Thomas Mitchell

Thomas M.

Merritt Island, FL
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Electric, Acoustic, Slide? What language does your soul speak? There are folks that play the blues professionally six nights a week and have for the last 50-plus years. While there are many exceptions to the rule, a majority of Blues songs use but three chords. Often these same three chords are played in the same after song.... night after night.. Seems like it would get boring right? NO WAY!

The Blues is its owe musical beast! Born of the human body; vocals, stomps, claps, early Blues musicians took the strongest chordal resolve of Western Classical Music, the "five to one" (a G chord resolving to a C chord for instance), and built an entire musical mentality around it. Borrowing 'what you want' from Classical music and adding syncopation or 'emphasis on weak beats' (tap quarter notes to "Who Do You Love?" by Bo Diddley. Notice that only the first and last notes of the riff hit with your tapping, the rest are 'syncopated') makes for a freedom of expression never before possible within the confines of Classical Music. Furthermore, the cyclical "12 Bar" structure gives both performer and listener the familiarity to detect the tasty nuances that make the Blues timeless.

Beginning with a simple "Twelve Bar Blues" chord structure and a Minor Pentatonic Scale, students learn what notes that can land on, as I call 'safe notes' and which one's they can play but not stop on. This is foundation of 'soloing', improvising, and ultimately powerfully expressing one's emotions. As students progress they will be introduced to higher forms of harmony as we shift towards the Jazz Blues and into Jazz proper (should the student be interested). Then we start back at the very beginning going into simple interval building until we have worked our way back through Jazz chords. Students are taught 'what it is' or ' here is how to play it' so that they can start having fun, and getting repetitions. Then we really delve into 'how it works' or as they are honing their technical abilities using musical examples either picked by me or the student. This is my method for all of the instruments that I teach. Let me tell you, it works!

About Thomas M.

I LOVE to teach and I am looking for a few more motivated students online and at my home studio on Merritt Island, Florida. Lessons are fun and motivating! Beginning students learn songs that they love while also learning basic theory and instrument technique. Advanced students will have their mind blown by my hard learned, and tested insights into theory, performance, technique as well as songwriting and production. I am very proud of my students, a few of whom have gone on to prestigious music schools and world tours. While this is absolutely no guarantee and by no means do I take credit for their hard work. I have just spent many years learning and teaching the musical facts with a few good insights. If you are excited and motivated to learn, please do not hesitate to get in touch!!

I have been a full time music instructor and performer for over 15 years! One day when I was 12 back in Maryland my mother, who knew I loved music, asked if I wanted to start taking guitar lessons.....I fell in love with it and here we are!!! I practiced a bunch, started bands and went to school for music. In 2004 I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania (I also have minors in Religion and Philosophy, I feel amazed and blessed to be using even one of them...ha!) After graduation, I moved to Philadelphia with my band, The Gravy (all Bucknell grads) and continued playing shows all over the East Coast. Between touring with the band, I worked in both the Pro Audio (microphones, various recording gear, speakers, keyboards, lighting. etc..) and Guitar sections of a large music store which taught me all about gear, recording and live sound. I was also teaching a few lessons. After realizing retail is not for me, I began teaching 6 days a week (when not on the road) at School of Rock in Downingtown, Pennsylvania in October of 2005. In May of 2008, I relocated to San Diego and began working at the Vista (now Oceanside) branch of the School of Rock. In 2009 I became the Music Director and ran the Vista school until 2012. Running a music school was getting to be too time consuming so I left to pursue a more rigorous performance schedule with my new band on the west coast, The Blue Moonies. I also began my solo project called The Tommy Mitchell Show and continued to teach many of my advanced students privately. I also began coaching youth bands part time at a mom and pop music school called the Rockademy in Solana Beach. Over the past year, my wife (a native East Coaster as well) and I decided that we really missed our families so we relocated back to the East to be closer.
Since Moving to Florida in September, I have kept in touch with a few of my West Coast students whom I continue to teach online.


Write a Review
12 Reviews
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Tom taught my daughter for almost 3 years before moving back East. We were very sad, he is the best! My daughter always left her lessons happy and I could definitely hear her progress over time which was awesome! Highly recommend!

Posted Nov 12, 2019
Tristan (.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

thank you from first timer.

Posted Jan 10, 2016
Jim B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I really enjoy learning guitar theory from Thomas. He is very enthusiastic and fun.

Posted Sep 23, 2015
Jack W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great working with kids!

Posted Sep 15, 2015
Alan J.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I've been playing guitar for many years, but Thomas was able to have me look at scales in a new light, and he gave me a good basis for playing the blues. I have several things to practice during the week. Looking forward to the next lesson.

