Happy Valley Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers Near Happy Valley

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Happy Valley including Clackamas, Gresham, Gladstone, Damascus 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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Matt Hockman October 22, 2015
Music Performance · In studio
Verified Student
My son is a senior in high school and was wanting badly to make the All State Choir this year. Ben taught my son how to play the basics on the piano which helped him learn piano and that helped with his voice becoming more in tune. We found out today my son made the All State Choir! Thank you Ben for teaching and helping my son how to understand the music!!! Now he is trying to write songs as well.
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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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Benjamin Z.

Benjamin Z.

Portland, OR 97215
(7)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Ed P.

Gresham, OR

About Ed

I have been playing guitar, singing, writing songs and making music for 30+ years. I am not ashamed to say that I am still learning! I have played in dozens of bands in a variety of styles all over the world. I bring a lot of real world experience to the table and can help you prepare to bring your voice and your music to the world. I am fluent in rock, folk, blues, fingerstyle, electric or acoustic, country, bluegrass, jazz and am comfortable working with people of all ages, ideas, backgrounds, cultures, etc.

No matter if you are brand new to the instrument or have been playing for som
e time, I am sure I can help point you in the direction that you want to go so you can make the music you want to hear coming from your fingers!

*** Lesson Details ***
I trick people into learning the fundamentals while they think they are just learning things they like. I always ask students what they are listening to and what they want to learn, after all, it's their lesson. But I always come back around to emphasizing how and why things work and how a student can use the lesson to learn on their own. Students should expect to be very hands on, to bring lots of questions, to expect a lot, to work hard and have some fun in the process. While it's not rocket science, its music and music is fun but it is also a vast wild wilderness. I want you to be able to play your heart out but also have a good idea of musical knowledge that can help you grow way beyond. I also incorporate various ideas to further learning as appropriate to what you are trying to accomplish including recording, video and use of backing tracks, as just a couple examples.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have a variety of gear as needed to complement the lesson, the student should provide their own instrument. If you need help picking one out, I can do that. Getting the right instrument that you are comfortable with is important. There are lots of options out there and instruments have never been more affordable.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide all my own equipment, student should have at least a guitar

*** Specialties ***
I usually use a system based on my assessment of the student's goals and current ability. With the guitar, that will usually include reference to CAGED and some music theory although I don't usually call it that.
...

Reviews

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Dawn M. February 12, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
My son Joshua has been taking lessons from Ed for a year and a half now and I can see a lot of progress in his playing. He is learning a lot but he makes it fun and interesting for him. I would highly recommend Ed.
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Dawn M. June 7, 2014
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
My son has has been taking lessons from Ed for about 9 months now. He is a great teacher. He is very patient and really tries to make it fun and keep up his interest.
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Ed P.

Ed P.

Gresham, OR 97080
(2)
starting at
$33 / 30-min
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Chuck M.

Portland, OR

Styles covered include pop, rock, R&B, country, and jazz. Basic skills on piano or guitar are recommended.

About Chuck

Chuck moved to Portland, Oregon from Gainesville, Florida, where he was a prominent member 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 grandmo
ther.

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 the 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
$35 / 30-min
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Peter M.

Portland, OR

Whether you're interested in writing pop songs with basic chords or intricate pieces full of advanced techniques, learning the fundamentals of good songwriting will keep your writing focused and effective.

About Peter

I knew I wanted to be a professional guitar player from the first time I picked up an electric guitar over 16 years ago. I started taking private lessons as soon as I got my first guitar, and without the crucial guidance and encouragement I received early on I certainly would not be the guitarist I am today, and that old guitar might even be collecting dust in a closet somewhere. Since I began teaching 8 years ago my goal has been to provide that same encouragement to beginning students and to help them realize that no matter what their ambitions are, they can be achieved with enough practice
and they can have fun along the way!

When I started high school I realized there was a lot more to playing guitar than the hard rock and blues songs I had been learning up until then, so I enrolled in a music theory class, joined my school's jazz band and began taking classical guitar lessons at the University of Wyoming. After high school I accepted academic and music scholarships to attend the University of Oregon where I majored in Jazz Studies, and I graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music degree with an emphasis on jazz arranging. While at UO I performed in student combos and my own rock band Just People as well as the award winning Oregon Jazz Ensemble. I also had the opportunity to perform with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra and play several shows with Grammy-Award winning country artist Lynn Anderson.

This diverse experience allows me to help my students improve their technique and gain a deeper understanding of the guitar, regardless of the style(s) of music they are passionate about. I firmly believe that anyone can learn to play guitar and that lessons should be fun, whether your goal is to be able to sing your favorite song and strum a few chords or start your own band and take over the world!

