John Guernsey

John G.

Spring Valley, CA
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Technique and Strategy and a good work out
See all subjects

John teaches



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

Teaching since:
July 1998

I am a 36 year old professional musician, and music and tennis Instructor. I teach Trumpet, French Horn, singing and tennis. I have 25 years experience playing trumpet, French Horn and Singing and play in several groups around the San Diego area including:
The New City Sinfonia (Chamber Orchestra)
The Amalgamated, (a Ska/Reggae Band)
Full Strength Funk Band
Heartland Brass Ensemble
Trumpets R Us
Filarmonica Portuguesa Uniao De San Diego
Tierrasanta Lutheran Church,
Elk Tones Big Band
Dim The Lights Disco Tribute Band

I am very passionate about music, from learning to teaching, practicing, performing and recording. Every day my goal is to promote music, learn, practice and help people enjoy music either by listening or performing.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons will start with good solid warm-up exercises focusing on breathing and proper technique for Brass playing.
The 2nd part of lessons will be technique, Scales and method books for trumpet and french horn.
The last part of lessons will be working on Solo repertoire and learning songs for performance, sight reading, playing duets and learning jazz improvisation if interested. Lessons will include sight reading, play along/sing along CD's Scales and technique as well as theory.

For my Trumpet Students I use Herbert L. Clarke Technical Studies Book to help improve aerobic endurance, technical and finger velocity as well as production of good tone quality. I will also use the Earl Irons Group of 27 exercises as well as the Max Schlossberg Method to help improve air flow, breathing control and fluidity of sound throughout all registers. I also use the J. B. Arban's Conservatory method for other techniques including scales, double and triple tonguing, intervals as well as duets and solo repertoire.
For jazz minded students I will start with basic fundamentals of improvisation including melodic improv, Blues forms and blues scales as well as reading through chord changes and playing in several modes and other scales used in jazz.

I also provide tailored instruction on Bugling, and the proper playing of military bugle calls for those students interested as well as those involved with Boy Scouts who wish to earn their Bugle Merit Badge.

For my French Horn Students I will use the same technique books as Trumpet but learning traditional French Horn Solo repertoire, as well as Brass quintet/choir repertoire and orchestral and concert repertoire. Focus for French Horn students will be mainly on control of partials and tuning techniques.

For my Voice students I will start with good breathing technique and warm up exercises designed to get the vocal chords warmed up and get all the other muscles relaxed in order to produce great tone quality. Focus will be on intonation, and learning to use the air and support to extend the vocalists range higher and lower as well as gain power and confidence in singing.
Each Vocal student will have a piece to practice or will bring a piece of their choosing in that they would like to learn and this will be used to apply the techniques learned at the beginning of lessons. Styles of singing that I sing and can teach are Classical, Jazz, Big Band and Standards, Oldies, Pop, Country, Soul, Rock, R&B, Christian Rock and Church Music and also harmonizing like in a duet style or choir/vocal ensemble setting. I will also teach performance techniques, showmanship, stage presence and the overall performance package every singer needs to have confidence while singing.

I am a classically trained musician on Trumpet, French Horn and Voice and reading music, articulations, dynamics and learning musical forms is an essential part to any performers success. I also have studied various jazz styles and improvisational techniques as well. I want to teach students the basics of good musicianship and help them to excel in learning, practicing and performing in their own selected styles of music, whether its classical music, or jazz/rock/pop/country and any other styles students are interested in.

For Academic students who need tutoring I have a very extensive background in history, specifically focusing on US History, Military History, and the study of different eras including major war eras. Academic tutoring can be geared towards the understanding, comprehension and critical thinking understanding of the subject matter, as well as research, essay writing, as well as public speaking and project presentation.

For Tennis Students, I focus on the basics from footwork, to basic swing mechanics as well as strategy. Tennis lessons can be geared to develop specific areas of the game of tennis, or an overall game improvement whether for those who want to be competitive, or just enjoy a friendly game. I am also willing to do group lessons of up to 4-5 players to enhance a group learning environment as well as combining the skills from each player to enhance the other and create a fun learning environment on the tennis court.
*** Studio Equipment ***

My main teaching location is my private studio in Spring Valley and at the Ramona Music Center in downtown Ramona for students in the area. I have all items needed including music stands, CD player for play along programs as well as an upright piano.

*** Travel Equipment ***
When traveling I can bring my own personal music stand and electric keyboard with stand as well. Technique and song repertoire and theory books I can provide when needed.
For tennis instruction I have my own rackets as well as a ball hopper full of practice balls to bring to any location or public open tennis court. I also have reels of string and a stringing machine to restring tennis rackets with broken strings.

