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James Lorusso - Performer, Teacher, Arranger, Composer


James Lorusso

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

James Lorusso - Classical guitar teacher

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.

Lorusso Guitar Studio Reviews

5 starsDecember 21, 2016

It seems I've been non-stop since returning from our honeymoon - I haven't had much of a chance to write you to thank you and MaryAnn for playing so beautifully at our wedding. You were an absolute pleasure to work with. From our initial meeting through the followup discussions leading up to our wedding day, you did an amazing job - everything was perfect. It was clear to me, from our very first conversation, that you truly cared about what we wanted and you also helped me along the way to choose selections that I may not have otherwise thought of. The music selections for the ceremony added such an emotional touch and our guests all commented how this added to their experience. We're so happy that we chose to hire you and MaryAnn to play at our wedding.

5 starsJanuary 19, 2016

Greetings Jim, I just want to follow up with you to let you know that we were very pleased with your performance. The manager Scott approached our table toward the end and asked "who hired the Guitarist"? I humbly raised my hand and he said "good job, he is really good. I'm thinking of using him somehow in the future." He also said that he was standing outside the room just listening because the music was great. I hope you continue to stay encouraged in sharing your talent with others. Many future blessings to you and your wife.
Maria :-)

5 starsNovember 15, 2014

I found Jim on Thumbtack after searching for a guitar teacher for my 9 year old daughter. I was extremely impressed with his experience and knowledge. After taking lessons for 1 year with Jim, my daughter is playing beautifully and I know this is mainly due to Jim's patient nature and incredible teaching style. He goes above and beyond to keep her motivated. When he is not teaching her he is creating music pieces based on songs that she has chosen. Jim's passion for and dedication to teaching guitar were apparent from the very first lesson. I highly recommend him!
Paula M.

5 starsNovember 10, 2014

Jim is an excellent teacher and guitar player. Starting out playing guitar over 50 years ago I focused on playing songs not learning the fundamentals of playing the guitar. Jim appreciated my skill and targeted ways to improve my playing and knowledge of the guitar. He definitely enhanced my playing. Jim is also an easy person to like and he works with your availability in scheduling lessons.
Guy C.

5 starsJanuary 27, 2013

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!
Thomas Ford

Zoom Guitar Lessons Available Worldwide

Mr. Lorusso is now offering face to face online lessons via Zoom 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.

    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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