Benjamin Miller

Benjamin M.

Ypsilanti, MI
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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Lesson Details

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About

Benjamin passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Benjamin delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 4+ and special needs

Teaching since:
March 2000

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!
Benjamin

*** 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.

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Experience

Voix, Texte, Clavecine
Apr 2017 - Apr 2017
Performer

Brief Residency working on a new multimedia piece with Franck Vigroux

Voix, Texte
Mar 2017 - Mar 2017
Performer

Performed RUINES in Perpignan and Paris

Performer
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.

Education

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

English
Fluent / Native Proficiency
French
Limited Proficiency
Spanish
Limited Proficiency

Certifications

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.

Awards

one of 48 Artists selected to be nominated for the Grammies
Jul 2007
the Grammys

Photos & Videos

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

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performing with post-punk giants Mission of Burma 2005

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now defunct NYC rock band THIRD BORDER plays "Everywhere", 2009. I wrote, sang, played guitar. This Song is off our last CD "Return Return"
The Sensorium Saxophone Orchestra, Brooklyn NY. I am composer and conductor. 2012

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music video and info on my now defunct rock band while living in NYC. one of our final gigs 2010. Post-Math-Rock I suppose.
teaching guitar, saxophone, drums, piano, and  more

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happy Piano Student Hannah F. 2015

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playing Keyboard with Tenor Saxophone Student Eri D.

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playing Drums with Charl L. Alto Saxophone
+ 2 more

23 Reviews

Write a Review
Elizabeth S. Apr 26, 2017
Piano · In home

Ben is a great teacher! He communicates very well. He is relaxed and very professional.

saber Feb 8, 2017
Guitar · In studio

Very down to earth and very knowledgeable in lots of aspects of music

Jack Feb 1, 2017
Saxophone · In studio

Mr Miller was very attentive to my son's needs upon our very first visit. He had his saxophone ready to play right along with my son as he was teaching. My son, who is 12, stated that Mr Miller was cool and spoke his language so that he could understand.

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Alan X. Jan 28, 2017
Guitar · In studio

Great teacher and impressive 1st class. Look forward to the next classes!

MAURICE J. Oct 7, 2016
Bass Guitar · In studio

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

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.

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Kenneth Jun 30, 2016
Guitar · In studio

Ben was a great instructor. He was very patient.

Kenneth Jun 29, 2016
Guitar · In studio

Ben was a great instructor. He was very patient.

Pierre L. Jun 29, 2016
Guitar · In studio

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

The first lesson was very good and we're off to a good start!

Harish P. Aug 24, 2015
Saxophone · In studio

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!

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Grace Z. Apr 25, 2015
Saxophone · In studio

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.

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Alan D. Jan 5, 2015
Guitar · In home

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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David M. Aug 14, 2014
Guitar · In home

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

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

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
·

Awesome

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.

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Vanessa W. Mar 6, 2014
·

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.

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Kathy P. Mar 23, 2013
Bass Guitar ·

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 !!

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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.

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