Study with me!

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


Rock U

Groove Garden

About Me

Get in touch



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

  • $42 for 30 minutes
  • $63 for 45 minutes
  • $84 for 60 minutes

Group rates

Determined by group size. Inquire for more details.

Spring 2024 Rock Bands with Charlie

Join a band, rock out and make friends! Students will meet with bandmates 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. At the end of the session, bands will perform a concert of the songs they've learned at a local venue.


Rock U Spring Showcase
Saturday June 8th
at the Uptown VFW

Rock U 101 (Ages 9-13)

Mondays 6:00-7:00pm
Practice dates: April 8-June 10
No practice: 5/27 (Memorial Day)
Band tuition: $405

Rock U 301 (Ages 13-18)

Tuesdays 6:00-7:00pm
Practice dates: April 9-June 11
Band tuition: $430

Rock U 201 (Ages 11-16)

Wednesdays 6:00-7:00pm
Practice dates: April 10-June 12
Band tuition: $430

Rock U 201 (Ages 11-16)

Thursdays 6:00-7:00pm
Practice dates: April 11-June 13
Band tuition: $430

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

Jam Sessions for Grown-ups

A weekly gathering for adult musicians of all ages to play rock, folk, country, and R&B of the 1960s and '70s.

Advanced beginners and up — parts can be tailored to your level.

Band Sessions

Mondays 7:00-8:00pm
Session 1: 4/8, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29
Session 2: 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 6/3 (off 5/27 for Memorial Day)
Band tuition: $140 per session (or $270 for both sessions)

Charlie has a special place in his heart (and record collection) for '60s and '70s music and has played it extensively in several Twin Cities cover bands including Hannah and the Dangertones (rock/funk/soul), All Tomorrow's Petty (Tom Petty), Eleganza plays Exile on Main St. (Rolling Stones), Boot Cut (country), and Sunshine Committee (rock/soul). Bring your guitars and voices and join the band! Keyboards, amps, and drums provided.

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


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

Social Media

Smith Music
Charlie Smith