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe that lessons are most effective when they relate to your life and the music you love. I've talked to countless people who have told me "I used to play violin..." or "I played piano when I was younger...", and every time I ask them why they stopped I get a variation on the same answer: "I just didn't feel like practicing." My goal is for every student to look forward to their practice time, and to prevent it from falling into the 'chores' category next to taking out the trash and washing the dishes.

In order to make learning fun we'll start by learning songs that are meaningful to YOU. After becoming familiar with the basics like chords and strumming patterns, we'll dig a little deeper and look at the structure of the song and the fundamentals of music theory that went into composing it. After learning a few songs this way you'll gain not just a larger vocabulary of chords and rhythms, but also the tools to start writing your own music. From there we can develop a more concrete lesson plan based on your individual goals as a musician, whether you're interested in songwriting, improvising, advanced techniques or music theory.

In addition to practicing the material covered in each week's lesson I'll often give students small homework assignments, which can range from finding a musical example of a topic we're learning to writing their own chord progressions. I'm very relaxed and easy-going, but I expect students to come to each lesson prepared to work on new material after a quick review of the previous week's lesson.

After a few months of lessons each student will be able to comfortably play several songs from beginning to end, play basic major and minor scales, discuss the basic structural elements of songwriting (verse, chorus, etc) and tell all of their friends how much fun they're having learning to play guitar!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Dedicated teaching studio w/ guitars and amps. There is no waiting area for parents but they are welcome to sit in on lessons. Lots of street parking.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide a laptop, lesson-related handouts and staff paper. I expect the student to have their own instrument and basic equipment (picks, spare strings, etc)

*** Specialties ***
My college degree is in Jazz Studies with an emphasis on arranging, I specialize in teaching jazz guitar as well as classic rock, hard rock, fingerstyle acoustic and blues.
...

Reviews

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Elizabeth January 19, 2016
Guitar · In home
Peter arrived right on time for his first lesson with my daughter and husband, who have decided to learn guitar together. He put them immediately at ease and got started with the basics. They have been learning their first cords and are getting used to playing, and they sound great! We are very excited to continue!
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Tim January 6, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
I enjoy working with Peter his methodology is great and I left my first lesson with some clear objectives to work on for my next lesson.
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skip October 12, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Positive, up-beat and knowledgeable. Since I was in Portland on a vacation this was an out of the box lesson which Peter handled graciously to accommodate.
The two and a half hours flew by and sadly it was time to leave. I have been playing the guitar on and off for 40 yrs. and had many teachers along the way.
I would consider Peter to be the best well rounded instructor I have had.

Thanks
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Peter M.

Peter M.

Portland, OR 97217
(5)
starting at
$22 / 30-min
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Kelly P.

Portland, OR

I have worked with some of the most critically acclaimed and respected songwriters of our time (including David Byrne, Chris Martin, Weird Al Yankovic, Zach Condon, Annie Clark and others) in addition to my own songwriting (Bright Moments).

About Kelly

After graduating from the University of Kentucky with a degree in music, I moved to New York where I lived for 11 years. I have been a professional multi-instrumentalist since then and a member of many bands including Beirut and Arcade Fire. I have also performed and/or recorded with many others including David Byrne, Passion Pit, Coldplay, and LCD Sound system. I have performed in dozens of countries, at some of the world's biggest festivals (Bonnaroo, Coachella, Glastonbury), and on many television shows (Colbert, Letterman, Fallon).

I have experience in playing and teaching many differen
t styles and can teach you what YOU want to learn. Playing music can be a very rewarding experience, but should also be fun. I can promise you will have fun in our lessons and have fun with music in general.

*** Lesson Details ***
We will focus first and foremost on what you would like to learn on your instrument, whether it be specific songs, styles, or a more general approach to your instrument or music-making. I have taught students of all ages on many different instruments and can work with anyone at any skill level.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Trumpet, flugelhorn, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, flute, clarinet, saxophone, drum kit, keyboards, piano, organ, guitar, bass, ukelele, accordion, mandolin, various synthesizers, various percussion, and recording rig.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can bring any portable instrument, and any sheet music required for our lesson.

*** Specialties ***
For brass I am a strong proponent of the Carmine Caruso method. As for genres I am most well versed in jazz, rock, and classical.
...

Reviews

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Jesse K. January 19, 2016
Trumpet · In home
Verified Student
Kelly was very positive and reinforced great performance and gently corrected and looked for areas of improvement
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Em November 16, 2015
Trombone · In home
Verified Student
Great first lesson!
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James D. September 1, 2015
Trumpet · In studio
Verified Student
Kelly has a great teaching technique - really knows how to engage my son (13) and keeps him excited about coming back.
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Kelly P.

Kelly P.

Portland, OR 97214
(7)
starting at
$40 / 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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How To Write a Song Today: 4 Easy Steps
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