Starfish Studios


1416 SE 8th Ave
Portland, OR 97214

(503) 231-4930
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Marilee Hord is the perfect breath of fresh air that makes music fun again. When I began looking for a teacher, I felt passionately about my need to find a person like her. My Gra...


All reviews seem positive

Fiddle Made Fun 1/11/2010

Marilee Hord is the perfect breath of fresh air that makes music fun again. When I began looking for a teacher, I felt passionately about my need to find a person like her. My Grandpa used to make and repair fiddles, and I had just received the last one he ever made. I also wanted to learn some of the music I'd grown up hearing. Grandpa used to play bluegrass with the other men folk, after they took the women out square dancing. These were my first memories of ever hearing live music. So, I needed someone who held the instrument with the same magical attachment that I did. I found that in Marilee. Even better, I asked her to help me explore the genres to find my musical voice. Without batting an eye, she happily agreed. Marilee's style is completely collaborative. Thus, we’ve hopscotched through genres like folk, bluegrass, Irish, and classical. All the while, Marilee sneaks in the technical elements, so you learn it with a smile on your face. She's become my fellow explorer, mentor, and above all—friend. more

Take Cello Lessons here with Kendra Carpenter! 5/6/2009

I am so extremely happy that I chose to learn cello at Starfish Studios with Kendra Carpenter. Kendra is exactly what I need in a teacher. She not only teaches sterling technique but she takes a very personal approach with her students that makes learning a joy and not a burden. She teaches me at the pace that is right for that week and makes me feel proud of the ways I am improving. I truly look forward to my hour of playing with her each week and could not be more thankful to not only learn from her musically, but to have also just had the chance to know her as an individual. I fully encourage you to give Kendra a call if you are looking to learn Cello or Piano! Pros: Individualized approach more

Study Fiddle with Marilee Hord! Don?t wait! 2/4/2009

This is not cookie-cutter instruction. Marilee?s teaching is finely attuned to students? individual goals, experience, and abilities. \r \r I have been her student for about two years. She has a deep well of skills and influences--classical training, broad experience as a working musician, performing, teaching, and recording?and a great ear.\r \r In my lessons, she has\r ? broadened my fiddling by blending useful elements of bluegrass, honky-tonk, competition, and old- and new world styles.\r ? intuitively recognized the little adjustments that pay big benefits in my playing.\r ? transformed how I listen, and led me to creative ways of understanding what I was hearing.\r \r If you are serious about playing the fiddle, Marilee?s instruction is oriented toward real progress, and has my highest recommendation. Pros: Soundproof rooms! Cons: None. more

Wonderful Fiddle Teacher 12/14/2008

I've been taking fiddle lessons from Marilee Hord for many years and I feel that I've improved under her guidance. She gives helpful, insightful criticism in a non-judgmental way that helps me focus on how a passage should sound, and how to get that sound out, but never gives false praise. She knows her stuff! She likes taking on a variety of styles and enjoys students who challenge her musical abilities. If you are an adult who has always longed to play fiddle, Marilee would be a good teacher for you. I guarantee that you'll learn and have fun doing it. Pros: Studio-quality rooms for lessons; air conditioned in the summer; heated in the winter Cons: Horrible parking - only one space for Starfish use. more

The Quintessance of Quality 12/18/2007

I have had the pleasure of studying guitar with Noah Beck and simply cannot praise him enough. Noah is one of the only people I know who understands the artistry of guitar playing and I couldn't imagine a more positive influence on my guitar playing. When you're with him it's hard not to have his enthusiasm about music rub off on you. He is open to work on abslutely whatever you want with you and he'll surely have something helpful to say. Whether you're playing classical, bluegrass, jazz, psycadelic noodling, or just want to learn some chords, Noah has spent time truly understanding it and how to effectively improve your playing. I love this guy, he's had such a huge influence on me. If you're at all interested in not only playing guitar well but also understanding the reason and technique behind it all, do yourself an immense favor and go to Noah Beck. more

