Peter Marcott

Peter M.

Portland, OR

About Peter M.

Peter teaches: Ages 8 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: September 2004
Last sign in: 3 days ago


I knew I wanted to be a professional guitar player from the first time I picked up an electric guitar over 16 years ago. I started taking private lessons as soon as I got my first guitar, and without the crucial guidance and encouragement I received early on I certainly would not be the guitarist I am today, and that old guitar might even be collecting dust in a closet somewhere. Since I began teaching 8 years ago my goal has been to provide that same encouragement to beginning students and to help them realize that no matter what their ambitions are, they can be achieved with enough practice and they can have fun along the way!

When I started high school I realized there was a lot more to playing guitar than the hard rock and blues songs I had been learning up until then, so I enrolled in a music theory class, joined my school's jazz band and began taking classical guitar lessons at the University of Wyoming. After high school I accepted academic and music scholarships to attend the University of Oregon where I majored in Jazz Studies, and I graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music degree with an emphasis on jazz arranging. While at UO I performed in student combos and my own rock band Just People as well as the award winning Oregon Jazz Ensemble. I also had the opportunity to perform with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra and play several shows with Grammy-Award winning country artist Lynn Anderson.

This diverse experience allows me to help my students improve their technique and gain a deeper understanding of the guitar, regardless of the style(s) of music they are passionate about. I firmly believe that anyone can learn to play guitar and that lessons should be fun, whether your goal is to be able to sing your favorite song and strum a few chords or start your own band and take over the world!

*** Lesson Details ***
I believe that lessons are most effective when they relate to your life and the music you love. I've talked to countless people who have told me "I used to play violin..." or "I played piano when I was younger...", and every time I ask them why they stopped I get a variation on the same answer: "I just didn't feel like practicing." My goal is for every student to look forward to their practice time, and to prevent it from falling into the 'chores' category next to taking out the trash and washing the dishes.

In order to make learning fun we'll start by learning songs that are meaningful to YOU. After becoming familiar with the basics like chords and strumming patterns, we'll dig a little deeper and look at the structure of the song and the fundamentals of music theory that went into composing it. After learning a few songs this way you'll gain not just a larger vocabulary of chords and rhythms, but also the tools to start writing your own music. From there we can develop a more concrete lesson plan based on your individual goals as a musician, whether you're interested in songwriting, improvising, advanced techniques or music theory.

In addition to practicing the material covered in each week's lesson I'll often give students small homework assignments, which can range from finding a musical example of a topic we're learning to writing their own chord progressions. I'm very relaxed and easy-going, but I expect students to come to each lesson prepared to work on new material after a quick review of the previous week's lesson.

After a few months of lessons each student will be able to comfortably play several songs from beginning to end, play basic major and minor scales, discuss the basic structural elements of songwriting (verse, chorus, etc) and tell all of their friends how much fun they're having learning to play guitar!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Dedicated teaching studio w/ guitars and amps. There is no waiting area for parents but they are welcome to sit in on lessons. Lots of street parking.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide a laptop, lesson-related handouts and staff paper. I expect the student to have their own instrument and basic equipment (picks, spare strings, etc)

*** Specialties ***
My college degree is in Jazz Studies with an emphasis on arranging, I specialize in teaching jazz guitar as well as classic rock, hard rock, fingerstyle acoustic and blues.

Photos and Videos

A duo performance recorded with the singer of my band, Just People. This is an original soul track called "Before You Love Again".


Guitar Instructor

Nov 2012 - Present
Take Lessons

I've been teaching guitar and bass with TakeLessons for 4 years, though I've been teaching professionally since 2005.

Guitar Instructor

Oct 2007 - Nov 2010
The Lesson Factory

I taught individual guitar and bass lessons as well as group classes, and coached bands each summer at their Rock Camps. I also helped prepare students for recitals and accompanied them as part of the backing band.


Bachelor of Music: Jazz Studies

Sep 2005 - Jun 2009
University of Oregon

Languages Spoken


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Outstanding Undergraduate Work in Guitar Performance

Jun 2009
University of Oregon

Oustanding Soloist

Apr 2009
Reno Jazz Festival
Write a Review

7 Reviews on Peter M.

Emanuel C. May 11, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Peter is the first guitar instructor that I have ever had and it was a blast to learn from what he had to offer. Very knowledgeable dude and I enjoyed the lesson.
Elizabeth Mar 4, 2016
Guitar · In home
Peter has been teaching my daughter guitar for about 7 weeks now. Every lesson is so positive and his teaching style is great. My daughter is gaining confidence quickly with her new skills and we are really enjoying it thanks to Peter!
Elizabeth Jan 19, 2016
Guitar · In home
Peter arrived right on time for his first lesson with my daughter and husband, who have decided to learn guitar together. He put them immediately at ease and got started with the basics. They have been learning their first cords and are getting used to playing, and they sound great! We are very excited to continue!
Tim Jan 6, 2016
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
I enjoy working with Peter his methodology is great and I left my first lesson with some clear objectives to work on for my next lesson.
skip Oct 12, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Positive, up-beat and knowledgeable. Since I was in Portland on a vacation this was an out of the box lesson which Peter handled graciously to accommodate.
The two and a half hours flew by and sadly it was time to leave. I have been playing the guitar on and off for 40 yrs. and had many teachers along the way.
I would consider Peter to be the best well rounded instructor I have had.

Kelley G. Aug 4, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I have taken guitar lessons from Peter for a year and a half now, and I wholeheartedly recommend him to any child - or adult, like me - for the highest quality music lessons!

When I researched the TakeLessons website (and others), I looked for an instructor with a strong music background and saw that Peter had a degree in Jazz Studies and Composition from University of Oregon. He has been teaching for a number of years now, and can teach any style of music, including classical. He incorporates music theory into each lesson - very important if you want to learn how to play, improvise or write music. For those students who want to perform, Peter has lots of experience in that arena too, regularly touring with his band and teaming up with other musicians as well.

Peter's an enthusiastic teacher who takes his lessons seriously, and it is absolutely evident how much he loves music. He's exceedingly patient and supportive, and always gives plenty of positive feedback. He taught me how to practice properly, which doesn't mean playing a piece over and over, but rather breaking it down into sections - or even a measure or two - in order to perfect an awkward chord change or erratic rhythm. But perhaps most important is that he doesn't rush through the lesson; he makes certain you understand a technical point, or makes sure you're able to play a finger exercise correctly before he moves on to the next thing.

I've had numerous music instructors over the years in elementary, high school, college and beyond and Peter is without question one of the best teachers I've ever had. He's an incredible musician and a superb instructor. And a pretty terrific human being as well!
david G. Feb 18, 2013
Verified Student
fun lessons!

Peter's a good teacher, smiling in the face of terrible, broken chords! The lessons are really enjoyable. Peter picks a suitable selection of music where each new piece builds on the past progress. I would recommend him to anyone.
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