Classes & Testimonials

The Hunter School of Music offers video and in-person private lessons in:

Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin, Theory, and Composition.

Depending on age and ability, you can choose from a 30 minute, 45 minute, or 60 minute weekly private lesson. Private lessons are available to anyone from 5 years old through adults (no age limit), beginners, intermediate, or advanced. Our instructors have several years experience teaching children in schools, college classes, and individual and group lessons to all ages and abilities. You may read about each instructor’s background and their teaching philosophy under the “Faculty and Staff” tab.

Or click on the Instructors’ names here:

Amy Hunter: Piano

DrBrian Ciach: Piano, Theory, Composition

Sofija Nedic: Piano

Elizabeth Lin: Piano

Daniel Highman: Piano, Composition

Todd Kimball: Guitar, Mandolin, Ukulele, Piano

Austin Nickel: Guitar, Ukulele

Lessons are taught:

  • Monday-Friday 2:00pm-7:00pm*
  • Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm*

*Earlier or later times are available upon special request.

For more information about our school or to inquire about current lesson rates, please call or text Tiffany at 408-320-6484.


“I have been studied piano here for two years. Very nice place to learn piano. Celine, my piano teacher, I highly recommend her! She is very professional, patient, and nice. She is my favorite teacher at Hunter!”

~An adult piano student, San Jose, January 2020

“My 9 year old son has been a student of Amy’s and Sofija’s at the Hunter School of Music for over for over 3 years. Amy, and most recently, Sofija, make piano instruction feel easy and fun. They aren’t afraid to challenge my son when they know he is up the challenge. They also both actively encourage him to broaden his exposure to music and the arts outside of the lessons. As a busy parent, I appreciate that they both go out of their way to make schedules feel accommodating, even in the most difficult of circumstances. Lastly, the bi-annual recitals the school puts on are always fun and very professionally done. Thank you Hunter School of Music!”

~Father of a piano student, San Jose, CA, December 2020

“My daughter studied piano with Amy Hunter for 5 years, and now she performs for audiences in a band with her dad. What more can I say… mission accomplished… Amy  is a great piano teacher! Okay, to back up a little, I first brought my daughter to Amy when she was 5 years old. She had taken a few lessons with another piano teacher, but she wasn’t enjoying the lessons, and wasn’t developing a love of music. Quitting piano wasn’t an option, so I had to find a new teacher. When we arrived at Amy’s house (she was teaching out of her home at that time) she encouraged me to sit and observe the lessons with my daughter, and I could see my daughter was responding well. Amy is a thoughtful and patient teacher, and she was able to motivate my daughter to rise to the challenge of learning complicated concepts. So I signed her up. Over the course of 5 years my daughter trained in classical, ragtime and blues piano, and performed  in recitals hosted by the school. I think part of Amy’s talent in teaching kids arises from the fact she is an accomplished musician herself. She is adept at, and passionate about, teaching foundational principles. But she also believes gaining self confidence playing music in front of an audience is an important part of a quality music education. To accomplish this, the Hunter Music School hosts regular music recitals, and encourages parents to sign their kids up regularly. Five years later, I can see my daughter apply all the skills she learned at Hunter School of Music, when she writes original music and does rock and roll gigs with her dad. Best of all, Hunter School of Music turned my child into a lifelong musician.”

~Mother of a piano student, San Jose, CA, October 2020 

“I had been working with Brian for a few months establishing a foundation with my piano playing. I must say that my experience with Brian has been amazing and has exceeded all expectations. Though I was only able to stick on for a couple of months due to unfortunate circumstances, I would say my short time with Brian and the company as a whole has been a positive and benefiting experience. I would certainly recommend the Hunter School of Music to any student looking for rapid progress and a solid foundation.
Thanks everyone!”

~Adult Student, San Jose, CA February, 2020

“We love Amy and Brian! My son and daughter (ages 9 and 7) have been taking piano lessons here for 2 years, and I have been very happy with their instruction. When my son expressed an interest in composing, Brian took notice and encouraged him there, which I appreciate. Both of their teachers are kind, supportive and give them just enough challenge while improving their confidence.”

~Mother of two piano students, San Jose, CA, November 2019

“My 6 year old daughter comes here for piano with Teacher Amy. Amy is fun, great with kids and very skilled. My daughter goes through each section at a comfortable but challenging pace. Amy is also flexible to review extra musical pieces that interest my daughter toward the end of class. She is also very responsive when it comes to communication.”

~Mother of a piano student, San Jose, CA, October 2019

“Thank you Amy for having such a great music establishment!!  Our guitar instructor Todd made each lesson simple and fun for my 6 year old daughter and I.  I can’t believe we were learning how to read and play the notes at the beginning of our session, then jam with Todd at the end of the session.”

