Get a solid foundation in classical guitar. Learn how to read music, learn music theory and composition.
Athena has enjoyed tremendous success as a singer/songwriter, actress, musician and teacher. She is originally from Toronto, but is now based out of New York City.
Athena has released 5 CDs, toured North America (both as a singer/songwriter and as an actress), and taught voice, piano, guitar, songwriting and acting for the past 13 years. She has shared the stage Sarah McLachlan and Jim Carrey, and taught songwriting to girls with Lisa Loeb (the teaching project with Lisa Loeb was made into a documentary and premiered at Tribeca Cinemas). Her music videos LOVE IS LOVE and LOGICAL SONG cha
rged #1 on MTV's LOGO TV.
As a teacher, Athena has worked at numerous schools, organizations, and colleges across North America, including Oregon State University, Montcalm College, Manhattan New Music Project, TADA!, and The Ontario Science Center. She teaches privately (voice, piano, guitar, acting & songwriting), and facilitates workshops to kids and adults on topics ranging from "Vocal Technique", to "Booking Your Own Tour", to "Creating Original Musical Theater",She also conducts staff development workshops on "Communication and Socialization through the Arts for Autistic Populations" in New York City schools. Athena teaches all ages (age 4-99) and ability levels (gifted - special needs).
As a singer/songwriter, Athena has released 5 original CDs and numerous dance singles. Her latest full length album, "Little Girl Dreams", was produced by Emmy/Grammy Winning Producer Cynthia Daniels (Melissa Etheridge, Dave Mathews Band, "Producers" on Broadway). Athena's music is storytelling pop with a theatrical twist. She combines a dramatic 4 octave range voice with gorgeous piano and guitar arrangements. She performs regularly in the New York circuit, at notable clubs including the Knitting Factory, The Cutting Room, and Jacob Javitz Center. She has been featured in radio, TV, newspapers and magazines around the world.
As an actress, Athena has appeared in numerous commercials, Film, TV and Off-Broadway productions including Hush (Players Club in NYC and Hudson Theater in LA), Fran in The Day They Shot John Lennon (Redmill Theater), "Tina" in Love Sucks (NYMF Festival) and principle roles on the History Channel and CNN. She won Best Comedy at Canada's YTV Youth Achievement Awards (Judge Eugene Levy). She currently performs as a Lady Gaga Impersonator at corporate events across the country.
Athena's training began with classical piano at age 4, voice at age 8, acting at age 9, and guitar at 16. She began working as a professional actress in Film & TV at age 12, and recorded her first album at 20. She majored in Theater at Claude Watson School for the Arts in Toronto, and earned a BFA in Music from Concordia University in Montreal. She regularly attends master classes in New York, with internationally renowned teachers such as Neil Semer, Kimberly Vaughn, Garry Dial, Francine Kay, and Maggie Maes.
As a performer, Athena is bold, imaginative, and chilling. As a teacher, Athena is patient, creative, and inspiring.
*** Lesson Details *** Athena enjoys teaching all ages and abilities, from 4 year old beginners, to seasoned professionals, to adult hobbyists. She is a patient, fun, thorough, flexible, and imaginative teacher. She teaches most musical genres, from classical, to musical theater, to jazz, to pop. She can prepare you or your child for upcoming auditions (musical or theatrical) and provide valuable insight into the entertainment industry. Athena also does art therapy with all varieties of special needs, from Autistic to Alzheimer's. Whether you are an absolute beginner, a hobbyist, or a professional in need of a savvy coach, Athena will create a lesson plan suited to your individual learning style, interests and needs.
*** Studio Equipment *** Piano Acoustic & Electric Guitar Microphone & speaker Recording device
*** Specialties *** Piano, Voice, Guitar, Songwriting, Acting Bel Canto, Classical, Musical Theater (Legit & Belt), Pop, Rock, Jazz, Music Theory, Composition & Songwriting, Monologue Preparation, Acting Audition Preparation, Pop Singing, Rock Singing, R&B Signing, Songwriting, Guitar Accompaniment, Piano Accompaniment, Performance Confidence, Business of Music, Business of Acting.
