Evan Cordes

Evan C.

Brooklyn, NY

Lesson Details

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Evan teaches



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

Teaching since:
May 2007

I never knew I had any talent for music. My mom's guitar was too intimidating, with its long neck and all those strings. But when a new music store opened down the street, I had to check it out. My twelve-year-old eyes took one look at that ukulele hanging on the wall and immediately I was crunching the numbers in my head to figure out how many weeks I'd have to save up my allowance before I could take it home. 
Once the uke was in my possession, I wasted no time in learning how to play it. I quickly realized that playing music was not only easy, but a lot of fun! This realization excited me to a new passion for all kinds of music, such that I never would have imagined. Me and my uke were inseparable. We sometimes even shared a bed! 
Soon, I had moved on to learning guitar (which was so much easier once I could already play ukulele). It didn't seem so intimidating anymore, now that I had discovered through the ukulele how rewarding the experience of playing music can be.

Within a few short years, I was playing a broad variety of plucked strings, expanding on my skill set, and learning how all the different instruments fit together.  Now, I continue to perform on all of them in a broad variety of venues and genres. It makes me so happy to be able to share my passion with so many people!

I never knew I had any talent for music. Now I can help you to discover yours!  :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: 
Evan is a music student at Sarah Lawrence College. He is an active soloist, accompanist, and ensemble player. He studies classical and jazz guitar, and commands extensive knowledge of the history and theory behind both genres. His performance credits include various recitals and concerts on campus, as well as a number of professional solo shows.

The ensembles in which he is presently active include Baroque Ensemble, Bluegrass Ensemble, Blues Ensemble, and Guitar Chamber Ensemble. He has also participated in the chamber choir, and played a feature role with the Sarah Lawrence Orchestra on four string banjo for Rhapsody in Blue. 
He graduated from Pocono Mountain East High School with National Honors and and award of Distinction in Choir. There, he was active in the school jazz band, the concert band, the concert choir, and the vocal jazz ensemble. He was also selected two years in a row to represent his school in the prestigious District Chorus and one of those years went on to the Regional level. Even then he was very active in music outside of school, playing electric guitar each week in church and as a bassist in several informal rock groups. 
Evan has been teaching guitar to students of all ages and levels of experience for six years.

*** Lesson Details ***
The content and direction of lessons will address the needs and goals of each individual student. Beginning students, naturally, will be required to learn the basic techniques necessary to play their instruments, starting with tuning, but once the basics have been covered, the direction of the lessons will be tailored specifically to each student's personal interests.  All students will learn basic chord shapes. The essentials of melody and harmony. Once those have been mastered, the skill set will be expanded to playing barre chords and inversions up the neck using different groupings of strings and in all positions. Students will learn to read music (chord symbols, tablature or standard notation, as needed) and also to play by ear.  Not all guitar students need learn the classical approach. Where appropriate, we will devise a curriculum together based on the student's interests, whether they be pop, rock, country, singer/songwriter, bluegrass, blues or jazz; electric or acoustic; steel strings or nylon; flat picking or fingerpicking. Students will find me to be very flexible and versatile. It is important for each musician to discover his/her own voice. 
Classical guitar students will begin by learning to read music (standard notation) and by learning the correct way to pluck the strings. Strong emphasis will be placed on proper right hand and left hand technique. The student will also learn theory to whatever extent is appropriate. (For example, a ten-year-old needn't be able to identify a German Augmented Sixth chord or a whole tone melody, but should be able to tell the difference between major and minor.) Students will learn studies by Sor, Brouwer, Carcassi, Carulli, Giulliani, et. al., and solo/duet material by Dowland, Bach, Tarrega, de Falla, Villa-Lobos, and Piazzolla, just to name a few. Banjo students will learn rolls, fills, and the melodic style of playing. Once those skills have been mastered, the student will learn material that puts all of those skills together, most likely in the form of fiddle tunes at first, and then moving on to more advanced material. Emphasis will be placed on playing in time, improvising, playing solos, and playing backup. Students interested in playing clawhammer (frailing) style or tenor banjo will also be accepted. Mandolin students, after learning the basic chords, will learn barre chords and chop chords. We will also focus on a variety of right hand techniques such as simple strumming, chopping, sparkling cross-picking, and a clear, singing tremolo. Material will include fiddle tunes and country/bluegrass music, repertoire from the classical tradition of mandolin playing, some classical violin repertoire, jazz, and music from the pop/rock catalogue. 
Remember, what you get out of lessons is equal to what you put into them. Practice!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Spacious, well-lit music facility with various practice rooms, music stands, pianos... During the right hours there's even a library with various materials which I can help you access.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will come prepared with an instrument and any gear or teaching materials I'll need. Students, similarly, should provide their own instrument, book, and any gear they'll need to play with (picks, music stand, amp and cables for electric guitar, footrest for classical guitar, etc.) 

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Sound Engineer
May 2013 - Present
Ohm Acoustics

I design high quality audiophile loudspeakers. I learned from the best of the best.


Bachelor of Liberal Arts - concentration in Music
Aug 2010 - May 2014
Sarah Lawrence College


Professional Proficiency
Professional Proficiency

1 Review

Write a Review
Merrill G. Jul 29, 2014
Mandolin · In home

Wow! Evan has the skills of a teacher far beyond his years. He's young and fun but also patient, very aware and mature. His breadth of knowledge on the physical instrument (the way a mandolin is crafted), different notations (TAB, classical staff & learning by ear), the number of songs in his fingers he can teach is just amazing. I really recommend him as a mandolin teacher and can imagine he's fantastic on the other instruments he offers.

In my first lesson I gleaned SO much from him. He spent extra time with me and we had a great time just chatting after the lesson. For the week ahead I had a whole verse, chorus and a part A and part B of an instrumental to put together to form a very polished (licks and all) version of "Boil Them Cabbage Down" a famous bluegrass tune. I had not played previously so this kind of leap to a full and complex song which I was able to handle and wanted to learn was much appreciated. He let my ambition drive the lesson and didn't flinch. He encouraged me to interject if I wanted to go a different route. He let me figure things out, and write out the notation. We did what I think some teachers would take 4 lessons to do. This is the kind of pace I wanted to move at and he was right there with me. I wanted a lot to work on in between lessons and I got it. When we meet again I'll have my head around this full song and we can discuss how to perfect the sound in it and how to practice it until it's truly clean and up to performance quality.

He grew up moving around a lot as the son of a pastor and was always leading music groups of a wide age range of volunteer musicians at churches, arranging, teaching, rehearsing. That must have provided a good training ground for the expert private lesson teacher he is. I feel very fortunate to have found him online. I hope more people discover him on this site. I think they'll be very happy. He's great.

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