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Piano Lessons

Experienced, Qualified Teachers

Classic Pianos has seven private music studios, and a 100-seat capacity recital hall, offering music lessons and recital space for children and adults — from beginning to advanced.

Mark Westcott, Artist Affiliate in Residence
Email: mhwestcott@yahoo.com | www.markwestcottpianist.com

International renowned concert artist, acclaimed piano teacher, lecturer and most recently, author, Mark Westcott soared to world-wide recognition by winning five important international piano competitions by his twenty-third birthday, including the Bronze medal in the Van Cliburn and first prize in the William Kapell Competitions.

Born and raised in the Northwest, his early studies were with the renowned Portland piano teacher and pianist, Aurora Underwood. At age seventeen, a stunning victory in the prestigious Young Musicians Foundation Debut Auditions in Los Angeles was followed by studies at the Oberlin Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music and private study in New York and Europe. Mr. Westcott’s teachers represent a varitable ‘who’s who’ in American music. They include John Perry, Frank Mannheimer, Cecile Genhart, Eugene List, and composer Samuel Barber.

He was the only young pianist to be awarded subscription concerts with the Chicago Symphony from audition. As a result of this success with conductor Sir Georg Solti, tours throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Japan followed. In this period he recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, and during a grueling six-week tour of Australia, Westcott played nine consecutive concerto performances in the famed Sydney Opera House as well as a nationally televised Australian premier of the Barber Piano Concerto.

Endowed with pyro-technical command and a huge dynamic range, Mr. Westcott’s unique artistry reveals an incomparable and poetic singing line, bountiful color, and an acclaimed mastery of the pedal. He has confounded the world’s most demanding critics and audiences with an almost perfect balance between keen musical intelligence and a profoundly emotional—even spiritual—communicative force.

In the early 1990s, after the successful rehabilitation of an injury to his left arm, Mr. Westcott began nearly a decade-long battle with a serious and stubborn cancer, including two-dozen surgeries and radiation therapy. During that time he wrote Playing With Love (working title), an inspiring reflection on his career and cancer battle.

While returning to the concert stage, having added much new repertoire and playing his very best, the unhappy price exacted for his survival was to be the onset of a condition called focal dystonia, eventually all but crippling his right hand. Mark Westcott now resides again in Portland OR, in the role of a commited and revered piano teacher.


A pianist who possesses not only an overwhelming talent but extraordinary musical sensitivity as well. At every point in every selection on his program. Mr. Westcott kept this rare combination of virtuosity and profundity in balance, so that when his performance was over one didn’t know whether to be more awed by his command of the keyboard or moved by his interpretive vision. -Theodore W. Libby Jr. - New York Times

Prizes Include:

  • First Prize William Kappell International Piano Competition (1972)
  • Third Prize Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (1969) Bronze medal
  • First Prize Young Musician Foundation, Debut Auditions (Los Angeles, 1966)
  • First Prize International Piano Recording Competition (1971 and 1973) Rudolf Serkin Prize (1965)

Jill Timmons, DMA, NCTM—Artist Teacher Affiliate
Email: JTimmons@linfield.edu | www.artsmentor.com

In 2013, Jill Timmons was appointed an Artist Affiliate in Residence at Classic Pianos. At the Portland store, she teaches in the Recital Hall on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and occasionally on Friday mornings.

Jill Timmons has performed internationally as both a solo pianist and ensemble artist, combining concert and recording projects with work as an international performing arts consultant through Artsmentor, LLC and O’Malley International Associates in Pasadena. As an artist/teacher, she has offered performances and educational residencies on three continents. Throughout her career she has been actively involved in mentoring students and offering continuing education for mid-career professionals. Timmons has performed under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Arts and has recorded on the Laurel, Centaur, and Capstone labels. Ken Burns chose music from her Amy Beach recording for the soundtrack to his PBS documentary , The War. She has offered performances and master classes for the Classics & Croissants series at Classic Pianos in Portland. In 2015-2016 Timmons will present another series of lectures at the flagship Portland store, as well as at other Classic Pianos locations throughout the US.

As an award-winning author, Timmons has written on topics that include entrepreneurship and volunteerism within the arts and humanities and has regularly addressed issues around career development and participation in the performing arts. In addition, she has written for the University of Southern California, the College Music Society, National Association of Schools of Music, Carpe Diem Books, American Music Teacher, Clavier Magazine, and for the Laurel, Capstone, and Centaur Record Labels, among others. Timmons is a recipient of the Wilk International Literary Prize from USC. In 2013, Oxford University Press published her groundbreaking career guidebook: The Musician’s Journey: Crafting Your Career Vision and Plan. She has been a keynote speaker for the College Music Society and the National Federation of Music Clubs as well as numerous events for the Music Teachers National Association. Oregon is her home and she regularly offers performances, workshops, and residencies throughout the state.

