Heartwarming commentary from my amazing students and their parents 🙂
Julay Brooks is a marvelous music teacher in so many ways, and I would recommend her without hesitation. My son started with piano lessons at age 5, which morphed into guitar lessons in middle school, which then took another iteration in playing both piano and guitar, and adding vocals, in high school, with a sprinkling of experimentation with other instruments like banjo, ukulele, and mandolin. Julay is truly a musical inspiration to my son, and will be sorely missed with her move to Portland.
We are not a musical family per se, and my son is an active 3 sport athlete, but Julay was such a pleasure to learn from and play music with that my son continued to prioritize keeping music in his busy schedule every year. On that note, Julay is a master with scheduling and accommodation and was always patient with our calendar and making the lesson times work.
Julay was a marvelous teacher, because she was always accommodative and adaptive to my son’s musical interests and tastes, designing lessons that suited what he wanted to work on, which in turn kept him very engaged in learning music. When he wanted to jump to guitar, she recommended he start with an electric guitar, for easier finger placement of smaller hands, and then helped us invest in a beautiful sounding, but very affordable acoustic guitar when he was ready. They experimented with a variety of guitar techniques and sounds from rock standards to a healthy mix of blue grass and some jazz arrangements.
Julay would bring different instruments to the lessons, to allow my son to experiment with different sounds and to then jam together instrumentally and vocally – their duets were wonderful! Julay can also arrange just about any piece of music and adapt it for skill level and instrument. They would take guitar pieces and transpose them to piano and vice versa.
As my son grew older, he had a lot of questions on musical theory, background, and practice and listening to their thoughtful discussions on this front was equally satisfying – Julay really teaches to every aspect and interest of a student in a truly collaborative manner. Julay has a clear passion, curiosity and love for all forms of music and instruments, which is readily evident and infectious to her students.
We had a high quality violin in our family, that no one that was playing; it is an instrument that needed to be loved and appreciated by an active player. We felt strongly about giving it to someone that could fully appreciate its quality and potential, and we did not hesitate to give it to Julay. My son’s final recital piece with Julay was a duet, with Julay on the violin and my son on the piano and vocals, and I treasure that memory (and recording!).
Julay is truly a special teacher and it was our great privilege to enjoy her tutelage for so many years. I would be happy to discuss or further elaborate on anything additional regarding a recommendation – please reach out to Julay for my contact information.
– Lisa Reynolds (Sam’s mom)
“Julay helped our two young girls find deep satisfaction learning to play piano music, read music, and even see how music is composed. With serious effort, she helped with pieces that were songs we loved. Of course it started out sorta simple. But in a few years Julay helped bring about songs for them I suggested that weren’t always quite in the books. For example, she helped with a rare Horace Silver song and a Ellington/Sinatra tune that we only had jazz guitar charts an old friend’s Dad had made for me. She listened to these two songs she didn’t know and wrote out great piano charts for them to learn. She listened to the very hip piano solo of the Horace Silver tune and even wrote a good portion of it out for my kid. It was pretty cool. I was seriously pleased.
She is really good at engaging kids and being supportive. My kids were really comfortable with her always. She even helped go out of the piano part of her teaching for them one time and helped me write out a cello part for a spiritual guitar based song I wrote for my mother. (My kids were simultaneously in a Chinese orchestra for a while and knew simple cello.) And she helped fill in a little piano part since both kids played cello on it at the recital. It turned out really nice.
You can let her handle it all. But if you’re creative and think of unusual things, she’ll likely be up for the challenge.
We always enjoyed the recitals she set up listening to her students at the end of each semester.
We were truly blessed to have her teach our kids.”
– Jengiz Haas & Claudia Hung-Haas
“Julay taught me for seven years, mostly piano, with a little bit of guitar, bass and singing mixed in. She taught me not only how to play, but how to immerse myself in the music and embrace real musicianship. She is a talented multi-instrumentalist who will integrate and balance the requests of the parent with the interest of the student. She has an open-minded, positive, constructive and playful teaching style. She was always reliable and professional in terms of scheduling and billing, a delight to work with. We highly recommend Julay as a music teacher!”
– Ellington Davis (student) with Susan Miller-Davis (parent), Piedmont, CA
“Ms. Julay began teaching me piano when I was 6 years old. Although I couldn’t appreciate it then, Ms. Julay was the perfect fit for me. She gently encourages kids while others may intimidate, and she fosters a genuine love for music based on self-motivated discovery. Under her guidance, I have learned to play all kinds of piano pieces, from Debussy’s ‘The Sunken Cathedral’ to Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C Minor to Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’. Ms. Julay’s piano lessons have given me the opportunity to play piano in the pit of my school’s musical and even find a job as a piano tutor. Piano has become a form of expression for me, a true passion, and for this I can thank Ms. Julay’s unique approach to music teaching.”
– Keith Sibal