A guitar teacher's teaching experience is important. And finding a teacher who loves to teach will contribute significantly to your level of enjoyment as you learn. It will also increase the rate at which you progress.
Ellen has developed her program through many years of experience doing exactly what she loves to do - teaching.
This program is progressive and well-organized, with enough flexibility that the individual strengths and challenges, tastes and specific goals of each student can be taken into account as they learn the technique required to become a well-rounded independent musician.
Ellen makes the process of learning to read music feel completely natural and enjoyable.
Each year, a studio recital provides students with a performance opportunity. Recital participation is optional. Adults and the school-aged students perform in separate recitals.
Ellen's Experience and Background:
B.A. degree in Music from Mills College
M.A. degree in Music Theory from UCSB
Teaching individual lessons in guitar and music theory since 1981
Teaching all ages (4 through 94)
Teaching all levels (beginner through advanced)
Taught undergraduate classes in music fundamentals, advanced music theory and composition at UCSB
Taught in-school guitar classes (3rd grade through 12th grade) for seven years
Conducted children's choir
Conducted adult guitar ensemble
Read what some of Ellen's students have written about studying with Ellen on the Testimonials Page.
Payment Policy: Tuition is due by the 7th of each calendar month, in advance, for all the lessons we expect to have in that month. Payment may be made by cash or check. Late fee: $20. Bounced check fee: $20.
If you will be missing your first lesson of the month, please mail your check to arrive by the 7th, so you can avoid the late fee. Advance payments for excused absences, and for lessons canceled by me will be credited toward the following month's tuition. Tuition will be reduced by the amount of the credit, but will nevertheless be due by the 7th of the month. An excused absence is a lesson canceled with at least 24 hours notice or canceled due to medical emergency, sudden illness, or unsafe road conditions.
If you discontinue lessons completely at any time, advance payments will be refunded for lessons canceled with at least 24 hours notice.
Cancellation Policy: If you need to reschedule a lesson, please give me as much notice as possible. This increases our chances of finding another time, and enables me to utilize your regular time for another student. Under the following circumstances, absences will be considered excused and tuition for them will be credited to the next month's tuition: if at least 24 hours notice is given, or in cases of medical emergency, sudden illness, or icy road conditions. Full payment will be expected for unexcused absences.
If you choose to reschedule and unexcused absence, you will need to pay for both the unexcused absence and the make-up lesson. This is because without ample notice, both your missed lesson time and the "make-up" time will have been dedicated solely for your use.
Vacation and Extracurricular Activities Policy: Your lesson time in my schedule will be held at no charge for up to three weeks for a summer vacation. For absences of a longer duration, your spot will be held for you if payment is made before you leave for lessons you will miss beyond the first three. The same policy applies to participation in an organized sport, school play or school concert. Beyond the first three missed lessons, payment will be required for additional missed lessons to enable me to hold your spot for you.
Safe Child Policy: I am unable to ensure the safety of your child if I am in a lesson with another student or have left the premises. For this reason please do not drop your child off early before the lesson and please be here before the lesson ends to pick up your child.
Length of Lessons:
As is standard for music lessons, lessons last 55 minutes or 25 minutes. The 5 minutes between students allows teachers to “shift gears,” fill their water glass, etc.
Phone and Wireless Policy: I have Electromagnetic Radiation Poisoning, aka Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), microwave sickness or electrosensitivity. This means that the microwave radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices causes me to become physically ill and interferes with my concentration. So I must ask that you leave your cell phone, and any other wireless devices such as tablets and smart watches, in your car and on airplane mode during our lessons.
In addition, please leave at home, or in your car, wireless devices such as electronic exercise monitors, trackers, building access badges or fobs, and garage door openers, phone chargers, and anything that uses Bluetooth, etc.