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Classical Guitar Lessons

If you’re interested in contacting me for lessons, please email me at jay.kauffman@gmail.com

Do You Teach Beginners?
I teach anyone at any level who’s serious about learning.
Can You Help Me with… Technique/Tone/Speed/Memory/Sight Reading…..?

If you believe that any of these or other issues are places where you could improve, that’s great. I’ll assess your strengths and blind spots, and show you exactly and specifically what you need to do to conquer any aspect of your playing that is holding you back.

Can You Help Me Prepare for An Audition or a Performance?
If you’re serious about nailing it, then you’ve come to the right place. Anything from preparing to audition for a school to preparing to play for your father-in-law’s birthday party.

Will Studying Classical Guitar Help Me At all with the other stuff I mostly play?
While you certainly don’t need to learn classical guitar to be a great guitarist, it greatly expands your conception of what is possible on the guitar. From the point of view of playing classical guitar, a lot of techniques, tricks, musical skills that usually seem hard or impossible become easy to learn and master. This can give you a huge creative and an equally huge technical edge.

Do I Need to Learn Sight Reading?
I’ve never seen a great classical guitarist who wasn’t also a great sight reader. As long as you don’t get dependent on it, learning to read music on the guitar gives you access to a plethora of musical possibilities that most guitarists don’t have. It’s actually one of the benefits of learning classical guitar. You won’t regret it. So the answer is, yes—if you want to play classical guitar, you have to sight read.

I’ve Played For a Long time and I don’t seem to get any better. Am I hopeless?
The biggest things holding most people back are their blind spots—habits of practice, technique, or self-belief that keep you stuck. It’s my job to help you identify what those are (it’s usually pretty obvious) and show you how to fill in the gaps. Beyond that, everyone has skills that come naturally and ones that don’t seem to come as easily, and some limitations are physical, or have to do with life situations and timing—(starting older, for instance)—and might keep you from becoming the next John Williams or David Russell,)

My old teacher says ____ and you say ______. Who’s right, and how do I know what I should do?
If see that something another teacher has advocated is really working for your technique and goals as a musician, I probably won’t want to change it, even if it’s different from my way of teaching. But if I see that it’s causing you problems, or that something different might help you even more, I’ll look for an appropriate way and time to introduce it to your playing. There are little disagreements about the specifics of classical guitar technique. I’ve read most of the technical treatises and studied with some of the top players and sifted out what works best for me and found that it usually also works best for my students.

Do I Need Lessons Every Week?
Not necessarily. I can usually accommodate for lessons every other week. But I find that people who do lessons every week progress a lot faster. It creates a greater sense of continuity and enthusiasm, and they build on each other. The most natural  formula for anyone who wants to improve a lot is to set some goals, and then commit to “intensive” periods of 10-12 lessons—just like taking a course—and have lessons every week for several months.

Fees on request.

If you’re interested in contacting me for lesson, please visit the student intake page.