What Students Are Saying

scroll down for beginner, intermediate or advanced students

Student Anniversaries

Congratulations to Hilary Greenberger who just hit her 5th anniversary! (see video below)

Others on the Wall of Fame (shown below) include Heeyon Kim (3 years), Dan Paolangeli (2 years), Chet Whitlock (2 years), Ricky Bitter (2 years).

** Beginners **

This is Heeyon who can play chords to a great many of her favorite songs as well as read tab and standard notation after only 3 1/2 months.  (Edit: She is now celebrating her 3rd anniversary with Guitar Lessons Ithaca and can play literally  hundreds of songs, read complex standard notation charts, and accompany herself singing.  She has participated in several events such as student albums and recitals.)

This is another student, Mark, who can already play great music like Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” after only 1 month of lessons!

This a testimonial from a Cornell student who had no experience playing a musical instrument, who explains how much she has learned in only 1 month!

There is a common myth among guitar teachers that in the very beginning you have to fill a new student’s head with all kinds of information and have them learn techniques they may never use.  Some students just want to be able to strum a few songs for their own enjoyment, for example.  Teaching them scales is a waste of time and has the potential to discourage any long-term progress.

Call Dennis at 607-222-3166

to schedule your free trial lesson or

click the button here to tell us more about yourself:

** Intermediate Players **

Hilary, currently celebrating 5 years as a student with our School (see lower video, is a professor at Ithaca College who is now in a very popular band and is making great progress on the guitar.  She says:

“Dennis has all the characteristics of a master teacher.  He has a thought-out plan for each lesson, adapts to students’ needs, is patient, has a good sense of humor, and is innovative.  His rotating format keeps things fresh, and even in group classes and jam sessions, he still individualizes the lessons to your needs.  His audio CDs are a great learning tool and his commuter audio series allows me to ‘practice’ while driving to and from the lessons.    My understanding of the fretboard has allowed me to really learn how to play rather than simply memorize songs and chords.  The amount that I learned from Dennis in the first 3 months was more than I learned in 3 years with my former teacher.  Dennis is the real deal.”

The third video is a follow-up to her receiving her award for achieving 5 years as a student wherein head teacher Dennis Winge reflects on the great many things she has learned and now can enjoy for life!

Gaurav says he never thought he could do what he is now doing on guitar thanks to Guitar Lessons Ithaca. This could be you! 🙂  Contact us for a free trial and discover the possibilities.

Adam’s goal was to play in a band that featured his songs.  A couple of years later, he is doing exactly that, and feels great about it.  Plus, as he says, his guitar skills (in addition to his songwriting skills) are improving as well.  Adam has been with the School for over 2 years now.

This video was taken when Liam, an Ithaca College student, was in his first year with Guitar Lessons Ithaca.  He knew quite a bit on guitar before taking lessons, but was having trouble putting it all together.  Three years later, he can now jam with almost anyone and can play a lot of the songs he listens to, even the complicated ones.

Sam, a Cornell student, says here that he “went from not knowing scales to now being able to improvise with them in different musical situations, which is something I had been wanting to do for a long time. My friends and I jam every weekend and it’s really fun to be able to do that with them.”  Jamming with your friends is not hard to learn (unless you don’t have an organized system to get you to learn the key things  necessary to understand and master.)

Barb says that the head teacher has fun in lessons and yet works the students hard at the same.  Tim likes how the lesson content is customized to his interests.

Jacob, a student for 3 years while studying at Ithaca College, says “[It’s a] super-beautiful feeling to be able to express [myself musically.] I’m [now] doing things I could only dream of doing [before].” He came to Guitar Lessons Ithaca as a singer who played a little guitar.  Little did he know the songwriting potential that the guitar had in store for him!

Taylor is a Ph.D. student at Cornell who started as almost a complete beginner and now can jam with virtually anyone.

Brian, a student for 3 years, and Kaye talk about how the lessons are motivating and fun, and rich with content but never overwhelming.

Kara is a Cornell Ph.D. student who knows that playing guitar is a great hobby she can use to take a break from studying or lab work.

