Sean Cleland 711 Paani St., APT A, Honolulu HI, 96826
Instruments:Composition, Ear Training, Guitar, Recording, Theory

Styles:Jazz, Folk – Country – Bluegrass, Rock – Alternative, Blues, Other
Levels:Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Experience:19 years
Rate:$60 / hr


Personal Statement

Have you always dreamed of being able to play the guitar? Or have you already played for years and would like to get more serious with your passion for music? Sean Cleland Music can help take you there. You will make progress, and have fun while doing so!

Providing high-quality and friendly private guitar instruction in the Honolulu area. With a convenient location, flexible times, and personalized courses of study based on student’s interests, Sean Cleland Music provides a fun and exciting way to learn guitar!

$60 /hour
$35 /half hour
The first lesson is FREE with prepayment of 3 lessons!

Sean’s Teaching Style:
Sean specializes in not only teaching guitar students the fundamentals of their instrument, but helping them cultivate a deeper appreciation for improvisation, theory, composition, and song craft. He believes these elements are essential in becoming a complete musician (rather than just a guitar playerthere is a clear distinction). Helping students learn to compose their own songs, understand music theory, perfect their popular repertoire, access their creativity, unleash the artist within, and put all of the musical “pieces” together into a coherent base for performance are what Sean enjoys most about teaching.

Education / Training

About Sean:
Sean Cleland has over 9 years of experience teaching private guitar lessons in both Honolulu and California. Since moving to Hawaii in 2009, he has taught over 100 students (young to old, beginner to advanced, and across multiple styles). Sean is currently a full-time performer, recording artist, and music instructor. He has played guitar for over 19 years in a variety of performing bands spanning many genres. Sean has studied with private instructors for guitar (focusing on rock, jazz, blues, classical, and r&b styles) and voice (focusing on the Speech-Level Singing method) for most of these years. He has also taken college-level performance and music theory classes while earning his B.A. at the University of California – Irvine. Sean holds certifications in Pro Tools 201, 110, and 101 from The Recording Arts Center (TRAC) in San Diego, and is a member of The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and The Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA).

With his all-original band, The Hollow Spheres (lead vocals/lead guitar/primary songwriter), he has opened for national americana/rock act Houndmouth at The Republik in Honolulu, as well as performed at Aloha Stadium, Pakele Live, Hawaii News Now, KHON, KITV, and The Perry & Price Show as part of a publicity push for their 2015 EP release “Wanderlust” (ASCAP). The Hollow Spheres are featured regularly on Star 101.9 FM. The band has also been included on the Mountain Apple Company/Soul Sounds internationally distributed release “Alternative HI”.

Sean has toured Japan with rock band Linus, playing at Womb in Tokyo among other venues. He has been a semi-finalist for the RAW Awards (as a solo artist) and in the Mai Tai Bar Rumble (with blues-rock band The VeJJs). Sean was also selected as a finalist in the state of Hawaii for the “KOHN2 X Factor Audition Pass Contest”. He released a solo album in 2009 called “The Winter Room” and is in the midst of recording a new, definitive solo album that’s indicative of his current sound (due out by the end of 2016).

Sean performs every week at Honolulu hotels and venues with his solo act and bands, as well as with other local musicians at monthly corporate events and weddings. His calendar of shows is updated monthly and is available at

Why Choose Guitar Lessons with Sean Cleland Music?:
– Reliable and friendly instruction from a full-time performing musician with years of teaching and playing experience.
– Personalized course of study based on students interests.
– Flexible scheduling.
– Convenient location (near Waikiki and UH Manoa in the McCully area).
– Any style welcome (both electric & acoustic).
– Rock, Blues, Pop, Jazz, Funk, Folk, Singer-Songwriter, etc.
– Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.
– All ages welcome.
– Lessons are not only informative, but fun!
– House call ($90 /hour) and Skype ($40 /hour) lessons available.

What Are The Lessons Like?:
In addition to repertoire, private students benefit from a steady study of technique, listening skills, and theory. Many students want to learn their favorite songs without the accompanying technique practice, and that is possible if that is your intent. With that in mind, Sean does stress learning the fundamentals of guitar technique because a solid foundation in musicianship will make future learning that much more enjoyable.

Remember though, the techniques that the student will practice are only the jumping off point! They are merely the “tools” with which the student should be able to craft their own songs, interpret the works of their musical heroes, improvise alongside the greats, access their inner creativity, and unleash the artist within.

The goal is to become a well-rounded and flexible musician that is able to:

– Utilize a pool of various techniques to play in a variety of musical styles.
– Play written music in a variety of formats (chord charts, lead sheets, standard notation, TAB).
– Play music by ear (i.e. non-written) through knowledge of the fretboard and a healthy dose of ear training.
– Write (and be able to dictate to other musicians) your own original music that is unique to your artistic taste.
– Develop a life-long love and passion for the guitar, and more importantly, music in general!

Testimonials From Sean’s Students:
-“What I like most about Sean is his passion for music. As a dedicated musician, Sean has developed the ability to share his love for playing the guitar with students of various ages and skill levels. Years ago Sean taught my son to play the guitar, today he is a well rounded musician. Seeing the rapid progression in my son’s skills has inspired me to take lessons from Sean.” (Craig S.)

– “Sean is both an excellent teacher and mentor. Our son [Noa] has learned so much in a short perod of time. We’re so glad we found him!” (Jon & Traci H.)

– “Sean is a great teacher and I was able to learn really fast.” (Dylan W)

– “Sean teaches two of our children [Dylan & Emma], ages 11 and 15, and their progress has been excellent since he has been teaching them. Sean is very flexible in his approach and makes sure the kids are learning songs that are at their skill level and that they also know and enjoy. I am amazed how quickly the kids have picked up the skills and how keen they are to continue playing and learning. Sean is a reliable and skilled teacher and I would not hesitate to recommend him.” (Dan W.)

– “When the lesson is over, you really want to go back and learn more because he makes all the learning really fun and very understandable.” (John M.)

– “Very patient, very kind, very well groomed communication skills.” (Steve O)

Sean Cleland