Originally from Colombia, Juan has been a resident of New York City since 2008. His music blends classical, modern, and avant-garde elements. He draws from his experience as a recording and touring rock guitarist in Colombia and Miami, his studies of East Asian music, inspired by interaction with musicians and artists in China, Japan, and Indonesia, and his teaching practice. He recently released the album “Preludes and Etudes for the Guitar.” His composition “Reino Incierto” has been performed at Carnegie Hall and the Sounds of the City Concert Series in New York. His Three Movements for Guitar Quartet is included on an album of prominent Colombian composers titled “Entre la huella y el grito.” His guitar sonata Schwarzfahren is being published by Cristiano Porqueddu for Edizioni Curci. Juan earned a master’s degree in Composition from the Manhattan School of Music. He has recently studied classical guitar with Mark Delpriora. His mentors include composers Susan Botti, Reiko Fueting, and electronic music pioneer Joel Chadabe. He earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of Florida, where he studied jazz guitar with Tom Lippincott and composition with Susan Epstein-Garcia. Juan is also an avid cartoonist, collector of rare books, and long-distance runner. *** Lesson Details *** Guitar teaching encompasses many disciplines. One has to be a bit of a psychologist in order to gauge a potential student's needs and musical sensibilities. The mathematical aspect of musical notation and rhythm makes us part mathematicians. In the end, there is also a self-actualizing aspect to guitar teaching in the sense that we are always witness to those moments that made us decide a career on music. During my years of guitar teaching I have encountered many types of students, and I have learned from them as much as they have learned from me as they make me question aspects of music that I would have never thought about. I have learned to not take for granted the definition of concepts such as rhythm and harmony, and to look at guitar technique from different perspectives as I find ways to accommodate to a student’s capabilities. Ultimately, it is also a job that requires a lot of planning and structure. My first step, generally, is to assess the student’s ability and interest to find material suitable for them. Then, I proceed to familiarize with the student’s musical tastes and sensibilities to assign practice material accordingly. For example, if the student is interested in rock or pop music, we will work on a particular song that fits his level and also solves a particular technical problem. During that process I will answer any of the student’s questions, and provide insight into musical terminology. We will also work on basic concepts of rhythm, melody, and harmony. My training as a composer and jazz guitarists also enables me to tap into the student’s creative side. In that case, we would start with a basic blues progression and blues scales, and work on the basics of improvisation or songwriting. *** Studio Equipment *** Basement studio w/ small keyboard, amp, acoustic guitar, 3 electric guitars, music books w/ seating for parents and lots of magazines! *** Travel Equipment *** I provide music sheets, students should have an instrument, tuner, paper, pencil, and a metronome. *** Specialties *** I teach fundamentals of music theory, principles of jazz improvisation, classical guitar technique and repertoire, song writing, pop songs, sight reading, and overall musicianship, as well as Jazz, Rock, Blues, Bossa Nova, and other Latin Styles.
Teaching since 1996
Master of Music
Teaches ages 9+
Speaks Spanish, Spanish, Japanese
Has background check
Juan is an ideal instructor and guide. I was extremely nervous going to my lesson as an adult with zero experience. He was very encouraging without being patronizing, and extremely patient. I’m very much looking forward to my future lessons with him.
Juan is really the most lovely teacher. He is patient, kind, understanding, and wildly talented. He knows how to help you identify your weaknesses, as well as build upon your strengths. If you have something you want to work on, he will structure his lessons around that, and if you're clueless where to start, he can work with that too. He is as flexible as he is brilliant, working with the client to ensure that everyone can find time for a lesson when it works for you. Beyond all of that, Juan is an absolute joy to play with; you can see and feel his love for the instrument. Whatever style of guitar you want to learn or whatever your level of ability is, your search for that perfect teacher is over.
Juan a an incredible guitar teacher. He inspires a love for music and builds confidence quickly through targeted songs . Our son has really enjoyed his lessons and our little one now wants lessons too, especially after Juan composed a song about our puppy and his bone 😁