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The Joy of Teaching Guitar Lessons in Austin, the “Live Music Capitol of the World”

By Alan R. - Austin Guitar Teacher

As many of you know, and as the world learns more and more every year, Austin, Texas is an amazing place to be a musician. It has all the ingredients of a great up-and-coming American city: a strong entrepreneurial spirit, openness to newcomers, a thriving entertainment and arts scene, and that indescribable feeling of opportunity in the air. However, what sets Austin apart from other great American cities is the community’s unique embrace of the musical arts. Austin is one of the few remaining cities that still has a thriving nightlife based on the people’s love of live music performance.

The live music scene in Austin boasts countless rock groups, at least half a dozen major jazz big bands, and blues every night of the week. It also has an active and lively classical music scene, inc
luding the amazing Austin Symphony Orchestra. Folk, bluegrass, Latin music and countless other genres are performed and created here every day of the year.

As teachers and performers living in the midst of such creativity, we have the wonderful opportunity and responsibility to teach our students by example. With our specialized training and experience, those of us teaching guitar lessons in Austin can share a deep appreciation for the art of sound with our students by showing them that a lifetime of musical enjoyment begins with an uninhibited sense of curiosity.

My most influential teachers were always the ones that led by example. They played and recorded professionally, had worldwide compositional recognition, won Grammys, and published books, yet were still there on time for our lessons every week. They came ready to share new insights gained through a lifetime of professional musicianship. Through these experiences I learned that being a student does not end when one receives a degree or achieves a certain instrumental proficiency. Knowing that my teachers continually strove to practice and improve themselves as musicians still inspires me to this day.

I would like to encourage my fellow teachers to continue to lead our students by example as we teach guitar lessons in Austin. I hope to hear you all out there soon in this wonderful “Live Music Capitol of the World!”
...
Rob B. Austin, TX

About Rob

I have been playing guitar since August 1992. I cut my teeth on the alternative music that was popular at the time (Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, Nirvana) but soon began to focus on earlier movements, specifically the playing styles and mindsets of Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton. I formed a band in 1996 and began gigging in Austin and throughout Texas. During this time, I immersed myself in jazz and did everything I could to bring the sonic palettes of Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis into my playing, even taking up saxophone and piano in order to better understand what they were doing. I eventually moved back to my home town of Lubbock, where I graduated from Texas Tech University with a BA in English with a minor in Music, having played guitar ...

Reviews

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angela P. March 9, 2014
Guitar
Verified Student
I learned a lot in a short amount of time

Rob is an incredible guitar player who also has the ability to teach others what he knows. He taught me exactly what I requested and then some... in a very short period of time. I'd highly recommend Rob to anyone wanting to learn to play or simply needing to improve. He's great.
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Hooty A. February 10, 2014
Guitar
Verified Student
Excellent teacher, excellent person

Rob started giving my son lessons on piano and I was so impressed I had him give me guitar lessons also. He is not only a great teacher but an awesome person to hang with! Recommend him without a thought!!
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Dorothy J. November 28, 2013
Piano
Verified Student
dorothy jones

Rob is great as my piano teacher he is patient and kind. Rob help me to understand how and why it is done a certain way. I could not ask for better.
James C. Austin, TX

About James

I have been performing, recording, and teaching music for the past five years. After getting a degree in music theory, I began playing with a band full time. In addition to playing all around Austin, I have traveled to places like Seattle, Nashville, and Waikiki to play shows, record, and interview with with my band on live radio. Songs from our album were played on Austin's own KGSR. We also played on Fox 7's morning show, Good Day Austin. I enjoy playing and teaching a variety of instruments and a variety of genres. To me, understanding music is key to unlocking your full potential for artistic expression. When I teach, I incorporate both what I learned in school and on stage. *** Lesson Details *** My goal is not to teach my students how to play a few cool songs on their ...

Reviews

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Alan A. January 26, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
James is an excellent instructor! As a beginner student, he worked with me to pin down my goals and tailored the lessons to fit me personally. He's great at many different instruments beyond piano, and this expertise allows him to explain music beyond just the notes on the page. He really helped me enjoy the lessons and feel like I've made great progress despite being a novice.
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Beverly N. December 3, 2013
Piano
Verified Student
We are very pleased with his progress so far.