Timmons holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Washington and the Master of Music degree from Boston University. She is professor emerita at Linfield College in Oregon. For information regarding lessons, performances, workshops, or residencies, you can visit her website at: www.artsmentor.com

“She is a sensitive musician...Her playing is graceful, lyrical, detailed and intimate.” Tim Page, The New York Times
“Timmons soars with the eagles. She plays with vitality and élan.” Fanfare Magazine
“In Timmons’ hands, all the colors Liszt splashed through his piano writing were there in full rainbow strength.” The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon
“Exceptional brilliance. Sensitive and convincingly clear in her [Timmons] musical statement.” Neue Tiroler Zeitung, Innsbruck, Austria

James Walls — pianist, teacher, consultant
Studio Phone: 503-643-5354 | Email: ArtImagesM@aol.com

Jim has spent his entire lifetime in the music industry. Although Jim played piano at age five, it was at South Salem High School that he began to study piano seriously. As a Liberal Arts major at University of Oregon, Jim studied piano and organ, with emphasis on Baroque literature, for two years with Dr. John Hamilton (protégé of Wanda Landowska,) and was also tympanist in the University of Oregon Symphonic Band.

He was graduated from University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee (Episcopal Seminary) with a four-year Diploma for lay leaders, and from the highly respected Berklee College of Music, Boston, through its Certification Program in Keyboard Skills. For 21 years Jim continued private studies in music theory and jazz piano from Mary Field, Portland's jazz icon; and 12 years of coaching with San Francisco's renowned pianist / teacher / composer Jim Rousey. For over 10 years Jim was coached in classical repertoire, technique, and interpretation by Katherine George — principal pianist / keyboardist for the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, retired in 2007 after 44 years of service. Jim's collaboration with Ms. George continues to this day, with emphasis on teaching methods and piano pedagogy. Jim is active in attending workshops, master classes with visiting world-class concert pianists, and concerts presented by Portland Piano International, as well as the piano series of the Oregon Symphony.

Jim has appeared on BBC Radio 2, London, and in the 1960s recorded a weekly musical program on Portland's KXL Radio 750 (Down Memory Lane.) As a pianist he has played numerous private, corporate, and fund raising events including Friends of Chamber Music, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Pittock Mansion, Ronald McDonald House, The Governor Hotel, Oregon Wine Association, The Benson on Broadway, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Temple Beth Israel, Towne Club, The University Club, and many others.

As a writer of student workbooks, scales, patterns, improvisation, scale grid charts, and music theory — both classical and jazz idioms — Jim specializes in teaching students from age four to 84 to know what they are doing (theory / harmonic structure) and how to get the best sound (technique / tone production). Memberships and affiliations include the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the Oregon Music Education Association (OMEA), Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and Oregon Music Teachers Association (OMTA).

In addition to private teaching in Studio One, Jim Walls is Founder and Artistic Director of Classics & Croissants — a concert and master class series presented several Saturdays a year in the Recital Hall at Classic Pianos.

Experienced, Qualified, Teaching Associates

Listed in alphabetical order

Jeff Baxter — pianist
Phone: 971.227.2470 | Email: bax251@yahoo.com

Jeff is a creative pianist who enjoys performing and teaching all styles of music from classical to rock. His fresh perspective on music makes him a very popular teacher among his students. Jeff holds a Bachelor in Music degree from Portland State University, where he continues studies with concert pianist/teacher/recording artist Dr. Susan Chan. Jeff has played piano since age four and has music throughout his family for several generations. He has played in numerous ensembles, performing music from Copland to Coltrane — and original compositions. Jeff has a strong love of classical music, traditional and modern, and desires to provide a structured and well-rounded musical education for his students. His instruction includes improvisation and theory, instilling a love of music and developing his students' abilities to their fullest potential — professional or hobbyist, advanced or beginner, adult or child. Jeff teaches at Classic Pianos.

