Piano, Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Drums, Voice, Saxophone, Trumpet, Cello, & More

We're jazzed to offer lessons for a wide variety of instruments and musical styles. Please browse our bio's, and click on a teacher's picture if you'd like to hear some of their music!

Eliot Jones

Eliot is a multi-instrumentalist and a songwriter who has played piano for over 20 years, and has done a bit of everything in the music scene. In college, he studied songwriting under Sue Ennis, a nationally recognized writer known for working with Seattle rock band Heart. As a solo pianist, he’s shared the stage and recorded with talented artists like The Lashes, Al Rowe, and Bottlenose Koffins. He also founded local indie-rock group On Grounds, where he was the guitarist and singer.    

Above all else, Eliot is a dedicated music teacher. He has a real passion to help students, always going the extra mile to make lessons fun and engaging. As a teacher, he understands the sensitivity that many musicians have, and has worked with neurodiverse students and people of all ages. He teaches Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, and Music Theory.

Stephen Wood

Stephen Wood is a composer of modern film and concert music who expresses a holistic view of the world. Wood’s musical languages fuse his studies and roots in the cultural genres of American Jazz, Romantic Impressionism, and Afro-Cuban. In his ongoing two-decades long career Stephen Wood has forged a unique path as a composer, performer, and educator. Stephen has released 6 studio and live albums; premiered over 80 chamber, orchestral, and jazz compositions; scored numerous films and documentaries; performed and toured with his own jazz ensembles; travelled vast landscapes as a Wilderness Composer; developed environmental music programs to inspire environmental stewardship; and passed on musical knowledge to students of piano and composition.

Stephen’s interest in musical story telling was first cultivated in his love for vast wilderness landscapes leading him on a decade long wilderness composing adventure. As a Wilderness Composer, Stephen has traveled the United States in search of inspiration from our country’s wildest places. Inspiration was found and full-filled with premieres of over 20 solo, chamber, and symphonic compositions painting stories of the unique plants, animals, and landscapes found during wilderness artist residencies. 

Jesse Wallis 

My name is Jesse, and I am a 33 year old guitar, bass, ukulele, piano, drum and mandolin instructor living in Portland, Oregon. I started my music journey when I picked up the alto sax in elementary school, and shortly after played tenor for 3 years. In high school, I picked up a bass guitar and it completely changed my life! I would spend hours after school playing songs, learning as much as I could, and discovering new genres. Shortly after I started to play electric guitar, and it opened up an even bigger world of chords, melodies, and theory for me to explore.

At the age of 23, I decided that I wanted to teach professionally for a living, and I haven’t looked back since. 10 years later, watching someone learn and gain confidence with an instrument is still the most rewarding feeling I’ve experienced. Outside of teaching, I play in several bands, create my own music, and even record, produce, mix and master local bands in the Portland area.

Ken Jacobsen

Ken Jacobsen is a mandolinist, guitarist, cellist, composer, and producer who currently lives in Tacoma WA. He has a degree in classical guitar performance and has performed and recorded many different classical styles including Renaissance, Baroque, Spanish/Flamenco, Brazilian guitar, Tango and modern music. He performs regularly as a solo guitarist and with various ensembles including Tacoma's Verde ensemble and the Vashon-Maury Island Chamber Orchestra. He also loves playing Jazz guitar, everything from Duke Ellington to Miles Davis and John Coltrane, Bossa Nova, and Cuban Son. 

Ken has been playing cello as well for many years, beginning in college with an irresistible urge to learn the Bach Cello Suites, and performs regularly on electric cello with loops and effects, creating multi-layered ambient soundscapes. His love of world and folk music led him to the Middle Eastern Oud, Hammered Dulcimer, Mandolin and Djembe. Ken's first real instrument was a Fender Stratocaster, and he's always ready for a funky throw-down, having played with bands such as Vashon funk powerhouse Blue Monster. He has more recently been involved in electronic music production and performance, with unique live performances combining hardware synthesizers and drum machines with cello, guitar and percussion.

Jessica Westfall

Jessica started learning about music and the piano as a small child. As far back as she remembers, she’s been singing, writing songs, and playing music. Later, as an adult, Jessica took more advanced piano lessons before beginning her own music teaching career. She earned her first Bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology, and also took music classes as electives. It was then that she decided she wanted to professionally pursue music teaching and therapy long-term. 

Jessica is inspired by the creativity of musicians from all kinds of genres. She enjoys The Blues, Jazz, classical, R&B, folk, country, oldies and much more. She is excited to be teaching piano with Cloud Chords, because she enjoys making music education an exciting collaborative experience with her students. Her first goal is to help expose new students to many genres and to fall in love with the language of music like she did as a child. She wants to assist them in developing their tastes and interests, while establishing their foundational skills. When or if that foundation has been set, she tailors more nuanced goals to her students’ preferences and strengths. She teaches a standard piano curriculum but also engages with their likes and dislikes to help uncover their passions and talent.

Buck Brown

Buck grew up in the 60’s listening to AM Radio, the Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Four Seasons, all the Brit invasion groups, the Folk artists, Motown and Stax/Volt. Piano lessons, church choir, learning songs on a Martin D12-35 and playing in rock bands were primary influences. In the early 70s he played with the Washington, DC acoustic group, Early Van Pelt and was a regular side man with the Nighthawks. For many years he lived in NJ and played in pit orchestras for Broadway musicals as a bass player and guitar player and also was Musical Director of many theatre shows in the U.S. and in Europe, eventually being nominated for two Helen Hayes Awards for best musical direction.  He taught in private high school, College, University and The National Guitar Workshop where he was Head Teacher and wrote most of the curricula for Jazz Guitar as well as running Workshop Sounds Recording and the Keyboard and MIDI workshop. During this time he was fortunate to play with Tony Trischka, Dave Hamburger, Stacy Phillips Mark Egan, The Kennedys, Mike Marshall and many more. He has also written 18 books and book/cds published by Alfred Music! 

