Cliffside Park Banjo Lessons

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Nick R.

Forest Hills, NY

-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

About Nick

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)

-Author: Metallica Legendary Licks series,volume 1 & 2)
-Editor GRP chords (both Cherry Lane Music/Hal Leonard).

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.

Nick teaches:

-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)
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Sabrina S. January 21, 2015
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
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.
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James B. January 2, 2015
Guitar · In studio
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.)
Silhouette-80
Koji Y. December 24, 2014
Jazz Guitar · In studio
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
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Nick R.

Nick R.

Forest Hills, NY 11375
(7)
starting at
$42 / 30-min
Profile_41935_pi_IMG_0964

Gio A.

New York, NY

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.

About Gio

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)
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Desiree M. June 4, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Im really excited to learn more
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Rich P. March 20, 2015
Harmonica · Online
Verified Student
Gio is great. He knows his stuff and makes the lessons fun while teaching.
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Charles W. September 15, 2014
Clarinet · In studio
Verified Student
Gio has been wonderfully patient with my efforts as a total beginner. His instructions are clear and helpful, and he has provided a good mix of motivation and encouragement. Highly recommended!
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Gio A.

Gio A.

New York, NY 10040
(5)
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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Michael S.

New York, NY

About Michael

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.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
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.
Silhouette-80
TeresaP2 April 1, 2010
Excellent teacher with very effective teaching style.
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Michael S.

Michael S.

New York, NY 10009
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Chris R.

Brooklyn, NY

About Chris

I've been playing music since I was in 5th grade. I started out playing cello, then eventually moved to electric bass when I was in 7th grade. After playing around on an old guitar in my home, I found a passion for guitar and started playing that when I was about 13. I started writing tunes and playing with people around this time as well. Throughout high school I played in bands and took lessons. Eventually, this would lead me to music school for classical guitar at my community college. In two years, I got my associates with a 3.7 GPA. I then went to SUNY New Paltz for jazz guitar. In this t
ime I learned how to play piano and sing as well. I graduated with a 3.5 from New Paltz in two years. I moved to Brooklyn in August of 2013 and am currently trying to make a living playing music.

*** Lesson Details ***
I'm a patient teacher who is focused on teaching people what they actually want to learn. First, we will discuss what it is you like in music and want to get out of it. After we are on the same page, we will develop the skills you need to get that and also learn how to actually play and compose the music you love.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide guitars and textbooks. Students should provide their own instrument.

*** Specialties ***
I have gotten A's in every music theory class in college except one and I took theory even semester. I'm particularly good at theory, songwriting, and playing guitar.
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Cristina F. June 8, 2014
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Chris is such a wonderful and patient teacher to my son. He takes time to explain him the theory and to show him the secrets of a successful guitar practice. My 9 years-old son cannot wait for Chris to come every week, and is excited about the new things he will learn.
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Chris R.

Chris R.

Brooklyn, NY 11207
(1)
starting at
$20 / 30-min
Profile_76533_pi_DSCN0056

Stephen D.

Yonkers, NY

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.

About Stephen

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.
...
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Stephen D.

Stephen D.

Yonkers, NY 10705
starting at
$35 / 30-min

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