Eithne Boyer — piano teacher / accompanist
Phone: 503.799.7973 | Email: eithnesuzp@hotmail.com | www.suzukipianoportland.com

Eithne studied piano from age four and earned her Associate Diplomas in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from The Royal Conservatory of Music, Canada 1977, 1979; Bachelor of Music from University of British Columbia, Canada 1982; and a Diploma in Fine Arts (Music Education) from University of Calgary, Canada 1987. She has studied with Suzuki Teacher Trainers throughout the U.S. and Canada, and has taught Suzuki Method and Traditional piano lessons since 1982. In addition to maintaining a private teaching schedule in her Classic Pianos Studio, she also gives private lessons at Franciscan Montessori Earth School in East Portland. As a pianist and accompanist she is accompanist at several churches in the Portland area. Her students learn ear training and music theory, and she patiently encourages students to develop their love for making music. Students of Eithne Boyer have the opportunity to participate in Bi-annual Recitals, National Federation of Music Clubs festivals, Oregon Music Teachers Association (OMTA) events, and Suzuki Association of the Americas Summer Camps. Available for private piano lessons at Classic Pianos on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

George Cheshier — Pianist and Organist
Cell phone: 503-778-0884 (preferred) | Email: gmcheshier@gmail.com
George has been a professional musician since 1974. In 1995, he earned a Master of Science in Music with his degree in teaching from Portland State University (PSU.) At PSU George studied piano with Harold Gray and Andrew Hill. George's performing experience spans all types of music -- from classical and jazz to rock and Broadway tunes. As well as maintaining his private teaching studio at Classic Pianos, George shares his love of teaching with children at Southeast Portland Community Music Center, and is the piano instructor for the Senior Recreation Program of Portland Parks and Recreation. He serves as the accompanist for the choirs at Holy Family Parish, and is in frequent demand as a performer of jazz and classical piano. His most recent project is playing jazz organ in the trio, "Organized." George is available for private lessons at Classic Pianos on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Jonathan Eder, Piano and Voice Teacher
Phone: 503-415-0803 | Email: jonathaneder@hotmail.com | Visit Website
Jonathon is accepting new students from ages four through adult — beginning, intermediate, and advanced students welcome. Learn to read music, play by ear, or write music. With over 25 years of experience teaching: classical, jazz improvisation, blues, and more, vocal coaching and accompanying is also available. Jonathan Eder holds a Bachelor of Music in performance from William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey for Jazz and Classical piano. He also attended the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and most recently appeared at the Pioneer Court House Square in Portland where he recorded his soon to be released CD/DVD "Jonathan Eder LIVE". Jonathan has played with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich, Mercer Ellington, and Lionel Hampton. He has also sung with the Pro Arte Chorale in concert with the New York Philharmonic, The New Jersey Symphony, and the Indianapolis Symphony. Mr. Eder teaches music and has presented special master classes for young people, including Dr. Allen Koshewa’s 4th grade students at Davis Elementary School in Portland, Oregon.

Subjects have included:

  • Baroque Music
  • Bach's Prelude in C Major Book 1
  • Classical Music
  • Beethoven's Fur Elise
  • Romantic Music
  • Chopin Prelude in A Opus 28 #7
  • Modern Music
  • Ragtime
  • Joplin Entertainer & Improvisation
  • Blues & Jazz
  • Songwriting & Singing
  • The Science of Sound
  • The Piano & Its Parts
  • How a Piano Works!

Julay Brooks, Piano Teacher
Phone: (510) 725-5153 | Email: julaybrooks@gmail.com | Visit Website
Julay Brooks is a skilled, experienced, creative, and empathetic music teacher who is now accepting students of all ages in the Portland area.

She has been teaching piano, guitar, mandolin, voice, ukulele, beginning banjo, and music theory for 14 years in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Julay has been immersing herself in the study and performance of traditional American music since about 2003, playing western swing, bluegrass, Cajun, country, old-time, and rebetika. She is also a trained classical pianist and studied piano performance and musical analysis in college.

Julay has been playing piano since she was three years old. In high school, she studied with Jean-Alexis Smith. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2002 with a degree in Liberal Arts. While there, she studied classical piano performance and musical analysis with Bernard Rose, Carsten Schmidt, and George Tsontakis. After graduating, Julay returned to the San Francisco Bay Area and immersed herself in the study of American vernacular music. She was mentored on guitar and vocals by Jody Stecher, who has been called a “national treasure” of the traditional music world, and Johnny Harper, a roots music Telecaster wizard in the mold of Ry Cooder. Julay went on to learn mandolin and other fretted instruments, and to play in a variety of San Francisco-area bands. She has performed at the Freight & Salvage, the Great American Music Hall, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Slim’s, and the Arhoolie Records warehouse in El Cerrito. She plays classical, bluegrass, old-time, Cajun, country, rebetika, and western swing.

"Julay Brooks is a marvelous music teacher in so many ways, and I would recommend her without hesitation. My son started with piano lessons at age five, which morphed into guitar lessons in middle school, which then took another iteration in playing both piano and guitar, and adding vocals, in high school, with a sprinkling of experimentation with other instruments like banjo, ukulele, and mandolin. Julay is truly a musical inspiration to my son, and will be sorely missed with her move to Portland."– Lisa R. (Sam’s mom) Read Lisa's full testimony, along with comments by other students and parents, at http://www.julaybrooks.com.