About Rob S.
I am an accomplished, award-winning guitarist, composer and teacher and have been teaching guitar and music for 20 years. I have both a Bachelor's and a Masters Degree in Music. I teach all levels from beginner to advanced, including at the university level, and all styles (rock, jazz, blues, folk, funk, metal, shred, pop, R&B, classical, etc.). I am also a professional performer, composer, arranger, studio musician and producer, experienced in all forms, styles and genre of music.
As an experienced teacher of composition, arranging, orchestration, music theory and guitar, I have developed my own personal teaching concepts and methods for improving technique, chord/scale theory and counterpoint for various styles and genres of music. I have taught privately, in music schools, and at the university and college level.
I am located in New York City in Midtown Manhattan on the West Side. I began performing professionally at age 16, doing session work, teaching and performing. I attended the National Guitar Summer Workshop, New Milford, Connecticut, to diversify my skills, participating in master classes with guitar icons Vinnie Moore, Stanley Jordan and Mick Goodrick.
I started college at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, and completed a Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude, studying jazz guitar and composition/arranging, as well as completd the Honors program at Temple University's Esther Boyer College of Music. My studies included jazz guitar with Tom Giacobetti and Ed Flanagan; jazz composition/arranging with Don Glanden, Ben Schacter and Larry McKenna; and classical composition with Matthew Greenbaum, Ph.D., Maurice Wright, D.M.A., Richard Brodhead, Ph.D., and Mark Rimple, D.M.A. I also conducted/arranged the School's Jazz Vocal Ensemble and was awarded membership in the Golden Key Honor Society. I also studied guitar privately with Shrapnel/Tone Center recording artist Greg Howe, Lasers Edge recording artist Scott McGill and Jazz icons Pat Martino (Blue Note) and Jimmy Bruno (Mel Bay).
I earned a Masters of Arts degree in music composition at Rutgers University, studying with world renowned, Pulitzer Prize winning composer Charles Wuorinen. In my first year, he was awarded a Teaching Assistantship in Music Composition and Theory.
I pursued additional studies (and master classes) in composition with celebrated composers Aaron Jay Kernis, Harvey Sollberger, Jukka Tiensuu, David Felder, Mario Davidovsky, Charles Fussell, Austin Clarkson and George Russell; film score orchestration with Scott Smalley (Film Music Institute) and film scoring with Rick Baitz (The Manhattan Producer's Alliance), as well as performance studies with Wynton Marsalis, Max Roach, Billy Taylor, Bill Shindling, Magmus Andersson, Stu Hamm, Terry Bozzio, Frank Gambale, Larry Mitchell, Andy Timmons, Adrian Legg and Blues Saraceno.
I was the Music Director and conductor for the Mondfleck Orchestra, Music Director and Composer-In-Residence for the Trash Can Society Theater Company and composer for improv theater group, The Glass Metropolis Project.
I released my critically acclaimed debut CD, a collection of virtuosic instrumental guitar music and have been interviewed and featured in many publications and websites worldwide, including Guitar Player, Guitar World, 20th Century Guitar, Guitar Chef (Italy), Guitar Mania (Canada), among many others. I was selected as a Top 5 Finalist in the 2006 North American Rock Guitar Competition, presented by Guitar Player magazine and Gibson guitars and was inducted as a new member into the 2007 Independent Artist Registry.
I was selected to be a part of the June in Buffalo Festival for Emerging Composers in Buffalo, New York, where celebrated pianist Marilyn Nonken performed my solo piano piece, Aerial Surveying. I was commissioned to compose, conduct and perform the music for Sirens, a modern dance presentation in collaboration with celebrated choreographer Julia Ritter. I was also commissioned to write a modern composition for Renaissance lute titled A Mosaic of Cement and Barbed Wire, performed at the Sarah Lawrence Summer Guitar Institute. My piece, Like Giants Through a Keyhole, trio for flute, cello and piano performed as part of the Network for New Music's Cross-Currents in Jazz and New Music: The Schooling and School of Stefan Wolpe series. My orchestra composition, Ideological Explosions of the Absurd Hero, was performed in Milan, Italy.
