-5 string Bluegrass (Earl Scruggs technique) -Tenor banjo (plectrum techniques) -Bluegrass, Country, Blues and Folk -Gullah Geechee, North Indian classical music and other world music rhythms
Professor Nick R. (guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, dobro/resonator/slide, tenor guitar, baritone resonator, bass, drums, composition) is currently the adjunct professor at Essex College, Jazz clinician for over 16 years via Kupferberg Center (Queens College) and has been on the staff at Great Neck Music Conservatory. Nick has given lectures at Manhattanville College, at Queens College and at schools, nationally.
-Just Jazz Guitar magazine interview [February 2015 issue]
-Vanity Fair magazine (August 2013) interview
"Summer of 2013, Nick R. performed at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Ma
rtin's home. It was an honor to meet Paul McCartney and jam with him while he played toy harmonica. Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Iridium, Bluenote, Birdland, U.N., IAJE, Cape Cod Jazz Festival, NJPAC, Sweet Rhythm, Smalls, Zinc Bar, Smoke Jazz Club, internationally: Japan, Spain, Russia, Brasil, St. Kitts, Canada, France, Bermuda, Sweden, Israel
-Toured/recorded and/or worked as sideman with Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Sonny Dallas, Victor Jones and Cultur-versy, Vince Giordano & The Night Hawks, Frank Vignola/Joe Ascione, Miles Griffith, David Pleasant, Jim Nolet (former violinist for the Jazz Passengers), Anastasia Rene, Jon Weber, Mona's Hot Four, Gordon Au's Grand Street Stompers, Michael Arenella's Dreamland Orchestra, with Jesse Gelber, Raphael McGregor, Emily Asher's Garden Party, and many other groups.
-Appears in Sam Mendes Film "Away We Go"
-Movie Soundtrack: King George.
-Guitar/banjo: "Jew Grows in Brooklyn," "Take Me Along," "The Big Apple Circus" + others.
-Banjo/Guitar Chair: "New Girl In Town" (Irish Rep Theatre)
M.A. from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (partial scholarship)
B.S. from S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook, graduated magna cum laude. Dean's list all semesters
-Published interview (book): A New Face of Jazz (Cicily Janus)
-Playing guitar/banjo on first episode of new PBS cartoon "Peg and Cat"
- Current adjunct professor at Essex College
-Guest lecturing professor at Manhattanville College
-Substitute adjunct professor at Queens College
-Winning participant: I.A.J.E. with Miles Griffith's New Ting 2007. Performance and educational certificate granted.
-Winning participant; part-scholarship award: 2004 International Jazz Workshop at BANFF Centre, Canada (dir, Dave Douglas)
-Winning participant; full-scholarship award of the 2001 JAS academy in Aspen Colorado (dir, Christian McBride (Down Beat Dec. 2001)
-Studying Bol (Indian rhythmic system) with tabla player, Pandit Samir Chatterjee 2006-2007; 2013-current
-Studied with Pat Martino, Billy Bauer, Ben Monder, Tony Purrone, Pete Bernstein, Dr. Stephen Salerno, Dr. David Belser
-Studying African Rhythms with drummer, Harvey Wirht
*** Lesson Details *** With over 20 years teaching experience, Nick is patient with children & adults. He has a creative, unique pedagogy emphasizing hearing through singing, ear-training & natural, organic listening. Nick instills healthy absorption of music while students have fun learning their music, sight reading, internalizing with focus on rhythm and time. As a student, you will get to work on music that you, the student select as well as work on sight-reading, technique, ear-training. We will also work out of method books and use other sources of information.
*** Studio Equipment *** Chairs, music stands, instrument stands, classical foot pedals, classical guitar pillows, guitar amps, guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, drum set. Students usually provide their own instruments but it's possible to borrow an instrument during the lesson at the studio on the first lesson. (free street parking right in front!)
*** Specialties *** Nick's pedagogy emphasizes ear-training, singing, reading and truly hearing the music we are working on. Rather than rote teaching and guitar tablature, he instills natural listening, transcribing, sight-reading and proper technique. Lessons are always enjoyable as Nick observes each student's unique needs and listen's to their song preferences and musical goals. Students have the opportunity to learn pieces and genres they select and they are trained to figure out tunes by ear (ear-training) and transcribe.
