Chuck Michaelson

Chuck M.

Portland, OR
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Lesson Details

Music Theory

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Chords, scales, ear-training
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Chuck teaches



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

Teaching since:
May 1985

Chuck moved to Portland, Oregon from Gainesville, Florida, where he was a prominent member of the music teaching and performing community for more than 25 years. Originally from Chicago, Chuck completed his BA in Music History and Masters of Music (MM) at the University of Florida. Chuck became obsessed with The Beatles when he began piano lessons at age 12. His first attempt at composing was actually improvising melodies over the ending chords to "Hey Jude". Along with playing Beatles tunes Chuck learned classic standards from a set of Reader's Digest Songbooks inherited from his grandmother.

Chuck has performed with classic rock, top 40, funk, R&B, and jazz groups, and has served as an opening act for Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and legendary Texas bluesman Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. As a soloist he's played classical music, blues, jazz, and original compositions. Before devoting himself to music full time, he worked for 8 years as a radio announcer on WUFT-FM Gainesville hosting shows such as "Nothing but the Blues", "Montage" (acoustic jazz), and "Musica Antiqua" (Renaissance and Medieval).

Chuck has taught students of all ages and skill levels in piano, guitar, organ, flute, digital keyboards, recorder, and ukulele. He's also a multi-faceted composer whose instrumental pieces are infused with elements of classical, blues, and jazz styles.

Chuck's teaching philosophy: "In my 25 years of teaching I’ve found that everyone learns in different ways and at different rates of progress, so each of my students is treated as a unique individual. I try to get to know my students in the first few lessons so I can be more sensitive to their personalities. This helps me choose the best teaching approach for them. From the very first lesson I create a relaxed setting so students feel no apprehension, especially when trying something new. This allows them to feel free to take chances and experience playing music as something enjoyable, not a life or death situation! The biggest measure of my effectiveness as a teacher is when my students embrace new challenges and the opportunity to improve".

*** Lesson Details ***
My primary goal as a teacher is to present musical material in a way that keeps students excited about what they are learning. Even with absolute beginners, I will have a student playing actual songs that they are interested in as quickly as possible. Along the way I include fundamentals such as scales, strength-building exercises, rudiments of theory, and ear training. Some of the method books I use include the Alfred and Faber and Faber series, and Hanon's The Virtuoso Pianist, among many others. These materials are always supplemented with arrangements and transcriptions of popular songs and classical pieces, along with original exercises designed to teach specific styles and techniques. I also use interactive music websites to introduce students to concepts of music theory. The styles that I cover include classical, rock, jazz, and blues. As students progress in their creativity, I also introduce them to composition and improvisation.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Kawai K50 upright piano, music playback devices, Hammond C3 organ, multiple keyboards/synthesizers, acoustic and electric guitars, amplifiers, computer recording equipment; parents are encouraged to sit in on lessons.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I don't provide any specific equipment. Piano students should have either a well-tuned piano or full-sized weighted-key digital keyboard (Casio Privia, for example). Guitar students should have a well set up electric or acoustic guitar and an amplifier (for an electric guitar).

*** Specialties ***
I teach students of all ages and skill levels. The styles that I cover include classical, rock, jazz, and blues. I also teacher recording techniques using computer software including Ableton Live, Reason, and Pro Tools.

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Photos & Videos

Photo by Chuck M.

Photo by Chuck M.

Photo by Chuck M.

Photo by Chuck M.

Photo by Chuck M.

Photo by Chuck M.
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10 Reviews

Write a Review
Rick Feb 12, 2018
Piano · In studio

I am really impressed with Chuck's ability to get right to the things I want to learn while still explaining the fundamentals. I'm a self-taught guitar player (30 years) but I came to Chuck with no reading skills and no piano experience at all. He has been able to take what I know and show me how to apply it to learning theory, but within 3 lessons he also has me really excited about playing actual music that I'm into. Great learning studio and professional yet laid-back demeanor. Definitely plan on sticking with Chuck.

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Jasper W. Apr 21, 2017
Ukulele · In studio

Great teacher. Patient and I could see my progress

JIA Z. Feb 12, 2014
Piano ·

Mr. Michaelson is the best teacher I've met at Portland.

I do appreciate Chuck for his professional piano lessons and kind. My son enjoyed his lessons sooooooo much and, loves piano more from then on. He is really a great musician and responsible teacher I've ever met at Portland. His patience and style of teaching are sunshine to my son's piano life.

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lulu M. Nov 5, 2013
Ukulele ·

Great music teacher!

I've been taking ukulele lessons with Chuck for over a year now. I am always impressed with his musical knowledge and appreciate the way he goes beyond the songs and also teachers me musical notation, chord progressions, and more. My lessons are always fun, with just the right amount of challenge to keep my skill development moving forward. Thanks, Chuck!

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Heather B. Apr 29, 2013
Guitar ·

skilled teacher

My teen has been taking lessons from Chuck for many months and has learned a lot from him. He is knowledgeable and skilled in guitar, always on time and willing to be understanding with our schedule conflicts. His studio is very attractive and professional, very comfortable and nice location. He is patient and obviously enjoys what he does! thanks Chuck!

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Pete M. Nov 19, 2012
Piano ·

Great mentor and teacher for all levels

Chuch is a great teacher and I recommend him wholeheartedly. I have been mentoring under him for over 6-months and I feel I made the right choice. He has customized my lessons to my needs, level and skills and has been very flexible with the learning lessons themselves. He is very knowledgeable and able to help me through all my issues. I am difficult to work with, generally speaking and as I am stubborn-bad habits at play here, but he was able to find the right approach for me and I have made great progress since I've started given I have had limited-to-no-time to practice at home at times.

I am over 30, so it goes to show that even older dogs can be led to learn new things, given they have the right teacher and approach.

Absolutely recommended!

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ClaudiaM Mar 8, 2012

I have enjoyed having Chuck as a teacher. I really appreciate the fact that he is always well prepared for our lesson and makes good use of our time together.

EmilyM Jan 23, 2012

Patient and Efficient

I'm very happy with my choice of Chuck as a piano teacher. I'm a beginner with many rhythm and strength issues. He took my comments about what I was looking for in music lessons very seriously, and at each lesson he takes great care to focus on what I care about. He pushes me to have more patience and structure with my practicing, and is encouraging and understanding when I struggle with the music. He's also an extremely talented and expressive musician in his own right, and this makes me more inspired to pursue my own goals and force myself to take it measure by measure and keep on learning one song when my instinct is just to abandon ship and move on to something easier.

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LisaS1 Jan 16, 2012

I had asked for a specific type of instruction on a new keyboard. Chuck studied the user's guide to familiarize himself with that keyboard and taught me exactly what I wanted to learn. He was very well prepared, had a pleasant manner and a comfortable studio to learn in. Also, clearly a very talented musician!

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RyokoO Nov 14, 2011

Great teacher

My son is really enjoying to taking lessons from Chuck.He knows how to teach kids very well.We are so glad to find such an wonderful music teacher.

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