed his lessons sooooooo much and, loves piano more from then on. He is really a great musician and responsible teacher I've ever met at Portland. His patience and style of teaching are sunshine to my son's piano life.
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lulu M. November 5, 2013
Ukulele
Verified Student
Great music teacher!

I've been taking ukulele lessons with Chuck for over a year now. I am always impressed with his musical knowledge and appreciate the way he goes beyond the songs and also teachers me musical notation, chord progressions, and more. My lessons are always fun, with just the right amount of challenge to keep my skill development moving forward. Thanks, Chuck!
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Heather B. April 29, 2013
Guitar
Verified Student
skilled teacher

My teen has been taking lessons from Chuck for many months and has learned a lot from him. He is knowledgeable and skilled in guitar, always on time and willing to be understanding with our schedule conflicts. His studio is very attractive and professional, very comfortable and nice location. He is patient and obviously enjoys what he does! thanks Chuck!
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Chuck M.

Chuck M.

Portland, OR 97212
(8)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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David H.

Portland, OR

About David

I've studied music at Portland State University, and am well dug into the Portland music scene. I teach you how to turn basic chords and strumming patterns into your own musical ideas, as well as learning your favorite songs. I have experience teaching students how to play most any song in front of family and friends, or with others. Students will get real music theory training as well as advanced guitar techniques. I usually teach students to sing and play the songs in order to help students work on melody and chord structure at the same time.

*** Lesson Details ***
I'm pretty laid back,
but I definitely know the value of hard work. We just keep working it until we get it right. We work until we're happy with it. We use handouts as well as books tailored to your learning style.

*** Travel Equipment ***
instrument, notebook, somewhat quiet and clean place

*** Specialties ***
All singer /songwriter tools taught. From practicing, to writing, to performance..
...

Reviews

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EdwinM June 29, 2012
Learning to play guitar has been fun

Dave is teaching me to play guitar at quick pace without making the process overwhelming. He is very patient and positive. Never thought I would be playing and singing in only a couple weeks.
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ReneeM February 13, 2011
mother of student

david is great! we really like his style of teaching, savannah enjoys class with him. He's very encouraging and knowledgeable.. great instructor!
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LeeB January 20, 2011
Good instructor overall, patient, however didn't suit the style I'm attempting to learn and was disappointed this wasn't mentioned prior to my first lesson.
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David H.

David H.

Portland, OR 97215
(6)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Chad M.

Portland, OR

About Chad

I am 38 years old, and have been a musician for over 25 years. I began, like many, playing in my middle school band. I attended a Performing Arts School throughout my high school years, where I studied Classical and Jazz Guitar, Music Theory, Ear Training, and many other facets of music. I also studied privately with various guitar instructors, most notable Kyle Hildenbrand, a Berklee grad and film scorer for Universal Studios. In college I also took education and psychology classes which have proven very helpful in my approach to teaching.
I have performed in many ensembles and bands, playin
g both cover songs and writing original music. Blues, country, hard-rock, and even a jazz quartet. Currently I write for and perform in a folk - rock trio.
Playing in so many different circumstances, has been very beneficial working as a teacher. My students are all very different, not only in the way that they learn but also in the style of music they wish to play. I take pride in being able to adapt to each student, teaching them with the most appropriate method.

*** Lesson Details ***
In my lessons, I like to teach the fundamentals of music through the style that the student is most interested in. We learn to read standard notation as well as tablature, for guitarists. My curriculum varies from student to student, choosing the most appropriate for the individual. I also emphasize the importance of creativity and self-expression, teaching students how to write and improvise.
After 6 months, a student can expect to be able to read music and tablature, know a wide variety of chords and scales, have the ability to improvise solos, and be able to play songs they enjoy to listen to.

*** Studio Equipment **

*** Travel Equipment ***
I would provide my instrument, tuner, books, and would expect the student to have their own instrument, a quiet place to have the lesson, and the material we are studying.

*** Specialties ***
I generally begin guitar students with the Hal Leonard books, and continue based on the students personal goals and interests.
...

Reviews

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Laura G. February 5, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Chad is very patient and complementary during lessons!
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Rudy Y. January 29, 2013
Verified Student
Patient and adaptable

I have only taken three lessons so far but I am excited about what I am learning and will continue taking more. I've been playing guitar for about 11 years and it feels good to finally be learning the things I failed to teach myself.

Chad is very patient and is willing to modify the lessons to focus on what's important to you as a student. The sessions are engaging and practical.

Recommended.
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Chad M.

Chad M.

Portland, OR 97213
(2)
starting at
$32 / 30-min
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Nicole A.

Portland, OR

With a songwriting lesson, we would have to incorporate a little singing and possibly a little theory. But this lesson would be geared towards expression and poetry within the students music.

About Nicole

Nicole received her training at Portland State in 2014 where she received a degree in music education. There, she learned the basics of many different instruments, sang in choir, focused on classical voice, developed classroom management, and trained in the Kolday method. Nicole's teaching style is compassionate, energetic, and fun.
She believes that all children and adults have the capacity to play instruments, dance, move, and sing with the natural abilities that are inside all of us. Nicole brings this mentality into her lessons by adapting to the individual. Whether they learn aurally,
kinesthetically, visually, or other, she will personalize her teaching methods to better reach the students.
Her main objective is to foster an environment that promotes a life long love and appreciation for music. Currently, Nicole has many private students, teaches adult classes, as well as kindergarten at a daycare facility. Voice,choir, piano, and beginning guitar are her preferred lesson.
...

Reviews

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Therese Y. March 16, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
My first lesson with Nicole was amazing. She is amazing! I am excited and can't wait to our next sessions together. I learned so much in one lesson. She is a talented teacher. So glad I found her. Yea, Nicole!!
Silhouette-80
Joy G. March 2, 2015
Singing · In home
Verified Student
Nicole provides singing lessons for my daughter who can tend to be bashful at times. Nicole works with her with lots of patience and give her the confidence she needs to really enjoy her lessons.
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Nicole A.

Nicole A.

Portland, OR 97219
(2)
starting at
$22.50 / 30-min

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Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, check out the Songwriting articles on our blog.

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Songwriting Tips | The Wisdom of a One-Of-Kind Song Title
What's in a name? If you're looking for songwriting tips as you pen your next tune, check out this advice from Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   There is not one "right" or preferred way to write a song. It's a very individual choice. Some songwriters start out with a patch of melody or a line or two of lyric as their creative catalyst. Others will initiate the songwriting muse with a unique and instantly-captivating song title or writing from their emotions. And in this ever-cr
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