Terry Mills Guitar Studios

Terry Mills Guitar Studios

5.0 (8)
2 hires on Lessons.com
1 employee
22 years in business

About this pro

 I've guided hundreds of students from beginners to advanced in their quest to realize their musical desires. 

    My intention as a teacher is to provide a relaxed, fun environment for you, where the joy of music making is the primary objective.  My goal is to impart, based on your individual needs, the information and skills necessary to create in you a solid foundation which promotes your sense of creative self-sufficiency. While I specialize in classical guitar instruction (an excellent way to lay a solid musical foundation), I also enjoy teaching folk and acoustic pop styles as well as beginning instruction in the basics of jazz and flamenco guitar genres. Interwoven in the lessons is a solid grounding in the basics of music theory and practice.


I have been performing and teaching as a guitarist in the Bay Area for several years. As past Director of Guitar Studies at the University of Pacific’s Conservatory of Music in Stockton, CA (35 years), I've taken up residence in Sonoma County where for the past 19 years I've maintained a private instruction, home-studio in Sebastopol.

  PERFORMING:  I'm performing member of a contemporary folk trio, THE FARALLONS, with wife Linda Weber and songwriter Tom Richardson. Also, along with guitar-partner, JESSE BOGGS, I perform in a casual jazz duo. For the past five years, I've paired with classical violinist Richard Heinberg. We call ourselves DUO GIULIANI and play everything from the classics to tangos and Spanish genres. My personal musical interests include classical, bossa-nova, acoustic jazz and flamenco guitar styles. 

   As an event performer, I bring years of professional and artistic experience to special events of all genres and tailor presentations to the specific wishes and needs of my clients.

What I don't teach: rock, electric-pop. My musical plate is already full with the above-mentioned styles and I've always preferred the sound of acoustic intruments.



It's always been my pleasure to watch students become excited and immursed in the musical experience once they have mastered the basics skills of playing. I enjoy teaching all levels of players, from beginning to advanced.

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Sebastopol, CA 95472
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8 Reviews


  • Linda Sumner

    Terry is an excellent guitarist and teacher. His instructions are very clear and he is very friendly, patient and encouraging. I would recommend him for any level of experience from beginner to professional.

  • Howard Hardie

    Terry Mills is an exceptional teacher with a deep knowledge of guitar and music. Terry is skilled in different guitar genres including classical, folk, pop and jazz. He is a patient teacher who teaches with kindness and depth. I highly recommend him.

  • Giuliano Nieri

    Terry is a excellent guitarist, and a very patient and helpful teacher. I came to him as a complete novice and he has taken me through Book One and into Book Two at an unhurried and comfortable pace. I’ve got lots of performan anxiety and he has helped me temper that and learn to relax when I attempt to play. He has also been very informative about the history of the guitar and the various composers whose work I am studying. I wholeheartedly recommend Terry Mills to anyone, be s/he a beginner, intermediate or advanced student.

  • Richard Rosen

    Terry is a real teacher. He has worked hard to achieve a mastery of the guitar and guitar repertoire. He is versatile and easy to work with. His love of the guitar is inspirational. I began studying with Terry 2 years ago as a beginning player and am playing from the Bach Lute Suites, Bach Sonatas for solo violin, and more...

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

Meet and evaluate the potential student by asking what their goals are as a guitarist-musician. Questions may include the following: have you played guitar or another instrument before? Read music and/or tablature? Are you wanting to play professionally or more for your own enjoyment? Would you like to be able play in a group setting?  

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

Batchelor of Music in Music Education, 1971, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA. Master Degree studies, Sacramento State University, CA. Master's classes in guitar perfomance with Oscar Ghiglia  at the Aspen Music Festival, 1970 and 1971.  

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

$30 per half-hour, $45 for a 45 minute lesson, $60 per hour.

Lessons to be payed for either individually or by the month in advance by arrangement with the instructor. 

How did you get started teaching?

In a music studio at a local music store. Shortly after graduating (1971) from university, I was asked to begin a guitar program at the Univerity of Pacific.

What types of students have you worked with?

A wide variety of age and experience groups, specializing in classical guitar, but also teaching folk, and other styles. 

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Attended a gypsy jazz performance at my local library and a classical guitar concert with the Santa Rosa Symphony.

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

Seek out a teacher who enjoys sharing his/her expertise and knowledge with students and has in depth experience doing so. It's important your personalities are compatible and that you are in a relaxed, safe environment for real learning to take place.