Ending up in Washington, DC in the 90s, he worked as a composer for TV, Film, Radio, Industrials and political clients including both President Clinton and President G.H.W. Bush.  He scored many episodes of America’s Most Wanted as well as commercials for PBS, the Smithsonian Institution and the Washington Post.  Being in DC led him to become a member of the Nils Lofgren Band and the Nils Lofgren Acoustic Duo which led to gigs with Mary Ann Redmond and the chance to play with Bruce Springsteen, Jeffrey “Skunk” Baxter and many more great artists. Finally moving to Nashville in the mid-2000s, he has played with Robert Lee Castleman (grammy award winner for “The Lucky One” done by Alison Krauss), Americana Duo Bedhed and Blondy, Dobie Gray, Nick Nixon, Marion James and Suzanne Fiering and the Elegant Gypsies. Buck plays guitars, lap steel, keyboards, mandolin, dobro and has a personal recording studio where he records original Americana music.

Fiona Gurney

Fiona is a guitar player based in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Seattle, WA, she picked up the guitar after failing to develop much of a bond with piano or saxophone while playing in school bands. Over the last 12 years she has played in a number of punk, post-hardcore and math-rock bands, and extensively toured North America. She is self-taught, and always looks to maintain a sense of discovery and invention in regard to her playing, and hopes to pass that onto her students. Although she favors music of the angular, off-kilter, and distorted variety, she has a huge appreciation for all genres including folk and jazz, and would love an excuse to learn more styles of finger-picking.

Chelle Mangum

I am an award-winning certified NC Music Educator. Receiving my Bachelor of Music from Meredith College, I focused on composition and voice and have recently retired from teaching music in NC Public Schools. Over 50 of my students at Tar River Elementary and Mt. Energy Elementary were selected by state judges for membership in the NC Elementary Honors Chorus. As a Board Member of NCMEA, I chair the Music In Our Schools Month Committee. View my collaborative Music In Our Schools 2021 project of "We Rise". The article about the project and discussion with collaborators can be viewed at NCMEA "We Rise" Article

 Music has always been an important part of my life, with my grandmother starting me out with piano lessons when I was 4 years old. Church choir, school choir, swing choir, band, jazz band, percussion ensemble, orchestra, musical theatre, vocal and instrumental competitions- I loved it all! I am the mother of 4 awesome musicians, am married to an awesome musician and come from a family of musicians! I enjoy opportunities that enrich individuals and communities through music.

Hunter Dunn

Hunter Dunn grew up on the forested outskirts of Bellingham, WA and began tickling the ivories at age 7. He picked up the family’s old Gibson five years later, and joining swing choir in high school convinced him to pursue music professionally. After earning his B.A. in Music Composition from Whitman College, he served two years through AmeriCorps as a classroom teacher for preschool-8th, simultaneously working as a private lessons instructor, and his performing background encompasses choral, a cappella, jazz, funk, folk, metal and more! 

A longtime music student himself, he knows firsthand the value of both structure and creative freedom and commits to finding the right approach for each individual. Currently, Hunter performs with pop-rock band 48 Degrees North and directs the (virtual) choir of Tacoma’s Grace Baptist Church. Apart from music, he is an avid outdoorsman, having logged 1000+ trail miles in some of the wildest terrain in the continental U.S.

Steve Lykken

Steve is a drummer with 28 years of playing experience and has studied under greats such as Michael Shrieve, Garey Williams and Brian Lilly. He has toured in many countries and played in a wide variety of groups ranging from jazz to country to rock-'n'-roll to whatever. He loves studying music himself and believes there is no end to learning.  

A lesson with Steve will focus on an overall understanding of technique, independence, drum theory of just general musical fun (because that's what's it's all about!) He believes in a comfortable, non-lecture approach and a connection to a student's artistic interests, but his main goal is to teach a student how to practice and find their path on their musical journey. Currently Steve runs the Trading Musician drum shop where he has worked for 10 years. He has an extensive knowledge of the anatomy of drums themselves and can assist with anything from refurbishing to simple tuning or general drum history.

Like everyone else, Steve's only goal in life is to find happiness and he does it through drumming. Helping and encouraging others just makes it all the more better. "The only truly gifted people are those with the desire to keep learning and better themselves. Someone said that but I can't remember who." -Steve

Michael Leffler

Mike's Professional Musician Career started soon after studying at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. He started playing the New England and mid-Atlantic club circuits with rock bands and top 40 groups. He learned a lot performing live, completing many tours through the United States and Canada.

As the years went on, Mike started to focus on composing his own music, and collaborating with other musicians. During that time, he won the “Single of the Year” award with his group Cohesive for the song "To the Stars" in the 2008  Los Angeles Music Awards. He was recognized again with an Album of the Year nomination for Cohesive debut album release at the 2009 Los Angeles Music Awards, credited for writing and performing on the record.

Mike's songs have been published to the RockBand video game and used in TV commercials worldwide. His work with the band Cohesive went on to win several awards in the industry, including recognition with VH-1 “Save the Music”.  Currently Mike is teaching, writing new material, recording, and performing in the Los Angeles area.