Portland Songwriting Lessons

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Popular Songwriting Teachers Near Portland

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

RJ H. Portland, OR

About RJ

Private instructor specializing in singing, acting, and oratory. Conservatory trained theatre maker, with over ten years experience teaching students of all ages and backgrounds in both private and group environments. I am a Great Lakes-Midwestern native now living and working in Portland. I have been singing, performing, and making original theatre since the age of three. My earliest musical outlets consisted of the school choir, popular radio, and weekly Sunday services with family. *** Lesson Details *** My lessons provide a safe space for students to experiment with uninhibited presentation and performance through repeated trial, error, and experimentation. I have worked with singer-songwriters, musical theatre performers, storytellers and public speakers, as well as individuals ...

Reviews

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Cory W. December 11, 2012
Singing
Verified Student
RJ is wonderful!

I am a new singer & felt insecure during my first lesson. RJ not only helped me feel relaxed, he also made it fun! The hour flew by and I learned a lot about myself as a singer in a very short period. He made it easy to remember why I wanted to sing in the first place & I found it easy to trust him. I would highly recommend him!
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DebbieE July 8, 2011
Vocal Student

RJ is much more than "just" a Vocal Instructor; We just seem to have had an instant connection, and he truly understands the psychology of what I'm going through, musically (Very insecure about my voice, and stage presents). I feel totally comfortable around him, and I feel that I've had enough musical training (guitar and piano), to feel that I can accurately tell you that he is truly a "gift", mentor, and friend, and I am VERY confident in all of the different aspects of vocal performance! I am learning from him! I can honestly say, that if I had been given any other vocal instructor, instead of RJ, I feel that the Vocal Lessons would just be "surface teaching", and not go nearly as in depth as RJ goes with me! I feel that RJ really cares about my vocal endeavors, and my love of singing, , as well as coming to terms with, and accepting my problems and limitations, with RJ's guidance! He is giving me much more confidence that I've had in years, about my vocal ability, and has made me face the facts that I am way too negative in my opinion of my own voice, and he's also helping me find my own "style", which is very important to me, as well as not "living in the past, as far as my vocal abilities go. You really have a gift, and a true asset, having RJ as a Vocal Coach! He is honestly, a great (an very gifted) instructor!!! Deborah Engle :)
Jon L. Portland, OR

Songwriting is the wider lens on making music. Should I have a riff here, or another chorus? Should I even follow a traditional song structure? Making sure the words and music work together to tell the story you want is the heart of songwriting.

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 goes far beyond technique. My training includes reading music notation, lead sheets, and playing by ear. All of these are skills that you can learn depending on what your goals are. A combination of these skills combined with technique on violin will give you a foundation of music knowledge that will serve you regardless of what style of music you want to play. Styles that I have studied specifically are: Classical, Irish, Bluegrass, Rock and Symphonic Metal. In addition to playing violin, I write and arrange music. My song "The Burning Plain" ...

Reviews

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Emily S. October 4, 2014
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Jon is a wonderful teacher! I have been playing violin all my life but never learned theory. I told Jon what I wanted to learn, and every week he has something prepared that helps me learn just what I want. He is patient and encouraging. When I bring something in that I want to work on, not on his lesson plan, we spend time on that too. I am very pleased with my lessons with Jon. And he's nice, fun, and friendly.
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ilene S. August 2, 2014
Violin · In studio
Jon is a wonderful violin teacher. As someone deep into my adulthood, who has wanted to take violin lessons my whole life, I finally embarked on this journey. I find Jon's style to be encouraging and supportive, while instructive and he clearly knows his stuff. Learning the violin is challenging and Jon makes it fun and breaks it down in a very accessible way.I have learned an enormous amount from him in a short time and have many "aha" moments as I learn to read the music and associate the sounds with the notes, which is something I did not know prior to my lessons with Jon.
If you are considering taking lessons with Jon, take the plunge. Believe me, you will benefit greatly from the experince.
Thank you Jon.
Ilene Starr
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Tristan J. August 18, 2012
Violin
Verified Student
Awesome Instructor!

Jon is a pretty nice guy all the way around. He's patient, listens, and is able to explain music terms to me relating to the violin on a level I can understand. I have only had a few lessons with him, but already I have learned tons.

Go Jon!
Chuck M. Portland, OR

About Chuck

Chuck recently moved to Portland, Oregon from Gainesville, Florida, where he was a staple 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 grandmother. 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 ...

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!
Peter M. Portland, OR

Whether you're interested in writing pop songs with basic chords or intricate pieces full of advanced techniques, learning the fundamentals of good songwriting will keep your writing focused and effective.

About Peter

I knew I wanted to be a professional guitar player from the first time I picked up an electric guitar over 14 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 ...

Reviews

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Kelley G. August 4, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I have taken guitar lessons from Peter for a year and a half now, and I wholeheartedly recommend him to any child - or adult, like me - for the highest quality music lessons!

When I researched the TakeLessons website (and others), I looked for an instructor with a strong music background and saw that Peter had a degree in Jazz Studies and Composition from University of Oregon. He has been teaching for a number of years now, and can teach any style of music, including classical. He incorporates music theory into each lesson - very important if you want to learn how to play, improvise or write music. For those students who want to perform, Peter has lots of experience in that arena too, regularly touring with his band and teaming up with other musicians as well.

