Finding the perfect teacher for guitar or bass lessons in South Jersey is easy at the NJ School of Music in Medford. Our degreed, professional and friendly instructors teach beginning music lessons to advanced music study. Styles of study can include classical, jazz, rock and pop. Please see below to read a bit about each of our teachers and as always if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 609-654-0060.
"Music is a Happening Thing" says Dave Gladkowski, who has been teaching at the NJ School of Music since 1984.
"When I was a young musician receiving music lessons at a local Philadelphia music studio named, "Howard Herbert's", my instructor, Mr. Gene Magee, a brilliant musician, guitar player and teacher would show me exactly what I wanted to learn, at just the asking. If I wanted to learn "Blue Suede Shoes", "I Want To Hold Your Hand" or fragments of "Beethoven's Coral Fantasy" we would listen to the 45rpm record, analyze the song form and compositional style and he would show me the chords, sketch the melody and demonstrate how he would play it. That's the way I wanted to be taught and Mr. Magee obliged. I would immediately take this information home, continue listening to the record, countless times, play along with the record, and practice my fingers raw. This is the method of teaching; in Mr. Magee's honor; I've always used and continue to use now, myself, a professional musician and instructor, when directing my music lessons." David Gladkowski
David Gladkowski (Davey Glad, Neversad), guitar, bass, madolin and banjo teacher at the NJ School of Music, is a street and college educated, learned, multi faceted, knowledgeable, free spirited, talented, patient, confidant, competent, composer, arranger, musician and music instructor. Dave has been a guitar, bass, mandolin, and tenor banjo instructor at the New Jersey School of Music since 1984. Dave's father was a professional musician (saxophone) and always made recordings of his musical groups performances. While listening to these recordings, Dave's dad would stress the importance of listening to the different rhythms and melodies of all styles of music. This is how and when Dave developed his love, and passion for music. With Dave's father being his biggest musical influence, Dave began formal music lessons on the piano at age 8. After 6 years of piano lessons, at age 14, Dave decided the instrument he would use to express his inner soul would be the guitar.
Living in Philadelphia, Dave began his formal guitar lessons with local instructor, Gene Magee. Dave continued his studies with James Newitt, William Newman and progressing into college as a classical guitar performance major at Temple University studying with the great Anna Kotsarenko and Peter Segal. Later, Dave studied jazz guitar with Joseph Federico (once an instructor at the NJ School of Music).
At age 16 Dave began his professional performing career with original music, local band, THE MAIN EVENT, performing in Philadelphia area hotspots, including, THE SECOND FRET, at 20th and Samson Streets, a progressive rock ' n ' roll club in the mid to late 1960's. Performing professionally with many different projects since 1967, Dave decided to share his knowledge with interested students in 1976, becoming a professional guitar instructor himself, passing the torch from all of his early teachers. Continuing to gather knowledge, Dave periodically returns to formal music lessons, himself, studying with various styles of instructors and attending workshops.
Expanding his knowledge of the many different styles and approaches to use the guitar as an instrument to express himself, Dave studied Flamenco Guitar in Spain, first in 2001, learning in the streets of Málaga with different bands of gypsies, also in Flamenco Taverns and other guitar players, who strolled the streets of Spain, who were glad to share their proud and unique Andalucían, Flamenco culture. Dave believes that learning from people, casually, happening upon those who have the music deep in their souls, can be described as a spiritual experience. There is nothing else like it!
Dave returned to Spain in 2005, and formally studied Flamenco Guitar with David (el Poeta) Hill in Jerez de la Frontera and again in 2009, in Velez, Málaga, studying with Manuel Bajo and again whoever happened by on the streets or at local taverns. Between the years of 2005 and 2009 Dave studied periodically with Philadelphia based, Spanish Flamenco instructor, Carlos Rubio.
While visiting Spain, Dave fell in love with everything Spanish, Andalucian in particular. It was then he began learning Spanish as his second language. Although not fluent, Dave has an effective, practical understanding to carry a conversation totally in Spanish and continues to enjoy practicing the language.
As a fretted instrument (guitar concentration) instructor, Dave uses a practical method of teaching hoping the student will learn how the guitar can be an instrument useful the same way tools are used by different technicians. A special rhythmic or melodic style applied to a type of music to be played; a special tool for a special job. Dave is willing to adjust his style of instructing to meet the student's needs, not sticking to one methodical, graded, anthology and adapting to changes necessary to guide the student into their personal passion and musical direction.
Listening to the music, followed by a scrutinized analysis, was and is now Dave's principal learning and teaching method. Sight reading, chord chart reading, chord chemistry, melodic and pulse rhythm are studied in detail. Scales, arpeggios and fingerboard knowledge are discussed and are not stressed. Dave believes these details of musicianship are the student's responsibility.
Improvisational skills are an essential element studied in complete detail becoming a collected "tool" allowing the student's music to be: spontaneous, flowing and personal as opposed to: forced, stiff, restrictive and contrived, giving the student confidence to perform in ensemble situations, making something, from what might be to some, nothing.
Dave is the director of the famed "New Jersey School of Music Rock 'n' Roll Ensemble" that has been active since 1985, long before the "School Of Rock" existed or was even imagined. This musically high standard, advanced ensemble's goal is to produce professional quality musicians, instrumentally and vocally, giving students practical knowledge, rehearsing, playing, and gigging with a complete band.
