GUITAR LESSONS AT OCTOPUS

Guitar lessons at Octopus Music School are taught using our proprietary OPUS curriculum (Octopus Poly-Instrumental Units of Study). OPUS consists of ten grade levels, each with a requisite assessment and certification. Unlike many other schools, Octopus teaches guitar students to read notes and interpret sheet music the same as a student studying the violin or piano. Tablature and chord charts are not a substitute for reading notes on the staff and students taught purely using those methods will ultimately not understand the music they are playing.

 

With consistent practice at recommended intervals, our carefully designed curriculum prepares students to quickly advance from day one by equipping them with the necessary tools and scaffolding to build a comprehensive understanding of the guitar. In addition to learning note-reading, rhythm interpretation, and proper technique, students are exposed to theory, aural training, music appreciation, and collaborative courses with peers to help cultivate an immersive environment in which to thrive.

Lessons are still tailored to individuals' unique learning needs, and repertoire remains flexible so that students are able to learn music which interests them, however the core content and benchmarks have been standardized to ensure fast and steady progress for students of all ages and skill levels.

GIAN

Gian is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, majoring in guitar performance with a minor in record production and engineering. Throughout his time at Berklee he had the honor of studying under in demand session guitarists such as Thaddeus Hogarth, Tim Miller, David Tronzo and Chuck D’Aloia. He participated in multiple ensembles which explored the styles of blues, jazz, rock, latin, funk, celtic and bluegrass music, which contributed significantly to his love and understanding of various world music styles. Always intrigued by how instruments worked, his hobby became repairing instruments for other musicians, in addition to crafting his own guitars and amplifiers. His love for music and sharing knowledge drove him to start teaching guitar and sound engineering around Boston and the Tri-State area. He has written a catalog of original jazz and blues compositions with a style all his own. Over the past few years Gian has toured and recorded with new and well established bands up and down the east coast. Today you can find him playing with his own blues/fusion band G-Force around NYC and Boston.

JACQUELINE

Jacqueline received her BM in Music Education from Ithaca College and her MA in Music & Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a full-time elementary music teacher and also greatly enjoys teaching private music lessons. Jacqueline has performed as a soloist as well as in a variety of ensembles throughout her life including choirs, vocal ensembles, concert bands, wind ensembles, orchestras, jazz bands, and pit orchestras. She is an active participant of Carnegie Hall’s Music Educator’s Workshop. Jacqueline’s specialty is early childhood music, but she has had experience teaching students of all ages, including students with special needs. Her goal is to make music learning joyful and frustration free.

JOSH

Josh began his teaching career while still a young student of the guitar. He went on to graduate cum laude with a degree in Studio Music and Jazz from the prestigious Frost School of Music at the University of Miami where he was the recipient of multiple awards and scholarships including the Dr. Duncan A. Nelson Memorial Scholarship as well as the UMFS Scholarship for Music and Academic Performance. In addition to his rich experience as an instructor, Josh has also enjoyed an accomplished career as an audio engineer and worked on albums with such world-renowned artists as Nora Jones and The Civil Wars. A consummate performer, he is currently the musical director and lead guitarist of NYC-based gospel group, The Bliss Jockeys. Students of Josh will benefit from his expansive knowledge of a multitude of styles including jazz, blues, funk, rock, and pop and his many experiences as a working musician on and off the stage.

MICHAEL

A true multi-instrumentalist, Michael holds a BM in Classical Performance from Utah State University and a MA in Jazz Studies from Rutgers University. Studying and teaching classical and jazz on a variety of instruments (woodwinds, guitar, piano, etc) gives Michael a unique perspective beneficial to those learning multiple instruments. He also performs up and down the east coast playing everything from jazz clubs, Oktoberfest polkas, and rock shows/festivals.

MORT

Students studying with Mort will benefit from his extensive (over 20 years) experience in teaching Classical/Fingerstyle Guitar and pedagogy. For his Masters in Guitar, he attended Webster University in St. Louis and studied under Jeff Noonan and John McClellan. Mort's wealth of performance experience includes a current engagement with the NYC Classical Guitar Orchestra, an elite group that performs and records commissioned works for classic guitar in an ensemble setting. He also has over 30 years’ experience in the discipline of Ki- Aikido, a martial art that teaches calmness and confidence. His teaching focuses on techniques that help students of all ages apply their skills to a wide variety of music styles, and together with his fun, socratic teaching style, helps students become lifelong learners.

STEPHEN

Stephen is an experienced guitarist, bassist, and private instructor who is keen on creating an inclusive, laid-back, and enjoyable teaching environment. Currently he is working towards towards a Bachelors of the Arts in Music Education. Stephen’s knowledge and ear for blues, soul, rock, pop, and country have allowed him to play in a diverse range of bands, performing in countless venues from New York City to Asbury Park. Stephen continues to play live in band settings as well as compose his own original music as a singer/songwriter, giving him unique insight on song composition. Students of Stephen will quickly discover and share in his joy of making music, regardless of what form it might take.