Phil Johnson Music Lessons

Phil Johnson Music Lessons

1 hire on
1 employee
29 years in business

About this pro

My teaching approach: Why My Lessons Are Different: * I teach more than just the intro to a bunch of songs and random lessons that don't connect * I won't make you drill scales and arpeggios over and over for no reason * After we get through some basics, we'll play the kind of music you like * I'll also stretch you into areas of music you may not have thought of before Be sure to email me for more info.My influences are: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kirk Hammett, BB King, Joe Perry, Prince, Louis ArmstrongMy guitar lessons take place in: The teacher's studioGuitar Lessons with me take place in the following areas: My studio in the Berryessa area of San Jose. Near the border of Milpitas.Guitar Techniques: Song Writing, Scales and Exercises, Music Theory, Reading Music, Rhythm guitar, Lead guitarYour first guitar lesson with me might include the following: For a beginning student we'll get your hands on the guitar with some simple note and chord playing, as well as go over the basics of notation. For more advanced students, we'll find out what your strengths and weaknesses as a guitarist are and work out a game plan to fill in the gaps and move you forward.A guitar lesson with me might entail the following: During a typical 30 minute lesson we'll start with tuning and a quick warmup exercise. Then we dive right into our project pieces for the week. Within those project pieces we'll go over reading skills, theory, ornamentation, physical technique, and improvisation.The qualities I look for in an ideal guitar student might include the following: Punctual, responsible, willing to put in the practice time.

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San Jose, CA 95132
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

During the first free trial lesson with a student I ask about your musical goals and tastes so I can communicate the material in a way that connects everything we're doing with where you want to be as a player.

Rather than making the mistake of trying to reinvent the wheel for each student, I use a set of top notch curriculum (some I've written myself, some off the shelf) and present it in a way that moves you toward your musical goals.

Most importantly, you'll learn how to think like a musician as well as move your hands like one.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

BA in Music from San Jose State University as well as studying with a couple dozen private teachers over the years.

I'm also a nationally touring performing artist and have been banging around stages (where the real training takes place) for over 20 years.

How did you get started teaching?

I took a position teaching an after school music program for Guitar Showcase many years ago.  I'd already been playing for a long time but they trained me in how to teach music.  

After a year with them I branched off into my own lesson studio where I've been teaching since 1994.

What types of students have you worked with?

I take Piano students as young as 5 year old.  For Guitar and Flute I accept ages 8 and up.

I've yet to find an upper limit for the ages of my students.  The 80 year old man in a wheelchair that was learning Gypsy Jazz guitar with me showed me that anyone who wants to play can.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Have a clear idea of what kind of player you'd like to be - "I want to play songs for my kids" or "I want to form a band and do gigs.", etc.  

That goal can certainly change later on, but at the beginning it will give the teacher a clear of idea what and how to teach you.

Make sure the teacher has experience teaching music.  Teaching is a different skill than playing and ideally they should be good at both.  

That said, you might click with a less experienced teacher and that's fine.  Personal chemistry goes a long way in making the lessons fun for everyone.  You may have to try a few teachers before you find the right one.