Luke Payne
Winston Salem, NC
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Luke Payne

Luke P.

Winston Salem, NC
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I am an avowed uke aficionado, and believe this little instrument has way more potential than most people give it credit for. It works wonderfully for providing basic chords to accompany songs. For the more ambitious and/or adventurous uke players out there, it can also yield amazing results as a solo instrument, presenting the melody and accompaniment together. Jazz, classical, world music and pop are all great on the uke. I'd love to help you learn to do whatever you are looking to do with your uke.

About Luke P.

Welcome to my Take Lessons profile, and thank you for your interest lessons. I'm a full time musician and music educator based in Winston Salem, NC. I've spent my life loving music and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to share that love with my students.

My own obsession with music began as a kid listening to the radio. I was transfixed by the pop songs of my youth from artists such as Tina Turner, U2, and Dire Straits. I started playing guitar for fun as a teenager, and my favorite music at that time was a mix of alternative pop bands like REM and Midnight Oil along with all the great music of the 60s and 70s, especially Neil Young, Dylan, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder and Steely Dan.

As my love of music and guitar continued to grow, it expanded to include the great artists of many styles and eras, such as the beautiful classical playing of Andres Segovia, the stunning bluegrass flatpicking of Tony Rice, and the elegant sophistication of early jazz masters Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian. I found, as so many others have, that music is an endless world of inspiration and possibility.

Rather than specialize in a single style - though I do have a Masters Degree in classical guitar performance, and currently teach at a conservatory - I have chosen instead to indulge my enthusiasm for various styles and approaches. I've played in bands and ensembles in virtually every style, including rock, blues, jazz, bluegrass, folk, classical. I even spent several years studying Indian classical on the sarod. This diversity enriches my playing, teaching and writing, and affirms my belief that music is a universal language, and all the streams converge in the fundamentals of rhythm, pitch and harmony.

Though my main interest is the guitar, I am constantly pushing myself to learn new instruments and skills. Drums, piano, hand percussion, pedal steel guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass and singing are all instruments I am working to become more proficient on, along with various styles of guitar. I also love writing songs, and producing them in my home studio.

Teaching is also one of the great joys in my life, and I feel very lucky to make my living doing something I love. Many years of teaching full time have helped me become a skillful teacher and better musician. I believe everyone's life is enriched by learning to play music, and I'm happy to be a part of that process for so many people.


Write a Review
30 Reviews
Profile-location-online Online

Luke is a knowledgeable and skillful guitar teacher. He is very patient with my son. Flexible to teach what my son needs in his guitar learning journey.

Posted Aug 17, 2021
Erin Malone
Profile-location-online Online

Great first lesson! Luke is very patient and was able to explain things in a way I could understand. I have no prior musical training.

Posted May 19, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Luke is knowledgeable and personable. He is a clear communicator too. I have looked for a guitar teacher for two years now. Finally my search is over.

Posted Mar 29, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Luke is patient with my son and my son is enjoying his lessons.

Posted Nov 7, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

My daughter is loving the new approach to her ukelele training.

Posted Oct 1, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Seems like a true teacher. Started with the basics before getting into the fun stuff so I will develop good players habits.

Posted Aug 20, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

First music lesson. Luke has a well structured system to help a new player begin learning the fundamentals quickly. He is patient and fun to work with. I'm looking forward to my next lesson.

Posted Jul 11, 2019
Nick M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son really enjoyed his first lesson. He said Luke was very good at explaining things and was very patient with him1

Posted Oct 11, 2018
Yanka C.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I've had my very first lesson and I've learned so much of the bad habits that I built over the time that I was self-taught, I am looking forward to learning more and to keep pursuing what I love!

Posted Aug 30, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great first experience and looking forward to more! Apart from his expertise in many different playing styles, the most important attribute that he has is his patience.

Posted Dec 10, 2017
Trevor F.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great instructor! Luke has helped me progress immensely in only a years time. He’s very knowledgeable about music in general and would be a great teacher for any level of student.

