Guitar Instruction: Children, Teens, & Adults

Tomas Rodriguez teaches guitar to children, young people and adults. He is a registered teacher of the Suzuki Guitar method for young people and is also familiar with the Montessori and other approaches. Whether teaching young people or adults, Tomas seeks to convey to students a deep understanding of the guitar as an instrument beyond just learning notes, chords and songs and expose students to a variety of music on the guitar, whether it be flamenco, rhythm and blues or Latin.

Suzuki Guitar (ages 3-11)

Tomas Rodriguez with studentFor young people, the Suzuki method incorporates parent involvement, the creation of a musical home environment that is fun, loving and encouraging, and repetition of each acquired skill until it is mastered. Tomas supplements the traditional Suzuki approach by incorporating music and exercises that develop a child’s rhythmic vocabulary as well as the capacity to explore and experiment on the instrument, once they have mastered the initial steps. Such preliminaries seek to cultivate interest in and sensitivity to a variety of music, ranging from the classical repertoire to Afro-Cuban folkloric music.

Tomas Rodriguez with young guitar studentWith the Suzuki method there is a three sided model of cooperation between parent, teacher and child, each working together as a team, known as the “Suzuki Triangle”. The process begins with a series of parent education classes before the children’s lessons begin. Parents learn about Suzuki philosophy, practical application of the method to the guitar and fundamental guitar skills. We also cover creating a musical home environment, home-teaching strategies, how to be positive in giving correction, using specific praise to give accurate positive feedback when practicing their child. As lessons begin with the child, we introduce relaxation and proper body use, gross and fine motor skills, developing focus, and creating beautiful sound with the instrument. The designated “Suzuki Parent” is present in the lesson, taking notes and participating in activities as directed by the teacher. These classes are supplemented by monthly performance practice sessions in which all families gather together for a couple of hours to listen.

Many times it is the finer details that will make playing easier, so attention to details becomes a way of working. The child absorbs this in a natural, unhurried way, at the pace determined by the child. The teacher’s role is to provide the various elements required for learning guitar in the most simple and direct way, and then step back to allow these elements to come together in a spontaneous way.

Learn more about the Suzuki Method.

Watch a video about the Suzuki Guitar Method.

Guitar Instruction for Adults

Mr. Rodriguez offers private lessons for adults in: Classical, Flamenco and Latin American styles, Bossa Nova and other Brazilian styles.  He is also well versed in Acoustic rock and folk styles and excels at teaching songwriting on the guitar.  Tomas offers a guitar “crash course”  for music therapists and other professionals who need to learn the guitar quickly for practical applications.

Tomas works with a wide range of adult students from those leading busy professional and parenting lives to freelancers and retirees. Many of Tomas’ adult students maintain full schedules and have little time to practice.  Tomas provides guidance in maximizing the effectiveness of practice time, in addition to providing lesson material . He selects material that is bound to inspire the student to progress musically and technically while also being accessible and fun. Tomas’ familiarity with a variety of music-focused apps and software to supplement and focus home practice is also an important part of his guiding the adult beginner and intermediate student.

Private lessons are supplemented by an Adult Guitar Ensemble and a bi-monthly Performance Practice Workshop for adults. These are informal gatherings in which adult students perform a couple of pieces to an audience of their fellow students and invited friends and family over wine and cheese.

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