Portland Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting 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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Chuck M.

Portland, OR

Styles covered include pop, rock, R&B, country, and jazz. Basic skills on piano or guitar are recommended.

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
$35 / 30-min
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Peter Q.

Portland, OR

All of my students write songs! You don't have to, but you'll want to/do it accidentally.

About Peter

I'm a multi-instrumentalist from the Northwest with lots of love for teaching people to groove. I got my bachelors 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.
...

Reviews

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Lissa M. August 5, 2015
Flute · Online
Verified Student
My daughter loved her first lesson, and is very excited for more
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Alisa M. October 20, 2014
Flute · In studio
Verified Student
Peter is wonderful with kids, he's empathetic and eager to find the right fit with your child. He is very well versed in multiple methods from Jazz to Classical to Beatbox and he's super fun. I'd highly recommend him.
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Peter Q.

Peter Q.

Portland, OR 97211
(2)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Don C.

Portland, OR

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.
...

Reviews

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Nina C. January 21, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Love it! Easy going, easy to understand, great tips and techniques I can use to get stronger more quickly. Looking forward to next week!
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Robin Villarreal January 21, 2016
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
I was quite nervous trying to sing after many years away from the choir. Don makes your first class friendly and comfortable. I left feeling like he will know exactly what I need. Was great!!!
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Andrea S. November 18, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
I really enjoyed my lesson with Don. He was very professional, but laid back. He helped me with exactly what I had asked for. I felt comfortable making mistakes. Also, while practicing in between lessons I'm able to contact him with questions.
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Don C.

Don C.

Vancouver, WA 98665
(5)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Kelly P.

Portland, OR

I have worked with some of the most critically acclaimed and respected songwriters of our time (including David Byrne, Chris Martin, Weird Al Yankovic, Zach Condon, Annie Clark and others) in addition to my own songwriting (Bright Moments).

About Kelly

After graduating from the University of Kentucky with a degree in music, I moved to New York where I lived for 11 years. I have been a professional multi-instrumentalist since then and a member of many bands including Beirut and Arcade Fire. I have also performed and/or recorded with many others including David Byrne, Passion Pit, Coldplay, and LCD Sound system. I have performed in dozens of countries, at some of the world's biggest festivals (Bonnaroo, Coachella, Glastonbury), and on many television shows (Colbert, Letterman, Fallon).

I have experience in playing and teaching many differen
t styles and can teach you what YOU want to learn. Playing music can be a very rewarding experience, but should also be fun. I can promise you will have fun in our lessons and have fun with music in general.

*** Lesson Details ***
We will focus first and foremost on what you would like to learn on your instrument, whether it be specific songs, styles, or a more general approach to your instrument or music-making. I have taught students of all ages on many different instruments and can work with anyone at any skill level.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Trumpet, flugelhorn, French horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, flute, clarinet, saxophone, drum kit, keyboards, piano, organ, guitar, bass, ukelele, accordion, mandolin, various synthesizers, various percussion, and recording rig.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can bring any portable instrument, and any sheet music required for our lesson.

*** Specialties ***
For brass I am a strong proponent of the Carmine Caruso method. As for genres I am most well versed in jazz, rock, and classical.
...

Reviews

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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
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Em November 16, 2015
Trombone · In home
Verified Student
Great first lesson!
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James D. September 1, 2015
Trumpet · In studio
Verified Student
Kelly has a great teaching technique - really knows how to engage my son (13) and keeps him excited about coming back.
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Kelly P.

Kelly P.

Portland, OR 97214
(7)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Heather C.

Emeryville, CA

I have written over 50 produced songs, and have released 3 albums in the past 3 years of all original music. I have studied songwriting and collaborated with some top songwriters including Milton Davis. Some of my original songs are gaining global recognition, including 'Tincture'. Students will read books 'The War of Art' and 'The Emotion Thesaurus' to get the most out of their songwriting process. Students will learn to tap into their own natural creativity, and develop various methods to the art of writing lyrics and melody. I can't wait to write award winning songs with you!

About Heather

Hello! I am Heather: a trained yoga teacher, professional singer and teacher with over 20 years of professional experience in music & theatre arts. I travel between the bay area and Portland, OR teaching singing, hosting creativity & healing workshops, and playing music.

Noteworthy accomplishment: I was in the top 200 on the season finale of American Idol.

My goal as a teacher is to help you (or your child) engage your peak talent and harness it in the expression of your craft. I am excited to work with you for both professional and personal development!
...

Reviews

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Deborah June 13, 2016
Singing · In studio
You'll be pleased with your hour sessions with this gifted singer/songwriter. She packs a lot in one hour!
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Vir June 12, 2016
Singing · In studio
Not only is Heather a fantastic singer, her kindness, grace and intuitive quality helped me to see where I could get better and specifically tailored to me.
Her friendliness and love for music is infectious. I highly recommend her.
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Heather C.

Heather C.

Portland, OR 97206
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

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Recent Songwriting Articles from the Blog

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

5 Reasons Why Songwriters Should Collaborate

This article was originally published on Soundfly and is being shared as part of Songwriting Week! Join the conversation on social media (#SongwritingWeek) for even more tips, articles, and resources.   So many musicians and songwriters stress the importance of collaboration. But without knowing how collaboration could benefit your work, why would you share an idea you’ve spent countless hours thinking about, only to open yourself up to criticism? As it turns out, all those advice … Read More
5 Reasons Why Songwriters Should Collaborate
This article was originally published on Soundfly and is being shared as part of Songwriting Week! Join the conversation on social media (#SongwritingWeek) for even more tips, articles, and resources.   So many musicians and songwriters stress the importance of collaboration. But without knowing how collaboration could benefit your work, why would you share an idea you’ve spent countless hours thinking about, only to open yourself up to criticism? As it turns out, all those advice
Tips for Writing a Song | Starting Songs And Ending Writer's Block
Feeling stuck? Get back on track with these helpful tips for writing a song, courtesy of Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   One of the most frequent problems that songwriting students encounter is pushing past writer's block and generating ideas for new songs. So here are several tips for writing a song that will help you overcome a creative dry spell and get you back to creative productivity. Start With A Title Think of some interesting subjects that you think would make goo
How To Write a Song Today: 4 Easy Steps
Learning how to write a song is easier than you think! Greeley, CO teacher Andy W. outlines the steps here...  Don’t you wish you could write a song that tells your own story - whether it’s about love, hardships, or finding humor in life? There’s no reason that you can’t do that today! To help get you started, here are four easy steps to writing your own song: 1. Play chords or a riff. 2. Sing or hum over the harmony. 3. Repeat steps 1-2 to form a chorus and then a bridge. 4. Place
Songwriting Tips | The Wisdom of a One-Of-Kind Song Title
What's in a name? If you're looking for songwriting tips as you pen your next tune, check out this advice from Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   There is not one "right" or preferred way to write a song. It's a very individual choice. Some songwriters start out with a patch of melody or a line or two of lyric as their creative catalyst. Others will initiate the songwriting muse with a unique and instantly-captivating song title or writing from their emotions. And in this ever-cr
6 Resources for Creating Your Own Sheet Music
As you develop your musical skills, you may become interested in writing your own music. While learning to play an instrument and being able to play others' music is a wonderful skill, nothing compares to creating sheet music full of your own compositions! As a budding songwriter, you’ll need to add some additional skills to your repertoire. Writing music can be as simple as putting a pen to paper, or you can take advantage of the many songwriting tools technology offers. Whether you’re sketchi

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