Michael Ellis
Dallas, TX
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Michael Ellis

Michael E.

Dallas, TX
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
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
Nothing can beat seeing an experienced person playing banjo, except being able to ask that person questions and get answers. One on one private lessons are what I offer in a comfortable, relaxed environment. I can show you exactly how to make all the moves for playing correctly. This makes progress exponentially faster.

About Michael E.

My name is Mike E. I am a resident of Lake Highlands. I played by ear for eleven years before starting training on music and how to teach by Mr. Terrill Gardner. Terrill took me through music from the Rolling Stones all the way through "Modern Method for Guitar" books I, II, and III from Berklee College in Boston. He was my mentor and taught me a method that he spent thirty years perfecting. It works, guaranteed. He also taught me on bass guitar and banjo. I can help you.

Lessons are customized to meet the needs of the individual, with the primary focus on playing songs as soon as possible. I am talking about playing along with the pros, not reading notes for months and playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb." I have combined my "by ear" knowledge with Terrill's training to provide a unique approach to music, chords, music theory, ear training, and more. Even piano lessons start with learning chords. Chords are what the musicians play behind the vocals.

Give me thirty minutes of your time and I will show you why students keep coming back to me, even after stopping for a while. After getting to know you, we can move to hour long lessons if warranted.

*** Lesson Details ***
Note Reading provided on request only.

Beginner Guitar - We start with simple chords and eight easy one-verse songs. These teach chords, timing, hand technique, ear training, song construction, and the start of music theory.

Intermediate to Advanced Guitar - all of the above plus tablature, different styles, advanced chord theory, performance, lead guitar, and more.

Beginning Piano - We start with simple chords and go straight into the songs the students like. These teach chords, timing, hand technique, ear training, song construction, and the start of music theory. I can teach you every major chord on piano in one sentence.

Bass Guitar - We start with learning the location of notes on the neck and move immediately into major chords so you can start playing with songs. The chords are divided into their single notes, but viewed as chords because that is what the other musicians are playing during the vocals.

Banjo - I teach from the book "I Can Teach Myself Banjo" but you really need a teacher/mentor to show you all the things that seeing and being able to ask questions covers that just can't be covered in a book.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano, amplifiers, cords, computer, free WiFi, all in a spacious room with a window for parents to view the teacher and student. Parents have a large, comfortable waiting area. Restrooms and water fountain provided.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in mentoring, being a friend as well as a teacher. I have never gotten mad at a student and never will.

I have written three books on chord theory, "Chordmaster Chord Theory for Keyboard," "Chordmaster for Beginner Piano Students," and "Chordmaster Chord Theory for Guitar." You can learn more about these online.

You can read my article for Takelessons.com at http://takelessons.com/blog/lead-guitar-tips. Just paste the address in your browser.


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

Michael used creative examples to quickly explain certain topics I had never quite grasped before. I can’t wait to go back next week!

Posted Nov 8, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

A really cool instructor with friendly patience with someone ignorant like me. Nice Guy!

Posted Jul 11, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great guy! Really simplifies things for ya. I've been playing almost 20 years and I learned something integral to my becoming a better musician. Highly recommend.

Posted Jun 24, 2018
Tommy F.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Looking forward to my next lesson I think I can learn a lot from Michael

Posted Apr 4, 2018
Carl I.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My Dad ha s really enjoyed the lessons

Posted Mar 8, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Clear, concise, and motivating

Posted Feb 23, 2018
Pam T.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My dad has been wanting to take piano lessons for a long time. We decided to purchase lessons for him for Christmas. Michael has been wonderful with dad. We really appreciate him.

Posted Feb 19, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Michael is very patient. He is a fabulous teacher.

Posted Jan 29, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

You simply will not find a better instructor than Mike Ellis. He's very patient, helistens well and is easy to work with.

I recommend him highly for virtually all levels of instruction.

Posted Sep 13, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

He cuts to the chase; quickly finding out exactly where you are musically and then goes from there.

Very patient and very clear.

Posted Aug 9, 2017
John F.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Terrific personality and easy style of teaching; you'll feel like you've known him for years at the very first lesson!

Posted May 12, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Good first lesson - let's see how it goes!

Posted May 12, 2017
Adam M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very kind and knowledgeable. Keeps students accountable for progress while teaching them the piano in a way that the student wants to continue learning.

Posted Apr 19, 2017
Kevin R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mike is very knowledgeable in the art of music. He has a great ability to take complex theories and practices, and simplifying them to explain in terms the beginner can understand. He also makes learning fun and is patient.

Posted Jan 5, 2017
Kevin R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Micheal is a great instructor that has taught me (a beginner) chords and notes through a piece I desired to learn. Patient and enjoyable. Definitely recommend.

Posted Dec 2, 2016
Jeff C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

1st lesson, can't wait to go back next week!

Posted Nov 25, 2016
Kenna R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mike is a patient, practical and enthusiastic instructor. Makes it fun and pressure-free.

Posted Nov 9, 2016
David N.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very friendly teacher, very knowledge

Posted Sep 30, 2016
Bill B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mike was on time. His studio is very professional. He listens well. Our first lesson was great. I am looking forward to next week.

