Portland 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!

Use your current location
Featured On

Why TakeLessons?

Our teachers have taught
1 , 5 4 8 , 2 0 3
lessons and counting!

Popular Music Theory Teachers Near Portland

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

Showing 5 of 29 results View More
267824_dsz9nbjjx8pr8zgppxcn

Barbara D.

Portland, OR

Individualized piano instruction focusing on theory, technique and performance

About Barbara

I am delighted to be a part of the TakeLessons team here in Portland. I have recently retired from a career in elementary education employed as a visual arts instructor. In addition to my public school career I have also given private piano lessons for the last thirteen years. I graduated from the University of Idaho in 1991 with a bachelors degree in education with a minor in music.

*** Lesson Details ***
While I have been classically trained, my goal is to provide a strong background in music theory, technique, and performance, which will allow all students to successfully pursue inte
rests in all genres of music. Creating individualized instruction for each student is an important means of nurturing a successful and motivated pianist at every level. I use a broad range of materials based on student interest and abilities with a core curriculum built upon Hanon, Alfred, and Faber and Faber method books. I look forward to the opportunity to be part of your many successes in the world of piano music.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Piano or weighted keyboard, lesson books (available at local music stores and online)

*** Specialties ***
Classical
...

Reviews

Thumb_88736_pi_image
Kandice K. April 21, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Barbara is a great teacher! She is knowledgeable, patient, kind and funny, and made me feel very at ease. I look forward to my next lesson with her.
Silhouette-80
Amy T. March 29, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
We love Barbara!
Silhouette-80
Jennifer W. March 23, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Barbara has been my 9 year old daughter's piano teacher for 1.5 years. She is a wonderful teacher and my daughter has made terrific progress. Barbara is patient and knowledgeable, and my daughter looks forward to her lessons. I would recommend Barbara to anyone, especially someone with a child that is ready to learn piano!
View More
View Profile
Barbara D.

Barbara D.

Portland, OR 97205
(10)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
214778_177797_1307390255

Chuck M.

Portland, OR

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

418927_88y5ytpb5pfwl2vcg8wn
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.
190184_418548_42186
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!
Silhouette-80
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!
View More
View Profile
Chuck M.

Chuck M.

Portland, OR 97212
(8)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
Profile_228997_64b6jbhsvt55lcqffxny

Peter M.

Portland, OR

Music theory explains why some things sound great while others don't, and provides the tools you need to learn more efficiently as well as improvise and write your own music.

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

Silhouette-80
Elizabeth March 4, 2016
Guitar · In home
Peter has been teaching my daughter guitar for about 7 weeks now. Every lesson is so positive and his teaching style is great. My daughter is gaining confidence quickly with her new skills and we are really enjoying it thanks to Peter!
Silhouette-80
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!
Silhouette-80
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.
View More
View Profile
Peter M.

Peter M.

Portland, OR 97206
(6)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
221338_395171_39440

Jack W.

Vancouver, WA

About Jack

I started taking Violin and Piano lessons at age 7. By the age of 12 I was performing recitals and was Concert Master of my elementary school orchestra. In high school I was first chair, and learned to conduct the orchestra. I attended Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield Missouri. I created my own string quartet while studying there. I studied Violin under Mr. Harold King, who was a good friend of Jascha Heifetz and was his roommate in Chicago where they studied music together. I have studied Violin and Piano with many other instructors, including Tony Bennet and Peggy Lee's record
ing pianist. I studied modern and jazz piano with Paul Horn's Jazz Group. I was vocal coach for 3 years for the Pasadena, California Ambassador choir.I have taught for approx. 50 years privately and in various colleges and schools. I was a co-founder and owner of Pasadena School of music in Pasadena California . I was an instructor for Beacock Music in Vancouver, Washington. I have been a member or the Clark College Orchestra and have performed in several concerts with them.I currently perform all over Oregon and Washington, and perform weekly for various functions in the area.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living Room:Roland electronic piano, seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
Violin
All required music

*** Specialties ***
Suzuki Violin, normal Violin Methods, Classical Violin and Piano, modern music piano & theory, and Viola.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Lisa O. November 14, 2013
Viola
Verified Student
JACK IS TERRIFIC!

I wish we had found Jack years ago. We hired Jack specifically to help my daughter prepare for an audition. The audition was a success! Jack's approach to teaching is no nonsense and precise, but he has a warm and gentle way about him that motivated my daughter in a way that others haven't. Aside from his teaching ability, I was pleasantly surprised with Jack's sense of urgency and flexibility in responding to special scheduling needs. This is the first time I have been inspired to write an on-line testimony. I hope it helps other students discover Jack's tutoring.
279983_82vv3s8576p6kj9bpg4q
Sharri L. October 31, 2013
Violin
Verified Student
Deserves 6 stars

If I looked for a million years I could not have found a better instructor than Jack. He is a peach. I am an older student with Osteoarthritis and I'm hoping that violin will both help avoid Altzheimer's and exercise and stretch the fingers. Jack is sympathetic to my needs and is helping in any way possible. I always look forward to Jack and his sunny personality and expertise. I'm sure that I have reached the epitome of "difficult students", but Jack is always patient and pleasant. He is a true professional in every sense.
Silhouette-80
TD L. October 30, 2013
Piano
Verified Student
Piano lessons

Jack is a great teacher! He teaches well and professionally. He picked out the right text books for the lesson which I think very importance. My girls piano skills improve significantly. He also makes it fun to learn so the girls love it. Highly recommend him to everyone.
View More
View Profile
Jack W.

Jack W.

Vancouver, WA 98662
(4)
starting at
$33 / 30-min
340755_mwz4wdsfrkpb682bldl7

Kelly P.

Portland, OR

I have been a professional musician for the past 15 years. See bio here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_Pratt_(musician)

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

Silhouette-80
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
Silhouette-80
Em November 16, 2015
Trombone · In home
Verified Student
Great first lesson!
Silhouette-80
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.
View More
View Profile
Kelly P.

Kelly P.

Portland, OR 97214
(7)
starting at
$40 / 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.

GetStarted
BrowseListings

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 Portland?

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.

 
Online

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

Music Theory Lesson Reviews from Students

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

658 5-Star Student Reviews in Portland through TakeLessons!

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

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
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
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
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
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