Joao Martins

Joao M.

Irvine, CA
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
Our lessons will be laid-back, encouraging, and productive. We will work together to help you achieve your goals and gain a well-rounded music education, regardless of age or musical background. Students who study guitar with me will not only learn songs they love to play, but will learn proper technique, sight-reading, music theory, and ear training. I tailor each lesson based on the musical interests and goals of the student. I aim to give the students a solid foundation in technique and theory in order to help the student feel comfortable with the guitar and to make progress at a steady rate.

About Joao M.

I believe that anyone can learn an instrument and, even more importantly, that everyone can enjoy the process of learning music.

I lived in Brazil, Portugal, Netherlands, Germany, and in Boston before moving to New York. Moving around so much has brought me in contact with all sorts of people and cultures and has allowed me to grow as a musician and a teacher.

My teaching philosophy draws from different traditions: Socratic teaching method, Buddhist techniques of intense focus and self-kindness, Frederich Wieck school of lyrical expression, and the detailed science of Body Mapping.
As a graduate of Berklee College of Music, I place great emphasis on relaxed technique, ear training, and the use of contemporary repertoire along with classical pieces.

My first degree was in English and French linguistics and literature. I later dedicated myself to scholarly research and completed a master’s degree in History at the University of Amsterdam.

Eventually, I decided it was time to do a rigorous program at one of the best music schools in the world so that I could perform and teach music at a high level. I graduated from Berklee College of Music with degrees in Performance and Film Scoring.

I teach online and normally in my Brooklyn studio. I am currently in Orange County, CA while at University of California - Irvine.

Some of the highlights of my time in New York:

I was awarded an arts grant from the New York Department of Cultural Affairs and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council for my performance and composition work.
I was commissioned by the organization MyFace to develop and implement a program for artistic expression through music, movement, and storytelling for children and adults with facial differences.
I worked as an accompanist and music director for shows and dance classes at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Whatever your goals are with music, I can help you get there! Get in touch any time to tell me about your goals and aspirations.


Write a Review
12 Reviews
Alex & Jessica
Profile-location-home Student's Home

If you're reading this, you are very lucky because you've just found the most amazing music teacher!
Our son has studied piano with Joao for the past four years. He started with Joao when he was six and continues to this day. He loves Joao. Joao is a patient, intuitive and adaptive teacher that provides incredible instruction, in any music genre. He honed in on our son's musical interests early on, making learning piano fun and interesting. We often say, Joao is not just teaching our son piano, he is giving him a music education, introducing him to an array of amazing pieces from different genres. He's a rare talent both as a teacher and musician. We feel incredibly lucky to have found him. You will too!

Posted Aug 30, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I studied jazz piano with Joao for over a year. In my time working with him, I learned a tremendous amount. Joao is both an extremely talented musician and a skilled instructor. He clearly cares a great deal about his students and their progress. He was always patient (especially during weeks when my practicing had been slow) and both encouraging and supportive of my efforts to master new concepts in jazz. Joao has an excellent sense for what his students want to accomplish in their musical explorations, and an ability to tailor his lessons to the student’s unique goals. He has an impressive knowledge of both the history of jazz and music theory which makes him an incredible resource for learning about the jazz idiom. Last but not least, Joao was very personable and fun to talk to, and I always a enjoyed working with him. He is an outstanding teacher.

Posted Aug 19, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Joao is an amazing piano teacher. I would highly recommend taking lessons with him!

Posted Aug 13, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son really loved working with Joao! He has a wonderful, easy-going manner, and a real facility for keeping my distractible son on track. Joao is a very gifted teacher, and I recommend him highly.

Posted Aug 11, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Joao was the best guitar teacher I've ever had! Patient, an excellent musician and with an amazing methodology to teach (either kids or adults). He also was my niece's guitar and piano teacher and she learned so much from him. Both of us, always excited about the class. I'm really sad he left NY.

Posted Aug 8, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Joao is a patient and warm teacher who adapts his approach based on the student. When he began with my daughter, she didn't know how to hold a guitar and was adamantly opposed to the idea of a public recital. Joao built up her skills and her confidence by taking a real interest in her as a person. Lessons were fun, and also productive, and she was playing guitar and singing at large recitals in no time.

Joao also taught my son to play the piano. By teaching the melodies to familiar songs and keeping the lessons fun, my son also also discovered a love of musicianship thanks to Joao. Joao is multi-talented as a musician and gifted as a teacher, and we were lucky to have him teach our children for years.

Posted Jul 13, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I've been taking lessons with Joao for over a year and a half now, and I love how he works with me. He's taken the time to know my goals and my style of music, and tailors our lessons to what I want to achieve. He's encouraging, patient, generous, and kind, and I always enjoy my lessons because I know he's rooting for my success! He challenges me in great ways, but also supports me when I make mistakes. With Joao, I've gone from no piano experience to being able to write my own songs on the piano and have gained the confidence to perform in front of others.

