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John G.

Instrument(s): Guitar, Bass Guitar
Areas of Work: Nassau
Type(s) of Lessons Offered: In Home

Inspired by the bands Boston, Heart, and KISS, as well as the huge variety of music heard at home due to music loving parents (his dad is an operatic tenor), John picked up guitar at 10 years old, was playing gigs with his band at 14, and teaching at 16. Along the way, he has had many outstanding teachers, including world-class guitar virtuoso George Bien, who he met while attending Five Towns College. Now with 30 years teaching under his belt, John is able to bring students of any level, and/or background to their musical goals.

On a personal note, John LOVES to teach! Through this enjoyment, and a wealth of experience, he personally ensures that each and every student quickly gains the skills to make music, while having as much fun as he does! He makes sure to bring everything he’s gone through as both teacher and student, and closely relates the success of his students with his own success. (He also loves dogs and cats, so no worries if you have pets! They might even make a new friend!)

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Michael D.

Instrument(s): Guitar, Bass Guitar
Areas of Work: Nassau, Suffolk
Type(s) of Lessons Offered: In Home

Michael has been playing guitar for over 10 years, with experience in classical, rock, pop and metal. In May of 2016, he received his Bachelors of Arts in Music with Honors from Hofstra University. Throughout the time at Hofstra, he studied various aspects of music, including advanced levels of harmony, ear training, music history, keyboard harmony, and performance practice. Michael studied classical guitar at Hofstra, and performed in Hofstra’s classical guitar ensemble and university choir.

He has been performing in bands of various styles for over 8 years. Currently, Michael performs and composes for a Long Island based group named Consonance, a progressive metal band incorporating jazz and pop influences. Consonance performs regularly at various popular Long Island venues, as well as Brooklyn, NYC and out of state. In addition to his performing experiences he currently works at The Paramount, a popular 1,500 music venue in Huntington.

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Michael R.

Instrument(s): Guitar, Bass Guitar
Areas of Work: Nassau, Suffolk
Type(s) of Lessons Offered: In Home

Michael is an active performer and teacher of guitar, as well as a composer. His playing experience ranges from classical guitar, chamber music, jazz big bands, rock/funk and jazz fusion. Michael studied classical guitar at C.W. Post under the direction of Professor Harris Becker, and Jazz Guitar under Professor Mark Marino. While attending Post, Michael performed in numerous recitals and master classes, and was also the resident jazz guitarist of the C.W. Post Jazz Band as well as the school’s Renaissance music consort. He has performed at the Long Island Guitar festival throughout the years. Some of the world-renowned classical guitarist Michael has played for include: Manuel Barreuco, Sharon Isbin, Carlos Dominiconi, and Benjamin Verdery. Michael’s versatility, knowledge, and proficiency of a wide range of styles of music make him a sought after performer and teacher. Besides classical music, Michael is fluent in jazz, rock, blues, and world music styles among others. He has composed recordings for such corporations as Harman International Group, and performed on local TV. In 2014, a classical work for violin and guitar that Michael composed was premiered at “A Midsummer Music Dream / Songe d’été en musique” in Quebec, Canada. Michael is currently an active performer and guitar/bass instructor in the Long Island, NY area.

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Michael Violette

Instrument(s): Guitar, Bass Guitar, Piano, Ukulele, 5 String Banjo, Mandolin, Woodwinds
Areas of Work: Suffolk
Type(s) of Lessons Offered: In Home, Online

Michael has been at the helm of String Sound Studios since 1986. Mainly a guitarist, he is also well-schooled in bass guitar, piano, and some woodwinds. He is considered by his peers to be a talented multi-instrumentalist with skills on 5-string banjo, ukulele, and mandolin. While at Five Towns College, Michael studied with master musicians Peter Rogine, John Dewitt, and Donna Olson. Michael insists on being eclectic and shares a deep understanding of jazz, rock, blues, and classical music with all his students. Michael has a world view of music which includes Latin, eastern, and western elements that show up in his arranging.

Over the years, many of his students have been accepted into music colleges and are actively involved in the music industry today. Michael is also an ace transcriber, arranger, and extremely knowledgeable in using music software such as Sibelius to arrange and compose music for the ensembles at our Setauket studio. For over 30 years he has been guiding students in NYSSMA, All-State, recitals and college auditions. Michael’s influences range from Bach to Larry Carlton, and he has played with numerous bands as a freelancer over the years. He is in the midst of a finger-style solo guitar project and involved in private and ensemble music instruction.

Along with possessing a strong musical prowess, Michael and his family are very involved with ice skating and ice hockey.

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Moreno F.

Instrument(s): Guitar, Bass Guitar, Voice
Areas of Work: Suffolk, Nassau
Type(s) of Lessons Offered: In Home

Moreno inherited his love and talent for music from his grandfather, father, and extended family. From the age of two, he started by strumming an open G on cavaquinho to accompany his father. He began taking piano lessons when he was six and trombone lessons when he was ten, performing in the Oyster Bay district bands.

In middle school, he began taking guitar and bass guitar lessons. Continuing to play all these instruments, he went on to perform in the district’s choruses, a cappella choirs, jazz bands, and community bands. He competed in NYSSMA on solo trombone, solo voice, and group vocalist. He also performed in All-County choirs and concert bands, musicals, and summer theater shows.

While in high school, he and his best friends started Suggested Donation, a band that went on to perform locally. They went on to play mostly improvised music over the years, and continue to do so today.

Two years of music theory classes in high school prepared Moreno to continue studying on his own, with the help of occasional instruction. After traveling for two years, he moved to New Orleans, where he studied Al Di Meola guitar technique and his favorite compositions, including Jobim, música popular brasileira, jazz, and rock pieces. Deconstructing arrangements note by note, analyzing, and rearranging these pieces for different instruments and ensembles provided an important foundation to continue his musical journey.

After living in New Orleans for five years and spending six months in Seattle studying alternate tunings, Moreno moved back to New York. He began teaching professionally and playing samba with Tom de Deus on cavaquinho.

Having continued to teach ever since, he has gained experience teaching a wide variety of instruments and students with different musical goals. Moreno forms the lessons around the compositions that each student chooses to learn, enriching the student experience with theoretical analysis and explanation.

He befriended Aeroplane Pageant and eventually joined joined them as a bassist. He began to play other instruments and perform backup vocals in the band, performing live on the radio in NYC and at Great South Bay Music Festival. They are currently completing a new album.

Moreno worked with Steve Morrill in 2018 to adapt a standard guitar into a baritone guitar, which he has since adopted as one of his main instruments. In 2019, he organized, hosted, and performed at an American folk music program at Kingsland Homestead, a house built circa 1785, of Queens Historical Society.

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