I have been playing acoustic guitar for over 20 years and teaching for about 10 years. I'm happy to share my knowledge and expertise with students of all ages and skill levels - beginner to advanced.
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 instrument 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!
o 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)
acoustic guitar playing: both finger picking and playing with a pick
Professor Nick R. (guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, dobro/resonator/slide, lap steel, tenor guitar, baritone resonator, bass, drums, composition) is currently the adjunct professor at Essex College, Jazz clinician for over 19 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.
Nick has been a sideman with Antonique Smith, Jon Batiste, Rob Morrow, John Lithgow, Russell Hall, Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks, Marcus Miller (a new film), Moroccan vocalist/composer, Malika Zarra, Bill Charlap, Frank Vignola, Victor Jones and Cultur-versy, Jim Nolet (Jazz Passengers), Jennifer Jade Ledesna, the late greats Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Sonny Dallas, Joe Ascione and continues to play for Th
e Hot Sardines, Andrew Nemr (tap dancer), Miles Griffith's New Ting, Terry Waldo, Dandy Wellington, New Orleans’ Aurora Nealand, Gordon Au's Grand St Stompers, Mona's Hot Four, Dr. David Pleasant, Jon Weber, John Colianni, Kim Clarke, Raphael McGregor, Anastasia Rene, Indian/pop singer, Meetu Chilana, & many others.
Nick has played extensively with Malika Zarra, including her Ebony Road CD release with Harvey Wirht, Mamadou Ba, Brahim Frigane and other great world musicians. As a pupil of Pandit Samir Chatterjee, Nick continues to study Indian music, plays harmonium, box tanpura (soon sitar and oud!) and jams with grammy nominated producer/composer/Indian percussionist, Deep Singh (tabla player with Sting) and grammy nominated producer/trumpet player/composer, Frank London on a regular basis.
Nick has also played extensively with ELEW years before, when he was jazz pianist, Eric Lewis and trombonist, Clark Gayton as sideman in various bands, including the James Brown tribute band with the late great, Black Velvet (Charles Bradley) led by Victor Jones.
Nick currently leads/MC's 3 bands: Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches, Hot Jazz Jumpers and NickR+11
Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches (with Betina Hershey) album, Get Us Out Of Fearland: #2 album, #2 artist, #5 song with 6 of our songs in top 20 on April 2018 International Folk Music DJs Radio chart!
Over the past two year, Banjo Nickaru Western Scooches has built a solid following in the Eastern U.S. with a half dozen tours while also playing such prestigious events such as NBC affiliate Kansas City TV, Falcon Ridge Fest, Kansas City Folk Fest (main stage), Folk Alliance International, NERFA, WFUV Sunday Supper, Jon Platt's On Your Radar, Blue Plate Special, WMOT Finally Friday, WNCW Studio B Sessions, WoodSongs, Isis Music Hall, the Mid-Winter Folk Fest at Club Passim and recent January 2019 APAP showcase in NYC.
“Nick has worked with artists all over the jazz spectrum. His latest release brings a decidedly unorthodox approach.” DOWNBEAT ⋆⋆⋆⋆
"....the inimitable Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches"
— John Platt (WFUV)
“A heart as big as the sky…full of high energy and higher spirits.” -Elmore Magazine
“A band that has to be seen to be believed.” — John Platt (WFUV)
"They go back to basics with songs that bask in a genuine roots regimen and a sense of timeless tradition." Elmore Magazine
"Americana music at its purest and most impressive." No Depression
“Unfailingly high-spirited." LONDON TIMES
"...Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches are ridiculously fun." Rambles.
-Down Beat magazine 2006 Ro review plus [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 Antonique Smith, Jon Batiste (from the Colbert show), Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Bill Charlap, 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), Dandy Wellington, Jon Weber, Aurora Nealand (from New Orleans), Anastasia Rene, 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. -lap steel -baritone resonator (slide)
This was my first lesson with Nick. He is a very nice guy. He created a calm, relaxed atmosphere in his studio, and he was clear when he gave me particular instructions. His knowledge of music theory in general, and of the five-string banjo in particular, was quite impressive. I would recommend him highly to both a beginner and to anyone (like myself) who is in need of a refresher course. I am very much looking forward to my next lesson.
April 2, 2019
Nick Russo is a fantastic tutor for kids and adults who would like to learn Ukulele, guitar, banjo or other instruments. He makes ‘learning fun’ he's friendly and cheerful. I don’t have any background in music but, Nick made it easy for me to understand the notes and how it works. I always look forward to every lesson. I Highly recommended Nick to everyone.
