Benjamin Miller

Benjamin M.

10 Reviews
Ypsilanti, MI

About Benjamin M.

Background check: Last verified 01/04/2015
Benjamin passed a background check on 01/04/2015 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
For more information, please click here.

Benjamin teaches: Ages 5 and up
Teaching since: March 2000
Last sign in: Today
Average response time: 8 hours


Hello Future STUDENTS!

This year I moved from NYC to Ypsilanti. I lived there for over 10 years and learned a great deal in Networking, Performance and Teaching. Because I have had to let go of my 25+ students from the East Coast, I am now eager to build a new base of fresh Music Students. Since I was born and raised in Ann Arbor, I am happy to be back and ready to go :)

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, commute to yours or through the use of Skype. Your choice.

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" those unusual beats and harmonies we hear 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, sang lead vocals and wrote all songs. 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. As principal composer and conductor, I formed 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 laid back 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

now defunct NYC rock band THIRD BORDER plays "Everywhere", 2009 I wrote, sang, guitar. Off of our last CD Return Return


Data Management Mar 2007 - Oct 2009
Arts & Entertainment Television Network (AETN), NYC

Database management of Film Rights, Actors Rights, Contracts, etc.
I was laid off in 2009 due to corporate concerns.


BA in Music Composition and English Sep 1997 - Jun 2002
Columbia College Chicago
Alto Saxophone study Sep 1995 - Jan 1996
Alto Saxophone study Sep 1993 - Jun 1994
Columbia College
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

English Fluent / Native 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.

Write a Review

10 Reviews on Benjamin M.

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.
David M. Aug 14, 2014
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Ben is an excellent teacher who is willing to adapt to the specific needs and interests of the student. I have been very happy so far and look forward to continue working with him.
Hamid R. Jul 25, 2014
Saxophone · Online
Verified Student
Benjamin is a dynamic teacher who recognizes his students strength and weakness and provides specific instruction for improvement. Great job Ben.
Hamid R. Jul 16, 2014
Saxophone · Online
Verified Student
Benjamin is a great teacher, great observer and wonderful company in online teaching. I couldn't ask for more.
Ivonne F May 14, 2014
Music lessons

He was a very good and attentive teacher.
Rodica A. Mar 6, 2014
Verified Student

My two girls ages 6 and 9 are both taking piano lessons and having a teacher who is patient, encouraging and fun is very important. Ben has a great personality and he found an approach to each child. They enjoy practicing and are proud of themselves when they figure out the notes on their own. I believe that learning should be fun and inspiring and having the right teacher plays a big role. Thank you Ben for your hard work and for making it fun and interesting. With the right guidance anything is possible and Ben possesses the skills, experience and finds ways to appeals to their childish minds. Looking forward to seeing the girls grow and write their own music.
Vanessa W. Mar 6, 2014
Verified Student
Guitar Lessons

I am a beginner, literally. Ben's method of instruction makes it easy to understand and follow with ease. I am progressing much quicker than expected, because I have a great teacher! He is highly recommended!
KatherinaD Mar 6, 2014
One Perfect Music Teacher

Ben has been providing one-on-one music lessons to my sons, who play tenor sax and guitar, respectively, for almost three years, at our home. Besides being a multi-talented and creative musician, he is able to provide thoughtful, patient, and effective teaching methods that enhance their learning. He can connect to his students on multiple levels, being able to stir their creativity, while maintaining structured and organized lessons. He is always well organized and prepared and, at the same time, is always open to my suggestions, employing an individual approach to each student. I can highly recommend Ben to anyone looking for a patient and talented teacher who loves what he is doing.
Kathy P. Mar 23, 2013
Bass Guitar
Verified Student
Concise explanations gave me great "tools" to work with!

Ben Miller's thorough knowledge of the instrument combined with his ability to explain & define concepts related to the lesson provided critical elements necessary to help free myself from the keyboard mentality and think in terms of the fretboard. A FIVE STAR TEACHER with TEN STAR TALENTS !!
KevieN Jan 25, 2011
Learning is a collaborative effort

Ben is a great guitar teacher and a good listener. The lessons are a collaborative effort. If I have questions or concerns he listens and we work together to try and resolve them. The lessons are at my speed and I never feel rushed.