Guitar Teachers for Adults in Ithaca, NY

Are you frustrated that you’ve been playing the guitar for months or years and you’ve not improving?


Are you new to guitar and are not sure where to start?


Would you like to be able to write songs, jam with others, or play by ear but you’re not sure how to learn these things?

If you’re an adult in Ithaca, NY and answered ‘yes’ to any of these, our guitar teachers can really help!

I feel you.  If you’re feeling frustrated or uncertain, believe me I have been there before.  In fact the times of biggest frustration were always just before the periods of most rapid progress because those were the times I sought out lessons.  In fact, I still take guitar lessons and I love them.  Consider this:

  • Most adults who first come through our doors have felt similar challenges that kids cannot even conceive of: demanding work schedules, ongoing family responsibilities, limiting beliefs about your ability to learn or be creative, etc.
  • What we’ve found over our 20+ years of teaching is that having a teacher is by far the fastest, easiest and most fun way to make rapid progress on the guitar.  Teachers who understand and appreciate these challenges because they have been there before can really help simplify what to do and how to do it as well as inspire adult students in a variety of ways.
  • Some feel inspired by jamming with others (which we facilitate for students who want that); others like strumming chords to or playing the riffs of the songs they love; some like writing songs; others like performing at our recitals, recording on our annual student album, etc.  The point is to have fun, and the most fun path is different for each student.  Therefore each student gets a customized lesson strategy long-term, medium-term and short-term goals in writing.
  • We also hold students accountable for hitting those goals, especially for those for whom accountability is a motivating factor in their practice time.  Other adults have very limited practice time, and we have proven strategies whereby you can still make good progress if this is the case with you.
adult taking guitar lessons
adult with guitar teacher ithaca

“I am more inspired because I have a direction.”

“I’ve improved a lot. I actually, since taking lessons I know that I’ve improved a lot on my soloing ability, which is the main reason why I set out to take them. But also, I think some of my rhythm technique has gotten better, also.

One reason why I would recommend Dennis to teach guitar is that he can give you help with determining where you need to go and give you a way to get there.

I am more inspired to practice because I feel like I have a direction. Well, I like going in and not knowing exactly what’s going to happen, and I enjoy a challenge.

…The recital was good fun. It was great seeing all the other guitarists and how much they’ve learned. There are some very talented guitarists which just goes to show even if you’re very talented, you need to take lessons. Lessons do good for you.” – Wayne Gottlieb (now celebrating 2 years as a student)

What Makes Guitar Lessons Ithaca Different:

It’s not a one size fits all approach for our students. We constantly look at your guitar goals, and we always customize your lessons, so you get what you need.

We don’t make our students do boring stuff, ever.  As guitarist, we never wanted to do boring exercises, so we don’t give them to you!   After all, learning guitar should be fun, right?

We find out what you love and do our best to teach you that.  We make the content relevant to the music you want to make.   We give you exactly what you need to practice so you can enjoy practicing and improve your playing steadily.

We show you how to apply what you’re learning in real-life situations. We don’t just give you knowledge and musical tools, we show you how to use them, whether you want to perform, jam with friends, write songs, or simply play on your own for fun.

At our school, we give plenty of opportunity for students interested in jamming, performing, and recording.  Doing these great activities significantly improves your musical skills, and they are a lot of fun too, but they are optional.

The scheduling is totally flexible with lots of lesson times (both daytime and evening) available throughout every week.  We know that you have busy schedules, and that’s why we offer our classes on Zoom and in person.  We don’t want life getting in the way of your guitar playing!

“The Lessons are Really Fun as well as Challenging”

“I started [taking lessons] knowing nothing, and I think I’ve really progressed a lot, and it was probably more than I thought I could be doing at this point.  So I’m very happy about that.

I like singing and I thought if I could play along to my own things, I thought it could be fun.  But after starting the lessons, I’ve actually learned that I also like to play the melody as well.  So I think that’s been a new challenge for me, but it’s been fun. So I’ve been learning both standard notation and tab.  So three parts of my lessons are chords, tabs, and standard notation reading, and all three parts have been really fun as well as challenging.  But I think I’ve been learning a lot.

What I like is that we do a lot of songs, and songs that I know.  I learned maybe 20-30 songs, and that’s not something that I expected when I started, so I like that now I can play songs that I know.” – Heeyon Kim (now celebrating her 3rd anniversary as a student)

Spotlight on Head Teacher Dennis Winge

What Makes The School Unique

Dennis reflects on how his own performing & teaching  experience helps makes the school like none other in the Ithaca area.

Dennis says:

It took me nearly 40 years to become the pro player I am today (for my longer bio go to my own personal website).  Looking back, I realize how much time was wasted with poor teachers, although I did not know this at the time.

I am on a mission not to let this happen to other guitarists!  There is no reason it should take decades to become the musician you want to become.  With the right knowledge of what to do and how to do it, combined with the motivation and excitement that frequently accompany taking lessons, you can learn quickly and easily!

I actually still take lessons myself, and I love them.  There is always more to learn and I find that expanding my musical mind and technical skills are fuel for creative inspiration.  To date, I have 9 instrumental albums out as a leader and have appeared on countless others.  I am in several bands and gig all throughout the year.

Whatever your musical goals are, you deserve to meet them, you just need to be shown how!

“It Means A Lot to Me that He Pushed Me to Get This Far”

“So I started taking lessons with Dennis a couple years ago, and on my first lesson, one of the first things he asked me was something like, “What do you want to be able to do with a guitar?” And…what I said was, “I want to be able to write songs for a group and sort of play them with a band. A week ago, three other guys I’ve been playing with, we played a two-set show with about a dozen originals. Five or six of them were mine, and it was one of the funnest things I’ve ever done. And its taken a lot of work.

Dennis has helped me become a better guitarist and a better songwriter, and I just cant tell you… It means a lot to me that he pushed me to get this far, so mission accomplished!

One thing that happens to me when I take lessons is I have very specific things to practice that really helps me along. When I don’t have lessons, I play a lot of guitar, but I don’t know how much it moves me forward. But when I have specific things to work on week to week, you can just feel yourself getting better.” – Adam Bauchner (celebrating 2 years as a student)