teaching: instruction & materials


Topher teaches private lessons, workshops, and at music camps. With all his students, Topher emphasizes the fun to be found in playing music – whether playing by ear or from sheet music; whether writing new songs or learning the classics; whether playing alone, in a jam, or in a band.


Topher encourages his students to contact him if they have any questions about their music study.

Contact Topher

Email: music@TopherGayle.com

Phone: 408-221-9378

Private Lessons

Topher offers private lessons in Santa Rosa, California.



Beginning through advanced. Styles include Celtic, swing, bluegrass, and more.



Beginning through advanced. Styles include blues, folk, bluegrass, rock, swing, and more. Flatpicking and fingerstyle techniques.



Beginning and intermediate. Various styles. It's a ukulele! Anything goes!



Intermediate level string bass, electric bass, and Ashbory bass. Styles include bluegrass, blues, and rock.



Most students will be introduced to the practical side of theory - the things that explain what they’re learning technically, and that help players jump to the next level of musicianship. Reading and writing score, and more in-depth instruction in music theory is also available for interested students.



Beginning and intermediate doumbek, applied to jigs, reels, and Middle-Eastern rhythms. Many of the techniques, concepts, and rhythms are applicable to other hand percussion instruments.


Topher directing mandolin students



$50 for an hour

$30 for a half hour


Location: Santa Rosa CA


For more information or to arrange a lesson, contact Topher

Email: music@TopherGayle.com

Phone: 408-221-9378



Topher has taught numerous classes at music camps. He’s been an instructor multiple years at California Coast Music Camp, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, and Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp. He’s also been a teaching assistant many times at CBA Music Camp and Walker Creek Music Camp, an instructor for Nell Robinson's "Take the Stage" program, and has taught other workshops in the SF Bay area.


Topher offers the following as single or short series workshops:


  • Mandolin, all levels
  • Guitar, beginning and intermediate
  • Songwriting
  • Song “twisting”
  • Funny songs repertoire
  • Band coaching
  • Bluegrass harmony singing
  • “Reading” a guitar player’s hand
  • Improvisation
  • Practical theory
  • Introduction to chord theory
  • Stagecraft
  • Basic PA use
  • Using a computer to help you practice
  • Using a computer to help you compose tunes
  • Setting up a computer-based home recording studio


For more information, or to arrange booking, contact Topher

Email: music@TopherGayle.com

Phone: 408-221-9378