Tyler Desjarlais

Tyler Desjarlais

5.0 (4)
12 hires on Lessons.com
1 employee
21 years in business

About this pro

I have 12 years of professional k-12 music and teaching experience and have been teaching privately since 2001. Also, I currently hold an AK Type C teaching certificate in all areas of k-12 music. Additionally, I have a private studio in Eagle River with local music stores available for lesson time after the pandemic restrictions lessen. My business is an LLC. and both licensed and insured through by the state of AK business licensure and the American Federation of Musicians liability insurance group Mercer Ins.

Most importantly, I have been told I am students' favorite teacher over and over again because I related music to individuals well, build my professional reputation as a successful musician performer and I have a strong passion for proven methods of success to performance goals.

I enjoy making kids feel good about their musical performances that struggle with self-confidence. Also, I enjoy teaching students how to bring joy to their families and earn the approval of audiences with strong performances. My passion is music and my life has been spent studying, performing and educating many students to become professional or hobbyist musicians. 

I have been teaching privately since 2001 and in k-12 schools since 2009 without a break. I am a current ASD substitute and currently work full-time at Eagle River Christian School. My professional highlights were being asked to play baritone sax for Lynard Skynard in 2006, earning a scholarship to Interlochen School of the Arts, selection into the All-Northwest Band and performing in major festivals, such as Grammy nominated artist John Lee Hooker Jr.

Currently, I post music content to www.reverbnation.com/jamtilitsjelly and www.facebook.com/tylerak and www.facebook.com/jamtilitsjelly. My website will be up soon for www.tyleralaskamusicandlessons.com and I have been a member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 368 since 2004. 

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Eagle River, AK 99577
Email verified
Phone verified

4 Reviews


  • Eileen Burnside

    Tyler individualizes his teaching to meet the needs of his student. He is patient and kind. I appreciate his thoughtfulness and sense of humor. He is highly experienced and shares his talent and love of music to his students.

  • Theresa Taylor

    Tyler has been excellent so far! He met with both my children, 5 and 7, and was very age appropriate in his patience with complete beginners. And he was FUN! Both children are excited to return. Tyler will continue teaching them in guitar and ukulele.

  • Christine Lee

    My son has a great time learning from Tyler and is always excited by the end of the lesson. Tyler seems to know a lot and has a great teaching method. The fact that my teenager, who chooses to spend time with very few people, enjoys his drum lessons are a triumph in itself. We are extremely happy with Tyler!

  • Calvin Saefong

    Tyler is compassionate toward my weak areas, and is goal oriented. He just wants you to be the best musician you can be. He’ll help guide you through obstacles, and will focus on honing your musicality through improvisation, and by setting goals that work for you. You’ll appreciate his work ethic and the insights he’ll provide.

Photos & Videos


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

First, I have to find the right instrument. Secondly, I have to decide whether a by ear approach or a written approach is necessary. Then, I have to build a rapport with the student to help establish a practice regimen and setup attainable goals in small steps. After that, I need to setup performance opportunities- both recorded and live, to practice for. As a result, students find early success and reach goals faster with progress monitoring. I have more lesson times available in Eagle River. Sometimes I have studio space available in Anchorage at the local music stores on a limited basis and also in the Matsu local music stores.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I hold a license for teaching professionally as a type c certification by the Alaska Department of Early Education and Development in k-12 music all areas. I have additional credits beyond my degrees in studying student behavior and classroom management that relates to work by giving me strong organization skills and classroom environment setup. Also, I have experience in retail as a local music store clerk with lots of first-hand knowledge about how to find a good instrument and fit a student with the appropriate equipment.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

$25/30 minutes zoom

$50/60 minutes zoom

$30/4x a month in person

$60/2x a month + free 5 minute zoom checkin on off weeks

$120/1x a month + 3 free 5 minute zoom checkins on off weeks.

$20 flat rate for students ages 6 and under for 30-60 minutes depending on the student in a music exploratory class using the suzuki approach and allowing students to play several instruments each day in a 'music-garten' studio. 

$20 per lesson for large group instruction for band/orchestra or fretted string instruments for 1 hour.

How did you get started teaching?

I started in 2001 when a co-worker apporached me for saxophone lessons for his friend's son. From that point on, I always maintained a private studio in various capacities and studio sizes as I gained experience on several instruments and gained experience professionally as a freelance musician. However, my first origins in music came from my middle school band director, Charles Nagel, and his inspiration to drive my success. I practiced so much because I enjoyed his positive feedback and, have sought to be the person I needed when I was a kid as a music teacher.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have taught a wide variety of students in the most diverse schools in the world. I have taught deaf and hard-of-hearing students to dance and play drums. Also, I have worked with k-5 elementary classroom students in the regular classroom music setting and all forms of special needs students with a class load of 350-550 students for 8 years. I have also worked with adults who wish to rekindle their love of music with an instrument they have always wanted to play. I have worked with students with physical challenges that need extra support to handle instruments. Additionally, I have taught several students who are now professional musicians during their high school years in their first live performances as an underage performer learning to freelance for the first time.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I began teaching violin to an exceptional student with special needs. After a month, we discovered he would rather be a drummer, and, during his first lesson, he had a profoundly strong sense of time and rhythm. This student was able to play full drum beats during the first lesson. It was really rewarding to see the 'light bulb' turn on when they experienced a strong connection to their 'instrument voice' in music.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Find a teacher who listens better than they perform. The best teacher is not always the best performer. Teaching is about building professional relationships between teachers and students. A good teacher is good a creating a rewarding experience for the individual musically and doesn't use fear to motivate the student. Also, a good teacher is effective at setting attainable goals in steps instead of using a method of assigning practice without structure. Also, a good teacher gives consistent feedback that is both corrective and positive to frame a students performance with a growth mindset that say "I think I can," and "I can't do this ...yet," instead of simply I can't. 

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

They should decide what they would like to be able to do on an instrument that they want to learn. Students should ask if they want a physically hard instrument to hold or an easy instrument to pickup and play. Also, do they like loud crashes and fast moving instruments or do they prefer quiet instruments with a soft touch. Ask if they like popular music, instrumental music or if they have music styles they don't like.