Mike Schmidt
Sherman Oaks, CA
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Mike Schmidt

Mike S.

Sherman Oaks, 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
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I teach chord and scale theory! How to apply it to your instrument or use it to make your songwriting better!

About Mike S.

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.


Write a Review
22 Reviews
Profile-location-online Online

Mike taught Leo in person before the pandemic started and has been doing online lessons with him for the past eight months. He is amazing with both. Leo has a very short attention span, but a deep love for music. Mike has been able to hold Leo’s attention every week for over a year — even during online lessons. Leo has become an awesome little pianist, and has developed a love for the piano. It has given him the ability to express all of his feelings and has helped his attention span for his schoolwork. Mike has so much patience, and always inquires about Leo’s favorite activities. He is great with kids and makes them feel so comfortable. Leo loves his “booming voice” and the free play blues music they get to play together every lesson.

Posted Oct 15, 2020
Logan S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Fun time

Posted Feb 17, 2020
Wyatt W.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Mike amazing! Not only are my children learning at an incredible pace, they are having so much fun :-)

Posted Sep 18, 2019
Leo F.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Leo loved jamming out with Michael! We can’t wait until next week. Leo was super focused and he normally has a difficult time listening, but Michael was great.

Posted Sep 13, 2019
jerome G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Mike has great enthusiasm and energy when it comes to imparting his knowledge to those of us less enlightened. Very easy demeanor too. Thanks Mike.

Posted Sep 18, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Mike is extemely knowledgeable about chords and fingering, which is what I wanted.

Posted Aug 27, 2018
Mark H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio


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

Easy going, intuitive, patient and he plays along with enthusiasm. Could not ask for a better guide!

Posted Apr 4, 2018
Bill S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Excellent lesson. Only 30 minutes but by the end I was playing simple improvisations (on the piano) over a blues-pattern bass. I didn't believe I had it in me ("improvisation") but he definitely brought it out! He accompanied me on his guitar and we alternated playing the melody\bass on the piano\guitar several times. Quite a trip and I enjoyed it. Looking forward to my next lesson.

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

Mike is awesome. He taught my daughter piano, guitar, and ukelele. He's very supportive and encouraging, yet he also is quick to correct mistakes.

Mike makes learning music so much fun. My daughter enjoyed the lessons and enjoyed the pieces he taught her. She is now pretty good at improv as well.

I actually took guitar lessons from Mike too, and I learned so much in a very short time.

When Mike is giving lessons, there's no time wasted. My daughter was always playing something during the lesson.

So Mike's enthusiasm for music is infectious. The kids will enjoy him, the lesson, and the music.

Thanks, Mike!

Posted Feb 3, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Great instructor!

Posted Jun 30, 2017
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Most excellent first guitar lesson to where we actually played a song together. I'm blown away. What fun! I only hope I can remember the chords when I practice on my own, and I look forward to my next lesson with Mike. I can already tell I'll be signing up for more lessons. Great teacher, and I can say that because I tried to learn some years ago with another instructor, and he made me feel like I'd just never get it and may as well give up. Mike erased all that negativity for me in 30 minutes. Thanks, Mike!

Posted May 2, 2017
Herve D.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Awesome instructor and guy! Great energy

Posted Jan 10, 2017
Richard G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great teacher, makes learning a lot of fun and his passion for music is awesome!

Posted Apr 11, 2016
Lynn K.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My first lesson was great! Looking forward to my second!

Posted Jan 18, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Nov 10, 2015
Jackson G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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!

Posted Nov 7, 2015
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Nov 7, 2015
Jeff M.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Mike is fun and smart. He customizes the lesson to my taste in music and what I want to learn. He's great! Recommend!

Posted Aug 6, 2015
Craig H.

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!

Posted Dec 10, 2014
Aaron G.

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.

Posted Apr 12, 2013
Alyssa S.

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!

Posted Apr 12, 2013

Photos & Videos

6 Photos & Videos


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

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