Michael Rodriguez
Portland, OR
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Michael Rodriguez

Michael R.

Portland, OR
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Profile-student-favorite Student Favorite
This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
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, Advanced
Tired of being frustrated by the pace of self-teaching or is your child bored with the progress in school band class? Are you an adult who never played an instrument but are really interested in learning a wind instrument? Not able to express yourself creatively or don't really understand why your favorite songs or styles of music work? Do you want a more hands-on way of teaching with personalized plans just for you?

Learn how to play the Clarinet with Michael!

Michael teaches a variety of instruments and subjects in the woodwind family:

- Saxophone
- Clarinet
- Flute
- Improvisation
- Music Theory
- Jazz Studies

Michael creates versatile and fun lesson plans that incorporate learning your favorite music while teaching theory, improvisation, note reading, songwriting, or any other interests! He has an easy-to-follow, fun, but yet structured and thorough plan designed for results to help the student reach their goals, rather than imposing an one-size-fits-all plan just from lesson books! Michael teaches anyone from kids to adults and seniors and encourages all students to be creative while really understanding the music they play. Michael incorporates classical and traditional music into lesson programs alongside modern styles to create diverse and interesting repertoire!

About Michael R.

Michael is a freelance musician based in the Portland metropolitan area. His diverse skill set allows him to perform in a variety of musical groups. Michael is hired regularly to perform for: jazz and cover bands, weddings, corporate events, musicals, and studio sessions. He also leads and writes music for his own band that performs regularly in the Portland metropolitan area. He attended Mount Hood Community College and Portland State University. Michael graduated with a B.S. in Biology and Jazz Performance.

Many describe Michael as genuine and passionate. He has a youthful, energetic teaching style that works well with most students. Michael’s creativity and patience allow him to help his students grasp tough concepts and improve at a faster rate than they would on their own.
Michael’s practice philosophy is simple. Make practice enjoyable and efficient. He has experienced the common pitfall of practicing scales for many hours only to retain little or nothing. Michael shows his students techniques to focus, and get more done with less wasted time. Lessons are customized to meet the student’s goals and learning style.

Michael ensures that every student will have the skills to be a complete musician that is comfortable in any musical genre or setting. He enjoys working with students of all abilities. Michael relates to the absolute beginner and experienced musician equally.


Write a Review
43 Reviews
Profile-location-online Online

My son started to play saxophone a few years ago and he really liked it up until this year. Not a lot was happening with band lessons online this year hence no progress and no motivation. I reached out to Michael with the only goal in mind: to spark the passion to play saxophone for my 12y.o. son again. We've already had a bit over 10 lessons and my son loves his lessons. I can see really good progress but most importantly he wants to play. It's not a chore for him any more. It's actually fun and he enjoys it. Now we can build on that. Michael has great attitude and communicates with kids very well. He definitely has a passion for music and it translates to kids.

Posted Apr 16, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Michael has great energy and excitement for the music. He picked a great fitting piece to work on with our teenager. He helped our son to remember why he loves music and recapture some lost skills with all the COVID down time. Thank you!

Posted Apr 11, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

My son looks forward to lessons every week. He loves the music recommended by Michael to practice and has improved in tonality and technical skills. It has been a great experience.

Posted Apr 2, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

I find Michael to be fabulous! He’s knowledgeable, supportive, and a lot of fun to work with.

Posted Jan 26, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Our son really enjoyed his first lesson. Michael has a great way of connecting with teenagers and makes the lesson fun.

Posted Jan 22, 2021
Anthony L.
Profile-location-online Online

Really great with my son! Had him knowing the keys in just one session. Thank you!

Posted Oct 6, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Michael is great! My 11yo son loves him.

Posted Sep 30, 2020
Ha V.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Mike is an excellent teacher. Friendly, easy and great personality. Teaching in a fun way and easy to understand. My son loves Mike.

Posted Jul 1, 2020
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very fun and easy going. He is very knowledgeable and encouraging. I had a great time working with him!

