Jim Talley
Fairfax, CA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Jim Talley

Jim T.

Fairfax, CA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
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, Advanced
I've been teaching piano for over 20 years and emphasize the fundamental skills in the beginning: how to easily read music, play in time, sight-reading, basic music theory and basic scales and technique. I'm a versatile performing musician and composer myself and so love to teach all styles including classical, jazz, rock, blues and more! We have a student showcase party every year where all the students get together to perform and showcase their skills.

About Jim T.

My career in music began at an early age (four!) with classical piano lessons until the age of thirteen. After expanding my musical horizons in high school listening to jazz, blues and rock I attended Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA where I studied jazz & music theory with renowned jazz educator Ray Brown and jazz piano with Paul Nagle who has worked with Grammy award winning singer Bobby McFerrin among many others.
I have been performing solo and in groups since the Eighties in a variety of different genres including rock, jazz, blues, r&b, funk, reggae and everything in between! Currently I lead my New Orleans funk band Talley Up! which performs at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael and other local venues. Performing with such artists as Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Dan Hicks, David Grisman, Tommy Castro, Eric McFadden, Mark Karan & Vinyl I have appeared at most of the major venues in the Bay Area including the Warfield Theatre, the Great American Music Hall, Yoshi's SF, the Regency, Bimbo's & the Sweetwater.
My teaching experience goes back over twenty years and I relocated to Marin County in the Bay Area in 1995 where I've been teaching extensively since 2002. Since then I have helped hundreds of students realize their dream of learning to play piano and keyboards as well as read music, play perfectly in time and learn songwriting skills. Playing music is fun & easy......I can show you just how easy it is!!

VIRTUAL PIANO LESSONS IN CLASSICAL, JAZZ, ROCK AND POP ARE NOW AVAILABLE THRU FACE TIME OR ZOOM! My style is laid back with a large supply of patience and devotion to my students. I teach beginning , intermediate & advanced piano and keyboards (including organ). For adult beginning piano students I use the John Thompson Modern Course for the Piano Grade One along with Thompson's Note, Scale & Chord Speller books and flash cards for a quick and easy route to learning how to read music and basic music theory. For kids (5-7) I like Thompson's "Teaching Little Fingers to Play" along with the kid's music theory books by Linda Ng.
In the first six months students can expect to study basic finger exercises and scales, how to read music easily and quickly, how to play perfectly in time & develop a repertoire of songs to play. Once students have learned basic skills it is possible to explore many different genres including classical, jazz, blues, rock, reggae and much more. I customize the lessons to fit each student's needs and desires and can also help the students with songwriting and learning from the recorded works of great artists!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Beautiful 1884 carved English maplewood Estey upright piano!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide the books and supplies at cost...students should have some kind of keyboard to practice on...preferably a real piano although I have taught many students initially on electric keyboards.

*** Specialties ***
I teach beginning, intermediate & advanced piano in the styles of classical, jazz, blues, rock, r&b, pop, country, etc. ages 5-105! Usually I start beginners in the John Thompson method & speller books along with music flash cards and then am willing to shift into different styles as the students gain basic skills.


Write a Review
5 Reviews
Mario L.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Very good at tuning into my needs. Jim is an excellent musician and teacher.

Posted Jun 7, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Jim is a great instructor. His knowledge of theory and his piano skills are really amazing. I appreciated his no-stress style of teaching, and it is obvious that he has a true love of music and musicians.

Posted Apr 2, 2018
Al Lyle
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Great Teacher

Posted Dec 30, 2015
Lorne P.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Jim was a great teacher. His patience and positive attitude made it easy for my wife and I to learn something new.

Posted Oct 1, 2015
dorothee C.

Great teacher for children, including jazz

Our 3 kids have taken piano lessons at our house with Jim for 6 years. Jim is a unique piano teacher, the kind that is hard to find in the bay area. He teaches classical music to beginners and confirmed students and goes to your house to teach. His training was in classical music, and he knows very well that it takes time and effort to get there, he is patient and encouraging, our kids NEVER felt pressured by him and still learned how to play in an exponential way. Thanks to Jim, they like to play for themselves AND in front of other people, which is one of Jim's important goals. Jim is now a renowned jazz piano player and cofounder of a band (Tre Mojo's) and we are always invited in his gigs when they take play in the bay area. Our son is learning jazz with him, it has been impressive to watch and hear, after a year he does know the jazz harmonies and can do impros. Every spring, Jim organizes a very nice recital where all his students come and perform various types of music (from Beethoven, Chopin, to the Beatles, to jazz impro. from beginner to professional level). Jim basically taught our children to play music with no stress, no competition, and still at a high level. Besides, Jim is highly professional, has NEVER been late, and always does what he says and -we believe- says what he thinks. There has never been a bump in our relationship. We would highly recommend him as a piano teacher.

Posted Mar 4, 2013

Photos & Videos

3 Photos & Videos


Jazz Piano and Modern Music Theory
Sep 1991 - Jun 1994

Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA

Let Our Student Counselors Help You

We can match you with the perfect teacher and take care of all your scheduling needs.
Reserve Your Spot
change subject
  • {{ subject.value }}
{{ (view.locations.length > 1) ? 'Select a ' : '' }} Lesson Location
Other lesson locations may be too far away. show all
Jim's Availability
{{ time }}
{{ time }}
{{ time }}
Time Zone:
Jim's {{ (view.location && view.location.isStudio) ? 'Studio' : '' }} {{ (view.location && view.location.isTravel) ? 'In-Home' : '' }} {{ (view.location && view.location.isOnline) ? 'Online' : '' }} Lesson Pricing
{{ rate.duration }} minutes
{{ rate.locale_rate }}
{{ view.loadingText }}
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

Recently Viewed