South Bay Guitar Academy

South Bay Guitar Academy

2 employees

About this pro

My primary goal is to provide well-structured instruction which will help serious students prepare for college or university auditions. However, while many students will not necessarily choose to become professional or dedicated full-time musicians, the correct training under proper guidance will still provide them with valuable self-discipline and an appreciation for music that will influence and shape their lives in a positive way. Quality music education also assists children in their overall academic performance.

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Torrance, CA 90505
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I take guitar instruction very seriously. I believe that the only resultative way to teach is   to teach by example. I always treat each student as a unique individual and construct the curricula according to his/her specific needs and abilities. My goal is to offer an opportunity for people to learn the correct and solid technique when playing the instrument from the very first lesson. In reality, when it comes to the guitar instruction, there are only a handful of teachers out there who actually place appropriate emphasis on the development of proper technique and good habits. For a student who is an absolute beginner this aspect is of crucial importance, and for an intermediate or advanced player, this would be a rare opportunity to improve and expand his or her skills together with achieving a better command of the instrument.

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

Doctor of Musical Arts in Guitar Performance, University of Texas at Austin, Butler School of Music, Austin, TX

Artist Diploma in Guitar Performance, Yale University School of Music, New Haven, CT, 2013

Master of Music in Guitar Performance, Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

How did you get started teaching?

My teaching career includes instructing classical guitar and guitar ensembles at the preparatory music schools in Minsk, Belarus. After moving to the U.S. and acquiring citizenship, I obtained the guitar teaching position at the International School of Music in Washington, D.C. During my years at Yale University’s Artist Diploma program, I taught graduate minor guitar lessons for the Yale School of Music as well as undergraduate guitar lessons at Yale College. Currently, I hold the guitar teaching position at the French Conservatory of Music in Beverly Hills, CA, as well as at the South Bay Guitar Academy in Torrance, CA, which I've recently founded. I have given private lessons to students in Austin, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Baltimore, and New Haven. In addition, I taught guitar group classes in the afterschool programs of elementary and middle schools in the Austin area. Throughout all these experiences, I have had the good fortune of working with outstanding students of various ages and skill levels.

What types of students have you worked with?

All ages and levels.

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

Nowadays it is not uncommon when people are looking for music lessons, either for themselves or for their children, they often encounter dozens of so called “music schools,” music stores or “music teachers” that try to sell their lessons by claiming that they can instantly help you or your child learn to play any song they wish. However, in reality, most of the time, after this so-called “fun training” a student is either unable to play even a simple complete piece of music at an acceptable level or even worse, the student’s technique is ruined by the development of bad and difficult-to-correct habits as the result of ignorant or careless instruction.

The main problem here is that the vast majority of such “schools” often hire so-called “instructors” who are highly unqualified and, quite often do not even possess a specialized degree in music or in the instrument they are trying to teach. Beware, because most of these “teachers” often happen to be either amateur or wannabe “musicians” trying to earn some extra cash, or are so-called “well-rounded multi-instrumentalists” who are not living up to professional standards. Nevertheless, they try to “teach” ten different instruments or ten different styles in order to attract as many students as possible and generate as much profit as possible without being truly proficient in any single one of them. Even worse, they often teach without having a clear idea of how all these instruments or styles ought to be taught properly!

Whether you choose me or some other place for your lessons, please try to stay away from a teacher who is a “Jack of all trades and master of none” such as those described above. Studying with such people serves to destroy the quality of elementary music education in this country! If you are genuinely looking to receive a good value, look for someone who is a professional musician and an experienced teacher; someone who is an expert in his or her field specializing in one instrument and who has some kind of career in music combined with the proper education and credentials. Never settle for a wannabe who needs to get good instruction himself or herself!

Keep in mind that the development of bad habits as the result of poor, incompetent or ignorant instruction in the beginning can eventually lead to frustration, technical limitations or even worse, can often become the cause of potential injuries in the intermediate or advanced stages!