Bill Cope Music

Bill Cope Music

5.0 (3)
1 employee
39 years in business

About this pro

Hi, I play and teach many instruments: acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, piano and accordion. I am happy to teach using written music, tablature or by ear -- or all three! And in today's world, happy to have a video recording made on the spot! Whatever works best for the student, I am happy to provide!

I also play and teach music from many parts of the world.  Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel; Cetic/Irish/Scottish music; Buigarian, Macedonian, Greek & Turkish.

I love music, people and figuring out how best to help others learn to play and enjoy music!

Read more about this pro


San Jose, CA 95117
Email verified

3 Reviews


  • Lewis Smith

    I have studied Bulgarian and Macedonian style tambura (guitar-like folk instruments) with Bill Cope, off and on, for about 30 years. I have had private lessons in his home and I have been in group classes at various folk music and dance camps, most often the Mendocino Balkan Music and Dance Camp. For his classes at music camps Bill always arrives with charts prepared for both the students who can read music and with tablature for those students that cannot. He is careful to show how to care for the instrument and he is rigorous on showing the correct hand movement and positions unique to the folk style. He has planned out the sequence of skills necessary to start and improve one’s ability to play in the folk repertoire and style. When I have worked with him in a private setting he has been very generous with his time and talent to prepare notes for tunes I have requested and has also helped me find the chords for tunes I am learning. Bill’s repertoire includes material from simple folk songs for the beginner to advanced concert pieces for the virtuoso filled with the interesting ornaments that are characteristic of these styles. I have been present when Bill was accompanying performers and bands from Macedonia and Bulgaria and I have danced to the music of his own bands at performances and parties.

  • Charlie Eisen

    I have worked with Bill in classes and one-on-one. The experience is always rewarding. I have been working on Macedonian Tambura - a guitar or lute-like instrument. I have heard Bill play multiple instruments in multiple bands; truly, too many to count. He is a master musician and a master of theory. His knowledge extends beyond playing music from all over the world, to knowing the background of that music and how it is constructed. Amazing practical knowledge, technical knowledge and teaching ability. I highly recommend Bill Cope.

  • Norman Rosen

    I had an outstanding experience over years learning to play Bulgarian and Macedonian tamboura with Bill Cope. Bill's patient yet meticulous approach makes learning enjoyable and productive. He is a master musician of many instruments. These include various stringed instruments from the Balkans as well as guitar in traditional and modern styles. By building steadily from basics, Bill makes complex rhythm and melody technique easily approachable. His teaching style is upbeat, personal and always in tune with his students. Bill's music classes are fun and fulfilling. Highest recommendation!


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

Get together and talk about what the student would like to learn. I have taught guitar, piano and related instruments for decades, and have found that the more they enjoy what they are playing, the more time they will spend playing, and the quicker they will begin learning, and keep learning!

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

I began teaching acoustic guitar when I was 16 years old, and have taught hundreds of students over the years, meeting the unique needs of each!

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

- First lesson is free, after that:

- $40 per hour, or

- $25 per half-hour

How did you get started teaching?

Friends heard me play and asked me to teach them, it has grown ever since then!

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with all ages of studenrts from young children to all ages of adults!

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Over Labor Day weekend, one of my bands performed at a weekend festival called Balkanalia! We played many kinds of music, but for this gig, focused on music from the Balkans. You can check it out at

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

Get together with the teacher and see if you feel comfortable with the person, and with their approach to people, music and teaching! Hopefully, the first meeting will be free!

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

What kind of music they woould enjoy playing, at what level and how much time they can make avaialble to practice!

Lessons offered