Brendan Keenan

Brendan K.

Madison, WI
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

We know that starting lessons is a big step and we want you to feel confident booking with us. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll help you find a new teacher or you can receive a refund for any unused lessons within the first year from the date of purchase.

Lesson Details

Music Theory

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Music theory is the grammar of music. Think of it this way: could you read a book in a language you don’t understand? Music theory teaches you to understand the language of rock songs and concept albums, sonatas and symphonies. This is an essential skill for all musicians.

The first step is to master the fundamentals: notes, intervals, key signatures, time signatures, clefs, terminology and correct notation. Students then learn rhythm; the structure of chords; harmonic progression and syntax; cadences; and phrasing.

If a student is interested in classical music, study will include the construction and creation of melody; counterpoint; form and structure; solfege; and the analysis of each of these aspects of music in the actual repertoire of classical music.

In all cases, particular attention will be paid to understanding the sound and meaning of music.

Experience playing an instrument is highly encouraged, although not required. Ear training is an ideal pairing to get the most of studying theory.
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Brendan teaches



Brendan delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 12+ and special needs

Teaching since:

I excel at the process of teaching and guiding students to get results. I know how to relate to students in different ways to help them understand problems and find solutions. I understand how frustrating and mentally exhausting practicing can be, and I know what to teach and when to teach it. I also understand that every student fits music into their life in a different way.

When studying with me a student can expect to be shown best practices in technique and musicianship, patient answers to questions, and to have time to absorb new information. Students will never be condescended to or belittled. Music is about adding joy to your life, and I can help.

I have studied nearly every style of music from medieval chant to Indian classical music. For over twenty years I have taught students in guitar, songwriting, classical composition, music theory, and applied musicianship at all levels from beginners to graduate courses and students.

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Private Lesson Teacher
Jan 1998 - Present
Brendan K.

Lessons in electric guitar, acoustic guitar, music theory, applied musicianship. songwriting and composition.

Private Lesson Teacher
Sep 2010 - May 2013
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Classical composition lessons to undergraduate and graduate conservatory students.

Jan 2010 - May 2010
Longy School of Music

Graduate course instructor in applied musicianship.

Teaching Assistant
Sep 2007 - Aug 2009
Longy School of Music

Tutoring and remedial education in applied musicianship and music theory, and conducting.

Theory and Ear Training Tutor
Sep 2005 - Aug 2006
Mesa Community College

Tutored students one-on-one in music theory and ear training.

Guitar Instructor
Sep 2004 - Aug 2006
Diamond School of Music

Private instructor in electric, acoustic and classical guitar.


Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition
Sep 2010 - May 2013
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Master of Music in Composition
Sep 2007 - May 2009
Longy School of Music
Bachelor of Music in Composition
Sep 2000 - Aug 2004
Berklee College of Music


Limited Proficiency


Licensed K-12 Music Teacher
Dec 2016
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Licensed to teach music in public schools at all levels. License number: 494286


Nadia and Lily Boulanger Scholarship
Jan 2008
Longy School of Music
Electric Guitar Performance Scholarship
Sep 2000
Berklee College of Music

4 Reviews

Write a Review
Devin Oct 2, 2018
Guitar · In studio

My son really enjoyed the lesson with Brendan and was amazed at his guitar skills.

Sally Sep 7, 2018
Guitar · In studio

I have had a couple of lessons with Brendan. I was still taught and knew little about technique. He has made both technique and theory relatable and has improved my playing immensely. I've already learned a couple of songs I've always wanted to play so I'm jazzed about that and looking forward to learning more. I highly recommend Brendan.

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Sarah Aug 21, 2018
Guitar · In studio

Brendan spent time helping me clean up my sound and increase my speed. He was very patient and knowledgeable. He was able to approach my problem in a way that helped almost immediately.

Becki Aug 12, 2018
Guitar · Online

Brendan was patient and thoughtful with teaching me the uke! He was able to fix my strumming online almost immediately.

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