Gary Rich
San Diego, CA
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Gary Rich

Gary R.

San Diego, CA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Profile-student-favorite Student Favorite
This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I teach song interpretation, telling the story of the song, vocal practice technics, improvisation, and ensemble singing.
I also include ear training and some theory as part of the voice experience.

About Gary R.

Hello, my name is Gary R. and I am a life long music instructor.
YES! I teach online and have been for years. If you would like to use your down time to learn something new, let's get started! Whether you are just beginning, or have been making music since you were a kid, you should know that private lessons are the quickest avenue to improvement. My lessons are designed for each student individually to maximize their experience. I enjoy teaching students of all ages. Advanced trumpet players are welcome too.
I also teach online using a several platforms, and have very successful students, including an all area jazz and all state jazz band trumpeter in Houston. I also have vocalists gigging, songwriters writing, and young pianists playing well!
I received my Bachelors and Masters degrees of Music Education from the University of North Texas, a University well known for their music school and famous graduates. I have performed with a number of bands since college. I am an alumnus of the Dallas Cowboy's band, The Funk Monsters, Idle Hands, Syntax, and many more DFW area groups. In San Diego, I host a jazz jam each month featuring some of the area's hottest players and have been heard at a number of venues with a variety of bands.
My primary expertise is teaching Trumpet or related brass instruments, vocal jazz, and piano for kids and adults.
Read my reviews, ask me questions, come hear me perform around San Diego, set some goals with me and lets get after it!


Write a Review
40 Reviews
Jill B.
Profile-location-online Online

Gary is cool

Posted Apr 10, 2020
Andy K.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Gary did a great job of getting me started on my first piano lesson. Learned a lot on my first day...hope I can measure up to my practice plan for the week! Bravo!

Posted Mar 7, 2020
John R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary's just fantastic. He has the knowledge and the attitude that makes learning both effective and fun. He's working with me to help learn the kind playing I want (mostly modern songs) but knows when to reach for other material to help learn important techniques.

Posted Jul 31, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

I can not say enough good things about Gary. Currently three of our children are taking online lessons with him. I will admit that I was very nervous about online lessons but Gary has been amazing. He has a way of communicating with our children, who range in age from 10-16, that gets his point across and inspires them. If you are looking for a brass teacher Gary is the one you want!

Posted Mar 19, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary is an Excellent instructor with patience and passion for teaching.

Posted Jan 7, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

He is very professional, skilled, and was clear and good with my 13-year-old son. I think he genuinely loves to teach.

Posted Jul 2, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I found Gary by chance, but not by accident. Music had been absent from my life for over a decade by the time I met Gary. To say he understands my soul is an understatement. Gary is no ordinary music instructor. He possess a gift for teaching something more than the technicalities of theory and notes. His style is unique and personalized partially due to his incredible life experience in the music industry but more so due to his keen intuition, talent, and true love of helping a musician reach their full potential. I highly recommend Gary to all those who desire to fulfill their musical dreams, whatever they may be. Gary will guide you on your musical journey.

Posted Jun 8, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary can support varying level of capabilities and has a similar story to mine. Stopped for a little while then started back up. He understands the fundamentals as well as as the advanced knowledge.

Posted Dec 13, 2017
Joel V.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary is an absolutely amazing teacher, he makes me feel extremely comfortable when singing and playing. He's helping me improve my overall music knowledge and focusing on what I personally would like to learn. I'd recommend anyone who might be a little shy to Gary because he's really helping me with mine.

Posted Sep 13, 2017
Emily and Kitty S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

gary was very funny and we felt comfortable with him :)

Posted Jul 15, 2017
Marylou D.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son took piano and voice lessons with Gary last summer. Gary is fantastic! He is very talented, patient, and kind, He is great at keeping a child's attention and varying the lesson so that the child is not bored. I would definitely recommend Gary for music lessons.

Posted Jun 13, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary is so patient with me. I couldn't ask for a better teacher.

Posted May 13, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I have been taking lessons with Gary for three years now and i really like him. I think he is fun/funny wile still taking trumpet seriously. He helps me with band work and has also been teaching me jazz and other useful skills. I am in sixth grade and in the highest band level, symphonic band, wile all of the other sixth graders are in intermediate. i am in seventh chair out of 15 chairs and all seventh and eighth graders. I would strongly recommend Gary

Posted Mar 11, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I came to Gary looking to improve my singing. I had been invited to join a group singing sea shanties. Not Jazz, but Gary was able to help me from the very start. He knows music, and he is an excellent teacher! I can hear the difference that his lessons have made in my singing voice. Patient, good at explaining to me what I need to learn, patient. I recommend him to anyone.

