Benjamin Miller

Benjamin M.

Ypsilanti, MI

About Benjamin M.

Background check: Last verified 02/07/2016
Benjamin passed a background check on 02/07/2016 that included the following:
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Benjamin teaches: Ages 4 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: March 2000
Last sign in: Last week


Hello Future Students!

I recently moved from NYC to Ypsilanti - very close to Ann Arbor where I was born. 10 years on the East Coast and another 10 before that in Chicago has helped me develop Networking, Performance and Teaching. Whether you want to pursue a Musical Career or simply learn how to Play your Favorite Tunes for friends and family, I am here as your Teacher and Guide. I teach at my own home or through the use of Skype. I hope to get my Car fixed soon!

As a Father of four, I have had the joy in teaching my children Guitar, Saxophone, Songwriting, Composition and Keyboard. As a parent I have found that Patience and Encouragement is sometimes the best form of support. It has been proven that learning Music helps develop intuition, self-awareness, and social skills as well as improve in other subjects not directly related to the arts such as Mathematics and Science.

One of the most important aspects of playing Music is being able to Play by Ear. This has been a priceless gift that I have developed throughout my life and I encourage all musicians, young and old, to do the same. The use of simple Rhythmic Dictation and Ear Training exercises can do wonders for "picking out" Beats and Harmonies no matter what Genre we are interested in.

I attended music courses at The Boston School of Contemporary Music, Thomas Jefferson College (MI), and have a BA double majoring in Music Composition and English at Columbia College Chicago.

Besides touring internationally as a Guitarist and Saxophonist, I am a Songwriter. THIRD BORDER's "Sun of Water; Sea of Light" was selected to be nominated for the Grammy's as The Best Alternative Album of the Year in 2006. On this record, I played Guitar, Saxophone, sang Lead Vocal and wrote all Songs. So, if you are a songwriter, we can polish up your approach!

If you would like to learn how to compose a Solo, a Duet or Ensemble, I can get you started in a low-stress, one-step-at-a-time procedure. As a Composer, I have done Sound Design for Film, Dance, Spoken Word and Multi-media Performance - most notably with renowned poet Anne Carson and former members of The Merce Cunningham Dance Co. I am Composer and Conductor for New York City's first full-on Saxophone Orchestra; a 13-member ensemble.

I hope to talk to you soon!

*** Lesson Details ***
My teaching style is relaxed with a forte on Patience and Encouragement. Though I have specific expectations on what needs to be learned, I gear each lesson towards the student's wishes and their personal direction in Creativity. Although Ear Training and Rhythmic Dictation sound academic, they are very useful in understanding music. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced student, I can guide you wherever you are headed!

For Guitar (acoustic or electric), you will learn the fundamentals of Music Theory, Chord Structure, varied Strumming and Picking Techniques, and Scale Positions to travel from one part of the neck to the other. Any song you wish to learn, I can teach!

For Saxophone, you will learn proper Embouchure technique, Notation, Music Theory, and Scale Patterns for improvisation. Whether you are interested in a Classical, Blues, Funk or Jazz approach, I can help you find your own sound that is both personal and professional.

I teach 2nd year Piano and Drums/Percussion directing you into Intermediate level.

For those leaning toward the experimental genres, I am well-versed in the use of Electronics. Much can be accomplished with my lessons on Sound-Scape Improvisation either as 1 on 1 or Group Workshops.

*** Studio Equipment ***
At Home Studio: music stands, metronome, guitar amps, electric and acoustic guitars, guitar tablature, staff music paper, a scanner for weekly homework. I can also record and send MP3s of our lessons to review at home if you wish.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students will need their own instrument, a mutually chosen music book to learn from, a metronome, and hopefully easy access to a keyboard (very helpful!)

*** Specialties ***
I am fluent in Rock genres, Blues, Beginning Jazz, Beginning Classical technique, Prepared Guitar, Electronics/Sound Art.

Photos and Videos

C Tenor Saxophone with Velveteen Blue, Ann Arbor MI, 2016



Jan 2016 - Feb 2016
Paris, Montpellier, Reims, Marjevols, Lille

Premiered in France as the primary character in a 60' multimedia Play entitled RUINES

Artist in Residency: Ruines

Apr 2015 - Apr 2015
Riems, FR

Rehearsed as primary character (narrative/singing) in 60' multimedia Play.

Artist in Residency: Transistor

Nov 2014 - Nov 2014
Anis Gras, Paris FR

Collaborated as Vocalist with French electronic artist Franck V. Also collaborated with Poet (name updated soon). Composed new work with both Collaborations and presented a multimedia performance.