In short, Dave will teach the student whatever they want to learn. In addition, Dave believes that reading a resume to evaluate an instructor's competence is only a start and the only way to truly determine competence is to meet the instructor in person. Dave promises his music lessons are enlightening, illuminating and fun!
Dave makes no claims of knowing everything and will be a student of life and the guitar forever."When one ceases to be a student, one ceases to learn" (David Gladkowski) So If you're interested in learning how to play guitar or other fretted instruments, come to the New Jersey School of Music and request Davey Glad Neversad to be your instructor.
Guitar and bass lessons with Dave at the NJ School of Music in Medford are available Monday through Thursday.
Val Ramos is a professional Bassist/Guitarist and is the Owner/Operator of ShoreLine Instruments & Electronics, LLC who loves playing and teaching all styles of music including: Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Light Rock, Neo-Classical, Speed Metal, Light Jazz, Country, Folk, Pop, Funk, Reggae, Dance. Val's teaching experience includes both children and adults and taught at the Music Place and as a Free Lance Instructor in Orlando, FL.
Val studied: neo-classical techniques, composition and music theory under Mike Walker, Music theory under Mark Teasdale, and studied composition and complex rhythm patterns under Ruben Ruiz.
Val's Performance History includes: Studio Musician for TMP Records, CA Studios and Snap! – the popular 90’s band that released the Internationally known hits “I’ve Got The Power” and “Rhythm is a Dancer”.
Val currently performs as a Bassist in the following bands:
“Trial by Fire”, an Yngwie Malmsteen Tribute Band that features Chris Gordon a largely known guitarist of Wilmington, Delaware; playing in popular venues such as the Theater of the Living Arts and The Legendary Dobbs on South Street, Philadelphia as well as in venues throughout Delaware and Pennsylvania.
“The Filthy Micks”, a South Jersey band that covers a wide range of music styles: Rock, Heavy Metal, Funk, Hip-Hop, Dance, Pop and Country, performing in several venues in the Burlington County area.
“Capstone”, the Contemporary Gospel Rock Band of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hainesport, NJ. Playing Traditional and Contemporary Gospel styles that carry European & American Folkloric, Progressive Rock, Southern Rock and Light Jazz tones.
Bass guitar lessons with Val Ramos are available on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
Matt began playing guitar at the age of ten. From age 10 to 18 he studied with Philadelphia based jazz guitarist Frank Butrey. Matt received a strong foundation in rock, classical and jazz guitar, as well as music theory, and composition. Matt completed all 4 levels of the rigorous music theory course at Settlement music in two years. Matt graduated from Temple University Magna Cum Laude with a degree in classical guitar performance.
While at Temple Matt studied guitar under the direction of Allen Krantz and had the opportunity to perform in a master class by Jason Vieaux. Other notable teachers Matt has had the opportunity to work with include: Dr. Cynthia Folio (Music Theory), Dr. Alex Brinkman (Music Theory), Dr. David Cannata (Music History), Dr. Jeffrey Cornelius (Conducting), and Dr. Steven Kreinberg (Music History). Matt took classes in digital recording, how to teach music utilizing modern technology and acoustics. Matt also performed in the Temple University choir at the Kimmel Center under the direction of Allen Harler.
Matt has been performing in bands since he was 14. Throughout high school he played in the band Jon Arbuckle. Most recently, Matt was in the band Super Consumers, which was based out of Philadelphia. Super Consumers were featured on radio 104.5's live at 5, played for over a thousand people at the Trocadero and had a CD reviewed by the Philadelphia Weekly. The Super Consumers were also featured on several online radio stations and their music can be downloaded from itunes or streamed from several other sites. Matt composed music and played lead guitar in the band. Matt has also had the opportunity to perform the Mahler 9th Symphony with the Symphony in C.
Matt's strengths in teaching include rock guitar, classical guitar, music theory, technique and sight-reading. He believes that all students should learn to read music, play exercises and scales as well as learn the basics for all styles of music in order to be well rounded guitarists/musicians. In short Matt suggests all students complete at the minimum, the first level of the method book he uses, basic music theory and scales, open position chords as well as bar chords. Once a student can play chords at a competent level Matt encourages students to bring in the music they want to learn. These songs are used not only for educational purposes but to keep students interested in playing guitar and having fun.
Guitar lessons with Matt at the NJ School of Music in Medford are available on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.
Mike Wessner began his musical training in 1994 by entering the Camden County College music program under the leadership of Philip Travaline. It was also there that Mike studied Jazz guitar techniques and music theory with Allan Slutsky. Upon leaving CCC and transferring to Rowan University in 1997, Mike entered the music education and performance programs. At Rowan, he studied classical guitar with Joseph Mayes and graduated with a B.A. in music performance. Since 1999, Mike has taught guitar privately and in ensemble form, worked and recorded with many rock groups, has done sound design and scored music for film, as well as performed consistently with his bands 'A Big Name Act' & 'Looting The Castle.' At the start of the 2006 school year, Mike began teaching at the Philadelphia Academy Charter School Now into his fourth year, Mike teaches general music to grades K through 5 and assists with the school's Jazz Ensemble designed for 9th through 12th graders. Mike has also taught middle and high school grades, coached an elementary school choir and directed a guitar ensemble at Moorestown Friends School. Mike is currently working on his Masters Degree in Music Education.
Guitar and bass lessons with Mike at the NJ School of Music in Medford are available Monday, Friday and Saturday.