Thomas Clippinger

Thomas C.

Austin, TX
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Lesson Details



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

Teaching since:
May 2011

I am a classical guitarist who recently graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD as a student of Ray Chester. I began my studies at Peabody with a classical and jazz guitar double major with a computer music composition minor. I have performed in masterclasses with Manuel Barrueco, Sharon Isbin, Andrew York, Lorenzo Micheli, Matteo Mela, Gohar Vardanyan, Adam Holzman, Marcin Dylla, Matt Palmer, Pablo Sainz Villegas, Thibaut Garcia, Xavier Jara, and others.

In 2014 and 2015, I was selected to perform in the Peabody Conservatory's "Thursday Noon Recital Series", where I performed "Impromptus" by Richard Rodney Bennett, and "Sonata III" by Manuel Ponce. In 2015, I commissioned and presented the world premiere of the guitar duo piece entitled "Sol Negro" by composer Peter Dayton.

For summer 2015, I was granted a merit scholarship to Le Domaine Forget International Music Festival, where I studied with Bruce Holzman. I was a finalist and top prize winner in the 2015 ASU guitar competition. During my last year of study at Peabody, I also studied privately with Matt Palmer, who authored "The Virtuoso Guitarist: A New Approach to Fast Scales."

In 2016, I was granted a scholarship to study at the Aspen Music Festival under Sharon Isbin. While at Aspen, I was a teacher for the P.AL.S. Program, for which I also taught a masterclass. I’ve recently completed my masters degree under full scholarship at the Florida State University College of Music, where I was also a graduate teaching assistant to Bruce Holzman. During the summer of 2017, I was a finalist at the Southern Guitar Festival and Competition. I was also selected to perform at the 2018 TedXFSU convention. In the summer of 2018, I will be studying with Adam Holzman at the Brevard summer music festival under scholarship. I will begin my Doctoral studies at the University of Texas at Austin in the fall, where I will be studying with Adam Holzman.

I play and teach classical, jazz, rock, acoustic, and have extensive knowledge of theory, ear training, and guitar technique/pedagogy/fretboard harmony. I have had students who have been accepted to top guitar programs at the undergraduate and graduate level.

Here is an article of mine!

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Graduate Teaching Assistant
Aug 2016 - Present
Florida State University

Teaching assistant to Bruce Holzman - private lessons/ensembles

P.A.L.S. Guitar Teacher
Jul 2016 - Present
Aspen Music Festival and School


Classical Guitar Performance MM
Jul 2016 - Present
Florida State University College of Music
Classical Guitar Performance BM
Aug 2012 - May 2016
Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University
Jazz Guitar Performance
Aug 2011 - May 2012
Virginia Commonwealth University


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency
Limited Proficiency
Limited Proficiency


Merit Scholarship
May 2016
Aspen Music Festival and School
Graduate Teaching Assistantship
Apr 2016
Florida State University College of Music
Top Prize Winner
Apr 2015
ASU Guitarfest Competition
Merit Scholarship
Mar 2015
Le Domaine Forget International Summer Music Festival
Jazz Program Grant
Jan 2012
Virginia Commonwealth University

Photos & Videos

Bach 998 Allegro
Bach 998 Fugue
Bach 998 Prelude
1st Movement of Sonata III by Manuel Ponce
3rd Movement of Sonata III by Manuel Ponce
My guitar made by Canadian luthier Len Letourneau

Photo by Thomas C.

Photo by Thomas C.

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7 Reviews

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Michael Jan 27, 2017
Music Performance · In studio

Tom is a great teacher. I have been studying with him at FSU for a for a few months, and he has greatly improved my strength of sound. He has also helped me work on my musical expression.

Josh Jan 26, 2017
Classical Guitar · In studio

Tom is a very good instructor. He is very patient and will work with you on whatever you need. He will find the weak spots in your playing and bring them to your attention. He also never hesitates to compliment you if you deserve it. Tom is also very good at helping you achieve a high level of musical expression. Overall Tom is a great teacher.

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Cole Jan 18, 2017
Classical Guitar · In studio

Definitely knows what he is doing in terms of playing and instructing. He gives constructive criticism and tips necessary to improve your playing each lesson.

Parker Jan 18, 2017
Classical Guitar · In studio

Pushes me to be the greatest guitarist I can be. Helps me by finding music that I like to play for my rep.

Taylor Jan 16, 2017
Classical Guitar · In studio

Tom is a great teacher; he doesn't let you take it easy and won't stop working or going over something unless you nail it. I always feel comfortable asking him questions too, as he is happy to answer them and always supportive. I look forward to lessons and always leave excited to practice what I've learned from him.

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Jayson Jan 16, 2017
Classical Guitar · In studio

A really great teacher. He's patient and his instructions are concise, easy to understand and straight forward. He taught difficult techniques in a very simple and intuitive way. He has a great understanding of musicality and tone. This understanding also underpins his teaching of the guitar, and is overall one of the biggest reasons I recommend him as a teacher.

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Becky Jan 16, 2017
Classical Guitar · Online

I am so lucky to have found Tom as my guitar teacher. He is very flexible with planning lessons. I have picked up some bad habits before I met him but he has been extremely patient with me throughout the process of getting rid of the habits. He is a hard working teacher who offers amazing expertise. I only wish I had learned from him sooner.

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