Guitar Lessons With Dr. Zisa

Guitar Lessons With Dr. Zisa

5.0 (4)
1 hire on
42 years in business

About this pro

My experience as a teacher has taught me students learn best when they can build on their success. Beginning with doing one thing well, they can in time exponentially achieve remarkable success. My teaching method stands out in that I know how to empower students by making them the masters of their success. Beginning with skill development, they are encouraged to be observant, critical, and creative. For example, as they work on skill development playing a limited number of tones (fingerings) they are encouraged to observe their finger position, control of finger movement, and experiment in changing the order of the tones to create pleasing tunes of their own. Later in their development, when they experience difficulty in playing a passage of music, they learn to break down the problem and devise a strategy (path) of small incremental steps toward success and mastery. This approach to learning is empowering as it is applicable to success in any field of study. 

I enjoy helping my students discover the joy of music by being creative, curious, expressive, and industrious. Helping realize this kind of success is my greatest joy as their coach and mentor.

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Portland, OR 97213
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4 Reviews


  • Andrew Peterson

    Dr Zisa has developed personalized strategy for me to improve my playing based on my strengths, weaknesses, and goals.

  • Nicholas S.

    A true modern Master and as much a Virtuoso as a Teacher...

  • Susan C.

    Dr. ZIsa taught me EVERYTHING and you are the most amazing teacher, composer, performer and person!!

  • Rick M.

    ...guitar lessons have been more than I could have hoped for. I am being exposed to music I would never have heard otherwise. Dr. Zisa is an inspiring teacher!


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

When interviewing a new student, which I do at no cost, I first inquire about their background and the reason they decided to learn to play the guitar. Then I ask what kind of music do they like to listen to, what do aspire to learn to play on guitar. 

For absolute beginners we begin with helping them acquire guitar skills, what I call the HOW TO step; that is: HOW TO    (1) hold instrument, (2) position fingers, (3) develop control of the fingers on the fingerboard. There are simple improvisational pieces practice with recorded accompaniment. The goal is to first develop the skill to position the hand correctly and control finger movement. The improv activites helps make the process enjoyable. Learning the note names under the fingers and reading music notation comes next. Soon thereafter, students are able to read and play music without looking at their hands!

Lessons offered