~Father of a guitar student, San Jose, CA, June 2019

“Took my daughter to have ukulele lessons and Austin, Amy and her team were great. Always friendly and on top of things. Unfortunately, due to my daughter priorities at school, she was unable to continue with the lessons. If we ever return, we will definitely use Amy’s school again. I highly recommend her school.”

~Father of a ukulele student, San Jose, CA, September 2018

“Amy is fantastic!  Not only is she exquisitely skilled and trained as a musician, her attitude is constantly cheerful (when is she NOT smiling??), supportive, encouraging and uplifting – a very positive influence and role model for ALL her students.  Amy has also assembled a similarly talented staff that makes HSM one of the premiere music schools in San Jose – and rising.  I heartily recommend the Hunter School of Music!”

~Bay Area Musician who has collaborated with Amy for 2 years, July 2018

“Philip is a great teacher. I started learning piano with him several months ago, He is always patient and knowledgeable.”

~Adult Student, San Jose, CA, June 2018

“Can’t say enough positive things about Amy and her school! My daughter just loves her and loves her cute little group class. She is only 5 and knows so many great songs, can clap a perfect beat and understands basic concepts of music theory. 
I just really like Amy’s approach to teaching this vital information to children. Amy is calm, confident and just emits a great vibe that infects the entire school and all who participate. Looking forward to my daughter starting one on one piano lessons once Miss Amy says she is ready. 
Really happy we found this place!”

~Father of a group music class student, now private piano student, San Jose, CA, September 2017

“My daughter takes both piano and guitar at HMS.  She was a beginning student on both.  Her instructors, Brian and Todd are absolutely amazing.  They are unbelievable musicians and wonderful teachers, meeting her right where she is and pushing her forward.  My daughter is not interested in doing recitals, but most students do them I believe.  She absolutely loves her weekly lessons and has grown so much!  We can’t say enough good things about them!”

~Mother of a student who takes piano and guitar, San Jose, CA September 2017

“We are so happy we found the Hunter School of Music. My 7-year old daughter has been going there for the past month with Brian as her teacher. I had the chance to observe a lesson and I was impressed with how well he explained things at a level a young child would understand. My daughter is excited to practice and loving her experience so far. The other thing we love about the school is that Amy and the team really work to build community. They have events for the students to attend together. For example, we went to a Beethoven exhibit that was wonderful. There are  also opportunities for them to perform for one another through recitals and free group lessons.  This is such a sweet school with clear dedication to building musical capability. We really love it so far.”

~Mother of piano student, San Jose, CA, September 2016

“My son has been taken piano lessons with Amy for more than 1 year now.  Amy works great with kids.  She has her special ways to keep them engaged to every piece, and brings that to the next level to make them ENJOY every piece.  I notice my son has become much more musical than a year ago.  The school offers free monthly group lessons for kids and adults, where the students meet, play for each other, and get feedbacks from each other and from the instructors.  All instructors at the school are highly capable and passionate about music.  They inspire and convey their passion to each student, no matter if they teach them or not.  The school also organized field trips such as summer outdoor concert at SJSU, petting zoo of musical instruments from the San Jose Orchestra, or Beethoven exhibits.  The school create an unspoken culture that makes students feel more welcomed and confident.

With all of the positive things from this school, I then decided to take lessons with Amy too, as a novice; and I’ve enjoyed every lesson.  I’m so glad we found and joined this music school!”

~Mother of piano student, San Jose, CA, September 2016

“For many months now, I have one child taking piano lessons from Amy and one taking guitar lessons from Todd.  This school and the teachers stand out in excellence due to their teaching abilities and their incredible program opportunities.  Just the other week, after his guitar lesson, my child raved about the electric guitar his teacher played for him.  It completely moved him so that his eyes lit up while he was talking about it!  The inspiring appreciation for music is what the teachers add and that is priceless.  My other son, while listening to some classical piano I had playing on my cell phone, knew it was Chopin playing and requested more!  I was really thrilled at their joy and desire to play and appreciate music!

The opportunities the school provides also add to the entire experience!  Amy sets up special opportunities for the kids (and adults) to have social events where they play for each other, a “petting zoo” of instruments by the San Jose Orchestra, and trips to the Beethoven exhibit at SJSU – all free.  There are also bi-annual recitals where family and friends can attend (with a fun potluck after).  The sense of community between the students and with the teachers really help make the students feel welcomed and a part of a special group.  I’m truly delighted by my experience with them!”