Brandi B. November 20, 2014
In studio Verified Student
I don't know where to start! Athena is the absolute best! She is truly making my vision of song writing come true
SethJonas March 6, 2014
My daughter started taking lessons with Athena when she was 7. Within weeks she already was playing simple songs & loved practicing etc. Now 2 years later she has shown incredible improvements. Highly recommend Athena.
Rachel K. March 6, 2014
Athena is a super teacher - extremely knowledgeable and patient, and wonderful to work with!
Twenty three years of performing and teaching experience. Specialty in Rock, Blues, Finger Style, Country, Folk, Classical, Funk and Punk. Bachelor of Arts in Classical Performance from Fredonia University. Proficient in theory, reading, composition and arranging, songwriting. Recording artist for hire and personal projects. Home studio in Highlands, NJ.
My Philosophy - Students First - My main goal is to create a comfortable atmosphere in which the student can proceed at his/her own pace. Whether you are looking to perform, do studio work, audition, be a songwriter or just learn a fe
w songs for your own enjoyment. I am happy to create a custom program for you. I believe the most fundamental place to begin is with theory. Through a creative, relaxed and patient environment I introduce students to the rudiments of music on 2 simple pages. Theory helps you to understand song writing, ear training, and how to build chords and scales. I try to get you to hear the music so you can improvise better and also take songs and solos off CD's yourself, therefore becoming more self reliant to teach yourself in the future.
My students bring in the songs they like and by strengthening their ears and learning to apply theory points, I show them how they can figure out the song by ear the exact way it was written and played by the original artist. Therefore you can play with the CD as if you are a band member. This builds confidence to perform and record in any band at any level. As stated above, I will also customize a program for those interested in learning songs without the theory work so they can use the music to play songs as a nice relaxing past time.
Course Descriptions- Rock, Blues and Funk: You will quickly learn how chords and scales are developed using a condensed theory set up chart. This quick immersion in theory helps you to build a strong foundation while at the same time playing and enjoying the music. I have found in my years of teaching that making theory and music interactive from the beginning makes it more enjoyable to learn. You will learn all scales, chords, techniques, rhythms, and ear training specific to these styles of music. The advantage to this Teaching Format , especially in terms of solo scale playing, to progress much further and faster than if you were just learning how to play the songs. We then go straight to the CD's of your choice and learn from the best, the artists you've admired. Whether to learn their rhythms, solo lines, songwriting formats, melodies and harmonies, and all by ear. As a soloist, you will know enough about scales and chord theory and how to blend the two so you can make the guitar talk yourself. Still for those who want a quick song approach, we can get into playing a song and review its theory relevance when desired. (Recommend 1 hour lesson/week plus practice time)
Folk, Country and Bluegrass: As stated above, I begin with the condensed theory chart to understand chords of all types. Here we study rhythms of the above music forms including ballad, country blues and country folk. Through use of songs you enjoy, we study how the music was written and performed. You will learn in this course how to play music you love as it was done by the original artist. We begin with listening to the original soundtrack. Through the use of the ear we dissect the song and learn it in its original form piece by piece. This will also help set up the study of song writing. Understanding how artists Choose Chords, develop Melodies and Harmonies, and use the art of Modulation to bring you to and from different keys for effect. Transposing songs to fit your vocal range and Arranging songs to bring out their best. (Recommend 1 hour lesson/week plus practice time)
Finger Style: Great fun for those who would rather not sing but still want to play full songs on guitar. This style of guitar will blend the techniques of traditional finger picking artists along with our own on improvisation over twelve bar blues progressions and songs. You will learn to play all the parts, bass, melody, harmony and inside chords with your picking hand. Also how to create chord/melody arrangements from any melody.
Classical: Classical guitar is taught through developing standard reading skills, finger exercises and scale work while learning beautiful pieces at the same time.
