-finger style and pick ; country, blues, bluegrass, roots, Americana guitar techniques and repertoire
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.
Bringing nearly 3 decades of teaching, recording and performing experience, my lessons combine technique, practical application of music theory, listening development ( ear training ) and musical context. Result oriented lessons tailored to your specific needs and goals. Whether your just picking up the guitar or have banged around with it for a few years and are ready fill in the blanks. Most total beginners are playing songs almost immediately; learning the most efficient way to play and understand both their instrument and the music. Whether your an acoustic singer songwriter looking to put it all together, a rock player, or just picking up the guitar for the first time i've got you covered. if your a more advanced player it's often a new technique, new approach, or simply taking what you already know and doing something else with it that will take you to the next level. I LOVE TEACHING ALL AGES AND AM PARTICULARLY GOOD WITH KIDS
My name is Ken Kirschner. I'm a former studio musician , teaching pro and lifelong guitarist. i love teaching all ages, levels and most styles of musics. i'm equally at home on on acoustic and electric playing most every style of music, strumming and fingerstyle. Come to the village and experience first hand how a brilliant teacher can make it great for you ;D
I have been playing guitar for 26 years, and have experience playing and teaching practically every style of guitar, including fingerstyle, classical, folk, jazz, rock, blues, pop, country, and metal. I have been teaching guitar for almost 10 years. Let my experience and patience guide you on your way to mastering the guitar!
A lifelong musician and songwriter, Ian S. has extensive experience teaching guitar and piano to students age 3 and up both as a private music instructor and as a staff music instructor at the Institute of Music for Children. With 28 years of experience on the guitar and 32 years on piano, Ian has studied and performed with several award-winning music artists, and has written, recorded, and produced over one hundred songs. He plays and teaches a variety of styles on both the guitar and the piano, from classical to jazz to rock. Ian is patient, friendly, and loves sharing the gift of music.
Ian was the guitarist in the Princeton University Jazz Ensemble for 3 seasons, was selected from a nationwide pool of musicians to perform at a special music event at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and was the recipient of the New Jersey Gove
rnor's Award in Arts Education for the category of Instrumental Music.
*** Lesson Details *** I am very laid back and friendly, and I want you or your child to be as comfortable as possible during our lessons. You or your child will develop confidence and musical intelligence. I will make your lessons fun, enjoyable, and effective. Boredom is not an option! Music is fun... let's keep it that way.
The teaching methods I use will be custom-tailored to your individual needs, personality and specific musical goals. If it's guitar or piano you want to learn, I want to get you playing exactly what you want to be playing as soon as possible. That's what you're here for, and that's what I'm here for. I will make it happen. If it's songwriting that you want to learn, I will help you access that place inside of you that is dying to express itself creatively, and will teach you techniques to harness that energy and translate it successfully into musical expression.
You can expect to learn all the basics of music theory, proper playing techniques, improvisation and spontaneous musical expression, and I will help you develop your "ear" so you can figure out songs you like just by listening to them. This is all about you and your goals, and I want you to achieve them in a fun and engaging way.
*** Studio Equipment *** Living room: Upright piano, guitars, amps, keyboard, percussion
*** Specialties *** I specialize in pop, rock, classical, jazz, blues, folk, fingerstyle (guitar), etc. I also teach improvisation and songwriting, and try to develop the student's ear for figuring out songs they like on their own.
Ian is fantastic teacher. He was so patient with my toddler daughter. And when she became fuzzy during the class, Ian could be so creative to always come out with a way to calm her down and redirect her attention to other musical things. I would love him to be my daughter’s music teacher for as long as possible if I did not have to move.
October 12, 2019
Ian is very knowledgeable and is great in explaining theory and great in demonstrating so you can understand.
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, piano, ukulele, and bass 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 goals 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 mus
ic 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.
I strive to make learning music fun, regardless of age, style, and ability. I organize an annual recital to showcase my students' talents and hard work.
*** 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, piano, ukulele, and bass.
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.
Adam is a teacher par excellence. I am self taught from a well known book. I was doing well I thought until I got stuck. Adam gently showed me where I erred and made great suggestions for me to move on correctly. I never felt rushed or “ put down.” Adam was patient, open for questions, encouraging, comforting. I know I need much help to correct and advance in guitar from matters such as tuning, restringing, reading, and other things too many to write about. I look forward to my next lesson with enthusiasm.
