Derek S.

Derek S.

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14 Reviews
Tempe, AZ

About Derek S.

Background check: Last verified 10/22/2014
Derek passed a background check on 10/22/2014 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
For more information, please click here.

Derek teaches: Males 5 and up
Females 5 and up
Teaching since: August 2005
Last sign in: 2 days ago
Average response time: 32 hours

Overview

Hello there!

I love music! To me, it truly is a universal language, and nothing else can capture and express emotion quite like it. Ever since I picked up a guitar 15 years ago, I've been on a quest to learn and speak the language of music. One discovery I have made along the way is that I love teaching it to others, too!

Over the past 10 years, I've been busy immersing myself in music. The excitement of performing live on stage, the pride of writing a song that touches someone, the reward of watching a student learn something new—these are the things that fuel my passion. My dream is that my students will one day be able to experience these things!

I've been teaching guitar lessons for over 5 years, and I just recently graduated from ASU with a B.S. in psychology. Also, I am co-founder, producer, and engineer at an independent recording studio in Mesa, AZ. This broad range of experience makes me confident that I have lots to offer for every student, beginning to advanced.

*** Lesson Details ***
"Give a man a fish, and you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime."

This is my mentality when it comes to lesson curriculum. There are a lot of things involved in being a well-rounded guitar player, and by only learning to play random radio songs, you're missing out on the big picture! That's why I am an avid proponent of teaching music theory, note reading, music terminology, improvisation, songwriting, and more. These are the things that will feed you musically for a lifetime!

After just six months of taking lessons with me, students will have a firm grasp on the fundamentals of music, and they will be able to apply that knowledge to the songs they play. Students will also know how to play the guitar with proper technique due to scale knowledge, finger strength/dexterity exercises, and effective practice habits. They will even know about guitar maintenance, such as how to restring a guitar.

Lessons with me will truly allow you to understand every dimension of the guitar and musicianship!

*** Specialties ***
Guitar is my number one specialty—particularly classic rock, alternative rock, and popular styles, with a strength in bluesy solo technique. I have a modern teaching style, and I am very up to date with current music trends. I tend to focus on practical and transferable music skills—you know, the things that allow you to play with other musicians, learn new instruments, and be truly creative on the guitar! I am very adept in subjects related to real world music knowledge and application, such as songwriting, music theory, music recording, and music performance. Whether you're a hobbyist wanting to strum your way through folk classics, or a future musician looking to write songs and start a band, I have a way to make you love playing the guitar!

Photos and Videos

Languages Spoken

English Fluent / Native Proficiency
Write a Review

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14 Reviews on Derek S.

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Wynter H. May 17, 2014
Bass Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Derek is an awesome instructor and mentor, and his studio is comfortable and clean. I agree with previous reviewers who said... BOOK HIM NOW!

Derek has a broad range of music theory knowledge and can play anything you ask for. He's also amazingly kind and supportive, adapting to the student's needs as you go along rather than adhering to a rigid schedule.

I've been taking bass guitar lessons with Derek for two months and I feel inspired. He always makes me feel like a rock star, while constantly challenging me to take my skills to the next level. I originally debated between two instructors on this site and I'm so glad I made the right choice!
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Mark T. August 17, 2013
Guitar
Great teacher - book him

I took lessons with Derek summer 2013. Derek did a great job of answering all my guitar and music theory questions. The techniques I learned under Derek were inline with my music interests.

Derek always did a great job of communicating with email. He was very flexible with scheduling and I always felt comfortable learning in his in-home studio.

Derek can play anything and he is very easy to work with - highly recommended.
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LYNND June 20, 2012
Fantastic Instructor!

In two lessons, Derek has simplified music for me and given me the tools to play a ton of songs already. I love that his lessons encompass some music theory, understanding of the instrument, and actual playing of a song. I feel like I learn something valuable each time. He gauges your skill level pretty well and delivers instruction at just the right pace. A fantastic instructor who presents music in a way that's easy to understand. I'm so glad I chose him as a guitar/ukelele instructor!
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JanW March 24, 2012
Excellent instruction. Just some small tips can make a bid differenced in student success. Thanks Derek!
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KELLYORTERRIR February 21, 2012
Derek is an exceptional teacher. He came to our house for guitar lesson which is a huge bonus. He was very patient and knowledgeable, my daughter learned a lot from him. I highly recommend him to anyone that needs guitar lessons.
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DeanT January 26, 2012
Derek is an excellent instructor. Very patient, and in tune with your learning pace.Highly Recommended.
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RobT1 November 27, 2011
Great Guitar Teacher!

Derek is an excellent teacher that possesses an enormous amount of knowledge in guitar and music theory. Learning from him allowed me to pick up many of the nuances that are often missed with playing the guitar. I would highly recommend him to anyone wanting to improve their guitar skills at any level!
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soranm October 25, 2011
Derek is a great instructor. I have really enjoyed my lessons with him and I have learned a lot. He does a good job with teaching you the fundemental and basic concepts of the different courds. I highly recommend him!!
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SaraL September 27, 2011
He is a really great teacher to kids.Make kids big progress!!
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AndrewM2 September 7, 2011
Awesome Teacher

Derek is awesome teacher and is very knowledgeable in all aspects of music. Since I have been already been playing for 4 years, we have focus more on the theories of music, and song writing, and I can say that he has yet to fail to answer any question that I have thrown at him. From where I used to be and where I am now, I have seen a huge improvement in my ability to compose my own music. Though I can't say much for his technique for teaching the basics, I can say that he is more than qualified to teach the more advanced skills when it comes to playing music.