Classes & Lessons

Classes and Lessons

    • Guitar Class for Adults, at Point Reyes Music Center, upstairs at Tomales Bay Foods. Basic chords, melody reading, rhythmic strumming, songs for singing. Sliding scale.

    • Guitar and Rock Band Class for Ages 10-13, at Point Reyes Music Center, upstairs at Tomales Bay Foods. Basic chords for rock guitar and playing songs. Bass guitar and drum set instruction included.

    • Beginning Guitar Class for Children

    • Beginning Guitar Class for Adults

    • Cello Choir for Adults

    • Chamber Music Coaching for all ages

    • Gentle Ear Training Class for Adults

    • Instrumental Improvisation and Exploration for Adults, all levels

    • String Quartets for Music Lovers, a focused listening class

    • African-Style Drum Class

Private Lessons

    • Piano (beginning, intermediate, and advanced coaching and analysis)

    • Guitar (pick style and classical)

    • Cello (classical, jazz, and free improvisation)

    • Drum set (multiple styles, including jazz)

    • Congas and Djimbe (training in Senegal, West Africa and with drum masters from that region for many years)

    • Improvisation (all instruments)

    • Songwriting

    • Instrumental Composition

More Info

Contact or call 415-663-9176 regarding your particular interest. Please include your phone number for an introductory call.


Summer and Year-round Fun Music Immersion Series

Have you ever dreamed of making music or singing in a group? Have you ever wanted to know what it would be like to live your life as a full-time dedicated musician, writer, or artist? We offer 2, 3, 4, and 5 day immersions for both individuals and groups throughout the year in our beautiful zone of seashore, mountains, grazing hills, and forests. Combine walks in nature with mixed arts with our available strings, guitars, piano and keyboards, winds, and percussion. Gather with friends and family or create a quiet solo retreat with our guidance. Please call 415-663-9176 to start designing a beautiful experience of the natural world with the arts for yourself, with friends, or with family.


Point Reyes Music Center Announces a rigorous hands-on musicianship and ear training program for all ages! This is a basic Harvard College course in music skills made available to everyone, uniquely designed for each student's level, goals and pleasure!

Rolling registration in progress now for the Musicianship and Composition Program offered in Point Reyes Music Center, Point Reyes, CA.

Skype lessons may also be arranged for distance learning.

What is the program?

A rigorous and exciting program for college-prep students (ages

13-18) as well as for adults who want to understand the mechanics of

music at the molecular level.

How much time will it take?

This program takes a minimum commitment of three school years of

intensive lessons and/or classes uniquely designed for each student

and requires 30-60 minutes of attention each day.

When will it happen?

60-120 minute sessions twice monthly in private lessons or classes, scheduled according to the teacher's and

student's availability.

Location will be either Point Reyes

Music Center or online, either during the week or on weekends to allow for

long classes.

What will it do for me?

Students may use it to strengthen their reading skills on their

instrument of choice, become a stronger choral member, chamber music

player, orchestral musician, conductor, accompanist, music

instructor, prepare for a college music program, or just enjoy the

mental challenge of musical gymnastics.

This program will also make what is sometimes thought of as dry

material into an exciting journey of developing a keen musical ear

which will make every listening experience come alive with new


Specifically, what will I learn?

Program includes private and semi-private classes (depending on sign

ups and scheduling) in ear training, including hearing and singing

intervals, learning and understanding keys, sight singing (reading

music with the voice without the help of an instrument) using "fixed"

Doh and scale degree numbers, sight reading on an instrument, reading

simple to advanced rhythm notation accurately with counting,

conducting gestures, and on an instrument, harmonic analysis,

counterpoint, aural composition "in the moment" using the above

skills, and score reading while listening to recordings and without

recordings. Additional topics will be added if the student is

oriented toward jazz.

What will it cost?

Tuition will depend on how many topics will be under study. For

example, each topic will take place over a number of weeks. A student may

choose to take more than one topic each semester.

Each student's program will be uniquely designed with its own scheduling and fees.

Who is the instructor?

Joyce Kouffman is an award-winning past Harvard University instructor

(after receiving a magna cum laude degree in multi-disciplinary music

studies as an undergraduate there), who has lived and taught in the

Greater Bay Area since 1987. She moved west to study and collaborate

with eclectic, Academy award-nominated composer, Mary Watkins (, with whom she has recorded two

jazz CDs, one of which won a "Top Ten Picks" on KCSM radio, the Bay

Area's main jazz radio station. Joyce has recently written and

performed compositions inspired by and read in-person by

world-renowned poets Robert Hass, Linda Pastan, and Jane Hirshfield,

which Hass described as "startlingly intimate..." In the early

1980's, Joyce went to Senegal, West Africa to augment her six years

of study with traditional African drum master, Ibrahima Camara to seek the roots of

American jazz. She studied jazz drums with Alan Dawson (Dave

Brubeck's drummer for 9 years), and big band leading with tenor sax

master Illinois Jacquet. Classical cello was her main instrument in

her early days with teachers from the Boston Symphony. Her classical

music theory, musicianship, and harmonic analysis studies took place

at Harvard under the instruction of Professor Luise Vosgerchian (a

protege' of Nadia Boulanger and acknowledged mentor of Yo-Yo Ma) and in opera analysis seminars with

Leonard Bernstein. Her studies of children's musical cognition and understanding were with pioneering M.I.T's

concert pianist/researcher, Jeanne Bamberger.

If you have more questions, please contact Joyce Kouffman.

Call Joyce at 415-663-9176 to set up an initial interview.

Registration can be sent by email, after a phone conversation and an initial in-person

session to explore musical background, level of commitment,

financial design, and scheduling.

If I (or my child) does not quite read music with ease and fluidity

yet, will he or she qualify?

Not yet, but he or she may sign up for Joyce's "Beginning

Musicianship Program." These sessions will also be weekend intensives

with age appropriate lesson or class length to help children (ages

9-14 or older) feel more confident with reading music. They will

serve as a supplement to instrumental lessons and will cover topics

that instrumental teachers rarely have time to focus on at length.

When possible, Joyce will collaborate with the instrumental teacher

to set up the best curriculum for each student.

When may we start?

Rolling registration throughout the school year, but

the best time to enroll is in August and December, one month ahead of

each semester.

What will the homework consist of?

Worksheets, workbooks, audio Cds, emails, YouTube viewing of music

examples, and listening assignments. Average time will be about 30

-60 minutes per day, depending on whether it is written or vocal work.

Will I get to compose my own music?

Yes, the act of composing will be used as one of the numerous teaching

tools with any given topic. Original compositions will also be called

for each semester.

Are there any other advanced programs available?


"Music Arranging, Especially for Overdubbing Recordings on Digital

Home Composing Software"

"Recording Your Original Music onto CD or other Media Using Logic

Audio" includes personal coaching and consultation on microphone

placement, recording overdubs, and mixing.

Also, "Setting Music to Video using iMovie on Mac."

More announcements will be forthcoming regarding these new music for video programs,

Composing studies are recommended as a prerequisite. The instructor strongly

believes in the highest skill levels for creating music for film.