Happy Valley Music Theory Lessons

Looking for private in-home or in-studio Music Theory lessons? Our Happy Valley teachers are ready to get you started. Find your teacher today!

Featured On

Why TakeLessons?

Our teachers have taught

2 , 0 0 6 , 9 4 8

lessons and counting!

Popular Music Theory Teachers near Happy Valley

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Happy Valley including Gresham, Clackamas, Damascus, Gladstone and Marylhurst.

Showing 5 of 22 results View More

About Susan L.

Close
Profile_64750_pi_Sexy%20close%20up
Portland, OR

View Full Profile

I have been teaching music theory for about 20 years. This can be a gateway to arranging, composition and improv plus improving sight-reading skills. I use the many excellent materials from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music. Students can earn certificates of completion from grade 1 to grade 8. Several practice tests are available to ensure success if a student chooses to participate in the music theory exams.

I customize my teaching to the goals of my students. I can be fun and laid back or very strict and rigorous. I use various methods designed for the goals of my students. I provide performance opportunities through out the year so they can share the joy of music and accomplishment with their friends and family.

About Susan
Hi, my name is Sue L. I perform professionally with Cascade Chamber Orchestra (classical) and Mango Nights (World Music and Jazz). I've been teaching all strings and piano for about 20 years. In the first few lessons students learn how to get get big, beautiful tone by learning various bowing techniques that are easy to learn with a little daily practice.

Then I teach how to read music and play songs in a variety of styles: Gypsy, classical, bluegrass, contemporary classical, rock and more. The album I use for this is a beginning book called VIP Strings composed by my mentor Dr. Lyons. T
he book comes with a play along piano accompaniment CD that makes practicing fun! Along with this I teach music fundamentals like scales, music theory and ear training.

For more serious students, I use materials from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and prepare them for one to two exams a year. The exams test playing abilities on 3 songs plus scales, arpeggios, ear training and music theory. Students that pass get a beautiful certificate for each level, grades 1 to 8.

I earned my music degree from Portland State University in 2006, graduating with honors. In 1996 I won two Medals of Distinction for violin performance and music theory and then in 2001 I received a Merit Award from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, London, England for viola performance. I've been blessed to be able to perform in a variety of ensembles and genres such as musical theater pit orchestras, string quartets, the Vancouver Symphony, and rock, jazz, tango, Middle Eastern and blue grass/folk bands.

My biggest thrill is to be able to transmit culture to the younger generation through music.

*** Lesson Details ***
I offer the following for my violin, viola, cello, bass and piano students. Most of all, it is the joy of music making that I want to share with my students.

Private and group lessons
Two recitals a year
Special performance opportunities throughout the year
Classical, jazz, fiddle, rock, tango, sacred, Celtic, folk
Music theory
Customized lesson plans using various methods old and new

I endeavor to provide a fun, non intimidating environment for students while motivating them to achieve their highest potential by providing many performance opportunities throughout the year. Some of my students have appeared as special guests with my band, Mango Nights.

Included with weekly private lessons are once a month group lessons where students can learn essential ensemble skills and have fun meeting other students.

Beginning students learn several simple songs that teach great tone and rhythm using classical, folk, blues, rock, ragtime, bluegrass. Students learn concepts such as syncopation, rhythm, note reading, articulations, dynamics, asymmetrical time meters and and more. Each book comes with a CD with piano accompaniment which makes practicing at home enjoyable.

Students are gradually introduced to scales, arpeggios, music theory, ear training and sight reading. All this works together to produce "the complete musician". The complete musician is a person who has excellent rhythm, pitch, note reading skills and creativity, a person who can enjoy and appreciate music in it's various forms over a lifetime whether it be for personal enjoyment or as a career.

For more serious students who have the goal of auditioning for university scholarships, top youth orchestras or becoming a professional musician, an accelerated intensive course is available in partnership with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. In this program, the student is prepared for a once a year rigorous exam requiring the playing of select pieces, scales and arpeggios, sight reading and ear training. The candidate performs for the visiting Associated Board Examiner from London England and is graded on a point system. Upon passing the student receives a beautiful certificate and additional awards for high scores. Once a year at a separate time, a written exam for music theory is taken. The exams are graded 1 to 8 and can be classical or jazz depending on the candidate's choice.

