Teaching

I take considerable pride in my students' advancement on their instruments. Below is a sampling of success stories from a few of my students:

"I came to study with David for two reasons. I wanted to become a better lead guitar player and I also wanted to learn how to read music. What I walked away with after studying with David for three years was much more than that. I became a much better overall musician and as a result, I developed a mastery of different pick-style and finger picking techniques I never imagined would be possible for me. When I started with David, he took the time to assess my ability and current musical level and quickly developed a comprehensive program that I still use to this day. I found David to have an excellent knowledge of music theory and to be an exceptional guitar player. Each week’s lesson was built up from the previous week’s lesson, and I knew he had a very specific agenda in mind. David was always exceptionally prepared. From a communication perspective, David is excellent and provides clear, descriptive summaries of his teaching examples. He is very approachable and a pleasure to work with. He is able to explain very complex musical theories to a broad audience which could range from a very technical student to someone just starting to play guitar for the first time. David’s passion, behavior and dedication to his students are at level to which all guitar instructors should aspire. It is so clear to me that I made the very best choice of guitar instructors possible."
George Lopez

"I grew up in a household of music but I give David Joel the credit for the expanding my understanding and appreciation of music to what it is today. I took guitar lessons under David for almost two years and in that time I learned not only the fundamentals of music (theory, reading, skill) but also an appreciation for all things music related (old and new, culture and genres) that I still carry with me years later. He is a very talented instructor/musician whose knowledge and passion for music comes through when he's teaching his students. He teaches with patience and motivation that drives you to keep striving for that next level. I highly recommend him as an instructor for anyone that has always dreamt of discovering their inner musician. He will help you find it!"
Gina Baldino

"I started taking lessons from David in 2003. I had been writing songs for a while and one day just completely hit a wall. I realized that I needed more musical depth to my songs and that I also needed to strengthen my guitar playing. David helped me accomplish my goals without compromising how he wanted to teach me, which turned out to be the best thing that could have happened for my playing. He taught me how to read music, understand basic music theory, and how to play the hell out of a Hendrix solo. I’ve learned so much that I am also teaching a little and recording my first album. David is a great friend, an amazing guitar player and a wonderful teacher. "
Douglas Lee

"When I started studying with David Joel I was not sure where I was, or where I needed to go musically. Years of lessons from incompetent teachers at music stores had left me frustrated and confused about learning to really play music. Before I even began my lessons, David first got an assessment of my goals, abilities, and musical interests, which he used to develop a plan of study that would suit my individual needs. His teaching experience and formal education really shined through from the very first lesson, where he explained the steps I could take to reach my goals, and then began putting me on the right path. Over the two years that I studied with David Joel, I have grown more than I could imagine. With his help, I learned how to play the things I wanted to and take part in multiple musical groups that might have left me embarrassed and confused before. He also helped me successfully audition for Rowan University's music program, and has given me the preparation that I need for an optimal college experience. I recommend David Joel to anyone with the desire to play music and I am confident that he will be just as patient, helpful, and inspirational for you as he was for me."
John Lipartito

"Before studying with David, I had been learning guitar primarily from books, DVDs and informal lessons with friends. I tried taking private lessons with four other teachers at prominent Philadelphia music stores, but none of them gave me anything that I couldn't get from the books. That changed when I began studying with David. During my first three months with him, I improved more rapidly than I ever had before. My right hand became more confident and flexible, and my flatpicking improved enormously. David doesn't take shortcuts, but he gets better (and faster!) results because he gives you a solid foundation in all aspects of musicianship. It really is important to have a teacher when studying guitar, and David is the right one for any guitarist regardless of skill level. You will definitely get your money's worth."
Matthew Seneca

"I studied with David for a year and found him to be a patient and very thorough teacher. I highly recommend him!"
Bob Kasprzak

"I began studying the guitar with David Joel about two years ago.  Although I've been artistic my whole life, this was the first time I ever picked up a musical instrument and I must say, I was a bit nervous.  He first taught me all the parts of the guitar, how to care for it, tune it and change the strings.  It helped me to become very comfortable with my new instrument.  Before long, I was reading music notation and playing some of my favorite songs.  David pays close attention to teaching the proper technical aspects of playing, whether I'm strumming, picking or finger picking.  He is extremely patient with me and makes sure I have a full understanding of everything I'm working on before moving on to the next lesson.  He helped me organize my practice time and as a busy mom of three, this became crucial for my playing.  He is very supportive and constantly encourages me to push myself further to reach my full playing potential.  David is very passionate about music and it certainly reflects on his students.  I found David to not only be an excellent instructor, but a great friend as well.  Whether you're a beginner or an advanced player, David has a wealth of information to share.  I definitely recommend David Joel to anyone wishing to further their musical creativity."
Linda Holtzman

