- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
- Teaches students:
- Ages 13+ and special needs
- Teaching since:
- July 1991
Hi, my name is Blake. I teach guitar, piano, and singing online and at my Lowell, Indiana studio.
I have been a professional musician - session musician and teacher for 26 years. I was formally trained at the American Conservatory of Music and the Chicago Musical College, both located in Chicago. I won the Presidential Scholarship in Classical Guitar Performance at the American Conservatory of Music and another full-ride scholarship in Classical Guitar Performance to attend the Chicago Musical College.
My primary Classical Guitar Instructor at both institutions was Paul Henry. I also studied Rock Guitar with Dave Uhrich while attending both institutions and privately studied Jazz Guitar with Scott Reed. I studied voice with Audrey Evans at the American Conservatory of Music and Robert Long at the Chicago Musical College.
I have participated in Classical Guitar Master Classes with:
• Hubert Kappel
• Dale Kavanagh
• Eleftheria Kotzia
• Bruce Holzman
• Stephen Aron
• Raphaella Smits
• Richard Provost
• Nicholas Goluses
• William Buonocore.
*** Lesson Details ***
I design lessons individually according to the needs and "wants" of each student. I specialize in developing and correcting technique to improve the student's overall skill. Students that dedicate the time and effort each week to practicing see rapid and sustained results.
However, if you have a busy life and merely want to learn guitar for personal enjoyment, I will design your lessons to develop your skill at a pace that works for you, which can fluctuate according to your schedule.
***Young & Special Needs Students***
I currently teach children as young as 13 years old and adults of any age. When teaching younger children and individuals with special needs, it is significantly beneficial for parents to attend each lesson - I have parent seating available. When parents attend lessons, the parent can assist the younger student while practicing during the week at home.
In my experience, the overall musical development and progress of younger students improve at an increased rate and thoroughness when parents are involved.
***Thoughts on Musical Talent***
Musical talent is a gift. However, correct technique is not easily acquired without proper instruction. Your skill level eventually plateaus, and your ability to learn and perform more complicated music is inhibited unless you have a solid foundation in music theory as it applies to your instrument(s) as well as proper technique.
I can help you build this solid foundation and will guide you through the development of musical skills; correcting flaws in technique is my specialty.
TakeLessons Articles I've Written:
Tips for Parents: Help Your Child Succeed in their Music Lessons
Improving Guitar Technique
Why Piano Theory is Important for ALL Musicians
Guitar Basics: Technique
How to Play the Song "Breathe" by Ana Nalick on Guitar
When I have availability, I substitute teach for the school district -- Tri-Creek School Corporation -- in Lowell, Indiana, which is the town I live in and six of my seven children attend school.
Music instruction for guitar, voice, keyboard/piano, aural skills/sight-singing, and drumkit.
Tr-Creek School Corporation in Lowell, Indiana (the public school system)
Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) is the America's leading classical guitar organization founded in 1973 at the National Guitar Convention sponsored by the American String Teachers Association (ASTA).
The NTA was formed in 1992 for the purpose of establishing a membership organization for tutoring professionals. The NTA is dedicated exclusively to tutoring, and represents the interests of thousands of tutors in the U.S. and thirteen other countries, practicing in all phases of tutoring, program administration, and supplemental student services.+ Read More
One of three United States performing rights organizations, along with ASCAP and SESAC. It collects license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. In FY 2013, BMI collected more than $944 million in licensing fees and distributed $814 million in royalties.+ Read More
Blake not only knows his stuff but he also knows how to teach. Phenomenal teacher.
Great experience, easy to talk to, smart in his field of work.
Blake is incredibly knowledgeable and his own skill, knowledge, and teaching abilities astound me. Since I've been going to him I've been improving greatly. He's very nice and easy to talk to
Very helpful, very patient and a nice guy.
He is a great instuctor, he is professional, polite and patient. All around he is a fun guy to have as my teacher but also keeps focus on the task. I would recommend him to anyone
He was very helpful in my voice range, I didn't even know how high or low I could go. He was very funny and nice. I am excited for our next lesson
Really loved his teaching style and his interest and knowledge in the subject! Can't wait to learn more from him!
Blake is great, extremely friendly and knowledgeable. This man by far will be my go to guy from now on in the field of guitars. I am a novice left hander with a left handed guitar, even that was not a problem for him. Also the price is amazing considering how good he is.+ Read More
Blake has been an amazing instructor for my two boys! My boys are 9 & 10 years old and they are learning so quickly!! We were doing lessons in Blake's home until my work schedule got too hectic and he was VERY flexible and offered Skype lessons and the boys LOVE IT! Thanks Blake for all you do! You're the best!+ Read More
I can't say enough about Blake. He is very patient and positive when trying to learn new skills. He does not just make me follow "the" program as a lot of teachers do. He will help me with what I want to learn and still teach me what I need to know to accomplish my goals. I can't say enough about him as a teacher. Nice guy, patient and makes we feel very comfortable gives me confidence to move forward with learning how to sing.+ Read More
Not only do we love the convenience of online lessons, but we also love our instructor, Blake! Besides his patience and enthusiasm for my 9yo son, who is learning to play the drums with Blake, his communication and flexibility are second to none, which is very important to this busy homeschooling mom. I wondered how effective online lessons would be, and it's been fabulous. Blake and my son hook up with Skype, so they can see each other, talk and form a relationship, making the instructions all the more effective. I highly recommend takelessons.com and of course, Blake. :)+ Read More
I appreciate that he is tailoring his lesson approach to my particular goals.
