San Francisco Guitar Teachers
International guitar soloist Lyle Sheffler began playing classical guitar at the age of seven and made his first public appearance at the age of eight. Acclaimed for his artistry, warm tone, and captivating programs, he has played at such esteemed venues as Carnegie Hall, Freight & Salvage Stadium, the Tilles Center, and the Hanoi Opera House, as well as numerous other concert halls around the globe. In addition to solo recitals, Lyle has performed as a concerto soloist with orchestras with Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Fantasia para un Gentilhombre” and Antonio Vivaldi’s Guitar Concerto in D Major.
In the fall of 2012, Lyle was invited to tour the Middle East and Asia with Celebrity Cruises as asolo classical guitarist. He was also selected to participate in the prestigious Ile de Ré
International Guitar Festival in France, led by guitar virtuoso Philippe Villa in 2010. While in France, Lyle was hand picked to perform in a solo concert held open to the public, as well as to play first guitar in several different chamber ensembles. During the summer of 2009, Lyle was awarded the opportunity to participate in both the Iserlohn Classical Guitar Festival in Germany and the Polish Guitar Academy in Poznan, Poland. There, he performed both in ensembles and as a soloist. He has participated in master classes with many world-renowned artists including Manuel Barrueco, David Russell, and many others.
Lyle earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the prestigious Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where he studied under the tutelage of acclaimed guitar pedagogue Ray Chester.
Lyle received his Masters of Music degree in classical guitar from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the instruction of Guitar Foundation of America competition winner and Naxos recording artist Marc Teicholz and department chair David Tanenbaum. As a performer, Lyle has become an integral part of the San Francisco music community, both as a soloist and as member of the Duo Boheme with flutist Courtney Wise. He also maintains a thriving teaching studio and is now accepting students in the San Francisco Bay Area. Besides classical guitar, Lyle is proficient on double bass, mandolin, bouzouki, banjo, and lute. He looks forward to a future of sharing his love for the guitar with his audiences and students, alike..
Whitt Vicena is a guitarist based out of the Bay Area in Northern California. He is well versed in many different genres of music including Blues, Pop, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Country and Rock and Roll. From an early age, Whitt had a very deep connection with music as it was always around him. His mother was a sound engineer and his father a professional bass player. In elementary school he saved his lunch money and would buy records and CD's. With an unusual interest in older music such as Chuck Berry, BB King, The Meters and The Rolling Stones, Whitt knew he wanted to play an instrument, but nothing clicked until his sister taught him a few open chords on an acoustic guitar.
Whitt started playing guitar at the age of 13. By age 15 he was sitting in at blues jams and by 16 he was playing paid gigs. At 20 years old he moved to St. Thomas in the Caribbean where he played 5 to 7 nights a week with many different bands, playing a multitude of styles of music. He was also teaching guitar in the daytime at G-Clef Music Academy as well as teaching private lessons. He has since moved back to the Bay Area where he currently plays and teaches.
Jeremy Pridgeon is a guitarist and teacher focused primarily on improvisation. He began learning blues and rock by ear in his early teenage years. He spent several years recording and touring with various rock bands before attending Indiana University, where he briefly studied classical guitar and theory. He then transferred to Sonoma State University to focus specifically on jazz, completing his bachelors degree in 2007. He has performed in rock bands, jazz combos, latin jazz combos, and in theater. As a teacher, he strives to understand students' goals and plan lessons to most effectively reach them, and to help them to find and develop their own voice on the instrument.
Anthony began learning trumpet and music theory at age 11 in Tampa, FL. By age 12, he was learning guitar and playing trumpet in big band style jazz ensembles, marching band and concert band. By age 15, he started his own band and composing his own material. At age 18, Anthony was performing music all over Florida whether it was playing trumpet with the North End Community Jazz Band at the Orlando Jazz Fest, or playing guitar and singing in his original rock band at venues in the Tampa Bay area.
