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Portland, OR Music Theory Lessons

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

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Popular Music Theory Teachers near Portland, OR

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Portland, OR including Happy Valley, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Gladstone and Marylhurst.

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About Geoff A.

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Hillsboro, OR

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The nuts and bolts of how and why music does what it does. We start from the very beginning, making no assumptions about what is already known, so that a solid foundation can be established. Once done, you can build anything, musically. It helps to know how to read music, play an instrument, and be able to transfer the lesson topics into the "real world" of application, using songs and exercises to illustrate the points.

About Geoff
I am a professional musician with a career spanning 40 years (touring and studio work), and 30 years teaching music.

What do you want to learn? How far you go is up to you!

*** Lesson Details ***
BEGINNING students start with the fundamentals, what you must know in order to begin playing songs, all the right ingredients to create a solid foundation. You will be encouraged to study and to venture into the unknown, using what you're learning as a springboard to discover new things.

INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED players will be assessed on knowledge and abilities; areas of struggle and what is desired to be learned. Within a couple weeks, you will reap the benefits with new ideas bubbling to the surface moving you closer to your goals, with emphasis that short term goals are important as well.

Everyone learns at a different pace. But
with patience and persistence, if you do the work, there will be results that can be measured, and you will achieve success!

*** Studio Equipment ***
I provide an amplifier for guitar and bass students, and have a piano for piano students.

*** Specialties ***
Having played many styles over the years, I am able to play in most of the popular forms. All music is based on the same fundamental things. It's how they are used that defines a given style.
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Reviews
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Ethan September 2, 2017
· Piano · In home
"It was kind of hard but fun!" My 9 year old left saying, "now I finally know how to learn how to play from sheet music!" Geoff is patient and knowledgeable.
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Joan R. May 10, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Geoff has been a wonderful teacher; knowledgeable, extremely patient and
always kind. I would highly recommend him.
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Isabella W. January 2, 2017
· Piano · In studio
My girls love Geoff! He is patient and positive approach to teaching piano. I like that he heard the lessons to their level and only advances them when they are ready.
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Geoff A.

Geoff A.

Hillsboro, OR 97124
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Michael R.

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Oregon City, OR

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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 teaching 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 enjo
yable 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.
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Reviews
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Lewis January 6, 2018
· Saxophone · In studio
Couldn't ask for a better instructor! If you're thinking of taking lessons, Michael is your guy.
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Adrien A. October 10, 2017
· Saxophone · In home
Michael makes my son’s lesson fun! Adrien looks forward to his lessons and enjoys them thoroughly.
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Liam August 22, 2017
· Saxophone · In home
He is a great teacher! He truly loves what he does, you can tell! This makes for a great experience for learning...
We can definitely recommend Michael!
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Michael R.

Michael R.

Portland, OR 97214
(24)
starting at
$28 / 30-min

About Erin W.

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Portland, OR

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Improve your musical knowledge whether you are completely new to reading music, or experienced and looking to hone your skills.

About Erin
I have a Master's in Vocal Performance from Portland State University, and over a decade of vocal training and performance experience.

I teach voice lessons to kids, teenagers, and adults, ranging in ability from beginner to experienced. I have helped the beginning students learn to match pitch and read notes on the staff. My voice students learn to sing with purer vowels, increased breath support, and to access greater vocal range.

I teach beginning piano to all ages. I teach students as young as 5 as long as they are able to stay focused for the duration of a half hour lesson. Most of my piano students are in the 7 -10 range, but I teach some beginning adults as well.

*** Lesson Details ***
Voice students will learn to improve their technique through proper breathing, correct vowels, space, and resonance. I teach repertoire ba
sed on the students' interest, but I am well versed in classical and operatic repertoire in English, French, German, and Italian, as well as some musical theatre and jazz. I also teach pop songs for those who are interested. I can help you improve your technique for whatever style of music you want to sing. For adults, I recommend an hour voice lesson. For kids, I recommend a half hour voice lesson, and half hour of piano if they are not already taking it.

Piano students will learn to read music, play with correct form, learn scales, and improve their musicianship skills. I teach out of lesson books (mostly Faber) to improve technique, but I want students to learn supplemental pieces that are fun for them as well. For piano beginners, I recommend 30 minutes. Once the student is a little more experienced, I like to have them for 45 minutes.

I hope to share with you the same joy I get from making music!

