Sean Shea
Sutherlin, OR
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Sean Shea

Sean S.

Sutherlin, 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
I believe that learning music should be as fun and inspiring as it can be to play. We all have a vast wellspring of creative energy within us, and the goal of the relationship between the student and the teacher is to help nurture and develop that latent talent. For this reason, my approach to teaching music is highly individualized. I start out with the premise that the student has unique gifts and my job is to help them discover what those are, and develop and refine them in order to make beautiful and deeply satisfying music, through whatever instrument and in whatever style they are drawn towards.

Depending on one's starting level of experience, some basic exercises will be assigned to develop core skills, with increasing levels of technical challenge and complexity. Elements of music theory will be woven into practical lessons. Students will have the choice to incorporate material from popular and familiar music into their studies, and as they progress they will be encouraged to compose original pieces incorporating concepts and skills from the lessons.

As music should be enjoyable, I expect students to be highly motivated and to dedicate regular time to practice in between lessons. Of course there is some work involved to get to a point of effortless fluent expression, but you should also be able to have a lot of fun along the way!

About Sean S.

COVID-19 Update: I'm starting to resume in-person lessons for students who have received full COVID vaccinations, using proper safeguards of masks and social distancing. Please check with me for details.
I will continue teaching lessons online, using the TakeLessons app or through your web browser (no software is necessary to download). I've found the clarity and responsiveness excellent, and a great bonus is the option to record your lesson for you to review later. Don't hesitate to give it a try!
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I began teaching acoustic guitar and voice lessons in 1984, also offering harmonium and tabla lessons a few years later. Some of my students have approached music mainly for personal enjoyment and deepening their self-identity, while others have used the skills they learned in their careers.

I've found that in order to be a successful teacher, I must be patient and compassionate, and try to always put myself in the shoes of a learner. I feel my greatest teaching strengths come from listening to my students, as well as drawing from my experience as a singer-songwriter and fingerstyle guitarist.

I'm grateful for my exposure to the music of different cultures, especially the fascinating polyrhythms of traditional African drumming and the deeply moving melodies of Indian Classical music. I had the good fortune to study these disciplines intensively with Master Teachers during my time at Dartmouth College, at Wesleyan University, and through independent studies in India. My teacher training at Pacific Oaks College further deepened my appreciation of cultural diversity as well as my sensitivity to different learning styles.

This experience has enriched my own compositions, as well as my ability to connect with learners from diverse cultural backgrounds, and to help guide people in developing a personal style free from artificial boundaries of genre.

Currently, I'm working on recording an album of original songs based on the poetry of Rumi, Hafiz and other mystics.


Write a Review
19 Reviews
Zena B.
Profile-location-online Online

Taking lessons with Sean has been fantastic. He is very kind and mellow, but also pushes enough to show that he has faith that you can get better! He's a great teacher. I can not believe how serviceable my playing has gotten in just a couple of months! I tried for years to just pick it up on my own and never got past a few basic chords. Over these weeks the guitar has made more sense to me and I am able to have a lot of fun with my voice, playing and singing songs I love. Just great!! Highly recommend.

Posted Jun 6, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Sean is a great teacher. Very patient and easy to be with. If you’re like me, wanting to learn new things and fun new techniques every week,but without pressure, Sean is perfect.

Posted May 23, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

I had some technical issues, including no voice, no picture, Echo, sound break up… definitely would not recommend to do on the phone, even with wifi. Good to have second monitor to be able to see instructor on one and online piano keys on the other display. In the end we worked out the glitches and got started. Sean was patient and very helpful. This will be fun.

Posted May 15, 2021
Robert R.
Profile-location-online Online

Great first lesson. Sean was patient and engaging. Really enjoyed the learning experience.

Posted Apr 7, 2021
Patricia L.
Profile-location-online Online

Sean is a great instructor. He is very encouraging and pushes me to do my best!

Posted Mar 31, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Loved him so much! Such a great teacher and kind person too!

Posted Mar 12, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Definitely excited to learn more from Sean!

Posted Mar 1, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Sean was very kind and knowledgeable. Gave me three things right off the bat I can use to improve.