Posted Dec 6, 2017
Mason T.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My son is 12 years old and prior to starting lessons with Luke had never played the guitar at all. Luke is a very patient and knowledgeable instructor. He communicates well and tailors each session to the student's learning status. We are 3 lessons in and I'm very impressed so far. Thanks Luke!!!

Posted Dec 5, 2017
matthew J.
Profile-location-online Online

What a great teacher. Very kind and patient. Definitely knows his stuff. Highly recommend to all.

Posted Nov 21, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I've learned a lot through my lessons with Luke. He's a great teacher, incredibly talented and an all-around good guy. Very highly recommended.

Posted Oct 28, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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.

Posted Sep 11, 2016
Profile-location-online Online

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!

Posted Sep 5, 2016
Ricky W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great first lesson. Looking forward to learning more.

Posted Aug 24, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great first lesson. Made it easy to learn what he was teaching me. Very laid back and patient. Excellent instructor

Posted Jun 1, 2016
Chandni S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Amazing first lesson! Looking forward to following classes.

Posted Apr 25, 2016
Steven M.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Great first lesson! Looking forward to my next 4 lessons.

Posted Oct 20, 2015
Rick L.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Luke is a very patient and enthusiastic teacher.

Posted Aug 20, 2015
Susan O.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Versatile, knowledgeable, listens to the student to set personalized goals

Posted Apr 4, 2015
Julian R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Luke is very good at what he does. He's a patient teacher with an eye for long-term development.

Posted Mar 9, 2015
Kyle W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

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.

Posted Sep 13, 2014

Astoundingly Stupendous

Luke has it all figured out. He can teach anyone, and has a great personality. Great guitar player and an even better teacher. Teaches everything that will help you to master the guitar. He is that teacher that lesson comes to an end, you wish it lasted longer.

Posted May 14, 2014

Guitar instructor

Luke is an extent teacher over the past few years he has helped me advance my skills with the guitar past what I thought I could achieve. He has show skill in teaching meany of the different branches of guitar along with a talent for the vocals.

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Excellent Guitar Teacher

Luke is a very fine guitar teacher. His mastery of the guitar is evident through his teachings, which I am fortunate to experience weekly.
His teaching style is different than those I have previously gone through, but is a style I personally enjoy more. He relies (for me, at least) less on book-work, and more on improvising and learning to use different techniques freely, which in my opinion gives me a better understanding of the instrument. My knowledge of guitar and music theory increases with every lesson, but in a way that is not overwhelming; he teaches the information in such a way that it builds very naturally upon itself lesson after lesson, and through instruction and practice I am aware of my guirar skills constantly improving.
Luke is an excellent guitar teacher, and I would recommend him to anyone.

Posted Mar 6, 2014

HIgh-Quality Teacher

He is a very laid back person and is easy going. He is also very responsible and communicates well. I have taken lessons from him for two years and i would highly recommend you take lessons from his as well. He is very knowledgeable about guitar and has helped improve my playing greatly. He himself is very talented which helps because he can demonstrate stuff very well. I like the fact that he can teach me electric acoustic and classical guitar. Overall he is a great teacher and friend.

Posted Mar 6, 2014
Richard N.

Great Teacher

Luke has been great to work with. He is flexible with the schedule, has a strong passion for music and is talented with many instruments. I look forward to the next level of play that he can take me.

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Great Teacher!

Luke is a great teacher. He has taught me so much since February of this year. He is funny and has such a passion for what he does. He strives to be better and make his students better.

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Photos & Videos

14 Photos & Videos


Sep 2015 - Present


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

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.

Freelance music teacher
Jun 2000 - Present

Luke Payne

Teaching music has been my life's work. I've taught literally thousands of lessons to students of all ages, levels, and in virtually every style.

Performing Artist
Jan 2000 - Present

Luke Payne

For the past twenty years, I have been fortunate to supplement my teaching career with steady work as a performing musician. I have played countless gigs, including countless bars, clubs, theaters, weddings, even the nationally syndicated radio show Mountain Stage. Mostly an electric guitar slinger, I've also performed as a singer songwriter, a lap slide player, a bassist, a classical guitar soloist, and on ukulele and sarod.

Sep 2007 - Apr 2015

UNCSA Community Music School

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

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



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Limited 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.

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