Posted Mar 2, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary has been great. My son really enjoys playing the trumpet and looks forward to his lessons with Gary. That is a very different experience from my music lessons as a kid. Gary is a true musician with a thorough understanding of many music styles. He's very patient and has a great temperament for working with kids. My wife and I aren't musically inclined and really needed the help getting our son on his way musically. He's now the best in his school band, and again, he really loves it and enjoys his lessons with Gary.

Posted Nov 22, 2016
Morgan M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son came home from his first lesson with Gary, and was thrilled! He loved his lesson and actually asked me if he could go MORE frequently to take lessons from him. When does a kid ever ask to take more lessons!? My husband was equally impressed and we couldn't be happier. Thank you Gary & thank you

Posted Nov 14, 2016
Profile-location-home Student's Home

(Raquel purchased lessons for me, Paul. I am the writer of this review)
Gary's piano lessons have been wonderful. He was able to easily adapt his teaching to account for the knowledge I already had going into the lessons. His exercises were what I needed: simple and skill-building while being interesting and fun. He has set me up well for self-study and I highly recommend him for music learners of all skill levels.

Posted Nov 14, 2016
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Gary is a great trumpet teacher. He is a really cool guy who is patient and makes playing the trumpet a lot of fun. Every week he gives you the right amount of work so that you progress at a good pace without being overwhelmed. I have been having a really good time and highly recommend Gary if you are considering trumpet lessons.

Posted Oct 28, 2016
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Taking lessons with Gary R. has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience for me!! He met me at my level of ability and inspired me to discover my own style of singing the songs that I wanted to sing!! I also learned some very helpful breathing/vocal techniques and lots of cool stuff about jazz standards...Highly recommended!

Posted Oct 1, 2016
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Gary is great with my teen son. He is extremely flexible with my son's school and sports schedule. He is tough enough without being too tough - in other words he makes my son like the piano more where his prior piano teacher was discouraging and made him not like it. I highly recommend him.

Posted Sep 8, 2016
Mark L.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary is an extraordinary diagnostician. He can tell the student exactly why the sound that came out of the trumpet was not what the student wanted -- and then he can focus the student on the precise steps that the student can take that will permit the student to improve.

Posted Aug 31, 2016
Profile-location-online Online

I had not picked up my trumpet in over 30 years. Gary did a great job of analyzing old bad habits and encouraging good new ones. He is patient, very punctual, listens well, and overall very good to work with. Highly recommended.

Posted Jun 5, 2016
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Very friendly and very knowledgeable. Very fun lessons! Highly recommended.

Posted Jun 2, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary is an amazing teacher, the best I've had. He not only knows what he's doing, but he is very adept at explaining in a way that I can understand. Currently he is teaching my brother trumpet, my sister French horn and me trombone. We are all learning at incredible rates and we all started at different levels. On top of that, we can all tell that he really cares about us and wants to help us do well in all of our individual musical endeavors. He is helping my brother with jazz improv, my sister with tone and me with musical arranging. It is very personalized and that's what makes him a great teacher.

Posted Mar 27, 2016
Joanna M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

He is a very kind and professional teacher. Very concern and focus on what we want to get. Friendly, respectful...

Posted Feb 16, 2016
Isabella G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary was such a wonderful teacher! He was so helpful and really enjoyable to work with too. Definitely learnt a lot and developed skills I hadn't had before. I would highly recommend him as an instructor!

Posted Feb 11, 2016
Profile-location-online Online

I was really not sure how online music lessons work at first, but right after my 13-yr-old first practice, this concern disappeared. Gary immidiately picked up his level and everything went so good. Now my son is very excited for this new style of lessons and asked me to get new textbooks that he was recommended and looked so thrilled. Gary is such an amazing teacher!

Posted Nov 6, 2015
Kai S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary has been very patient and creative with my 6 year old son. He is a fantastic instructor, and a very nice guy to work with. Thank you, Gary!

Posted Oct 14, 2015
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

He deserves more than 5 stars. Gary has gotten me to the point where I'm surprised when I hear myself sing. He has some clever ways to draw me out of my comfort zone. He also gets in to the history of what I'm learning, not just the technical aspects. The lesson truly doesn't feel like work and I look forward to it every time.

Posted Sep 11, 2015
Daphne H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary 's lesson was much more than I anticipated. I found it fun and challenging but not overwhelming

Posted Sep 8, 2015
Steve S
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary is extremely knowledgable and a great communicator of complex musical ideas and concepts. He has a way of breaking things down into "easy to understand" bite size pieces. This allows anyone to comprehend and master the rules of music in a third of the time other teachers have taken to teach the same information. He is professional, personable and an all around great teacher .
He has taught my daughter as well. We study songwriting together.
I highly recommend Gary!

