Derek Stoeckmann

Derek S.

Tempe, AZ

About Derek S.

Background check: Last verified 09/05/2016
Derek passed a background check on 09/05/2016 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
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Derek teaches: Ages 8 to 88
Teaching since: August 2005
Last sign in: 2 days ago


Hello there!

I love music! To me, it truly is a universal language, and nothing else can capture and express emotion quite like it. Ever since I picked up a guitar 15 years ago, I've been on a quest to learn and speak the language of music. One discovery I have made along the way is that I love teaching it to others, too!

Over the past 10 years, I've been busy immersing myself in music. The excitement of performing live on stage, the pride of writing a song that touches someone, the reward of watching a student learn something new—these are the things that fuel my passion. My dream is that my students will one day be able to experience these things!

I've been teaching guitar lessons for over 5 years, and I just recently graduated from ASU with a B.S. in psychology. Also, I am co-founder, producer, and engineer at an independent recording studio in Mesa, AZ. This broad range of experience makes me confident that I have lots to offer for every student, beginning to advanced.

*** Lesson Details ***
"Give a man a fish, and you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime."

This is my mentality when it comes to lesson curriculum. There are a lot of things involved in being a well-rounded guitar player, and by only learning to play random radio songs, you're missing out on the big picture! That's why I am an avid proponent of teaching music theory, note reading, music terminology, improvisation, songwriting, and more. These are the things that will feed you musically for a lifetime!

After just six months of taking lessons with me, students will have a firm grasp on the fundamentals of music, and they will be able to apply that knowledge to the songs they play. Students will also know how to play the guitar with proper technique due to scale knowledge, finger strength/dexterity exercises, and effective practice habits. They will even know about guitar maintenance, such as how to restring a guitar.

Lessons with me will truly allow you to understand every dimension of the guitar and musicianship!

*** Specialties ***
Guitar is my number one specialty—particularly classic rock, alternative rock, and popular styles, with a strength in bluesy solo technique. I have a modern teaching style, and I am very up to date with current music trends. I tend to focus on practical and transferable music skills—you know, the things that allow you to play with other musicians, learn new instruments, and be truly creative on the guitar! I am very adept in subjects related to real world music knowledge and application, such as songwriting, music theory, music recording, and music performance. Whether you're a hobbyist wanting to strum your way through folk classics, or a future musician looking to write songs and start a band, I have a way to make you love playing the guitar!

Photos and Videos


Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Aug 2008 - May 2010
Arizona State University

Languages Spoken

Fluent / Native Proficiency

21 Reviews on Derek S.

Write a Review
Owen S. Apr 13, 2017
· Guitar · In home
Derek is patient and friendly. His knowledge keeps each lesson interesting and he makes lessons fun but educational. We really enjoy him.
Mark Mar 22, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Derek was amazing! In the first lesson I learned more then I have in months with others. I felt he really took the time to understand where I was, and what would help me most. I didn't feel rushed and the way he explained concepts was amazing.

He is obviously a talented musician but has the ability to take that knowledge and make it accessible and understandable.

I would highly recommend Derek for any level of guitar player.
Brad R. Mar 21, 2016
· Guitar · In studio
Derek is a fantastic instructor! He is patient, and he will teach you how to play the songs you love to hear, without shortcuts. You will learn to play guitar. All you need is determination! I began my first leaaon with Derek having never even held a guitar before, and after 3 lessons, we are starting to learn songs from my favorite band!
Blaise D. Feb 7, 2016
· Bass Guitar · In home
Suburb teacher. Caring and truly helpful. Plus the guy is really a talented musician.
Cole K. Oct 4, 2015
· Guitar · In studio
LOVE Derek. I'm comvinced this is one of best teachers you will find.... Great musician is general, he can play ANYTHING. He works at a great place and teaches you stuff you want to learn. Five star rating in my books.
Luke S. Oct 3, 2015
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Derek is a fantastic instructor! He takes his time and is very engaging in every lesson. After only taking a handful of lessons with him, I have a better understanding of my instrument, but also music in general. I highly recommend Derek as an instructor for anyone, whether you are a beginner or an experienced mysician.
Steli K. Aug 3, 2015
· · In studio
My daughter like his personality and experience. Recommend!
Wynter H. May 17, 2014
· Bass Guitar · In studio
Derek is an awesome instructor and mentor, and his studio is comfortable and clean. I agree with previous reviewers who said... BOOK HIM NOW!

Derek has a broad range of music theory knowledge and can play anything you ask for. He's also amazingly kind and supportive, adapting to the student's needs as you go along rather than adhering to a rigid schedule.

I've been taking bass guitar lessons with Derek for two months and I feel inspired. He always makes me feel like a rock star, while constantly challenging me to take my skills to the next level. I originally debated between two instructors on this site and I'm so glad I made the right choice!
Mark T. Aug 17, 2013
· Guitar ·
Great teacher - book him

I took lessons with Derek summer 2013. Derek did a great job of answering all my guitar and music theory questions. The techniques I learned under Derek were inline with my music interests.

Derek always did a great job of communicating with email. He was very flexible with scheduling and I always felt comfortable learning in his in-home studio.

Derek can play anything and he is very easy to work with - highly recommended.
LYNND Jun 20, 2012
· ·
Fantastic Instructor!

In two lessons, Derek has simplified music for me and given me the tools to play a ton of songs already. I love that his lessons encompass some music theory, understanding of the instrument, and actual playing of a song. I feel like I learn something valuable each time. He gauges your skill level pretty well and delivers instruction at just the right pace. A fantastic instructor who presents music in a way that's easy to understand. I'm so glad I chose him as a guitar/ukelele instructor!
Derek Stoeckmann
Derek S.

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