Providing instruction in beginner to intermediate level classical guitar including technique, tone, interpretation, and repertoire.
Hello All! I am a guitarist/composer/educator who holds a M.A. Jazz Performance degree from the Aaron Copeland School of Music at Queens College. I also have a B.A. Music degree with a concentration in classical guitar performance from Buffalo State College in my hometown of Buffalo, NY. However, most of my training and experience comes from playing many different styles of music with many brilliant musicians on the scenes of Buffalo and New York. If there is just one thing I know about music, it is that playing music is supposed to be fun and satisfying! It is my job to help my stud
ents maintain that mindset as they navigate through the obstacles of musical growth. One of the reasons why I teach is the sense of fulfillment I get watching my students learn and improve. Its something I take great pride in. Another almost equally important reason why I do what I do is because even though I am an educator I am forever a student as well. I am constantly learning new things and trying to improve my craft as a musician and a teacher, and this job makes it all possible. Now, lets make some music!!! Sincerely, VJ B.
*** Lesson Details *** In my 7-plus years of professional teaching experience I have encountered students from all walks of life. All of them have come from very diverse musical backgrounds and interests. I have taught students from ages 5 to 75 styles of music ranging from Metallica to Michael Jackson, Miles Davis to Justin Timberlake, and everything in between. I construct my lessons based on the student's skill level, musical taste, and personal goals. Students will be encouraged to learn the music that is aesthetically pleasing to them, while gaining knowledge of how to build a solid foundation in guitar playing and overall musicianship.
P.S. (to parents of younger potential students)
Studying music and learning an instrument has been proven to increase levels of focus and overall attention span in many young children. Several parents whose children I work with, ages 5-10 or so, have noticed attention and concentration levels trending upward in their child's other school work and activities as a result of studying music and learning the guitar!
*** Specialties *** Jazz, Rock n Roll, Blues, R&B, Funk, Pop, Hip Hop, Music Theory/Reading, Ear Training, Music Performance
Min H. February 10, 2015
Classical Guitar ·
In home Verified Student
I am excited to write a review for our awesome guitar instructor~! Our little 8 (just turned 9) year old son took lessons prior Mr. Brown for about 6 months and couldn't remember a thing he learned in his lessons and had no motivation to practice. However, since we met Mr. Brown, our son has been so motivated! Only after his second lesson, he understood how to read notes, he was engaged, and must've picked up his guitar to practice at least 3 times a day for a good 20-30 minutes on his own (under no request by Mr. Brown)!
Mr. Brown is very knowledgeable and an amazing instructor! He patiently goes step by step to make sure all the basis for a firm foundation in music is there and then thoroughly goes to all the steps to keep it simple in learning! He builds great rapport and brings his personal experience to make him more relatable! I would highly recommend Mr. Brown as an instructor!
Mehardad A. August 18, 2014
Acoustic Guitar ·
In home Verified Student
I studied classical for two years as an undergraduate student.
I started playing guitar seriously at the age of 12 and have been a guitar teacher for 22 years. My first influences were rock and metal. In my later teens, I became very interested in other music genres such as jazz, fusion and classical. I began my formal music education as a Classical Guitar performance major, ultimately obtaining a Masters Degree in Music Composition from the Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music.
The road I have taken with music has been paved with many unexpected twists and turns. Throughout my many years of learning and making new discoveries, I have now arriv
ed at a point where I am able to productively incorporate knowledge from various experiences with music and education into my own creativity and teaching. I never expect to stop learning or exploring, and I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm, valuable experiences and knowledge with my students.
James W. November 25, 2014
Marco is one of the best teacher ever, I knew him way back in 1997 when I first came in to the state. At first, one of my friend was taking the session and he didn't mind me just staying and observed. After a few classes, I decided to go with Marco. As a new immigrant, language barrier is a problem. He 's patiently teach me from a to z. Making sure I understand everything. Although, I knew some of the basic of the guitar. I was surprisingly I could learn how to read music. Be able to improvise with him during lesson. You're not just learning how to play song/guitar. You learn music theory all in a packet. I still remember one day I was playing in the local shop in HK, people was whispering this guy is good. This is a good memory that I have until now.
