View Full Version : Guitar lessons............

01-24-2011, 06:23 AM
Lookin' for some for my 13 year old-any suggestions?

01-24-2011, 07:49 AM
There are lots of options out there. The most important thing is finding a teacher to fit your child's personality so they will want to go back.

Ontario School of Music, Case's music, Tom Walls, Bocturoc (new place next to the new Superior Heights on Second Line). All of these places have good teachers and similar rates.

Bill Nash
01-24-2011, 09:11 AM
Dennis MacGregor on Wellington Street East. He is the best there is locally. He teaches out of Tom Walls School of Music as well, but also teaches privately from his home. He was great with my son, .... really knows his stuff.

01-24-2011, 09:37 AM
I think the best overall experience in town has to be Case's Music. Some of my family went there for lessons and had so much fun with concerts and everything. I know they have great teachers there too, and have really got the impression that it's a really positive environment.

01-24-2011, 12:02 PM
My opinion ... don't go to one of those schools. They drag you through far too much theory in the first stages and it tends to send the kids in a direction they don't want to go. Kids want to play guitar, they want to play the newest Green Day riff or whatever it is they are into. They want to learn lead scales so they can play lead guitar. They DON'T want to learn "Ode to Joy" and be able to read the music as they play it. Yes, it's important to understand theory but the schools in town (for the most part) exclude the actual playing a little too much in my opinion.

What do I think?

You find a guy in town who plays in a band, or in his basement even ... but the guy is a schooled musician. He can shred, he can play blues and can even get classical when the time requires it. These are the REAL players, not some old fogy who will teach you "Mary had a little lamb" or some pathetic musical piece as such.

Get lessons from a REAL lead guitar player and your son will enjoy it a lot more and develop a lot more.

A particular individual I know would be ideal but I'm not sure he gives lessons anymore.

Also ...

Stay away from Dennis MacGregor. (IMO)

"Case's" is good as well but in my opinion they lost one of their best teachers from what I had seen. Mike Davies (who taught a very long time) and John Ferguson opened up a new music gig beside Bawating. Unless Jamie (Case) is teaching there now ... Jamie fits the bill as the type of teacher/player I mentioned above. Case's Music is also good if they still let the kids play a live concert as well. This is very beneficial for the kids, not only for experience to be on stage but it gives them something to strive for. THey know if they continue to play they will definitely be on stage at some pointh(even if it is just with the rest of the class). So ... Case's has it's positive points, just make sure they have a decent teacher there still.

I do not believe Mike (Case) is teaching any longer.

Barry Morris
01-24-2011, 03:15 PM
I have a 12 year old son at Cases, and loving it.

Bill Nash
01-24-2011, 04:40 PM
Case Music is also good, I was just referring to Dennis MacGregor because of the success my son had with him.

Dixie Normous, .... you know little about learning music. I taught music at the high school level in the 70's, and if anything is a must, it is teaching the fundamentals to young people who know little or nothing about music. Young people learn very fast, and learning the fundamentals allows them to not only play the instrument for which they are taking lessons, but enables them to be self-taught with other instruments as well.

Playing a musical instrument properly is not just about getting out the sound you want to hear. Learning and using the proper use of your body physically in the performance of the instrument is vital to success. proper fingering techniques, proper posture, proper breathing (yes even with a guitar), and holding an instrument properly all lead to the success of playing the instrument.

Once you learn to play a guitar properly, then you can experiment with holding it at your knees as you play, or pirouetting on stage with the guitar behind your head a you play a mundane repetitive riff. Even the best of musicians don't make it big, so anyone hoping to learn how to play the "Dixie Normous" way, had better have a second and third job.

If you just want to play with little success or ability, the library offers several self-taught books and videos on guitar, piano, drums, et al, ....

01-24-2011, 09:38 PM
MIKE DAVIES ROCKS!!!!!!!!!! My daughter has been taking lessons for 7 years. She's preparing for her university entrance exam. We started at Case's and moved with Mike. Mike also works with children with disabilities at his day job. He has a great personality and the kids love him. He is still in "the know" by still playing the scene locally. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! BOC TU ROC ROCKS!!!!!!!!!

01-24-2011, 10:47 PM
Stay away from Dennis MacGregor. (IMO)

Seriously? He's one of the most respected classical & modern guitar teachers in town. My sister took lessons with Dennis for a few years and went on to study Music Industry Arts at Fanshawe College. I've heard & seen nothing but great things about him. His students are constantly competing and winning awards in the Kiwanis Festival. I think all the local teachers have a variety of strengths, it's all about finding the one who matches the student best.

Like I said earlier, find the teacher that is the best fit for your child - ask questions and shop around to find out what that will be.

01-24-2011, 11:33 PM
I took lessons from Ian Thomas when I was a kid. He taught me how to play Classical Gas, and the principles of picking, strumming, and fingerwork. But he never taught me to play on my own. I did it 'cause it was expected and paid for, not 'cause I wanted to, and that makes a big difference in the end.
Teach a kid some chords and he'll play at Christmas. Teach a kid how to impress the girls, and he'll be a star.
Knowing how to play, and being able to are two entirely different things. The desire must come first, or else it's a waste of energy.
Try out a few, and the one that your child wants to return to is the one you must go with. And if they just shred for hours upon annoying hours...be grateful that they care. Having any semblance of musicality will last them a lifetime.
Me?...I am really good at playing the turntable.

01-25-2011, 12:15 AM
Roy Holmes was the best, but he's been gone a while now :(

01-25-2011, 03:39 AM
Like I said earlier, find the teacher that is the best fit for your child - ask questions and shop around to find out what that will be.

It's hard to argue with that. I know people that have taken lessons from both Case's and Thomas Walls. I don't think you can go wrong with either. It really does boil down to thew student's preferred style of learning. I'm not sure if Music Depot is giving lessons still, but I have dealt with the guys there too and have nothing but good things to say about them too. I think we are fortunate to have the music stores we do when taking into consideration the size of the city.