What makes learning music easier at Five Star Guitars?
Our instructors are not only great players and working musicians but have decades of teaching experience, and will customize the curriculum to your interests and learning style. Live student concerts allow the students to apply their learning beyond the classroom and show off all of their hard work at a real gig in a real venue that we book for you.
Specialties: Tapping, improvising, transcribing, theory & prep for MI, Berklee or other pro schools
Styles: Rock, Funk, Pop, Metal, Fusion
Background: Graduate of Musicians Institute in Hollywood, Performed with Michael Jackson for all of his solo world tours, and with British guitar icon Jeff Beck for 3 years and 2 CD’s, did a residency for Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas. Has released 4 CD’s and several instruction DVD’s
Currently: Launched a local dance band “Jennifer Batten & Full Steam” with Ben Jones (Five Star Guitars bass teacher), Pat Yadon, Kevin Burkhart, and Norm Whitehurst
Specialties: Piano, flute, coaching voice and other instruments. Joanne has over 30 years’ experience. She enjoys preparing students for school solo ensemble competitions and has worked with many instruments. She has specialized training in teaching piano, theory, and rhythm to very young students. (Pre-school and kindergarten) She has always incorporated reading chords, improvisation and theory into a strong reading program. She encourages parents to attend lessons when possible.
Styles:Trained initially in classical music, currently plays in a big band. They play jazz, pop, swing and big band music.
Background: B.A. Piano Pedagogy. Continued jazz piano and jazz flute study in Portland area after moving here in 1999. Joanne had a yearlong visa to teach music in central France from 2016-2017. She is comfortable teaching the French solfege style and is able to teach in French.
Currently: This is her third year playing piano for newly formed Big River Big Band. The band is currently performing. She played for two years with the Rose City Flute Choir, and is waiting for it to resume.
Specialties: 4, 5, & 6 String Electric Bass Guitar
Styles: Funk, R&B, Soul, Rock, Blues
Background: In 30 years of professional playing, Ben has shared the stage and recorded with a long list of artists, including:The Neville Brothers, Jeff Lorber, Frank McComb, Peter White, Rick Braun, Paul Brown (Grammy Winner), Darren Rahn, Jennifer Batten, Patrick Lamb (Gino Vanelli), Tommy Thayer (KISS), Oregon Symphony, Noel Pointer (Grammy Winner), James Carter, BB King, Robert Cray, Phyllis Hyman, Delbert McClinton, Walter 'Wolfman' Washington, Bernard Allison, Chris Cain, Lloyd Jones, Curtis Salgado, Liv Warfield, Les McCann and David Pack (Ambrosia).
Currently:Performing in the Northwest. Sponsored artist for Carvin Basses, TC Electronic Amps & Effects, Dunlop Strings, MXR Effects,1964 Ears In Ear Monitors, LM Straps, and GruvGear Accessories
Styles:Guitar: electric, steel string and nylon string acoustic, baritone and lap steel. Rock, blues, funk, soul, classical, folk, country, grunge, metal, pop, improvising, soloing, strumming, fundamentals, fingerpicking, solo guitar, applied theory, reading music for guitar, beginning through advanced slide. Ukulele: Soprano, concert, tenor, baritone.
Background: Studied music at University of Idaho. Designed and taught beginner lesson course for U of I, Pullman, WA Parks & Rec and Hillsboro Parks & Rec/Camp Amp Program (2007-present). Extensive songwriting and recording experience. Lead singer/guitar player of Western Aerial. Geoff has taught music for over 20 years to all age groups.
Styles:Piano & Voice: Classical and most other genres and levels Banjo: bluegrass finger-style Guitar: Beginner to intermediate pop & rock
Background: Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory; studied with Robert Helps, Peggy Salkind, and Mark Westcott; performed music tours of Switzerland, Germany, and Italy; has given premiére performances for San Francisco and the West Coast works by composers Robert Helps, David Del Tredici, William Susman, and many others. Has 30 years of experience teaching privately.
Currently: Arrived in Portland in 2018, and since then has taught, accompanied, musically coached, and performed organ and piano for church services. Additionally he is on Faculty as Professor of piano and theory studies, as well as on Staff as the choral accompanist at PCC Rock Creek.
Specialties:Electric, Acoustic, Classical, & Jazz Guitar, Ukulele, Bass Guitar, Music Theory, Composition & Arranging, Improvisation, Music Reading, Working with young beginners.
Styles:Rock, Blues, Funk, Jazz, Classical, Fingerstyle, Country, Folk, Fusion, and more.
Background: Studied classical guitar at Chapman University, as well as jazz guitar and improvisation at Portland State University. Designed and taught music theory courses for thePortland Youth Philharmonic.
Currently:Performs in the Portland area as a solo jazz and fingerstyle guitarist.
Specialties: Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Ukulele, Music Theory
Styles:Guitar: Rock, Blues, Grunge, Classic rock, 70s-80s metal, jazz, folk, pop, improvising, reading music for guitar and more. Ukulele: soprano, concert, tenor and baritone.
Background: B.A. in music from Oregon State University, studying with Dana Reason, Sam Kincaid, Bob Brudvig, Angela Carlson, Russ Christensen. Studied jazz guitar with Neal Grandstaff. Has experience and has excelled teaching students of all ages.
Currently:Performing as lead guitarist for Portland rock band Mr. Pink.