After some extensive traveling throughout North and South America, Anthony wanted to learn more about Afro-Latin rhythms and poly-rhythms and joined an Afro-Peruvian ensemble in Santa Cruz, CA. From 2008-2014, he played trumpet, bass and cajon drum in this ensemble and sang in Spanish. The experience inspired Anthony to incorporate this new style with his existing knowledge of music theory and composition and in 2015, started working on his second original ensemble. The group formed in Santa Cruz, CA and has been playing venues and festivals around the Bay Area since 2016. Anthony composes most of the group's material and performs on vocals, trumpet, guitar, bass, percussion, synthesizer, drum pad and loop pedal.
Anthony has been teaching guitar professionally since age 24, whether privately or through agencies, in Tampa, FL and Santa Cruz, CA. He now resides in Oakland, CA where he is continuing his endeavors in performing original material and teaching individuals how to do so themselves.
Christopher Main is a guitarist/composer/educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Christopher earned a Bachelor of music degree in Jazz Studies from San Jose State University where he studied under some great local musicians such as Rick Vandivier, Aaron Lington, John Shifflett and Frank Sumares.
Since receiving his degree Christopher has been teaching and playing shows in the Bay Area. Christopher currently works as a sideman and a band leader leading his own quintet of original music. A large portion of Christopher's original music can be heard off of his recent debut album entitled "Moving On".
Ayden Graham is a singer-songwriter multi-instrumentalist from the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been performing since his youngest days, beginning with the violin at age 8 and then guitar at 16, fronting his first rock band at 19. Growing up on the music of Sting, Cat Stevens and The Beatles, he began his career busking in front of the local Three Twins Ice Cream shop. With a regular spot at the Sweetwater Saloon, Graham exploded onto the local music scene as a promising young voice. During two solo trips to Ireland Graham sharpened his fiddle playing in the pubs and sang on the streets for his supper.
From Classical to Celtic Folk, Rock and Reggae, he then branched out into Jazz, Funk and other World music styles. With a hunger for unusual sounds, he delved into the world of experimental electronic music at UCSC and began using synthesizers and looping in his live concerts. Since 2013, Ayden regularly performs at weddings, parties, farmers markets and corporate events using his distinctive blend of genres to create a captivating show. Ayden enjoys sharing his passion for finger-picking, funky rhythms and colourful chords with his students, seeking to impart a well-rounded view of music for those that want to explore and find their own unique voice.
Avery Pound is a 24-year-old musician and producer in the Bay Area. He has played guitar and drums since 2004 and taught since 2009, teaching all ages and skill levels. He has performed and studied in a diverse array of venues, groups and genres over the years. Avery studied composition, pedagogy and studio recording at Inspire School of Arts and Sciences. For 6 years, he has studied traditional Haitian and Cuban rhythm and song. Through private lessons as well as programs such as Unplugged Arts Kids Camp and Chico Theater Ensemble, Avery taught skills specifically for performance. In various groups he studied, taught and played jazz with a focus on improvisation. He also produces and coaches musicians in-studio for all genres.
By applying knowledge from pop, R&B, jazz, classical, rock, hip-hop and more, Avery discerns what will inspire a lifelong love for music in his students. He develops a practice routine that both improves technique and theory knowledge as well as piques their interest. Using a personalized practice regiment, Avery gives students the tools they need to skillfully express themselves and be confident in their musical abilities.
Travis Palmer is a very tasteful musician and well gifted educator. He started playing classic rock on guitar 13 years ago and has since gone to school for music, studying jazz guitar, classical piano and currently goes to school for jazz piano at San Jose State University. Additionally, he is also able to teach songwriting and both jazz and classical music theory.
Well versed in performing live, Travis has plenty of practical experience in music and has taught a wide range of ages, ranging from children in elementary school to retired adults. Travis seems to find the perfect balance of fun and strict practice routine to help his students get the most out of their practice.
Sam Jones is a 24-year old musician born and raised in San Francisco's Mission District. He's played drums since 2004 and guitar since 2009. Sam's performed in a variety of rock, folk, pop and experimental bands in the Bay Area and at an array of local venues. He studied music production and music theory at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, receiving a bachelor's degree in Electroacoustic Studies in 2016.
