Richard Widen
Minneapolis, MN
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Richard Widen

Richard W.

Minneapolis, MN
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
As a self-taught guitarist who later went to college for music and now runs a guitar curriculum blog, I tailor all my lessons to the student's age, ability level, music interests, and preferred learning style. No matter what Riffs, Parts, Changes, and Improvisational skills you want to learn, I can teach you, but more than that, I can teach you how guitarists teach themselves.

About Richard W.

Rick's been teaching Guitar, Banjo, and Ukulele at his home, and at the Mount Olivet School of Music in South Minneapolis, ever since graduating with a degree in Music from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2003. He plays around town in 3 bands and also does the occasional Pit Orchestra and Wedding gig. He also taught at Dayjams Rock Music camp in St. Paul for the five summers of its existence. In his spare time he writes YA Stories and Musicals, he also runs a Songwriting and Music Theory Blog about Tonal Trends in popular music, a Guitar Curriculum Blog based on Karate Belts, and is a regular contributor to the music magazine Flypaper by Soundfly.

*** Lesson Details ***
Depending on student interest, lessons can consist of Ear Training, Improv/Jamming, learning Popular Guitar Riffs/Changes/Parts/Etc., Note Reading, the Music Biz, and learning about all the cool new Music Technologies of the day. Rick also loves to transcribe any and all music the student wants to learn but for which they cannot find the sheet music or internet tab. Rick prefers to teach what the student wants to learn, but if they're not sure what that is, he helps them figure that out.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Wifi, Computer, and iPhone. I make good use of technology during lessons. Much used apps include Yousician, Anytune Phrase Trainer, TabPro, and the Guitar Toolkit (metronome, tuner, etc.)

*** Travel Equipment ***
Music Stand (if needed), and iPhone apps.

*** Specialties ***
Music Theory and Songwriting.


Write a Review
19 Reviews
Profile-location-online Online

As a 57 year old student Rich understands life and its commitments. I enjoy the half an hour with him. My appreciation for music has grown with Rich. He introduces me to material I would have never picked on my own. I am still taking banjo lessons because of Rich.
Thank you Rich. Bob

Posted Aug 8, 2021
Jordan G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Richard is awesome! Really knows his stuff and funny too!

Posted Jun 19, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

As an adult learner, I was put at ease and able to work on songs I was interested in right away. Wonderful teaching style.

Posted Aug 21, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I've had a great experience with Rick so far. He quickly identified my level of play and has provided good content for me to learn as well as new styles. Very knowledgeable on banjo, I would recommend to anyone looking to improve their banjo skills.

Posted Feb 5, 2018
Penelope S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Richard was willing to introduce my 4 year old granddaughter to the instrument and he helped her with the most basic aspects of playing - how to hold it (he adjusted the strap to fit her properly) how to strum and how to use her left hand on the frets, etc. He was clear, concise, encouraging and patient!

Posted Jul 15, 2017
Huda G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great teacher! Funny, easy going and went along with me at the right pace. Totally recommend him.

Posted Mar 12, 2017
Emma R.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My 7 year old daughter had a great experience with Rick and is looking forward to her next lesson!!

Posted Jan 24, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Rick has a great teaching style that resonates with my son. Highly recommend.

Posted Nov 18, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very thorough and patient. Seems like it will be very easy to learn from him!

Posted Aug 10, 2016
Jan S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I am very much a beginner but Rick was patient and very helpful. He put a very useful app on my phone. Now I need to buy a uke and practice!

Posted May 30, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

awesome at taking amorphous concepts and turning them into lessons!

Posted May 13, 2016
Nina S.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My daughter felt comfortable right from the beginning. Looking forward to more lessons.

Posted Mar 7, 2016
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Rick did an excellent job with teaching me how to play the ukulele! Very fun person to be around and also very patient, as I do not have much experience. Will recommend to others throughout the area!

5 Star!

Posted Dec 15, 2015
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Rick has been doing a wonderful job with our 6.5 year old son. Nice pacing, good at encouraging and reinforcing, fun and relaxed.

Posted Oct 19, 2015
Laurie F.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

It has been a great, easy going and super helpful experience. Highly recommended!

Posted Sep 16, 2015
Molly J.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Rick is a great teacher! He keeps the lessons challenging and fun and helps you with music you want to learn as well as bringing in new music. I've really enjoyed my lessons with him.

Posted Sep 16, 2015
Kirk B.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Rick is very knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and patient! On every visit I gain greater knowledge of music, my instrument and how to play it. Rick keeps the lessons challenging and fun! It is always a joy to meet with him.

Posted Jul 13, 2015
John E.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Rick has been great in writing out (and instructing me how to play) music that I have enjoyed... Really knowledgeable and patient... It was a really good experience.. I would continue, but my schedule has become too cluttered..

Posted Oct 31, 2014
James R.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Rick taught our 7-year old son for quite a few months, and did a fantastic job. We were pleased with his energy, enthusiasm, and ability to connect with young people.

We were sad when our son decided that he'd like to take a break from music and play more tennis, but hope that this, his first musical experience, will inspire him to return to it at some later point.

I highly recommend Rick.

Posted Oct 14, 2014

Photos & Videos

7 Photos & Videos


Pop Styles Guitar/Folk Instruments Teacher
Sep 2003 - Present

Mount Olivet School of Music

I've taught at the Mount Olivet School of Music since its inception in 2003. It's great to be a member of a music school faculty, but I also enjoy operating my own private studio for the times during the week when I'm available outside of the school's hours.


BA in Music
Sep 1999 - May 2003

U of Minnesota, Duluth and Twin Cities Campuses


Best Musical Act 2013
Sep 2013

Minnesota Renaissance Festival

The Waffle Iron
Feb 2010

29th annual Battle of the Jug Bands

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