How To Choose A Guitar Teacher


Charleston Guitar Teachers for Kids and Adults

During my years of learning the guitar, I have had six guitar teachers and two jazz teachers that played piano and saxophone. In that time, I have learned what can make a good teacher and what can make a not so effective teacher.

Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  1. Is your teacher teaching with or your child's best interest in mind? Unfortunately, many teachers are only focused on competitions or they stick so rigidly to a curriculum that their lessons become stiff and unenjoyable for the student. A teacher needs to have flexibility in method, curriculum, and personality to be effective. ASK your guitar teacher what their goals are for you and/or your child!

  2. Does your teacher offer an introductory lesson or evaluation period at the beginning? I would strongly recommend working with a teacher that offers to get to know you before you decide to commit to lessons. The student/teacher/parent relationship is just as important as the teacher’s academic qualifications. Most importantly, you should have time to evaluate them at the beginning to make sure that you made a good choice! OBSERVE your guitar teacher in action when possible – See if there is a natural affinity for working with you and/or your child!

  3. How does your guitar teacher motivate you and/or your child? There are two kinds of motivation, internal and external. Both of these are valuable tools in teaching and learning. Science, however, favors internal motivation for learning, performance, creativity, optimal development and psychological wellness.¹ The external (finishing a book, passing a certificate exam, etc.) are fulfilling but the motivational aspect fades quickly after received. A teacher needs to nurture the internal motivation (i.e. love of the music, successful playing, etc.) while keeping the external motivation in focus. ASK your guitar teacher how they motivate their students! In my opinion, a great teacher motivates students to play by making the learning process easy to understand thus increasing the internal motivation! When we do things that we feel are easy and can succeed in doing, we tend to stay motivated to finish the task, including how to play the guitar.

My Background

My passion is enriching the lives of individuals through music performance and teaching. From composition to performance mastery, there are always challenges and opportunities for growth. I am the founder of Charleston Classical Guitar..

Formally I received my Bachelor of Music from Palm Beach Atlantic University and my Master of Music from Duquesne University both in guitar performance. In doing so, I was privileged to study under Aaron ShearerTom KiktaDavid SkantarKen KarshTim Bedner, and currently Christopher Berg. Each one influenced my playing and my teaching alike.  Officially the studio began in 2003 followed by the publication of Play What You Hear: An approach for all guitarists.

Many of my students have gone on to university music schools (including Indiana University and UCLA), one has been nominated for a Grammy (Code Orange), and others are creating careers in music for themselves. Others have started on a lifelong journey to enjoy this great instrument and do the very best they can to make the world a better place in which to live through the music they create.

Along with my desire to build community and performance opportunities, I founded the Pittsburgh Classical Guitar Society.  Though I am no longer the director due to my relocation to Charleston, the society continues to grow and build up the guitar community in the Pittsburgh area. Many of the initiatives I began with the society are also central to the development of Charleston Classical Guitar.

I have a wonderful wife, Kristi and three lovely children, René, Charles, and Juliette.

Would you like more information? Or an introductory lesson? Click below to get started:


1. Di Domenico, S. I., & Ryan, R. M. (2017). The Emerging Neuroscience of Intrinsic Motivation: A New Frontier in Self-Determination Research. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11, 145.