Posted May 7, 2020
Brandt P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I returned to saxophone after not playing for years, and at the recommendation of a local player took lessons with Mike. Mike's a great player, but more importantly, he's a great teacher. He's made a study of teaching wind instruments and can really help identify technical issues. Working with Mike on improvising and jazz phrasing and articulation has been really fun and productive for me, and has improved my musicianship in other areas (I'm mostly and upright bassist). I haven't had a sax lesson for a little while, but I recently got a clarinet and I'm back with Mike. The lessons are, as always, rewarding and enjoyable. Highly recommended.

Posted Nov 10, 2019
Ava Q.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Ava is enjoying her clarinet instruction!

Posted Feb 11, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

What an AMAZING teacher! Michael always has a positive attitude and connects well with people. He is definitely the highlight of my son’s week (age 10). Michael is talented, knowledgeable and kind. He can connect with all age groups. His studio is also an energetic and delightful place to be. He is a true gem and talented musician. My son says, “He is such a fun guy and great teacher!” He inspires my son.

Posted Jan 4, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Michael is the best! This is the first instrument I've ever learned to play, and the patience shown to me by Michael was legendary. I can't wait to keep practicing and continue learning with him through out this winter!

Posted Nov 1, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son Kelly loves working with Micheal. Its fun, relaxed and easygoing. He couldn't be happier. Highly recommend!

Posted Oct 2, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Micheal is energetic and kind. He tries very hard to meet the interests of his students.

Posted Aug 17, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great guy. Works with your musical ability. I’m new to saxophone, but am on my 3rd instrument so I’m not totally new to music. He understands that.

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

I've been taking lessons with Michael for over a year now, and it is definitely a highlight of my week! Michael was curious as to why I wanted to play the clarinet and has subsequently brought me books with Klezmer, Classical Duets, Jazz and Tango music. I had taken classical lessons for many years, but I can honestly say that I progressed so much more with Michael. He is fun to work with, and always finds the places where I have progressed. He is very skilled at finding new challenges to explore and does so in a most supportive way. Can't recommend him highly enough!

Posted Apr 26, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I just took my first saxophone lesson and it wouldn't be better! Michael is very enthusiast and knowledgable, he guided me through the basic steps of playing sax. He made me feel confortable and confident, which is very important when somebody starts to do any new activity. I am looking forward to my second class and I know it will be a blast. Great guy Michael is.

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

Very personable and down to earth. He explains things very well and tailors the lesson to fit your needs. Could not be more excited to continue learning from Michael after just one lesson!!

Posted Feb 2, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Couldn't ask for a better instructor! If you're thinking of taking lessons, Michael is your guy.

Posted Jan 6, 2018
Adrien A.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Michael makes my son’s lesson fun! Adrien looks forward to his lessons and enjoys them thoroughly.

Posted Oct 10, 2017
Profile-location-home Student's Home

He is a great teacher! He truly loves what he does, you can tell! This makes for a great experience for learning...
We can definitely recommend Michael!

Posted Aug 22, 2017
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Michael is an awesome teacher. He really listens to his students and teaches them in a very engaged way

Posted Jul 25, 2017
Marina S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Michael takes the time to really understand our daughters interests and goals, and then develops a plan just for her. He takes his job very seriously, and always provides great advice. I would enthusiastically recommend Michael to any saxophone student.

Posted Jun 18, 2017
Jennifer H.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Great first lesson!

Posted May 31, 2017
Torrey S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Enthusiastic, energetic, and all around fun to learn with! Michael instantly made me feel welcome and excited to get better with his help. I'm looking forward to our next lesson immensely.

Posted May 22, 2017
Sally W.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

This guy is the most enthusiastic, skillful, upbeat musician and teacher. We have had three lessons and already my son wants to turn 30 minute lessons into 45 minutes and I will happily do so. Thanks Michael for nurturing mu son's love of saxophone.

Posted Mar 19, 2017
Ronnie G.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Michael is quite special. He is taking this 57 year old who has never played an instrument nor read music and trying to work a miracle! Three lessons in, I know that this is going to be fun learning with him. I also know that I will be able to play the Saxophone soon. An inspiring teacher!!!

Posted Feb 12, 2017
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I am really enjoying my lessons with Michael, because he is patient and kind. He takes his time when explaining new ideas and concepts. I feel encouraged to do my best without any added pressure. He sets a good pace and I feel I am moving forward with technique and tone each lesson!

Posted Nov 15, 2016
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Michael is an extremely talented musician, and an equally talented instructor. He challenges me every week with new material to practice, but also keeps the lessons light-hearted and fun.

Posted Oct 9, 2016
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Michael is a great instructor. My son had the first lesson today and he loves it.

Posted Sep 17, 2016
Nick A.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My son had a great first lesson with Mike. He gave him some tips and pointers that improved his playing immediately. He also said Mike made his lesson really fun!

Posted Sep 7, 2016
Jac H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Crazy, awsome guy. Really enjoys what he is doing and gets you excited about learning to play. Flexible and offers multiple ideas to reach a goal.
Cool guy!

Posted Aug 7, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My first lesson with Michael was awesome! He's enthusiastic and makes learning fun. Looking forward to many more lessons.

Posted Jul 14, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Works with you to achieve any goals you want to pursue with your instrument.

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

Michael has the technique and tools to make lessons fun and fabulous. I started lessons because my son wanted me to play sax with him. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much!

Posted Jul 1, 2016
Tom V.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Always fun and encouraging, Michael makes Tom love to practice.

Posted Jul 1, 2016
Jina L.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Michael helps me to understand harder concepts of saxophone. He uses many ideas and helpful repetitions to get me to understand how to make notes sound better.

Posted Jun 6, 2016
Luke L.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Very nice guy -- helpful!

Posted Jun 4, 2016
Oscar A.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Michael is on time, prepared, thorough, engaging, confident, inspiring, motivating and has an excellent teaching style. He really gets my boys; what their strengths and weaknesses are and what motivates them. He is always a step ahead of their achievements. He is clear about setting goals and expectations for the next lesson and listens carefully to any questions or concerns that they have.

Really Outstanding.

Posted Jan 29, 2016
Caroline B.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My 14 year old son very much enjoys working with Michael. He is very nice, patient and punctual, and I love the fact that he teaches his lessons at our house.
I would recommend hiring Michael.

Posted Nov 2, 2015
Jack D.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

"Now that I'm studying with Mike, the efficiency of my practice time is way, way up."

Mike is the first coach who emphasizes "practice the hard parts". So much so that any time a note comes out either not in rhythm, not in pitch, or not a great sound, I have the confidence to stop and repeat the hard part until it's no longer hard. Even when learning to improvise, if the notes I pick on the sax don't match the ones I first heard in my head, I have the confidence to stop and really find those notes that my mind imagined. Eventually I'll be able to hit the ones I intend the first time. He also advocates to always know the purpose of any practicing you're doing---there's no more aimless noodling. Even when I'm jamming, there's a specific goal in mind.

The second thing I really get from Mike is that he expects me to know what notes I'm playing and what role they fill in the key. Formerly my method of improvising was to hunt and peck, occasionally hitting notes outside the key and finding a way to "work them back in". But now, if I'm riffing on the note F in the key of B-flat, Mike wants me to know that that's the 5 of the key. And to also know where the 3 and 7 are---like a home base where you know it's safe to play.

Posted Oct 6, 2014
Aaron S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

We are so lucky to have found Michael! Before we started with him in February, my son played Ode to Joy, now he's practicing jazz and having fun while practicing. Michael has awesome enthusiasm, and a great foundation in both performance and theory. He shows care for the student and is always supportive. I completely recommend him for any skill level!

Posted May 28, 2014

Photos & Videos

3 Photos & Videos


BS Biology minor jazz studies
Jun 2005 - Jun 2009

Portland State University



Fluent / Native Proficiency

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