Song Writing: Song writing always begins with an introduction to theory. From there you will study works from other artists to see how they Choose Chords, develop Melodies and Harmonies, and how they use the art of Modulation to bring you to and from different keys for effect. Choose a song and artist that you enjoy and we will dissect the piece learning the above techniques.
Children's Studies: The study of music has proven to enhance a child's concentration, mathematical and reading skills, self confidence, performance skills in all walks of life whether its playing the guitar, to public speaking, to playing sports.
*** Lesson Details *** "Fun - Fast - Patient" My course is tailored to your needs.
*** Studio Equipment *** Les Pauls and Marshall/Fender amps. Love the sound.
*** Specialties *** All styles but jazz. Rock, blues, folk, finger style, classical, punk, blues and all in between, from funk to punk, rock to metal. I also teach bass and drums.
Cynthia L. February 21, 2015
I won a few guitar lessons with Albert at a Gift Auction at my son's Elementary School many years ago. Albert was a wonderful teacher who seemed to know how to play any song I suggested and got me motivated to play the guitar again! I then signed both of my kids up with him. They took lessons on and off for many years and today they both sing and play guitar every chance they get. Thank you Albert for introducing them to the guitar and motivating them to play! It is a huge part of their lives!
Dennis B. December 31, 2014
Albert is able to relate to students of all ages, very well and give them a solid foundation. I was eight years old when I began taking lessons from him and he gave me a foundation in Rock, Blues, and Acoustic guitar that has lasted a life time. Albert is a very patient teacher and very talented musician.
Lynne P. December 9, 2014
Albert is an excellent teacher of many styles - I learned classical, rock, bluegrass and folk guitar while working with him. As an older player trying to pick up an instrument again, he made me feel comfortable and much less intimidated at the task. It is true that he is very patient and dedicated to helping you realize your musical goals. I give him my highest recommendation.
Born and raised in New York City, Matthew "Matt" is an accomplished and respected musician. Matt has been playing guitar for over 30 years and piano for over 15 years and is currently involved in several projects including three bands which have performed in some of NYC's hottest venues including but not limited to CBGB"s, The Bitter End, Crash Mansion, and Kenny's Castaways. Currently Matt is a finalist for an international music competition for Indie acts where he showcases his guitar and vocal abilities. Matt was formerly educated at Queensborough College. He is competent in multiple
areas such as theory, technique, sight reading, ear training, and recording engineering. He has studied under noted instructors such as George Bien and Tom Cipriani. In addition to his education and training Matt has had the benefit of living and having been reared in one of the richest and most diverse musical scenes in the country, NYC. This enables Matt to teach and perform in a broad range from the traditional classical guitar/piano to experimental. As an educator, Matt is different from other teachers in his ability to inspire and motivate. Learning to play and master an instrument is challenging and can be a very frustrating experience. Matthew has techniques proven student after student to be successful in overcoming learning obstacles so that the student is able to meet his/her individualized goals. Matthew also has experience teaching individuals with disabilities ranging from Autism to Cancer patients. This ability has helped Matthew become a teacher with over 15 years experience.
*** Lesson Details *** Lessons are provided in a private studio in Astoria, NY or your home. Once, a location is established I work with each student to identify his or her goals and objectives both musically and personally. Students are assessed to determine where their individual ability is at the time of assessment. From there, I work in partnership with the student as we begin mastering the guitar or the piano in a fun and supportive environment. Whether you are interested in learning to play the blues, classical or jazz guitar or any other genre or just learning how to play songs on the piano, I can help. If you are a beginner, don't worry it won't all be scales. In fact I guarantee you will be playing a song within your first lesson. If you are an advanced or intermediate student, I can help you master your skills. We (you and I) will revisit proper right and left hand techniques; utilize exercises to improve your speed and accuracy. You will learn new methods to strengthen your improvisation abilities. In short, you and I will make sure to build on your strengths and undo any bad habits that are hindering your ability to grow as a guitarist or pianist.
