Zach Tolan

Zach T.

Grand Rapids, MI

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
Greetings! I'm a full-time private music tutor who has taught more than 22,000 lessons in the past 15 years! I teach beginner-advanced violin, viola, cello, guitar, and piano, I specialize in working with young beginners (ages 4+), I currently teach 50+ students each week, and I'm the Chief Curriculum Designer for a web-based music lesson service.

As the lead curriculum designer, my job is to make sure every student has a fun and successful experience! If you're nearby, this could be at my private studio or at my home studio. If you're at a distance, I prefer to have orientations and lessons online.

Do you have any questions I can help answer? Please message me!
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Zach teaches



Zach delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 4+ and special needs

Teaching since:

I play violin, viola, cello, guitar and piano. I love classical music (especially Bach), improvising on the piano, Irish fiddle music on the violin, and Spanish guitar!

Since 2002, I’ve taught more than 27,000 lessons. From 2009-2012 I owned and operated a set of three fine arts centers for kids across West Michigan called Lil’ Learners. I currently teach 50+ students each week online, in my home studio, at Keyboard World, and for Hamilton Schools Homeschool co-op and Niles’ Homeschool Partnership.


Chief Curriculum Designer
Oct 2016 - Present

I am the chief curriculum designer for Violin, Guitar, Piano, and Ukulele.

Music Teacher
Sep 2015 - Present
Public Schools, Homeschool Co-op

I teach private piano, violin, cello, and guitar lessons and group guitar classes.

Private Music Teacher
Sep 2002 - Present

I've taught 23,000+ music lessons on violin, viola, cello, guitar, ukulele, and piano! I specialize in giving a great start to beginners!

Private Teacher
Aug 2015 - Aug 2016
Marshall Music Co.

I taught private lessons and small ensembles for violin, viola, cello, and piano.

Curriculum Designer and Teacher
Aug 2009 - Nov 2012
Lil' Learners! Fine Arts for Kids!

I taught violin, viola, cello, guitar, and piano, and co-designed curriculum for Spanish, Chinese, Drawing and Painting, Fencing, Ballet, Martial Arts, Piano, Violin, and Guitar.


B.A. Philosophy
Sep 2003 - Jun 2005
Grand Valley State University


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency
Limited Proficiency
Limited Proficiency

Photos & Videos

Here's a video I made to promote my website,, featuring a student and me!
A showcase of my music: Violin, Viola, Cello, Guitar, and Piano!

Frere Jacques
Alexander's 1st time on Twinkle, Twinkle!
Photo by Zach T.

My musical girlfriend :)

The Wedding Cellist...

The Wedding Violinist...
+ 1 more

19 Reviews

Write a Review
Robert Aug 16, 2018
Cello · Online

Zach is encouraging and makes lessons fun!

Emma R. Aug 13, 2018
Violin · Online

Emma is delighted with her first lesson. I needed to insist on putting her violin down to sit down and finish her school work. She is home schooled. Love the way he teaches. Very clear lessons.

Gail Aug 5, 2018
Cello · Online

Robert really enjoyed his lesson! He was pleased with his progress last week!

Keahi Jul 11, 2018
Viola · Online

My son enjoyed the lesson!

Jessica Jun 15, 2018
Classical Guitar · Online

Lincoln Mar 7, 2018
Violin · In studio

My 11 year old son had his first violin lesson with Zach and LOVED IT! Looking forward to his lesson next week! :)

Rebekah D. Feb 27, 2018
Viola · Online

Great first lesson.

Erin Feb 26, 2018
Cello · Online

Great first lesson! Looking forward to many more!

Erin Feb 26, 2018
Cello · Online

Great first lesson! Looking forward to the next one!

Miles Feb 7, 2018
Guitar · In studio

Zach is able to keep my active son engaged during the lesson. My son has already learned a ton and is eager to learn more!

Elle K. Feb 7, 2018
Violin · In studio

Zach has been awesome! He's knowledgable, is patient with my young daughter, and she has improved immensely in just 5 lessons!

Kiah Feb 3, 2018
Violin · In studio

Very energetic, fun and helped me improve!

Kyle Jan 21, 2018
Violin · Online

Tehila Dec 21, 2017
Violin · Online

Sofya Dec 9, 2017
Violin · Online

My 6 yo is taking violin classes with Zach online. The classes are high energy, very engaging, informative, and fun.

Sofya Tairova Dec 1, 2017
Violin · Online

Kathryn Nov 19, 2017
Violin · In studio

I really appreciated that Zach was very understanding and flexible with crazy changing work schedules. He does a good job of mixing music theory, technical exercises, while still being open and even encouraging the student to working on styles and pieces they are interested in and enjoy. Zach is great about asking the student what they want to learn and work on, while still making sure that they are always learning something new and always pushing themselves. Zach always seems to genuinely care and get excited about music, teaching, and his students.

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Becky Nov 10, 2017
Guitar · In studio

Zach is very personable and figured out a great method to motivate my reluctant child--fake money!! He also developed his own musical notation to aid in helping students learn how to read music but in such a way that isn't as complicated as the standard notation. My son really likes him.

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Dawn Nov 8, 2017
Violin · In studio

My daughter is very shy and quiet. Zach is fantastic and she loves him! He is patient and funny. His way of teaching works! She is just 6 years old and is already playing songs after just 6 weeks. His music curriculum is so easy to understand and play! We've been very impressed.

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