March 22, 2019
I’ve been taking guitar lessons with Nick now for a few months and it’s been a terrific experience — cannot say enough good things. Each lesson builds on the last and Nick tailors them to my ability and musical interests mixing in enough music theory, which makes learning both productive and enjoyable. Most importantly I feel like I’m beginning to understand how music works and not just blindly memorizing patterns or scales. I considered online courses before choosing Nick, but there’s no substitution for one-to-one instruction. Nick’s feedback and instruction are invaluable.
I was a little concerned about trying to pick up guitar in my early 40s, but its been a rewarding experience so far and I’m looking forward to more lessons with Nick.
Playing Chord Progressions, Singer/Songwriter style of writing and playing. Strumming Patterns, Rhythmic Variation
About Jose Luis
My name is Jose Luis Alonso. A graduate of Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance, I have been been offering music lessons for several years now to students of many ages, backgrounds, and levels of experience. I have developed a very keen sense and understanding of Music and hope to share my experience and knowledge in a fun and creative way. Above all else, I encourage students to develop their talents in way that helps them find their own voice with which to navigate the world of music.
My youngest student is 5! And I work with a teacher who specializes in intermediate and advanced whom I transition my more students over to once they reach a more advanced level. I teach basic plucking, chords and strum patterns of your favorite tunes!
I conduct group lessons for young children, which I am unable to state on my profile/list of services here. You can send me a message if you are interested in them!
I believe EVERYONE should have the opportunity to learn music, especially children, in a fun and enjoyable way! As someone who grew up around music (my mother is a music teacher!) I wish to give that chance to others.
I started playing the piano at around the age of four, and helped out as a substitute teacher at my mother's music school back in Singapore while in High School. I left shortly after to pursue music at Berklee College of Music, where I graduated summa cum laude in August 2013 with a Bachelor's of Music in Piano Performance and Contemporary Writing and Production!
My students range from as 3.5 years old, to the grandmother of a couple of my students. I wo
rk mostly with children, but have a handful of adult beginner students I work with as well.
Everyone is different - and I personally take the time and effort to develop and customize my lessons and materials for each student. I'll push you (a little!), to make you realize just how much you can do!
Music is an all-rounded experience. Not only can I offer you a chance to learn how to play different styles of piano, from jazz to pop to classical, but I can also teach you how to write your own songs, arrange them, and perhaps (if you like) record them!
A very energetic and enthusiastic instructor. Tammy came very well prepared for her lesson and brought readily custom-made materials that make the lesson very smooth. Our son is really excited about his piano lessons again!!
Thanks a lot!
November 28, 2015
Excellent teacher. Was very impressed on how well the piano classes were explained in detail. My 6 years old learned a lot in her first piano class! My daughter came out super excited and motivated!
The technique I teach is applicable to classical, acoustic and electric guitar. It is based on finding the most relaxed position for the entire body, and ultimately the hands and fingers. It's the most fun way to play!
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.
Stephen is amazing and talented. He is very understanding of the initial frustration of learning a new instrument and makes it interesting and fun.
October 14, 2015
Mr. D is a very good teacher at violin. I give him 5 stars because he is nice and a good teacher.
September 29, 2015
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!
For acoustic guitar the first thing I do when I meet a student is to interview the student and find out why they want to learn how to play the guitar and what are some of their goals. Then I find out what style of music they would like to learn. I have the student come up with ten songs they would like to learn. I take this information and structure future guitar lessons around the essential elements of these songs. I design each lesson to teach the specific skills required to learn those songs. I create an organized binder guitar workbook and having a teaching degree I create all of the lessons to meet each students individual needs that include lessons on theory, technique, chords, rhythm, scales, arpeggios, songs, song form, and exercises etc. I use a color coded method to teach scales, chords and theory that I created that help students not only understand scales but also they are able to see visually where chords come from. I break down each song into easy digestible parts so ...
Hi my name is David and I love and enjoy teaching guitar lessons to students of all ages and I come to your home for lessons. My goal in life is to enrich people's lives with music. The first thing I do is interview the student and find out why they want to play the guitar and what are some of their goals. Then I find out what style of music they would like to learn. I have the student come up with ten songs they would like to learn. I take this information and structure future guitar lessons around the essential elements of these songs. I design each lesson to teach the specific skills required to learn those songs. I create an organized custom guitar lesson workbook for each of my students at no cost to the student or parent. This way, my students have a weekly organized practice routine and they become successful. Having a teaching deg
ree, (B.A. Music - Conservatory of Music - Concentration: Studio Composition / Master's in Education - M.A.T. / Adolescence Education (Grades 5-12) 3.56 GPA).