*** Studio Equipment ***
electric piano, separate room for lessons, off street parking,
Convenient close in location

*** Travel Equipment ***
Small amp, Mac laptop and metronome.

*** Specialties ***
I teach many styles and genres such as Classical, Folk, Bluegrass, Celtic, Rock, Jazz, Tango and Middle Eastern.

Ensemble playing with other students.

Professional opportunities playing for weddings and other events.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Sofia April 28, 2017
· Upright Bass · In studio
Sue was fantastic and had just the right balance of instructions, stories, demonstration, and playing. She made the lesson fun and productive!
Thumb_88233_pi_20150312_134510
Leah March 25, 2016
· Cello · In studio
She was very helpful and knowledgeable. She also knows different styles of music beyond classical. I am an adult student and I felt right at home with her.
Silhouette-80
Hue L. February 28, 2016
· Violin · In studio
Ms. Susan is very experienced, fun and flexible. Highly recommend her.
View More
View Profile
Susan L.

Susan L.

Portland, OR 97230
(8)
starting at
$37.50 / 30-min

About Michael R.

Close
348084_lvwjt6d4kr9dqxcm4fj3
Oregon City, OR

View Full Profile

Jazz theory and improvisation

About Michael
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 Jazz Performance.
Many describe Michael as genuine and passionate. He has a youthful, energetic teachi
ng style that works well with most students. Michael’s creativity and patience allow him to help his students grasp tough concepts and improve at a faster rate than they would on their own.
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. Lessons are customized to meet the student’s goals and learning style.
Michael ensures that every student will have the skills to be a complete musician that is comfortable in any musical genre or setting. He enjoys working with students of all abilities. Michael relates to the absolute beginner and experienced musician equally.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Torrey May 22, 2017
· Saxophone · In studio
Enthusiastic, energetic, and all around fun to learn with! Michael instantly made me feel welcome and excited to get better with his help. I'm looking forward to our next lesson immensely.
Silhouette-80
Sally W. March 19, 2017
· Saxophone · In home
This guy is the most enthusiastic, skillful, upbeat musician and teacher. We have had three lessons and already my son wants to turn 30 minute lessons into 45 minutes and I will happily do so. Thanks Michael for nurturing mu son's love of saxophone.
Silhouette-80
Ronnie G. February 12, 2017
· Saxophone · In home
Michael is quite special. He is taking this 57 year old who has never played an instrument nor read music and trying to work a miracle! Three lessons in, I know that this is going to be fun learning with him. I also know that I will be able to play the Saxophone soon. An inspiring teacher!!!
View More
View Profile
Michael R.

Michael R.

Portland, OR 97214
(18)
starting at
$27 / 30-min

About Chuck M.

Close
214778_177797_1307390255
Portland, OR

View Full Profile
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
Silhouette-80
Jasper W. April 21, 2017
· Ukulele · In studio
Great teacher. Patient and I could see my progress
418927_88y5ytpb5pfwl2vcg8wn
JIA Z. February 12, 2014
· Piano ·
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.
190184_418548_42186
lulu M. November 5, 2013
· Ukulele ·
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!
View More
View Profile
Chuck M.

Chuck M.

Portland, OR 97212
(9)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Suzan G.

Close
211019_257964_25788
Portland, OR

View Full Profile

Notation, chord theory, keys and modulations, applications for improvisation and composition.

About Suzan
I started learning piano as a child, but it was in high school that I realized I really wanted to pursue playing keyboards, because it allowed me a way to express myself. I was hooked. Later on I attended Mt. Hood Community College, played keyboards and sang in choirs and vocal jazz. After graduating on the President's List with an Associates Degree in Special Studies Music, I directed the college Gospel Ensemble for two years before working full-time at a large local church, where I was a Music Director, Worship Leader, and keyboard player. In addition to vocal and keyboard work, I enjoyed di
recting large and small choirs and ensembles, band directing, orchestra conducting, and arranging many styles of music. It is exciting to experience what can happen when people work together musically--the whole becomes even greater than the sum of the parts!

