Neil B. - Hey Joe Guitar

In-home music lessons. Manhattan and Brooklyn. Any age. Any instrument.

Neil B.

Neil B.

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What is your teaching philosophy?

I don’t like the “one-size-fits-all” approach. Instead, I tailor my lessons to each student. We work fundamentals, technique and musicality by incorporating music and ideas they are interested in. This way, they build tools and motivation to express whatever is “inside” them.

In your opinion, what is the right way to teach and what do you do in your lessons that makes you a good teacher?

The right way to teach depends largely on the personality, needs and wants of the students, but I always strive to spark enthusiasm and internal motivation in each student. I also help them develop pride in making progress, no matter how large or small. These are my most important values as a teacher.

How many years have you been teaching music lessons?

Three years. I graduated in 2018 from Manhattan School of Music with a Masters Degree in Classical Guitar Performance.

What are you most proud of in your musical career?

I am most proud of all the times I made music with my friends, as to me there is no greater joy than being able to share music with the people I love and care about. That is why I enjoy teaching and conveying this love of music to my students.

What’s the best compliment you have ever gotten as a music teacher?

I recently worked with 6- and 7-year-old girls in a group setting. The group sometimes struggled to stay on task and be attentive. The parents thanked me profusely for being extremely kind and patient with the girls despite the chaos. Being able to impart love of music to such an unruly group was quite an accomplishment!

What country have you travelled to that you like the most and why?

I enjoyed Italy most of all. I have had had many formative experiences in that beautiful country, attending music festivals that were crucial for me in discovering who I wanted to be as a musician, what I was interested in, how I could get better, and generally how I fit into the world as a human. The food there is also not bad. All that wonderful pasta!

What languages do you speak?

English, although I picked up some Italian phrases while traveling there.

If you could perform with any musician (alive or dead), who would it be and why?

One musician I’d love to perform with is the soprano Barbara Hannigan. In addition to being an astounding singer, she is also a prominent conductor. Ms. Hannigan has the ability to sing repertoire, shows disciplined acting talent, virtuosic singing ability, and is one of the most transcendent musicians working right now.

Do you have any interesting or unusual hobbies? If so, tell us about it.

I love solving crosswords, and I also recently read an entire book on octopi. I know these interests are completely incongruent, but what can I say — I like words and marine life!

What are you currently listening to on the radio, iPod, iTunes, Spotify, etc.?

Mary Halvorsen for one — she is an incredible guitarist, singer and overall musician. She writes music in a jazz vein but incorporates myriad influences from the avant-garde, free jazz and pop songs. Her music is so unique. I love listening to her.