Benjamin Zuelsdorf

Benjamin Z.

Portland, OR

About Benjamin Z.

Background check: Last verified 10/23/2015
Benjamin passed a background check on 10/23/2015 that included the following:
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Benjamin teaches: Ages 5 to 83
Special needs
Teaching since: June 2005
Last sign in: Within a month

Overview

Benjamin Z. began his musical journey when he was 9 with classical piano lessons in Chicago. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree (Piano; Jazz Emphasis) at Portland State University in 2011. Benjamin has studied and performed straight ahead Jazz, Western Classical, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Funk, Experimental and electronic genres. He has composed and arranged for many types of ensembles including jazz vocal groups, jazz chamber groups (trios, quartets, etc), vocal ensembles and Big-bands.

Benjamin has experience working with students ranging from preschool to senior citizens in all skill levels. He has worked with adult group-piano classes at the collegiate level, coaching elementary students in after school music programs, group children'™s classes, and individual instruction. Benjamin welcomes students of all ages, styles, and skill levels.

*** Lesson Details ***
"As a teacher I offer a great deal of knowledge in many styles of music as well as a genuine motivation to impart the love I have for music performance. My journey through music has blessed me with experience in western classical, jazz, blues, and popular styles; all of which allows me to instruct students in whatever their musical goals may be. The lessons are always rooted in observing excellent pianistic technique and fundamental musicianship (ear training, reading music notation, etc). Finally, my students know me to be a patient instructor that consistently works to teach the material in a way that is accessible and relevant to the student's goals."

*** Travel Equipment ***

The student should have a notebook to record our lessons in, a piano/keyboard to play and receive instruction on, and what ever music material I have assigned (course work, lesson book, etc). The keyboard should be 88-key and weighted. If the student is very young then it is not critical that the keyboard have weighted keys but it is still preferable.

*** Specialties ***

Voice and Piano

Instrumental and Vocal technique.

Jazz Repertoire: Standards, Comping, Improvisational studies

Western Classical Music. I have studied many classical styles: baroque, classical, romantic, and modern classical music.

Music Theory: Conservatory, Popular, and Jazz Styles.

Ethnic Musics: Several native musics from the far and middle east (Maqqam, Indian Hindustani, Japanese folk musics)

Photos and Videos

A performance with a jazz trio at Portland State University.

Experience

Music Instructor

Aug 2013 - Present
Eliason School

Primary Instructor at Eliason School of Music Multnomah Village, OR. Piano instruction on an individual basis to students of all ages.

Music Instructor (Owner)

Apr 2009 - Present
Buson Studios (Personal Studio)

One on one music instruction of Piano and Voice. Working with students of all ages and skill levels.

Professional Musician

Aug 2006 - Present
Self

Performing music in the Portland area for nine years in many styles: Jazz, Contemporary, Funk, Rhythm and Blues, Western Classical and Religious music.

Piano Instructor

Jul 2011 - Aug 2013
Time to Play Studios

Primary Instructor at Time to Play Studios Forest Grove, OR: Taught group piano classes to children and adults.

Teaching Assistant

Oct 2009 - Dec 2009
Portland State University

Teaching Assistant for winter-term of Beginning Adult Piano. Assisted students and the instructor in many class functions as well as provided occasional lectures.

Music Teacher

Apr 2009 - Jun 2009
Impact Northwest (Sun Program)

Impact Northwest’s Sun Program at the Buckman Elementary School in Portland, OR. Leading after-school music classes for kindergarten-3rd grades.

Education

Bachelor's in Music: Piano Performance (Jazz Emphasis)

Jun 2008 - Jun 2012
Portland State University

Languages Spoken

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Certifications

Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance (Jazz Emphasis)

Jul 2011
Portland State University

Completed the Bachelor's in Music (Piano) with an emphasis on jazz performance. Studied under several nationally known musicians and composers. Feel free to ask for educational/professional references.

Awards

Luise Valon scholarship

Oct 2009
Portland State University
Write a Review

7 Reviews on Benjamin Z.

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Matt Hockman Oct 22, 2015
Music Performance · In studio
Verified Student
My son is a senior in high school and was wanting badly to make the All State Choir this year. Ben taught my son how to play the basics on the piano which helped him learn piano and that helped with his voice becoming more in tune. We found out today my son made the All State Choir! Thank you Ben for teaching and helping my son how to understand the music!!! Now he is trying to write songs as well.
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Eliana K. Jun 16, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Gentle yet firm and directive in his ability and approach to teach the young.
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Eliana K. Jun 16, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Gentle yet firm and directive in his ability and approach to teach the young.
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Samuel K. May 1, 2015
Singing · In studio
Verified Student
Getting up and singing in front of someone for the first time is intimidating. For some reason, we think of singing as something we should already know how to do. Every singing instructor's first challenge is to get their new pupil to sing. Benjamin passed that with flying colors. He cracked jokes, and sang silly songs to me before ever asking me to sing. Eventually, I gave it a shot.

That first lesson took place about two months ago, and since then my singing has gone from off-key and unbearable to pretty ok. Today I received my first impromptu complement on my singing. It was a big deal. Anyone who has ever experienced real stage fright knows that this is a big deal. And if I hadn't started learning from Benjamin, it wouldn't have happened. I do not think anyone else could have actually gotten me to sing. And if anyone else had, I'm not sure they'd have known what to do with me. Run screaming, maybe. Benjamin didn't do that, however. He gave me vocal exercises, and tips not only for practicing, but for practicing in a way that would not harm my vocal chords. He assed my vocal range, gave me warmup exercises, and a few bits of repertoire to start working on. It's working wonders. The difference between my singing a month ago and my singing today is palpable (I checked my recordings, so I can prove it!).

If you're a little nervous about starting singing, this man is your man. He'll set you at ease, and in no time you'll be able to sing.
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Chad B. Mar 9, 2014
Singing
Verified Student
Pleasant Surprise

I currently have my daughter, age 8, enrolled in singing lessons with Ben. Previously, we had her starting lessons with the most popular teacher on this site, Lisa, with the highest number of reviews and were disappointed. She didn't seem to really invest in my daughters training. It seemed like a factory mill - student in, student out, next student in. I pulled her out after 5 lessons and went with Ben. It soon dawned on me that we had made a very good choice. Ben teaches the fundamentals first so that your child has a strong toolkit and foundation to succeed, which we weren't really getting from the previous instructor. He is very professional and takes what he does seriously and has made me feel that he cares about my daughter's progress. Additionally, he is affable and my daughter enjoys her lessons with him.
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Bangda Y. Nov 28, 2013
Piano
Verified Student
Professional, skilled instructor who has deep knowledge in music theory

I am a beginner in piano and have taken piano lesson from Ben for 2 months. Ben is a very professional instructor who has both the technical skills and a deep knowledge of musical theory. I learned not just the techniques for improving my piano performance skills, but also some intriguing music theory behind the pieces. The lessons are also well organized and it felt the hour goes by fairly swiftly.

Ben takes student's learning serious but still maintains a friendly and easy-going manner. The lessons usually provided at a musical instrument shop that is very convenient and cozy. Overall I am very satisfied with my experience.
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Jillian M. Sep 29, 2013
Singing
Verified Student
Amazing technical knowledge...excellent instructor...very talented

From the first lesson, I could tell from Ben's singing and piano abilities that he was very talented with a lot of experience in music&music instruction. He is very clear with his instruction, extremely professional so it's so cool how down to earth he is. He even spent outside time helping me find a few things that would help advance my vocal abilities quicker. I really appreciate his time and hard work. Be advised: This man is SERIOUS about music (but that's a good thing)...