Joshua started piano lessons with James in May, 2013. He has already learned to play numerous songs, and he has learned a great deal about different keys and chords in each key. James is very patient and utilizes every minute of our 30 minute lesson to cover as much as possible. Joshua likes and respects James a lot and looks forward to his piano lesson every week. Thank you James for being a great teacher!
Samuel B. Austin, TX

I teach guitar lessons face-to-face without sheet music. This is my adaptation of Japanese instruction (involving a call-and-response method). I begin by teaching the student the major scale in first position (the first three frets above the head) in the key of C. Once this has been learned (backwards and forwards), the student is ready to learn first-position chords. Barre chords, the blues scale, as well as jazz-flavored triads are taught once first position chords have been mastered.

About Samuel

I've been a performing singer-songwriter since 1993. My influences include Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Richie Havens. I've been teaching private lessons since 2011 and I tailor my lessons according to the individual needs of my students. Everyone learns at a different pace and in a different way. My objective is to provide instruction that both challenges as well as respects your rate of progress. I'm a primarily self-taught musician. Although I impart knowledge of scales (the major and the blues ones specifically) and the theory behind them (both of which I learned from formal instruction) as a central component of my curriculum, the bulk of my knowledge came from listening to and imitating delta blues artists such as Robert ...

Reviews

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Ted D. January 23, 2015
Guitar · In home
I have had known Sam for many years. I am friends with his parents and his sister Emmy, also a very talented musician.
Although I don't live near him, unfortunately, when he visits NYC I make it a point to check in with him and ask for his his advice on my rather limited guitar skills. I always come away from our sessions feeling much better about my playing and can see what an improvement he has made for me. He is very patient and so eager to help, even a beginner like myself. i just wish he lived closer!
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Erin B. January 12, 2015
Healthy Cooking · In studio
When I joined Sasona's housing cooperative community, I didn't know how to do anything. Sam provided an orientation for me that was above and beyond. Whenever I didn't know how to do something I knew I could ask him and he would not only tell me how, he would teach me how. Teaching is an integral part of who he is. He is conscientious, compassionate, and committed to his students. I absolutely recommend him as an instructor for people of all ages.
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Susan J. August 9, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Having taken almost a dozen lessons from Sam, I can say with assurance that he is a competent, serious and sensitive instructor. Before the first lesson he inquired as to my purpose in learning the guitar and my goals. He then tailored his instruction accordingly.

As to his competence, he is a talented artist who plays with mastery and teaches with the belief that with time and practice, the student can attain comparable skill. He looks for and provides alternative methods when I have difficulty with a chord. He provides links to artists online so I can work on subtle changes in a tune during my week's practice.

Sam teaches scales which we review at each session. We also review songs/chords with an emphasis on clarity and rhythm (and graciously, not my singing). He is very serious about getting it 'right', but he is also sensitive.

Besides being sensitive in correcting mistakes, he is also sensitive to my preference in music. Without abandoning the basics, he is kindly teaching me more Blues songs than campfire ones since I like the moody melodies.

I'm very pleased and happy with my experience as Sam's student.
Aimee B. Austin, TX

About Aimee

Aimee's Teaching Mission: To provide an inspiring environment for students to learn their favorite songs and to encourage creativity through exploring songwriting. Aimee demonstrates a clear self-awareness…revisionary”–Austin Chronicle “Nothing short of a work of art”–Performing Songwriter *Over ten years experience as a professional performing and touring musician *Five years teaching private and group classes in guitar, piano, bass, songwriting (over 100 private students) *Three years instructing Rock Camp USA Austin (children band camp) *Selected as a “Top 10 Band” by Austin Monthly *Featured in Austin’s premiere photo journal, Sound of Austin *Charted co-written songs in Europe *Songs commissioned and licensed to film *Performances with Dr. John, Ian McClagan (The ...

Reviews

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Eddie W. August 11, 2014
Guitar · In studio
I am a retired faculty/staff member of The University of Texas at Austin with degrees in education. An 8th grade teacher diagnosed me to be musically challenged, and I was told not to make an effort to learn music. After retiring I decided to get a guitar and try to learn something about music. I had been trying to learn how to play on my own, but I soon realized that I needed a teacher. The first teacher I tried could not answer my questions, and inspire progress. Aimee demonstrated a very high excellence in teaching proficiency in the first lesson. While in her studio I observed her teaching young students, and it was obvious to me that she could teach both young and older students equally well. Have confidence that you can learn music with Aimee's guidance.
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Mike S. August 7, 2014
Electric Guitar · In studio
I'm a new student to Aimee, but have played guitar for years. My goal is to learn some music theory, understand chord progressions and positions, improve technique, and learn how to learn songs: how to break them down into chunks, so it's not overwhelming. It's already clear that she and I are going down that path. Best of all, she is patient, which should be incredibly important to any student.
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Brook D. August 1, 2014
Piano · In studio
My nine year old daughter has been taking piano lessons from Aimee for nearly three years. I really like Aimee's approach. For beginner students, she uses structured lessons teaching the all important fundamentals. As my daughter advances, Aimee continues to stress theses fundamentals combined with tailor-made lessons drawing from my daughter's musical interests. Plus, her strong communication skills go beyond from behind the piano. Her administration of her services make it a breeze to arrange lessons, make up lessons, and the like. Lastly, Aimee is just a down right cool lady, who clearly loves music and enjoys teaching what she loves. Thanks, Aimee!
Alex C. Spicewood, TX