"Hello, my name is Tom Nicolardi and I have studied with David Joel for five years. David is a dedicated music teacher and a wonderful person. I have been playing guitar for many years, have studied with different people, and when I met David I knew he was different from all of my previous instructors. I develpoed some bad habits over the years and David has transformed my style of playing. I now read music and play more effectively. I always looked forward to my lesson with him. David is an accomplished musician and teacher and also my friend."
Tom Nicolardi

"I first took guitar lessons with David about 6 years ago. At that point I had been playing for about 5 years, and my playing was certainly not where it needed to be. I came to David with an open mind and an absolute desire to learn the instrument my hands had awkwardly gripped for half of a decade. I remember he asked, "Well what are your goals, what kind of music are you leaning towards?" I answered David by saying, "I just want to learn the instrument."
At that point I never knew how to read music, and six years later, I swear by learning to read, no matter what instrument one plays. Aside from the exercises and theory, just learning to read music took my playing to a brand new level.
The phrase, "pays attention to detail" is somewhat trite. However, David is the epitome of that notion. When striving for perfection, it's absolutely necessary to have someone other than yourself to push you to be better at what you do, and provide support and encouragement when you have things right.Lastly, I've found that David is an excellent mentor, whether he means to be one or not. As musicians and human beings, we all go through tough times. Aside from being life for some of us, Music is a medium for life. An instructor with vast life experience like David, who is willing to share his thoughts and his ear, is very difficult to come by, and this is what sets him apart from any college professor I've ever had.
David will lead you through your musical studies, but one's success almost entirely depends on their effort, time, and willingness."

Jeff Sheerin

"I began my lessons with David with no musical experience at all. Because of David's patient and positive guidance, I am now able to read music, recognize chord forms, and even play through songs. During my three years of lessons, he has met my expectations and brought me to where I wanted to be musically. His musical and life experiences show through in his teaching, and the way he approaches each lesson. David is passionate about what he does and knows how to tailor to each of his students' abilities. Over the years, I have not only developed a musical relationship with David but a friendship as well. I would recommend David to anyone who is in search of lessons."
Robert Kaznica

"My time with David has been truly incredible. Prior to our first lesson, I was at the point where my playing had reached a plateau. My growth was a flat line, mostly because I kept stumbling over the same obstacles and I had no direction or purpose for my playing. That all changed when I began my studies with David. After the first phone call with David, I was convinced that he wasn’t just focused on getting another customer but was really interested in my needs as a student. David takes great pride in his teaching and really relishes the accomplishments of his students. His attention to detail is something that separates him from other teachers I have worked with in the past. He doesn’t skip or skimp on material, which would otherwise leave gapping holes in one’s development. Instead it’s a brick by brick building process where he leaves no stone unturned. As a result of his teaching methods, I underwent a complete turnaround in a very short period of time. My playing abilities rapidly improved over a few short months and more importantly I had established goals and a direction for my playing. He always keeps things fresh to spark the student’s interest and is willing to do whatever it takes to help that student achieve their goals. Working with David has been such a worthwhile experience and investment. I only wish that I had more time to study with him. In fact, he is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had and I’m truly grateful for everything he’s helped me to accomplish. Thanks David! "
Craig Kasper

"For seven years, I would look forward to every Tuesday night when I would have my bass guitar lesson with David. Over the years, I have come to know David very well and I have learned so much from him. Kind, patient, and supportive, David would always assert his unconditional encouragement as I would drill lines or pieces of music that I would be struggling with. David would accompany the music I was studying by playing other selections of music that related historically or theoretically to the piece I was working on. I have learned so much about music theory, music playing, and life during my time with David. With all of his music education and experience from playing around the world, it only makes sense that he could supply this additional support and knowledge. He is an excellent teacher, a brilliant musician, and an inspiring mentor. I would not have traded my experience with him for anything."
Jon Aronchick

