For Guitar and Bass lessons in South Portland, Maine…

I may be easily reached at 207 – 838 – 1704 0r

via email at:



Christopher Gilroy – Guitar Student:

“I am currently pursuing my Bachelors of Music in Classical guitar performance and have studied with John for over 10 years. He is by far the most enlightened, inspired teacher I have had the honor of learning from. His dedication is unmatched and he has an innate ability to recognize a student’s potential and then create a learning environment uniquely designed to allow that potential to flourish.
Whether you want to learn the Blues or interpret J.S. Bach, or anything in between, John’s understanding of Music and mastery of the guitar are truly limitless and his humble, genuine approach allows his students full access to this wealth of knowledge.
One of the most exciting things about studying with John is the fact that you walk away from every lesson having learned so much more than you could have ever possibly expected.”

Kathryn Smith – Guitar Student:

“From the very first conversation with John, I was impressed by his professionalism and immediately got a sense of not only his philosophy towards learning music, but also his passion for music and teaching others.

I have just entered my 12th year as a school psychologist in a public school district, working with students of all ages and with teachers who instruct at all levels. I can state with conviction that John was meant to be a ‘teacher’.

From my very first lesson with John, I have felt inspired and successful. With what seems like an infinite amount of patience and encouragement, John combines his truly remarkable skills in both music and teaching, with the kindest manner and sense of humor. Each week, I look forward to my lesson because for that one hour, I am immersed in the joy of learning and playing the guitar.

I highly recommend John as a guitar instructor and believe he will inspire and guide many more students to come.”

Lisa Ohland – Guitar Student:

“John knows the guitar, and music, and, apparently the ukulele, inside and out, he has the quiet enthusiasm to share what he knows, the patience of a saint, and a great, quiet, sense of humor.  I have absolutely no experience with music, exept for Glee Club in high school where they hid me in the back row, so I was apprehensive about taking up the guitar, but after 15 minutes with John, I was totally hooked.  There is no ego involved, and no pressure, but he is very encouraging and so I naturally want to play, and improve, every day.
He is a natural teacher, which is a gift.  I started out just hoping to learn the basics, and am now deep into music theory… I didn’t know what music theory was until I met John, and he has convinced me that I actually can learn this. I consider the time I spend with John musical meditation, and although I thought it would be a struggle, he makes learning the guitar fun and interesting, and the best part of my week.”
Andrea Ellis – Guitar Student:

“I decided to begin learning the guitar last summer.  I had thought that I would  “learn on my own” and so glad I reconsidered that decision!  Taking lessons from John has been a great experience.  I hadn’t played any sort of instrument since I was in elementary school…(the trumpet!).  So when I started guitar at age 43, I wasn’t sure how this  would go.  John has made learning the guitar so incredibly enjoyable.  He has the ability to take anything I bring to learn, and to make it reachable at my level.  This makes me want to practice and get better, because I feel  challenged and connected to the music I bring in.  I love the organic way that John teaches— chords, single string “stuff”, strumming, picking, even some music theory— all depending on what song(s) I am working on.  John is gifted at teaching multiple lessons within each lesson–there are so many layers, it is mind-boggling!   John’s knowledge of music is vast and deep. His style as a teacher makes learning guitar fun and accessible.  He is incredibly patient and is able to communicate clearly and non-judgmentally, shifting gears and finding an alternate approach when I am stuck.

I work as a therapist during the day and find that guitar is a wonderful way for me to rejuvenate.  It gives me a creative challenge and outlet that has helped me increase my appreciation of music in general.  I am listening (not just to music…) in new ways now, which I did not anticipate, and I am more curious about music in general.   I look forward to my lessons and always leave them feeling challenged, motivated and “upbeat”.

Vicky Roberts – Guitar Student:

“John is an unfailingly patient, easygoing, and encouraging teacher who shows genuine enthusiasm for his students and their progress. He is alert to the fact that individual students learn differently–some by ear (ideal in music!), but also through pictures, or patterns, or relationships. John has a great capacity for explaining concepts and techniques in a way the student will grasp, breaking down complicated ideas into pieces and then helping students put it all back together.Nearly every week, I brought in a new song to learn, and John would listen to it and then teach me an approachable version. He taught the mechanics of playing the chords and strumming, integrating instruction on music theory and history, all the while maintaining a sense of fun. For the first several months of my lessons, I took them with a friend who is learning to play bass guitar. John seemingly had an easy time instructing the two of us at once, even though we brought different instruments and different learning styles to the mix.”


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