I provide music lessons online and in McMinnville, Oregon. Lessons are held year round, and students can start at any time, but openings for new students tend to be available in June, September and January. My teaching schedule fills up quickly, so if you are interested in lessons starting within the next 6 months, contact me for current  availability and to get on my waiting list.

Due to the pandemic I moved all of my teaching online in March 2020, and plan to continue offering online lessons. My hope is to gradually resume in-person lessons for interested students starting in May 2021.

teaching philosophy

I think music is an integral part of life, and I believe that love and appreciation for music can be deepened by a good learning experience. The discipline and skills learned from the study of music can also help students excel in other areas of life.

I work with students from age 7 on up, and enjoy working with adult students at all experience levels. Students have many learning styles and interests, so I use a variety of method books and teaching approaches (although I do have some favorites). I focus on learning how to read music (or tab for strings) right from the start as I believe that a solid foundation of reading and music theory enables students to get more from their study. I also focus on practice techniques so that students can get the most from their study. That being said, I’ve found that students are generally most inspired by learning music they love, so I try to bring in songs students request from early in their study with me.

As a teacher, my goal is to nurture while still seeking excellence from my students. I balance constructive critiques with praise for each student’s effort and improvements, and I try to make the lessons enjoyable for everyone involved.

Students are expected to practice between lessons. A good goal if you are taking a weekly lesson is 30 minutes of practice at least 5 days each week. Younger students start with much shorter time periods, and work up gradually to longer sessions.

I offer 1-2 recitals a year so students can have performance experience. To prepare, I work with all students on memorizing and performance skills.  I’ll also be offering some small master classes for adults in the future.

background and experience

I started my music study on piano at age 6. By age 11 I was receiving awards and performing at events around the Los Angeles area. I first began teaching while still in high school when I would substitute for my piano teacher when she went out of town. I studied piano accompaniment for three years in the Bachelor of Music program at UC Santa Barbara, eventually earning a BA in Anthropology, but completing the equivalent of a music minor. I also earned an MA in Anthropology at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. 

Although my professional interests varied during my 20’s, I always continued studying music, learning guitar from other musicians, and studying independently. In 2001 I began teaching private music lessons in Forest Grove and Hillsboro, OR. I taught for about 16 years at MIR Music in Hillsboro, Oregon, and have been teaching in Yamhill county for around 13 years.

In 2005 I returned to performing, and also began learning bass and  mandolin. From 2009 to 2013 I performed with Top Hands, a country-rock cover band, on guitar, mandolin and vocals. My first solo album of original music was recorded in 2012, and I’ve recorded several albums since, most recently World on Fire in 2019.

instruments and instruction areas

Piano – I teach all levels of piano, from beginning to advanced. I focus on classical music for advanced students, but also do some rock, etc. I view piano as a wonderful foundational instrument for all music students because of the ease of playing, and its usefulness as a tool for learning music theory. All piano students must have access to a piano or good keyboard for practice.

Guitar – I teach beginning to intermediate guitarists. Topics include basic tab and/or note reading (depending on student preferences), chords, strumming, finger-picking, rhythm, and music theory for guitarists. The focus is on rock, folk, country, and pop music. I encourage all guitar students to create a list of songs they would like to learn, and we often work from that list, in addition to any method/instruction books we are using.

Mandolin, Ukulele – I offer beginning lessons, focusing on note and/or tab reading, picking melodies, basic chords, practice techniques, etc.

I also offer lessons on music theory (including scales, chords, Nashville Numbering, etc.), song writing, and performance skills (including working with instrumentalists on their vocal performance)

payments and policies

My starting rate is currently $30/half hour. Most students do weekly lessons, but I do offer flexibility for my adult students who sometimes find that every other week works better. I also offer a family rate, so please inquire if you have more than one student in your family.

Students pay at the end of each month for the month ahead. If you know that you need to miss a lesson, you can deduct that lesson cost from your monthly total due.

Cancellation policy:  if you need to cancel, I ask that you notify me at least 24 hours ahead of time, otherwise a make-up or credit may be forfeited. I do also accept cancellations with less notice for sudden illness or emergencies. No-shows or unexcused absences are charged the full lesson rate (no make-up or credit). For students who take extended absences (4 weeks or more) for sports, vacations, etc., I will usually be able to fit you back into my schedule, but may not be able to guarantee your previous lesson day/time.

Please email me or contact me by phone at 971 237 7576.

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