Tim Carey

Tim C.

Seattle, WA

Lesson Details



Tim delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 18+

Teaching since:
September 2006

One unique thing about me is that I've have experience in MANY different musical situations ranging from performance and education to arranging, band leading, touring, recording, and writing. I began as a punk rocker as so many people my age did. Learning the songs of the bands I listened to. As I got older and more proficient at my instrument, I began playing for the high school jazz bands and choirs in the area I grew up, beautiful Bremerton WA. When I was 16 I began my formal training at Olympic College where I played bass in several of the school ensembles as well as studied Theory, ear training, and history courses. At 18 I graduated with an AAS degree, took a year off to tour with a vocal jazz group called Jazz line, then applied to Cornish College of the Arts the following year. At Cornish I was exposed to many different world music styles and cultures as well as many different local Seattle musicians. From the time I got to Cornish in 2004 until now, I have been performing in Seattle at least once a week with different groups and usually 3-6 nights a week. Since graduating from Cornish in 2006, I have toured the US,Canada, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas. I am an adjunct Jazz theory instructor at Cornish College of the Arts, Jazz director at Holy Names Academy, Have given workshops and clinics at CAL ARTS, University of Alaska, University of Nevada, CWU, and many high schools and middle schools all over the country, taught on average 30-50 students per week in and around the Seattle area. In a nutshell..... music is my life, I love it, and I love sharing it's beauty with others.

*** Lesson Details ***
The way Lessons work with me is that I will start by asking you questions to get an idea of your musical background (if any) and an idea of what music you like to listen to. I will then ask questions about your musical goals (if any) to try to cater a lesson plan to what you with to accomplish. My first rule is that music should be enjoyable, I believe that the only way to improve is to want to improve. Depending on the length of the lesson there will be different activities and points of focus each week. Some things I focus on no matter what your goals are.....

Rhythm decoding, subdividing, and general understanding.

Ear training (chord quality, pitch matching, easy transcription)

History (how has this instrument been used before?)

Techniques specific to the styles you want to learn.

I always attempt to introduce students to new music and to get them excited about writing their own music through various exercises. (some students are more interested than others)

I never get angry or frustrated when students don't practice, I just walk them through an organized practice session so that they can see how much improvement in possible in 20 minutes (it's actually amazing)

My goal is to inspire people to play their instrument because as all good music teachers know...

The Only Way to Get Better is to Play Your Instrument..I Swear.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano, 3 guitars, electric and acoustic bass, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, paper pencils, computer, amps.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I bring my guitar or bass depending on what I'm teaching. I expect the students to have a spiral notebook, their instrument, any books or other materials we are working from, and a desire to learn.

*** Specialties ***
Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass, Guitar, Piano, Banjo, Ukulele, Beginning Mandolin, Jazz Mandolin, Music theory, ear training, song writing, performance skills.
My specialty is anything having to do with electric bass. I also teach theory and "lead sheet" reading, improvisation, transcription, and "jamming" skills. in addition to regular curriculum (reading, technique, memorization) I also focus heavily on rhythm.

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Class Guitar Instructor
Sep 2015 - Present
Bellevue College

Jazz Band Director
Sep 2012 - Present
Holy Names Academy

I direct and arrange for a high school Jazz band

Jazz Theory Teacher
Sep 2011 - Present
Cornish College of the Arts

Professor of Jazz Theory at Cornish College

Music Teacher
Sep 2006 - Jul 2012
Pacific Music

Taught guitar, bass, piano, etc... 40+ students weekly


BM in Jazz Performance
Sep 2004 - Jun 2006
Cornish College of the Arts


Fluent / Native Proficiency

Photos & Videos

My Arrangement of "Somewhere over the rainbow" for four-string bass. It's a little quiet.
An Arrangement of "Falling Grace" by Steve Swallow for solo five string bass.
Photo by Tim C.
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15 Reviews

Write a Review
Christopher S. Feb 25, 2016
Guitar · In studio

Tim has taught me more than I thought was possible in the short time I've been his student. He teaches me to play songs I like to listen to and I'm learning music theory & site reading.

