Ellen Whitaker's Guitar Studio

Ellen Whitaker's Guitar Studio

4.9 (11)
7 hires on Lessons.com
1 employee
42 years in business

About this pro

Ellen has been in the Expertise "Top 14" list of Triangle area Guitar Teachers for several consecutive years.

A teacher's experience and love of teaching are important. And finding a teacher who teaches because she loves to teach will contribute significantly to your level of enjoyment as you learn.  It will also increase the rate at which you progress.

Ellen has developed both her guitar program and her ukulele program through many years of experience doing exactly what she loves to do - teaching.

Her method is progressive and well-organized, with enough flexibility that the individual strengths and challenges, tastes and specific goals of each student can be taken into account as they learn the technique required to become a well-rounded independent musician.

Ellen makes the process of learning to read music feel completely natural and enjoyable.

Ellen offers individual guitar lessons and ukulele lessons in Durham, North Carolina. Location is convenient also to Chapel Hill and Carrboro.  She incorporates instruction in music theroy to the extent the student is interested.

All ages and all levels welcome. 

Styles include classical, fingerstyle, blues, pop, ragtime, celtic and other folk traditions.

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Durham, NC 27701
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11 Reviews


  • Anurag Kashyap

    Very sweet teacher with a very well thought out lesson plan!

  • John Pritchard

    An exceptionally talented instructor, Ellen is technically instructive and encouraging in a calm positive way. She readily identifies my limitations, and devises solutions that allow me to overcome and progress. Her endless patience combined with obvious practical knowledge results in the exact environment that suits me in a personally satisfying manner, which means I thoroughly enjoy the experience and thereby practice with more enthusiasm and interest. Highest kudos. -JP

  • Peter Rosenberg

    Ellen has all the attributes of a great teacher - experience, organization, patience, good humor, and a wonderfully supportive attitude. Still enjoying lessons with her as I continue to build my skill and confidence. Cannot recommend her highly enough!

  • Bob Montani

    She is very professional, has a well rounded understanding of music and technique and is an excellent teacher. I would highly recommend her for classical guitar.

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

New students recieve an introductory lesson at no cost. This way we can assess whether we are a good fit. Students with any level of experience, or no experience at all, are welcome. During our first lesson, I like to learn what, if any, previously acquired skills the student has. I want to learn the student's goals and tastes.  And I want for the student to learn something about my teaching style and philosophy. 

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

Ellen’s Education and Experience:

B.A. degree in Music from Mills College

M.A. degree in Music Theory from UCSB

Teaching individual lessons in guitar and music theory since 1981

Teaching all ages (4 through 94)

Teaching all levels (beginner through advanced)

Taught undergraduate classes in music fundamentals, advanced music theory and composition for three years

Taught in-school guitar classes (3rd grade through 12th grade) for seven years

Conducted children's choir

Conducted adult guitar ensemble