Portland Music Theory Lessons

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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.

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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

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Joan D. January 29, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Barbara is amazing! She works really well with my 5 year old daughter with her warm and friendly personality. She knows exactly how to get my daughter excited to learn. I would highly recommend her to anyway.
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Anthem F. January 17, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Barb's passion for piano and teaching are evident from the start of lessons, she has a great demeanor with children that my kids responded to positively. She interacted in such a way that my child was both relaxed and engaged as well as entertained throughout the lesson. We are excited to have Barb teaching our children as long as possible.
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Christine R. November 10, 2013
Piano
Verified Student
Wonderful Teacher

Barbara is an excellent instructor who is encouraging, patient, and knowledgeable. She tailors the lesson to the student’s goals while covering the fundamentals of learning piano for continued and ongoing success. I feel inspired and motivated after each lesson it’s wonderful!!
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Barbara D.

Barbara D.

Portland, OR 97205
(6)
starting at
$27 / 30-min
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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

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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

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

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

Thanks
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Peter M.

Peter M.

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

Portland, OR

Have you wondered how music is notated and what all those sharps and flats mean? Would you like to be able to look at a piece of music and know how it sounds and whether it would work for your voice? I can help you with that. With step by step workbooks and 15 minutes of practice a day, you can learn to read music within a few months and know the basics before that.

About Julia

I have a Master’s in Opera Performance from the Boston and New England Conservatories as well as graduating from Vocal Performance programs at Boston University and Western Washington University. I have sung professionally with Boston Lyric Opera, Children’s Theater Companies, churches and synagogue and have toured on the east coast as well as Athens, Greece. Premiering new music is a specialty - I can help you prepare your pieces for auditions.  My students have successful auditions for college opera and music theater programs, and as choir soloists.
Students gain a larger vocal range and an
easy, natural way of singing whether it is in a rock band, choir or as a soloist. Together we find the joy of singing while building a solid technique.

I also work with small children as a Musikgarten teacher and have toured artist residency programs which introduce children to music and theater in schools.   I was adjunct faculty at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, local music studios as well as maintaining my private teaching practice.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am persistent and positive! Having worked and performed with singers and master teachers has helped me to be a resourceful teacher who understands the process of becoming a singer. I believe that a sense of fun and play helps you to accomplish your goals quickly.  For beginners you will learn how the voice works and how to care for and develop your instrument. We will choose music that interests you and helps to build your voice moving from simple to more complex and challenging. Understanding music theory and sight-reading will help you get the most out of your singing. After 3 - 6 months you should have a good command of breathing and an understanding of how to sing with an expressive tone.For the advanced student, I can help you work on trouble spots and give you tools to help with the changes that voices naturally go through.  I look forward to giving you my full focus and celebrating your growth and accomplishments!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Condo w/ open area with f/w keyboard with a visitor's parking lot w/ seating for parents. Parents with younger siblings can use play areas outside.
Basic library of vocal music, giving the student a way to sample different kinds of songs before purchasing books or downloading songs on their own. Music stand, iPhone plug-in/Amp for accompaniments and examples you want me to hear.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide a basic library of vocal music at my home studio and will bring targeted books with me. Students should print out their favorite popular songs from such services as Music Notes website.
I expect my students to provide a keyboard, music stand and notebook as well as a low distraction environment.

*** Specialties ***
As an opera and musical theater, Oratorio and church singer, I help singers of all levels improve within their genre from popular music to opera. A good singing technique will help performers in any style stay healthy and enjoy an expressive singing instrument.
...

Reviews

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Alexis B. July 23, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Julia is an excellent vocal coach ! She's helped me come out of my shell and discover my vocal talents. Every lesson with her has been meaningful and inspirational. At first I was very shy and hesitant about pursuing lessons, but I'm glad I did ! I look forward to everything else she has to teach me.
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Ivanna P. July 9, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Very professional, knowledgeable. Great teacher.
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Neil June 30, 2015
Singing · In studio
I am 60 years old, have some musical background, have never, ever sung, and have wanted to rectify that for several years. For me, Julia is perfect, and if I say that I am finding my lessons life-changing, it is not an exaggeration. Julia is experienced, skilled, warm, attentive, and observant. I look forward very much to my next lesson.
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Julia V.

Julia V.

Portland, OR 97218
(13)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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James N.

Beaverton, OR

As you learn the notes, it becomes increasingly critical to understand the theory behind them. My instrumental lessons will often include basic theory fundamentals such as scales, major and minor triads, etc., but if you are interested in specific theory tutoring, I can help out with that as well. In particular, we can develop the ability to sing notes on the page at just a glance and learning notes by ear.

About James

Hello everyone! Please have a look around my profile and feel free to contact me. I have taught privately since 2009 and just joined takelessons.com in 2014.

I strongly feel each student needs lesson goals tailored to what he or she wants to take away from music. Getting ready for a college performance degree, making it to state solo contest, surviving band music, or simply discovering the huge scope of music available to us these days are each worthy goals, but require different preparation. I will work with you to figure out where your interests lie and focus on those, first and foremost!


After completing my bachelor's and master's degrees in trumpet performance out in the Midwest, I spent two years living and working in Chicago, IL before returning home to the Portland area in 2013. I have since started a new studio in Beaverton, OR and am taking on new students at this time while maintaining an active teaching schedule with the Southridge High School marching band and Oregon Crusaders drum and bugle corps, as well as performing in the Portland metro area.

Thanks for your time, and happy practicing!

*** Studio Equipment ***
I can provide: music stand, method books during lessons, recording equipment for lessons, tuner, metronome

Students should provide: instrument/mouthpiece

*** Specialties ***
I have spent most of my playing time on classical (orchestral, chamber, and solo music), but would also welcome students interested in jazz up to an intermediate level, especially if they have an interest in playing lead trumpet.
...

Reviews

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Dan February 10, 2016
Verified Student
James is knowledgeable and affable. Absolutely recommend!
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Dan September 18, 2015
Trumpet · In studio
Verified Student
Outstanding, knowledgeable instructor. Very personable and a positive approach. I went away with some solid advice and a much better feeling about my ability.
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Lily C. August 5, 2015
French Horn · In home
Verified Student
James is an excellent and patient teacher. My daughter loves working with him and she is excited to practice what he has taught her after he leaves. Overall, James is very personable, kind and professional. I would recommend him to anyone!
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James N.

James N.

Beaverton, OR 97008
(5)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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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.

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6 Fun and Unique Ways to Learn Music Theory
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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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