Guitar is a versatile instrument because it can play both melodies (single notes at a time) and chords in so many different styles.
» Guitar is a 6-stringed fretted instrument that can be played by strumming or plucking. This can be done with a guitar pick or with your fingers.
» The frets on the fingerboard of the guitar give you flexibility in your finger positioning. Unlike other string instruments like violin or cello where your finger must be in the perfect position and angle to make the correct pitch, on guitar you can place your finger anywhere in between two frets and the pitch will come out the same.
» Because a lot of guitar music involves playing chords, guitar is a great instrument to sing along to. Even if you're not a singer, you might want to sing or hum along as you strum a song so you can feel where the chord changes are.
MEET THE TEACHERS
Or Shovaly has over twenty years of experience playing guitar. His roots are in in blues, rock, funk and pop, but he also focuses on jazz and ethnic music (middle eastern and African). He is a a member of two groups in the New Orleans area: a Jazz quartet and the Afro-Beat Band Kumasi, winner of a 2017 Big Easy Awards. Or holds a BA in Jazz Studies from the University of New Orleans where he concentrated in jazz guitar performance. He has over 5 years of experience teaching private guitar lessons with students of various ages, levels and interests. His teaching method focuses on playing by ear and learning about technical and theoretical concepts through the experience of learning a song of the student’s choice. He also teaches improvisation (soloing), reading, composing, harmonizing, and songwriting, depending on his students' goals and interests.
Kitty Jones comes from a family of musicians and grew up going to live shows and learning music from her own family. She decided to study music education and classical guitar in college because she wanted to become a well-rounded musician, and graduated in 2018 with a degree in University Studies with an emphasis in Creative Arts Education. Kitty has performed in various contexts: concert & marching band, Gospel & Soul choir, traditional & chamber choir, and as a lead singer and rhythm guitarist in her own band. Kitty is great at helping students believe in their abilities and she loves helping her students exceed their own expectations through lessons, practice, and encouragement.
Nick Bierman is an upbeat teacher whose passion for music is absolutely contagious. Nick spent most of his life picking up one instrument after another because he just couldn’t decide which was his favorite. After high school it seemed like the obvious choice for Nick to pursue a degree in music composition and continue his musical journey. During college he discovered a new passion for teaching music that he never knew he had. Now it’s Nick’s goal to spend all day teaching music and all night making music. If you’re looking for a die-hard music fan who will love music as much as you do, then Nick Bierman is your guy!
Acoustic guitar is what most of our guitar students start out on. They can be used for many different styles of music, from strumming chords to fingerpicking. Acoustic guitars come in full size, 3/4 size, and 1/2 size. Young students will probably need a smaller size guitar to practice on.
Electric guitars use amps to amplify and sometimes distort their sound. Though you can technically practice (very softly) without an amp, you won't get that typical "electric guitar" sound. Electric guitars have a thinner body, making them easier for young students to hold. The strings are also easier to press down than an acoustic guitar.
Classical guitars are shaped slightly differently than acoustic guitars and they use nylon strings, which are easier to press down. The typical method of playing a classical guitar is fingerpicking (versus strumming).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
about guitar lessons at NOLA School of Music
WHAT STYLES OF GUITAR DO YOU TEACH?
We teach rock, pop, acoustic, folk, country, classical, blues, jazz, improvisation, and more. If you have a specific style of music you're interested in learning, talk to us and we'll be happy to work with you on the music you want to learn!
WILL I NEED TO BUY A GUITAR?
Yes. We do not provide instruments for our students to take home, so you'll need to purchase or rent an instrument.
We actually have a select number of guitars available for rent to our students. Ask us about rentals when you sign up for lessons and we'll let you know what we have available!
Feel free to schedule your first lesson, even if you don't have an instrument yet. Nick will help you figure out what you'll need, where to shop, and what to look for.
WHAT AGES DO YOU TEACH?
We teach all ages, from 4 to adult. A lot of our students are actually adults who are learning an instrument for the first time!
For younger students interested in playing guitar, we often recommend starting out on ukulele. Because of its smaller body and fewer strings, ukulele is a great starter instrument for children whose hands and arms aren't quite big enough to play guitar.
30-minute lessons are our most popular option at NOLA School of Music. They are ideal for beginners and children who don't have enough material (or the attention span) for a longer lesson.
60-minute weekly lessons are great for adults or intermediate/advanced students. An hour lesson gives your teacher plenty of time to focus on technique, sight-reading, improvisation, and other aspects of music without being rushed.
For many students, 45-minute weekly lessons are the perfect sweet spot. Since 45-minute lessons are difficult to schedule, they may only be available during early afternoon hours or late evening.