"My name is Greg and David Joel is my friend. He was my guitar instructor for 3 years or so. I missed about 4 lessons and made up every one of them. Now, I am not a type A personality, but David offered to me a creative opportunity I could not pass up. Within that time I grew as a person foremost and then became a musician, a novice I was. A novice I would not stay. Between the Flats and Sharps, a language of responsibility and attention is developed when learning with David. You will never be confused or feel stupid, and he will always sound better than you. Because he is such a beautiful player, no matter how long you want to travel theroad he will be your guide, true mastery. Thank you, friend. I am now writing lyrics, tunes, reading music, and above else enjoying music and life on a higher level."
Greg Pierman

"I have been taking guitar lessons for 5 years; David has been my instructor for the last 2 years. David has the right amount of structure and flexibility in his lessons to keep a student moving forward yet allowing the student to control some of the direction. I am extremely happy with my progress to date and would recommend him to anyone that is serious about music/guitar. You can get a Berkley quality education in Northeast Philly; that is hard to beat."
Brian Skinner

"My name is Mike and I've been taken guitar lessons with David Joel for just about a year now. Before I started I wanted to find a teacher that would be patient with me & not just rush through the lessons. I'm glad I chose David for a teacher.He will answer any question you have for him, & explain it until you fully understand.

I plan on continuing my lessons with him, until I'm ready to go on my own."

Mike Hogan

"The passion and intensity that emanates from David Joel's playing and teaching can be felt by his students. Though I've been with him only a short time, I've already made drastic gains in regards to theory comprehension, soloing, and improvisation. He has expanded my musical horizons as well as increased my love for the instrument. Somehow, he was able to tailor a teaching style around my individual goals and method of learning. David Joel is willing to take me as far with the guitar as I am willing to work and go. I am lucky to have found him."
Eric Woods

"I have been taking lessons from David for over a year, and would gladly recommend him to a friend or family member. My playing has improved dramatically, and I just plain enjoy the lessons. David is a very good teacher - he has great patience but also knows when to push. I feel confident that I can take it as far as I would like to, at a pace that is comfortable to me. Gotta go practice... "
Stephen Barnes

"One item on my bucket list was “to learn to play the guitar”. Fortunately for me, I found David Joel. I have been taking lessons from David for over 18 months. I have learned more than I ever expected – about music, the guitar, and myself.

David is an excellent teacher. He has years of experience playing and teaching. He also has talent, knowledge, skill, and understanding, not to mention patience and a sense of humor.
By teaching his students to read music, as well as to play, he gives them the tools to continue learning indefinitely. In addition, to learning to appreciate all kinds of music, and the guitar as an instrument, I have learned to enjoy the process of learning.
Thank you, David. "

Mary Young

"A little over two years ago I decided to try to learn to play guitar, having just retired. I found David's ad in the yellow pages. I called and it began. The lessons last a very fast hour and David makes you feel comfortable. I never feel stressed or nervous. With David's teaching methods and an honest effort by any student it can begin for anyone. There is no quick way to learn. If you are serious about learning to play guitar, and willing to practice, David Joel's Studio is the right way to go. It has been and still is a pleasure."
Tom Gavin

"For years I had tried teaching myself guitar and I had gone through a couple different music teachers, but I was not progressing the way I wanted to. That all changed when I started taking lessons from David Joel. David teaches methodically, making sure that all of the building blocks are in place to allow a student to become the musician that they hope, want, and/or need to be.  The lessons that I have taken with David have left me feeling a more confident and capable guitar player. "
Andrew McGee

"As a beginner guitar player and an adult student, I am fortunate to have found David Joel as a teacher. Courteous professionalism, a personable nature and an obvious love of sharing his musical talents make taking lessons with David the highlight of my week. During his lessons, David teaches with years of experience, marked by an unparalleled patience and sincere encouragement, which have helped me steadily progress in my musical skills beyond what I thought I was capable of. Far from the static use of rote memorization, David's lessons are dynamic and full of life. He often illustrates the more difficult concepts with lessons he himself has learned from his higher education in music, as well as his exciting career and life as a professional musician. After every lesson, I am made to feel proud of the accomplishments David guided me toward that week, and want to practice even more for the next lesson. As he often says, we are professional music students to him."
Gerry Dungan

