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Ian teaches

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About

Ian delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
and Ages 7+

Teaching since:
May 1994

Hi! Thanks for taking a look at my teacher profile. Here's a little bit about me and how I can help you become the musician you want to be.

I started playing the guitar at age 17. I was being paid to play guitar and hand drums for dance classes at his college by the age of 19, and was hired on to the guitar faculty of the Fairmount School of Music at the age of 24. I realized that I'd gotten good only partially through short bursts of discipline lasting up to 6 weeks or so before I had to relax and just have fun for a while, and that for most people, year-round discipline was impossible due to temperament or other demands on people's time. These observations led me to boil down a teaching approach I summarize like this: "The more you have your guitar in your lap, the better player you're going to become. The best way to keep the guitar in your lap is to be playing things that are fun. For you. While it is essential to have a certain amount of technique in order to have fun playing guitar, it's a mistake to always consider it a matter of primary importance. There are things to be learned through hours of enjoying the guitar that cannot be taught." I try to find what makes people have fun on the guitar and from there it's much easier to tackle weaknesses and maintain strengths.

Right around the same time as I started working at FSM, I embarked on a 4-year-long course of classical guitar study with Jason Vieaux, who shortly became (and remains) one of the top classical performing artists in the world. Mr. Vieaux provided me with loads of problem-solving tools that he uses to this day to help people of all levels get better and have more fun on the guitar.

In 2004, as a guitarist in a band with a pianist but no bass player I found it sometimes more desirable to the music to have a bass than a guitar, so I bought a bass and started performing on it right away, using techniques already learned from classical, acoustic, and electric guitar, with necessary adjustments and application of music theory. The bass proved to be much more fun than I had imagined and I have incorporated regular practice of the instrument into my musical regimens, as well as playing dozens of studio dates on the bass and performing in multiple bands.

My teaching techniques are effective--many of the teens I taught in the 90's and 2000's are pro's now themselves, some with record contracts, others with conservatory degrees, some with a large student rosters of their own. My students have opened for or otherwise shared the stage with Santana, Jethro Tull, Los Lobos, John Mayer, Maroon 5, The String Cheese Incident, and more. You can see a few of my former students performing in my profile pictures. The first one you see is Brian C., who studied with me from about age 12 to age 16. This is a picture of him with his band "The Bottom Dollars" playing in Brooklyn June 26, 2012. The next one you see is a pic of Craig B. playing with his band "Turkuaz" , and the next one has a picture of two of my students in it, Loren S. and Max S. who are in a signed band called "Signals Midwest."

Not that you have to have aspirations of being a pro like these guys! Most people just want to have fun and get better at the instrument, but do know that I can help you make it if you want to take it all the way. Thanks for reading this far; I look forward to working with you! --Ian Z.


*** Lesson Details ***
Regardless of instrument, students are asked to have a spiral-bound, 8.5"x11" college ruled notebook, a USB flash drive, and a tuner/metronome. Ian recommends the Korg TM-40. Books are decided upon depending on the student's instrument, goals, age and sometimes other factors. Plan on learning the songs you want to learn.

*** Studio Equipment ***
In-home professional studio has a full Pro Tools set up w/ 7 guitars, 2 basses, 5 amps, mics w/ seating for parents.
Ramsey's pianos has a windowed studio with an electric guitar amp. Parents are welcome to wait in the piano showroom or sit in on the lessons.

*** Specialties ***
Classical guitar, Acoustic Steel String fingerstyle (esp. British Isles Folk), Acoustic Steel String pickstyle, Electric and Acoustic Rock.

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Education

Chemical Engineering
Jan 2001 - May 2005
Cleveland State University
English Literature
Sep 1987 - May 1991
Connecticut College

Photos & Videos

This was my first commissioned composition. For NASA, no less! If you're wanting guitar and bass, wait until about the last two minutes.
Ian Z. playing his own transcription of all of the instruments in Metallica's "Master of Puppets" bridge section.
Photo by Ian Z.

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Photo by Ian Z.

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Photo by Ian Z.

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Photo by Ian Z.

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1 Review

Write a Review
Laura A. Feb 12, 2014
Guitar ·

Great variety of songs

Great training and variety of songs. Positive feedback for students and appropriate "homework" for practice.

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