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Northvale, NJ Ukulele Lessons

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About Nick R.

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Forest Hills, NY

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finger style and plectrum (pick) techniques

Both soprano and baritone uke tunings

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.

-Down Beat magazine current issue [Jan/Feb 2016] Hot Jazz Jumpers' "The Very Next Thing" DVD/CD review

-Jazz Insider magazine current issue [Dec 2015]
2.5 page interview

-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 Martin'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
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Matthew H. January 18, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
He does a great job cater the lessons to your needs
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Bryan October 8, 2016
· Guitar · In home
At just my 1st lesson with Mr. Russo -- HE'S THE MAN!!! Very concerned with getting the most out teaching/reaching the student!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED; thanks to Takelessons!!!
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Sara G. October 3, 2016
· Ukulele · In home
Great musician, great instructor. Learned more than I ever thought I would be able to at this age. Very patient.
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Nick R.

Nick R.

Forest Hills, NY 11375
(16)
starting at
$42 / 30-min

About John L.

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Hastings on Hudson, NY

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Love to teach beginners and intermediate students.
I teach all uke students how to read, theory, songs and how to understand playing the instrument solo or in a group setting.
Uke is capable of doing anything, all one has to do is apply oneself and music can come flowing out of the instrument.

About John
Hello,

Thanks so much for taking the time to inquire about studying music with me.

Music and studying music has always been a passionate experience for me. I have been so blessed with the teachers and fellow musicians in my life. You should realize that your study of music may start with me, but it will last your entire lifetime. I hope that all of your life you will have a rewarding relationship to music and the spirit of great sounds!

I have performed in great jazz clubs in New York, on Broadway, and performing arts centers across the country. I'm currently playing in many great performing ensembles. I have put out two CD's as a leader and played on multiple CD's for other artists.

It has been my pleasure to teach privately, as well as in the classroom for 15 years. I enjoy performing many different types of music. I pri
de myself on being very open minded in terms of musical taste. Never apologize for liking what you like! I bet there is something in that music which is great. I can't wait to learn something from the music you introduce to me.

I be glad to provide a full resume to anyone who requests it.

*** Lesson Details ***

My most important goal for each student is that they get to where they want to be musically.

I want the student to be able to play the way he or she wants to play. If you want to learn to play one song, that is great! If you want to learn to play one classical etude that is just as great! If you want to learn how to play in a salsa band, bravo! I treat the desires of my students as my curriculum. Each student will receive special prep time from me each week. I pride myself in taking the time and energy to prepare for each meeting. Every time you complete a lesson, it is my hope that you are walking away as a better musician.

In the beginning I hope to find what will musically interests you the most. Usually, you might have a goal that requires you to play on a higher level than you do presently. If that is true, we might take some time to figure out a road map to get you to that place. Along the way, I'm sure you and I will learn many new concepts and techniques that aid you in becoming the bassist/musician you want to be.

And rest assured, the teacher always learns from the student...this is the best part of teaching: learning from the student.

*** Studio Equipment ***

Studio: 3 electric basses, plenty of amps and chords, one acoustic bass, piano, ukulele, guitar, computer playback and recording.

*** Travel Equipment ***
As requested

*** Specialties ***
I have been lucky to play tons of different types of music. I believe I can give musicians and aspiring musicians a deep understanding of what is most important in many different styles of music. Music I have been lucky enough to study and play professionally: Jazz, Rock, Funk, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Blues, Classical, Pop.
I'm also a very good transcriber, so if there is a song you heard on the radio we can definitely play it! Ear training could be an area in which I could be of service to you as well.
I have many arranging and composing credits and I would be glad to help students in this area whenever requested.
...
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Aidan September 9, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Very comfortable atmosphere. John asked my son what his goals were and tgen taylored instruction to help him meet those goals..We were very pleased! We highly recommend him.
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Okokon O. March 5, 2015
· Guitar · In home
Mr Lang is great guitar tutor.
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Aviane V. October 30, 2013
· Piano ·
Love my lessons

John is an amazing teacher all around. Very professional and good at getting me to understand things which may be a bit confusing. I am currently reading and playing between four books and I never thought it would be possible especially just after taking lessons for a year. Sometimes I feel a bit frustraited when I am not able to play certain pieces or when I dont understand a concept but John is great at breaking everything down and making it easier. I am now realizing how my piano skills can be utilizied in my other music projects. When I attend my lessons I am reminded why I love having them so much. With him as my instructor I can see my skills improving and I know I will only get better. I recommend piano lessons to everyone and if you are looking to have a great teacher John is your go to person !
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John L.

John L.

Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706
(14)
starting at
$45 / 30-min

About Tara L.