*** Specialties ***
Classical, Jazz, Reggae, Ska, Pop, Rock, Hard Rock, Funk, Soul, R&B, Blues, Church/Worship.

Tennis: Ground strokes, both 1 hand and two handed back hand. Serve, kick serve, slice serve, tomahawk serve, net play including volleys, over heads as well as other specialty shots including forehand and backhand slice and approach shots, Lobs, topspin lobs, and drop shots. Also playing strategy and competition.

+ Read More


Teaching Assistant
Jan 2015 - Present
San Diego Mesa College

Teaching Assistant for Director of Bands for the Mesa College Concert Jazz Band, Kearny Mesa Concert Band and Mesa College Pep Band.

High Brass Coach
Aug 2011 - Present
Ramona Unified School District

Trumpet and French Horn Coach for the Ramona High School Band Program

Musical Director/Vocal Coach
Feb 2014 - May 2014
Thurgood Marshall Middle School

Musical Director and Vocal Coach for spring 2014 production of "The Wizard of Oz"


Associate in Arts in Music
Jan 2009 - May 2012
San Diego Mesa College
Bachelor of Science, Marine Transportation
Jul 2000 - Jun 2004
United States Merchant Marine Academy


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency


Associate in Arts Degree in Music
May 2012
San Diego Mesa College

Includes certification in Basic Musicianship, Music Theory, Ear Training, Basic Piano.


Ashtabula Area Orchestra Concerto Competition Winner
Apr 2000
Ashtabula Area Orchestra and Ashtabula Chamber of Commerce, Ashtabula, Ohio

Photos & Videos

This is my Ska band The Amalgamated playing our closing number at Brick By Brick
My Ska Band The Amalgamated playing the jazz standard All of Me.  My Friend Jordan Morita a trombone player share the solo section.
Photo by John G.

Photo by John G.

Photo by John G.

Recording at After Hour Recording Studio for The Amalgated's first album titled "Boss Universal"

Recording Backing Vocal Tracks at After Hours Recording Studio for The Amalgamated's first album titled "Boss Universal"

Photo by John G.

Photo by John G.
+ 3 more

14 Reviews

Write a Review
Lexi C. Apr 5, 2019
French Horn · In studio

Love my 1st lesson. I learned so much in one day. Definitely looking forward to my next lesson.

James M. Jul 2, 2018
Classical Piano · In home

I had an instructor prior to him for nearly a year. I hired JR because after that time I didn’t even learn how to read music. I learned more today from JR than the entire time I had my previous instructor. JR is detailed and patient for an old, inexperienced fart like me. Thank you, JR!

+ Read More
Tyler T. Dec 30, 2017
Trumpet · In home

My son loved his first lesson and the instructor. 😊
thank you, John. He got to play many notes that he did not with the previous instructor.

Lina J. Nov 27, 2017
Tennis · In home

John was great - super patient and encouraging.

Gabi Apr 27, 2016
Trumpet · In home

great first lesson!

Adam W. Feb 24, 2016
Bugle · In home

So far so good! Adam had a great first lesson! Thank you, John!

Isabel D. Feb 23, 2016
Trumpet · In home

JR is excellent in assessing a student's skill level. Once he has determined it he immediately begins challenging the student with fun drills that focus in on improving areas where the student is struggling. Not a moment of the lesson is lost, everything is focused on moving to the next challenge - although patiently.

+ Read More
James Endicott Feb 9, 2016
Singing · In studio

Very relaxed atmosphere, no pressure. Looking forward to next lesson.

Noah Nov 4, 2015
Trumpet · In home

John's a terrific instructor; personable, professional, and focused on teaching proper technique and music acquisition skills. He's working with our 3rd year student. Highly recommend him. He focuses on whatever music you are interested in learning. We couldn't be happier.

+ Read More
Renee W. Aug 20, 2015
Singing · In studio

John is an amazing teacher and is great with my two young children. I highly recommend him!

Mark R. Aug 15, 2015
Singing · In home

John is always on time. Very good with our son. He teaches the whole student about singing. He has helped our son to love singing out more than ever which has really helped our son's confidence. We highly recommend using John as a singing coach.

Tatiana Q. Nov 24, 2014
Singing · In home

Very patient, optimistic, and friendly. I highly recommend this instructor who's very flexible when it comes to scheduling.

DaniW Feb 9, 2012

Have throughly enjoyed each lesson with John. His skill, knowledge, and personality make the lessons enjoyable, informative, productive, and fun! I appreciate his willingness to help me reach my goals and structure our lessons around that. I would recommend John to anyone!!!

+ Read More
BryanB1 Nov 30, 2011

Great, Confident and Knowledgable Instructor!

In the short amount of time I've worked with John, he has really helped me to understand the instrument, how my body and my breath effect pitch and has really helped me to overcome my concerns with picking up the Trumpet after 10 years of not playing. He relates music to me in a way that makes it understandable and encourages me to better my playing. Great instructor! Highly recommended!

+ Read More

You may want to revisit

Previously viewed teachers: