My musical life began during the "folk boom" of the 1960's. I began songwriting and performing during my high school years. Later I was a member of a folk-rock band called The Bean Angels. We preformed and recorded in the Iowa City, Iowa area. Later I attended Montana State University where I studied music education. My training included: piano skills, music theory, music history, aural perception, conducting, and vocal pedagogy. I have several decades experience in teaching. I have taught guitar, piano, voice, and ukulele, and have directed a children's choir.
*** Lesson Details **
* I believe that each individual has his or her own particular learning style and pace. Accordingly I try to tailor my instruction to best fit the individual student. The first lessons will emphasize such things as posture and holding the instrument correctly, thus establishing a solid foundation to build on. Although I will assign exercises that are designed to build technique, I believe that creative musical expression is the true goal and that technique is just a means to that end.
*** Studio Equipment *** Music room with instruments, keyboard, computer, and recording. Parents can sit in on lessons, and waiting area available.
*** Specialties *** I am probably most proficient in folk and classical styles of guitar. I have some degree of competency in country, rock and roll, gospel, and jazz styles.
Ginny H. October 29, 2014 Verified Student
I've been taking ukulele lessons from Tom for about 2 months and have just added voice lessons. Tom is a very thoughtful, kind man. He has a great deal of knowledge about the theoretical and practical/performance aspects of instruction. He is also excellent at adapting his lessons to my own particular goals. What more could you want!
paul V S. November 16, 2013
Piano Verified Student
What a great experience for our family!
In August, our 7 yr. old daughter, Nathalie, started piano lessons with Thomas. She played her first Christmas carol here in early November! Thomas is a wonderful instructor! Undertstanding, warm, and very patient! I highly recommend his services!!
*** Travel Equipment *** I can provide sheet music and some learning tools. I expect the students to have a notebook, a music stand, and a quiet place to work.
*** Specialties *** I teach both classical violin and fiddle. I use the Suzuki Method for classical violin. For fiddle, I teach Irish, Scottish, Old-time, and Bluegrass, each using a combination of learning by ear and fiddle transcriptions.
Kelley B. December 3, 2014
Online Verified Student
Kathleen is truly an answered prayer! Her credentials are impeccable, so we know that Karli is receiving superior instruction. However, it is her sweet and lovely spirit that we love. Initially unsure of how well "online" lessons would go, we are so thankful for the convenience, coupled with excellence, that we are privileged to have with Kathleen.
Experienced in teaching mandolin for over 5 years. Experience in teaching other stringed instruments (guitar, bass, ukulele) for over 30 years.
I played on a toy piano when I was very young, learning a bit of sight reading from my Mother, while listening to classical, jazz, and rock music. When I was 12, I learned guitar and later took private piano lessons from a prominent Philadelphia instructor. After playing in a rock band in high school, I went to college and received my degree in Physics. During this time, I joined a choir, and sang and played guitar in a contemporary vocal group where I became the lead guitarist and vocal arranger, and later became the director. I also played guitar in my church, as well as in a small folk
group, performing music of the Beatles, Bacharach, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and many others. I also played or sung in a number of weddings during my college days.
Upon graduation, I moved to the DC area to work in the engineering field, while simultaneously pursuing my music ambition. I studied classical guitar at American University with a student of the great Andres Segovia, and also studied jazz guitar with a former student of a prominent jazz guitarist, Pat Martino. Additionally, I sang in choirs and studied composition privately with a prominent Washington area composer and performer from Catholic University, I also began to teach at an area performing arts academy.
My most long-term experiences in music have been serving in my local church for over 30 years, either playing guitar (acoustic, electric, bass), piano, or arranging vocals in a contemporary worship band. I also started a church choir, and led both choir and small orchestra in a number of special performances. Additionally, I led congregational worship in different scenarios. During this time I also taught students of all ages guitar, piano, and music theory, and have continued to today in helping students to find their musical potential and pursue their musical ambitions.
I have recently retired from my engineering career so I can use my musical gifts in my local church and teach music as a second career. I have completed my second degree at George Mason University, and continue to play with other musicians there. More importantly, I continue to learn how to better teach others of all ages how to grow in all aspects of music-making.
*** Lesson Details *** Having taught for many years, my approach is flexible and I can adjust my teaching style and/or curriculum to maximize the student's potential for learning at any age. I encourage disciplined practice while working to make learning music an enjoyable experience. Although I specialize in guitar styles, I also teach piano, and can include music theory, sight reading, composition, and how to improvise on any instrument. I have taught improvisation on a number of different instruments such as violin, cello, flute, and clarinet.
Here are some testimonials from present or former students/parents:
"Mr. S. is very earnest; when he gives you a compliment, you can tell he really means it. He's very patient and experienced and skilled and he is willing to take what he's teaching down to my level to help me understand it." Gregory K., age 10 Geoff is a patient and encouraging instructor. He tailored my lessons towards the skills that I needed. He provides the necessary encouragement when the long hours of practice seem impossible to sustain. I could write a book about Geoff's credentials: highly qualified is an understatement. -- Neal B. Mr. S. is awesome at playing and teaching guitar, and he is nice and helps you. -- Michael B., age 12 I'm sure I could learn to Play Guitar Today using books and videos, but I think I'm on the right track with private one-on-one instruction. Linda H. The guitar lessons are fun, interactive, and instructive. A great way to make learning a delight! Gina R., parent
*** Studio Equipment *** Office at home w/ keyboard and guitars, white board, seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment *** I provide self-produced instructional material. Students provide their own instrument and a folder to store instructional material.