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Hastings on Hudson, NY

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I learned from some great musicians out west that the ukulele can be really fun and have more range of notes too when tuned GDAE as a violin would be tuned. Ever since I learned that I have loved playing the ukulele and also have fun helping others to become well versed in playing many styles of music on there. One can play rhythm, melodies, improvise, write songs, play almost any style of music on a ukulele.

About Tara
I have a Masters in Education as well as having spent many years performing, teaching in one on one and group settings both privately and at music camps and festivals. I play and teach bluegrass, old time, Irish, and swing jazz styles. I like my students to really enjoy playing music and their lessons as well as learning to become fluent in the language of music. It is not required that folks learn to read music necessarily, but it can be a part of the lessons if desired. I love to see my students able to continue learning and playing on their own, be able to hold their own at jams and on the stage is they so desire, or just enjoy making music for themselves. I have techniques that have proven effective to help get past jam phobia, that help folks learn to improvise who have not had any luck with doing so before, and help getting away fro
m sheet music addictions to be able to have fun and confidence out at jams. I also can give a good foundation in music theory as it applies to one's actual playing and have it be fun and make sense.
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Marcy March 15, 2017
· Guitar · In studio
Tara is a wonderful teacher. She made me feel comfortable about my short fingers even before we met for my first guitar lesson. She said she was sure she'd get me playing and we'd have some fun, and she was right! She's patient and respectful for where I'm at musically and short fingers and all, I'm finally, after a couple failed attempts at teaching myself, making music with this guitar!
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Francine February 6, 2016
· Ukulele · In studio
Tara is very warm and patient. My 7-years old daughter (and I) really enjoyed her introduction lessons to Ukulele.
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Brad M. November 30, 2015
· Mandolin · In studio
Tara's very knowledgeable about the mandolin and thorough in her teaching. She's also patient and keeps the session light and fun. Looking forward to learning more with her.
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Tara L.

Tara L.

Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706
(7)
starting at
$38 / 30-min

About Stephen D.

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Yonkers, NY
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Ukulele is a kind of portable guitar. you can have almost all the expressive capabilities, styles and techniques of the guitar, and you can put it in the overhead bin when you fly!

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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Sandra March 8, 2017
· Banjo · In home
Stephen is amazing and talented. He is very understanding of the initial frustration of learning a new instrument and makes it interesting and fun.
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Megan October 14, 2015
· Violin · In home
Mr. D is a very good teacher at violin. I give him 5 stars because he is nice and a good teacher.
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Eve September 29, 2015
· Classical Guitar · In studio
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!
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Stephen D.

Stephen D.

Yonkers, NY 10705
(4)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Francesco I.

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Carle Place, NY

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I possess more than 10 years of progressive experience in music education. My professional history includes positions such as president/instructor at Rockville Centre Music as well as classical guitar instructor at Long Island Conservatory.
Most recently, my responsibilities as owner at Rockville Centre Music match the qualifications you are seeking. As the Owner, my responsibilities included preparing schedules, creating lesson plans, and working with special needs children.

About Francesco
I possess more than 10 years of progressive experience in music education. My professional history includes positions such as president/instructor at Rockville Centre Music as well as classical guitar instructor at Long Island Conservatory.
Most recently, my responsibilities as owner at Rockville Centre Music match the qualifications you are seeking. As the Owner, my responsibilities included preparing schedules, creating lesson plans, and working with special needs children. I assisted in the successful completion of 10 annual student recitals that showcased over 50 student/teacher/family performances.
...
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Francesco I.

Francesco I.

Carle Place, NY 11514
starting at
$25 / 30-min
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About Ian M.

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New York, NY
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Ukulele is much more of a diverse instrument than some may think, and I am ready to show you! I have a good knowledge of uke chords and can also help you delve in to something like jazz ukulele if you so desire. If you want to get more advanced, I can teach you how to read sheet music for the ukulele and certain scales you can use to enhance your bevy of skills.

About Ian
Hi, I'm Ian, a 23 year old music major who just completed his B.A. At Hunter College. I try and play as many instruments as possible to expand my musical repertoire, but I am the most well versed in violin and guitar. I've been playing violin for 14 years and guitar for 9. I am involved in a number of musical projects and bands including my own, Cicero & the Orations. I also have a good knowledge of theory and have taken all but two of Hunters offered theory classes. I am currently a lessons instructor at a corporate site but I am always looking to teach music, since it's what I want to do with my life. I am quite patient with students and am always looking to take as much time as is needed for the student to learn whatever will better them.
...
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Daniel B. October 14, 2016
· Guitar · In home
Ian's patience and knowledge of many types of music is awesome! He takes a very empathetic approach to teaching; he tailors what knowledge he shares and what instructional techniques he employs based on my learning style and past experiences. If your looking for a kind, down to earth teacher who's not elitist when it comes to teaching anything from classical violin to rock guitar, Ian's the guy.
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Chris October 10, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
He is uniquely sensitive to the learning style of his students, and able to meet musicians of any experience at their level. He will be a full time music educator in a couple of years, so get some time with Ian while you can!
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Ian M.

Ian M.

New York, NY 10024
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Jordan G.

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West Orange, NJ
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I feel that ukulele is a great way to introduce anyone to the string family of instruments because of its size, and the fact that it is often easier to learn than guitar. The first instrument I ever learned was actually the Uke, and I have been playing it ever since.

About Jordan
Hi, my name is Jordan. I am a Freshman Music and Theatre Education student at Seton Hall University. I have experience with many genres of music including classical, jazz, pop/rock, and Broadway. In addition to being a multi instrumentalist, I am also a songwriter, and have released a full length country album with Bongo Boy Records. My specialty and biggest passion is country and rock music, however I'm also classically trained in voice and in various instruments. Although I'm young, I have lots of experience so if you are looking for quality lessons in voice, stand up bass, guitar, bass guitar, banjo, ukulele, piano, or other beginning instruments, id be happy to oblige :)

PS. I didn't renew my background check but I'm a 19 year old college student, not a criminal.
...
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Jordan G.

Jordan G.

West Orange, NJ 07052
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Steve L.

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New York, NY
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Learn your favorite tunes on ukulele. also learn chords and melodies.

About Steve
Hello,
I am a musician of 16 years. I went to Salem State University for music, where I studied guitar, piano, violin and sitar. I am primarily a jazz guitarist, but I love all kinds of music. I am happy to teach all styles. I teach guitar, bass, ukulele and piano. I can also teach you things like ear training, music theory, how to read etc.

I have been teaching privately for 6 years. I have had students as young as 6 and as old as 75. Whether you are looking to learn some of your favorite songs, or trying to gain a deeper understanding of music, I can help.
...
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Craig April 4, 2017
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio
I would give a 6th star for Steve Lacey if I could. He is patient and is a master guitar player.
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arthur beane March 10, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
At age 71, my fist lesson with Steve was August 6, 2015. His instructional style, skillful listening, knowledge and passion for music inspired me to practice and practice and write and write. To those ends, Steve encouraged me to attend an Open Mic Night or two after 7 guitar lessons. Though I was shaking like a box of pills at my first OMN, I eventually overcame my fear and played and sang several blues tunes I'd written. My journey continues. Sometimes I feel like I'm six years old, yet I'm learning how to play better under Steve's guidance. His influence on me has been, and continues to be, profound. Steve's integrity is unimpeachable. I enthusiastically recommend Steve as a music teacher. Art Beane
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Steve L.

Steve L.

New York, NY 10034
(2)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Kate D.

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New York, NY

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Focus on technique, chords, and learning songs.

About Kate
I am a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter who is very interested in teaching younger kids about self expression through music and writing. I have a Bachelor's degree in music performance from the Manhattan School of Music and have been working as a professional musician (within many genres) for a decade.
...
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Melissa P. May 25, 2017
· Ukulele · In home
Kate is fantastic!! She has such a warm, easygoing personality, and I was very comfortable having her in my home. She is extremely knowledgeable about the uke and was able to immediately recognize my strengths and weaknesses. I feel challenged, but not overwhelmed. I had so much fun and can't wait for next week's lesson!
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Kate D.

Kate D.

New York, NY 10013
(1)
starting at
$60 / 30-min

About Ken F.

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Brooklyn, NY

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Brooklyn-based private music teacher operating in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Over a decade of experience teaching a broad range of styles to students of all ages and backgrounds. Strong focus on the individual student's personal interests and goals. Master's degree in music with years of experience touring globally and recording for both major and indie labels.
Whether you're looking to begin your or your child's ukulele learning experience, or take your playing to the next level, it's my passion to get students playing the music they want to play, right from the beginning!

About Ken
A recent transplant to the Park Slope area, I'm a composer and multi-instrumentalist originally from Raleigh, North Carolina. Prior to receiving my master's degree in composition from Mannes (The New School), I was the lead guitarist in the indie rock band Annuals. As part of this group I signed with two major record labels, appeared on national television programs such as Late Night with Conan O'Brien, and performed globally both on tour and at prominent festivals such as Bonnaroo, Coachella, Glastonbury (England), and Roskilde (Denmark).

I have been teaching private music lessons for twelve years, both freelance and as part of various organizations. My approach to teaching is highly dynamic—I don't use the same method with every student and I have no stylistic prejudices or an agenda to push. I approach each student as an individual
, tailoring lesson plans to suit their personal goals and interests. I have experience playing and teaching an extensive range of styles including pop, rock, jazz, country, metal, and classical. One of my main goals is to foster a sense of musical understanding with every student so that they may learn to combine technical, theoretical, and aural skills into a unified whole.

