Music Lessons

For more information contact
(415) 480-9618
Class Photos
Contact Us

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 (longer lessons are also available). Styles taught include folk, pop, blues, fingerstyle, and beginning classical. Lessons involve learning the fundamentals of music, (not just "put your finger here ..." style instruction). The emphasis is on technique, theory, reading and rhythm. Private lessons are available afternoons and evenings, Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

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 (initially 5-10 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, Music Theory, as well as a Jam-Session Class are also available. For course descriptions, please click on Classes-Tab above, or see the current schedule on the home page.

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.

Group Classes (for adults and teens)

Current schedule is on &

Group classes are offered throughout the school year, with start dates in September, January, and April.

Group classes are held on Wednesdays at The Ranch (Tiburon Recreation Dept.), 600 Ned's Way, and on Tuesdays at Tiburon Baptist Church, 445 Greenwood Beach Road. You can register for most groups through the Ranch (, and for some groups through, or you can pay at Schoenberg Guitars Shop.

Beginning Ukulele

9 Week Course
Levels: 1 & 2
Cost: $195
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. 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 (call for details).

The cost is $195 for nine weeks of one-hour classes. (Fee includes handouts.)

Beginning Folk / Pop Guitar

9 Week Course
Level: Beginner
Cost: $195
Learn to Play the Guitar! Absolute beginners welcome, as are other players who want to work on their technique, rhythm, 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 $195 for nine weeks of one-hour classes. (Fee includes a method book.)

Acoustic Jam Session

9 Week Course
Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Cost: $195
Playing with other people is a great way to have fun while improving your skills! Players of all acoustic instruments are welcome, as are electric bassists.

Students lead the songs, and it is OK to pass when it is your turn. The emphasis is on getting the group to play well together.

The cost is $195 for nine weeks of one-hour classes.

Music Theory for Guitar, Ukulele, & Mandolin

9 Week Course
Level: Intermediate/Advanced
Cost: $195
(Offered once a year)
The goal is to be able to think fast and play something musical in any situation. Learn how to communicate better with other musicians. Guitarists of 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 you to a new level of ability. This is almost entirely a pencil and paper class (not a playing class).

Note: Those who want to learn to read music should consider taking the "Beginning Folk/Pop Guitar class.

The cost is $195 for nine weeks of one-hour classes.

Contact Us

Music Lessons Information

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

Current Schedule

Current schedule is on &

Pre-Registration Instructions

You can pre-register for Group Lessons by sending:
Download Form
  1. Course/Class Name (i.e. Beginning Ukelele / Acoustic Jam Session)
  2. Student Name
  3. Contact Info (phone number and/or eMail address)
  4. $195 Check (payable to Joe Miller)
to the following address:
Schoenberg Guitars
Attn: Music Lessons
106 Main St.
Tiburon, CA 92920

You can also pay at Schoenberg Guitar Shop, (see shop hours).

Before the Class Starts

  1. Finger-Friendly Instruments - a good instrument setup can greatly enhance the learning experience. Please consider having the student's instrument checked-out at Schoenberg Guitars Shop, as most guitars and ukuleles, both new and old, will experience better playability, and can often sound better, after a professional setup.
  2. Play in tune - both beginner & advanced Clip-on Tuners