Now enrolling!   Spring 2018 classes at the Vintage Synthesizer Museum:

Intro to Ableton

Mondays, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

March 19th - April 23rd, 2018

Ages 16 and older. $220.


This class will be an introduction to Ableton Live Suite, designed to give a comprehensive overview of the program. We will be going over techniques for creative sound design, recording and electronic composition. All experience levels are welcome, this is a great class for beginners, but experienced Ableton users will learn new tricks and refine their abilities. Bringing in your own laptop is recommended.


Electronic Music Workshop

Fridays, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

March 23rd- April 27th, 2018

Ages 16 and older. $300


This class is designed for those who already have some experience with

the basics of Ableton or Electronic Music Production. We will be using

Ableton Suite software and integrating it with controllers and

hardware synthesizers, drum machines and effects. The class fee

includes access to the vast array of classic gear at the Vintage

Synthesizer Museum. Students are encouraged to bring in their work to

flesh out using the outboard gear that is available. Co-taught with Lance Hill (of VSM).



These courses are structured as 6 x 2 hour classes and are kept small, 6 students maximum. Classes are taught with projector and speakers, and students can bring in their laptops. Power will be provided. As the classes progress, students are encouraged to bring in their own work to share.






Michael Buchanan has been recording and performing electronic music for the past 23 years, and has been teaching Ableton and production classes for the past 6 years. He runs the studio at the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts in San Francisco, and is currently teaching there. He is highly skilled in sound design, live hardware integration, and multi-track recording, with a penchant for experimentation and nonstandard creative processes.


Send an email to Michael at :


Please include your name and which class you are interested in.


For more information on the space, visit:






Here are some testimonials from past students:


"I've taken multiple classes with Michael and the experience has dramatically improved every aspect of how I make and understand electronic music. From basic questions about synthesis to technical challenges, workflow, and creative approaches, I've yet to find a problem Michael can't help with. Highest possible recommendation."   - Jason H.


"Michael is a great teacher. I was enrolled in his ableton class at Harvey Milk Center. He has a balanced teaching approach, moving though the syllabus while still leaving some room for student requested detours. He is able to keep the class on target and the assignments balanced between fun and challenging. Comfortable for various levels and welcoming to all backgrounds. One can certainly walk away with a foundational and improved understanding of ableton. Furthermore, the class helped me improve my work flow, learn or review important concepts, learn short cuts, as well as analyze technique, composition and production strategies."  - Mara B.


"Michael Buchanan is an excellent instructor and extremely knowledgeable in electronic music production. His entry level Abelton classes are essential to anyone starting out in audio production and his intermediate classes are exceptional and highly recommended for budding producers. His labs are extremely helpful and wide ranging, from answering basic questions to resolving extremely granular and specific challenges for an artist."   - Justin A.


"With Michael's help I was able to take what i already know and combine it with his own tremendous experience with electronic music production to connect the dots within my own process to get it to the place that i wanted it to be. Michael has a deep knowledge not only of Ableton and other software based tools but also of a vast range of analogue and digital hardware. Because of this, Michael is very good unleashing the imagination of his students, as he is able to subordinate the technical challenges associated with making music to the creative needs of the moment. Michael has been an invaluable teacher to me for so many things that would have been daunting to do without someone with experience to talk to first including live performance, studio production, finishing tracks and so much more. He is one of the bay area's greatest resources and I highly recommend that people take advantage of his classes and one on one sessions."

- Nihar B