Ted Brown Music offers an assortment of private lessons in each of our five locations. Each instructor is certified, with years of experience, and pre-screened prior to use of our rental spaces. As each instructor sets his/her own rates and schedules, contact them directly with any questions.
Rusty Graeff’s father was involved in music as a live sound engineer and naturally began forcing the guitar upon his son at an early age. After graduating from Curtis High School, Rusty earned a B.M. in music performance from Western Washington University, focusing on the tuba as his primary instrument in what was quite possibly an act of rebellion against his rock ‘n roll parents. During this time he played in the school’s top wind ensemble, jazz ensembles, brass quintet, symphony and pit orchestras, and assisted his professors in teaching Jazz Band II and low brass pedagogy. A highlight of his experience at WWU was working closely with Chuck Israels, a bassist and composer best known for his recordings with Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, and John Coltrane. Studying harmony, improvisation, arranging, and jazz history with Israels instilled into Rusty a lifelong dedication to the craft of music.
As a performer, Rusty has played music in over 30 states and 3 countries with many groups including the Whatcom Symphony and Washington Brass, as well as smaller groups ranging in styles from punk to R&B to indie rock and metal. As a lesson-taker himself he has studied guitar with contemporary legends John Stowell, Dave Peterson, and Steve Brown.
As a teacher, Rusty takes an individual approach customized for each student based on their needs and goals as a musician. This usually consists of blending “fundamentals and fun.” The former being a
methodical approach to sight-reading, ear training and all-around musicianship, and the latter consisting of applying the guitar to music that interests the student on a personal level. Rusty maintains a roster of 50+ students in his teaching studio and spends the rest of his time in the recording studio as the in-house engineer at Sound West Audio in downtown Tacoma.
Jason has been playing drums for 11 years, and teaching drums for 8. He has experience playing in junior high and high school concert bands, as well as marching band and jazz band. Jason has studied drums for 6 years and also has a background in piano. Currently, he plays drums professionally for a number of bands in the Pacific Northwest, including Sub-Motive (original Blues/Rock), The Ben E Band (Pop/R&B cover band), Keely (origiznal R&B), Mia Vermillian (original Blues/Jazz), JCSL Worship Band (Christian Rock), The Halyards (original Americana/Nautical Rock) and The Side Project (original Pop).
Jason teaches drums in the musical styles of rock, funk, jazz, and Latin. His lessons focus on a broad range of topics including: sight reading, ear training, hand technique, foot technique, rudiments and their practical application to the drumset, drumset tuning, understanding song structure, warm-up/endurance/speed exercises, and playing musically. His lessons are also tailored to each individual’s areas of special interest, so don’t hesitate to ask!
Dylan Dearinger has been playing music in the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years. After studying at Pierce College in Steilacoom and the University Of Washington, earning an AA in Music Performance, Dylan began teaching and playing full time.
His playing experience ranges from concert bands to big bands and jazz combos, as well as various Top 40 Dance, Rock, and R&B groups, including New Jack City and The Move. He has also played in several Live Band Karaoke groups such as Star Machine and, most recently, RockBot.
Dylan has played at many of Western Washington’s top venues including The Paramount, The Showbox, Muckleshoot, Emerald Queen, and Tulalip Casinos, as well as the Tacoma Dome. In addition, he has had the opportunity to open for such premier acts as Montel Jordan and Tony Toni Tone.
Also on his playing resume are a one-year stint with several original projects in Miami as well as a 2-month Mediterranean tour with Holland-America, which included several stops in Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Monaco, and Portugal.
Chuck loves to teach electric and acoustic guitar in the style of rock, blues, pop, jazz, classical, flamenco, fusion, metal, county, and folk. He has taught hundreds of students around the United States of all ages starting as low as 5 and the oldest so far 81. Every student is different and will be taught as unique individuals. His teaching style will change and mold to each student as seen fit. Chuck has fun teaching attitude and expects students to practice a minimum of a 1/2 hour or more every day. Students will need a folder that they bring to every lessons to put handouts and books in. They also should bring an electric guitar tuner, a set of extra strings and picks!!!
