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About Us
I offer lessons in:

  • All Other Singing
  • Arranging
  • Pop Bass
  • Rock Bass
  • Chamber Music Coaching
  • Choral Performance
  • Composition
  • Ear Training
  • Irish Traditional Fiddle
  • Bluegrass Fiddle
  • Fiddle
  • Acoustic Guitar
  • Improvisation
  • Pop / Rock Keyboard
  • Basic Music Theory
  • Intermediate Music Theory
  • Advanced Music Theory
  • Sight Singing
  • Songwriting
  • Viola
  • Classical Violin
  • Rock Violin
  • Jazz Violin
  • Klezmer Violin
  • Vocal Coaching
  • Vocal Improvisation
  • Pop Voice
  • Rock Voice
  • Classical Voice
  • Broadway Voice

    I also have these skills:

    • Accompanying
    • Funk / R&B Bass
    • Popular Piano
    Interested in taking lessons with Mai Li?

    Click the button below to send a private message.

    Mai Li PittardOffering private lessons in
    Seattle, Washington
    About MeContact Me
    I am a freelance composer, singer, violinist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and jack-of-all-trades working musician, as well as an educator, organizer, and activist for the polyamorous community in the Seattle area. I've maintained an active, vibrant private teaching practice out of my home studio for over 8 years now, built on collective organizing principles and collegiate independent study models, for students of all ages and all walks of life.

    I perform at a semi-pro to pro level on 6 instruments (including voice), and in a diverse assortment of styles and settings (klezmer, rock, choral, blues, and more-- ask!). I use my broad background and active industry experience to both enrich my students' lessons and lend a flexible and practical bent to developing musicianship skills. I emphasize a holistic, individual-centric approach, using personal goal-setting and strong mentor relationships to get solid results with each student.

    My Teaching Background
    BM Composition, with honors, 2005. Florida State University School of Music.
    Studio est. late May 2007

    I have been independently teaching and coaching privately since age 15 in a variety of capacities. Until college graduation, it was mostly limited to occasional performance/ audition prep coaching (Viola, Violin, Voice). In the two years following, I maintained 1-6 regular students, and expanded my curriculums to include theory (one-on-one, and small classes up to 5), beginning guitar and piano, and bass guitar. Teaching became a bigger focal point when I established my current practice in May 2007. Since then, I have taught 6-12 students weekly in a variety of capacities and levels, on guitar, violin, viola, bass guitar, composition, theory, and voice.

    My Teaching Philosophy

    My approach is slightly off-beat. I think it's incredibly important for both student AND teacher to have a good experience in the learning process, and achieving that is almost entirely dependent on a few key factors: fostering good listening and communication, setting the right goals, and developing the correct tools and techniques to accomplish them. Since my degree is in composition and not teaching, my teaching style and philosophy were developed based on the teachers in my playing career who have influenced me most-- most notably, the late Beth Newdome at Florida State University School of Music, who was also the associate concertmistress of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Before I left Tallahassee with my music degree (and all the honors that came with) in 2005, I took her passion for connection with students, her freedom of approach, and the idea of technique as a performer's "toolbox," in which pedagogy transforms from an unforgiving, unachievable pinnacle of discipline, to a flexible set of implements that can be adjusted and changed depending upon the needs of the music, ensemble, setting, and player. This approach to teaching and pedagogy, when combined with my hands on teaching experience for the last 8 years, equal experience in community organizing/education/activism for polyamory and alternative relationships, and my years of stage experience, come together to create the open-ended, community building, encouraging, and self-actualizing learning environment which is so definitive in my teaching practice.

    I'm excited to be part of the artistic journey in each of my student's musical lives, and I care about my students-- their progress, their developing sense of artistic expression, their musicality, the exchange of ideas that takes place in our lessons, and ultimately, their lives. I take a holistic approach in private lessons because I believe these are all intertwined. Our focus and goals, whether overall or week-to-week, are usually tailored per each student's level, personality, learning style, interests, and needs, so they're getting the most out of every lesson. My job is to find out from the beginning what they want out of taking lessons, and do my best to help them get closer to where they want to be each week, both feeding them and making them hunger for more-- creating a long term love for music, learning, and the artistic expression of ideas in every student. Ideally, this approach builds strong mentor relationships, while bleeding out to their approach to learning at large... and occasionally, even their perspective on the world they live in.

    I look for students who want this kind of experience out of their lessons--students who are engaged and communicative, like learning, and have goals that mesh well with what my skill set and musical strengths offer them. So I ask a lot of questions to make sure we're a good teacher-student match. If you contact me with an interest in lessons, you should expect a lot of questions (and probably at least a couple of emails, including my full studio policies) before we meet! (I love it when a student asks me questions, too, so don't be shy!) :)

    Rates And Availability
    How Much?
    I ask $60 per hour-long lesson for everything I teach.
    There is a $10 per-lesson discount for students who pay for the month in advance. Biweekly rates are $15 more for administrative costs.

    If you think I'm the teacher for you, but have different needs (low-income, shorter lessons, etc), please don't be afraid to ask! We may be able to work something out. :)

    I currently only teach on Tuesday, Wed early afternoon, & Thursday evening, though I sometimes do makeup lessons or make occasional exceptions on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, based on circumstances. But since the goal of my teaching practice is to have a symbiosis with my busy artistic/activist life, which is often very time consuming (filled with coordinating events, performing, and working on commissioned pieces), I try to limit teaching to those windows whenever possible.

    I do not teach on Friday nights or Saturday during the day for religious reasons (I'm Jewish).

    I teach out of my home studio in a community co-op house in the Roosevelt/Ravenna area. Due to a lack of vehicle ownership and maximizing scheduling efficiency, I'm not currently able to teach at students homes. But my ultimate goal is to have a great group of students, so I *may* be willing to discuss your situation if you have transportation issues.

    The Latest Word?

    I'm undergoing a massive changeover in my studio, so I'm looking for a lot of new students right now! Most slots are open Tue-Thu, so please contact me with your rough availability, so I can do my best to fit in as many of the interested folks as possible!


    7p (tentatively promised)
    8:15 (tentatively promised)

    (possible 5:45)
    (possible 7p)
    (possible 8:15p)

    (possible 5:45)
    (possible 7p)
    (possible 8:15p)