Dennis Benjamin

Dennis B.

Bethesda, MD

About Dennis B.

Background check: Last verified 07/01/2016
Dennis passed a background check on 07/01/2016 that included the following:
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Dennis teaches: Ages 12 and up
Teaching since: January 1987
Last sign in: 2 days ago

Overview

I have been teaching guitar for 25 years in the Washington DC metro area. I work with students 12 years of age and up, but I am especially experienced at teaching adult students regardless of whether they are beginners or have previous guitar experience. I have performed in acoustic Celtic, new age, funk, progressive rock, fusion and contemporary jazz groups and am currently performing regularly as a solo acoustic guitarist. I have composed over 40 works for solo guitar as well as numerous pieces for small jazz bands. I have played on numerous CDs including my most recent solo CD 'DARK MATTER'.

*** Lesson Details ***
I tailor the lesson materials to suit the interest of the student but I am dedicated to teaching students at any level to learn to better understand the fundamentals of the language of music. My teaching focuses on critical fundamentals of guitar technique including chords, scales and rhythm guitar playing as well as the art of improvisation. A significant amount of time in the lessons is spent actually playing with the students so that the technical concepts are put to use in real music situations. To further the student's understanding of music I frequently teach elements of music theory to those who are interested.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have guitars and amps available for student use although I prefer that the student bring their own instrument. I also have all the needed accessories, cables, stands etc.

*** Specialties ***
Adult students (and older teenagers ) whether beginners or experienced are a particular specialty of mine. Adult learners want to be treated as adults and often times benefit greatly from a more mentor oriented approach to teaching. I like to describe myself as both a teacher and a coach so as to emphasize that the student and I are on the same team sharing the goal of improving their guitar playing and musicianship. We are both on the same path of musical discovery. I am probably just farther along on that path with insights and knowledge that will hopefully help them along their way.

Photos and Videos

Experience

Guitar Instructor
Apr 1987 - Present
Music and Arts Center.

I have taught private guitar lessons for more than 25 years at Music and Arts in McLean Virginia. (I have given more than 25.000 guitar lessons over that period). As a performer I have played in bands in the Washington D.C. metro area and the New York metro area in various styles including folk/ new age, celtic, progressive rock, funk and contemporary jazz. I have composed numerous jazz songs and over 30 pieces for solo guitar. I also recently co-authored the book 'GETTING MUSIC' , a practical guide to music theory for popular styles of contemporary music.

Education

Bachelor of Music, Jazz Studies, (Summa Cum Laude)
Sep 1987 - Jun 1991
Howard University, Washington D.C.

12 Reviews on Dennis B.

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Juan Martin May 31, 2017
· Guitar · In studio Dennis has been my guitar teacher since May 2014, but he has really been much more than that. He has a great ability to create lessons that help you to understand the musical context behind the chords and notes. In the process of learning, you find yourself wanting to explore music theory and practice (not really two separate things in Dennis' world) even more, and I can honestly that I have learned so much not just from the guitar lessons themselves but but also from our conversations about music. If you want to make a long-term investment in learning the language of music and how it manifests itself on the fretboard and the vibrations of six steel/nylon strings, then I would recommend buying some of this stock!
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Michael Brannan Apr 15, 2017
· Guitar · In studio Lessons have really helped my playing, Dennis is a good guy.
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Alexander Miller Mar 8, 2017
· Guitar · In studio I'm 66 years old and I believe that Dennis is one of the most effective teachers in any field that I have experienced. I'm sure he is equally effective with any age level, but I know he is superb at teaching adult students. His approach to teaching makes it clear that he has a " roadmap" to learning the guitar that is much more effective and rewarding than just learning random chords. He is engaging, personable, supportive and very patient. I look forward to every lesson and I always leave energized and eager to work on the "next milestone" of the journey. I honestly cannot recommend him highly enough.
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Linda H. Feb 2, 2017
· Guitar · In studio I am a former singer and keyboard player who is trying to learn a new instrument, the guitar, and I just had my first lesson with Dennis last night. He is extremely knowledgeable and personable, and he made many great suggestions to counteract problems I was having. I love the exercises he gave me, which were designed to build on my own musicality (but which could build on anyone's innate and acquired knowledge of music), and am very much looking forward to the next lesson.
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Sam Sep 20, 2016
· Guitar · In home Dennis is the fourth guitar teacher I have had over the past 8 or so years. As a casual guitar player signing up for Dennis' lessons, I simply wanted to enjoy playing the instrument while also improving my technique. Having taken lessons with him for about a year now, I can confidently say that both of these goals have been fulfilled. My technique has definitely improved with Dennis more so than it had with any of my past teachers. Not only is he a good teacher, but he is also just an all around chill, good guy. I always look forward to my weekly lesson.
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Andrew McGehee Mar 4, 2016
· Guitar · In studio Dennis is professional, knowledgeable, and easily constructs a lesson plan tailored to your needs. Would recommend!
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Clay Jones Dec 3, 2015
· Guitar · In home After the first lesson I can tell this is going to go great! Dennis is very personable and easy to talk to, and communicate with. It is immediately apparent that he has a wealth of knowledge not just about guitar, but about music theory in general and I am so excited for what I will learn!

Also, he has a lovely home and his wife is so nice :) I felt right at home.

I definitely recommend Dennis to anyone who is considering lessons.
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Thomas P. Jul 2, 2015
· Guitar · In studio Dennis is a great teacher, he is effective, patient, passionate, I could not be happier, he has an excellent teaching style made me improve a lot. Highly recommended
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Ana C. May 28, 2015
· Guitar · In studio I found his teaching style very clear and rewarding; his approach seems to be especially effective for adults. He has sustained my attention for a long time, and has been very responsive to my learning needs (including special projects and questions) while keeping a very clear roadmap for learning music and the instrument.
He obviously has great musical talent, and his explanations and demonstrations are very clear. He has been super flexible and adaptable schedule-wise.
Overall, a pleasant, enriching and rewarding experience. Highly recommended!
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Edward M. Apr 24, 2015
· Guitar · In studio Dennis is a real musician and a great teacher.
Dennis Benjamin
Dennis B.

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