Most students want to learn to play songs they know and love. To that end, I get students playing the music they want to play right from the beginning, often through personally crafted arrangements of songs/pieces of the student's choosing, specifically tailored to their current skill level. This way, technical and theoretical skills are learned through direct experience with actual music, and only very rarely through rote exercise.

For more advanced players, I offer an array of strategies designed to take your playing to the next level. I find that the most common shortcomings of advanced players are conceptual. The technical skills are there but the level of conceptual and theoretical understanding has hit a wall. Many players find themselves playing the same chord shapes, melodic patterns, and harmonic progressions over and over again. I've had much success over the years in getting advanced students out of this rut and helping open up new pathways for exploration in both improvisation and composition.
...
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Christopher Cross April 8, 2017
· Guitar ·
I've been playing off and on for 15 years and am mostly self taught. I knew what I wanted to learn but was having trouble figuring it out on my own. In the first lesson Ken was able to zero in on what I want to learn and the best way to go about it. In three lessons I feel that I understand the guitar so much more than I have in the past 15 years of playing. Not only from a technical standpoint, but also in a "feel" sense. On my own I could learn all the scales, chords, and songs I wanted, but Ken has helped me to make sense of everything and use these skills to become a better player all around.
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Brittany Pare February 8, 2017
· Piano ·
Ken is an incredibly talented musician and teacher and I would recommend him to anyone. He tailors his lessons to meet the individual goals of his students. If I wasn't understanding something, he knew how to explain it in a different way until I understood. He also taught me some techniques for figuring out songs on my own which I really appreciate since I am about move out of NYC. However, if I wasn't leaving I would still be taking lessons with him!
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Leah Korbin March 24, 2016
· Guitar ·
I took from Kenny when I was in middle school/early high school and he truly is the one who made me want to start writing songs. He's beyond talented, inspirational, and has a great smile to boot!
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Ken F.

Ken F.

Brooklyn, NY 11215
(5)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, check out the Ukulele articles on our blog.

7 Essential Ukulele Chords for Beginners

7 Essential Ukulele Chords for Beginners

Ready to start learning to play ukulele? Check out these easy ukulele chords from music teacher Raymond L. and you'll be strumming a tune in no time! There are many easy ukulele chords that could be considered essential for beginners but I will try to limit my choice to only seven. In my opinion, it's best to start with these seven chords based on the following criteria: the technical difficulties or skills required to play them, the usefulness of the chords, their harmonic properties, and th … Read More

7 Essential Ukulele Chords for Beginners
Ready to start learning to play ukulele? Check out these easy ukulele chords from music teacher Raymond L. and you'll be strumming a tune in no time! There are many easy ukulele chords that could be considered essential for beginners but I will try to limit my choice to only seven. In my opinion, it's best to start with these seven chords based on the following criteria: the technical difficulties or skills required to play them, the usefulness of the chords, their harmonic properties, and th
Songs for the Season| 11 Christmas Ukulele Songs
The holidays are right around the corner; get in the spirit with these classic Christmas ukulele songs. From "Jingle Bells" to "Mele Kalikimaka," learn these Christmas ukulele tabs with Winston, NC teacher Willy M... Ho! Ho! Ho! While, I don’t look a lot like Santa Claus (well, apart from the beard and pudgy belly), I'm bringing you a sack full of holiday cheer this month with Christmas ukulele songs! That’s right, I'm going to give you fun holiday songs that you can play on your ukulele.
3 Swoon-Worthy Ukulele Songs to Play for Your Sweetheart
Since Valentine's Day is coming up fast, now is the perfect time for learning a few easy ukulele songs to impress that special someone. While there are many songs out there that might be easy and romantic, these are our top 3 picks: 3. Jason Mraz - "I'm Yours" Coming in at number three, we've got a song by Jason Mraz, "I'm Yours". This song is pretty simple, with only 5 chords throughout the entire song, and minimal riffs that you need to learn. In fact, the video shows an incredibly young
Infographic: How to Play Ukulele in 10 Steps
Ready to learn to play the ukulele? Follow these 10 tips from ukulele instructor Willy M. to get the most out of your lessons... It seems like everyone wants to learn the ukulele these days. Which is great for you, because there are a lot of good resources out there for the beginning uke player! Having a system to help you get started can be very useful, however. So, here are 10 steps to learning to play the ukulele that should help you get going in the right direction.  
Strum Patterns You’ll Need to Play Hawaiian Ukulele Songs
Get your uke and start strumming! Music teacher Christopher S. shares how to play five common ukulele strumming patterns... In order to play any stringed instrument, such as the guitar, mandolin, or ukulele, you have to learn how to strum it. Strumming is an essential part to playing the ukulele, which gives it that true Hawaiian-Island sound. In this article, I will discuss the different types of strum patterns used when learning to play Hawaiian ukulele songs and also the positioning

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