Music Lessons

For more information contact
(415) 480-9618
Class Photos
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Group and Private Lessons on Guitar and Ukulele

We offer lessons to musicians of all abilities, and welcome beginners. You can choose between Group and Private lesson plans.

Private Lessons

Most private students take a half-hour lesson once a week. Styles taught include folk, pop, blues and beginning classical. The emphasis is on technique, theory, reading and rhythm. Private lessons are given on Sunday evening and Monday and Tuesday afternoons and evenings.

Joe especially likes to work with young children (ages 5 and up) and has years of experience with them. These are real music lessons with homework (10 minutes a day).

Group Lessons

Beginning Folk/Pop Guitar, for teens and adults, is taught to groups of 6-14 students. Many students who have played guitar for years choose to take the "Beginning" Folk/Pop class. The emphasis is on reading notes and developing good technique. Most students continue for another six weeks or more.

Group lessons on Ukulele and Music Theory are also available. For info, please click on Classes-Tab above.

About Our Instructor

Joe Miller's reputation as a teacher has brought him thousands of students, including famous musicians like Dr. Elmo, Country Joe McDonald, and John Fogerty's son Sean. His reviewers call him "Mesmerizing", "Stunning", and "Vastly Entertaining".


Joe Miller is a humorist, singer-songwriter, and an award-winning acoustic guitarist. He pokes fun at modern life with songs like "Racing Off to Yoga Class" and "Are You From Berkeley?".

Playing a Gallagher "Doc Watson" model guitar custom made for him in Tennessee, Joe has performed across the U. S. and Canada. His off-beat humor and dazzling instrumentals have been well received from Berkeley's Freight and Salvage to festivals in Canada, California and the eastern U. S.

After studying classical guitar, sitar, and Renaissance music in Toronto, Miller settled down to master his original instrument, the acoustic steel string flat top. He moved to the Bay Area in 1978, and won both the California State Flatpicking Championship and the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas.

Joe Miller's CD's and Studio Recordings

"West Coast Music for Guitar" and "Semi-Traditional Guitar Solos" (available from ITunes and of guitar solos (and two duets with mandolin master David Grisman) brought rave reviews:

"Mesmerizing, astounding... a virtuoso in every sense of the word." - The Daily Californian.

"Awesome solo acoustic... a real talent." - Guitar Player.

"Stunning, vastly entertaining... you have to marvel at the man's technique." - Folk Roots, London.

Other reviewers compared him to John Renbourn and Leo Kottke, who are among Miller's heroes.

Live Performance

Miller performed two of his favorite instrumental pieces for Stefan Grossman's Vestapol video series. On these videos he shares the stage with John Renbourn, Duck Baker, Pat Donohue (of Prairie Home Companion), Bob Brozman, and other prominent fingerstyle players.

As a novelty, Miller developed the ability to play two songs at the same time, an offbeat trick he displays in his "Medley of Medleys". More than one reviewer wrote that the medley "has to be heard to be believed."

His teaching also brought him into contact with keyboardist Tom Constanten, who was brought into the Grateful Dead to be "the far out guy." Joe recorded two of Tom's piano pieces on solo guitar, and the two have remained close friends.

Schedule of Upcoming Group Classes (for adults and teens)

These 6-week classes usually begin in January, April, and September. Most group classes are now held at Roots Music Marin, a non-profit music school at 1455C E. Francisco Blvd., San Rafael. Please contact Joe Miller for details and upcoming dates:

Beginning Ukulele

Level 1 & 2
6 Week Courses
See the Events Calendar
Absolute beginners are welcome! Learn some simple chords and strums that you can use to play your favorite songs. All you need to bring is your ukulele, music is provided. For adults and teens. The ukulele is easy and fun to play. For those who know a few chords and can keep a steady beat, there is now a Level-2 class.

The cost is $125 for six weeks of one-hour classes. (Fee includes several handouts.)

Please remember to advance register, since classes usually fill up.

Beginning Folk / Pop Guitar

6 Week Courses
See the Events Calendar
Learn to Play the Guitar! Absolute beginners welcome, as are other players who want to work on their technique, theory and reading. This class teaches the basics of playing folk, rock, jazz and blues. The emphasis is on good technique and knowing the names of the notes you play.

The cost is $125 for six weeks of one-hour classes. (Fee includes a method book.)

Please remember to advance register, since classes usually fill up.

Intermediate to Advanced Classes

Contact Joe Miller to Schedule
Guitarists who can read notes are welcome to join a more advanced group. You will learn rhythm guitar, playing melodies, and fingerstyle guitar. These group lessons are ongoing.

The cost is $125 for six weeks of one-hour classes.

Music Theory for Guitarists & String Players

Offered once a year
See the Events Calendar
Learn what notes are in what chords, and how to communicate with other musicians. Guitarists at all levels are welcome, as are ukulele and mandolin players. Learn about major and minor scales, key signatures, transposing, the Circle of Fifths, and what chords go with what scales. If you are stuck in a rut, learning theory will help get you to a new level of ability. This is primarily a pencil and paper class, not a playing class.

Those who want to learn to read music should consider taking the "Beginning" Folk/Pop Guitar Class. For more info please contact Joe Miller:, or call (415) 480-9618.

The cost is $125 for six weeks.

Contact Us

Musical Lessons Information

For more information, or to sign up for a class, please contact:
Joe Miller
(415) 480-9618

Pre-Registration Instructions

You can pre-register for Group Lessons by sending:
Download Form
  1. Lesson Name (i.e. Group Lessons)
  2. Student Name
  3. Contact Info (phone number and/or eMail address)
  4. $125 Check (payable to Joe Miller)
to the following address:
Schoenberg Guitars
Attn: Music Lessons
106 Main St.
Tiburon, CA 92920