basic Mandolin technique, Bluegrass, Country, world music repertoire, rhythm training
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 have performed around NYC as a featured mandolin session musician. It's a beautiful instrument, and it's especially fun to learn if you have an interest for bluegrass of country, I personally believe it belongs in every genre!
I am a music teacher with a very eclectic background. I am a musical theatre composer, but I also have experience performing as a guitarist, vocalist, bassist, pianist, and percussionist in various bands (many different genres of music). I have a Bachelor's Degree in Musical Theatre. I completed the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop. I also am currently a graduate student at the Hunter College Music Education Program.
I offer private instruction on: - the guitar - voice - the piano - the electric bass - various percussion (drum kit, djembe) - ukulele - fun instruments (kazoo, harm
onica) - songwriting
I can also offer: - vocal coaching - monologue coaching
I can... -work with your schedule and find a time that works for you -provide affordable rates -teach specific genres (rock, folk, jazz, reggae, funk, metal, classical) -*vocalists: get you playing rhythm guitar/piano/bass and singing simultaneously
Elizabeth W. November 13, 2015
In home Verified Student
Matt is a great instructor. I've never played an instrument and have learned so much in just a few lessons so far. He's dedicated and flexible, generous with his time, and makes every lesson equally instructive and fun. Looking forward to many more!
joseph November 9, 2015
Music Theory ·
Matthew was very nice and patient and explained everything very well.
Hilary R. November 3, 2015
In home Verified Student
My son has really enjoyed his lessons with Matthew and I can confidently recommend him.
I began learning mandolin a couple years ago and am proficient with chords and tunes. Classical or bluegrass style. I can teach sight reading music notation as well.
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
I have been a professional musician for over 15 years and was lead guitarist for Starstruck/Sony artist Caroline Kole, having opened for Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, among other great acts. I also have a strong background in many styles including Rock/Pop, Indie, Blues, Country, Jazz, Fingerstyle/Classical and Music Theory.
*** Lesson Details *** Having been in the student seat throughout my training, I know that the right teacher makes all the difference. That is why I believe it is so important to find a teacher that is invested in your success and understands and values the student/tea
My students find me to be a patient teacher who is able to balance the fun and excitement of learning a new instrument and the discipline necessary to develop a new skill and achieve your musical goals.
I tailor all of my lessons based on your individual goals and abilities with a custom curriculum I have developed over 15 years of teaching. Whether you just want to strum along on the couch, jam out with other players, write your own songs, or start a band, I can give you the skills, confidence and motivation to help you succeed and play the music you want to play.
Music has been my passion as long as I can remember, and teaching others who feel the same is what I love doing. I hope we can work together one day and find out what we can accomplish together!
*** Specialties *** I am fluent in most popular styles, rock/pop/country/jazz, and also skilled in classical/fingerstyle guitar.
Amanda G. January 6, 2014
I've had a few guitar instructors through out my life and Chris was by far the best one Iâve had. I went to him after taking guitar for a couple years with other instructors and he helped me rediscover my love for it. Heâs motivating, smart, and all around a great instructor. Iâd recommend him to anyone--from beginners to even more advanced guitarists. He really is the best!
Robert A. October 2, 2013
just what i needed
Chris was instrumental in me rediscovering my love of guitar through performance. For the band that was assembled we were allowed to pick the songs which made us more motivated as well as making it fun. Chris was excellent at determining your strengths and challenging you. I had never played lead guitar before. Now I expect to be the lead guitarist for the band.
Tynan S. September 25, 2013
Chris is a man's man.
I took lessons with Chris for probably a year and a half, maybe two years. He was easily one of the greatest teachers I've ever had. He would let me pick the songs I wanted to learn and then, despite his feelings toward the music, would listen intently to the song, figure out everything about how it's played, and then decide the most appropriate way to go about teaching said song according to what he knew I was and wasn't capable of. He always pushed me to do better and if I couldn't get passed a certain part we would work on it until I nailed it. Not to mention he's a really cool dude so there was never a dull moment. I can't recommend him enough.
Mandolin lessons for people who want to learn classical music, bluegrass, folk or jazz. This instrument is so versatile there are so many types of music one can play. Students learn how to read charts, improvise, comp with chords as well as take lead solos.
Private instruction, early childhood education, elementary and high school education
Isabella T. October 22, 2015
Online Verified Student
Great experience. Looking forward to the next lesson
Natalie September 25, 2015
Classical Piano ·
Concetta is kind and patient and extremely knowledgeable about what it takes to learn an instrument. Her training at Columbia University shows in every lesson. Just because you are an excellent musician does not necessarily translate into an excellent teacher, but her grasp of the pedagogy is clear. I would highly recommend Concetta to anyone at any age looking to learn to play.
Brianna P. September 19, 2015
In home Verified Student
wonderful teacher knowledgably and patient my daughter love her.
Students are raving about their Mandolin instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Richard
"The best teacher I have ever had
I am an adult who has never taken music lessons. My girlfriend gave me a mandolin for Christmas and I looked around onli
ne before I found Mr Sweet. As I live in Maine, I can't make regular lessons in person, so we do lessons online using Google+ Hangouts, which is really convenient for me. He's teaching me everything about playing the instrument, also how to improvise, play chords, some music theory, lots of music history. He's patient, kind and bolsters my self esteem with lots of positive comments and useful criticism. I recommend him to everyone I know that wants to play mandolin. I am now playing mandolin in a band!"
Springfield, MA teacher:
Review by Edward
"I took mandolin lessons from Mr Sweet when I was a student at UMass Amherst. At that time, he was teaching at the Red Barn in Amherst. He's moved to a n
ew location in Granby, MA and that's where you'll also find the Mandolin Orchestra and a few other great mandolin projects he's got going. Basically, I learned everything I know from this guy. Mostly about the mechanics of playing the instrument, but a whole lot about music theory related to the mandolin, history of the instrument and music and lots more. We were constantly going out to concerts and performing at local festivals and other places around the area. If you want to learn mandolin you really should think seriously about contacting Mr. Sweet."
Springfield, MA teacher:
Review by Flo
"Very encouraging & easy to understand & communicate with - this from someone that felt it would be difficult to learn music!"
San Antonio, TX teacher:
Review by Yasser
"Instructor with vast experience, I really enjoy learning from him"
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Jack
"Kelvin is an accomplished and effective teacher who makes online lessons both enjoyable and stimulating. He quickly spots bad tendencies so that they can
be corrected early in the process and thus prevent future problems. Kelvin is personable, professional and knows what he's talking about. I look forward to each lesson to see what the next challenge will be and to get to spend time with Kelvin."
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by steven Steinhaus
"For being a beginner, Travis was very patient while preparing me for playing chord and chop playing. Travis also individualized lesson plans emailing upco
ming chords and songs that I can learn, starting out slow and practice to the bluegrass style. I was very skeptical about on line lessons, but has ended up very fun and motivating, and educational with music theories. Travis is also easy to communicate with, returning emails promptly. I very highly recommend Travis to anyone from a beginner to an advanced player."