Posted Sep 8, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mike Ellis is amazing! I always wanted to play guitar and now, at 65, I’m learning.
Mike makes learning guitar easy – and fun! He matches his teaching style to your goals. If you want to master the guitar, he can teach you. If you just want to learn some techniques and how to play your favorite songs, he can teach you. There’s no pressure. Mike will work at your pace.
Everyone’s life is getting busier and busier. Mike understands schedules can change. If I need to reschedule my standing lesson time, he’s very accommodating and flexible.
Lessons are held in a nice, quiet studio.
Thank you, Mike, for helping me learn to play and for making my lessons so enjoyable. I look forward to it every week.

Posted Aug 4, 2016
Madhavan R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Michael is an awesome teacher! His passion for music and teaching easily translates into an enriching experience for students of all types and varieties. Not only does Michael help his students refine their playing skills, but he also encourages a fuller appreciation of music (and music history) along with an advanced foundational and holistic approach to music theory.

Posted Aug 1, 2016
Blake K.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

After one lesson with Mike our 8 year old came home and went straight to the piano to play! He then thanked me for taking him to lessons!! He had lessons for almost a year prior to this with a different teacher and we couldn't get him to practice let alone be grateful for his lessons. Mike is awesome and well worth the 30 minutes it takes us to get to him.

Posted Jul 30, 2016
Jennifer M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I've been taking Banjo lessons with Michael for 5 months. I am an adult with absolutely no experience with any string instrument. Michael has taught me the basic roll patterns and techniques such as pull offs, hammer downs and slides and I can play several songs. I never thought that would be possible! Banjo is much harder than I imagined, but I can do it thanks to the encouragement and instruction from Michael! We are working through the book "I Can Teach Myself Banjo".....but I couldn't do it without Michael. Even my husband comments on how much better I am getting. Michael does demand excellence....I can't roll past a mistake, he always hears it and has me try again! He is super patient and we laugh alot! I look forward to my lessons every week and love to practice my new skills.

Posted Jul 28, 2016
Jennifer M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I've been taking Piano lessons from Michael for about 5 months. I am an adult and took years of piano as a kid. I decided to take lessons again when we bought a baby grand from a garage sale. I searched for a teacher that would be fun! This time I wanted to learn pop songs with chords; music that I enjoy. It has been so much fun but I'm also learning about music theory in a way that I really understand. Michael is patient, funny, and very talented. I tell him what song I want to learn and he picks it out by ear, writes it down, then helps me figure out the best way to play it. He has written a great book that breaks down all the chords so it is easy to learn and remember. I'm having a great time and keeping the cobwebs from forming in my brain!

Posted Jul 28, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I have been a student of Mike's for almost two years now and he is absolutely great. First, he is a great guitar player which I think is prerequisite to being a great guitar teacher. Second, I really enjoy his teaching and I have improved tremendously.

Posted Jul 28, 2016
Ivanna B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Michael is great, My daughter enjoys very minute of it!

Posted Jun 22, 2016
Bill M.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Teacher has excellent sense of humor ans explained the lesson clearly.

Posted May 27, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Easy to learn with Michael's instruction method

Posted Apr 21, 2016
Helen L.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

It was so refreshing to find such a wonderful teacher, understanding,patient .
Looking forward to next lesson.

Posted Feb 16, 2016
Madhavan R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Michael is an excellent and natural instructor whose joy of playing and teaching is very inspiring to the student from day one. Take it from me, because I just wrapped up my first lesson and can attest!

Posted Feb 5, 2016
Riley R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Michael was very nice and patient. It was evident he had experience working with kids, and we look forward to our next lesson.

Posted Jan 11, 2016
Jim J.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mike is great, he simplifies a complex music reading into plain simple English. Within a few lessons, Mike had me playing all the major chords and using them to play songs. I look forward to being able to play more complex songs with Mike.

Posted Oct 22, 2014
Terry K.

Mike amazed me!

On a free introductory meeting with Mike, he taught me every major chord on the piano in ONE SENTENCE! Then he taught me every minor chord in ONE MORE SENTENCE. His personality and demeanor matched his knowledge. Most of all, he made it all fun.

Posted Feb 23, 2014

Photos & Videos

9 Photos & Videos


Private Guitar, Bass, and Banjo Instructor
Jan 1974 - Dec 1987

McCord Music Company

Mike taught at McCord Music Company for fifteen years. He taught alongside teachers like Chuck Rainey (bassist for Aretha Franklin and more), Greg Bissonett (Drummer for Ringo Starr, David Lee Roth, and more), Mac Dougherty (Berklee College guitar instructor), and Chris McGuire (classical guitarist who auditioned for Segovia).


Guitar, Bass guitar, Banjo, and Music Theory
Feb 1974 - Aug 1987

Terrill Gardner

Sight Reading for Guitar
Aug 1980 - May 1981

Terrill Gardner / Berklee College (Boston)

Guitar and Piano studies
Sep 1962 - Aug 1973

Self Taught

Piano Lessons
Sep 1955 - Jun 1957

Stonewall Jackson Elementary


Best teachers in Dallas 2016 Award
Oct 2016


Expertise.com looked at 319 teachers in the Dallas area and Mike Ellis Music Instruction was selected in the top nineteen. Their goal is to connect people with the best local experts. They scored guitar teachers on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analysed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best guitar teachers in Dallas, TX.
Johnny Smith Jazz Seminar
Mar 1982

Johnny Smith Music

8 hour seminar on guitar and jazz guitar.


Best Guitar Teachers in Dallas
Nov 2016


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