John has been an outstanding guitar teacher for my 13 year old son Ethan these past 5 years. His tremendous musical knowledge and professionalism has not only allowed Ethan to read musical notes and chords but to also play classical, flamenco and popular music. John has always tailored his lessons based on what Ethan wants to learn. He is very patient, friendly and encouraging. I would highly recommend John to anyone who is looking to learn a lot in a short amount of time. -Chris
…a master of the guitar…The Georgia Straight
I teach guitar and other music courses in the Metro Vancouver area. I offer private guitar lessons based on the classical style. Learn to hear and read music. Learn the best guitar technique so you develop the skills to last a lifetime, to play in any style. You get my core teaching and learn the music you want to play.
Whether you want to play for personal enjoyment or prepare for a performing career, I give you the guidance you need, including conservatory or university exam preparation. I give priority to students with previous music experience on any instrument.
Lessons include guitar technique and repertoire, music reading and theory, and composition for advanced students. I specialize in classical music of all eras, from ancient to the present. My guitar method integrates the 19th century school of Tarrega with more contemporary approaches and techniques.
I studied guitar and composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and have a doctorate in music composition from McGill University.
- classical guitar: all levels
- guitar basics, any style (folk, rock, blues, flamenco, acoustic, electric): beginner to intermediate
- composing music for the classical guitar
- music theory and composition: all levels
I first started learning guitar with John around 2013, at the time I was taking my RCM level 6 exam and John’s teachings really helped me through the exam. Over the course of these two years, I have learned a great deal with John on not only how to play guitar, but also how to play musically. He breaks down the music and explains it in a way that makes you understand the composers intentions on how the piece is played, at the same time incorporating his own style and yours. He is a teacher that believes in his students and puts in a great deal of effort to not only teach music, but making his student enjoy music. I have now passed RCM level 8. -Karin
John's been an amazing guitar teacher for my 10 year old son. In a few months, he's gone from an absolute beginner to being able to confidently play chords and melodies with different techniques and strumming patterns. John is consistently patient and encouraging, and I appreciate his focus on developing good habits while keeping the lessons upbeat and fun. -Mo
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Oliver’s Guitar Story
My parents bought me a strumming guitar & guitar lessons when I was 8 years old. I strummed away to songs by Gordon Lightfoot, Simon & Garfunkel and many others until I discovered classical music soon after. At age 11, I began intensive classical guitar lessons at Robert Jordan's studio in downtown Vancouver and later at the Vancouver Academy of Music. By age 14, I was admitted to the Shawnigan Lake International Summer Music Festival where I studied with the Dontigny/Ito guitar duo and discovered classical and contemporary music performed by the likes of the Orion Trio, Reger String Quartet, Ruggiero Ricci and Robert Aitken. In my graduating year from high school I was accepted into the guitar program at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where I studied with George Sakellariou, and performed in master classes with Michael Lorimer, Abel Carlevarro, Pepe Romero, Leo Brouwer, and other visiting guitarists. By the age of 19, having attained a high level of proficiency, played several concerts of solo and chamber music, and a guitar concerto, I gave up a performance career to dedicate myself to music composition.
However, I continued to perform as a guitarist in concerts of new music, chamber music, and improvised music, most recently with the Little Giant Chinese Orchestra (Taiwan), Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Borealis String Quartet, and others. In the past decade I have written several new major works for the instrument, including a guitar concerto, guitar quartet, chamber music, and several new solo works. In 2007 I opened my guitar teaching studio at my home in New Westminster.