Guitar Lessons

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Gianni Aiello
Bass - Guitar - Piano - Drums - Ukulele

Gianni Aiello is a Burien born multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and performer. He is driven by a strong musical curiosity which has taken him from learning Beatles tunes on the piano as a child to touring across the country in his rock band Naked Giants. In addition to his bass work with Naked Giants, he has played guitar and piano with Car Seat Headrest on such stages as Madison Square Garden, the Tonight Show, and Primavera Sound in Barcelona, and he also plays drums in the Seattle-based band Pablo’s Legs.

The desire to be a lifelong student of music keeps Gianni reaching for the next steps, and he believes that same desire can be found in anyone. His lessons focus on exploring what excites each student about music - whether it’s personal expression through songwriting, intellectual development through theory and analysis, or just the sheer fun of jamming! While basic techniques are fundamental to any field, Gianni seeks to create a low-pressure learning environment where a student’s progress is determined not by their technical skill but by their enthusiasm for music.

VENMO: @Gianni-Aiello

PAYPAL: gianniraiello@gmail.com

Mike Dumovich
Guitar - Songwriting

Born and raised on Vashon Island, Mike Dumovich is a songwriter/composer who has been writing and performing in the Northwest for 25 years. He has recorded 4 records with notable producers like Tucker Martine, Karl Blau and Martin Faveyear. Musicians credited on his albums include Bill Frisell, Eyvind Kang, Laura Veirs, Shana Cleveland, Karl Blau, Phil Elverum and many others from the Seattle area and Vashon Island. He approaches music from an intuitive base and believes songwriting methods should change with each song, utilizing writing exercises, improvisation, and focused rehearsal to create space in the process and outcome. He focuses on techniques and autodidactic methods of letting the song or composition emerge as though it was something already there the writer is simply there to remove the clutter until it reveals its proper tonal structures, cadences and lyrics.

Blake Madden
Bass - Guitar - Beginning Theory - Songwriting - Ukulele

Blake Madden has twenty years of experience composing, recording, and  performing music in New York and Seattle. He is the bass player and musical director for the Prince tribute band Purple Mane, and the bassist, lead singer, and principal composer for his own noir pop group, Hotels. Blake has performed live on KEXP, studied music theory and composition through the Pacific Northwest Film scoring program, and studied electric bass with Todd Kovell at Seattle School of Strings.

VENMO: @SoupIsLove

Brandon Bermudez
Drums - Bass - Ukulele - Piano - Guitar

Brandon is a working musician, producer, and engineer in the Seattle/Tacoma area for the past decade. He regularly plays in and around town, sometimes tours countries, and frequently collaborates with many professional musicians in the area. Recently, he's played bass with prog-rock band Bone Cave Ballet and alt-rock band Starry-Eyed Samurai, and drums with both new-wavers Trick Candles and pop-fusion band Nitrogen Lion Society.

Brandon believes that consistency, versatility, and attitude are the traits that make great musicians. With his interactive-guidance teaching approach, the student controls the pacing of each lesson, which alleviates classroom anxiety and helps the lesson material become more comprehensible. With a heavy emphasis on creativity and technique, Brandon will improve the understanding of rhythm and ability to perform in many styles of music by sharing from his 20+ years of composition and performance experience.

Nate Rogers
Piano - Bass - Guitar - Ukulele

Nate Rogers has a diverse background in the arts, having worked on professional film sets and for literary journals, but music has been the constant throughout his life; his musical endeavors (and teaching) are informed by that multivalent background. His first and primary instrument is the piano, which he studied classically starting in the first grade and continued to do so actively through college. He also began playing in jazz combos and rock bands starting in middle school, the age at which he also picked up guitar and saxophone.

An occasional DJ, Nate listens widely and loves drawing connections between diverse styles of music across the world, in his own playing and his teaching. He has played in numerous bands in Seattle, including Friends and Family, Pampa, ANDY, and The Quiet Ones, and they have played alongside such notable groups as The Polyphonic Spree, The Moondoggies, and Blitzen Trapper, both in the Northwest and on tour. He loves to instill the same diversity of interest in students that his teachers gave to him.

VENMO: @nathaniel-rogers-2

PAYPAL: nathanieletrogers@gmail.com

Ricky Claudon
Piano - Guitar - Bass - Ukulele

Ricky has been studying, writing and performing music since his childhood, and has played guitar and piano for about 23 years. He works as a para-educator at the Academy for Precision Learning, and as a recording/touring musician. As a musician, he has put out three albums, toured the United States, and he looks forward to touring in Europe in the near future for the first time this spring. He is knowledgeable in a variety of styles on the guitar, but is most proficient in Blues, Rock n Roll, and Post-punk.

Growing up, he was instructed by a professor of music theory and history, on the piano; this education has formed the foundation of his knowledge of these subjects and informs his instruction in both instruments. Ricky also has quite a lot of experience working with students from a diverse range of developmental levels and is trained in methods intended to address the individual needs of neurologically diverse populations.