July 20, 2017
Adam is prompt, professional and patient. He allows you to learn at your own pace and makes lessons fun by teaching popular songs.
I started playing acoustic guitar when I was seven years old. I have been playing and teaching mostly bluegrass, old time, Irish, blues, and swing jazz styles for many years. I have taught both privately and have also done various workshops at festivals. I have taught guitar multiple years for instance at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival in PA. My students learn to have fun with music. Students can work on rhythms, melodies, improvisation, song writing, getting into and/or hanging on in a jam session, etc.
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.
Learn all of the popular country songs you hear on the radio today!
My name is Chris B. and I've been playing music for most of my life.
The best lesson that I've personally learned is that a musician is never done learning. Once you start believing that you know everything there is to know about your instrument then you've stopped growing musically. Personally, I've also learned that I enjoy sharing my knowledge of music with others and exposing students to new techniques and concepts.
I strongly believe that these traits are the most important aspects of teaching music to others. No matter how advanced my playing skills might progress, I’ll always be able to relate to any type of student because I’m still learning something new everyday!
Awesome first lesson for our 14 year old daughter! She’s pumped to continue with Chris, and we’re pleased with the entire process so far.
June 26, 2019
I have been taking lessons from Chris for 5 years. He is very open to learn and teach all styles of music. in turn, allowing me learn and play music I though i never would. His guidance in "the technology" of music is also greatly appreciated.
The learning experience with Chris is top notch, never an issue with communication or punctuality.Always able to move around his busy schedule for the "adult" student.
I want to thank Chris for allowing to find my "Soul Mustard" He is the best you can find
April 11, 2019
Chris is an awesome instructor! He was patient and professional. I was truly a beginner and Chris helped me every step of the way. I would recommend him to anyone looking to pick up a guitar or further enhance your skills. Thanks for all the help!
I have taught guitar since 2012 and have been playing since 2000. I am happy to take students at the beginner and intermediate levels. I believe strongly in integrating music theory and ultimately moving students toward musical self-suffiency, rather than focusing exclusively on learning particular pieces.
Hi, there! My name is Ben and I can't wait to meet you! I've been teaching private lessons since 2012 and have taught students of all ages from 3 to adult. I have experience not just with teaching but also with writing, recording, and performing music in successful bands and on multiple instruments and in multiple genres. I am comfortable teaching piano, guitar, and bass guitar, ukulele, and I especially love teaching music theory. I have extensive theory training at the college level and have written and composed extensively in the classical, rock, jazz, and folk traditions. I look forward to meeting you and helping you to achieve your musical goals.
Ben has been instructing my 2 kids (now aged 11 and 9) in-home for at least 5 years. We started off with piano for the first few years but then switched to a combination of piano and acoustic guitar (half a session dedicated to each instrument).
He is patient, kind, and highly knowledgeable. I clearly see the upward trajectory in my kids' musical capabilities. One of my kids can be difficult to deal with, especially when he is tired, but Ben would mold his approach to the lesson on the spot to keep my kid engaged (e.g., instead of continuing the lesson on the actual piano, he'd switch to a fun music-oriented game).
September 4, 2019
I hadn't played a musical instrument since elementary school when I started Ukulele lessons with Ben. Ben started from the beginning, answered all my questions along the way, and built upon that information in each lesson. It wasn't in a didactic way, but in a way that was really customized to fit my Ukulele lesson goals. Ben's teaching style is very flexible also. I had some Ukulele lesson books I had been gifted and we worked from those. I didn't feel that I had to buy a bunch of additional equipment, books, etc.
I recommend Ben as a music teacher. He is understanding, encouraging, and inspirational. I am looking forward to continuing lessons with Ben and JC Instrumental.
August 28, 2019
Ben has been working with our daughter since January 2019, when she turned 6 1/2. He arrives at our home on time each week and he works with her at an age appropriate level. We appreciate that he recognizes the effort she puts into the weeks when she practices often and he gently makes her aware when she hasn't practiced enough. He always speaks with her in a kind way and with us in a collaborative manner. We all want her to enjoy her piano experience, and we are thankful to have found Ben just a few blocks away from our home.
Guitar lessons are a fun, laid-back, and encouraging experience for anyone to pursue. My lessons are specifically designed to accomplish the goals of the student, whether it's as simple as playing along with your favorite songs, or obtaining the musical foundation to begin writing your own songs. Former students have thanked me for being laid-back, non-rigid, and down to earth. My diverse musical background lets me offer students of any genre a fast track to learning the skills they desire, and having fun along the way as well!
With 10 years of live band experience, 8 years of music composition, and 7 years of teaching guitar, I offer vast expertise and a large musical background for very affordable rates! My lessons are described by former/current students as being laid-back, detail-oriented, and very encouraging. My students range in age from 8 years old to adults in their 30's. You can always learn something new!
Most of my musical experience has entailed Rock, Indie-Rock, Blues, Acoustic, Bossa Nova, and Experimental/Contemporary. If students are looking to expand into a genre which I am not necessarily familiar with, I am always able to examine and learn the material myself in order to pass along to the student.
My students always decide the curriculum and pace which they would like their lessons to held at. I make sure to break the lesson down into simp
le, fundamental bullet points so that students do not find themselves lost or confused. Overall, my combination of friendly attitude and communication skills means that all my students get a lesson they enjoy, remember, and improve with.
"Francesca is a wonderful teacher! She's very knowledgeable but shares that knowledge in a way that's easy to understand. I've been an amateur musician f
or over forty years and I've read a lot of books and watched a lot of videos. None of them explained the concepts we went over during our class as clearly and simply as Francesca. In fact, one of the things she explained had been staring me in the face for twenty or more years! She pointed it out and I had a "duh!" moment! She also has a great way of putting a student at ease and making you feel comfortable with her right away. It didn't feel like our first lesson together. Thank you, Francesca!"
"My first lesson with Ben was great. He got straight to what I was interested in learning and even helped me figure out the chords to a song I've been want
ing to play. Can't wait to learn more :)"
"I've been working with Ahmad for a little more than 2 years. I'm one of those folks that had the intention to learn guitar for many years, but never got
over the hump. The Summer that I started taking lessons with Ahmad, it really took off for me. He's fantastically talented and skilled, but he makes it clear that his abilities came with a ton of work, and he gives you a system to get the best results out of your own practice time. He'll work with you on any song, and seems to have a taste for just about any genre of music (especially if its got some good guitar). He'll teach you some theory and get you to read music, but patiently diet this out while recognizing your excitement to learn songs (at least, this is what I'm putting him through, and I imagine others would to). He'll give you practical drills for learning scales, chords, rhythm, etc., and find ways to overlay them so you can start to stitch things together. "Putting it all together" is still a work in progress for me, but I've been pretty happy with the results over the past 2 years, and I've iteratively "ratcheted up" my expectations for where it can all go, heavily due to Ahmad's encouragement. I hope to keep getting lessons from him for a long time!"
"Amazing Teacher with 40 plus years of teaching"
"Very excited about her lesson plan."
"Greg is awesome! He teaches you the basics and will teach you the songs you WANT to learn! It was an awesome experience to learn for him!"
"I have been taking guitar lessons with Ahmad Since 2011. Music has always been important to me and my lessons with Ahmad have been a continual source of i
nspiration and joy. I love Ahmad's musical philosophy and regardless of what I'm interested in he is always able to help me better myself. I continue to be very busy in my life but always find myself coming back to music. Through taking lessons with Ahmad I have been able to achieve many of my musical goals and know that if I keep practicing I will be able to achieve even more of my goals.
Ahmad is extremely talented, intelligent, and friendly and is always there to support me in whatever new musical concept I wish to learn next. He can help anyone looking to better themselves in a wide variety of areas regardless of the style of music you are interested in. I have been studying country and jazz with him primarily, as my goal is to be able to write my own music and put together a band some day. I have no intention of stopping music lessons with Ahmad as they continue to be something I look forward to every week. Anyone would be lucky to have such a great teacher."
"Jordan was very helpful right from the start. He listened to me on where I am at and where I want to be. He showed me a few things that we will work towar
ds and then helped me understand my instrument much better. Gave me some fun new things to practice before the next lesson. If you're looking for a lesson that is interactive and fun I recommend Jordan and the online thing is supper easy and handy. I don't think it could have gone any better. The lesson was 45 minutes and it felt like 10."
"I had the pleasure of having Adam instruct me the basics of acustic country guitar for a few months. By the end of the lesson , I was able to play three s
ongs from start to finish and was really happy about that! Adam is patient and skilled and I would definitely book him again for another session."