Benjamin Miller

Benjamin M.

Detroit, MI
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
My teaching style is relaxed but with a firm accent on Practicing specific techniques as well as approaches to Creativity. I teach Blues, beginning Jazz, Pop, Rock, and Experimental techniques. I know some "slap" and "snap" techniques for Funk. I am fluent with either the use of a guitar pick or fingers.

About Benjamin M.

Hello Future Students!

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, at the Student's home or through the use of Skype.

I am originally from Ann Arbor. I spent much of this century living in NYC and prior to that I lived in Chicago. Those experiences vastly helped me develop Networking, Performance and Teaching experience. I now live in southwest Detroit near River Rouge.

As a Father of four, I have had the joy in teaching my own children Guitar, Saxophone, Songwriting, Composition and Keyboard. As a parent I have found that Patience and Encouragement is often 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 was born with and have developed throughout my life. 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 and Thomas Jefferson College (MI). I have a BA at Columbia College Chicago double majoring in Music Composition and English .

My band 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 the Songs. If you are a Songwriter, we can polish up your approach.

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 also formed and composed two symphonies for my 12-member saxophone orchestra in NYC. Currently, I am rehearsing new work with a Detroit-based multiinstrumental orchestra.

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. 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.

Reviews

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5.0
33 Reviews
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Bryan P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Excellent instructor and a way cool guy. My first lesson was really informative, with so many helpful tips and techniques. Ben is a friendly, patient teacher, and I am looking forward to my next lesson!

Posted Aug 6, 2019
Charlie and Cindy
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

We had our first saxophone lesson with Benjamin today and it was excellent! He is clearly a master that can assess a student’s skill level and adapt the lesson to suit their needs. He is just what we needed :)

Posted Jun 22, 2019
Bryan K.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

30 lessons for my high school son with Ben. Excellent teacher. Always on time. Very professional. Baritone Sax. Highly recomend. Will be getting more lessons with Ben.

Posted Mar 14, 2019
De'Ante H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I am extremely excited about taking lessons! Even more so excited about my decision to have Benjamin as my Instructor. He has a natural teaching ability- making it easy for a student to grasp the lesson.

Posted Jan 5, 2019
Hannah K.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Super patient teacher🙏

Posted Nov 9, 2018
Bryan K.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Very friendly, professional, timely, and all around nice person, worked with my 15yo son 10 lessons baritone sax !

Posted Jul 11, 2018
Kurt K.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Very informative for my son.

Posted Jun 16, 2018
Don
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Really enjoyed my first lesson with Benjamin. He was very patient with me

Posted Dec 16, 2017
Cathy
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very patient and encouraging

Posted Oct 20, 2017
Cathy
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I was very pleased with my granddaughters first lesson. Ben was patient, speaking to her positively and encouraging. Nora was very happy, showing her dad what she learned and is looking forward to her next lesson.

Posted Sep 9, 2017
Elizabeth S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

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

Posted Apr 26, 2017
saber
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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

Posted Feb 8, 2017
Jack
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Feb 1, 2017
Alan X.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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

Posted Jan 28, 2017
MAURICE J.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Relaxed atmosphere with a lot of good information.

Posted Oct 7, 2016
Eric
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Ben is a very good knowledgeable teacher.

Posted Sep 6, 2016
Julie P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Aug 15, 2016
Kenneth
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Ben was a great instructor. He was very patient.

Posted Jun 30, 2016
Kenneth
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Ben was a great instructor. He was very patient.

Posted Jun 29, 2016
Pierre L.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Jun 29, 2016
Mecca H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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

Posted Nov 12, 2015
Harish P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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!

Posted Aug 24, 2015
Grace Z.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Apr 25, 2015
Alan D.
Profile-location-home Student's 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.

Posted Jan 5, 2015
David M.
Profile-location-home Student's 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.

Posted Aug 14, 2014
Hamid R.
Profile-location-online Online

Benjamin is a dynamic teacher who recognizes his students strength and weakness and provides specific instruction for improvement. Great job Ben.

Posted Jul 25, 2014
Hamid R.
Profile-location-online Online

Benjamin is a great teacher, great observer and wonderful company in online teaching. I couldn't ask for more.

Posted Jul 16, 2014
Ivonne F

Music lessons

He was a very good and attentive teacher.

Posted May 14, 2014
KatherinaD

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.

Posted Mar 6, 2014
Vanessa W.

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!

Posted Mar 6, 2014
Rodica A.

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.

Posted Mar 6, 2014
Kathy P.

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 !!

Posted Mar 23, 2013
KevieN

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.

Posted Jan 25, 2011

Photos & Videos

10 Photos & Videos

Experience

Band Leader and Conductor
Jul 2019 - Jul 2019

Benjamin Miller's Senorium Orchestra of Detroit

rehearsed and performed renowned minimalist classic composition by Terry Riley at Trinosophes, Detroit. The audience was ecstatic due to the magic of the composition - which always sounds different every time it is performed!

Multiphonic Guitar and Vocal
Nov 2017 - Nov 2017

Ben Miller

I performed the eastcoast and had recording sessions in Paris with poet Stephanie Boubli and techno artist DJ Myako.

Voix, Texte
Nov 2017 - Nov 2017

Performer

Final performance of the multimedia piece, RUINES - Metz, FR. For this project, I narrated, sang and played organ.

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 French poet Charles Robinson. 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

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