Lovely, just lovely 11/27/2007

My 10 year old takes violin lessons weekly with Jillian Hicks although my daughter will tell you, ""I play the fiddle!"". We look forward to our lesson each week; incredibly motivating lessons that are fun and are tailored for your child. You bite what you can chew, you are commended for the progress you have made. We've never come to a lesson feeling not good enough, which can often come up when learning. Not only is my daughter's technique come along her love for this instrument is growing. Thank you Star Fish Studios there's a bit more dancing in the kitchen these days! Kristin more

great music lesson studio 11/24/2007

I recently started teaching bass guitar at Starfish. The facility is well equipped and very comfortable. My students enjoy the quiet relaxed atmosphere. A great place to study music. more

Most qualified and enjoyable Fiddle lessons I have ever had 11/21/2007

Jillian at Starfish Studios is one of the most patient, fun, and enjoyable teachers in music that I have ever had. My time flies by and I cannot wait for my next lesson. She encourages much fun while learning. This is underpinned by her exceptional backgroung with the fiddle / violin.\r I would and have recommended Jillian and Starfish Studios to many of my friends who are looking for the pursuit of the arts.\r Thank you Jillian Pros: Positive, Patient, Fun, Expert in the Field Cons: Cannot Think of a single thing more

It's good. 11/14/2007

Me: A beginning guitar student.\r \r \r The studio: Easy to find with parking lot adjacent (no parallel parking for those of us who have never mastered the skill) and comfortable private rooms for lessons.\r \r \r My teacher: Noah Beck. He is a knowledgeable and experienced musician. As a teacher he is patient, answers questions thoroughly, and adapts to the needs of his students - whether you are learning just for fun or have greater ambition he will adjust his teaching style to fit your goals. But that is not all! As an added bonus, Noah is a really nice guy. more

Nicest Studio Ever 11/6/2007

I've been teaching saxophone, clarient, and flute at Starfish Studios for about 6 months. After working for several other music lesson studios and taking many lessons throughout my childhood at various music stores, I can confidently say that Starfish is the nicest and most comfortable studio space I have ever encountered. The interior is warm and all of the teachers are equally enthusiastic. Students never seem to be scared or uncomfortable when attending their lessons. Starfish Studios and its teachers take the anxiety out of learning music and makes it a fun and rewarding endeavour. Pros: Location, Staff, Design more

You could feel that people, who work there, enjoy every moment of it. 11/4/2007

My son started to play a guitar from scratch about 2 months ago. I decided to give it a try but was a little skeptical at first since I knew how much effort should be invested. 2 months passed and I'm amazed at my son's progress... The name of his guitar teacher is Noah Beck, look no further, this is as good as it gets. Noah is true professional, teacher and performing musician with real passion to music. Noah knows how to bring excitement into learning experience and to keep interest going. Whether you want to rock, jazz or play a classical guitar this is the place to be.\r \r Pros: Great teacher. Cons: None. more

Great place Great teachers 11/4/2007

I think my teacher Noah is cool and he has good jokes and he is a professional and if you want to learn how to rock or learn any other kind of music this is the right place.\r I think it's a great place, Nice people and it's really fun learning new stuff.\r Really nice teachers you will laugh alot and have alot of fun :D.\r i am very happy with the results. Pros: Very convinient, Nice staff more

Highly recommended for a solid music education 8/21/2007

After working with Yascha extensively in the past, I can say that he is not only a great instrumentalist, but a talented musician. In his studio work and teaching, he is professional, encouraging, and a pleasure to work with. Since watching the latest concert of all his students performing, it's clear that he can cater to almost any age and skill level. Also, depending on the student, i know he will give lessons multiple times a week if they advance quickly.\r \r So, if you want to learn an instrument only.... or if you want theory too, or classical, or emo shoegazing rock, I would highly recommend Starfish Studios. Taking lessons from someone who is a performing musician, has a formal music education and years of teaching experience is the way to go.\r \r Pros: secure parking, more