Posted Jun 9, 2015
Kevin H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Tom is an amazing music instructor! My review won’t even scratch the surface of explaining what a fantastic teacher he is! Tom has taught our 4 children since 2008 when they started at School of Rock (SOR). When Tom left SOR and started giving private lessons, we left SOR because we saw the value Tom gave our children. He does a great job of challenging his students, yet keeping it interesting for them. (He's still teaching our kids after 6 years; they never get bored with his lessons and look forward to them every week!) Tom also does a fantastic job of blending music theory into everything he teaches. Our oldest child has a passion for music, and is now studying music at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Tom played a huge part in our son getting into Berklee and giving him the skills he needs to succeed while there. I recommend Tom to any level of student. He is simply the best!

Posted Jan 12, 2015
Brody J.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Out of all of the music lessons and music instructors that I ever had, Tom was by far my favorite. Never did a lesson seem boring or monotonous. He knows a wide variety of genres and music styles, and shows incredible passion to Music itself . Some instructors just teach you how to play an instrument, but Tom does more than that, by teaching music theory you not only have the ability to play music, but to understand and even write it as well. I am very grateful for being able to have had him as my guitar instructor and would definitely recommend him to anyone who is serious about learning and playing music.

Posted Jan 3, 2015
Matt H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I've been playing guitar for 7 years, and have had 4 different teachers, and Tom has been the best out of all of them. He's always shown me different ways of looking at scales and progressions, and has always avidly pursued me to expand my improvisation skills, and has aided in my development of those skills. I would recommend Tom for anyone, no matter what genre you are trying to pursue, he knows how to make you a good player, and shows you how to appreciate all kinds of music, making you the most versatile musician you can be.

Posted Jan 2, 2015
Ariana T.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Tom rocks my socks! I am inspired by his passion, knowledge and ability to teach in a way that is easy to understand and be excited about. Tom has taught my teen and I would recommend him to any one with a desire to learn or improve their skills'

Posted Dec 31, 2014
Barbara C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My daughter has been taking lessons with Tom for over 6 years - and loves it! When she started with Tom she was a very new guitarist and now she is a proficient guitar and bass player and continues to learn new techniques and nuances enabling her to pursue a future career in music. She is now in college for music and because of Tom’s music theory lessons, she was able to start at the 2nd year level of music theory at her school. Tom’s style of mixing music theory, performance and fun is what has kept her going, week after week. Tom has also worked with her on writing and recording her music. My favorite lessons have been where Tom has put a group of the kids together to learn and play as a band – giving the kids a performance confidence that they otherwise would never have had. I highly recommend Tom to students of all ages – he is amazing!

Posted Dec 14, 2014
Elise T.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I took guitar lessons with Tom for a little over 3 years. Not only did he teach me guitar, but I also learned bass, music theory, and music performance. Tom's general vibe is relaxed but professional, and he is good at keeping lessons fun but productive. I would highly recommend lessons with Tom to anyone interested in learning about music. I attended Berklee College of Music's 5 week summer program this past year and tested into both the highest music theory and musicianship classes, thanks to what I learned from Tom. He is very knowledgeable about not only theory, but also improvisation, reading, and performance. Anyone would be lucky yo have Tom as a teacher!

Posted Dec 10, 2014
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jul 31, 2020

Photos & Videos

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Music Educator
Oct 2012 - Present

Tommy Mitchell Music Education

Currently offering lessons in: Acoustic Guitar Arrangement and Composition Audio Engineering Audition Prep Bass Guitar Blues Guitar Composition Music Recording Songwriting Ukulele

Vocals, Instruments, Sound Engineering, Manager, Promoter
Jan 2010 - Present

The Tommy Mitchell Show, JB and the Movers, and The Blue Moonies

The Tommy Mitchell Show: Acoustic Instruments (Guitar, Ukulele, Lap Steel, Saxophone, Harmonica, Percussion, Beat Boxing, Melodica...) through a looper Dirty Power Band: Guitar and Vocals JB and The Movers: Guitar and Vocals The Blue Moonies: Guitar and Vocals

Music Director/Guitar and Bass Instructor
Oct 2005 - Oct 2012

School of Rock- Downingtown, PA and Vista, CA

I began working at School of Rock in Downingtown, PA in October of 2005. In May of 2008, I relocated to San Diego and began working at the Vista (now Oceanside) branch of the School of Rock where I was Music Director until 2012 when I left to teach privately and pursue a more rigorous performance schedule with my band The Blue Moonies as well as my solo project called The Tommy M. Show. Three of my students are just beginning their first year at Berklee College of Music in Boston. I have a home studio in Del Mar complete with Cubase 7.5 Artist.


Private Guitar Study
Sep 2003 - May 2004

Jay Umble

Bachelor of Arts in Music (Minors in Religion and Philosophy)
Aug 2000 - May 2004

Bucknell University

All Subjects
Sep 1996 - May 2000

Georgetown Preparatory School

Private Guitar Lessons
Oct 1995 - May 2000

Stancil's Guitar Studio

Beginner Guitar
Sep 1993 - Jun 1994

Mark Kromer

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