Guitar Star Instruction

Guitar Star Instruction

2 hires on

About this pro

I have been teaching guitar for over 33 years after starting as a student teacher at Hartford Conservatory. Over the years I added other instruments - bass guitar, mandolin and ukulele. My specialty is that I am a highly trained specialist in study and teaching techniques (as well as a certified tutor) which makes lessons well organized, easy to understand, fast and fun.Students do very well (as long as they practice!) and enjoy playing in talent shows, school bands and orchestras, their own bands, become teachers themselves and some make it into the professional spotlight. Emphasis is on real music education including use of standard instruction books, learning scales and chords, exercises, students' favorite songs, improvising, song writing and anything else a student may request!Above all, music is fun, we do it because we love to play and that drives everything that happens at Guitar Star Instruction.

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Newington, CT 06111
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

I use the best instruction books available on the market including special ones just for kids. They're easy to understand and play especially those that come with play along tracks. Nowadays they can be slowed down to make it possible to use even for beginners! And it's fun! Then I add any needed exercises, scales and chords. And in no time we're playing your favorite songs pulled right off of YouTube on the studio sound system. Now you're really having fun!

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

I played violin in two symphonies in school before switching to guitar. My father was a pro musician and taught me a few things to get me started. After being self taught and playing in a band I  attended Hartford Conservatory studying guitar, piano, violin, voice, composition, etc. I then took other classes in private academies in Communication, Study Skills, Relationships, Business and more. I hope this has all added up to help me listen to student interests and needs, play well, learn songs quickly and easily and teach well!

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Lessons are $28 for half hour sessions, $42 for 45 minute lengths and $56 for one hour. Lessons are paid monthly in advance and there is a small deposit paid to cover the student's last lessons when they terminate.

How did you get started teaching?

In my second year at the Conservatory, I was offered a position as a student teacher. Kids would counter in after school and I would give a few lessons a couple days a week. Summer came, the program ended so I continued in my own driving door to door until I opened my own studio years ago. What really helped though was an extensive course on how to study and learn correctly which made teaching very easy for me with great student results!

What types of students have you worked with?

People ask me who my students are. And there is no demographics in music because everyone loves it and can play an instrument! My youngest students start at 7; my oldest student was 83. Boys, girls, men and women. Half of my students are adults not just kids. All nationalities come so I teach any style, ethnic music, Christian songs and anything you can find online. 

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I've played benefits with my friends to raise money for food kitchens and support other charities. The most exciting night was a church fundraiser where we played and raised close to half a million dollars to build a new facility with classes, counseling, drug programs, tutoring and community programs! I've played to thousands of people with name bands but that was really rewarding!

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

Make sure the teacher uses instruction books for their level and has charts of any exercises or songs prepared and copied in advance. I don't approve of teachers who sit there and right notes in your notebook when they could be prepped and handed out. More time playing, less time writing please! I would look for an instructor with teacher training but music teachers don't learn that! I had none when I started student teaching in Conservatory so I found it for myself. Lastly I suggest meeting a teacher first on a free intro lesson to see if they are a good fit before you commit to a long term arrangement. 

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Just tell the teacher what you hope to accomplish and ask how they would get you there. Dialogue should be open and continual. If lessons go in a direction you don't like, say something!