-classical guitar and Brazilian guitar (nylon 6 string and nylon 7 string guitar) -acoustic steel string guitar, electric 6 string and electric 7 string guitar - jazz guitar + an eclectic mix of styles: blues, Brazilian music, Latin Jazz, Afro-Peruvian, Indian music, rock, heavy metal, funk, R & B, Motown, reggae + other genres. - tenor banjo (traditional jazz, jazz from New Orleans, Dixieland and world music) -5 string banjo (Earl Scruggs finger picking [bluegrass and country]) -tenor guitar -ukulele -mandolin -resonator slide/Dobro. -baritone resonator (slide)
Sabrina S. January 21, 2015
Acoustic Guitar ·
I started my lessons with Nick just one month. I know I am inquisitive, intense, overly involved and very detail oriented with my interests in general and I treat guitar the same way. I enjoy and immerse myself into it. I think Nick has a very broad knowledge of guitar playing and comes across as a very conscientious instructor in the way he handles my overachieving demands. I would surely recommend him.
James B. January 2, 2015
Exceptional musician. Skilled and patient teacher.
I have been taking weekly guitar lessons with Nick for nearly four months now and it has been all I hoped for and more. As a recent retiree and amateur musician one of my goals is to rapidly improve my novice guitar skills. I was looking for a teacher who would push me hard but was willing to work with the particular songs and musical questions that I might bring to him each week. I could not be more pleased. Nick is able to immediately bring his knowledge and experience to any material that I bring to a lesson and he uses it as the basis for a wide range of teaching moments – whether it be technique, harmony, or improvisational approach. What I didn't anticipate was the extent to which his holistic, listening (and singing) based approach to playing an instrument has challenged me. Nick is making me a better musician not just a better guitar player. (And it is very helpful that he types out notes on all that we discuss and sends an email following each lesson.)
Koji Y. December 24, 2014
Jazz Guitar ·
Mr. Nick R. is an absolutely great guitar player and music instructor. I'm a young professional jazz guitarist and instructor and have been taking jazz guitar lessons with Nick R. weekly since September of 2014. Every lesson, I receive a lot of information that I didn't know before and Nick always give me proper quantity and quality of task
Many ideas, information from his suggestions, including how to practice myself and instruction that goes beyond musical and guitar technique, also including psychological and philosophical concepts from Nick's experience and knowledge. His explanations are incredibly clear and easily to follow.
I've been playing guitar over 15 years. In my experience, it's very, very difficult to find a mentor like Nick R.
I truly appreciate meeting him and have tremendous respect for Professor R.
Thanks as always Nick!!
Koji Yoneyama (professional jazz guitarist and instructor), Dec. 23, 2014
I've played guitar since I was eight years old and various other stringed instruments for several years. I love the banjo sound and played a bit on my original album Heliotropism. I'd love to help novice players get their feet wet with the instrument, strumming and plucking away at their favorite songs.
I studied music at UCF (Orlando), focusing on classical and jazz guitar, but I also have years of experience playing rock, blues, folk, hip-hop, and musical theater on both guitar and drums.
I have been teaching guitar, drums, and piano for about eight years to students of all ages. Music is what I'm passionate about and it's what I enjoy. I want to inspire that same passion into the hearts and minds of others.
*** Lesson Details *** I am a laid-back teacher, fun, and I focus on the needs, abilities, and ambitions of the student. In turn, students must realize that learning an instrume
nt takes a lot of work and dedication. One can't expect to learn very much if s/he only practices or thinks about the instrument during the lesson. If the student is willing to put some time into practicing, then I will help them go far!
*** Studio Equipment *** I have several guitars, a drum kit, djembe, mandolin, clarinet and full-size keyboard.
*** Specialties *** Guitar: Classical, jazz, American or Irish folk, rock and pop; lead or rhythm. Drums & Percussion: All genres Piano: Classical (includes sight reading)
Anneliese Scheef November 18, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Very patient with an older student with unclear goals.
Lesly C. September 9, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Great, very understanding.
TC G. September 8, 2015
Online Verified Student
Michael has a long and versatile career in music. As a songwriter/composer, he's written for ABC, CNN, Showtime, PBS, and for several films. As a musician, he's played live or recorded with Diddy, MA$E, Richard Gere, Shawn Colvin, and many others. Because of his broad knowledge of American Music, he was asked to co-create the shows, "120 years of Popular Song" and "New York City - A Century of Songs." He was a conductor for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS during its original run, and has appeared or played in several other Broadway and off-Broadway shows. If you want to learn music that goes beyond la
bels, Michael is your guy!
*** Lesson Details *** "Lessons begin where the student is." That's my axiomatic principle. What do you know, and what are you able to do? Now, what do you want to know, and what do you want to be able to do? Lessons are a journey from that first point to the second. And I am your guide.
*** Studio Equipment *** Fully equipped music production studio, w/latest software & hardware, 88 key sample grand piano, guitars (acoustic & electric), bass, upright bass, amp, mandolin, harmonicas, ukelele, 5-string banjo
*** Specialties *** I have extensive experience in a wide variety of styles. These include classical, jazz, several styles of blues, country, various ethnic, rock, and pop styles.