~Mother of piano and guitar student, San Jose, CA, September 2016

“My daughter has been attending lessons with Amy for 3 years. Amy is a great instructor, and keeps my daughter engaged and has really fostered my daughters love if playing piano.
Lessons are a combination of music theory, practicing old pieces and learning new ones. But Amy customizes the lessons based on my daughters development. For example, when my daughter started learning songs by ear, Amy encouraged her curiosity by teaching her improvisation, on helped her arrange songs she wanted to learn.
Amy is also expanding the learning experience by organizing enriching field trips, or evenings where students can play together.
I highly recommend the school and Amy in particular.”

~Mother of piano student, San Jose, CA, August 2016

“We are starting our third year of piano lessons with Amy Hunter. She has done a great job of engaging, pacing, and challenging my middle school aged son.  He enjoys practicing and playing and has found his love of music with her help.  The move to the larger studio space has been great.  The Hunter School of Music creates opportunities for the students beyond individual lessons and connects them into a feeling of community.”

~Mother of piano student, San Jose, CA, August 2016

“My daughter has taken flute and piano lessons from Amy Hunter for 2 years.   Amy is a an enthusiastic and supportive music teacher.   My daughter has had a great experience learning from Amy.”

~Father of flute student, San Jose, CA, May 2016

“Amy is an amazing teacher.  Sadly we moved and are no longer able to take lessons from her, but the kids 9 and 10 improved at a nice pace.  In about 4 months they each moved up a level in their theory and music books.  Amy has a firm, kind way about her that allows children to be motivated and grow.  I wish we still lived nearby to continue our lessons.  In total, we went to Amy for about a year.  She puts on beautiful recitals and is very professional.
We are still looking for another teacher 😦 to take her place…”

~Mother of two former piano students, San Jose, CA, January 2016

“Excellent small music school with unprecedented amount of personal attention. Both of my children as well as myself have been taking piano lesson with Amy (for 3 years) and guitar lesson with Todd (about 2 months). They have numerous group field trips as well as group performances (both formal and informal one). We cannot imagine being anywhere else.”

~Parent of piano and guitar student, and adult piano student, San Jose, CA, October 2015

“I found The Hunter School of Music through an article in the San Jose Mercury. It gave an address that was right down the street from me! I went to the school’s website, sent an e-mail and got a prompt reply. I am delighted with my teacher, Brian Ciach. I am grateful to have met Amy and I look forward to learning to play the piano and be immersed in a world of music! Amy is great at finding and communicating upcoming musical events relevant to beginning students and those more accomplished. Brian is a wonder at composition and regularly performs and writes original music. Lesson prices are very reasonable. I think myself lucky for finding Amy and Brian!”

~Adult piano student, San Jose, CA, September 2015

“Brian Ciach, from the Hunter School, teaches piano to my 13 year old son.  My son had several years of piano lessons under a different instructor.  Unfortunately piano had become a real chore, with me grinding him to practice and complete his theory each week.  The fun had really been stripped out of it for him.  But that has all changed now.  Brian has made a HUGE difference for us.  My son has very quickly gained a true love of the instrument and he plays constantly now without request.  He plays some pop and some classical and he’s creating his own music as well.  Brian has really tapped into that inner musician while continuing to teach great technique and theory.  Piano is fun again!  I wholeheartedly recommend Brian to anyone playing the piano, whether a beginner or an advanced student.”

~Mother of 13 year old student, San Jose, CA, July 2015

“My two children have played 2, 3 instruments each until the end of high school
and they still play them in college when they can.  So I have had exposure to various
aspects of music education and different programs including early music program,
school bands/orchestra, audiions, competitions, certification, and a major youth orchestra.
They both started with the piano before adding other instruments.
Needless to say, I feel that the teacher is one of the most important factors in their development and appreciation of music.

Having been an adult student in Amy’s studio since last August, I would recommend her
to anyone regardless of the level or the age. She not only has the knowledge and love of the piano and music in general,
but also has the understanding of each student.  I feel that her flexibility and ability to adjust
her teaching to suit each individual student’s abilities and motivation will natually encourage the students to continue.
Her genuine interest in seeing her students progress translates well into her teaching.

With the recent move to a more spacious setting for the studio, addition of a great new teacher,
and plans to expand the program to include group lessons and more opportunities for students to perform
solos and ensembles, her studio has much to offer.
I feel fortunate that I found her studio online when I moved to this area and decided to take lessons last summer.”

~Adult student, San Jose, CA, April 2015

“Amy is amazing! My son is 6 years old and very energetic. Amy is very patient with him and is good at getting him focused and keeping him engaged. She is clear with the lessons and also with the homework. You can tell that she enjoys teaching the kids and the kids enjoy working with her. I would definitely recommend her!”

