For dozens of student testimonials check out:
Here are just a few:
Mike is a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience. He has been a member of numerous bands and has toured extensively across the US and Australia. Even now Mike is actively writing new songs and performing at various venues in San Francisco and Oakland. It’s cool to think that the person giving you instruction gets on stage and performs live when he isn’t teaching.
Mike is a true student of music. Not only does he possess vast knowledge about the technical mechanics of playing guitar, but he also is extremely well-versed in musical theory, songwriting, and the history of music. It is interesting to note that Mike learned to play guitar as an adult in college. Because of this, he is even better equipped to effectively teach his adult students who may walk into their first lesson with little to no prior musical experience.
Another great thing about Mike is that he is both organized and flexible. When I first decided to take lessons I worried that my instructor and I would play random exercises for an hour each week and that my progress would be difficult to track. Upon meeting Mike I was pleasantly surprised to see that he keeps detailed notes for each student, organizes exercises into easy-to-digest weekly practice sheets, and follows up week after week to answer my questions and help me with areas that I find challenging. Also, while Mike has curated a very effective set of curriculum, he is open to letting students choose the ratio between exercises and song playing to ensure that everyone stays engaged and motivated.
Although it should be evident by now, in addition to being a very talented musician and instructor Mike is a great person. He genuinely cares about his students and wants to see them learn, enjoy music, and achieve their goals. Despite his qualifications and abilities, Mike is the complete opposite of pretentious – he is down to earth, fun, personable, and patient. I can’t recommend Mike highly enough.
-Paul K., San Francisco
Mike is a fantastic guitar teacher. He is dedicated, positive and committed to helping his students achieve their fullest potential with their playing. I greatly appreciated his casual and flexible style which ensured learning was always fun and never felt like a chore. He’s able to easily combine the practical experience of chord and song playing whilst also making the theory behind it accessible as well. This gives you the benefit of having more than just the ability to play a handful of songs but also having a strong overall understanding of the guitar and of the structure of songs and song writing.
-Tom J., Northcote
I only took piano lessons with Mike for a few months, but his style of teaching made a world of difference! I had taken lessons as a kid for several years, and forgotten almost everything. Starting back up with Mike, I learned just how much was lacking in my training the first time around. With emphasis on mechanics, form, rhythm, and breathing (before simply practicing a piece of music), it completely changed the way I learned and practiced, and I am a much better player as a result. While he’s diligent in making sure you learn the basics, he’s also flexible if there’s something you show interest in spending time on. As teachers go, he’s the best I’ve had 🙂
-Michael R, Oakland
It was after seeing Michael play at the Old Bar in Fitzroy that I decided to book some lessons. I’d been playing guitar for several years, acoustic and electric, however with no lessons or formal study in music. It was no trouble for Michael to accommodate what I knew into his lessons. He worked on my bad habits and would keep fundamentals like rhythm present at all times, whether it be scales, triads or belting out chords. His lessons were well structured, challenging and always fun – I always felt like I was learning more than one thing at a time. He is a great guy, a true musician with a genuine love of music and he renewed my passion for playing guitar.
-Matt B., Brunswick
Michael taught me in a way that got me loving and appreciating music so much more than I already did. He is a great music historian. There are so many influences in his own music. He opened me up to some of the mysteries of song writing. “Most good songs have some sort of twist in them”, he says. At the same time some songs are just so unbelievably beautiful yet are deceptively simple.
Mike doesn’t let you rest on your laurels. Every lesson brings a new challenge. That’s the genius of his teaching. Building on your strengths and helping you develop new ones.
-Terry K., North Fitzroy
My son has taken piano lessons from Mike for the past year — and it’s been a fantastic experience. Mike is very focused on the fundamentals — hand/body positioning, rhythm, reading/writing/composing, etc. — while at the same time willing to explore a wide variety of music/artists, based on his student’s interests. In addition, Mike is super-cool, so he can relate incredibly well to kids (and adults). He is encouraging (not judgmental) and has a very relaxed teaching style. Plus, he’s very reliable — good at communicating, keeps his appointments, etc. I’d highly recommend Mike.