VENMO: @Maximilion-Mondale

PAYPAL: ermarchantc@gmail.com

CASHAPP: $StickyRixky

Bess Hepner
Guitar - Bass - Voice - Ukulele - Songwriting

Bess Hepner is a multi-genre musician who has collaborated with hip hop artists, circus performers, and folk singer-songwriters. From ages 15-20, Bess played in a multi-genre dance band Who’da Funk It? and studied classical guitar 2012-2016. In 2016 Bess moved to Seattle and began pursuing her solo project. In addition, she has played bass/lead guitar for a number of Seattle artists and guitar for A Frayed Knot’s circus production “The Vivarium.”

Bess has a lot of experience working with all ages (from 4 year olds, to teens to adults). In addition to music making, she teaches basic history of instruments, genres, songs, and musical styles.

Guitar: (beginner-advanced) open chords and barre chords, scales, music theory basics, soloing and improv, finger picking, reading tablature and sheet music, and the following genres based on your interest: classical, folk/fingerstyle/blues fingerpicking, rock, jazz, punk, funk, rhythm, songwriting and more. 

Ukulele: (beginner-intermediate)

open chords and barre chords, scales, music theory basics, soloing and improv, fingerstyle, reading tablature and sheet music. For younger players (ages 4-9) creative games and activities.

Voice: (beginner) warm ups, breathing exercises, vowels, head voice and chest voice, rhythm, and ear training. Lessons are tailored to songs and genres students want to learn (not including opera or musical theater). 

Songwriting: This is very open ended and based on students’ individual creative process.

VENMO: Bess-Hepner

PAYPAL: besshepner@gmail.com

Eliot Jones
Piano - Guitar - Ukulele - Voice
Eliot has played piano for over 20 years and has done a bit of everything in the music scene. In college, he studied songwriting under Sue Ennis, a nationally recognized writer known for working with Seattle rock band Heart. As a solo pianist, he’s shared the stage and recorded with talented artists like The Lashes, Al Rowe, and Bottlenose Koffins. He also founded local indie-rock group On Grounds, where he was the guitarist and singer.  
 
Above all else, Eliot is a dedicated music teacher. He has a real passion to help students, always going the extra mile to make lessons fun and engaging. This year in response to Covid, he developed his own unique whiteboard set-up that is perfect for musical games, visual, and online learning! As a teacher, he understands the sensitivity that many musicians have, and has worked with neurodiverse students and people of all ages. 
 
Eliot would be a great fit for someone who wants to explore different instruments, writing music, and learning how to record their own songs at home. He teaches Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Voice, and Songwriting on Tuesdays. 

VENMO: @EliotJonesMusic

PAYPAL: PayPal.me/EliotJonesMusic

ZELLE: Eliotjonesed@yahoo.com

Jeff Tapia
Voice - Guitar

Jeff Tapia has been a working musician for 15 years, the majority of which were spent in Southern California where they attended The Culver City Academy of the Performing Arts. Starting with choral music in their youth, they later moved to musical theater and ultimately, into rock and roll where Jeff really found their voice. As a vocalist and guitarist for several projects in Seattle, they consistently perform around town, have appeared on several recording projects, and tour the United States.

Jeff’s classes are taught in a low pressure and positive atmosphere with an emphasis on improvisation, finding one’s own voice, and highlighting strengths. They firmly believe that no voice is a bad voice, and that no stye is a bad style. This teaching experience stems from their volunteer work with Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, where creative self-expression is the key to self empowerment. Connecting with kids has always come easily to Jeff, and their outgoing personality and enthusiasm for the subject matter invokes excitement and attentiveness in their students.

VENMO: @allhailratqueen

PAYPAL: theverybestofjeff@gmail.com

Craig Suede
Guitar - Voice - Ukulele - Piano

Craig is transplant from San Diego where he played music for a living in casinos, bars and restaurants between tours, travel, and shows. He got his musical start singing in various audition choirs, competing in vocal competitions, and performing in musical theater. He started playing guitar in 8th grade and that began shaping his future path of songwriting and singing/playing guitar in a variety of bands. He currently fronts and tours with the indie rock band Happy Heartbreak, sings harmonies and plays lead guitar for local pop-soul/ R&B singer Young-Chhaylee, and plays lead guitar and performs harmonies/alt-voicings for emo-revival/post-hardcore band, Dearheart.

After several years of running education programs for students and teachers around the World, Craig has decided to settle in Seattle and re-focus his efforts on music and its local educational impact. He bases his teaching strategies in brain-based learning and finding simple connections between music theory and the joy of playing music. The ability to connect and express through music increases confidence and critical thinking. Strengthening these skills can also increase retention of information in other areas and improve quality of living. Music and learning should both be joyful experiences that encourage us to continue moving forward to connect, create and share.

VENMO: @CraigSuede

Tylo Gardner
Guitar, Voice

Music has always held a special place in Tylo’s heart.  After playing her first show, she knew this was the profession for her.  She now attends Cornish College of the Arts, where she studies music with a focus on composition, and is set to graduate in the spring of 2021. Cornish is also where she honed her love for playing guitar. Heavy rock band "Dogpatch" and her solo project "Tylo" are now her main creative and songwriting outlets.  She plays guitar, sings, and loves the lyrical aspect of songwriting. 

