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summer camp signup is still open 

click the button below to get started, or just email us at for any last-minute additions, etc. 

music lessons in Portland

in-person & online

Try Everything  *  Guitar  *  Piano  *  Drums  *  Bands  *  Voice  *  Violin  *  Trumpet Trombone *  Songwriting  *  And more

Lessons and classes available for Ages 4 to Adults 

To sign up, slick the link below or call/text/email us at

(503) 290-5090

COVID  Update:  

Most of our teachers have already begun their vaccinations and are starting the process of returning to live lessons. Most should have completed their vaccinations by March. We’ll continue to observe best COVID practices even after vaccination, until such a time as it makes sense to go back to normal. We will also continue to offer the option of online lessons for the foreseeable future. 


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Get Started In Two Easy Steps

Guitar + Ukulele Lessons

Learn to rock out with an electric guitar, acoustic guitar ukulele and/or bass in private guitar lessons with one of our pro teachers or ask about our group guitar lessons or about joining one of our bands – no experience necessary, we’ll match your skill level with others so even if you’re just starting out, you can start playing in a band pretty much right away. 

Piano Lessons

Backbeat Music Academy offers piano lessons and classes for all ages. For total beginners, we recommend our group classes where students learn the basics in a fun, social environment with kids their own age and skill level.

Drum Lessons

The drums are the heartbeat of the band. At Backbeat Music Academy, you can learn to play the drums from our nationally recognized teachers. Develop the skills to play in a band, learn songs, and put your own personal stamp of the music you play. Take private lessons or group classes where you learn with other drummers like you. Join a band and put your skills to work jamming with others. 

Trumpet + Trombone Lessons

Backbeat also offers trumpet lessons and trombone lessons. If you’re in a school band, you can work on the skills you’ll need to succeed in class, and also work on skills to play non-concert band music. Also ask about playing in one of our rock bands! 

Voice Lessons

Learn to sing your heart out and to be comfortable with your own sound with voice lessons at Backbeat Music Academy. You can also take group classes to sing and join one of our groups to sing with the band!

Rock Band Classes

Playing in bands is a centerpiece of Backbeat Music Academy. It is the primary way that students can network with other kids and get used to how their instrument works in a band setting. The bands are generally Rock and Pop, but are structured to follow the student’s interests and abilities. We also match students according to age and experience level as well. 

We also have bands for total beginners, and custom classes are also available. 

Violin + Strings Classes

Because it so closely sounds like the human voice, the violin is still one of the most popular instruments in world. We offer awesome violin, viola, cello and double bass lessons. 

Computer Game Music Composition

In order to write music for computer games, students need to learn how music affects us and how they can create those effects themselves – in other words, they learn music theory and composition skills. These skills will apply directly to music performance, music appreciation and of course music composition of any sort. 

Try Everything Bands! 

Ever wanted to try playing everything? Or maybe you just don’t know what instrument you like the best. Either way, this class is for you. Students get a chance to play drums, guitar, bass, ukulele, sing with a microphone, play piano and more. Students just starting their musical journeys are welcome, as are those who have extensive experience on one instrument who’d like to expand their horizons. 

What We Do And Why

Here at Backbeat Music Academy, we believe that a lack of musical talent isn’t the problem.  The same parts of your brain that enjoy music are the ones that make it, so if you have the drive to play music, then you have the talent for it. Instead, the number one problem is not knowing where to start or how to approach it. 

Our teaching method, developed decades of experience and education by John Lamb, helps students navigate confusion and intimidation while providing a framework so the student can craft the right balance of structure and freedom to suit their own learning styles. 

The result is that each student discovers what music means to them while developing the skills to master it (or anything else). They learn fast, explore options and end up making the music they want, on their terms. Best of all, this approach bleeds over into other areas, including athletics, schoolwork and anything else they want to master. 

Our Students Will: 

  • Have Fun. Great learners make great musicians, and you can’t be a great learner without enjoying what you do. 
  • Learn Fast. Beethoven once said “Playing piano is easy! You just have to know where to put your fingers.” As complex as music is, as long as you know what to do it is easy. The trick is how to parse the directions so you can figure them out. Our method helps students navigate their instrument so they know what to do. This allows them to target their effort to learn fast.

    Another one of the founding principles of Backbeat Music Academy is that people do what they think will work. When you understand how things work, then the choices you make will yield the expected results. If you misunderstand the rules, then your choices yield unexpected effects. Therefore, in order to get better results, the best thing you can do is to approach your instrument with a “figuring out mind.” Our students aren’t given a set amount of homework: they are given challenges to work on. This empowers each student to take control over their own learning process, improving self-confidence because they see the result of their own choices. It also demystifies what it takes to learn music or anything else. The end result is a confident student who is able to figure out how to best use their time to improve.

  • Make the Music They Want to Make. Music isn’t about the notes you play. It isn’t about being the best who ever lived at your instrument. It isn’t to pass a test, or play something that is good enough for someone else. The point is to have fun and be yourself.

    Besides, a student that practices 10 hours a day because they feel like they should won’t get as good as someone who practices 2 hours because they love it. When a student is given the freedom to choose their own musical path, motivation isn’t a problem.

    Our students are given the freedom to choose their own musical path, but also the room and guidance to explore styles and genres they may not know about. You can’t know what you like unless you’ve given it a fair shake, after all. 

  • Learn to handle feelings of intimidation and confusion. Music is complex and intimidating. Most everyone has a secret or not-so-secret fear of not actually being able to do it. At Backbeat Music Academy, we teach students to not only feel free to make mistakes but to understand how making mistakes in an integral part of learning – how you can leverage mistakes t0 learn faster. This crosses over to everything outside of the music room as well. 
  • Connect with others. Music is fundamentally a shared experience. At Backbeat Music Academy, we make it easy for all students to be in bands where they can play with other musicians. Understanding how to tune in to others – what to pay attention to, how to let the “should” voices go – is among the most satisfying experiences in all of music. 
  • Learn great posture. John Lamb, the founder of Backbeat Music Academy, is the author of several books including the bestselling Anatomy of Drumming and Anatomy of Guitar Playing. He brings the Alexander-Technique-inspired method of learning to move well into all of the classes so students learn not just that they are supposed to sit up straight but also why it matters and how it is supposed to feel. Great posture matters in all aspects of life, but directly music-making in how it affects self-esteem and how it affects ease of movement. After all, musicians are athletes and to play their best they have to move well.

Contact Us!

Fill out this form and we’ll get back to you. Or just call/text us now @ 503.290.5090