-J. C., Oakland
I learned guitar with Beacho for a few years whilst he was in Australia and haven’t found a better teacher since he’s been gone! Mike has a great knowledge of music, whether it is theoretical or practical stuff like recording. Beacho helped me through my favourite songs and even helped me out with my VCE music exams! Lessons are completely suited to individuals and Mike is possibly one of the most versatile guitarists I’ve met. I’ve tagged along to the occasional gig and it’s great to see his enthusiasm towards anything musical. Great bloke, great teacher and great friend.
-Eddy C., Northcote
As one of Mike’s students from Melbourne in Australia, I can personally highly recommend him as a guitar teacher. He’s everything you want in a teacher of any discipline. Knowledgeable, skillful, friendly and above all, patient. He’s not some wanker who imposes his own musical tastes on you, so whatever you’re into, he’ll be able to accommodate you. I’ve seen him play jazz, classical, and kick ass in his rock band.
Excellent value for money, the lessons are always fun and never boring!
-Ruaridh A., Brunswick
Mike was a better teacher than I could have hoped for.
During our first meeting, Mike explained how he could work with me to improve my guitar playing in a variety of different ways. We settled on starting with a series of different exercises and he took notes during the lesson that I could review at home. He also helped me set up a reasonable practice schedule and gave me endless advice on how to make it interesting. I immediately noticed a big difference in my playing as he pinpointed areas I could improve basic things, like my hand posture and finger positioning. As time has gone on, he’s given me a huge variety of practice tools, shown me how to turn exercises into practical music-making, suggested films and live shows to enhance my understanding of guitar, and in all ways been an excellent, patient and motivating teacher.
If you would really like to learn the guitar, I highly highly recommend lessons with Mike. Not only a great teacher and musician, but a incredibly nice person who really supports his students and their music. Check him out!
-Demetra D., San Francisco
Mike is a great guitarist, but far more importantly he’s a great teacher.
I’d been playing guitar for around 5-6 years before I met Mike and tried a few different teachers along my way. In general the theme is the same; I met great guitarists who I aspired to play like, but who just didn’t provide the structure or vision that I needed to reach the same level as them.
Mike blew them all away. In a few short months he’s been able to show me the depth that’s just waiting to be explored in the guitar, while helping me tackle it in an organized and effective way. He’ll push you to get better, but he’ll also let you set a pace you’re comfortable with.
Great guy all around, and an excellent guitar teacher. Highly recommend.
-Joe F., San Francisco
I’ll preface this by saying that I’m completely review-writing-phobic, but Mike is such an awesome teacher that I just have to give him some props.
Mike is a great mix of conscientious and chill–I know I’m always learning, but without the guilt trip or snooty-ness that often comes with classical training. He always strives to make the material interesting and relevant, and really adjusts his style to the level of his students. Mike is also dependably patient and flexible, and I’m definitely looking forward to continuing lessons as soon as my life calms down a bit.
-Yi Z., San Francisco
Over the past year I’ve rekindled my love of playing acoustic guitar, thanks to Mike. I’m mostly self-taught (read: “bad habits”) and Mike has provided some v. much-needed structure and organization. My technical proficiency has ramped up big-time and I’m understanding the instrument and music theory so much better now which, hey, adds a lot to the overall playing experience.
And, as a “fella of a certain age”, I can feel the ol’ brain circuits lighting up when I play through the exercises, which BTW are more fun than work. Mike keeps it fresh by tossing new things into the mix and yet the lessons keep building on each other, so that something I worked on a few weeks before often becomes the “missing link” to a song I’m learning now.
Mike seems to know when to shift gears or try something new or have you modify your technique to keep you motivated & moving forward. He is a great teacher and all-around good guy. Highly recommended!!…..
-Dennis S., San Francisco
I won’t be able to continue my music lessons with Mike because of some other commitments but hope to get him back as a teacher in the future once my hectic schedule subsides. He’s resourceful, available, and genuinely caring about your musical aspirations. I still look forward to the remaining lessons I have with him. I owe my improvements on the guitar to this guy. He’s great.
-Jane Y., San Francisco