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, bass or mandoline lessons with Dave at the NJ School of Music in Medford are available Monday through Thursday.
Caroline Kubach began guitar studies at the New Jersey School of Music in Medford, New Jersey. She received her Associate Degree in Music at Burlington County College. In May 2015, she graduated from Rowan University, Cum Laude, with her Bachelor’s Degree in Classical Guitar Performance studying with Joseph Mayes. Caroline graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Master’s Degree in Classical Guitar Performance from Rowan University in May 2017. Caroline is also a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda honor society.
Caroline has been called on to perform at various venues in the NJ/Philadelphia area including: Burlington County College, Wilmington Classical Guitar Society, Rowan University. She has also performed in master classes for Christopher Ladd, Rupert Boyd, and Antigoni Goni. In April 2017 she one of the headling performers at the Women of the Guitar Festival in Buffalo, New York. Along with performing a concert, she also gave a masterclass, judged a competition, and was part of a roundtable discussion.
Caroline performs in a classical guitar duo, Dulcet Guitar Duo. They have performed numerous times at Rowan University, at local events, for the Wilmington Classical Guitar Society, and for the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society. They were also invited to perform at the 2016 NJMEA Classical Guitar Festival. Dulcet Guitar Duo has performed in master classes for SoloDuo, Christopher Ladd, and Celil Refik Kaya.
Caroline is the Artistic Director of The Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society, a member of the Wilmington Classical Guitar Society, and a member of The Guitar Foundation of America. Caroline has been teaching guitar, bass and ukulele lessons for five years.
Guitar, and lessons with Caroline at the NJ School of Music in Medford are available Monday, Friday and Saturday.
Val Ramos is a professional bassist and Owner/Operator of Shoreline Instruments & Electronics, LLC (a.k.a. Shoreline Pickups) who also plays and teaches many styles of music, from the bassist's perspective.
Val has experience teaching budding musicians, from child to adult, and served as a substitute teacher at the Music Place in Berlin, NJ (under the ownership of Tom DiGangi) and as a Private Guitar Instructor in Orlando, FL.
In addition to standard bass learning lessons, will teach you techniques specific to the bassist.
Different styles of picking (finger style, or with plectrum - a.k.a. "a pick"), tremolo picking, pop, slap, tapping, different vibrato techniques, fretless playing, extended range playing (5 or 6 string), how to visualize the fretboard in a way that makes it easier to learn where the notes are located, two-handed playing styles (i.e. playing chords while tapping melodies, or playing natural and/or artificial harmonics while holding or playing chords), walking bass lines, left hand/right hand coordination exercises, strength developing exercises, how to lock in with a drummer or metronome, how to use a metronome in every day practicing, and how to effectively play just behind or before the beat, how a bassist fits in the concept of a band, and much, much more.
Val studied under:
Mike Walker (1 year): Guitar Instructor, Owner and Producer of Dream Walker Studios in Orlando, FL. studying neo-classical techniques, composition and theory. Ruben Ruiz (2.5 years): World Touring Keyboardist/Guitarist of internationally known Pop Bands: the Back Street Boys and N'Sync., studying composition, complex rhythm patterns and composition.
Val's performance history includes:
Studio Musician/Composer for hire at TMP Records, Berlin, NJ and C.A. Studios, Orlando, FL.
Performances in several bands on both guitar and bass since 1989 in Puerto Rico, Florida and New Jersey covering a wide range of musical styles including Speed/Neo Classical Metal, Contemporary Gospel, Southern Rock, Heavy/Hard Rock, Classic and Progressive Rock.
Guitarist in the 90's Hip-Hop Band from Orlando "SNAP!", who are internationally known for the hits:
"I've Got The Power" and "Rhythm is a Dancer".
Performed with "the Filthy Micks", a South Jersey cover band playing a wide range of musical styles including: Rock, Heavy Metal, R&B, Funk, Hip-Hop, Dance, Pop and Country throughout the Burlington County area.
Val currently performs as the bassist in the following bands:
"Trial by Fire"; an Yngwie Malmsteen Tribute Band, with Chris Gordon, our NJ School of Music Guitar Instructor at Cherry Hill. Trial by Fire pays homage to one of the most influential guitarists in the world. His style birthed the "neo-classical" genre of instrumental music. Yngwie wrote and performed most of the music featured on his albums (including the bass). Trial by Fire has performed at several venues throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including The Theater of the Living Arts, at The Legendary Dobbs, and Dingbatz.
"Rise", a cover band that plays the tri-state area (w/ Chris Gordon on guitar) that covers Classic Rock, Prog. Rock, Heavy Metal, R&B, Funk, Southern Rock, Grunge and any music the band finds challenging and uncommon in other band's set lists.
"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 by appointment only.
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 and the Mahler 9th Symphony with the Symphony in C.
Matt has been performing in bands since he was 14. Throughout high school he played in the band Jon Arbuckle. After college Matt formed 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. Matt composed music and played lead guitar in the band. Matt's current band is "Fair Use". Fair Use plays a mix of covers and original music. Matt is also working on a solo project CD. Some of that music can be heard here.
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.