About Us


From small beginnings in 1996, The Half Note Music School has grown to become one of the leaders of music instruction in the greater Seattle area. Upon relocating to Pacific Northwest, Director Jack Dowdell began teaching guitar to a few students while waiting to land a public school music post. (These first classes took place in a master bedroom converted to a music studio.) Before too long, a small handful of students grew to a respectable student load. When the public school offer came along, Jack declined, citing the swift growth of his private practice. It was an unexpected career change. As the student load continued to grow, it was clear this was more than a home business. So, Half Note relocated to small commercial office space in Bellevue.

As word about the Half Note spread, the demand became too great for one person to handle. So, Jack brought on another seasoned guitar instructor to pick up the slack. Shortly after that, the Half Note began getting requests for lessons in other disciplines. Again, Jack began hiring the best instructors available until Half Note was providing instruction on a variety of instruments. At that time, 100% of the students were adults.  

As time and growth went along, Half Note began taking on young students and that small office space became quite crowded and students seemed to be competing for class times. The inevitable happened and Half Note moved into a larger space to accommodate the growth. Fast forward to a few years later, when even more space was required. So, Half Note moved into their current location where they have six spacious studios and nine instructors teaching young students and adults music of various styles and experience.

The enthusiasm and passion of Half Note students has helped Half Note Music School become a reputable source for music education. New students, professional and amateurs, are always welcome!

Jack Dowdell


Our Teachers

All half note music school instructors are handpicked by the school director, Jack.  Our instructors have earned music degrees, have a history of performances, have solid teaching experience or have combinations of all three.

Our instructors are committed to the Half Note Music School method, which calls for a holistic approach to the language of music while utilizing its essential elements. Each individual students curricula is tailored to them personally and is based on the ability, goals and preferred song styles of the student.

We offer lessons for any skill level and for a large number of instruments, including guitar, piano, voice, bass, cello, viola, violin, clarinet and many more. If you have questions about our instructors or our offerings please reach out to us!