About Us

Our Instructors

Jesse Johnson

I started playing music “by ear” when I was 12 years old. My dad was a professional musician at the age of 12 and performed on the radio. He eventually played lead guitar in a dance band that traveled through out the southeast until he was 19. Family concerns made him quit traveling, but he played various instruments throughout the rest of his life. I was glad that my daughters were able to play with him as I did growing up.

I started composing music early in my process, and after nine years I decided to go to music school so I could learn to write the music on paper. I dual majored in Chemistry and Music. My career as a research scientist prepared me for analyzing how to present the ‘by ear’ side of music with a concurrent foundation that would lead into note reading for my students. After 20 years, I retired to start The By Ear Musician Studio.

I teach people to have fun first while training their ear. Then I slowly add the technical things I learned in music school. The first goal is to have fun with music!

Claire Johnson

Claire’s musical development grew out of her choir experience in grade school. As one of ten children, financial restraints did not allow formal lessons but Claire realized that the sight reading taught in choir would transfer to piano and quickly taught herself to play. College finally brought the opportunity for higher level instruction in voice and piano – and was where Claire met Jesse during the production of the operetta Don Giovanni.

During her home schooling years, Claire began her own choir among the home school community. This was the start of her shift to teaching for the studio, and naturally grew to include private lessons in both voice, piano, and violin.

Currently, Claire’s focus is teaching piano and voice, with a strong interest in developing musical theatre opportunities for children. Claire enjoys unlocking the musical potential in each of her amazing students and looks forward to meeting you and your family!

Danielle Johnson Sauder

Danielle has been inundated with music since birth. She began learning to play the piano and sing at a very young age; guitar and violin soon followed. Her parents founded a teaching studio when she was seven years old, and for the rest of her childhood she loved being involved in their recitals, playing piano solos, singing in the choir, and performing with string ensembles and small “rock” bands with other young students. As the years went by, her love for music and her skills grew, and she eventually graduated from the University of Florida majoring in Music Education with a certificate in Piano Performance.


Our Philosophy

Playing music By Ear is a very natural process. As children we emulate sounds from our parents, peers, musical recordings and lots of other sources. To try to make the sound we hear is simply natural. At The By Ear Musician, we encourage students by building on that natural process. First we develop the the heart side and then for those that wish we develop the traditional side that allows the pursuit of a professional track. We believe that music should be fun first and foremost.

Our Location