Myles H. November 24, 2014
I was a student of Marco's for about two-almost three years, and his excitement, love, desire, wisdom and passion for music and teaching is something that can't be described in words. Marco is a teacher that likes to have fun with whatever it is he may be teaching, but he is also very serious about it to make sure his students learn what they want in the best way possible to them. He will encourage his students if they need it and congratulate you every time you complete whatever it is you may have learned from him. I mostly learned techniques/songs from artist's such as Randy Rhoads, Angus Young, and much more from Marco. He will not let you down. He won't give up on you. I would gladly learn from him any time /any chance I'd get.
mia M. November 19, 2014
Marco has been teaching my son how to play the guitar since 2008. I feel that we were blessed having Marco as my son's first teacher. He really understood him and I was brought to tears at his very first recital when I was amazed how much he had learned in just a short few months. He is a senior in HS now and he has a love for the guitar and a passion to learn new music on his own.
Marco is an exceptional teacher who is very patient and understands his students and listens to their needs. He is extremely talented and anyone would be very lucky to have him as their music instructor. I recommend him highly. He is the best!
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
Catherine is a performer, teacher, and arranger. She has performed in world class venues such as Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Kosciuszko Foundation, as well as the Museum of Natural History, and she has performed with over thirty different chamber ensembles, including the American String Quartet and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Her career developments are primarily in music, but she also pursues interest in creative writing, journal writing and human rights. She has given may community performances and raised charity funds for organizations such as World Vision, A. G. Rh
odes Health & Rehab nursing home, Columbia Hospital, Corpus Christi Church, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
Catherine initially gained her musical inspiration through her family and has been performing since her youth. Her family provided her countless opportunities to perform, to participate in event planning, and to experiment with new music and arranging. She grew up participating in her mother's studio recitals at home and enjoys an annual family tradition of organizing and performing Christmas programs at church. One of Catherine's projects during her studies at the Manhattan School of Music was the Symposium Concert Series, which has led her to perform in apartment homes around the city and build a community of young artists. She has made countless arrangements for solo viola and viola with various ensembles which she often performs.
Catherine resides in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, Lawrence. She plays on a Raymond J. Melanson viola made in 1987.
*** Lesson Details *** I'm able to travel to the student's home or teach at my home. Parents are welcome to sit in the lesson.
*** Studio Equipment *** N/A
*** Specialties *** Patience
Anke July 22, 2015
Catherine did a lovely job with my 9 year old daughter!
Kendall H. June 21, 2015
Catherine is a really good teacher. My daughter has learned a lot from her in the way of music theory and violin playing. Catherine also stresses good practice habits, which I like. Catherine knows her music and holds the students to high expectations. She has taught my daughter a lot.
We'll focus on the fundamentals of good right- and left-hand technique through a mix of pieces and etudes. You'll learn to read standard notation, but my focus is on getting you actually playing music. We'll also talk about issues of muscle tension and musicality.
I am a composer, guitarist, arranger and songwriter located in Brooklyn. I completed an M.M. in Composition at the Yale School of Music last May, and have taught extensively for the past six years in a variety of settings, including teaching guitar, musicianship, and running rock bands in public elementary and high schools in San Francisco and New Haven, teaching private composition lessons and working as a teaching assistant for electronic music courses at Yale, and teaching in several music schools and my own private guitar studio in San Francisco. In addition to my teaching work, I've main
tained a busy schedule as a composer, guitarist, and organizer. I've twice won composition awards from ASCAP, have had my works performed nationwide, and recently scored a short film by Lee Hirsch, "Recession". As a guitarist, I perform regularly with such groups as Bang on a Can, Ensemble Signal, Dither Quartet, Experiments in Opera, on Yale's New Music New Haven series, and with my own composing/improvising groups Marateck and Grains. My teachers and mentors have included Mark Stewart (Paul Simon's musical director), Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang, and guitarist Jack Sanders (recent winner of the American Guitar Society's lifetime achievement award).