In recent years Sam has been working as a music teacher for preschoolers as well as sharing his enthusiasm for music with the community around him by teaching private lessons. His love for music has been described as infectious, getting others excited about performing and coming up with musical ideas has become his bread and butter. Since 2016 Sam has been on two tours with the local group Mayya, the Revolutionary Hell Yeah and most recently toured up and down the west coast with the legendary indie band, Deerhoof.
Sam's unique approach to drums and guitar instruction has a strong emphasis on the creative potential one can tap into with their instrument while developing a strong technical foundation. Sam is a friendly and positive teacher who is excited to share the inspiration of music with everyone.
Marc Zollinger is an Oakland based guitarist, composer and vocalist interested in the intersections between the Avant Garde of Jazz, Rock, Classical and Brazilian music. As a composer, Marc has premiered works for chamber ensembles ranging form to large ensemble to clarinet and piano as well as piece for solo alto saxophone.
As a performer he has played alongside musicians such as Kamasi Washington and William Winant at venues like the Watts Jazz Festival, the San Francisco Jewish Museum and the ODC Theater. Marc has a BA in Composition from Berklee College of Music and an MA in Composition from Mills College where he studied with Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Frith and Zeena Parkins.
Andrew Kunz began learning piano at the age of 6, quickly embracing the fundamentals of classical piano music before picking up the guitar at the age of 9. As he quickly progressed at piano and guitar at an uncanny pace thanks to his great teachers along with his good ear and enthusiasm for practicing, his musical pursuits began to diversify as he grew up. His focus expanded into learning music theory, ear-training, jazz, rock and composition alongside increasingly advanced classical repertoire on his respective instruments. In high school, his interest in new instruments grew to bass and drums and he became the drummer for his high school jazz band as a freshman. Before finishing high school he gained extensive performance experience on all four of his instruments in ensembles both in and outside of school, preparing him for a burgeoning music career in college and beyond.
Upon starting college in 2009, Andrew began pursuing two degrees at once - environmental studies and music- at University of California, Santa Cruz where he studied piano performance and ear-training with Maria Ezerova, Ph.D., a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory. As he focused on the piano repertoire of the greats including Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Shubert and Debussy he also explored his love of jazz and modern music to new depths as the pianist for the UCSC small jazz combos and big band for several years. While in Santa Cruz he developed his voice as an artist, bandleader, composer, arranger and producer in his own groups and continues to hone these crafts today. Along with his foundation in western classical music his interests as a listener and performer currently include jazz, funk, soul, hip hop, rock and folk music to world music traditions such as west african music, classical North Indian music, balkan, afro-latin and caribbean music.
In addition to performing and teaching, last year his knowledge led him to a project working under the tutelage of a master of classical Hindustani music where he helped edit, format and publish an instructional text book for beginners on the fundamentals of classical North Indian vocal music tradition. Now 27 and based in Oakland, CA, Andrew is an active performing and recording artist, having toured extensively up the west coast of the U.S. and Canada and has played at some of his favorite bay area music venues including the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Yoshi's, Great American Music Hall and the Independent.
While piano remains his primary instrument of focus, he maintains a high degree of proficiency playing and teaching guitar, bass and drums as well. His teaching style emphasizes cultivating and expanding upon each student's interests, strengths and learning patterns. Andrew focuses on making sure the student is engaged, challenged, having fun and always improving by providing a non-dogmatic, well-rounded approach to studying music. He looks forward to sharing his knowledge and joy of music with new students of all ages.
A Performing Arts major at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, Michael's passion is playing and teaching guitar. He's worked as a studio musician in the greater metropolitan New York area incorporating many different musical styles into recording format. He has played nationwide in live performances with various genres of music including rock & roll, classical, acoustic, country and jazz.
Michael is patient and compassionate, yet focused with decades of experience and success with students of all ages.