Classical Guitar Lessons

William Jenks, (Marylhurst University guitar instructor and director of the Marylhurst Guitar Ensemble) is already well-known to fans of classical guitar. In addition to being the proprietor of Portland Classic Guitar, he is the mastermind behind the world-class and world-renowned PCG concert series, bringing such luminaries as the Romeros, Eliot Fisk, John Williams, the Assad Brothers, and Manuel Barrueco to the Portland area. He is also a prolific performing and recording artist who has toured throughout United States, Europe, and Latin America, and released four CDs.

As a guitar instructor with more than fifteen years of experience, Jenks has developed a unique and powerfully effective teaching method; many of his students have gone on to become professional musicians. Now Jenks is poised to help elevate Marylhurst into one of the best guitar programs on the West Coast, if not the nation. In addition to the highest-quality private instruction and ensemble leadership, Jenks will provide students with an unparalleled opportunity to experience firsthand the great masters of the classical guitar world, in concert and master-class settings. In addition, the repertoire he has prepared for public performances of the Marylhurst Guitar Ensemble promises to be both exciting and fresh.

As a top-tier accredited school of music, Marylhurst has a strong and quickly growing Bachelor of Arts in music therapy program under the leadership of department chair Dr. Laura Beer, and an award-winning choral department directed by Dr. Justin Smith. Marylhurst University boasts a beautiful campus and facilities, excellent instructors, and intimate classrooms.

Interested students should contact William Jenks directly at 503-830-1417, or at For Marylhurst University admission questions, please contact 503-699-6268.

The students of William Jenks perform quarterly in Marylhurst University's Wiegand Hall. These recitals are free and open to the public.

2017-2018 Student Recital Schedule 

  • Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 at 4:00 PM
  • Sunday, March, 18th, 2018 at 4:00 PM
  • Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 at 4:00 PM

The recitals will be held at Marylhurst Univeristy's Wiegand Hall located at:  17600 Pacific Highway (Hwy. 43), Marylhurst, OR 97036-0261. (see map)

Private Lessons Through Portland Classic Guitar 

William Jenks and the rest of his staff also teach private lessons through Portland Classic Guitar (PCG).

At PCG, students can choose to study classical guitar or other styles such as rock, jazz, folk, flamenco, and more. Whether students study classical or folk styles, PCG has a systemized approach to teaching the guitar and all PCG instructors have been University trained. All PCG guitar students get a complete musical training in technique, theory, performance, ensemble playing, and more.

No previous guitar or musical training is necessary to start lessons. PCG accepts students who are complete beginners to advanced levels and students range from 5 years of age through senior citizens. PCG also holds quarterly student recitals and hosts the famous Portland Classic Guitar Concert Series featuring performances and master classes from some of the finest guitarists in the world including the Romeros, John Williams, David Russell and many more.

Lessons with William Jenks at Marylhurst University
17600 SW Pacific Highway,
Marylhurst, OR 97036
St. Catherines Hall Room 215

Lessons by other Portland  Classic Guitar instructors at locations including: Lake Oswego, Aurora, Wilsonville, and Vancouver.  Call William at 503-830-1417 or email him at for more information and to find the best location and instructor for you.

Lesson Rates

Monthly Lesson Rates

Half Hour Lessons - $140 (Monthly rate for weekly half hour lessons)

One Hour Lessons - $240 (Monthly rate for weekly full hour lessons)

Bi-Monthly Lesson Rates

One Hour Lessons - $130 (Two full hour lessons per month)

Individual Lesson Rates

Individual One Hour Lessons - $70 (per lesson)

Please note that you can get an additional discount of $10 per month if you sign up for the auto-pay system which is our preferred payment method for lessons. If there happens to be 5 weeks in the month, there is no extra charge.

Lesson FAQ page

Reasons which make us the best choice:

University Trained Instructors

Our instructors hold college degrees and have extensive teaching experience. Most importantly, our students have a proven track record of success because we are careful to only select well-trained, courteous, and patient instructors to be part of our teaching staff.

