"I have been playing guitar for my own enjoyment for 40 years. As a boy I briefly had casual lessons in strumming along to popular music. The lessons weren't very serious or effective, and so I'm pretty much self taught. Over the years I've become an accomplished dilettante able to impress the nonmusicians, but always aware that I didn't really play very well. In all that time I've often wondered how the really talented musicians learned their craft, never more so than while watching my son's slow progress with the laughably unchallenging lessons at Bach to Rock. This Christmas I told my wife I would really enjoy having some serious instruction, and she went hunting for the best the region had to offer. She found Alexander Rani at NOVA. I progressed more in my first 4 lessons with Alexander than I have in the last decade. I see now how accomplished musicianship is not some unattainable feat of the few truly blessed. Proper technique and a little diligence can see even an old duffer like me making beautiful music. My wife, who thought I was ridiculous for wanting to take lessons when I already knew how to play, keeps telling me how shocked she is at the difference. I feel like an idiot for thinking it was beyond me and not seeking out a real teacher before. And that has been the difference: a real teacher. Alex is fabulous. I have to say I find it intimidating to be sitting down with such a tremendously accomplished musician. He is so at ease doing things I know are extremely difficult and he can throw in endless variations of his own creation seemingly without having to think at all. He is a concert quality guitarist of the very first order. However he is wonderful at making you feel at ease. He is kind and patient and never condescending or harsh. (And I promise, my playing should try his patience if anyone's will!). I won't say he makes it easy. Quite the opposite. Alex will challenge you at your level of ability. He will take you out of your comfort zone and on to the next skill or technique and tell you you are ready to do more. For me the first run through anything new seems completely alien, and many of these things I wouldn't have given more than a first try. But Alex patiently takes you through one little bite at a time and quickly it becomes more natural. In a short time you are doing things that you didn't think you had in you. And that has been the biggest surprise. I haven't gotten very far yet, but now I understand how it is done, how accomplished musicianship is attainable one skill at a time. Thanks, Alex."