I create all of the guitar lessons to meet each students individual needs that include lessons on theory, technique, rhythm, chords, scales, riffs, arpeggio's, songs, and exercises etc. I break down songs into easy digestible parts so students can learn a song in a logical and most manageable way. I use a color coded method to teach that I created that help students not only learn and understand scales and chords but also they are able to see visually how scales and chords are created. I currently teach private guitar lessons and have worked for 12 years in our local schools as a teacher with students K through 12. For 2 years, from 2012 to 2014 I taught an after-school enrichment guitar and songwriting class. I created the curriculum and music workbook specifically for 6 and 7-year old children whom I taught at Pequenakonck Elementary School in North Salem, NY. In College I won an award for the most Improved Studio Composition Student at Purchase College. I incorporate lessons that I have learned in the classroom as a teacher to help my guitar students learn. I feel the most important thing for my students to learn about music is to have a lot of fun.
I only have high accolades for David. I've learned more from David in the mere 5 lessons then I learned in a years worth of lessons in the past. His method of teaching is perfect with the right amount of homework. He customizes the lesson for the type of music I ultimately want to play with a good balance of theory and practical lessons to get me there. Bravo!!!
April 24, 2019
Lessons with David were very inspiring and so much fun. They were well planned, organized and productive. David also was very flexible and accommodating with scheduling the lessons.
December 28, 2016
My son had a great first lesson and knows what to do for practice this week and is excited to continue learning with his next lesson
I will focus on helping students accomplish their individual musical goals, whether that be learning their favorite songs or becoming a gigging musician. I will tailor a program of songs, excercises, and jamming to the students needs. I am a Grammy credited performing musician with experience teaching in Public Schools, Music Academies, and conservatory programs.
As you're guitar teacher I will make sure you or your child become the musician you've always wanted to be. I have no set curriculum because I tailor my lessons to each students needs. Want to learn your favorite song? Wanna learn how to jam and solo? Want to prepare to start doing open Mics? I'm your man.
-Experience teaching in Public Schools, Music Academies, and Music camps.
The main goal of my lessons is for my students to genuinely enjoy the guitar and to walk away excited to put their knowledge into action. As someone who has been studying the guitar for 15+ years, I know the challenges of practicing and moving beyond the technical knowledge of the instrument. I help my students learn using their personal musical interests and inspirations. All ages and abilities welcome.
As a guitarist, composer, and educator, music has always been at the heart of life. I graduated from Berklee College of Music with a BM in Jazz Composition and recently graduated from NYU with a MM in Jazz Studies, where I also taught as an adjunct guitar instructor.
Currently based in New York, I teach guitar and general music at a number of institutions including Harlem School of Arts, The Brooklyn Waldorf School, The Winchendin School, and the New York Jazz Academy.
In addition to teaching, I'm a freelance guitar player and have performed with a wide range of artists, some of which include Chris Potter and Micah Stampley, as well as with my own trio.
Franklin is a fantastic teacher of jazz guitar who my son loves. They worked together all last year and my son made great progress and they will work together again this year. Franklin is very personable, reliable and also flexible. Highly recommend.
"Tim is a great teacher! I definitely recommend him. He is very patient and willing to help in any way."
"I hired Scott to teach my teenage daughter the Acoustic Guitar. She took weekly lessons for almost a year, with GREAT results. Scott has amazing skill in
both guitar playing and teaching, a wonderful combination of talents. My daughter's love and dedication to her music lives on, due to a large extent on his teaching and encouragement."
"I've only had one lesson so far, but Rachel did a great job. She is knowledgeable and very talented. I'm excited to continue on my rockin' acoustic guit
ar journey. I highly recommend her as she was super nice and very kind to come get me at the bottom of the hill, so I can find her studio in the future. I'm a newbie at guitar and don't know very much but she encouraged me & I can't wait to get further into it."
"Really enjoying the lessons. Dave has tremendous experience and has made the start of this journey for me really easy. Looking forward to continuing my
"Claire is just awesome. I have had several instructors over the years. None have been as fun and knowledgable as Claire. I learned more in just a few less
ons than i had with other instructors. I am so disappointed my work schedule changed and I can’t continue. I highly recommend Claire for any age."
"Donnie is great working with a blank canvass."
"I truely enjoy the time practicing guitar with him :)))"
"great understanding of what I know and how to improve! Experienced instructor"
Looking for the best beginner acoustic guitar to purchase? Read on for some helpful advice from Perth Amboy, NJ guitar teacher Jeff S...
Selecting the right guitar teacher for you or your children is certainly a crucial decision and the choice you make can often dictate how well the lessons will go.
Yet an often overlooked (and quite frankly, often-botched) step that needs to be carefully addressed before lessons begin is selecting the right size and type of beginner acoustic guit …