My music has been featured throughout film and television. I have composed the scores for many feature films, television, web and ad campaigns, and my music has been featured on MTV, VH1, NBC, CBS, ABC, Discovery, History Channel, PBS, etc.
I was a featured speaker at the Music for My Web Series Panel as part of the BlogWorld & New Media Expo held at the Javits Center in NYC on June 7, 2012.
I am a proud endorsee of Seymour Duncan pickups, Morley pedals, Madison Amps, Curt Mangan strings and Neck Sock.
*ASCAP affiliated composer and publisher
*International Alliance Of Composer's member
*Independent Film Project (IFP) member
*** Lesson Details ***
Guitar, Music Theory, Composition/Arranging, Songwriting, Improvisation and Home Recording.
Instruction in any style - Rock, Jazz, Blues, Funk, Metal, Shred, Progressive, Classical, Folk, R&B, etc.,
*20 Years of Teaching experience, privately, in music schools and in universities. *
For all ages. From beginner to advanced!
I am also a University Faculty and hold both a Bachelors of Music and Masters in Music
I am located in Midtown Manhattan on the West Side in a relaxed comfortable environment.
Learn the kind of music you want to learn. We will always focus on the music you want to play and use examples of the music and performers that you want to play to teach each new technique. That way it’s always FUN! The way it should be.
Learn the techniques to reach your fullest potential in speed, dexterity, strength and musicality. My technique, derived from classical, jazz, fusion, rock, blues, metal and shred players, includes specific exercises to help develop proficiency in both hands for the best results.
Music Theory: Musical concepts and terminologies, presented in the simplest and clearest way, unlock musicians’ secrets and help you understand and apply theoretical ideas to achieve your greatest potential and musical competence.
Improvisation: Learn soloing, melodic phrasing, rhythmic analysis and how to apply various musical styles and articulations, along with scales for all types of chords and key structures, including major/minor, pentatonic, blues, modes, harmonic and melodic minor modes, as well as exotic and synthetic scales - all skills for lead guitarists. Practice diverse approaches to various musical genres and proficiencies.
Soloing: Master advanced techniques including legato, alternate, economy and hybrid picking, sweep picking, arpeggios, double stops and much more. Become an accomplished melodic guitarist, know how to play whatever you want and reach your optimum level of proficiency.
Chord Structures: Learn modulation, transposition, inversions, voicings and the use of extended and advanced chords from basic triads to sevenths and compound extensions, as well as songwriting, accompaniment and creating chord progressions. You will explore the essential vocabulary and exercises for writing guitar parts, songs and chord-based harmonies.
Composition: Cover all aspects of composition and songwriting for any genre including analysis, harmonic/chord structures and progressions, approaches to melody, counter melody and counterpoint and how to apply these to various styles of music and composition, including arranging and orchestration from rock and pop to jazz and full orchestrations.
Lessons are developed to meet your individual needs and ensure your progress.
*** Studio Equipment ***
I have guitars available that students are welcome to use in their lessons, as well as amplifiers, etc.
*** Specialties ***
I am an experienced teacher of guitar, composition, arranging, orchestration, music theory and have developed my own personal teaching concepts and methods for improving technique, chord/scale theory and counterpoint for various styles and genres of music including advanced techniques for Jazz, Pop, Rock, Metal, Shred, Fusion, Blues, others. I have developed teaching methods to improve a students speed, accuracy and facility on the instrument. I am a professional freelance, live, studio and session guitarist, composer, arranger and producer.
Teaching since 1993
Awarded North American Rock Guitar Competition from Guitar Player Magazine and Gibson Guitars
Teaches Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Rob is a great teacher and knows exactly how to teach his students what they need to know to reach their goals. He is well versed in all styles and explains topics in a clear, easy to understand manner.
Great instructor. Thorough and informative.
