Jay Kauffman Guitar Lessons

Jay Kauffman Guitar Lessons

5.0 (4)

About this pro

I am a classically trained performer with graduate degrees from the Juilliard School of Music and the Cincinnati Conservatory. I’ve got 30-plus years of teaching experience with budding guitarists from as young as 5 to over 80. I’ve been on the classical guitar faculty of the Bowdoin Music Festival and Western Connecticut State University I've been the private guitar teacher since 1996 at the Marymount School in New York City, and in that capacity have taught lessons for over 20 years to children and teens.

First and foremost, you can't learn to play guitar well if you don't love playing. You can't teach well if you don't enjoy teaching. Each of us has a different musical personality, and I love getting seeing them come into their own, step by step, as skills, musicianship, and creativity develop. It is a wonderful thing to watch you grow as a guitarist and a musician. 

My intention is to meet you at your level of playing and support your progress from there to however far you want to take it.

  • I listen for exactly what you most deeply want to accomplish as a guitar player—whether this is simply to have fun playing music you love, or to play at a professional level.
  • I cross-reference that with what you actually need to learn in order get there.
  • I show you how to do so, step by step, by giving you the best possible repertoire choices, practice protocols, feedback, advice, technical instruction, technical exercises, and inspiration I can give.

Read more about this pro


Tucson, AZ 85716
Email verified
Phone verified

4 Reviews


  • Lisa Gemmel

    ay has been my 12 year old daughter's guitar teacher since she was 6 years old, She loves that he is calm and patient and works with her to find pieces that she is interested in learning. With his knowledge, skill and guidance she went from playing 2 verses of "Brown Eyed Girl" to playing the guitar solo in "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Sweet Child of Mine" !

  • Matthew Solum

    Jay is a gifted teacher who works with the student and engages them. He develops students as musicians and also develops their confidence in playing in front of an audience. He's a fantastic teacher.

  • Maureen Cesario

    My daughter has been taking guitar lessons with Jay Kauffman since September of 2017. Over these past few years she has enjoyed learning to play many different styles of music on guitar. Jay has always made lessons fun and always presented an array of song choices for her, so that she could focus on a piece that she was interested in. My daughter has always said that Jay is a very patient teacher, taking time to explain different notes, chords, and techniques, so that she really has a handle on it. In the spring of 2020, during covid, we transitioned from our in person lessons to Zoom based instruction, and Jay continued to give the same quality attention in this new format. He was flexible with his time, and emailed music sheets for her to practice with between lessons. He went above and beyond sending multiple music files for my daughter to listen and practice along with during the week. They even moved beyond acoustic guitar and explored playing some songs on the electric guitar, which was really fun for her. Overall, Jay has been a wonderful teacher for my daughter. He has made the learning experience fun and enjoyable for everyone. It’s great to watch her learn and master new songs. Jay is easy to communicate with, and responds to any questions we might have between lessons in a prompt manner. We feel lucky to have Jay as Molly’s guitar teacher!

  • Zoe D.

    At first I thought guitar was too hard and took too much time and effort, but then I decided to give it another shot. Now I find myself looking forward to my guitar lessons every week. Over the past year I have seen myself improve at guitar. I’ve learned to play a lot of my favorite songs like Hey Jude and Don’t Let Me Down. I love how I get to learn how to play the songs I love on the guitar, and learning has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. Mr. Kaufman is a great teacher.


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

My asking price is $80 for a 1 hr lesson, and $70 for a 45 minute lesson. For younger kids, I recommend $45 minute lessons, but 1/2 hour works for some. I also teach combined lessons for a parent and child---1/2 hr for each, at a rate of $90. I've found this works wonderfully, since the parent can help the child practice and work things out using what they are learning themselves, and for the child, it is so inspiring to have a parent who also plays and who takes a direct interest in their playing and progress.

Please contact me and to inquire about rates.

I want to make it as affordable as possible for you to make a commitment to lessons over time, as this is where real growth happens for most students. I have an asking price, which I hope you will be blessed enough in life to be able to pay—-but if you can’t, and I certainly understand that. I don’t consider it “charity” to teach anyone at the rate they can afford.

If you have a tradeable skill, hit me up—also open to barter on something that might be equally valuable to me as learning guitar might be to you. You’d be surprised at how wide my interests are, so don’t write this possibility off.

How did you get started teaching?

People started asking me for lessons while I was an undergraduate studying music and art. 

What types of students have you worked with?

I've taught all ages, and many styles. I teach both classical and popular guitar. 

Popular Guitar:
I teach most popular styles of guitar at a beginner to intermediate level. (Not Jazz) Everything from fingerpicking, strumming, crafting great accompaniments if you are a singer, to understanding how to use theory, chords and scales effectively if you are a songwriter, giving you the tools and knowledge to make the most out of the guitar’s magic.

Children's Guitar:
I’m an experienced teacher of children and teenagers, and have been the faculty private guitar teacher for Marymount School (Pre-K through High-school) since 1996.

The most important thing for me when teaching children is making sure that their unique individual musical gifts are encouraged and gently challenged, so that they can shine.

I include classical guitar principles, music reading, and music theory in the lessons, and mix this with popular guitar chords and songs that they can enjoy singing and playing  I’m careful to make sure they are playing music that motivates them to practice enthusiastically.

Once they have learned the basics they get to have even more say in what they want to learn. Some choose to focus on singing and playing and even songwriting, while others choose to keep getting better at ensemble playing, and at playing classical guitar solos. Fair warning to parents: some choose rock guitar solos as well. 

Classical Guitar:
This is where my training lies. I am fully qualified to teach at all levels.
In addition to having as much fun playing guitar as it is possible to have, here are a bunch of things we can work on together:

  • The Eternal Basics
    Master and refine the technical basics: Sitting position, left and right hand position, movement and coordination.
  • Performance and Self-Expression
    Develop your ability to play expressively and communicate with listeners–and deal effectively with stage fright and nervousness.
  • Technique Building
    Develop and learn how to practice and greatly heighten important component classical guitar skills such as tone, accuracy, coordination. speed, dexterity, strength and suppleness, left hand stretching ability and barring.
  • Advanced Skills
    Master specific expressive techniques or advanced techniques such as tremolo, rasgueado, vibrato.
  • Memorization and Repertoire Building
    Master the process of learning, securely memorizing, interpreting and performing repertoire. Acquire and build a repertoire of your favorite music.
  • Reading Guitar Music
    Develop your sight reading ability as well as the art of working with and deciphering the knotty details and shorthand symbols used in classical guitar scores.
  • Music Theory that Matters
    Gain a practical and intuitive understanding of music theory in a way that helps you greatly to know how to interpret and communicate the meaning of the music
  • Mastering Guitar Fingerings
    Improve your ability to work out fingerings: I cut through the confusion to help you develop right and left hand fingerings that work for your hands, your technique, your musical preferences.

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

There are many qualified teachers out there. The most important thing is finding one that you enjoy working with, who supports and challenges you in a way that keeps you growing as a musician, while having fun doing so.

Do a trial lesson. If that goes well and seems promising, then commit to more lessons. As long as you find yourself being continually inspired, practicing and getting better, and having fun interacting with the teacher, you've found one that matches your needs!