Posted Jul 18, 2015
James M.
Profile-location-online Online

He is a great teacher! He has great understanding of the student's needs. Recommend!

Posted Jul 10, 2015
Tim G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary is a natural. He asked me about my goals and designed not just a custom lesson plan, but a tailored approach based on my learning preferences. That's what I was looking for.

Posted Jun 23, 2015
Aaron S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary is the bomb! Super friendly, professional, and knowledgable. Really helped me through learning some vocal jazz and even helped with my songwriting and composition skills. Feeling a lot more competent as a well-rounded musician after some lessons with him. Thanks G!

Posted May 21, 2015
Jordan M.

Gary is a great musician and a wonderful communicator. If you go to the jam sessions around San Diego you will probably catch him playing trumpet or singing and tearing it up. I've really enjoyed getting to work with a guy who has vast knowledge about many different aspects of the music making process - from gear, to business, to creativity, and technique - he knows what he's talking about :-)

Posted May 18, 2015
Jennifer W.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Gary is a fabulous teacher and a great person! His ear and ability to really get into the groove of a jazz improv solo is amazing, and his helping me to do the same has been invaluable to my jazz journey. Gary is also a creative songwriter with a real talent for wordplay! Highly recommended to anyone of any ability - you can't go wrong with Gary Rich!

Posted May 4, 2015
Ashlyn H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

He does an amazing job of helping me correct my playing.
He has helped me improve my embouchure, lip slurs, and breathing for playing
trumpet. He explains and teaches things about trumpet to me and my mom in a way that we can understand and so that she can help me at home. We highly
recommend him as a trumpet teacher.

Posted Apr 9, 2015
James M.
Profile-location-online Online

I have had several other trumpet teachers before, but Gary is the best! He has shared with me processes to improve my playing that are literally "trade secrets" from top level trumpeters that are helping me to take my trumpet playing to a whole new level. My wife is ecstatic at how good I sound! She even enjoys listening to my warm up exercises! I find Gary to be very responsive to my needs and adept at spotting where I need to improve. I could not recommend him more highly!

Posted Dec 1, 2014
Joe G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Gary made an immediate connection with my 9 year old daughter keeping her focused and excited for her lessons. His lesson plans are structured yet flexible enough to get the most out of our time while still having fun. He has a contagious passion for music and the horn, we couldn't imagine having a better instructor to work with

Posted Nov 30, 2014
Steven S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I play in a rock band that wanted to add some Sinatra type jazz songs to our repertoire. I was tasked to play bass with which I had very little experience. I decided to take some lessons with Gary to learn a little jazz theory and technique. He was a wonderful teacher. He focused in on exactly what I needed quickly and pointed me toward resources that I could use to improve. Despite my limited abilities, Gary was always patient and displayed good humor. When I needed him to write a bass line for me quickly so that I could take it on vacation, he made the time to make sure that I had what I needed. I enjoyed our lessons and recommend him highly. Gary is a teacher who truly cares about his students.

Posted Oct 17, 2014

Photos & Videos

7 Photos & Videos


private music teacher
Jan 1981 - Present

Gary R. San Diego Music Man

I moved to San Diego in January 2014 and am currently teaching private lessons for trumpet, trombone, french horn, piano, Jazz vocal coaching, and songwriting. Now that I have been in San Diego a while, I can report that my students are thriving! Take lessons in a relaxed atmosphere, where positivity resides!

Music Retail
Oct 1990 - Oct 2013

R. Music

During these years, I owned a Music Store, managed for others and taught in my store's music studios.

Jan 1981 - May 1987

Southlake, Irving, and Dallas ISD

I taught private lessons at several schools and took all brass students. (grades 5th-12) I had about 65 kids per week to instruct between all of the schools I worked with.


Masters Music Education
Jan 1981 - Jun 1984

University of North Texas

Bachelors Degree in Music Education
Sep 1978 - Dec 1981

University of North Texas



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Texas Teacher lifetime certificate
Jan 1981

State of Texas

This certificate came following the completion of my music education degree. It allows me to teach all levels in Texas for life.


Retailing excellence
Apr 1994

Music Trades Magazine

Sep 1979

The University of North Texas

Jimmy Hammerstein Scholarship
Apr 1979

Sigma Alpha Mu

Outstanding music student
Jun 1978

Richland jr College


American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Apr 2005
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a membership association of more than 480,000 US composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers. The ASCAP is committed to nurturing music makers throughout their careers.
National Association of Music Merchants
Nov 1990
NAMM is the not-for-profit association that promotes the pleasures and benefits of making music and strengthens the $17 billion global music products industry. NAMM's activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages.

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