Our Teachers
Education Our Teachers


Mark Westcott

Artist Affiliate in Residence

Internationally renowned concert artist, acclaimed piano teacher, lecturer and author, Mark Westcott soared to world-wide recognition by winning five 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 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 veritable ‘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.

Jill Timmons, DMA

NCTM—Artist Teacher Affiliate

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

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 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.

James Walls

Pianist, Teacher, Consultant

Phone: (503) 643-5354
Website: N/A

E-Mail James Walls

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. 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).

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 an 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 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. Jim's collaboration with Ms. George continues to this day, with emphasis on teaching methods and piano pedagogy.

He has performed for numerous private, corporate, and fundraising 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.


Jeff Baxter


Phone: (971) 227-2470
Website: N/A

E-Mail Jeff Baxter

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 with his students. Jeff holds a Bachelor in Music from Portland State University, where he continues to study 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 for classical, traditional and modern music, 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
Website: www.suzukipianoportland.com

E-Mail Eithne Boyer

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. 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 & Organist

Phone: (503) 778-0884
Website: N/A

E-Mail George Cheshier

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. 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 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 & Voice Teacher

Phone: (503) 415-0803
Website: http://www.thepianolesson.com

E-Mail Jonathan Eder

Jonathan 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 "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.

Julay Brooks

Piano Teacher

Phone: (510) 725-5153
Website: http://julaybrooks.com/

E-Mail Julay Brooks

Julay Brooks is a skilled, experienced, creative, and empathetic music teacher who is now accepting students of all ages. She has been teaching piano, guitar, mandolin, voice, ukulele, beginning banjo, and music theory for 14 years. Julay has been immersing herself in the study and performance of traditional American music since 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.


Piano Teacher

Phone: (818) 419-8858
Website: PortlandPianoStudio.com

E-Mail Gayaneh

Gayaneh began training in classical piano at age 6 at the International School of Music in Glendale, California. She now continues her studies of classical piano, history, and music theory, in order to continuously improve her skills and knowledge.

Gayaneh teaches at her studio at Classic Pianos. She understands that every student has different goals in learning piano, and she focuses on teaching correct technique and effective practice methods in order for the student to achieve their goals. Whether learning piano is the student's hobby or for enhancing their musical career, Gayaneh aims to make piano a positive, enjoyable part of the student's daily life.

Adrienne Varner

Piano Teacher

Phone: N/A
Website: N/A

Adrienne Varner is a Portland, Oregon based pianist who specializes in the performance of contemporary music. In 2009, she performed and recorded Lou Harrison's Concerto for Piano With Javanese Gamelan, as part of Gamelan Pacifica's album Scenes From Cavafy, released on New World Records. Active as a solo performer, music teacher, and accompanist, she is a graduate of Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts, where she studied piano performance with Dr. Peter Mack and Oksana Ezhokina.