Luke Payne

Luke P.

Winston Salem, NC

About Luke P.

Background check: Last verified 07/26/2016
Luke passed a background check on 07/26/2016 that included the following:
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Luke teaches: Ages 5 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: March 2003
Last sign in: 4 days ago


I majored in music at Berea College, then went on to The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where I completed a Masters degree in guitar performance and served as the graduate assistant to the guitar department.

For the past ten years I have earned a living performing and teaching guitar. I am a certified Suzuki instructor, and I've held teaching positions at Winston Salem State University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, along with at least half a dozen other schools and institutions. I've been featured on other artists' records, and received a grant to release an album of my own songs. I regularly perform in a wide variety of bands and ensembles.

I love to teach, and over the years I have taught hundreds, maybe even thousands of lessons. Having learned something from each and every one of my students, I am now at a point where I excel at honing in on the individual interests and learning styles of whoever comes to me for help. There are many ways to learn guitar. The best one is the one that engages and inspires you the most. That said, there are also music fundamentals that we all need to know. My joy as a teacher lies in finding a way for you to master the fundamentals while at the same time following your personal bliss and intuition. We plot the course together, combining your curiosity and enthusiasm with my years of experience.

I also love working with kids. While they are having fun jamming, I discretely provide them with the technique and musicianship they'll need to excel in any musical environment, whether it's conservatory study or playing in a great band.

*** Lesson Details ***
Your enthusiasm is the key to your success, so my lessons are tailored to the interests and abilities of each student. That said, my classical background and dedication to effective teaching inform everything I do.

All of my students learn Music Fundamentals:
-Technique (habits of movement)
-Theory (how music works)
-Aural skills (hearing pitches, chords and rhythms clearly)

Many of my students use books. There are hundreds of great books these days, and I will work with students from any book they choose. Listed here are the books I regularly use. They all deliver great results:

-Aaron Shearer "Leaning The Classic Guitar"
-Will Schmidt and Greg Koch "The Hal Leonard Method"
-Joe Pecoraro "Read This First"
-David Oaks "Music Reading For Guitar"
-William Leavitt "A Modern Method For Guitar"
-Mateo Carcassi "Melodic and Progressive Studies, Opus 60"
-Leo Brouwer "Simple Studies"

Many of my students prefer to work without a book, and that is a great option too. These students learn scales, chords and theory and develop a repertoire of songs. I will show you how to play any song you'd like to learn. You can also work on writing your own songs or compositions, or improvising in any context, be it jazz, blues, Indian raga or flamenco.

Singing is also encouraged!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home studio: music stands, extensive library of all kinds of music, great sound system and ability to stream any song, several guitars, recording equipment, footstools, keyboard and percussion instruments.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I'll bring my guitar and books, accessories as needed.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in versatility. I regularly play gigs doing classical, jazz, blues, rock, pop, and world music. All of these genres have a place in my heart, and I've devoted years to learning to play and teach them well.

I am equally polyamorous when it comes to the various things musicians do. I love to sing pop songs, dissect jazz lines, delve into expressive groupings with classical pieces, drill scales and arpeggios, you name it. Reading, improvising, composing and notating, transcribing and playing by ear, memorization, classical technique, blues technique, bluegrass technique, theoretical analysis... hit me up for any of that, or whatever else interests you.

Photos and Videos



Sep 2015 - Present

Working with talented young students on all aspects of artistic development, including technique, repertoire, memorization, interpretation and performance.


Sep 2007 - Present
UNCSA Community Music School

Offering private lessons to the community that honor the legacy of great artistry and arts education associated with UNCSA.


Jul 2005 - Present
UNCSA Summer Session

In this two or one week intensive, students are immersed in the wonderful world of the nylon string guitar. They attend courses and workshops on technique, reading, performing and many other aspects of music. I teach classes, give private lessons, coach ensembles and assist in a variety of other ways to ensure a happy and education experience for all attendees.


Sep 2008 - Jun 2014
Grace Academy of Music

Teaching private guitar lessons to students of all ages.


Sep 2005 - Jul 2008
Winston Salem State University

Creating and teaching a course for non-majors interested in learning to play the guitar. Also, teaching private lessons for majors. Covering all areas of musicianship as related to the guitar.


Sep 2004 - Jul 2006
Suzuki School of the Arts

Teaching students according to the Suzuki method, individually and in groups.


Master of Music

Sep 2003 - Jul 2006
University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Bachelor of Arts

Sep 1994 - Jul 1999
Berea College

Languages Spoken


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Suzuki guitar instructor.

Sep 2006
Suzuki Association of the Americas.

A proven method of music instruction pioneered by violinist Shinichi Suzuki, the Suzuki method is used all around the world to train classical musicians on various instruments. The method emphasizes learning by ear, peer reinforcement through use of standardized repertoire and involving students in groups, enlisting the parents as additional teachers, and many other components.

Write a Review

16 Reviews on Luke P.

Casey Sep 11, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Luke is incredibly knowledgeable and a wonderful teacher. I'm only a few lessons in so far but I'm already understanding concepts that eluded me for the last 12 months of teaching myself. Highly recommended.
Vadim Sep 5, 2016
Ukulele · Online
Verified Student
Great experience as a first lesson! Luke is an amazing teacher, and he can find the right speed and approach for his students. Thank you!
Ricky W. Aug 24, 2016
Ukulele · In studio
Verified Student
Great first lesson. Looking forward to learning more.
Justin Jun 1, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Great first lesson. Made it easy to learn what he was teaching me. Very laid back and patient. Excellent instructor
Chandni S. Apr 25, 2016
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Amazing first lesson! Looking forward to following classes.
Steven M. Oct 20, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Great first lesson! Looking forward to my next 4 lessons.
Rick L. Aug 20, 2015
Ukulele · In studio
Verified Student
Luke is a very patient and enthusiastic teacher.
Susan O. Apr 4, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Versatile, knowledgeable, listens to the student to set personalized goals
Julian R. Mar 9, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Luke is very good at what he does. He's a patient teacher with an eye for long-term development.
Kyle W. Sep 13, 2014
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Luke was a very helpful teacher. He knows what he is talking about and is very receptive to questions and concerns. He will lead you in the right direction whatever aspect of guitar you are willing to delve into. I came to him knowing only a couple of chords and songs and came away after a summer of lessons knowing much more about music theory and feeling much more confident in my playing.
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