Study with me!

I've taught hundreds of students since 2008 and I'd love to help you on your musical journey!


Rock U

About Me

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I offer individual and group lessons in piano, guitar, bass, drums, voice, songwriting, and production in nearly every musical style. I enjoy helping my students learn to play the instruments and songs that inspire them. Contact me to inquire about openings.


Children 5+ to adults 70+


My studio is at the Lake Harriet House of Music in Southwest Minneapolis. I also teach online via Zoom and Facetime.


Lessons are scheduled in quarters of 10-14 weeks at a time with dates following the Minneapolis Public Schools calendar.

  • Winter quarter — January to March
  • Spring quarter — April to early June
  • Summer quarter — June to Labor Day
  • Fall quarter — Labor Day to mid-December


Individual lessons

  • $40 for 30 minutes
  • $60 for 45 minutes
  • $80 for 60 minutes

Group rates

Determined by group size. Inquire for more details.

Fall 2023 Rock Bands with Charlie

Join a band, rock out and make friends! Students will meet with peers at the Lake Harriet House of Music for practice one evening a week and learn to play songs from a variety of modern and classic artists. Over the fall session, bands will perform two concerts of the songs they've learned, and at the end of the session they'll have digital recordings of their band to share!


Open Streets Lyndale: Sunday October 8th, 11:00am-4:00pm
Rock U Showcase: Sunday December 3rd, 3:00-7:00pm, at Uptown VFW

Rock U 101 (Ages 9-12)

Mondays 6:00-7:00pm
Practice dates: September 11-December 11
Band tuition: $560

Rock U 201 (Ages 10-14)

Wednesdays 6:00-7:00pm
Practice dates: September 6-December 13
No practice: 10/18 (MEA), 11/22 (Thanksgiving break)
Band tuition: $520

Rock U 201 (Ages 10-14)

Thursdays 4:30-5:30pm
Practice dates: September 7-December 14
No practice: 10/19 (MEA), 11/23 (Thanksgiving)
Band tuition: $520

Rock U 301 (Ages 13-18)

Thursdays 6:00-7:00pm
Practice dates: September 7-December 14
No practice: 10/19 (MEA), 11/23 (Thanksgiving)
Band tuition: $520

Bands are open to guitar, bass, drums/percussion, keyboard, vocals, and horns. Singing and trading instruments is encouraged. Space in each band is limited to 6 members. If you have any questions about which band is right for your child, contact Charlie for help. Registration is complete once the non-refundable band tuition is paid in full.

To register, email or call/text 612-234-1770

Rock U advanced band playing at Lyndale Open Streets 2019


My primary instrument is piano, which I've played since age six. I also have many years of experience singing and playing guitar, bass, and drums.


I have a B.A. in music from Grinnell College, where my studies focused on classical and jazz piano performance, composition, and arranging. I spent a semester studying opera and jazz in Milan, Italy. I continue to study with a number of mentors, most recently Congolese guitarist Siama Matuzungidi.


I've played in over 25 bands in Minneapolis since 2007 spanning rock, pop, blues, jazz, folk, country, classical, musical theater, hip-hop, R&B, electronic, and world music. I've released 4 albums of original music with my former bands Military Special and UMAMI and I've recorded with many other artists. I've performed at noteworthy venues like First Avenue and on national TV, and I've toured the country.

Playing with Eleganza for a spot on Monday Night Football
Recordings ( Spotify)





(612) 234-1770

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Smith Music
Charlie Smith