I've been teaching piano for 20+ years now, and I love partnering with students to help them grow musically and realize their dreams. Some of my students have gone on to be professionals or teachers, and some are playing the music they love with their friends. Others are playing in their churches or in bands, and some play simply for personal enjoyment.

If we get the opportunity to work together, you (or your child) will discover that I am patient and encouraging. My desire is to bring your musical goals into focus through education and creative participation.

What is your dream? Playing classical, rock, playing in a band, writing your own music? I'd love to help you realize that dream!

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe piano instruction should be fun and casual, yet challenging and inspiring. In our lessons, you'll learn proper technique, sight-reading, improvising, and the music theory behind it. I utilize popular piano methods and contribute additional resources, and I design lessons to help you reach your music goals, whether your dream is to play with others, write your own music, or play your favorites for personal enjoyment. You'll explore many music genres, from classical to rock to jazz, including a large dose of your preferred styles. If you play an electronic keyboard, we'll incorporate features of your instrument to increase your rhythm and song-writing skills. Aspiring songwriters can learn skills like chart writing and computer notation. You'll learn how technology--even your smart phone--can help!

The student is responsible to purchase required books--usually lesson and theory, and occasionally a recital book. These usually cost between 5 and 7 dollars each and can be purchased locally. Bring lined paper with you for your lesson notes. I'll supply staff paper, music and any additional lesson materials, as needed. I will encourage you to purchase a metronome (the musician's friend) if you do not have an instrument with rhythms or metronome.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I teach both at students' homes (on your instrument) or at my home, where I have a Yamaha CP70 electric grand piano. The lessons are in the front living room, where seating is available and parents are welcome to observe the lesson. I have a laptop with Sibelius Notation and YouTube at the ready, as well as a mic, mixer and speakers, should they be needed. There may even be a studio cat nearby to inspire you!

*** Travel Equipment ***
If lessons are at your home, it is important that you have a practice instrument, which we will use in our lessons. If you need to purchase a piano or are exploring the world of electronic keyboards, I can help you with the many choices available and recommend instruments in your price range. I can also help you become familiar with your keyboard and those features that will be useful to you.

*** Specialties ***
For individual lessons, I prefer using the Alfred Method (beginning through intermediate), and have also used the Bastien method, and some others. I teach both sight-reading and/or improvisational skills, along with musical theory, according to the student's needs and goals. I'm comfortable in multiple styles (classical, pop, rock, folk, some jazz and blues).
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Mei 's family October 4, 2016
· Piano · In studio
We like her!
Silhouette-80
Mei Chan October 4, 2016
· Piano · In studio
She's good!
Silhouette-80
Jennifer B. April 5, 2016
· Piano · In home
Suzan is the best!
View More
View Profile
Suzan G.

Suzan G.

Portland, OR 97236
(15)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Doug F.

Close
Profile_83100_pi_Dougsuitcopy
Portland, OR
View Full Profile
About Doug
Do you want to play your favorite songs without having to take the time to go through every little step of learning the instrument?

After teaching for 6 years and playing for over 10, I've learned that the traditional teaching method is not only overwhelming, but it's the main reason people end up quitting!

Going straight to playing songs that you love is a more exciting way to learn. And when you're truly enjoying every step of learning the guitar, your skills will accelerate rapidly.

I'll show you the shortcut to playing your favorite songs - with way less effort.

With properl
y set goals, I'll guide you through it in a way that keeps you entertained and excited to play.

You'll get better every time you play, instead of spending your time memorizing a bunch of stuff that "all musicians need to know".

_______________________________________________________________________

If you've already gotten this far, you probably have a pretty strong interest in learning guitar - and that's truly all you need to do play.

Being able to play music freely is beyond an amazing experience. Let's make sure the learning experience is just as great, so that you get there.
...
Reviews
Silhouette-80
Robert April 7, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
my first lesson ever. well done.
Silhouette-80
Olivia February 25, 2016
· Guitar · In home
My daughter loved it and thought the instructor was patient and laid back. She loved that he picked out some of her music to practice with.
Silhouette-80
bryan February 9, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
Great guy, awesome teacher and very good with kids as well. Highly recommend Doug if you are planning to learn an instrument.
View More
View Profile
Doug F.