Featuring any and all styles with emphasis on proper technique, note selection, and fluency of the fretboard.

About Alex

I am a two-time GRAMMY nominated Music Educator (2014, 2015), Schecter Guitar Research endorsee, and I play/teach 6, 7, 8, and 9 string guitars. I have an Austin Music Award for Best Teen Band of 2007, and was the youngest person to be inducted into the Progressive Rock Hall of Fame at the age of 17. I have performed with notable acts like Three 6 Mafia, Oran "Juice" Jones, Kreator, Anthrax. I have been featured in Relics Magazine, as well as News 8 and Fox 7. I have performed at NAMM while endorsing Dan'l Guitars and I have performed at SXSW since I was 16. I am a Berklee College of Music alumni, and I am a signed Warner Bros. Records recording artist. *** Lesson Details *** I have been teaching professionally for 7 years and have given private and group lessons to hundreds of ...

Reviews

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Bill H. March 13, 2014
Guitar
Amazing Teacher!

I started taking lessons with Alex after previously taking them with a different teacher. It turns out that my technique was flawed and Alex was quick to correct it. After working with him for just a few lessons, I was already seeing improvement. Alex is very patient and helpful. I never feel embarrassed to play in front of him as I did with my previous teacher. I definitely recommend Alex!
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Shauna L. March 7, 2014
Guitar
The Perfect Teacher!

Alex got me really into the passion of music, all the while fulfilling my desire to really learn the guitar. He approaches every lesson with complete patience and guidance. I am now able to learn songs on my own, understand the theory behind chord changes and scales, and I find the beauty in knowing what music really is!
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Alex C. March 4, 2014
Guitar
I finally understood music!

Alex helped me reach my goals as both a guitarist and composer. He took me from having no idea about how scales are made and their use. I now play lead guitar in a rock band and I actually understand what I'm doing on stage and in the industry.
Josh G. Austin, TX

I play and teach many styles and guide my students through the genre of music that they feel most excited about. I explain/demonstrate technical aspects of playing, musicality and theory and show each student the quickest path to success.

About Josh

Hello everyone, my name is Josh. I have been playing guitar for over 15 years now and have had a successful teaching career for over 4 years. I have a music degree with a focus on blues, jazz and classical guitar. I also play rock, folk, pop, and just about anything you want to learn. I sing and play, improvise, and write my own music. Music is my life and I love being able to share every bit of knowledge I have with my students. It is a blast to watch my students progress and get excited about guitar. As a player, I learned what to avoid and what to utilize in order to accelerate my playing as quickly as possible and you will save time and limit frustration with my methods. I will teach you how to practice, which is the single most important part of learning. Effective ...

Reviews

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Paul W. January 24, 2015
Classical Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Been a student of Josh's for a few months now and feel very fortunate to have found him. His attention to detail, continuity between sessions, and obvious broad knowledge base are a few of the elements making this a very rewarding learning experience. I am learning to read music, understand music theory, and develop technique. I have very much looked forward to each lesson which Josh takes the time and effort to build upon with clear assignments and follow up. Josh is highly personable, professional and supportive. I highly recommend Josh.
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Mark J. September 19, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Excellent, takes time to explain music so I can have a better understanding of the whole process.
I look forward to each class as I learn more.
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John H. April 28, 2014
Classical Guitar
Verified Student
Excellent, safe and trustworthy.

Josh has been the best guitar teach I have had (I have had three others in the past). He is exceedingly patient, flexible and very knowledgeable about the subject, for both theory and practice.

I have a better understanding of the mechanics, style and technique of classical guitar than I had coming in and have learned some really excellent pieces. Josh works at my pace and understands when work and 'life' interfere with my ability to practice during the week.

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