There are just so many good things I can say about the Downtown Guitar School. My three years of lessons with Roger were truly a delight. A hectic and demanding work schedule forced me to put the lessons aside for a while, but I hope to return one day soon.
For starters, Roger is a wonderful musician, singer and songwriter, with a superb understanding of music theory. For me, among the many things that make him special is his ability to translate those skills and that knowledge into a language that the student can understand and benefit from. His enthusiasm, calm demeanor and wonderful sense of humor help to make the lessons a delight.
I had the great fortune to be one of the Downtown Guitar School’s first students. I started my lessons much later in life than many – I was in my late 50s – and I had a bit of experience with the guitar. That really means that I knew three or four of the basic chords. Roger did an excellent job of evaluating just what I did know about the guitar and music, and he was able to create a lesson plan that would work best for me. And one of the wonderful things about the lesson plan was that it was flexible. In our lessons, in learning new songs, as I would bring in questions, or examples of guitar playing that struck my fancy, Roger was willing to divert a bit from our planned course to answer the questions and to explore and explain various riffs or chord progressions that caught my ear.
Roger’s patience was remarkable, and I did more than my share of testing it. He is willing to move along as fast as you like – as long as progress is being made – or to take all the time necessary.
Some of the great memories that will always stay with me were the public performances – recitals – that we did. I had little interest in, in fact had a great deal of fear about, performing in front of a room filled with people. The performances were an absolute delight. Roger worked hard to make sure we were all prepared for the performances and he was right there on stage with us, putting us completely at ease. By the end of the first performance I absolutely understood the lure of the stage for a performer.
My time with the Downtown Guitar School has truly been a life changer. I find some time, even if it is just a few minutes, to play the guitar every day now. It is one my great joys in life. At times I wish I had run across something like the Downtown Guitar School 40 years ago, but I am so grateful it was there when I truly was ready to embrace the guitar.