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Welcome to

Nashville Number System

Hello, my name is Denise Heard and I am a professional musician who worked in the Nashville Music Industry for 20 plus years. I use the Nashville Number System in all my musical interactions, songwriting, recording, teaching, playing and singing. It is a tool that can elevate any musician to a new level of expertise.

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Denise Heard - Professional Music Theory Teacher

Nashville Number System Teacher - Denise Heard
My Mission

Experienced Teacher

I enjoy enlightening my students with the Nashville Number System. I teach via Zoom and have helped musicians break down repetitive song structures in popular music genres to the simplest denominator. This is what makes the Nashville Number System so effective. It was created by musicians in Nashville to speed up the recording process in the studio while navigating playing in different keys and especially with acoustic guitar players who are using the capo.

I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Classical piano performance before moving to Nashville,TN. I am also a multi-instrumentalist and found my confidence as a player by using the number system. That's why I am so enthusiastic about sharing this with my students.


Online Via Zoom & Skype

Music Theory Teacher

Denise Heard
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Get in touch to find out more.

Get in touch now and learn more about the Nashville Number System.

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My Lessons

All Levels Catered For

I work with students at every level, from beginner to the most advanced. That's what surprises people about the usefulness of the number system. In traditional music language, people call it music theory, but the Nashville Number System takes what I have referred to as theory and makes it a part of how you play. It is so practical and hands on, once I started using it myself I could not imagine ever playing music without it. I like to find out what music made my students want to play or sing or write at the beginning and we start there.

It's like crafting a map to a destination where I guide the musician to their desired outcomes. We can constantly establish new goals as we progress and the Nashville Number System grows with us. It can simply define the song Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and songs like So What by Miles Davis. As we learn song after song, the process stays the same and applies itself to an endless catalogue of material. Every time we conquer a new tune the next tune gets easier and the process gets quicker. This is an inspiration to any musician, including me!


$50 per hour

Lessons are pay-as-you-go, weekly, fortnightly or as suits you.

Beginners & Advanced Students Welcome

I welcome both beginners and advanced musicians to take my lessons. I will create a course that suits your playing level and understanding level.

Lesson Focus
Beginners Welcome

I welcome beginners to take my classes.

My Experience as a Teacher

I started teaching music when I was in high school and all through college until now. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Classical Piano Performance and have been fortunate to be an instructor in so many capacities.

I have taught and played at Belmont University and for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame songwriting program. I have taught workshops on the Nashville Number System for organizations like Global Songwriters and I have taught advanced theory and songwriting for many summer programs throughout my career.

I also love teaching one on one because it allows me to help my students reach very specified and personal goals in their music journeys. I created a book to use with my students that is available on Amazon called The Keys to Every Key: A Dictionary of Chords using the Number System.

Lessons Focus
Advanced Lessons

I welcome more established musicians to also take my lessons.

More About My Lessons

Beginning students get a great benefit from starting with the Nashville Number System because the application is simple. The intermediate and advanced student get to experience the excitement of breaking down musical barriers by simplifying what may have seemed complicated.

The perspective of using the number system is a great tool. Although, the application of the tool is where it really happens and this comes with repetition.

The good news for the intermediate and advanced student is that this repetition comes from playing song after song, not so much from practicing scales, etc… It's not that there isn't a place for those repetitive musical practices like scales, I just find that interacting with the concepts in the actual song means that the enjoyment of the music gets to be a part of the process, we don't have to wait until we master it to experience the joy.

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Nashville Number System Teacher - Denise Heard
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I can help you to

I'm an experienced song writer and performer who can help you improve all aspects of your writing and arranging of music. I welcome both beginners and more advanced students and will always make a lesson plan that suits your needs as a learner.

[email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

My lessons are charged at $50 per hour for all students.

My lessons are taken online via skype and zoom. This is a great way to learn from the comfort of your own home.

I welcome students of all ages and will make a course that fits your age and ability level.

Weekly and fortnightly lessons are by far the best way to learn over a short period of time.

Lessons cancelled with less than 48 hours notice will still be charged full price for the lesson.

Still have questions? Get in touch


Online Via Zoom & Skype
Teaching Space
I love my teaching space where I conduct my sessions via Zoom and sometimes using FaceTime or Messenger. I have my recording studio set up in the same place with all my instruments near by. I also record follow up videos, when needed. I feel like having tools for guided practice when we're not in session together can be an indispensable tool for progress.
Ready to start?

I can't wait to help you learn about the Nashville Number System and help you improve your writing today.

Music Theory Teacher

Denise Heard
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