~Mother of 6 year old student, San Jose, CA, August 2014

“Amy Hunter teaches piano to my 7 year old son.  She makes each lesson really fun for him and is covering the material at a pace that suits him well.  I like that she is professional, clear, communicates well with me and her prices are quite reasonable for everything she offers.  Her lessons offer a great grounding in theory as well as teaching the physical work of playing the piano.  My son really looks forward to his lessons every week.”

~Mother of 7 year old student, San Jose, CA, August 2014

“Though Amy primarily teaches grade-school students, she is extremely versatile and offers constructive guidance to all ages and abilities. I came to Amy’s piano school as an adult, self-taught amateur player, and have gotten incredibly helpful instruction and advice on everything from basic technique, fingerings, tempo and theory, all the way to expressiveness, improvisation and the “mental game” of live performance. She has also helped me to expand my limited repertoire and even find some local avenues for performing. I strongly recommend this school to students of all levels wishing to improve their piano skills.”

~Adult student, San Jose, CA, July 2013

“As Eva started a year ago to take piano lessons with Amy, Eva spoke and understood little English. In a calm and attentive way Amy managed very quickly to inspire my daughter for this instrument. Amy’s very well structured lessons helped Eva learning and moving forward surprisingly fast, despite the language barrier. Amy taught Eva in a loving and motivating way and that makes her in my opinion the perfect teacher. Eva visited her weekly class always with lots of joy and fun and she was very sad when Amy moved to California because she lost not only a teacher but a friend.”

~Cordula Gries, Mother of Eva age 6, Bethesda, MD, February 2012

“My daughter, Caitlin, started off with piano as a shy and nervous little girl who wanted to learn to play the piano because I did.  She was eager to please, and very afraid of making mistakes.  Amy seemed to understand this about her instantly.  She clearly knew how to mix constructive teaching methods with a gentle and nurturing hand.  Each week brought a new piece, a chance to be creative, and a happy child who enjoyed her lessons.  Caitlin would practice her pieces and would often say that she “couldn’t wait to show Amy” what she had done.  We were so grateful for this patient and loving introduction to piano for our daughter.  Her enjoyment and enthusiasm was fostered by a teacher who clearly understands and loves to work with children.  We could not have asked for a better teacher.”

~Mimi, Mother of Caitlin age 6, Bethesda, MD, April 2012

“When our son, Lorenzo, was 6 years old, we wanted to introduce him to music and piano.  He is a child who can really focus when he enjoys something, however can downright refuse to do something if he does not like it.  Investing in piano lessons for Lorenzo was a bit of a risk, without knowing how he would react, or if he would accept it.  We searched a variety of piano teaching styles and teachers until we decided to go forth with lessons from Amy Hunter.  From the start, she was very warm and nurturing, qualities that our son responds very well to.  We were initially considering the lessons a trial, however they quickly became a regular activity for Lorenzo. We were very pleased that Amy was able to set the tone for learning piano from the start, setting a wonderful foundation of enjoying and appreciating music, that may last a lifetime.  We really appreciate Amy’s ability to work so well with children, her gentle teaching style, and ability to connect to the students she works with.  This has benefited Lorenzo greatly, and we are now enjoying piano as a family.”

~Patricia and Thomas, Parents of Lorenzo age 7, Bethesda, MD, February 2012

“Ms Amy Hunter was one of my most favorite teachers.  I’ve been learning piano and guitar for 5+ years and taken lessons from many different teachers during this time.  Ms Hunter was my most recent piano teacher until she moved to California, and I liked her very much.  She has a very relaxed style of teaching and explains things very well.  She is patient when you make mistakes but at the same time she makes you work hard.  She taught me both classic and jazz music and made me practice fundamental skills at the same time.  I was sad when she decided to leave.”

~Sam Vekstein, Student age 12, Bethesda, MD, March 2012

“Music has always been a part of my life and most of my musical knowledge has come from Amy. She was my teacher for a bulk of my time taking lessons. I remember that I came to her without knowledge of Chopin or Beethoven and she introduced me to the wonderful world of classical/romantic music. My favorite composer to this day is Chopin! We studied so many pieces that made my technique so much better. Amy is my favorite piano teacher because she is the most understanding, caring, nice person anyone could meet. It wasn’t a task having a lesson every week. I enjoyed my lessons so much because they were fun and interesting. Amy also helped me learn music theory which was a huge advantage when I took a course in theory at my high school. Everything I learned from Amy will stay with me throughout all my life whenever I play the piano. It was horrible saying goodbye to such a great teacher and friend.”

~Courtney Soda, Student from 2005-2010, age 18, Roxborough, PA, September 2012

The Hunter School of Music
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