Stellar performer and teacher! 8/18/2007

I've seen Yascha perform and wondered if he would be as enthusiastic and engaging as an instructor. He had been highly recommended -- and rightly so! My son, already something of a musician, has improved and flourished under Yascha's careful and thorough teaching. As my son nears the end of high school and is looking toward keeping music in his life in college and beyond, Yascha is and will continue to be an important and valuable mentor. \r \r Insightful and with the student's individual needs and desires first and foremost, Yascha allows students to learn the ins and outs of playing music through pieces that the student selects, or helps select. So, rather than suffering through a prescribed set of lessons and music recital-type pieces, students are allowed to discover the joys of playing music based on the music they personally enjoy. This keeps them interested and motivated. Yascha encourages his students to take on new challenges and skills, but never setting the goal so high at any one point as to overwhelm them, giving them the ability to succeed and improve.\r \r I attended a recital he held for his students. I was so impressed by the range in ages and abilities and musical interests of his students. Yascha related well to all of them, treating them equally with genuine pride in their accomplishments. That was very telling as to his quality and capability to teach a wide range of students. I can't recommend him highly enough -- he's the best! Pros: see the above Cons: none at all more

Doesn't get better than this. 8/3/2007

I'd never played the drums when I came to Yascha for lessons. It's been a year and a half now, and after having not had a music lesson in years, I'm not only still playing and loving every minute but I'm taking two lessons a week now with two different instruments because I can't seem to get enough. I've gotten much more than I asked for here, I've grown tremendously both as a musician and a person. I've gained confidence in myself and the courage to indulge my musical sense of adventure. It's really nice to set goals and be able to achieve them and Yascha will help you do that patiently and as a friend. Perhaps most importantly, Starfish Studios presents a safe, comfortable atmosphere where you can mess up, fix your mistakes and come out sounding awesome. You won't find better lessons even for twice the price. more

Just plain great! 7/30/2007

\r As much as I would like to write an unbiased review of Starfish Studios, I'm afraid there are simply no negative aspects that come to mind. I too was concerned and nervous at first about taking music lessons again (having not had any for quite a few years), as the teacher can easily make or break the lessons; I was immediately relieved by Yascha's easygoing, friendly and very patient manner. After a year's worth of lessons, I have learned more than I ever could have hoped for: My technique has improved, my knowledge has at very least doubled, and I can do things I would have never thought possible before with my instruments. If you have something specific that you want to learn, Yascha is more than willing to take you through all the steps of it; and what's more, I was later introduced to all kinds of fabulous styles and music that I would not have been otherwise aware of. It's been said before that often times lessons can feel like a chore, but Starfish is unique in that you not only enjoy your lesson, but it becomes the highlight of your week. I cannot even think of all the times I had started off with a bad day that was magically transformed after just an hour of jamming with Yascha. If you're looking for a more than competent teacher with excellent teaching style as well as chops, proficency in a multitude of instruments and someone very willing to work with your schedule, this is the place to go.\r \r Cheers! Pros: See above more

Wonderful experience! 7/30/2007

I have never played the guitar or taken a guitar lesson prior to going to Starfish Studios, and I really didn't know what to expect. I was terribly nervous and feeling a little silly starting an instrument at my age ...I mean, aren't you supposed to begin music lesson at the age of 4 or something? However, from my very first lesson on, Yascha, my teacher at Starfish Studios, has been friendly, warm, encouraging, and so very patient. His instruction has been wonderful too. I can hardly believe that I am only into the second month of lessons so far, and I'm already making sounds with my guitar that very closly resemble actual songs! My goal from the beginning was simply to make some kind of music, any kind of music, and after such a short time, I have nearly achieved my very modest goal. Since, however, the experience has been so positive, I plan to continue music lessons with Yascha. I have never written a review on line of a company before, but I did this because I hope this review of Starfish Studios (and Yascha) helps someone else who might be feeling nervous about starting music lessons feel a little less so in taking music lessons at Starfish Studios. Pros: talented, warm, encouraging, and oh so patient! Cons: Not a single con! more

Great place to rock out! 7/29/2007

When I decided to take guitar lessons, I started to look for someone who could be flexible with my schedule and who would teach me to play music that I was interested in. Starfish Studios has exceded my expectations. Yascha encourages me to bring in CDs so I can learn to play music that I like and is really good at tailoring your lessons to your abilities and interests. I have taken lessons in the past and quit because it felt more like a chore than a hobby. Now I actually look forward to practicing and finding new material to play. The lessons are relaxed, casual, and fun. The price is reasonable and the location is great. more
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  • Bring out the rockstar in you with private music lessons for various instruments like drums, guitar, bass and more.

  • 8/3/2007 Provided by Citysearch
Additional information
  • Neighborhoods: Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Buckman