*** Studio Equipment ***
My studio at home has a piano, my music library, a large mirror for aiding the student in observing their vocal habits.

*** Travel Equipment ***
For in home lessons, students will need to have a keyboard or a piano in a space free of distractions. Students should have a neat, three ring binder to hold any loose sheet music. Piano students need a regular notebook to write lesson assignments.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in teaching classical art songs and musical theatre.
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Reviews
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Trinity K. November 16, 2017
· Singing · Online
I enjoyed how patient she was with me. She has an amazing voice!
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Paige C. November 7, 2017
· Piano · In studio
My granddaughter, Payge is the one taking piano
lessons. According to her, Erin is an excellent teacher.
She’s fun, easygoing and friendly. Payge loves her a lot.

Hazel
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Cheri R. May 2, 2017
· Broadway Singing · Online
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Erin W.

Erin W.

Portland, OR 97217
(12)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Ed P.

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Gresham, OR
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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 some 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 lear
ning 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.
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Reviews
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Matt W. January 18, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Matt is getting back his enthusiasm for guitar. thanks Ed
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Dawn M. February 12, 2015
· Guitar · In home
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
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
(3)
starting at
$33 / 30-min

About Jon L.

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Beaverton, OR
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Music Theory applies to improvising and composition at all levels. Including intervals, scales, arpeggios, harmony, and how we as musicians use them together to make great music.

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 want to play. Specific styles I've worked with are: Classical, Irish, Bluegrass, Rock and Symphonic Metal.

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

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.
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Reviews
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Mac November 20, 2017
· Violin · In studio
Had a great first lesson! Jon is kind, patient and very professional. Highly recommend!
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Zachary F. October 12, 2017
· Violin · In home
We had a bumpy start with Zachary's bus being very late, but Jon was very patient and they had a good lesson once Zack got home.
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Torie August 24, 2017
· Violin · In studio
Jon was patient and kind and Kitty was happy when she came out.
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Jon L.

Jon L.

Beaverton, OR 97007
(10)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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About Peter Q.

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Portland, OR

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Theory is integrated into every lesson in a non painful way.

About Peter
I'm a multi-instrumentalist from the Northwest with lots of love for teaching people to groove. I got my bachelor's degree 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.
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Debbie P. January 10, 2018
· Classical Piano · In home
Perfect. He matched his lesson beautifully with the music I like and how I am likely to learn quickly. Could not ask for better.
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Paul May 23, 2017
· ·
An excellent teacher. He is kind patient and imaginative
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Paul February 20, 2017
· ·
Versatile, skilled and patient
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Peter Q.

Peter Q.

Portland, OR 97211
(10)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Don C.

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Vancouver, WA

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About Don
Don brings over 36 years of teaching experience in Piano, Voice, and Guitar. His relaxed and humorous approach to music encourages students to embrace a love for the musical art.

With 2 American Idol finalists to his credit, along with numerous students who have gone on to professional careers in theater, television, and film. He also has 16 years experience as Musical Director for over 45 theatrical productions in Southern California, Oregon, and Washington.

He has received an award in Southern California for Outstanding Musical Direction in a theatrical production of "The King and I." He is currently the vocal coach for Magenta Theater and Musical Director for Metropolitan Performing Arts Academy, both in Vancouver, WA.

He has traveled the US with The Continental Singers, an international singing group, been a choral director
in churches and various performing groups. He has worked as a recording studio engineer, live sound engineer, and theater sound designer.

Don strives to bring out the best in each student. Whether a beginner, intermediate, or advanced student, Don will expand your musical horizon and styles to new levels.

*** Lesson Details ***
All that I request from a student is a desire to learn. I will work with you at your pace to achieve the musical goals you have. Each student begins at a different level.

The first lesson will focus on your musical background. If you are a beginner, that's no problem. I specialize in working with beginning students to teach them all the joy and satisfaction there is in mastering an instrument.

I love to laugh and the lessons are very laid back and fun, but I desire that a student move forward and learn new techniques.

You will be playing simple songs after your first lesson. I'm asked many times by students "how long will it take until I'm good." My answer is: that is in direct proportion to the amount of time you dedicate to practicing. After a month or two, you will know how to read music and have a basic understanding of music theory.