Rob is a fantastic teacher who makes lessons enjoyable and extremely informative. He is great at breaking down and explaining concepts in an easy to learn manner. Overall incredible teacher, very talented and I definitely recommend him!
Rob is an amazing instructor. I came to Rob wanting to study jazz and overall improve my guitar playing. Not only did he do just that, but in doing so, I learned much more about music theory. A very nice person too. I would recommend Rob to anybody interested in the guitar.Show More
Rob is outstanding. It is clear from about 5 minutes into your first lesson that he is a true master teacher and guitar player. Everything he teaches is clear, achievable, and fun to work on. I'm having a blast! I recommend him very highly.
Rob is just great and exceeded expectations. He has such a great energy and is extraordinarily knowledgeable and capable. I would suggest him as a teacher without hesitation.
Great guy. Incredible instructions!
Rob is very knowledgeable, enthusiastic about teaching, and clear! I'm looking forward to my next lesson already!
Rob is an accomplished guitarist and composer. He is amazing in terms of technique. If you think you have some level of technique already, he'll help you fix any flaws. If you are just starting, he'll help you start at the right place which will get you excited about building skill levels on top of skill levels. Highly recommended.Show More
You would be hard pressed to find anyone more knowledgeable about guitar than Rob. He knows exactly how to structure lessons around your needs and does so with an outstanding degree of patience. Easily the best instructor I've had the pleasure of working with.Show More
This is my 5th lesson with Rob and he's an amazing teacher. Somehow he incorporates the basics of guitar through songs that you want to play, making learning guitar a much more interactive and fun experience. He's also full of knowledge. I've yet to have a question that he hasn't answered in an easy way to understand for a beginner. It's only been 5 lessons but i've learned more from 5 45 minute lessons than i have from the countless hours i tried teaching myself on the internet. I highly recommend rob, great guitarist and teacher!Show More
Rob is very knowledgeable, professional and makes lessons fun. He has an outstanding background as a professional guitarist, composer and music educator. He has not only mastered playing the guitar, he has pursued higher education in jazz guitar and music composition. I highly recommend him for guitar lessons!Show More
For anyone out there looking to get into either 1) playing guitar with no prior experience or 2) become an "advanced" player - there is no doubt in my mind that Rob should be your first consideration. I have only been with rob for one lesson, but I am left with no doubt that he is far above the average. I will continue to provide feedback here when I see fit. But 5 stars based on first impressions. Great guy. Great skills. Great articulation of concepts and extremely knowledgeable. Extremely.Show More
He has been teaching me for a while now. I have waited to post my review until I was confident on giving the correct review. I am an adult and I work, so I have limited time that I can allocate to practicing guitar. I really like his way of teaching because he is to the point, very efficient and knows where I am and what I need. He is able to measure the right amount of challenges for me to practice for next lesson. I manage a department and manage more than 40 people at my work and being so, I am very demanding when it comes to judging people. And I am very happy that I have him as my instructor. I believe he is able to guide me to develop my skills and knowledge efficiently. And on top of that, he is a great guy!! I strongly recommend him!Show More
Great introductory lesson. Injected practical technique with underlying theory. Also very generous with time
Easy to understand and learn as someone who never touched a guitar before!
Great first lessons with Rob! Looking forward to the next one.
Very informative. I'm glad I chose Rob
Great teacher! Look forward to working with him more
Rob is a great teacher.firm and direct my first session he show me how to hold a guitar the proper way and how to strum and gave me new pointers.I would recommend Rob.
Rob helped me, a complete novice, learn and manage a song in 3 45min lessons. He's cool, extremely knowledgable and a great teacher.
So after my first lesson with Rob I have to say it left a pretty good impression on me. Pretty good vibes coming from him and he makes the material relatively easy to understand. He takes the time to really assess what it is you're aiming for and doesn't try to impose his own values into your musical style. All in all I feel that this is going to be a great teacher student relationship and I'm looking forward to really delving into mastering my guitar with him.
Guitar Player Magazine and Gibson Guitars