Patrice O. March 11, 2015
Online Verified Student
Brendon is amazing! He's very professional and encouraging. He's actually inspired me to pursue songwriting as a career!
Patrice O. February 10, 2015
Online Verified Student
The lessons with Brendon were very excellent. I was very, very satisfied.
Sabina S. January 25, 2015
Classical Guitar ·
In studio Verified Student
Brendon is a really excellent teacher who caters to the student in terms of skill level, musical interest, and time constraints. Also he's super patient and nice! I have already learned so much from him! He's terrific
Students are raving about their Classical Guitar instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Frank
"Classical guitar lessons with David
Off and on since my 20s I've fooled around with guitar lessons but never lasted very long. I am 62 now. I relayed thi
s to David and he laid out an organized plan for systematic improvement. But he was very honest with me about the importance of good practice habits. I've been with him almost 5 months and showing progress. His enthusiasm and patience is appreciated. Thanks, Dave."
Saint Louis, MO teacher:
Review by Ashley
"Laudon is a great instructor!! I took lessons with him for about a year and a half, and he tailored our lessons to fit what I wanted to learn, all the whi
le incorporating music theory and history, and challenging me so my skill doesn't stagnate. He has a wealth of knowledge and an awesome teacher!!"
Durham, NC teacher:
Review by Barbara
"I love that the 5-star rating description is "Best instructor ever" because I often tell people that my son's guitar teacher is the best music instructor
we have ever had. I have 5 kids, and they have played piano in the past. This year my oldest is taking guitar for the first time. The thing that I love most about KJ is that he doesn't just teach my son how to play the notes -- he teaches him how to play music. There is a big difference between those two, and KJ is helping my son to see the music beyond the notes. KJ does a great job teaching notes, theory, and technique, but he teaches so much more that that as well. I can't say enough good things about KJ."
Denver, CO teacher:
Review by Scott
"Up for the challenge...
I am a professional musician, playing several different instruments and singing most of my life. I never picked up the guitar unt
il a year ago. I'm not the traditional student who wants to learn rock 'n' roll, but am instead a lover of classical music. From day one, Adam worked with me to find out my skill level and taste in music. He challenged me to learn amazing pieces, played in finger style #I highly recommend#, and even taught me a few songs from the rock genre. Adam has a cool demeanor and makes learning guitar interesting and fun. What I learned from Adam in just a short time amazes me, and I know he can teach even the most challenging student."
Santa Cruz, CA teacher:
Review by Stanley
"I've been playing the classical guitar for three years now, but I was not really happy with my skills. I noticed that I was messing up a lot and I did not
know how to really fix my problems. The first lesson I had with Mr. Walter he noticed my problems and immediately he knew what to do. He gave me exercises and videos to help me out and after that I noticed I started to improve. I still have long way to go, but with Mr. Walter helping me I'm guarantee I will get there. Thank you Mr. Walter!"
Miami, FL teacher:
Review by Tomas
"Tomas has been teaching my kids for years. He is an excellent and patient teacher and I highly recommend him."
Houston, TX teacher:
Review by Dustin
"Works hard to help you get better, neat and organized, and awesome guy!"
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Theodore
"I've never really played music before, but I've always liked listening. The classical stuff can seem a bit hard to approach.
But Jesse really took the
time to show me that anyone can play, provided they practice, and that with a little help growth can happen fairly quickly. He also told me that learning the practical skills of classical guitar could really help me expand outward into the rest of music genre.
He's a cool guy. It was nice that he came to my place so I didn't have to go through the hassle of finding him. He also played a bit of this piece called Chaconne by Bach, a bit complex for me but really showed how exciting classical guitar can be."
Seattle, WA teacher:
Review by John
"I have known John Demas for more than 30 years; he is an excellent guitarist, world-class on the Greek bouzouki, and a terrific teacher. For anyone within
the greater Tampa Bay area, he is probably the best choice for a teacher."