*** Specialties *** music, Guitar and Piano I begin with meeting the student where they are in relation to their musical experience. After establishing trust, through encouragement I empower students to recognize their potential with out pre-determined expectations or limits. I am comfortable in various genres from classical to punk.
kristen S. June 19, 2015
In home Verified Student
Matthew is an excellent guitar teacher. He taught my 9 year-old beginner guitar. He's great with kids, patient and dependable. Learning guitar has been a really rewarding experience for my son thanks to Matthew.
Lee H. October 29, 2014 Verified Student
Matt has been great teaching my 9 year old how to play guitar. He has tremendous patience, a wonderful/upbeat attitude, and is always on time for the lessons.
Can't go wrong with Matt!!
William F. February 23, 2013
Guitar Verified Student
Matthew has been a big help so far in getting me started playing the guitar. We have had 4 lessons so far, and he has taught me several chords, as well as the c major scale. He has been a big help in teaching me to play in time, as well as finger positioning on the guitar.
I will break down the nuances of learning the classical guitar in a friendly, clear, and articulate manner. We will discuss various concepts of the acoustic guitar in the styles and songs you enjoy most.
A graduate of the University of Rochester with a B.A. in Music and Psychology and trained at renowned National Guitar Workshop, Adam is an experienced teacher and performer on the guitar, bass, and piano in a variety of styles, including rock, pop, jazz, classical, and folk. Adam loves to share his passion for music with others, and ever since his first student, an autistic child, Adam has sought to make learning music fun, regardless of age, style, and ability.
*** Lesson Details *** My approach to teaching music is strictly an individualized one, catering to the specific interests and go
als of each student. I believe that if learning music is truly enjoyable and fun, students will develop a sincere love for their instrument. In teaching children, my emphasis is on instilling in them a love of music. While progressing in music obviously requires preparation outside of lessons, I consciously avoid asking students to practice. Instead, I incorporate the music and styles that appeal most to the student and use them as vehicles for teaching concepts.
Ever since my first student, an autistic child, I have sought to make learning music fun, regardless of age, style, and ability. Before relocating to New York City, I organized a recital for my students in Rochester, allowing the opportunity for them to perform in a relaxed setting for their family and friends. I later distributed a DVD of the event to the students.
*** Travel Equipment *** I will provide all music and instructional materials, and ask that students provide a clean, quiet area to hold our lesson, ideally with a music stand. I also ask that a student provide their own instrument. If providing an instrument is not possible, I ask that the student notify me so I can provide an instrument for them in the interim.
*** Specialties *** I specialize in a wide range of styles on the acoustic and electric guitar, bass, and piano. I am especially capable of teaching rock guitar, acoustic, fingerstyle, and classical guitar, as well as classical and popular piano styles, jazz, and folk.
I explain music theory in a fun, clear, and articulate manner and show its benefits and application in song writing, learning music, and playing by ear. My extensive background in rock, classical, pop, folk, and jazz allows for a truly cater my instruction to my student's tastes.
I make it my mission to structure my lessons on my student's goals and interests and avoid imposing concepts that don't interest my students.
Tamar M. August 12, 2015
In home Verified Student
Adam does a great job of adjusting to the student's level of experience. I'm a beginner with some minimal uke experience, and he adjusted the pace of the lesson accordingly. I especially like his emphasis on contemporary music; he seems to have fun with music which, as someone who endured years of strict classical piano training as a kid, I find very refreshing.
Peter O. September 10, 2014
Acoustic Guitar ·
In studio Verified Student
Best instructor I ever had. He has some ear. He listens to a song I want to learn and he plays it. I'm jealous. When he shows me how to play it he makes it fun and so easy. If you want to learn how to play, Adam is the one.
GeneC February 22, 2011
Adam has been a patient and effective teacher for our 6 year old. He gives great posisitve feedback that makes the student feel good about playing. We are lucky to have him.
I believe music lessons should be fun and engaging for students. I am excited to take you to the next level, whether you are an absolute beginner, intermediate, or advanced student. If you are interested in learning classical guitar, rock, jazz, heavy metal, or polka!