"Studying with David was a great musical experience for me. Most importantly, he initially asked what my goals were and structured a learning plan specifically for me. My improvement in reading and technique was noticeable immediately and his guidance has provided a strong foundation for my continued learning. David's personal approach and great attitude helped me recognize what needed to be improved and his continued encouragement, pointing to the advances I had made, were strong motivators. I feel that David's background and approach can help anyone from beginner to highly experienced player reach his goals."
Glenn Magee

"I had reached a point in my playing where it felt like I was treading water. I'd been playing for about 10 years, been in a few bands, gigged all over Philadelphia but felt like I was stuck in a major rut. David helped me get out of that rut. His knowledge of the instrument is uncanny and his teaching style is so easy to understand and laid back that picking up the concepts and ideas he showed me was effortless. David is a great guy and an excellent teacher and I would enthusiastically recommend him to any level of player, from beginner to pro."
Gray Papa

"I studied with David Joel for only a year. I had no prior musical training and the only instrument I had ever touched was the recorder. Needless to say, it was a rough beginning. However, David cared enough to challenge me. Instead of teaching me in the vague style of tab, he actually taught me how to read music and appreciate the theory behind it all. By the end of our lessons, I understood where the notes are, why they are there, and how they all relate to each other. I also learned how to change the strings of the guitar and began to tune by ear. My biggest problem was self-discipline in practicing, but David allowed me to move at my own pace while still giving a gentle and often needed push. Overall, he gave me the confidence I needed to believe that I can play the guitar and to inspire me to continue learning. All of this and he provided a fun, open atmosphere. Plus, he also does a mean caveman impression. I highly recommend him to anyone considering taking up the guitar and to anyone wanting to reach the next level in their playing!"
Kristen Tkacz

"As a music major in college with a vocal concentration, I came to David with hopes of learning guitar so that I would be able to accompany myself while I sing. Prior to taking lessons with David, I had received beginner instruction from various sources. Throughout the year that I studied with David, my technique improved significantly, my ability to play in different styles expanded and I gained confidence in my playing ability. I have had many music teachers throughout my life for various instruments and I can honestly say that David is as good as they come. He takes his teaching extremely seriously and gives his students his undivided attention, with a particular emphasis on detail. If I was ever unsure on a technique, David explained it thoroughly until I understood it. Throughout my time with David, he was always extremely supportive and encouraging, but also knew when to push me harder. David’s musicianship is also phenomenal, which helped give me the motivation that I needed to become a more disciplined musician myself. David has a very professional teaching style, but is also extremely approachable and finds ways to relate to his students. He always focuses on the goals of the students and will tailor the lessons to address those goals. I would gladly recommend David to anybody who is serious about committing to practicing and looking to receive thorough instruction on the guitar."
Lydia Westle

"If you're ready to take your playing to the next level, David Joel is your secret to success. There's no substitute for a real life teacher, and never did I see this so clearly until beginning lessons with David. He is clear and concise in his teaching methods, yet willing to tailor the lessons towards your particular interests. His years of experience translate to guitar wisdom, and he helped transform the way I practice, play, and even listen to music. Beyond all of this, he is a truly genuine person and a good friend. With dedication and the musical mentorship of David Joel, you can take your playing as far as you desire."
Shawn Sierotowicz

"I took summer lessons with David after having played mostly on my own for a year.  Initially, I was capable of doing the basic strums, barre chords and a few neat riffs.  After three months of lessons, David pushed me to develop my technique, starting with proper whole note strumming and ending with pentatonics and blues scales.  I went from being just another college kid who could strum Wonderwall and Dave Matthews to a journeyman guitar player with a good grasp of the instrument's fundamental techniques and more importantly an understanding of how to study guitar."
Stephen Kernytsky

"David’s teaching style and personality have made things very enjoyable and rewarding for me. I played guitar as a teenager and took over a 20-year hiatus, never picking up a guitar during that time. I wanted to start playing again and I was looking for an experienced, professional teacher to help me get back in to playing. David Joel is exactly the teacher I was looking for. He has given me the solid foundation I needed and continues to build on that with each lesson. He’s helped demystify music theory for me and has shown me how to apply it to the fret board. Playing guitar and taking lessons is something I will never regret. I would encourage anyone who has ever wanted to learn how to play, or wants to take their playing to another level to take lessons from David. I think you will find it as rewarding as I have."
Warren Robinson

email: david@davidjoel.net
phone: (215) 831-8640