Peter's an enthusiastic teacher who takes his lessons seriously, and it is absolutely evident how much he loves music. He's exceedingly patient and supportive, and always gives plenty of positive feedback. He taught me how to practice properly, which doesn't mean playing a piece over and over, but rather breaking it down into sections - or even a measure or two - in order to perfect an awkward chord change or erratic rhythm. But perhaps most important is that he doesn't rush through the lesson; he makes certain you understand a technical point, or makes sure you're able to play a finger exercise correctly before he moves on to the next thing.

I've had numerous music instructors over the years in elementary, high school, college and beyond and Peter is without question one of the best teachers I've ever had. He's an incredible musician and a superb instructor. And a pretty terrific human being as well!
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david G. February 18, 2013
Guitar
Verified Student
fun lessons!

Peter's a good teacher, smiling in the face of terrible, broken chords! The lessons are really enjoyable. Peter picks a suitable selection of music where each new piece builds on the past progress. I would recommend him to anyone.
David H. Portland, OR

About David

I've studied music at Portland State University, and am well dug into the Portland music scene. I teach you how to turn basic chords and strumming patterns into your own musical ideas, as well as learning your favorite songs. I have experience teaching students how to play most any song in front of family and friends, or with others. Students will get real music theory training as well as advanced guitar techniques. I usually teach students to sing and play the songs in order to help students work on melody and chord structure at the same time. *** Lesson Details *** I'm pretty laid back, but I definitely know the value of hard work. We just keep working it until we get it right. We work until we're happy with it. We use handouts as well as books tailored to your learning style. ...

Reviews

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EdwinM June 29, 2012
Learning to play guitar has been fun

Dave is teaching me to play guitar at quick pace without making the process overwhelming. He is very patient and positive. Never thought I would be playing and singing in only a couple weeks.
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ReneeM February 13, 2011
mother of student

david is great! we really like his style of teaching, savannah enjoys class with him. He's very encouraging and knowledgeable.. great instructor!
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LeeB January 20, 2011
Good instructor overall, patient, however didn't suit the style I'm attempting to learn and was disappointed this wasn't mentioned prior to my first lesson.
Nicole A. Portland, OR

With a songwriting lesson, we would have to incorporate a little singing and possibly a little theory. But this lesson would be geared towards expression and poetry within the students music.

About Nicole

Nicole received her training at Portland State in 2014 where she received a degree in music education. There, she learned the basics of many different instruments, sang in choir, focused on classical voice, developed classroom management, and trained in the Kolday method. Nicole's teaching style is compassionate, energetic, and fun. She believes that all children and adults have the capacity to play instruments, dance, move, and sing with the natural abilities that are inside all of us. Nicole brings this mentality into her lessons by adapting to the individual. Whether they learn aurally, kinesthetically, visually, or other, she will personalize her teaching methods to better reach the students. Her main objective is to foster an environment that promotes a life long love and ...

Reviews

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Therese Y. March 16, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
My first lesson with Nicole was amazing. She is amazing! I am excited and can't wait to our next sessions together. I learned so much in one lesson. She is a talented teacher. So glad I found her. Yea, Nicole!!
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Joy G. March 2, 2015
Singing · In home
Verified Student
Nicole provides singing lessons for my daughter who can tend to be bashful at times. Nicole works with her with lots of patience and give her the confidence she needs to really enjoy her lessons.

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Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

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

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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.

Logic Pro Tutorial: How To Create An Audio Slow-Down Effect

Want to add a cool slow-down effect to your music? Learn how in this Logic Pro tutorial from Brevard, NC teacher John C...   If you've listened to popular radio in the past several years, and I’m guessing you have, you've heard either a vocal melody line or an instrumental part of a song make a particular effect. Listen to the following Fall Out Boy song and pay attention to the music in the background at 00:27 seconds, again at 1:27, and once again at 2:27: Did you hear it? Th … Read More
Logic Pro Tutorial: How To Create An Audio Slow-Down Effect
Want to add a cool slow-down effect to your music? Learn how in this Logic Pro tutorial from Brevard, NC teacher John C...   If you've listened to popular radio in the past several years, and I’m guessing you have, you've heard either a vocal melody line or an instrumental part of a song make a particular effect. Listen to the following Fall Out Boy song and pay attention to the music in the background at 00:27 seconds, again at 1:27, and once again at 2:27: Did you hear it? Th
Are You Really Ready To Record Your Song Or Book A Vocal Session?
Think you're ready to write your own song and record it? Songwriting can be an arduous process - but seeing the final product is an amazing feeling. Read on for a helpful pre-recording checklist from Perth Amboy, NJ teacher Jeff S...   Whether you're singing your own song or hiring a vocalist to sing on your demo or master, there are many layers of preparation needed to ensure optimum results. Some songwriters like to wing it and hope that things will magically work out because th
The Anatomy of a Hit Pop Song [Infographic]
When you're learning how to write a song, looking at how other songs are structured can be a great place to start. Like looking at a map before you go on a roadtrip, checking out the basic elements of songs you love gives you a sense of how they were written and what you need to do to write a song of your own. If analyzing all your favorite songs sounds like a daunting task (it is), you're in luck. The Billboard Experiment wanted to know if there was a formula that could determine which songs
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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