Doug F.

Portland, OR 97215
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

How it Works

From finding the perfect teacher to managing payments, scheduling and tracking your progress, we take care of all the details, so you can focus on learning. Learn More

Search for a teacher

Compare hundreds of teachers based on the criteria that matter to you, including background checks, age and experience.

Schedule your lessons

When you've found the perfect match, schedule your lessons online using the teacher's real-time availability.

Connect with your teacher

Your teacher will welcome you with a personalized curriculum to meet your specific goals and you'll be able to manage your entire schedule through our free online account.

Can't find a teacher in Happy Valley?

No problem. Our online lesson platform connects you with any teacher, anywhere. All you need is a reliable Internet connection, a webcam and a microphone.

Convenient

Zero travel time is great for a busy schedule.

Affordable

Typically priced lower than local lessons.

Effective

Online students stick with lessons as long as local students.

Learn More

Get Started with Free Resources

Recent Music Theory Articles from the Blog

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

How to Prepare for Sight Reading at an Audition | 3 Helpful Tips

How to Prepare for Sight Reading at an Audition | 3 Helpful Tips

Nervous about the sight reading portion of an upcoming audition? Find out how to work sight reading practice into your routine in this guest post by Saddle Brook, NJ teacher Christian D...   “Be prepared to sight read.” That dreaded requirement on all auditions that makes us all nervous. But the fact is, you shouldn’t be! Sight reading is a learned skill, just like everything else in music. Think of it as sight reading a passage from a book in front of an audience. With so many … Read More

How to Prepare for Sight Reading at an Audition | 3 Helpful Tips
Nervous about the sight reading portion of an upcoming audition? Find out how to work sight reading practice into your routine in this guest post by Saddle Brook, NJ teacher Christian D...   “Be prepared to sight read.” That dreaded requirement on all auditions that makes us all nervous. But the fact is, you shouldn’t be! Sight reading is a learned skill, just like everything else in music. Think of it as sight reading a passage from a book in front of an audience. With so many
Why Learning Piano Theory is Important for All Musicians
Struggling to understand music theory? Try heading over to the piano -- seeing a visual representation can help a ton! Here, Lowell, IN teacher Blake C. shares how to get started...   Many musicians avoid learning music theory altogether because it can feel much like learning a foreign language; as a result, many musicians enlist in the anti-music theory organization. I will admit it – I was a member of the anti-music theory organization in my early years, declaring that music theory
All in Order: Tricks for Identifying Key Signatures
What are the "keys" to identifying different key signatures? Read on for some great tips from Tucson, AZ teacher Lourdes C... In reading music, there are a few things that give musicians the biggest headaches. One major migraine-maker is determining keys from the key signature and then remembering the order of sharps and flats. This chart gives musicians a quick way to help with identifying key signatures. Key Signatures at a Glance Major sharps: the name of the key can be fou
How to Transition from Classical Pianist to Jazz Pianist
Piano music doesn't have to be all classical, all the time! Here's what you need to know about getting started with jazz piano chord progressions, courtesy of St. Augustine, FL teacher Heather L...   Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock, and Duke Ellington are just a few of the great jazz piano players. What beautiful and fascinating sounds fill our ears when their names come to mind! The seemingly illusive progressions and spontaneous elements, like syncopation and improvisation, sound
Subdivision: The Easy Trick for Reading Rhythms Right
As you're learning to read music, you'll come across complex rhythms at some point. Here, Saint Augustine, FL music teacher Heather L. offers some helpful tips to help you get through the tricky parts...   Have you ever found yourself sitting in a big concert hall, or in your room, listening to a soloist play a practically perfect rhythm? Almost all of us have, and almost all of us have asked ourselves, "How do they do that?" Their secret is subdivision. You might be just begin

Are You a Teacher?

Find out how TakeLessons can help you grow and manage your business

Learn More