Crispin Swank

Crispin S.

Somerville, MA

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
If music is a creative outlet, then teaching music must follow suit! Every student requires a different approach, so I'm not going to plug you in to a teaching system that was built without you and expect you to (1) learn and (2) be excited. I'll work to capitalize on your individual strengths and talents, and we'll work together to find creative and useful ways to solve your harder problems. Let's make music!
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Crispin teaches



Crispin delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+ and special needs

Teaching since:
June 2009

Crispin S. is a guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter who specializes in early and contemporary music. Crispin teaches classical guitar, directs the early music ensemble NeumeMusic, manages the Oberlin Classical Guitar Association, and frequently performs as a freelance guitarist and vocalist.

In the last several years, he performed Bill Morrison and Michael Gordon’s Decasia in New York with Oberlin’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, premiered many student compositions, wrote and recorded an album, and toured Minnesota with a self-directed small early music ensemble to raise money for Doctors Without Borders. He has also volunteered for Equality Maine and Oregon United for Marriage.

In December of 2012, Crispin was awarded the Conservatory Initiative Grant Supporting Imagination and Excellence (CIGSIE) by Oberlin Conservatory to finance an independent research project in York, United Kingdom. While in the UK, Crispin worked with faculty at the University of York to create modern performance editions from early music manuscripts with special attention to paleography and music philology.

Crispin strives to communicate music with clarity, humanity, exuberance and self-awareness. Crispin studies classical guitar performance and politics at Oberlin College and Conservatory.

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Guitar Instructor
Sep 2011 - Dec 2014
Oberlin Conservatory


BM in Performance, classical guitar
Sep 2010 - Dec 2014
Oberlin Conservatory
BA in Politics
Sep 2010 - Dec 2014
Oberlin College


Limited Proficiency
Limited Proficiency

Photos & Videos

Photo by Crispin S.


3 Reviews

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Samuel F. Feb 17, 2015
Classical Guitar · In studio

I can't say enough good things about Crispin. He is a generous and attentive teacher who helped me to develop a deeper relationship with the guitar. I was introduced to ways of physically approaching the guitar which solved issues I had been harboring for years. He encourages a bold and expressive performance practice that truly helped to liberate the way I listen to as well as perform classical music.

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carm O. Feb 15, 2015

Crispin is a gifted classical guitarist and exceptional teacher who cares about his students. He is the reason why my son’s favorite instrument is the guitar. Crispin took the time to get to know and understand my son and the best way he learned. My son had 2 to 3 lessons a week, and in a year’s time, flourished on the guitar. Just last week, my son played in an event in front of 350 people. He did well. I attribute my son’s success on the guitar to Crispin. What a blessing.

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Porter J. Feb 4, 2015
Classical Guitar · In studio

I studied classical guitar with Crispin for about five months, and I couldn’t have hoped for a better teacher. Crispin is versatile, easy to work with and good at adapting to whatever your musical goals are. I went from being an absolute beginner to being able to play a simple Bach arrangement in a matter of months.
I would also add that Crispin is one of the most well-rounded musicians I know—so—you’re in Good Hands!

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