Welcome! My name is Dan Cosley. I’m a guitarist, composer, and dedicated teacher, offering music lessons at my private studio in NW Portland (Alphabet/Pearl District).


Click here to hear/see me play.

My passions are music-making and guiding others (total beginners through professionals) on the path to creative-fulfillment through music.

Offering lessons in classical, acoustic, & electric guitar, electric bass, ukulele, keyboard, improvisation, music theory, composition, songwriting & arranging.

All ages & levels welcome!

Teaching Approach:

My lessons are relaxed, but focused. We’ll explore pieces by your favorite composers, music fundamentals, and instrumental technique.

Music is a language. The process we undergo as we acquire our mother tongue is a good model for our teaching/learning endeavor;  the emphasis will be on learning to play by playing.

We’ll proceed in a spirit of creative risk-taking and experimentation, while building on a tradition that stretches from the vihuela players of the 15th century to Jimi Hendrix and beyond.

I incorporate a number of methods into my teaching, often utilizing these texts to lend structure to a hobbyist’s casual practice, or as a supplement to a customized training routine for the preparation of a college audition.

Many of my students compose their own music and play in bands. I often work with musicians whose playing and writing abilities stretch beyond their ability to conceptualize in conventional music theory terms. These players are concerned with retaining their current abilities and musical identity, but also with gaining perspective; I’m sensitive to suggesting and co-exploring new possibilities without becoming prohibitive or dogmatic. Music is art!


  • Nearly 20 years of teaching experience, including professorships.
  • Dual Master’s degree in guitar performance and composition, Lamont School of Music, University of Denver.
  • Composition & performance studies with Samuel Adler (Juilliard Composition Department Chair), and Ian Underwood (Frank Zappa)
  • Performances in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
  • Collaborations with the world’s leading guitarists including Marc Ribot, Roland Dyens, and Chris Broderick.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant to Ricardo Izanola & Ricardo Iznaola Scholarship recipient.
  • Lived in Tokyo, Japan for 5 years. Recorded, arranged, and wrote articles for Asia’s leading classical guitar label/magazine, Gendai Guitar.
  • Author of 8 books and numerous articles. Publishers: Les Productions d’OZ (Canada) and Gendai Guitar (Japan).

Click here for a more complete bio.

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