Artist in Residency: Creative Sound Workshops

Jan 2013 - Jan 2013
C.A.S.A. (Music & Art School for High School Students in Harrisburg, PA)

Collaboration between Music & Poetry, Collaboration between Music and Painting.

Artist in Residency: Creative Sound Workshops

Apr 2012 - Apr 2012
Maryland Institute College of Arts (M.I.C.A.)

Workshop on Graphic Scores (pictorial music) and Found Sound (naturally occurring or sounds made without means of musical instruments)

Artist in Residency: Creative Sound Workshops

Jan 2011 - Jan 2011
C.A.S.A. (Music & Art School for High School Students in Harrisburg, PA)

20th Century Composition, Experimental Rock Orchestra, Collaboration between Music & Dance.

Artist in Residency: Creative Sound Workshops

Apr 2010 - Apr 2010
Maryland Institute College of Arts

Workshop on building small homemade musical instruments (Electric Cardboard Guitars, Straw Oboes, Tin Can Drums Sets) including basic instruction on Rhythm and Sound.

Data Management

Sep 2000 - Oct 2009
Arts & Entertainment Television Network (A.E.T.N., NYC) and Real Estate (Chicago)

Real Estate Database management (Chicago) and Database management of Film Rights, Actors Rights (NYC).

I was laid off in 2009 due to the Economic Crash.

Artist in Residency: 20th Century Creative Class

Apr 1992 - Apr 1992
Columbia College Chicago

Invited to present work on Collaboration, Composition, and Improvisation with my Art Rock Ensemble GKW.


BA in Music Composition and English

Sep 1997 - Jun 2002
Columbia College Chicago

Alto Saxophone study

Sep 1993 - Jan 1996
(Not @ School)

20th Century Composition, Multimedia Performance

Sep 1974 - Jun 1975
Thomas Jefferson College @ Grand Valley State Colleges (Allendale, MI)

Music Theory and Improvisation

Sep 1973 - Sep 1974
Boston School of Contemporary Music

Languages Spoken


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Limited Proficiency


Limited Proficiency


Introduction to Teaching

Mar 2011
Hudson Community College, Jersey City, New Jersey

6-week course with the intention to get a Teacher's Certificate. The Instructor stated half way through the course that we would have a 10% chance of getting a Teacher's position. This is why I did not pursue in a costly Certificate.


one of 48 Artists selected to be nominated for the Grammies

Jul 2007
the Grammys
Write a Review

19 Reviews on Benjamin M.

MAURICE J. Oct 7, 2016
Bass Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Relaxed atmosphere with a lot of good information.
Eric Sep 6, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Ben is a very good knowledgeable teacher.
Julie P. Aug 15, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Ben has been teaching my 8 year old daughter drum technique since Nov 2015. He has done a great job at connecting with her too make her excited about music! I appreciate how he encourages her play intuitively, which is teaching her principles that she can apply in all aspects of music, not just in playing the drums. I would recommend Ben for a student of any age, but I have been impressed with how he has connected with my daughter.
Kenneth Jun 30, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Ben was a great instructor. He was very patient.
Kenneth Jun 29, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Ben was a great instructor. He was very patient.
Pierre L. Jun 29, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Ben was incredible. I had to move out of state shortly after we begun, but he taught me a lot during our few lessons. He's definitely a best bet.
Mecca H. Nov 12, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
The first lesson was very good and we're off to a good start!
Harish P. Aug 24, 2015
Saxophone · In studio
Verified Student
Ben has tremendous patience with his students which is a hallmark of an instructor of a high caliber. Best of all, Ben enjoys making his students grasp the concepts progressively and in as congenial a manner as possible.

I highly recommend Ben for all new and experienced students alike.

Ben has skill(s) in good measure coupled with his understanding of a student's comprehension level. When you sit and learn with Ben, you just wish that the class carries on without a break. His enthusiasm is so contagious!
Grace Z. Apr 25, 2015
Saxophone · In studio
Verified Student
Ben is such a great teacher for Saxophone. Professional, be patient and nice. He will notice and correct details of kid's breath, mouth, shape of body and even the finger type. My son is so happy to learn with him. And get repaid improvement even he is zero experience to start. Now my son is loving saxophone. And I am so happy we can have Ben as his teacher.
Alan D. Jan 5, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Ben is a wonderful teacher. Ben is patient while I learn new techniques. I learn new techniques every session which is important to me to keep on learning and keep on improving. Ben and I play together in review of what I have learned which is fun and it teaches me about music timing, rhythm and more. I have brought some songs to Ben and we review and play. I feel thus far I have made great strides as a guitarist and hope to make more.
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