Toby Matoush

Toby M.

San Jose, CA
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I am a highly trained pianist/composer with a BA in classical piano performance offering customized lessons in classical, popular, theory, composition/arrangement, and songwriting at all skill levels up to advanced level.
My combination of teaching experience (over 20 years both individually and at the college level), knowledge of learning styles and pedagogy as well as music history and performance experience (over 30 years) allow me to provide highly enjoyable lessons. Students progress rapidly with me and also really enjoy learning as I tailor each lesson to best fit their strengths. I teach theory, technique, sight-reading, repertoire, and music history, provide 2 recitals annually at a fancy recital hall with a concert Steinway grand, and also teach songwriting/arranging/composition with Garageband and soon ProTools.
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Toby teaches



Toby passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Toby delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5 to 65

Teaching since:

Enjoy customized lessons (beg-adv level) from a professional teacher/performer/composer who makes learning music exciting and rewarding. I promise you will learn to play songs in just a few lessons. I also maintain standards of excellence with tailored technical exercises, theory, and sight-reading practice customized to each unique individual. Detailed curriculum provided as well as weekly practice instructions. My students have 2 recitals a year at a gorgeous recital hall with a Steinway grand.

At a young age, I was earning scholarships and entry to competitive piano master classes; I then earned a BA in classical piano performance. Due to my many years of both individual private piano and university teaching, I am able to customize lessons to best fit each unique individual and use my knowledge of theory and music history to make each lesson exciting and enjoyable.
I use games and apps to make learning music fun for younger children mixed in with playing and singing. I specialize in theory, repertoire, and technique and will find the perfect technical exercises to help you perfect that Mozart sonata or Rachmaninoff prelude. I also love teaching beginners and seeing them learn to love music.

I am a composer and work with my band. I have a music channel online (see videos) featuring original music written by me and performed by my band. I compose original piano compositions as well as rock/classical mash-ups with my band. I teach many of my students arranging and composing and several examples of my students playing original pieces that I helped them compose/arrange can be seen in the video section of my Profile.

Contact me for detailed lesson availability

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Music Librarian/Associate Professor
Aug 2002 - Present
San Jose State University

Private Piano Instructor
Jan 1990 - Present
Private Studio.


MA Japanese Language & Literature
Sep 1994 - Sep 1996
University of Hawaii
BA Japanese Language
Sep 1989 - Sep 1992
University of Oregon
BA Classical Piano Performance
Sep 1983 - Sep 1986
Southern Oregon University
Piano Master Class
Jun 1982 - Aug 1982
University of the Pacific School of Music


Professional Proficiency


Songwriting/Composition Classes
Jan 2016
Berklee College of Music

Berklee is considered the best music college in the US for the study of popular music, composition, and songwriting.


Piano Performance Scholarships
Jan 1984
Southern Oregon University

Photos & Videos

Fall 2017 Piano Recital Students Group Photo

One of my original compositions from my Katt Storm YouTube Music Channel.
One of my students and I.

Matoush Melodies Piano Instruction student playing original composition at 2017 Annual Fall Recital.
Matoush Melodies Piano Instruction student performing at the 2017 Annual Fall Recital. (Aged 9)
Fall 2018 Piano Recital Program (1 Side)

Matoush Melodies Fall 2017 Recital student performing her original composition.
Matoush Melodies Fall 2017 Recital adult student performing.
A video of me performing one of my original compositions (I Broke Your Heart in June) at the Fall 2017 Matoush Melodies Recital.

7 Reviews

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Yasuko Dec 11, 2018
Piano · In home

My daughter started taking piano lessons 1.5 years ago, but I couldn't find a teacher who was a good match for her. I found Ms. Toby about 4 months ago and my daughter is now very happy. My daughter wanted to have a teacher with energy, who will motivate and challenge her, and can find the space between too hard and too easy. Ms. Toby's practice routines, song selection, and teaching style has made a huge impact on my daughter's skill in just a few months. Now she is excited to practice the piano in the morning - sometimes she wants to keep practicing instead of going to school! Ms. Toby also lets my daughter have space to practice a song that my daughter wrote, and is helping to guide her and develop these skills as well. With Ms. Toby, my daughter performed in her first recital in October, along with Ms. Toby's other students. It was a great chance for her to challenge herself and play in a music hall in front of a large group of people. I am very pleased to have her as a piano teacher.

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Steve Dec 11, 2018
Piano · In studio

Toby has been a fantastic instructor for my eight-year-old. From the beginning, she has always been responsive, timely and professional in all scheduling and interactions. She has a remarkable ability to figure out and focus in on a child's talents and interests. My daughter has a particular fondness for composing, which I would have NEVER figured out on my own. But Toby has brought it out and fostered it, and at our first recital recently, my daughter performed her own composition! I have been pretty stunned to see her continual growth and I credit Toby 100 percent with developing it!

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Jessica Dec 11, 2018
Piano · In studio

My 10yr old daughter has been doing lessons with Toby for almost 2 years. She is making great progress and she really enjoys the lessons, she is always eager to go and especially loves that she gets to pick out some songs to learn and has even worked on her own composition! Toby is really helping to foster her love of music and we are excited to continue to see her progress!

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Ishwarya Nov 21, 2018
Piano · In studio

I am a working adult who always wanted to play piano. I am so glad to have found Toby. She has a great zeal and passion for piano! She is extremely talented and an amazing teacher. She is very attentive and focuses on both piano playing and the theory behind it which makes it so much easier to understand the intricacies. She gives her all to her students! She lets me learn at my own pace while at the same time pushes me to become better! She is helping me learn not only the classics but also the new pop songs that I wish to play! She is very considerate and focuses on the overall development. I have been learning for 3 months now and I have already played a small piece in the annual recital! I could not have been more happy with my progress! I am extremely thankful to her and am going to continue learning from her!

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Himani Nov 9, 2018
Piano · In studio

Toby is an amazing professional and an excellent teacher. She focuses on learning the technicalities which makes it easier to understand the complex nature of piano. I have had very good experience with her through and through.

Ann Nov 6, 2018
Piano · In studio

My two daughters who are at intermediate level have been with Toby for half a year now, and all of us are very happy with her. When we decided to switch to her we were looking for someone with different teaching style than our previous teacher. We do want someone who not only has formal training in classical, but also is well-versed in more modern music (rock, pop, etc). I also want someone who can explain and communicate well with children, is patient, encouraging and most importantly can inspire the students. So far Toby has met my expectations. After switching to her, my children have started to actually enjoy playing after all these years. They are now learning both classical and popular. Toby always encourages them to play with passion. I can see that they're improving both technically and musically. Toby gives her student 100% during the lesson. She also likes to share some insights related to the piece of music or the composer which I appreciate. I highly recommend her.

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Fiona Nov 3, 2018
Piano · In studio

I really could not recommend Samantha more highly. I am SO lucky I found her! The value for the lessons is awesome. She is extremely well-trained and well-educated. To be honest, I wondered what I would get because some teachers charged more and as a student I really couldn’t afford more. A lot of teachers don’t actually teach proper technique. I love knowing that I’m learning to play properly, and that I learn some theory along the way. She’s also really encouraging and the way she tunes into what you like is a special gift she has as a teacher. She finds what you like and what you’re good at and capitalizes on it so you’re always enjoying yourself, being challenged, and feel motivated. I’m learning as an adult and I love the book she decided to use also. Samantha is also flexible and responsive to texts. Another thing I really like about her is that she writes up your “homework” for the week, with specific things to work on. Again, I really just can’t believe the value I get. I will be with Samantha for a long time.

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