*** Specialties *** I teach any style of guitar, including classical and jazz. I also teach improvisation or "playing by ear" on any instrument; my experience includes piano, violin, cello, clarinet, and flute. I'm very familiar with 60's music (e.g., Beatles) I've performed a lot of folk music, rock music, and classical music I've played classical guitar and in classical and jazz ensembles at weddings and other special events.
Bradley B. July 16, 2014
Classical Guitar ·
In studio Verified Student
If you're interested in studying classical guitar you know that it is both difficult and important to find a quality guitar instruction. Look no further. Geoff is fantastic. His daily exercises for guitar have helped improve my technique dramatically. I'm so glad I found him and had an opportunity to work with him.
JohnK September 18, 2011
I am enjoying my lessons. You are being extra patient with me I suspect. My practices since our last have gone better I think. I think I am picking up things better. I practiced quite a lot today. Every commercial break in the football game as well as half time. See you in two weeks. Thanks
While studying the mandolin, you'll learn how to read music in standard notation, tablature form or both. You will also learn how to play various chords, scales rhythmic patterns and improvisation while implementing them into various styles of music including, Bluegrass, Country, Basso Nova. or Blues.
I have been playing for about 35 years and teaching music and guitar for 25 years. I have a Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Classical guitar. I've taught at the University level and currently maintain a professional studio in Arlington, Virginia. I am very well versed in many different styles of music including, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Classical and Suzuki guitar. Students who decide to sign up with me, will have a lesson plan, a strategy for meeting their musical goals and will enjoy themselves in the process.
*** Lesson Details *** Lessons are custom designed to meet the needs of every student,
whether it is someone just starting out with the basics or for that seasoned player that wants to hone their professional skills. As a teacher, I consider myself easy going and laid back, with an emphasis on encouraging each student to do their very best.
*** Studio Equipment *** Guitar, instruments, keyboards recording equipment, waiting room, seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment *** Music stand, foot stool, cables.- Teacher Own instrument, amplifier if needed, notebook.-Student
*** Specialties *** I have been teaching for about 25 years and am well versed in Jazz, Classical, Rock, Blues and Country genres. I focus on anything from note reading, theory, improvisation and composing.
Brandon G. June 10, 2015
In home Verified Student
John is a fantastic teacher. After my first lesson I am confident he was the right choice. He made the lesson very fun and enjoyable and we even had a short jam session which was a ton of fun. I would highly recommend him and his teaching style. Looking forward to continuing lesson.
Nicole D. May 15, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Very productive! Happy with the experience and looking forward to upcoming lessons
Melvin C. February 18, 2015
Bass Guitar ·
In studio Verified Student
If there was anyway to give John 6 stars I would! John is the best teacher and also a really great guy all around. John is very knowledgeable and I learned a lot from my lessons with him. John is a very patient instructor which helped make the lessons better. I would be remiss not to mention his cool cat Mr. Buttons who would often come down just to listen in on our lessons and even the occasional jam session we would have afterwards. Thank you for all that you do John!
Students are raving about their Mandolin instructors on TakeLessons.
Check out some of these recent reviews.
Review by Steve
"Highly recommended teacher
I am in my mid-30s and picking up Mandolin for the first time without much background in music. Scott has been really great to
learn from, teaching me not only the basics of scales and chords but he also has me working on songs and solos which I never thought I'd be able to do so early. I would highly recommend Scott."
Atlanta, GA teacher:
Review by dean
"friendly, knowledgeable teacher
From musical theory to learning a tune by ear, Marc is a good teacher. Marc is knowledgeable, friendly, encouraging, flex
ible, and in my opinion has good taste in music."
Santa Rosa, CA teacher:
Review by Etta
"Mr. Willy helped me learn the song "Mean" by Taylor Swift!! I was so happy to play! I took the Stringed Instrument Workshop and I loved it! It was so much
fun, and I was able to learn with my friends. It was easy to learn, and we learned how to play "Amazing Grace," together. We played it for my church and everyone loved it!!! :)
I will continue playing mandolin, and want to also learn violin, piano and guitar. I can even play "Mean" on the 12 string guitar now in open tunings!!"
Winston Salem, NC teacher:
Review by Yasser
"Outstanding, quite talented instructor with very broad experience"
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Jack
"Kelvin is an accomplished and effective teacher who makes online lessons both enjoyable and stimulating. He quickly spots bad tendencies so that they can
be corrected early in the process and thus prevent future problems. Kelvin is personable, professional and knows what he's talking about. I look forward to each lesson to see what the next challenge will be and to get to spend time with Kelvin."
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Yasser
"Instructor with vast experience, I really enjoy learning from him"
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Shirley
"Steve is a skilled young music professional.
As a senior citizen, I just wanted to learn to play the mandolin for fun. Steve helped me to achieve this go
al, even though I had no experience with any string instrument. I appreciated his strong academic background in music theory, and his patience with a beginner. He was always positive and suggested alternatives when I had trouble fingering certain chords. Taking mandolin classes with Steve was a pleasant experience and I would recommend him to any student of any age."
Denver, CO teacher:
Review by Al
"I've been taking lessons from Tara now for the better part of 4 years. She is talented, professional, engaging, knowledgeable, and most importantly, patie
nt. She taught this old dog a lot of new tricks on the Mandolin. I still have a long way to go, but if you are looking for a Mando teacher, this lady is tops in my book. Sorry she left VA, but NY got themselves one good musician and teacher."
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Mitchell
"Our first lesson went very well. Rachel was very kind, patient, and complimentary. I look forward to my next lesson."