Posted Feb 14, 2021
Christopher Riavez
Profile-location-online Online

Sean was immediately able to assess where I was at on the guitar and I was surprised at how quickly I began learning new chords and techniques. The lesson was natural and fluid and I left knowing more than I did when the lesson started. I have lots to practice! I would definitely recommend Sean as a great guitar teacher.

Posted Jan 15, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Sean is a phenomenal instructor! I have a limited background in guitar, and he did a great job getting quickly acquainted with my skill set and has since done a great job challenging me and nurturing my skills. Incredibly personable and easy to establish rapport with, which makes learning in a comfortable environment a breeze.
I especially enjoy when we summarize a lesson and decide some clear goals for the next week, making practicing on my own time easy-breezy. He knows a lot, (like A LOT) about the guitar, and music in general, and communicates theory/concepts clearly. I've learned so much about finger picking and how to navigate the fret board, and the progress I see in myself is incredibly motivating.
Lessons are fun and are always a highlight in my week. Schedule a few lessons and see for yourself! Truly the best instructor on here.

Posted Dec 13, 2020
Jennifer B.
Profile-location-online Online

I've been getting guitar lessons with Sean for sometime after some singing lessons with him. He's a great teacher, very patient, flexible, always pushing me to experiment more and adapting to my needs as a student. I've also learned so much about music theory and different approaches to song writing thanks to his input.

Posted May 4, 2020
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I Googled "guitar teacher, Roseburg, OR" and low and behold, Sean showed up and boy I'm glad he did!!! Sean and I hit it off instantly and the things I wanted to get better at (finger picking, hammer(s) on and off, picking the notes within chords, etc.) Sean was completely versed in! Long story short... I couldn't be happier with Sean as a teacher and as a person he's totally cool as well! I recommend Sean unequivocally and if you want to start to play guitar or even get better as I do, Sean is your guy, no doubt about it!!!

Posted Aug 27, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Posted May 14, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Posted May 1, 2021
David C.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Apr 8, 2021
Zena B.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Mar 2, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Feb 17, 2021
Cathie B.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jan 23, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jan 9, 2021

Photos & Videos

5 Photos & Videos


Elementary School Music Teacher
Sep 2018 - Present

Roseburg School District

Teach music, including voice and multiple instruments, to Elementary school classes (K-5); design age-appropriate lesson plans to meet state curriculum goals.

Music Teacher
Jul 2014 - Present

Umpqua Valley Music Lessons

Teach individual guitar, ukulele, voice and percussion lessons for ages 5-adult, with specialty in fingerstyle guitar

Elementary School Music Teacher
Feb 2018 - Jun 2018

Winston-Dillard School District

Teach music to Elementary school classes (K-6); design age-appropriate lesson plans to meet state curriculum goals.

Music Director
Jan 1988 - Apr 2014

Lighthouse Center Oregon

Led community weekly music program for guests and staff at spiritual retreat center; Arranged and conducted music program for regional gatherings and special events; Taught group classes and individual lessons in Indian Classical music: voice, harmonium, and tabla


Indian Classical Music
Apr 1979 - May 1992

Private instruction with music teachers in Delhi, India; Eugene, Oregon; and Hanover, NH

BA, Human Development
Sep 1985 - Aug 1986

Pacific Oaks College

Traditional African Drumming
Sep 1982 - May 1983

Wesleyan University

Music major
Sep 1977 - Jun 1981

Dartmouth College



Professional Proficiency


Limited Proficiency


Elementary School Music Teacher
Aug 2018

Roseburg School District

Bachelor of Arts in Human Development
Aug 1986

Pacific Oaks College

Pacific Oaks College - BA in Human Development August 1986


Apr 2020
SoundExchange helps the music and creative community thrive in the digital age. SoundExchange is the independent nonprofit collective management organization that collects and distributes digital performance royalties to featured artists and copyright holders. We represent recording artists – from unsigned a cappella to acid rock to multi-platinum stars and master rights owners including major and independent record labels. It’s our job to ensure that these artists and copyright holders are compensated when their work is broadcast by non-interactive digital radio.
National Education Association
May 2019
The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.
National Honors Society
Sep 1976
The National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, NHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921.

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