Matt works at Cornell and is coming along nicely on guitar, even writing his own songs.

Art has been playing guitar for many decades but had many questions about how to put it all together.  He is so much more confident now and performs regularly with his wife and in other bands.

“When I first came to Dennis I knew a lot of things (chords, picking, soloing techniques) but I didn’t know how to put any of it together, and I had so many bad habits, it was horrible!  I couldn’t play with anybody because I couldn’t play songs in rhythm.  Now, with steady guidance from Dennis, I have my own band and have been going to jam sessions.  My soloing still needs work, but overall I’m having a great time on the guitar.”  – Dan, student for 5 years

“I absolutely recommend Dennis Winge as a guitar teacher. When I first started thinking about playing jazz I had no idea where to begin, although I was an experienced rock guitarist. It was great to learn how to use what I already knew as well as learn new things in an easy and fun way. We went over my goals in detail when I first started and now I am happy to say I have accomplished almost all of them. One of the biggest goals I had was to be able to play a song’s melody and chords at the same time. Now, not only do I have a few of those memorized, but I also understand the process of how to do it. Recently I wrote out and played a tune I like on my own with only very little help and I will be able to take that skill with me for the rest of my life. I am proud of my accomplishments and none of them would have been possible without Dennis’ help.” – Andrew

“Dennis is an outstanding teacher. I have found him to be very knowledgeable, patient, and fun to work with. His teaching method is very effective, in that weak spots become apparent, without the student being discouraged. A plan to improve is mapped out which is also very effective. There are no shortcuts, but the hard work pays off. The great thing is, I am having a blast while getting better!” – Dave

Call Dennis at 607-222-3166

to schedule your free trial lesson or

click the button here to tell us more about yourself:

** Advanced Players **

Dan, who received Student of the Year in 2020 at Guitar Lessons Ithaca, is a well-known guitarist on the Ithaca rock and blues scene.  He runs regular blues jams and performs with his band “City Limits,” to name of a few of his ongoing projects.  Dan is a passionate, talented guitarist who, as he says in this video, enjoys both the musical and spiritual aspects of taking lessons.

Wayne, a student of 3 years, is also an Ithaca guitarist who is in many bands and performs regularly, mostly in the jazz idiom.  In this video he makes an off-hand comment at the very end about how even advanced guitarist should take lessons.  (By the way, all of our teachers here at the school still take lessons, both in teaching and in playing.)

Michele, a student at the School for over 5 years, is a professional flute player who wanted to expand her horizons and came to Dennis to learn how to play jazz.  She is one of the few students who is not a guitarist.

“Dennis is wonderful at helping me accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself and I highly recommend him as a music teacher.   Although I’m not a guitar student, I’ve had Dennis work with me to help develop my skills with jazz.  He makes lessons both interesting and challenging yet never leaves me feeling discouraged or feeling that that something is too difficult.   I love that he gives me many strategies for learning new pieces, for developing my ear, and for improving my competence as a jazz musician (rhythmically, technically, harmonically, etc).  I especially like that everything we work at gets applied in the context of playing real tunes – nothing is ever given in isolation without going on to the application of the skill during the lesson.  I’ve been working with Dennis for 5 years now and continue to look forward to each lesson with him. “

This is Doug, who is a highly experienced guitarist who used to play in regularly gigging bands in the 80s and 90s.  Now he is playing much more complicated music and loving it.

Sergio plays bass as well as guitar, and is in bands where he plays either or both.  He is a great example of how, even after playing a certain way for 30 years, advanced players can make significant changes in their technique that ultimately feel good because it allows them to musically express themselves so much more fully than they were able to before.

Jude is an example of someone who had been playing for many years, but always played the same things over and over.  Since starting lessons, she has discovered many new things, and because of her experience, has had little or no trouble doing them.  As with many advanced students, she just needed someone to help her put it all together, and is now progressing rapidly.

Call Dennis at 607-222-3166

to schedule your free trial lesson or

click the button here to tell us more about yourself: