Mike Schmidt

Mike S.

Sherman Oaks, CA

About Mike S.

Mike teaches: Ages 5 and up
Teaching since: September 1976
Last sign in: 2 days ago


I have taught private guitar, piano, bass and drum lessons since the late 70s in Salt Lake City, where I majored in jazz guitar performance, and since 1980 in Los Angeles. I make the lessons fun. Some of my students have received college scholarships and won cash prizes for music contests. All of them had fun while learning and improving on their instruments.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am very enthusiastic and can teach students how to read. If they do not want to read music, they can learn to play by ear. I can also show them where to put their fingers. During piano lessons, I often accompany students on guitar and suggest a scale for improvisation, so they can play the blues. During drum lessons, I often play bass so they can learn to groove.

*** Travel Equipment ***
They should have their own instrument and a music stand.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in jazz improvisation on piano and guitar.
I also teach recreational guitar and piano for adults, including classical and blues styles.
I coach bass players and drummers in playing stylistically correct grooves for jazz, rock and latin music.

Photos and Videos

Chris Palmer, upright bass Gene Herd, drums Mike Schmidt, piano


guitar, bass, piano, and drum teacher

Mar 1985 - Present
Private Music School

I teach private lessons and also lead bands.


Big band jazz

Sep 1980 - Jun 1984
L A jazz workshop

Jazz studies.

Sep 1976 - Jun 1980
University of Utah
Write a Review

9 Reviews on Mike S.

Richard G. Apr 11, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
Great teacher, makes learning a lot of fun and his passion for music is awesome!
Lynn K. Jan 18, 2016
Drum · In studio
Verified Student
My first lesson was great! Looking forward to my second!
Bob Nov 10, 2015
Piano · In studio
I developed a desire later in life to learn how to play jazz and blues piano. I was very fortunate to start learning from Mike. He started me out with basic blues and over time I progressed into many of the jazz standards. Because he is also an accomplished guitar player, at all his lessons, he would accompany me while I played the new piece of music I was learning. He also does this if you are learning the guitar. This was very helpful in giving me a more complete musical experience, as I also learned to hear and play with other musicians. He is an extremely patient and upbeat instructor, constantly giving me positive reinforcement. I would get a new tune to practice as I became more proficient with the previous one. Each new tune became progressively more challenging. Having taken lessons from Mike for many years, I also witnessed his teaching and developing of younger kids. He really works with them in a positive way giving them as much time as they need to turn the corner on each tune and progress forward. They seem to enjoy it and he has developed some great musicians. As part of his instruction, he gives all his students an opportunity to participate in a Jazz Band he puts together. In this Jazz Band he leads all the players in working together though a jam session. Other players may include guitarists, brass players and keyboardists, young and older. Frankly I am forever grateful to Mike for helping me create the foundation to play jazz and blues piano both alone and with a group of other musicians.
Jackson G. Nov 7, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
I had been taking piano lessons for close to 6 years when I started with Mike. I learned more about playing jazz from him in a year than I had in all that time from a number of other teachers. Very easy to get a long with and makes class a lot of fun. Very highly recommend!
Chris Nov 7, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Mike has forever changed my life. From the very beginning, he focused on instilling the love of music in me rather than the nitty gritty technical details of playing the guitar. That came later. He opened my world to the many different genres of music. I am now applying to conservatories and still see Mike for my weekly dose of musical inspiration. I would not be the person I am today without Mike. If he can fit you into his schedule, consider yourself blessed.
Jeff M. Aug 6, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Mike is fun and smart. He customizes the lesson to my taste in music and what I want to learn. He's great! Recommend!
Craig H. Dec 10, 2014
I've been taking lessons from Mike for about 6 months now and his enthusiasm and supportive approach are invaluable. This is my 3rd time trying lessons and the first time I've continued past the first couple sessions. And the reason is Mike. He's extremely talented, but more importantly, he's a phenomenal teacher. He explains things simply, concisely, and effectively. I leave every lesson enthused and excited to go home and practice. I can't recommend him highly enough. Mike's the man!
Aaron G. Apr 12, 2013
Mike S will teach you how to allow yourself to learn a new instrument!

Mike really is incredible. The guitar looked so complicated and confusing before I met Mike. He really teaches you how to allow yourself to learn a new instrument. Within a month I was improvising over simple changes with my own ideas! And within 2 or 3 months, the amount of chord structures I had at my disposal was mind blowing. The speed at which I became comfortable with the instrument was amazing. I really believe that Mike's simple teaching style really was a key part in my ability to play and grow on a new instrument. Other than that, he is one of the greatest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet and play with. He gives so much of his time to his community by teaching anyone from child to infinity and even bringing them together to create bands to showcase every persons different talents. He is a beautiful human being and I do actively suggest him to anyone that tells me they want to learn either piano, guitar, or bass.
Alyssa S. Apr 12, 2013
AMAZING music teacher!

I have been taking lessons with Mike since I was age 5, and am now age 25. Mike was the first person to make me feel passion and love for music. He helped me discover my talent by allowing and encouraging me to play by ear and was always incredibly supportive, patient, and kind. Lessons with Mike make me eager to practice the piano daily and I have ALWAYS looked forward to our next lesson together because of the fun and easy-going environment he creates. If it weren't for Mike, I would not continue to play the piano as often as I do as an adult. He goes above and beyond for his students and I would HIGHLY recommend him as a teacher. I know I will take lessons from him for as long as he's still teaching!
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