Seth Johnson

Guitar, bass, piano

The most exciting aspect of teaching for me is sharing my love of music and seeing the excitement on a young person’s face when they play a new piece perfectly the first time.

Seth was born in Buffalo, NY and has lived in many cities including San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, and Paris. He was first exposed to music trying to copy his older brother and sister at their piano lessons, and later began playing guitar in his high school jazz ensemble.

Seth studied formally at the Ohio State School of Music and the San Francisco State School of Music and Dance, where he studied jazz, the music of North and Southeast Asia, Afro-Cuban music, and classical guitar. He then went on to get Master of Music in Jazz Performance at the Mason Gross School of the Arts in Brunswick, NJ.

He draws musical inspiration from around the world, including Brazilian musicians like Heitor Villa-Lobos and Antonio Carlos Jobim and Cameroonian musicians Kaissa Doumbe and Salif Keta. As a performer, he has played at events around the globe including the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, the Coleur Cafe Festival in Brussels, and the Big Wig Hip Hop Festival in Singapore.

He believes that everyone has the potential to express themselves through music. Seth's approach to musical pedagogy is to treat it like a new language. Just as children learn to speak their language before they read and write, he begins with immersive listening, imitation, and play, whereas adults may do better with some reading earlier on. Several of Seth's students have gone on to study at highly respected music colleges and conservatories.