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James Lorusso - Performer, Teacher, Arranger, Composer
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I found the search for classical guitar instruction rather daunting until I discovered the website of James Lorusso. My initial contact from several other entities and individuals proved far too commercially driven for my taste. I was interested in taking formal lessons and learning how to read music not just learning from tablature or playing by ear which I had done for over fifty years. A few hours following my e-mail inquiry I was surprised and gratified to receive a personal call from Mr. Lorusso and was in his studio the very next day. I was immediately impressed with this gentleman.
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His warmth and finely honed pedagogic approach were so apparent it was only a matter of minutes into that introductory lesson I became convinced I had found the quintessential teacher a true pedagogue and a man of such talent and encyclopedic musical knowledge I was drawn to him like a magnet. Seldom in life does one come across a resource as substantial and charismatic as this gentleman look no further, you have just found a genius who's also as warm as the day is long! My name is Tom I'm 67 years of age and feel like a kid when I'm in Jims studio. In three months he has given me gifts of learning and brought me to places I thought were unachievable. He will do the same for you!
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Teacher

James Lorusso - Classical guitar teacher

James Lorusso is a graduate of the Music Conservatory of Westchester, through its collaboration with Mercy College, where he was the recipient of a Conservatory scholarship as well as a scholarship from the Epstein Fine Arts Fund. He studied guitar in Puerto Rico with Leo Brouwer, Alirio Diaz, Angel Romero, and Manuel Barrueco, and musical interpretation with renowned pianist Bruce Hungerford in New York. Mr. Lorusso made his New York debut at CAMI Hall in 1984, and was a prizewinner in the 1983 international guitar competition at the Festival Internacional de Guitarra de Puerto Rico.

Mr. Lorusso has served on the Conservatory faculty for 41 years and is also a faculty member at Manhattanville College and Westchester Community College. He has also taught at Marymount College and the American Institute of Guitar. He has studied in Spain with guitarists Narciso Yepes and Jose-Luis Lopategui.

Private Instruction Available

Now accepting students in Westchester County. If you would like to sign up for private instruction with James, or lessons at the Music Conservatory of Westchester, please click here to contact Mr. Lorusso.

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Skype Guitar Lessons Available Worldwide

Mr. Lorusso is now offering face to face online lessons via Skype video calling. The first call is free! During this video call, we will get acquainted and explore your goals, needs and direction. The second, and all subsequent video calls, will be paid through PayPal. Call or contact Mr. Lorusso for details. To make a payment, click here.

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  • Approach to Teaching

    James Lorusso - Classical guitar teacher

    Photo/Pinsky Studio

    Excerpts from Book II by J.L.
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    Of his approach to teaching, Mr. Lorusso says, “I try to treat students as individuals and learn as much as I can about their musical tastes so I can help them fulfill their musical dreams. Instead of following traditional rules of pedagogy, I like to use whatever works for each student. Each person has a system of thinking that is unique and, as a teacher, I need to understand that system."

    Mr. Lorusso identifies each student’s strong and weak points. “For example, some people have naturally good technique but can't read well, while others excel at reading but struggle with the physical aspects of playing. I first try to build up what is weak because what they do Songs of Book Twonaturally will always get stronger. It’s important to let students know what their strong points are, because sometimes people aren't aware of their own gifts. I try to mix this with a sound foundation of technical training on the instrument, starting with things that I believe to be essential.”

    Mr. Lorusso has been exploring these essential aspects of guitar playing. “I’ve been compiling exercises and studies with the hope of creating a guitar method that could possibly break new ground. I began many years ago and it is still a work in progress.”

    My thoughts regarding technical development ... [read more]

    Most good musicians know that scales, arpeggios and technical etudes (or studies), are the pillars supporting good technical development on any instrument. After forty years of teaching however, I have found that the order in which you introduce various techniques makes all the difference in how they are assimilated. Besides this, the goals of each student must be taken into consideration, so you don't simply give them something they will never need or use, but only what is pertinent to accomplish their various goals. For the aspiring professional, of course you give them the highest standard of training, but most students are not in that category! The old masters of the guitar have given us everything we need for technical development. One thing is lacking however, and that would be, more attention to the very beginning levels, and most importantly, the order of things to create a smooth progression from a beginning to advanced level of playing. This is what I meant by the statement "I've been compiling exercises and studies with the hope of creating a guitar method that could break new ground". This aspect of training, or pedagogical smoothness, has been perfected on the piano and violin, and has been much improved in recent years for the guitar, but we are not there yet! This is why I said "it is still a work in progress".

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