Tylo wants to help her students learn and have fun at the same time. She believes the focus should be placed entirely on what the student wants to be learning, and how she can help them get to a musical place of success that makes them feel accomplished. Being a musician is fun, and she hopes to make that clear to anyone she may teach or play with in her life!

Natasha Lumba
Piano - Guitar

Natasha started playing piano at age 4, before getting a scholarship at age 8 to the French-American Conservatory of Music. There she studied classical piano for 10 years, performing at many prestigious venues across New York such as Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Weill Recital Hall, The Colony Club & The Ukrainian Institute of America, to name a few. Her classical training was very structured, but she was always a rock & punk musician at heart. While attending college in LA, she picked up guitar, and started playing in bands.

Functioning primarily as a lead vocalist & keyboardist, she has performed in bands in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco & Seattle. Currently, Natasha plays keyboard & synth for local Seattle band, Razor Clam--a 5 piece femme band, described as "goth glam" & "mermaid dream punk" whose ethos strives to increase inclusion & representation for women & marginalized communities in a male dominated music industry.

Natasha uses both her childhood background in a rigorous musical setting, and her experiences in adulthood as a performer to inform her teaching style. She aims to marry the necessary musical skills & knowledge with the freedom of expression not always present in classical schooling. Most importantly, she wants to foster a love of music in her students, and empower them to create. But she also wants them to practice. A lot.

PAYPAL: nlumbamusic@gmail.com

Celeste Felsheim
Voice - Guitar - Drums

Celeste Felsheim started singing in choirs and musicals in elementary school, when she also started playing cello, and later string bass, in the school orchestra. She then got interested in guitar and bass through classic rock, and became a part of Rain City Rock Camp for Girls and School of Rock. After spending high school playing in orchestras during the week and in rock n roll bands on the weekends, she now attends Cornish College of the Arts and is pursuing a Bachelors of Music in Composition, as well as fronting her punk band King Sheim.

She has performed in bands as a vocalist, guitarist and drummer for about 10 years, and currently plays with her band King Sheim and with her roommate's bands, Amy Hall and Xeno.

VENMO: @celeste-felsheim

Brian Spenser
Guitar - Ukulele - Drums

Brian is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who grew up in Seattle. He has been playing drums since he was 8, and learned from legends including Michael Shrieve and Jerry Garcia. He has been touring for a dozen years with bands including Isenordal, Impulse Noise, Endorphins Lost, Wilt, and Asymmetric Warfare, among others. Brian volunteers at a local all-ages DIY venue, and loves encouraging and empowering young people to build their own joy, freedom, and culture through the egalitarian DIY approach that has always been so important to him. He is fun-loving, non-judgmental, and has worked with students from the ages of 4 to 64.

A lesson with Brian usually focuses on a song (or some parts of it) that the student has identified or expressed interest in. Brian loves the opportunity to help students connect not only with what an artist played, but also the music theory and culture that informs how and why they played it that way. During lessons, he often makes quick observations about the theoretical structure or cultural tradition of the song so his students are able to naturally pick up important music theory concepts from multiple different examples without feeling lectured. Brian has great success relating to and working with students who have attention disorders or learning disabilities.

Brian has a broad taste in music--he likes everything from Brutal Deathgrind to Funeral Doom. Sometimes he even listens to music that isn't some obscure subgenre of heavy metal! Actually, Brian loves all kinds of music and is happy and able to dive into any style students are interested in. Some of his favorite styles include post-punk, black metal, '70s jazz fusion/prog, and modern opera.

Brian is online only for Mode Vashon.

VENMO: @Brian-Spenser

Kevin Murphy
Guitar - Ukulele - Songwriting

Kevin Murphy picked up the guitar when he was 10 years old. At the age of 14, he formed his first band and performed around Seattle opening for established local bands, including Mudhoney. In 2006, Kevin formed the rock/folk band The Moondoggies which led to 4 full length albums on Sub Pop subsidiary Hardly Art. The Moondoggies have toured and performed alongside bands such as The Lumineers, The Cave Singers, The Head and The Heart, Blitzen Trapper and Dawes. Kevin has also shared the stage with legendary artists Robbie Robertson, CSNY, Brandi Carlile, Dave Mathews, and more.

Kevin’s teaching philosophy is based on learning the instrument in a fun, creative and personalized way connected to each individual student and their own mode of expression. He believes there are songs to be learned and songs to be written. Kevin’s goal is to ignite a fire in one’s self expression and confidence in playing that will remain with them their whole life, whether it’s onstage or in their living room. He feels music is incredibly valuable to communicate the feelings we can’t put into words and can rewire our brains for the better, especially in the minds of our young students. Kevin is the father to two wonderful young girls, Sonnie and Zuma.

VENMO: @kevin-murphy-273