AdaC April 29, 2010
Patient and Knowledgeable
Michael is great at listening to what I want to learn, and then teaching it to me in a way that I can understand easily. Also, he's very patient when there's a skill / technique that I'm trying to figure out how to master.
TeresaP2 April 1, 2010
Excellent teacher with very effective teaching style.
I teach the fundamentals of bluegrass and old time banjo playing. Clawhammer/frailing as well as 3 finger "Scruggs Style" bluegrass picking in the style of bluegrass banjo pioneer Earl Scruggs.
As always, I focus on the music and styles that my students are most interested in as well as the fundamentals needed to get there.
I got my degree in music from the University of Vermont in 2009. I've played guitar, mandolin, bass, banjo and ukulele with in rock bands, bluegrass bands, country bands, and as a solo performer. As a member of Actors' Equity Association, I've performed professional throughout North America as an actor, singer and instrumentalist.
I have experience teaching kids and adults. I love playing and teaching a wide range of styles and genres.
My love of music is contagious.
*** Specialties *** Folk, Rock, Blues, Country, Finger Picking
tanya G. March 1, 2014
Mandolin Verified Student
Sam is the best!
My 6 year old daughter decided she wanted to play the mandolin, and Sam sounded perfect. He is! Sam has a wonderful way with children. He is kind, patient, and gives excellent directions. Makes mom want to play, too!
Banjo is very different from most other instruments, and requires a special technique. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you must project the melody, and everything else comes from that.
I have been playing music on the violin since the age of 7, composing since I was 14, and playing and performing on the guitar since I was 18. I've written a lot of music, and this past spring had works performed in Virginia and two in Manhattan.
I have taught music for over 15 years, in colleges, music schools and privately. One thing that I have noticed is that, with more experience, I have a lot more fun--and so do my students.
Megan October 14, 2015
In home Verified Student
Mr. D is a very good teacher at violin. I give him 5 stars because he is nice and a good teacher.
Eve September 29, 2015
Classical Guitar ·
Stephen has been teaching my son Classical Guitar lessons for over four years now, and he is one of the best music instructors we've had. Stephen is a very motivated and inspiring teacher, my son absolutely loves his music classes. We are happy to have a truly dedicated teacher, who loves working with kids and is able to pass his genuine passion for music to others. Thank you, Stephen!
Sharon S. September 25, 2015
In home Verified Student
Mr. Dydo has been teaching my kids for the last 2 yrs in guitar and violin. My kids has excel in their instrument both in reading music as well as playing their instrument. Mr. Dydo is very devoted, patient and kind and helpful. Mr Dydo comes highly recommended by me.
Students are raving about their Banjo instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Whitney
"HE IS AWESOME
I absolutely adored every second with Jason. Even though I was a complete novice, Jason was patient and created a very friendly environment
. He encouraged me to choose the lesson plan. Also, knowing that the banjo is typically understood as a blue-grass and southern sound, he opened my ears to Sabbath on the banjo which blew me away and opened the doors to banjo-heavy metal style. He is very versatile and a kick-butt musician. The man can do anything. He is understanding, fun, and encouraging. He never gave-up on me, always made me feel talented and kept me motivated. I will continue to take lessons from Jason. From never touching an instrument before in my life to jamming T. Rex on the banjo in just a month, shows Jason is one great teacher. YOU ROCK!!"
San Diego, CA teacher:
Review by Shannon
"He has great patience and makes the instructions clear. He is very nice and friendly."
San Diego, CA teacher:
Review by Don
"Eric has been an awesome instructor. Very patient with me, an old guy who doesn't get to practice as much as he should be. Eric goes out of his way to f
ind new and interesting things to try. A very good instructor and I recommend him to everyone."
Grand Rapids, MI teacher:
Review by Jen
"Good combination of book learnin' and improvisational instruction."
Madison, WI teacher:
Review by Marni
"Awesome teacher! I'm so glad I started lessons!"
Phoenix, AZ teacher:
Review by Keith
"I wish I had found Mike sooner!
I tried to learn banjo on my own. Bought books, instruction CDs, videos on You Tube. It just wasn't happening for me - I
was about ready to give it up. Met Mike at a Bluegrass event and after just a few lessons I was really moving forward! After a few months he had me going to Bluegrass Jam Sessions. Wow is that fun!
Mike is very patient and non-judgmental. He easily accomodates my work schedule. While he is a fine banjo player himself - our lessons are always about me and how to improve my playing. I always look forward to our next lesson."
Washington, DC teacher:
Review by Henry
"Great instructor. Explains things clearly. A pleasure taking the lessons each week."
Boston, MA teacher:
Review by Tammy
"It was perfect, Ben was really helpful and made me feel totally at ease with the whole process of learning. Can't wait for the next lesson, thanks Ben!"
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