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 Gresham, Clackamas, Damascus, Gladstone 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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Jon L.

Portland, OR

Songwriting is the wider lens on making music. Should I have a riff here, or another chorus? Should I even follow a traditional song structure? Making sure the words and music work together to tell the story you want is the heart of songwriting.

About Jon

Out of all instruments, the sound of the violin is the closest to the human voice. Small wonder it is one of the oldest instruments still being played and it's tones can fit in to almost any style of music.

Learning the violin from me can include violin fundamentals such as bow use and finger placement, reading music notation, lead sheets, and playing by ear. All of these are skills that come into play at different times depending on what your goals are. A combination of these skills will give you a foundation of music knowledge that will serve you regardless of what style of music you w
ant to play. Specific styles I've worked with are: Classical, Irish, Bluegrass, Rock and Symphonic Metal.

In addition to playing violin, I write and arrange music. My song "The Burning Plain" won a national award for songwriting. If writing songs is your goal I can help you apply music theory concepts is ways that will make your songs stand out.

I tailor lessons to my students goals. I emphasize technique fundamentals, and help students apply the techniques they learn toward music they enjoy playing, or composing.
...

Reviews

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Jean June 30, 2015
Violin · In home
Jon is an excellent instructor who teaches music theory, technique in a fun way. He is very versatile in and knowledgeable about different music styles.
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Cassey B. June 14, 2015
Violin · In home
Verified Student
Jon is a great violin teacher! I wanted to pick the violin back up after nearly 20 years and he's helped me get back into the swing of things. He is enthusiastic and patient and keeps me motivated to practice. l feel I improve every week.

I highly recommend Jon to anyone who wants to get back into violin!
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Emily S. October 4, 2014
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Jon is a wonderful teacher! I have been playing violin all my life but never learned theory. I told Jon what I wanted to learn, and every week he has something prepared that helps me learn just what I want. He is patient and encouraging. When I bring something in that I want to work on, not on his lesson plan, we spend time on that too. I am very pleased with my lessons with Jon. And he's nice, fun, and friendly.
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Jon L.

Jon L.

Portland, OR 97225
(5)
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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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 14 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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Kelley G. August 4, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I have taken guitar lessons from Peter for a year and a half now, and I wholeheartedly recommend him to any child - or adult, like me - for the highest quality music lessons!

When I researched the TakeLessons website (and others), I looked for an instructor with a strong music background and saw that Peter had a degree in Jazz Studies and Composition from University of Oregon. He has been teaching for a number of years now, and can teach any style of music, including classical. He incorporates music theory into each lesson - very important if you want to learn how to play, improvise or write music. For those students who want to perform, Peter has lots of experience in that arena too, regularly touring with his band and teaming up with other musicians as well.

Peter's an enthusiastic teacher who takes his lessons seriously, and it is absolutely evident how much he loves music. He's exceedingly patient and supportive, and always gives plenty of positive feedback. He taught me how to practice properly, which doesn't mean playing a piece over and over, but rather breaking it down into sections - or even a measure or two - in order to perfect an awkward chord change or erratic rhythm. But perhaps most important is that he doesn't rush through the lesson; he makes certain you understand a technical point, or makes sure you're able to play a finger exercise correctly before he moves on to the next thing.

I've had numerous music instructors over the years in elementary, high school, college and beyond and Peter is without question one of the best teachers I've ever had. He's an incredible musician and a superb instructor. And a pretty terrific human being as well!
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david G. February 18, 2013
Guitar
Verified Student
fun lessons!

Peter's a good teacher, smiling in the face of terrible, broken chords! The lessons are really enjoyable. Peter picks a suitable selection of music where each new piece builds on the past progress. I would recommend him to anyone.
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Peter M.

Peter M.

Portland, OR 97217
(2)
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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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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Pat F. August 2, 2015
Trumpet · In studio
Verified Student
Very sharp player with lots of experience, and more importantly, a really solid teaching instinct for pushing me to improve without overwhelming. Would definitely recommend!
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Evan H. July 14, 2015
Saxophone · In home
Verified Student
Great first lesson!
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Kelly P.

Kelly P.

Portland, OR 97214
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

Students are raving about their Songwriting instructors on TakeLessons. Check out some of these recent reviews.

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

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