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 Joye
"Great teacher - he keeps me on track and works at my level."
Los Angeles, CA teacher:
Review by David
"I have been playing the mandolin for about four years now and have had several different teachers, of which Marc is by far the best one I have had. I wis
h I had started with him. Marc is very patient and works with you to bring out your best effort. He challenges me with interesting music to play, helps me to understand the piece and shows me different ways to finger the notes. When I started with Marc two months ago I was playing hornpipes and dances and now I've moved up to Bach and Vivaldi. Marc is also an accomplished instrument maker."
Santa Rosa, CA teacher:
Review by Nicole
"Very productive! Happy with the experience and looking forward to upcoming lessons"
Washington, DC teacher:
Review by Clark
"Bruce is Great. I am older and had never played before. Within a couple of lessons, Bruce had me playing a song. He is very patient with a style that make
s learning easy. I would highly recommend Bruce to anyone."
Las Vegas, NV 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 Merrill
"Wow! Evan has the skills of a teacher far beyond his years. He's young and fun but also patient, very aware and mature. His breadth of knowledge on the
physical instrument (the way a mandolin is crafted), different notations (TAB, classical staff & learning by ear), the number of songs in his fingers he can teach is just amazing. I really recommend him as a mandolin teacher and can imagine he's fantastic on the other instruments he offers.
In my first lesson I gleaned SO much from him. He spent extra time with me and we had a great time just chatting after the lesson. For the week ahead I had a whole verse, chorus and a part A and part B of an instrumental to put together to form a very polished (licks and all) version of "Boil Them Cabbage Down" a famous bluegrass tune. I had not played previously so this kind of leap to a full and complex song which I was able to handle and wanted to learn was much appreciated. He let my ambition drive the lesson and didn't flinch. He encouraged me to interject if I wanted to go a different route. He let me figure things out, and write out the notation. We did what I think some teachers would take 4 lessons to do. This is the kind of pace I wanted to move at and he was right there with me. I wanted a lot to work on in between lessons and I got it. When we meet again I'll have my head around this full song and we can discuss how to perfect the sound in it and how to practice it until it's truly clean and up to performance quality.
He grew up moving around a lot as the son of a pastor and was always leading music groups of a wide age range of volunteer musicians at churches, arranging, teaching, rehearsing. That must have provided a good training ground for the expert private lesson teacher he is. I feel very fortunate to have found him online. I hope more people discover him on this site. I think they'll be very happy. He's great."
New York, NY teacher:
Review by Kevin
"Very knowledgeable. Highly recommend."
Las Vegas, NV teacher:
Review by Rick
"Aaron is a wonderful and patient instructor. He has made me fill at ease during our lessons and I've learned more in the last few weeks than I thought wou
ld be possible."
Chicago, IL teacher:
Review by Kristin
"I took mandolin lessons from Tara for about a year and a half, and I can't say enough good things about her. I was a complete beginner when I started wit
h her, and now I feel prepared and comfortable when I play at jams. Tara taught me a wide repertoire of tunes. She taught me ways to play different chords, how to move chords, how different players may use different chords in different styles, how to read guitar chords, how to adapt when guitars use capos, and how to simplify or add chords. She has really good insight on how to start improvising and taking breaks. I think she adapts her teaching to use the technique that will help make the concept make sense to you. She is a lot of fun to learn from, and it is super inspiring to watch her play. Tara is an awesome teacher, and I highly recommend her!"