Ethan Heyenga
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Ethan Heyenga

Ethan H.

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This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Music theory can be overly complicated, boring, and irrelevant to the music you love, or it can be fun, help you understand the music you love, and build a foundation for you to make music you want to hear.

If you're a beginner, we'll master the basics- you'll learn to sing and recognize by ear the building blocks of piano harmony, understand scales, modes and triads, learn the basic rhythms and harmonic cadences you hear in Western music, and learn to recognize and interpret everything you need to read most sheet music (time signatures, notation,. Within a few lessons, you'll already be composing your own music, you'll be a better reader, and you'll have a new understanding of the songs you're learning and listening to.

For the more advanced, we dig deeper into singing (the only way to truly understand a sound is to sing it), study seventh chords and more complex cadences, examine specific examples from a variety of styles and composers to expand your harmonic and rhythmic vocabulary, and play with techniques for composing or improvising in a variety of harmonic and rhythmic landscapes. We work heavily from W.A. Mathieu's "Harmonic Experience," which for my money is the most comprehensive textbook on keyboard harmony available, and offers a unique and deep point of view that you can apply to help you intuitively understand music from Beethoven to Coltrane to Ravi Shankar.

I've been exploring music since I was four, and spent the last five years helping students understand the sounds they love and incorporate them into their own music-making.

I'd love to help you too- shoot me a message and we can get started!

About Ethan H.

My musical life started at the piano when I was four. I've spent the last five years helping students understand the sounds that speak to them and bring them into their own music-making.

I spent my early years playing piano, then picked up the saxophone, which took me to Berklee College of Music, where I got to study and listen to all kinds of things- improvisation, jazz, composition, Celtic and South Indian music- and spend my time hanging out and playing with some of the most dedicated and brilliant teachers and young musicians in the world.

After Berklee, I picked up a guitar and started writing and recording my own songs. I've produced and recorded a handful of EPs under different names- my latest is coming out this August.

As a teacher, I developed a passion for helping students fall in love with music and discover their unique personal relationships with sound.

I work by treating you as a real musician from the very beginning, and walking with you through the processes that great musicians use to learn and create the music you love.

You'll be learning to play your favorite songs, taking them apart, then using what you learn to compose, record and perform your own originals.

As we practice, analyze, record and perform together, you'll master your instrument, learn to understand music from the inside out and create cool stuff to share with your friends and family- one song at a time.

I treat students and their parents like family, because I love fostering new connections. One of my favorite parts about teaching is seeing my students jamming, helping one another with math homework, or trading tips about shared hobbies. Community is key, and you won't just learn from me- you'll meet other like-minded young musicians and families who will support and encourage you.

Our role as musicians is to contemplate life, to learn how to listen, and to help others hear and see the world in new ways.

My mission as a teacher is to help students grow into that role- to cultivate a relationship with music that helps you navigate life, create meaning, and heal yourself and others.

My goal is to see you make music that you feel proud of.

It takes some work, but it's worth it- music gives back everything you put in and more.


Write a Review
5 Reviews
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Ethan is truly an amazing saxophone teacher! I started learning the saxophone on my own but had been plateauing for months. Thanks to Ethan, I learned very useful tips - ranging from music theory to practical advises - and I can now feel myself progressing again. What’s impressed me the most with Ethan are his passion for the music, his dedication to transmitting his love for the saxophone and his desire to find the find the best teaching approach for each of his students.

Posted Sep 4, 2021
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

The way I view music and life in general has shifted in the best way possible. Stoked to have been apart of Ethan's lessons and recommend anyone interested in music to do the same. The things I never even begun to understand about music are now commonplace and serve to better my understanding of music as a whole.

Posted Aug 4, 2021
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Ethan has always shone as the most impressive of all my mentors in my eyes. Even since I started working with him four years ago, he has always put in the most effort for each of his students, and still continues to outdo himself. A great quality of his that proves more difficult to find out there is his raw passion and skill for leaving no bit of knowledge behind in sharing with his students. Whether it’s advanced music theory skills or pro-level composition techniques, he never fails to demonstrate his talent for spreading knowledge and helping his students learn. Ethan is an astounding instructor, mentor, and friend, and I hope other students can experience the same learning opportunities that I have.

Posted Aug 2, 2021
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Of all the instructors I have ever had, there has never been one that I felt cared about my growth as a musician as much as Ethan. Not only did he help my growth as a saxophonist, but myself as a musician and enjoyer of music as an art. He helped me find what I wanted to sound like and the music I wanted to make. Along with this he was able to answer every question I had eloquently and clearly. Beyond the music he also had served as a great mentor throughout some of my more difficult years and I would recommend him to anyone looking to discover more about both music and themselves. Also pretty funny guy.

Posted Aug 2, 2021
Isabelle Ng
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I have studied saxophone, jazz piano/theory, and songwriting with Ethan for over 2 years, and he is the best music instructor I've ever had. He cares so much about his students and helps us thrive. Not only is Ethan my teacher, he is a friend and a mentor.

I first met Ethan through my school's jazz combo program, and my interest in music immediately grew in the presence of his friendly persona. Ethan organized life changing jam sessions and master classes that I will remember forever. His teaching approach is project based which gives his students something to walk away with. With his guidance, I have become a stronger musician and a wiser person. Thanks Ethan!

Posted Jul 21, 2021

Photos & Videos

6 Photos & Videos


Music Performance
Sep 2011 - Jun 2014

Berklee College of Music


May 2017
Broadcast Music Inc. was founded in 1939 by forward-thinkers who wanted to represent songwriters in emerging genres, like jazz, blues and country, and protect the public performances of their music. Operating on a non-profit-making basis, BMI is now the largest music rights organization in the U.S. and is still nurturing new talent and new music.

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