- I have a record of success with students of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and goals - I teach using a variety of methods and styles, including my own authored books - I own a music academy where I train others to be successful instructors - I have a very high student retention rate - I've been playing over 25 years - I have a BA in Music from Florida State University - I have been teaching for 15 years - I have personally taught over 15,000 private lessons - I have played in numerous bands - I have gigged professionally
*** Lesson Details *** I customize the lessons to the
goals each student. Whether it's for fun and leisure or a driven passion with serious goals, I can give you the tools to accomplish what you want! I love teaching people through the music that they love. So, whether that's Britney Spears, Metallica, or Bach, the concepts underlying music are basically the same. I will make sure you can play the music you love and hopefully help you explore new music as well.
*** Studio Equipment *** In my studio I have a Guild Classical, Alvarez Acoustic, and Epiphone Electric.
All the accessories needed as well. Music Stands, Foot Stools, Picks, Straps, Slides, Tuners, Books, etc.
I also use an iMac in lessons. I like incorporating technology when appropriate, to look up tunes, or do a recording session, it's a necessary tool to learn nowadays.
*** Travel Equipment *** I will bring everything we need to conduct a proper lesson remotely. I do recommend you have your own guitar though.
*** Specialties *** For all the advanced knowledge I have and years of teaching students of all kinds, my favorite is teaching beginners. I love seeing someone come in with no knowledge of music, and taking them from milestone to milestone. I love watching new musicians blossom.
I play, teach, and perform most frequently in classical, rock, blues, and pop genres.
Nathanael August 7, 2015
Acoustic Guitar ·
I started taking lessons with Dan randomly but quickly grew to enjoy and appreciate his unassuming style and incredible versatility so much that I signed up both my kids. And now they love him too. I can't recommend Dan highly enough.
Natalia August 7, 2015
Classical Guitar ·
My 9 year old really loves his guitar lessons with Dan. Dan has inspired him to learn new songs and to keep practicing, which can be challenging at this age. Lessons with Dan are the highlights of my son's week. Dan is always on time and we never had any issues with scheduling. We both highly recommend Dan.
Sean August 7, 2015
I took guitar lessons from Dan for many years. He helped me establish great fundamental techniques and made lessons fun. He would always ask what I wanted to learn about and made it a very personalized experience. Dan is the main reason I stuck with the instrument. I had taken guitar lessons prior but the instructor was dry and uninspired, switching to Dan was the best decision I could have made.
Students are raving about their Classical Guitar instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Lewis
"Just had my first lesson with David. Gave a wealth of info now it's up to me but with his approach I know it will be all good. Have had other teachers but
David is not only an accomplished player he is also is able to instruct and teach. Will write again after a few more lessons. Lewis G."
Nashville, TN teacher:
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 Jon
"Ken is a talented musician, nice person, and a fantastic teacher. I wanted to branch out into classical guitar after many years of playing other styles. K
en was good at adapting to my background and goals."
San Francisco, CA teacher:
Review by Bart
"Jesse is very patient and encouraging. I especially appreciate Jesse's ability to simplify what I find complex."
San Diego, CA teacher:
Review by Ashley
"If you have high standards, you'll be pleased
Having moved from Barcelona Spain we were interested in continuing our daughter's classical guitar lessons.
He is able to connect to our daughter (age 10) and encourage her while giving her good feedback. She practices on her own (without reminders) and looks forward to Jesse's visits. You won't be disappointed."
San Diego, CA teacher:
Review by Gavin
"I couldn't have asked for a better teacher!
Blake Clifford goes beyond the 'call of duty' & really takes the time to make sure that his students receive
exactly what they need. The teaching environment is comfortable & relaxed with all of the professional resources you would expect & more.
With Blake Clifford you get real professional training - he knows what he's talking about, & he gets straight to the point. In just the little time that I've been taking classical guitar with Blake, I've learned so much. He teaches skills that you can actually apply - it's not just a bunch of theory, and that helps me out a lot by getting to the real 'meat' of the training fast.
I highly recommend Blake Clifford to anyone who is absolutely serious about improving their musicianship & getting over stubborn plateaus."