I use various curriculum depending on the student's need. For piano, I generally use Alfred Methods. For guitar, Hal Leonard or Mel Bay. For voice, the curriculum is individually tailored to the students level and goals.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in theatrical performance for actors/vocalists.
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Reviews
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Katheryne U. January 5, 2018
· Guitar · In studio
I've been a student of Don's for about a year now and I can say without a doubt he is the most patient and kind teacher I've had. My guitar skills have definitely improved and he is great at tailoring lessons and materials towards music I am actually interested it. I highly recommend him, especially for people new to guitar because of his awesome attitude :)
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Anthony September 26, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Don is very helpful and knowledgeable, these lessons are the highlight of my week!
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Will S. July 27, 2017
· Piano · In studio
The first lesson went well. Don seems to be very good with teaching kids. He makes learning piano fun.
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Don C.

Don C.

Vancouver, WA 98665
(11)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Bryan L.

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Portland, OR

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Time will be spent learning the science of music and applying it to playing music.

About Bryan
Bryan is a lifelong student trained in both Contemporary and Classical methodology. Bryan's extensive education paired with his passion for music make him the perfect teacher for any student. Bryan's love for music started at a young age. He began taking private guitar lessons at the age of 10 learning the basics. This knowledge has served as the basis for all of his musical training as it provided a strong backbone of fundamental skills to build upon. Graduating from the University of Oregon in 2005, he practiced and perfected the classical approach to music. Bryan's education continued at the Musicians Institute based in the music capital of the world, Los Angeles. Here he diversified his music skills with vigorous training in the contemporary study of music. This contrast allows Bryan to teach everything from Rock n' Roll to Beethoven!


Bryan Specializes in the guitar and Bass Guitar; however, he is proficient in piano and drums as well. His interests range from simply perfecting the art of guitar playing, to composing modern music for entire bands. Additionally, Bryan's expertise extends into the technological side of recording and producing music. Thorough knowledge of popular computer programs allows Bryan to complete almost any music related task.

Bryan has been teaching private lessons for the past 10 years.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am an incredibly patient teacher with only one goal in mind: help the student progress steadily! For this reason, every students lessons will be different. However, a typical lesson will aim to improve on 4 basic categories... Guitar technique and dexterity, Music Theory / Improvisation, Learning students favorite Songs, and Personal projects. Personal projects can range from writing songs, to recording songs, or to learning the basics of other instruments.

As a lifetime musician I have a very good idea of what works for most students. However, my goal is to be YOUR teacher, and I will focus on whatever it is that interests you the most!

*** Studio Equipment ***
My studio is made up of high quality equipment. It currently includes electric guitars, Acoustic guitars, BASS Guitars, baritone guitars, a piano, Mac computers and a Professional PA system. There is also a ton of peripheral equipment including amplifiers, effects pedals, a Drum machine and stereo equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can Provide Everything for Guitar players. I recommend an amplifier, tuner and a cable.

*** Specialties ***
I am particularly proficient in Rock Guitar and Music Theory. I specialize in songwriting as an application of Music Theory.
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Reviews
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Kyra &. November 30, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Both my kids loved Bryan and their first lesson. Off to a great start!
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Hadley H. September 23, 2017
· Guitar · In home
My grandaughter is very happy wth her first lesson and has been practising! Bryan motivated her!!! Thanks
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Devin H. December 5, 2013
· Guitar ·
I highly recommend Bryan

If you are looking for guitar lessons then Bryan is your guy. I have been taking lessons from him for 6 months now and had no experience prior. I have learned a lot from him and not just about playing a guitar but music in general. I highly recommend Bryan.
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Bryan L.

Bryan L.

Portland, OR 97223
(6)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Jordan V.

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Portland, OR
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I have an understanding of Basic theory as well as Jazz theory and can help with curriculum or build music theory knowledge from the ground up.

About Jordan
Hello,

I am a graduate of Michigan State university with a degree in jazz studies and math. I've been teaching formally and informally for the past 5 years in one on one settings and with groups and camps.

My approach is to work with the individual based on their specific musical and personal learning needs while also emphasizing the basics (feel, sound, tone, rhythm, technique) and integrating what the student is doing in their current music groups as well as what music they are personally interested in.

I have experience teaching, performing, writing, and arranging.
...
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Jordan V.

Jordan V.

Portland, OR 97201
starting at
$40 / 45-min

About Cary M.