All Ages, Styles, and Levels

Our current students range from 5 years old to many students in their 60's and 70's. We currently teach beginner through advanced levels in classical guitar. We are careful to teach you the necessary skills every music student needs to learn while at the same time being sympathetic to your own particular musical interests. We will teach you the music you want to learn so your lessons are motivating and rewarding.

Private Lessons

Our lessons are set up as private one on one instruction so you will have the undivided attention of your instructor and you can progress at a level suited to you individually.

Regular Student Recitals

Student recitals are held four times a year. Although not required, all students are encouraged to perform in the quarterly student recitals to build confidence and performance experience on their instrument.

World Class Concert Series

Our students and their families get preferred seating and discounts to the highly acclaimed Portland Classic Guitar Concert series where some of the top classical guitarists in the world have performed. Participation in the master classes held during the series as an auditor or performer is also available.

Professional Learning Environment

Our beautiful space located at Portland Classic Guitar will inspire you to achieve personal excellence. Each studio is clean, comfortable, and spacious for the best learning experience.

Five ways to get the most out of your private music lessons:

  1. How young is too young? Starting at the right age

Adults can start any instrument at any time. Their success is based on how willing they are committed to practicing. We teach many beginner students in their 60’s and 70’s. For children, starting at the right age is a key element to the success of their lessons. We recommend that children should be at least age 7 to start guitar, age 5 for piano, and age 9 for voice.

  1. Insist on private lessons when learning a specific instrument

Group classes work well for preschool music programs, and theory lessons. However, when actually learning how to play an instrument, private lessons are far superior since in private lessons it is hard to miss anything, and each student can learn at their own pace. This means the teacher does not have to teach a class at a middle of the road level, but has the time and focus to work on the individual student’s strengths and weaknesses. For that lesson period, the student is the primary focus of the teacher. The teachers also enjoy this as they do not have to divide their attention between 5 - 10 students at a time and can help the student be the best they can be.

  1. Take lessons in a professional teaching environment

Learning music is not just a matter of having a qualified teacher, but also having an environment that is focused on music education. In a professional school, a student cannot be distracted by TV, pets, ringing phones, siblings or anything else. With only 1/2 to one hour of lesson time per week, a professional school environment can produce better results since the only focus at that time is learning music. Students in a school environment are also motivated by hearing peers who are at different levels and by being exposed to a variety of musical instruments. In a music school, the lessons are not just a hobby or sideline for the teacher but a responsibility which is taken very seriously.

  1. Make practicing fun

As with anything, improving in music takes practice so it might as well be fun. One of the main problems with music lessons is the drudgery of practicing and the fight between parents and students to practice every day. Here are some ways to make practicing easier:

Set the same time every day to practice so it becomes part of a routine or habit. This works particularly well for children. Generally the earlier in the day the practicing can occur, the less reminding is required by parents to get the child to practice.


We use this method quite often when setting practice schedules for beginners. For a young child 20 or 30 minutes seems like an eternity. Instead of setting a time frame, we use repetition. For example, practice this piece 4 times every day, and this scale 5 times a day. The child then does not pay attention to the amount of time they are practicing their instrument, but knows if they are on repetition number 3 they are almost finished.

This works very well for both children and adult students. Some adults reward themselves with something simple like a cappuccino after a successful week of practicing. Parents can encourage children to practice by granting them occasional rewards for successful practicing. In our school we reward young children for a successful week of practicing with stars and stickers on their work. Praise tends to be the most coveted award - there just is no substitute for a pat on the back for a job well done. Sometimes we all have a week with little practicing, in that case there is always next week.

  1. Use recognized teaching materials

There are some excellent materials developed by professional music educators that are made for students in a variety of situations. For example in piano, there are books for very young beginners, and books for adult students that have never played before. There are books that can start you at a level you are comfortable with. These materials have been researched and are continually upgraded and improved to make learning easier. These materials ensure that no important part of learning the instrument can inadvertently be left out. If you ever have to move to a different part of the country, qualified teachers and institutions will recognize the materials and be able to smoothly continue from where the previous teacher left off.

Most Importantly . . . HAVE FUN!!