I've played guitar since I was eight years old and various other stringed instruments for several years. I love the banjo sound and played a bit on my original album Heliotropism. I'd love to help novice players get their feet wet with the instrument, strumming and plucking away at their favorite songs.
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)
-5 string Bluegrass (Earl Scruggs technique) -Tenor banjo (plectrum techniques) -Plectrum banjo (plectrum techniques) -Bluegrass, Country, Blues and Folk -Gullah Geechee, North Indian classical music and other world music rhythms
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.
I teach the five string banjo from the beginning, I use the book "Bluegrass Banjo Level One by Edward T Wing. This is a great progressive method for learning banjo. I teach all the right hand picking and left hand fingering techniques for learning to be a great banjo player. You will enjoy this study. Banjo is great fun.
I have been teaching music for over fifty years. I have taught many professional teachers and students over the years. I have played professionally in Many Classical and Jazz groups. My quick start method gets beginners playing music right away. I studied classical violin from Don Samuleson, Professor at Western Washington College during my Junior High and High School years. I also studied from Lamar Barus at Ricks College and Paval Farcus at the University of Redlands and from Leslie String of the Redlands Symphony. I studied Classical guitar from Seko Sessoko a Brazilian guitar player and Jazz guitar from Studio musicians Howard Roberts, Joe Pass and Horace Hatchett. I have played violin in the Bellingham Junior High School Orchestra, the Bellingham High School Orchestra, the Ricks College Orchestra, the University of R
edlands College Orchestra, the Riverside Symphony, the Palomar Symphony, and the North Coast Symphony in San Diego. I am currently playing with the Timpanogos Symphony in Highland Utah. I played guitar with the Woody James big band and with the big band and hall of fame orchestra. I've played classical guitar for weddings and dinner parties. I played guitar with the variety band "Sound Investment" and other rock, blues and jazz bands My theater performance experience includes play violin for Annie, Hello Dolly, Chess, Cinderella and more. I also played guitar in theater performances of Les Miserable, Man of La Mancha, Hairspray, Marvelous Wonderettes, and Catch Me if You Can. My studio, The Speedy Beers Music Studio is a highly professional studio equipped with computer, recording equipment and video lighting and camera for making highly professional videos. I teach all styles of music on the guitar and violin including classical, jazz,rock, blues, country, folk and fiddle. I have a strong back ground in applied music theory that works for all instruments. I have a Bachelors degree from the University of Redlands and I have studied privately from some of the best teachers in the world.
Beginner banjo lessons. Basic technique, chords, strumming. So much fun playing songs! Disclaimer: I am not a traditional bluegrass player. I am finding many students nowadays that enjoy the sound of banjo, but want to play modern music with it. I have had a great deal of success with this type of student, but advise anyone looking for traditional scruggs lessons to seek that out. Thanks!
- 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 17 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 of 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, Metallic
a, 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.
Daniel is very knowledgeable and kind. He understands student's strength and weakness and also the areas to focus on. I am a beginner and have self learned on and off for a few years. Daniel teaches progressiveIy and I throughly enjoyed my first session with him!
June 19, 2019
Great first lesson
May 18, 2019
Daniel is a fun and easygoing instructor who tailors to your needs, adapting to your musical interests as well as your preferred lesson style. And it is clear that he has years of teaching experience under his belt. He has also helped me improve my music theory understanding, which has become rusty over the years. I couldn’t have asked for a better instructor.
Banjo is very different from most other instruments, and requires a special technique. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you must project the melody, and everything else comes from that.
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!
I have been teaching banjo since 2007 and can guide a student with folk/ bluegrass/ old timey and pop.
TEACHING MISSION: Capture the joy of playing music. Inspire continual playing and/or practice, regardless of student's lifestyle/career choices. I start the first lesson with a student wish list (songs, goals, etc) and every lesson we take significant steps towards the goals.
Derek is a very knowledgable instructor, easy to talk to, and I found his teaching technique is very motivating. He set realistic practice goals for the next session, which will require me to do my part, but that's the reason we show up, to learn how to play a musical instrument.
I highly recommend him.
March 15, 2019
Derek was very helpful! No time was wasted! Awesome 1st lesson!
I have been playing banjo for about four years now as a supplement to my guitar playing. It has a been a real joy learning the different styles and techniques.
I absolutely love teaching music! After over 20 years of teaching, performing, writing, and recording in all styles/genres, it continues to be a great adventure. It is a joy to pass this on to others...especially seeing my students that never touched the instrument going on to be very proficient players.
I take teaching seriously, but definitely try to make it enjoyable for the student. I studied classical guitar in college, but was playing everything from Van Halen to Jazz to Country & Blues before that. Currently, I'd consider myself a flat out musical mutt...enjoying anything and everything. The love of guitar has also expanded to a multitude of instruments that I record, gig, & teach with.
I can teach five string bluegrass, old time or folk banjo playing or four string tenor banjo. I can give you the basics of chords as well as the types of right hand technique you need to pick or pluck.
Benjamin Engel is a percussionist and mandolin player from North Carolina. Coming out of a folk music tradition he has expanded his interest into the world of electronic music, free improvisation and world music. He most recently visited Dublin to work with composer Cal Folger Day on a historical Operetta. He has performed in long standing Brooklyn Based bands like Free Advice, Eamon Fogerty band and the Wyndham Baird band. His newest projects include collaborations with violinist/vocalist Concetta Abbate and sound artist Ted Robinson, in addition to his original music under the moniker Chemical Bags.
"Damien's love of music fortifies his abilities to share what is possible in his students' achievements; me included! For over a year I have pursued learn
ing banjo, which Damien's encouragement through patient teaching, has fulfilled my goal of being comfortable with this difficult instrument. Thank you, Damien, for believing anyone can try to learn something new, even at seventy-two!"
"Easy to learn with Michael's instruction method"
"My first lesson with Linda was great. She is very patient and very knowledgeable."
"I am so glad I found Edwin on line. I live only one mile from him. I just turned 80 and wanted to learn an instrument. Edwin is so patient in understand
ing I might be a bit of a slow learner. I will recommend Edwin to anyone interested in learning or inproving their skills with any string instrument. Thanks Edwin Jim"
"Eager to break down theory and provides a clear lesson plan."
"Great first lesson"
"Michael is very patient. He is a fabulous teacher."
"David is on time, well prepared, flexible with scheduling and he tailors his lessons to his student’s wants and needs. Our 12 year old grandson enjoys his
Loud, jangly, and twangy, the banjo is an instrument with a distinctive voice that immediately evokes the spirit of the American South. Long a mainstay of bluegrass music, banjos have recently been incorporated into pop music as well by bands like Mumford and Sons.
And, if YouTube trends are any indication, it looks like the banjo is making another genre shift!
A pack of viral videos featuring banjo covers of hard rock classics are making the rounds and proving that banjos can shred just a …