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Portland, OR

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Hello! I specialize in teaching music theory in jazz! I can help you through your journey of understanding jazz harmony and it’s funcruons. Whether we are dealing with traditional jazz harmony mostly built from diatonic structures using entry level alterations or advanced harmony with full substitutions that even extend beyond functional harmony. Learning jazz theory with me is fun and exciting because we learn together and I help you grow as a musician and give you the tools you will need to succeed in the classroom or on the bandstand!

About Cary
Born in Fairfax, VA, bassist Cary Miga fostered a love for music and performance in Portland, OR. Attending David Douglas High School opened the doors for his performance in jazz band, choir, orchestra, and musical theater. Cary supplemented his jazz education by studying with Grammy award winning educator, composer, and trumpeter Dr. Thara Memory in the American Music Program. Pushed to pursue music as a full-time career, Cary studied with world-renowned musicians such as Darrell Grant, George Colligan, Alan Jones, Andre St. James, Tim Gilson, and Phil Baker. Upon graduating from Portland State University with a degree in Performance for Jazz Bass, Cary now performs in the vintage pop band Jacob Miller & the Bridge City Crooners which frequently travels for events such as the Seaside Jazz Festival, Coos Bay Jazz Festival, Treefort Music
Festival, Doe Bay Music festival, and Folklife Music Festival. While in his hometown, Cary freelances throughout the city at venues such as Raven & Rose, Solaes Lounge, Hotel Vintage, Laurelthirst Pub, and Secret Society.
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Reviews
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Soham December 12, 2017
· Upright Bass · Online
Cary is an awesome some teacher! I'm in my 60's and started learning the bass, something I've always wanted to do. He was very practical and patient, able to break the needed skills down into do-able steps. He listened to my goals, not just truing to replicate what he does. He's a great teacher for someone who doesn't have an extensive music background, helping me see patterns and connections that made learning much easier and rational. To me, the surest sign of a great teacher is one the when the lesson is over, the student feels fired up, eager to do more and has a growing sense of pleasure and possibility in their playing. That describes Cary as a teacher. I'm SO fortunate to have found him!
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Peter Q. December 12, 2017
· Upright Bass · In home
Cary Miga is one of the finest professional bassists on the west coast and an excellent teacher. He is upbeat, fun, and has a contagious love for music. I would highly recommend him to anyone interested in learning bass or guitar.
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Cary M.

Cary M.

Portland, OR 97239
(2)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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Average Cost of Music Theory Lessons in Portland, OR

The average cost of 60-minute music theory lessons in Portland is $53. While the exact cost will vary depending on the teacher, type of lesson, and your location, you should expect to spend anywhere between $40 and $75 per hour.

30-min $19
 
$31 average
$40
45-min $28
 
$42 average
$60
60-min $40
 
$53 average
$75

For the best experience, we typically recommend 60-minute music theory lessons. However, students looking for a more affordable option may want to consider a shorter lesson length of 45 or 30 minutes. On average, 45-minute music theory lessons are 21% less expensive at $42, and 30-minute lessons cost 42% less at $31.

Curious how much music theory lessons cost in your area? Do a quick search to get local prices for the best music theory teachers near Portland.

Music Theory Lesson Reviews from Students

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

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Our teachers have taught

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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.

6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory

6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory

Staring at the Circle of Fifths and memorizing key signatures isn't the only way to learn music theory! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares some creative ideas to revive your learning...   Music theory is a very important part of your musicianship, whether it be mastering ear training, harmony, or sight reading. No matter what instrument you play or what styles you enjoy, those who learn music theory grow further as musicians. A solid knowledge can help you improve your perform … Read More

6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory
Staring at the Circle of Fifths and memorizing key signatures isn't the only way to learn music theory! Here, Brooklyn, NY teacher Liz T. shares some creative ideas to revive your learning...   Music theory is a very important part of your musicianship, whether it be mastering ear training, harmony, or sight reading. No matter what instrument you play or what styles you enjoy, those who learn music theory grow further as musicians. A solid knowledge can help you improve your perform
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
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
4 Painless Steps to Help You Learn Music Theory
Sure, music theory is complex -- but there's no need to fear it! Here, Jamaica Plain, MA teacher Noaa R. shares four steps to get you started...   Many students tend to avoid studying music theory and harmony. This can stem from a fear of compromising one’s creativity with rules and numbers, a failure to connect concepts with application, or from feeling overwhelmed by the perceived volume of material to be learned. However, when you approach theory as an exploratory process that help
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

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