Richard Widen

Richard W.

Minneapolis, MN
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

We know that starting lessons is a big step and we want you to feel confident booking with us. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll help you find a new teacher or you can receive a refund for any unused lessons within the first year from the date of purchase.

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Did you know the Ukulele is tuned exactly like the top 4 strings of a guitar capoed up 5 frets, and the 4th string is tuned an octave up? this being the case, all the shapes one learns on one or the other is transferable knowledge! Want to know more about nature's most accessible chording instrument? Give Uke lessons a try.
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Richard teaches



Richard delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:
September 2003

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 Guitarbots, Slow Down Music Trainer, TabPro, and the Guitar Toolkit (metronome, tuner, etc.)

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

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

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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.

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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

Photos & Videos

"Love is an Open Door" Songwriter's Lesson
Here's a vlog about the scale used in that song in "Pulp Fiction."
A vlog about a rarely sighted chord used by James Taylor and Paramore
Somewhere in the north woods...of Sweden.

Dusty's Bar. I think we were doing "The Weight" here.

I was on the Current's homepage one time. Screencap!
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17 Reviews

Write a Review
Andrea Aug 21, 2018
Ukulele · In 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.

Nathan Feb 5, 2018
Banjo · In 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.

Penelope S. Jul 15, 2017
Ukulele · In 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!

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Huda G. Mar 12, 2017
Ukulele · In studio

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

Emma R. Jan 24, 2017
Ukulele · In home

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

Mason Nov 18, 2016
Ukulele · In studio

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

Ashley Aug 10, 2016
Ukulele · In studio

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

Jan S. May 30, 2016
Ukulele · In 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!

Kate May 13, 2016
Ukulele · In studio

awesome at taking amorphous concepts and turning them into lessons!

Nina S. Mar 7, 2016
Guitar · In home

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

Jake Dec 15, 2015
Ukulele · In 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!

Kate Oct 19, 2015
Ukulele · In 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.

Laurie F. Sep 16, 2015
Guitar · In home

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

Molly J. Sep 16, 2015
Banjo · In 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.

Kirk B. Jul 13, 2015
Ukulele · In 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.

John E. Oct 31, 2014
Ukulele · In 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..

James R. Oct 14, 2014
Ukulele · In 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.

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