Amy F. Oct 13, 2014
Piano · In studio

I'm only a few weeks in but so far it's been a great experience.

DaynaC Jul 18, 2012

Learning so much!

Tim provides a great combination of theory and playing. I really feel like Tim tailors the lessons and practice work to what I need and want to learn. He has a lot of patience, but also high expectations that keep me improving!

louism Apr 29, 2012

Tim is the cat's pajamas!

No matter what style of music you're into he's probably got experience with it. He's a great teacher for any age or level of playing: he explains things well, is very patient, enthusiastic, & extremely encouraging. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

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ChrisP Apr 19, 2012

Tim has been absolutely terrific to work with so far. A total pleasure. Thanks much for connecting me with such a great instructor.

CoryC Aug 9, 2011

Guitar lesson

After months of trying to teach myself how to play guitar and not being able to see the results I was hoping for I decided it was time to find a teacher. I've been taking lessons with Tim for about a month now and so far it has been awesome. I wanted to learn the guitar in hopes of being able to write my own music on it and not just play covers of other artist . Tim has been customizing our lessons toward me to show me the things I should be learning to reach that goal. Things to practice and some theory as well. overall its been a great experience

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I-WeiF Nov 10, 2010

Ukulele lessons rock!

Tim C. is a great ukulele teacher. Before taking lessons, I was attempting to teach myself to play the ukulele by watching videos on YouTube. I knew I was probably doing some things incorrectly and needed lessons before I formed bad habits and technique. Tim is a very good musician as well as teacher. He has transcribed some of my favorite rock songs to play on the ukulele, and it is obvious he puts a lot of thought into laying down good foundation by teaching some music theory as well.

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JOEC Sep 22, 2010


Tim is a very patient man as well as an excellent instructor, He is facing a major challenge with me because he is trying to teach an old (66) dog a new trick..He teaches by positive reenforcement to keep me from getting discouraged. I would recommend him to everyone with an interest in music.

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MonikaD Jun 7, 2010

5 Stars

Tim is amazing!! He is very talented and has a real knack for teaching Seth. He has a very positive style of teaching and has a way of captivating Seth's attention during his lesson. In such a short time, he has managed to come a long way with Seth. Seth comes to the lessons excited and leaves very positive and excited for the week ahead of practicing and learning what is next (and he does practice all the time). Tim gives him notes and is quick to post what he needs to remember online. This has been a very positive experience and I am glad I found Tim to be Seth's teacher. Tim is also very nice!!

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BeauP Sep 22, 2009

I have taken 2 lessons from Tim and I think he is a great teacher I am going to continue lessons with him as soon as I can

ClaireM Jul 11, 2009

Beginning guitar student

Tim gives me encouragement, support, useful information and customized practice ideas. Our compatible communication styles contribute to how much I enjoy my guitar lessons with Tim.

DustonG May 14, 2009

Base Guitar lessons with Tim

Tim has helped me, I am doing better. I like having Tim teach me, because he is helpful and really nice.

JohnW Nov 11, 2008

lesson feedback

Tim was very helpful and professional. He's very knowledgeable about music and once I can start taking lessons regularly I look forward to working with Tim again.

ChyenneB Oct 31, 2008

Excellent for all ages

Tim in knowledgeable, patient and a highly effective instructor. I don't hesitate a second to recommend him!

RileyM Aug 16, 2008


tim is a very cool guy who has a remarkable grasp of music theory. he is adept at explaining concepts, and willing to work with his students to achieve their own personal goals. i took eight years of piano lessons when i was younger, and i can truthfully say that i learned more during each piano lesson with tim than i did throughout my entire childhood.he can be a bit disorganized, but that should be comforting and familiar to any self-respecting young musician. above all, i felt as though tim approached me as a peer, and was honestly excited to see me improve, and to impart to me his vast knowledge of music.

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