Perfect Storm Edu-tainment

Perfect Storm Edu-tainment

5.0 (4)
6 hires on
1 employee

About this pro

       I have been teaching and performing folk music for over forty years, using guitar, 5 string banjo, autoharp, mountain dulcimer and ukulele. I have also worked as a teacher and tutor with various ages in public and private schools for fourteen years, and as a children's librarian for another twenty.  All this experience, as well as personal temperament, has helped me develop patience, good listening skills, and the ability to break down techniques and teach them in an organized, effective manner to widely different individuals.

       I teach a wide variety of guitar techniques that form a strong foundation for different guitar styles and create an ideal setting for any song on the acoustic guitar.  I have a large repertoire of songs and tunes within the realm of folk, old timey and bluegrass music. I also work with students in developing accompaniment for songs in other styles that interest them. 

Specific skills and techniques that I teach:


  • Reading of guitar tablature and basic music notation
  • Basic and simple barred chords
  • 3 finger plucking & arpeggios
  • Strumming techniques
  • 2 finger picking (Travis picking)
  • Bass runs
  • Carter family picking
  • Traditional flat picking
  • Playing melody leads in fingerpicking, Carter Family picking & flatpicking
  • Tunings: Standard, dropped D, open G

5-string banjo:

  • Old timey up-picking
  • Old timey clawhammer
  • Old timey two and three finger picking
  • Bluegrass three finger (Scruggs style) picking
  • Tunings: Double C, Drop C, Mountain minor, Open G


  • Basic accompaniment with finger picking rhythms
  • Playing melody with fingerpicker picking

Mountain dulcimer: (Beginner & intermediate):

  • Playing melody with finger or noter stick
  • Playing simple harmonies
  • Fanning with a flat pick
  • Plucking arpeggios
  • Tunings: Ionian, Dorian, Aeolian, and Mixlydian modes; playing melody and simple harmonies; arpeggios and fanning with right hand.

Ukulele (Beginner & intermediate):

  • Reading music to play single notes
  • Reading tablature
  • Playing chords
  • Strumming techniques
  • Finger picking


Music Teaching Experience:

  •  Private and group guitar lessons at home: off and on since 1962
  • Private banjo lessons at Jackson's Music Store, WS 2017 - present
  • Guitar classes – 2012-2013. Old Town Elementary School, Winston-Salem, NC
  • After school music program, Paideia School, Atlanta, GA – 1978-1984. Guitar, banjo, autoharp, mountain dulcimer
  • String band class, including guitar, banjo, autoharp and mountain dulcimer, Paideia School, Atlanta, GA – 1978-1980
  • Guitar and ukulele instruction, Laurel School, Knoxville, TN  – 1971-1973
  • Guitar instruction- Herb David Guitar Studio, Ann Arbor, MI – 1968-1970

 Current Teaching locations:

  • Banjo – Jackson’s Music, 1409 S. Stratford Rd, Winston-Salem, NC  (336 760-9635)
  • Guitar, mountain dulcimer, autoharp, ukulele, 5 string banjo - Home, 4111 Briarcliffe Rd, Winston-Salem, NC (336 - 724-5907)

I love music and I love teaching people of all ages - from kids to senior adults. I enjoy the coaching process, helping my students gradually grow in their abilities and confidence. The personal 1 on 1 student-teacher relationship is a special, time honored process of passing on knowledge and skills.

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Winston-Salem, NC 27106
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4 Reviews


  • Sherwin Wooten

    Jon. Is constantly trying new things and encouraging you when you Are struggling.

  • Eleanore Wood

    Jon is always flexible and helpful. Our daughter has learned so much in just 1 year and is excited every time she goes to her lesson. Highly recommend!

  • Ron Berra

    Jon Sundell is not only an accomplished guitar player but also an excellent instructor. When I began guitar lessons with him, he listened to what I wanted to learn and tailored his lessons to my interests. When I have difficulty learning a lesson, he is able to accurately assess what I’m doing and offer suggestions, in a gentle way, that help me improve and stay motivated. Jon is patient and encouraging, even when I stumble through a lesson. He is a joy to work with.

  • Patricia Blackwell

    John Sundell is a great teacher with tremendous musical theory. He also has a gift of teaching which as a former teacher of young children I appreciate.John has patience , humor and the ability to teach all levels. John makes learning fun.

Photos & Videos


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

I ask the students for a general idea of what they want to learn. If they already have some experience, I ask them to play a little for me. I demonstrate some specific techniques and explain a logical order for teaching them. I get their feedback and adjust my plan as much as seems appropriate and agreeable. 

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

I have taken private lessons for several years each on banjo and guitar. My other instruments are self taught.

I also have a degree in education and 14 years experience teaching elementary, middle and high school kids. This helps me understand how kids learn and how to best instruct them according to their personality.

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

In teaching from my home (guitar, ukulele, autoharp, mountain dulcimer and some banjo) I generally charge $20/ 30 minutes, $30/ 45 minutes, or $40/ hour. Group lessons are priced according the size of the group. When teaching banjo at Jackson's Music Store, I charge $25/ 30 minutes or $50/ hour.

How did you get started teaching?

I began teaching when I was in high school. I taught in a guitar studio to put myself through college.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with students of all ages and abilities. I have the patience and perspective to enjoy teaching beginners and young children, as well as other levels and ages.

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

Find someone who you think you'd be comfortable with, who has plenty of experience, can teach what you want to learn, and seems to have personal qualities such as patience, good listening skills and attention to detail that will make him or her a good teacher.

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

Think about what you want to learn and whether you are willing to commit 30 minutes a day 4-5 days a week to practice. For very young children (4-6 years old) it could be a little less. Be open to teacher's suggestions that you may not already be familiar with.