Sean Shea

Sean S.

Roseburg, OR
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
I believe that learning music should be as fun and inspiring as it can be to play, and the Ukulele is a great first instrument for people interested in learning to play any stringed instrument.
Its small size makes it easier for little fingers to handle, and the low-tension nylon strings are more comfortable for beginners to press against the fretboard. Plus, it's portable, so you can take it just about anywhere!

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.

Playing music should be enjoyable, and you should also be able to have a lot of fun in the process of learning it! Still, in order to make steady progress, it's important to devote regular time to practice in between lessons. This effort will bring its own reward as you gradually find a greater fluency and ease of expression, which will in turn increase your self-motivation.

About Sean S.

NOTE: Due to the current need for social distancing, all lessons will be conducted online, using the TakeLessons built-in web interface. It's remarkably easy to use, with no download necessary, and I've found the clarity and responsiveness excellent. Don't hesitate to give it a try! (Local in-person lessons will resume after the coronavirus health crisis subsides.)

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
2 Reviews
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

Photos & Videos

5 Photos & Videos


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
Sep 2018 - Jun 2019

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.

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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