Juan Calderon

Juan C.

New York, NY
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Lesson Details

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About

Juan passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Juan delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
and Ages 9+

Teaching since:
December 1996

New York city composer and guitarist Juan Calderon is a native of Ecuador raised in Colombia. He immigrated to Miami at age 20 to escape the political climate of the late 90’s, and resides in Manhattan since 2008.

Juan’s music blends elements from his unique life experiences, having been raised as an only child by a single mother in a bohemian environment. He was a recording and touring rock guitarist in Colombia, and he has studied East Asian music extensively, inspired by interaction with musicians and artists in China, Japan, and Indonesia.

His latest accomplishments include a performance of his composition “Reino Incierto” at Carnegie Hall (2015) and Sounds of the City, as well as a performance of his guitar quartet composition “Rising” by the UK guitar quartet.

Juan Calderon currently studies classical guitar with Mark DelPriora, chair of the Guitar Department at the Manhattan School of Music, where he earned a master degree in composition. His mentors include composers Susan Botti, Reiko Fueting, and electronic music pioneer Joel Chadabe. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree 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 little cars, food adventurer and runner.


*** Lesson Details ***
Guitar teaching encompasses many disciplines. One has to be a bit of a psychologist in order to gauge a potential student 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.

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Experience

Teacher
Jun 2011 - Present
Brooklyn Musical Arts

Teach all levels, all ages. I specialize in standard classical guitar repertoire, developing sight reading skills, understanding harmony, music theory, and history. With performance experience as a jazz musician in Miami, I also teach jazz technique, walking bass lines, comping, etc...

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Education

Master of Music
Sep 2008 - Jun 2010
Manhattan School of Music
Composition/Guitar
Jul 2008 - Jun 2010
Manhattan School of Music
Composition/Guitar
Sep 2005 - Jun 2008
University of Florida
Bachelor in Music
Jun 2005 - Jun 2008
University of Florida
Associate's degree in art
Jun 2002 - Jun 2005
Miami Dade College

Languages

Japanese
Limited Proficiency
Spanish
Fluent / Native Proficiency
Spanish
Fluent / Native Proficiency

Certifications

Master of Music
Jun 2010
Manhattan School of Music

I was trained in composition and performance.

Awards

Composition Contest Award
Apr 2005
Miami Dade College

Affiliations

American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
Jun 2008

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.

Photos & Videos

An arrangement of a classic jazz standard.
Solo Improvisation on the spot on a contemporary classical style.
Photo by Juan C.

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Photo by Juan C.

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Photo by Juan C.

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Photo by Juan C.

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Photo by Juan C.

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A recent arrangement of the theme used in "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."
Music I wrote for the UK guitar quartet, premiered last year.

9 Reviews

Write a Review
Dawn G. Jul 13, 2016
Guitar · In studio

Juan is wonderful and very knowledgeable in music. He is very patient and makes you feel comfortable. I leave a lesson feeling like I am accomplished and relaxed. It nice to see progress in such a little time. I go home with enthusiasm to learn more and want practice to do so.

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Chrystine R. Feb 14, 2016
Classical Guitar · In studio

With a patient and intuitive approach, Juan tailors each lesson to fit not only the student’s skill level, but also desire for depth of understanding. When I first began taking lessons, I was only able to plunk a few chords and play along with a few basic songs. However, over the course of a year and a half with Juan, I gained a foundational knowledge of the classical guitar, as well as the confidence to site read and play a range of other styles of guitar music. He seamlessly integrated music theory concepts into song studies, helping me learn major/minor scales and chord shapes, and then apply this knowledge to better understand song structures and composition. It has been such a great experience learning from Juan, especially because he is both an exemplary teacher and guitar player!

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Dionne T. May 4, 2015
Guitar · In studio

Juan is awesome. He makes learning guitar easy and never complicates it .. and makes it fun. He's a great teacher.

Juan T. Dec 20, 2014
Guitar · In studio

I have spent one year locking myself up in my room, every day for a few hours at a time, stumbling my way to learning the guitar. On my own, I have made it far enough to be familiar with a repertoire of chords, able to learn songs and even develop the mindset for habit forming. But after one year I felt my own limits and decided to discard my ego and find a teacher.

From his profile here I could tell that Juan was not only a skilled musician, but a keen and pensive instructor. After a single session Juan was able to properly asses my abilities and my shortcomings and tailor-designed an approach that matches my personal and musical nature. He uses my strong affinity for technique and uses that to discourage my hesitancy toward theory. He has a comfortable and approachable presence where mistakes and flaws are encouraged as learning footstools. With humble discipline he pushes me to -want- to be better.

With Juan I am absolutely confident in not merely becoming an apt guitarist, but a genuine musician.

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Juan T. Dec 20, 2014
Guitar · In studio

I have spent one year locking myself up in my room, every day for a few hours at a time, stumbling my way to learning the guitar. On my own, I have made it far enough to be familiar with a repertoire of chords, able to learn songs and even develop the mindset for habit forming. But after one year I felt my own limits and decided to discard my ego and find a teacher.

From his profile here I could tell that Juan was not only a skilled musician, but a keen and pensive instructor. After a single session Juan was able to properly asses my abilities and my shortcomings and tailor-designed an approach that matches my personal and musical nature. He uses my strong affinity for technique and uses that to discourage my hesitancy toward theory. He has a comfortable and approachable presence where mistakes and flaws are encouraged as learning footstools. With humble discipline he pushes me to -want- to be better.

With Juan I am absolutely confident in not merely becoming an apt guitarist, but a genuine musician.

+ Read More
Priyanka M. Dec 31, 2013
Guitar ·

Excellent Guitar teacher!!

Juan is an amazing teacher. He balances lessons with fun and work. My daughter has not only learnt so much, but comes out of each lesson with a smile.

Manav S. Dec 7, 2013
Guitar ·

Outstanding teacher

I am 35 and this is my first foray into music. I have always wanted to learn to play the guitar and finally got one last Thanksgiving. I tried to learn via online resources but quickly realized one needs hands on personal instruction as one starts out. Juan had great reviews and I decided to get some lessons to get started with him last January. That has been the best decision I could have taken, even better than buying a Guitar! He is a thorough professional who totally understands students needs, limitations, and learning curve. I am a busy professional and am frequently traveling or entertaining business partners. Juan structures my learning according to my interests and time available, and is flexible about scheduling. He is very encouraging and makes a newbie feel comfortable about his bumbling yet evolving guitar skills. If you read his profile on this site, you would understand the thoughtful mental process that he employs to help students reach their individual goals. I would recommend Juan not only as a guitar teacher but a solid individual in all respects.

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Rene R. May 3, 2013
Flamenco Guitar ·

Outstanding!!!

I have been playing with my guitar for 15 years. I have tried a few teachers and they were ok. But I never felt as connected to wanting to learn and improve as I do with Juan. His approach feels perfect, not aggressive nor placid. Never do you feel out of place even when time doesn't allow one to practice. I didn't just find a guitar teacher but I also found a friend and music mentor.

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MichaelL2 Jun 25, 2012
·

Simply Awesome

Juan manages to balance a personal touch with a closely managed teaching method that focuses on a keen study of the classical elements of the guitar along with the necessary skill sets of improvisation so you can (from the beginning) start to find your own voice in the world of flamenco guitar. Love this guy!

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