Chuck has dedicated his life to learning the guitar and loves to pass on the knowledge to his students. He has been teaching guitar for 9 years and has been playing for 15 years. Chuck has his B.A. in Music from Central Washington University where he studied classical guitar. He also went to school and received his RAP (Recording Artist Program) at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. His focus at M.I. was music business, digital audio recording, electric guitar, digital media, and song writing. Charles has also spent many summers traveling across the United States teaching guitar for National Guitar Workshop. At NGW Chuck taught classrooms and guitar clinics in all styles and avenues of guitar playing with some of the best guitar teachers in North America. Having such a special opportunity teaching for NGW has helped push Chuck to new heights in his playing and teaching career.
JD Dorland is a gifted pianist and vocalist. He has a BA in Music from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma. He has been teaching music for a number of years now, and from Ted Brown Music in Puyallup for the last 4 years. He leads his own jazz trio and performs for various functions and locations around the Puget Sound area. He has also been working with churches leading worship services for the last 10 years. He is currently the lead worship leader for Lighthouse Christian Center’s Gem Heights Campus.
JD has a very broad approach when it comes to teaching piano. He incorporates various methods of learning to engage with the students. He wants the student to play well, but also wants them to understand how music works. JD has a passion to help students be prepared for playing music in their own passions and also to be ready for real life scenarios by teaching students how to play with other musicians.
For more information on JD Dorland, his upcoming shows or booking, check out his website at www.jddorlandmusic.com.
DiAnne began playing flute in 5th grade and quickly became a competitive flute player; participating in solo & ensemble, band contests, Illinois state contest, youth symphony, pops orchestra, and many honor groups (performing in several states and in Europe) in high school and college. She began playing and studying saxophone in 8th grade and joined jazz band in 9th grade. She continued performing and competing on flute and saxophone at jazz festivals, competitions, and in small jazz combos throughout high school, college, and as an adult. She has played saxophone in Pierce College Concert Band and flute for various groups for weddings, funerals, and special occasions. She has taught at Valley Christian School (general music, band, and bell choir), Ted Brown Music (flute and saxophone), and for the Puyallup School District (band para-educator for 5th-6th grade band).
Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Western Illinois University and a Master of Music Education from the University of Washington. She has taught flute, saxophone, and euphonium privately and has been a band teacher for 18 years. Some of her private teachers include: Robert Webb, Gerald Carey, Mary Louise Poor, and Rae Terpenning.
Private lessons are taught using many methods. Students are encouraged in a positive manner to reach their highest potential. We work on sound production, technique, ear training, and other musical skills that will improve your overall saxophone or flute playing. Many written methods are used including Mark Thomas flute method, Rubank duets and technique books, Top Register Studies, Aebersold methods, Niehaus studies, and various play-a-long books. Each student is given a notebook with specific goals to work on at each lesson. Our goal in each lesson is to give the student tools to improve their self confidence, poise, performance abilities, and answer any questions regarding band or other needed music.
Karen Tadena is a freelance violinist and professional violin instructor. She is a native of the Pacific Northwest and holds an undergraduate degree from Pacific Lutheran University, which she earned in 1992. At Pacific Lutheran University, Karen studied violin under the tutelage of Ann Tremaine, a protégé of famed violinist Jascha Heifetz. Karen has been active in the Pacific Northwest music community for over twenty years. Currently, she is a member of the award-winning Arcobaleno Strings ensemble and the Tacoma Opera Orchestra. Karen has also performed with the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, Evergreen City Ballet Orchestra, Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Rainier Symphony, Pacific Lutheran University Symphony and Federal Way Symphony Orchestra.
Karen believes that education is not possible without student motivation and passion. She specializes in individually tailoring her teaching methods to meet the learning style and needs of each student. Through her years of teaching experience, Karen has realized that a combination of both the Suzuki method and Traditional studies have worked well for students. She teaches skills such as the importance of proper practice, self-motivation, audition preparation, and the relevance of music theory and history. Karen serves as a violin coach for the Tacoma Youth Symphony Evergreen Music Festival, taught in the University of Puget Sound Community Music program and is currently the Director of Music at the Federal Way Public Academy.
Karen teaches all ability levels from beginning to advanced, ages 6 to adult.
Tony has played music from childhood, starting with piano and then guitar in his early teens. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities with an emphasis in music from WSU in 2007 where he studied percussion for two years, focusing on Marimba. He also has a Bachelors in Music from CWU, graduating in 2013. While there, Tony performed contemporary Christian Music and solo classical guitar at St. Andrews, and had a small private teaching studio. Tony also coached beginning violin and Cello in the prep string program while studying at Central. Tony has taught guitar lessons since 2009.
Students are encouraged to have fun in their learning which consists of a combination of theory, technique, and repertoire playing. Each student’s individual interests and abilities are taken into account for a specialized learning experience. Material used includes Mel Bay’s guitar method, Suzuki Guitar method, Frederick Noad’s “Solo Guitar Playing”, among others. Rhythm and time are a large focus in lessons as well as melodic patterns, diatonic harmony, and fretboard knowledge.
Linda Ponce has been teaching music in schools and privately for 30 years. She works excellently with all ages on the following instruments:
Linda’s teaching model is learned from her parents who were both popular music educators. Linda’s teaching philosophy incorporates a mission: “When a student walks into my studio, by the end of the lesson a student will have much more knowledge and growth in music than when they walked into the room.”
Linda’s undergraduate Bachelor of Music degree was received from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music.
Graduate degree Masters in Arts Teaching
K-14 Teaching Credential
My students enjoy the lessons as I take time and energy to assess where they are and where they want to be with music selections. I also put together creative, fun, custom, and energizing curriculum choices to keep the lessons and practice time enjoyable. I have much experience teaching private & group lessons and I strive to keep the students engaged while improving skills. Recitals are a part of my curriculum for family and friends. I love to teach music! And look forward to helping your music growth and knowledge.
Rate: $90 per month
Dana Robinson is a gifted piano and flute player. Her adoptive parents instilled in her a love of music and her biological grandmother, father and half-brother are all piano players. Dana has a minor in music from Eastern Washington University. A life-long participant in church choirs, she has been consistently recognized for her perfect pitch and musical sight reading abilities. Dana has also been a church pianist and instrumental accompanist since the 1980’s. In addition she has been a voice and instrumental piano accompanist for solo ensemble contests for middle and high school students. Widely recognized for her talents by school teachers in the community, she has consistently helped to teach students to play with an accompanist. She has accompanied students many times at the state level contests where students have placed and one student won two years in a row. Dana is also gifted in her knowledge of sheet music. This skill has enabled her to find appropriate musical scores to teach her own students and to create a fun learning atmosphere.
Rate: $100 per month
Kristi is an Iowa native. As a high school student, Kristi traveled with the Iowa Ambassadors of Music to Europe playing concerts in London, Paris, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. This is where her passion for music and travel flourished. She is a graduate of the University of South Dakota with a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Music Education. Her primary instrument of study is flute with a secondary emphasis in saxophone. Her instructors have included Mrs. Stephanie Kocher and Dr. CJ Kocher. During her time at the University of South Dakota, she was a member of the USD Symphonic Band and Symphony Orchestra. One of her most memorable concerts at USD was playing in the orchestra with the rock band Kansas.
Kristi was also a member of numerous chamber ensembles on both flute and saxophone. She also served as a Student Assistant to the SOUND of USD Marching Band. As a Student Assistant, she helped plan marching band travel, assisted with teaching music and many other aspects of the USD Marching Band. Kristi performed with The SOUND in the 2012 London New Year’s Day Parade. During her time at USD Kristi was also a member of the USD Jazz Ensemble saxophone section and the clarinet section of the University Concert Band.
Jinny has a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree from the University of British Columbia in Canada. She has many years of experience teaching music with a variety of population. She had a private studio and taught at Guildford School of Music and Dance as a piano and voice instructor before she moved to the United States. She also conducted both adult’s and children’s choirs from churches and communities.
Jinny’s goal in teaching music is to provide the students with all the skills that they need to enjoy music throughout their lives. She not only teaches how to play and sing but also makes sure that they have a good musical foundation. She works hand in hand with theory and ear training. Jinny also has a degree in Music Therapy and has adopted innovative ways to make music more interesting to the students.