Norman Tibbils

Norman T.

Rochester, NY
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
Teaching tenor banjo, five-string banjo, and clawhammer banjo styles using tablature.

About Norman T.

I have been teaching other people to play musical instruments since the moment I got home from my first music store guitar lesson. And while I am fortunate that teaching has always come naturally to me, I am very grateful that my degrees in music performance, music education, and instructional design/writing have given me the knowledge and technology to earn my entire livelihood as an online music teacher.

I’m looking forward to working with many new friends as part of the TakeLessons organization. Hope to see you soon!


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Guitar Teacher (also classical guitar, electric bass, five-string banjo, tenor banjo, mandolin, and ukulele)
Jan 2011 - Present

Music&Arts, Pittsford, NY

For the past 10 years I have been teaching at Pittsford Music&Arts, and I love it! I am currently teaching guitar, classical guitar, electric bass, five-string banjo, tenor banjo, mandolin, and ukulele to about 30-35 students per week, year round. I began with two students; after six months I had more students than any other guitar teacher; after 12 months I had more students than any teacher in the history of the store. Music&Arts is a 100+ store national chain, affiliated with Guitar Center and

Guitar and Ukulele Teacher
Sep 2014 - Jun 2019

Allendale-Columbia School

Taught private guitar and ukulele lessons in the Encore Program after school at Allendale-Columbia School in Brighton, NY.

Jazz and Classical Guitar Teacher
Sep 1988 - Jun 2015

Hochstein School of Music and Dance

For 12 years (over a period of about 20 Years) I worked at Hochstein School of Music and Dance (Rochester, NY), teaching jazz, pop, folk, and classical guitar in private lessons, classes, and ensembles. One of the largest community music schools in the U.S., Hochstein has over 2,400 students taking music and dance lessons each week.

Instructional Designer, Technical Writer
May 1998 - Feb 2011

Xerox Corporation; Eastman Kodak; Johnson & Johnson

Experience as a corporate writer, writing and editing instructions, curricula, and technical documentation, and designing training for Fortune 500 companies in the Rochester, NY area. Clients included Xerox Corporation, Eastman Kodak, and Johnson & Johnson.

Elementary School Music Teacher
Jan 1994 - Jun 1996

Rochester City School District

Three years experience teaching classroom general music in urban public schools. Taught grade levels, K-8.

Middle School Music Teacher
Sep 1990 - Jun 1993

Northeastern Middle school

Three years experience teaching band, choir, guitar, and classroom general music in urban and suburban private schools. Taught all grade levels, K-12.

Rock and Pop Guitar Teacher
Jan 1983 - Aug 1988

House of Guitars, Inc.

For five years in the glorious, heavy guitar 1980s, I taught guitar lessons to 40 students a week at a local music store, at the height of the Heavy Metal boom. I would like to personally thank Led Zeppelin and Eddie Van Halen for providing me with the funds to buy my first house!

Classroom Guitar Teacher
Sep 1983 - Jun 1988

Norman Tibbils Guitar Training

Five years experience teaching group guitar classes in 15 private elementary and middle schools in Rochester, NY, at one point reaching 225 students per week.


Private voice lessons
Nov 2017 - May 2018

Eastman School of Music (NY)

Master of Science in Instructional Design
Aug 1993 - May 1998

Rochester Institute of Technology (NY)

Graduate-level music education courses
Jun 1990 - Aug 1990

Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY)

NYS Music Teacher Certification
Sep 1988 - May 1990

Nazareth College of Rochester (NY)

Bachelor of Music in Studio Music and Jazz
Sep 1974 - May 1981

University of Miami (FL)



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Robert Mager Criterion-Referenced Instruction Certification
Feb 1998

Mager Consortium (administered at Rochester Institute of Technology)

The Criterion Referenced Instruction (CRI) framework developed by Robert Mager is a comprehensive set of methods for the design and delivery of training programs. Some of the critical aspects include: (1) goal/task analysis -- to identify what needs to be learned, (2) performance objectives -- exact specification of the outcomes to be accomplished and how they are to be evaluated (the criterion), (3) criterion referenced testing -- evaluation of learning in terms of the knowledge/skills specified in the objectives, (4) development of learning modules tied to specific objectives. Training programs developed in CRI format tend to be self-paced courses involving a variety of different media (e.g., workbooks, videotapes, small group discussions, computer-based instruction). Students learn at their own pace and take tests to determine if they have mastered a module. A course manager administers the program and helps students with problems. CRI is based upon the ideas of mastery learning and performance-oriented instruction.

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