Blake has been a wonderful teacher for my daughter. Not only is he very knowledgeable in guitar and singing, but he has been very accommodating for any and all of our scheduling needs. We live out of the country, and he has been more than helpful with changing schedules. His price is very reasonable. I would suggest him to anybody!+ Read More
Blake is very patient with my son who has a short attention span. He will even go out of his way to find music that will inspire him instead of teaching the standards that would bore him to tears. We received a few lessons as a gift and have continued to go to Blake because we like him and he is making a difference in my son's life.+ Read More
He's amazing and works well with me according to my level in singing.
Blake deserves more than 5 stars, like 19 stars or more!! We drive an hour to get to Blake because it's worth the investment to learn from the best. Yes, we drive an hour up to SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK, because it is worth it!!
Besides Blake makes lessons so affordable, it only makes sense to get the BEST instruction for WAY more reasonable rates!! If we had kids, they would all go to Blake, because it is so important to TRUST your instructor, and it is a blessing to have someone with CHARACTER (moral/ethical) that you can trust with your child - he is a husband and father of SEVEN kids, so of course it just MAKES SENSE to send your kids here, he just knows what he is doing, thank goodness!!
Also, it is so EASY to have a 'one-stop-shopping' experience here. We do guitar, voice lessons, piano, ensemble work, etc. etc. etc. If your kid turns out to be totally GENIUS and starts writing his or her own songs, Blake actually has a RECORDING STUDIO right here, so you won't ever have the headache of trying to find someone else (who would probably be not as good and way more expensive anyway).
Yay, Blake!! We both agree he really cares about his students and wants to make an investment in their growth. If you are serious about wanting to learn music and are committed to practicing, you will have fun and learn a TON with Blake. Just go for it because it is so worth it!
Sometimes you just stumble across a blessing and have to thank your lucky stars that it's a complete no-brainer. If you have been one of the blessed ones that is stumbling upon this by 'accident,' believe us... it is no accident. God has just smiled down upon you... so thank Him, be grateful and sign up for classes before they are all full!! Your kids will thank you and think you are the BEST PARENT EVER!!
Blake is very knowledgeable adept at playing and teaching guitar. He makes the lessons fun and educational. He has helped me improve immensely in the time he has been giving me lessons. I highly recommend him if you are interested in pursuing guitar.
Blake is an outstanding teacher. I have over 20 years of experience playing guitar, but felt my playing had stalled. I did an extensive search for the right teacher, and found Blake. We talked the first time and I was impressed enough to make an hour-plus drive to meet with him. During our first lesson he identified weaknesses I knew I had (and try to cover up with some clever playing), as well as strengths, and put a plan together to get me moving, and it has.
Blake has done Skype lessons for every other time we work together. He has been great and I recommend him to all ages and players. He is approachable, kind, encouraging and effective. I have worked with many drum and guitar instructors over the years, and Blake is among the best.
My kids actually want to go to lessons!
We can't express how awesome it is to learn with Blake. My son and daughter have been working with Blake for about five years. It's important to remember that what your child learns is more than just stringing a few notes together for a song or two. It's a foundation of discipline, knowledge and confidence with universal applications. I see the confidence Blake inspires in both my son and daughter after each lesson. Both kids have grown to love and enjoy their instrument. My kids look forward to working with Blake every week. Yes, my kids want to go to lessons and I know it's because of Blake!
Blake is an excellent teacher who does a great job of balancing teaching the essential fundamentals with making the lessons enjoyable. He pays attention to the type of music you enjoy and ensures that the lessons move you closer to playing that type of music.
The space provided for the lessons is a nice balance of professional but still relaxing atmosphere.
Blake is an amazing teacher
My 11 year old son has been taking guitar lessons with Blake for almost 2 years now and we are both so impressed with Blake. My son likes and admires him and I believe that helps motivate him to continue with guitar. Blake relates well to children and his level of experience is far beyond what I could ever had hoped for in a teacher here in the small town of Lowell! We are lucky to have him :-)
Private Lessons with Blake
Not only is Blake a great teacher, but he's also a great fan of music. It shows in his personal repertoire and he's also able to draw upon a broad range of styles with his lessons.
Blake is even paced, adjusting his method and curriculum to match the students, individually. Pulling and pushing his students to be better musicians, he seems to enjoy teaching children as well as adults, on most levels of proficiency.
One of the things I appreciate most is his flexibility. He's compassionate about his student's responsibilities and obligations and works around the "real life dilemmas" that we all face, those things that keep most of us a lick or two below Hendrix.
I couldn't have asked for a better teacher!
Blake Clifford goes beyond the 'call of duty' & really takes the time to make sure that his students receive exactly what they need. The teaching environment is comfortable & relaxed with all of the professional resources you would expect & more.
With Blake Clifford you get real professional training - he knows what he's talking about, & he gets straight to the point. In just the little time that I've been taking classical guitar with Blake, I've learned so much. He teaches skills that you can actually apply - it's not just a bunch of theory, and that helps me out a lot by getting to the real 'meat' of the training fast.
I highly recommend Blake Clifford to anyone who is absolutely serious about improving their musicianship & getting over stubborn plateaus.