Posted Jul 12, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I took introductory piano lessons with Joao for approximately 2 years. It was a superb experience. Joao does an excellent job in balancing several elements - understanding music theory, developing sight reading skills, learning the manual/physical processes. He makes sure to vary the lesson experience to keep building momentum, allowing the student to demonstrate progress, and most importantly, building an appreciation and joy about music. Joao has versatility across genres, exposing the student to jazz, classical, pop, and world music. Joao is an excellent piano teacher, and I would unreservedly recommend him.

Posted Jul 8, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Our 3 children have been taking lessons from Joao for three years. His enthusiasm, positivity, and talent have kept our children motivated and excited about piano. He introduced the kids to jazz and improvisation. He allowed them to pick songs and artists they admire. Joao is an absolute gem

Posted Jun 26, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

With the greatest confidence and honor I write this to celebrate Joao Martins, who has been our daughter’s piano teacher for the past year. During this year she has thrived under his passionate professionalism and  emotional enthusiasm. Teaching piano to an 8 year old has many challenges, especially with one who likes to bounce off the walls. He gave her the skills to focus before she began, taught her songs from classic jazz to contemporary pop and everything in between. He has consistently exceeded our wildest expectations.

I would sit in on most lessons and watch this extremely talented musician accompany my daughter while she learned from scratch, all the while being patient and present and always with a smile on his face. A smile born of his abiding love for music, and because he got to share that gift with a grateful child.

Yours sincerely, 

Jane Bradbury 

Posted Jun 12, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Joao has been my boys piano teacher for a few years. The moment they started lessons with him, they found a new interest in piano. They had lost the “passion” for it, and in Joao they found a great teacher and also a friend. It’s not easy to teach teenage boys, and Joao has been so great to them and they have advanced so much in the last years. Now my 6 year old steals part of their class because she wants to start too!

Posted May 20, 2018
Anya H.

A great and worthwhile experience.

Piano lessons with Joao Martins have been excellent. Joao is very patient and thorough when explaining things and puts a lot of effort into tailoring the lessons to suit my interests and ability. He is great at fostering a relaxed learning environment. On top of this, he is very knowledgeable about different types of music, music theory, and technique. I highly recommend Joao as a music teacher.

Posted Jan 8, 2014

Photos & Videos

5 Photos & Videos


Music Theory Department Chair
Sep 2015 - Present

Turtle Bay Music School

Developed and implemented curricula in piano and music theory for children and adults, in both private and classroom settings.

History Department Faculty
Sep 2006 - Sep 2009

University of Amsterdam

Carried out research on several topics (US and Latin America foreign policies, Governance, Area Studies). Wrote and edited peer-reviewed papers and abstracts for publication.


M.F.A in Music
Sep 2018 - Present

University of California, Irvine

Bachelor of Music in Performance
Jan 2010 - Dec 2012

Berklee College of Music

Bachelor of Music in Film Scoring
Jan 2010 - Dec 2012

Berklee College of Music

Professional Certificate
Mar 2009 - Aug 2009

Universidade Federal da Bahia

Master of Arts in History
Sep 2004 - Sep 2005

University of Amsterdam

Bachelor of Arts in English and French Linguistics and Literature
Sep 1998 - Jun 2002

University of Coimbra



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Professional Proficiency


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Certificate of Commercial Translation
Jul 2002

Alliance Française

Diplôme de Hautes Etudes Françaises
Jun 2000

Alliance Française


American Musicological Society
Nov 2017
The American Musicological Society is a membership-based musicological organization founded in 1934 to advance scholarly research in the various fields of music as a branch of learning and scholarship; it grew out of a small contingent of the Music Teachers National Association and, more directly, the New York Musicological Society (1930-1934).
Society for Ethnomusicology
Nov 2017
SEM is a U.S.-based organization with an international membership of approximately 1,750 individuals dedicated to the study of all forms of music from diverse humanistic and social scientific perspectives. We examine music as central to human experience throughout space and time, and explore its profound relationship to cognition, emotion, language, dance, visual arts, spiritual belief, social organization, collective identity, politics, conflict and peace, economics, the physical body, and mental health. Through SEM programs and the work of our individual members, we seek to advance academic and public understanding and appreciation of music as a cultural phenomenon of unlimited variety and as a resource that is fundamental to the well being of individuals and communities.
Mar 2013
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.
Berklee College of Music Alumni
Jan 2013
The Berklee Alumni Affairs Office embraces the college’s alumni as valuable members and vital stakeholders in a lifelong, global community. We strive to foster and strengthen alumni engagement in meaningful and innovative ways that support the interests and goals of alumni in their professional and personal pursuits. Guided by the college’s mission, we seek to build a sense of shared community, pride, professional achievement, volunteerism, philanthropic support, and commitment to Berklee. We celebrate and applaud our alumni as they seek to improve the world around them through their creative pursuits.

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