Flamenco and classical guitarist Leah Kruszewski loves introducing young beginners to their first songs, helping adult students rediscover their inner musician, and guiding classical and flamenco players in advanced, specialized study. Leah accompanies flamenco singers and dancers in Seville, Spain and travels regularly to the USA for festivals and performances.
A native of Richmond, Virginia (USA), Leah studied classical guitar at Virginia Commonwealth University and performed extensively as a soloist and in local classical and world music ensembles. She founded and led the flamenco-inspired ensemble Sueños Gitanos and has been co-directing and performing in VCU's Flamenco Festival since its inception. While living in Richmond, Leah also played in the Portuguese fado group Fado Nosso and the Richmond Guitar Quartet (classical guitar). She moved to Seville, Spain in 2013, where she studied flamenco guitar at the Fundación Cristina Heeren and has since made performing flamenco guitar and teaching online guitar lessons her two primary pursuits.
Lessons with Leah are positive and productive, and she adapts her teaching to give each individual the kind of instruction they need to enjoy the guitar and develop musically. She has been teaching for over ten years and gives careful thought and attention to her students' needs and interests when planning their curriculums.
Leah specializes in classical and flamenco guitar and loves working with students of all levels, absolute beginner to advanced, in these genres. Flamenco guitar lessons concentrate on learning the basics of flamenco technique, understanding flamenco rhythm, and acquiring a repertoire of falsetas and solo material in a variety of song forms. Classical guitar lessons center around learning and refining classical guitar technique, approaches to interpretation, and building a well-rounded and interesting repertoire that includes pieces from many styles and eras.
Leah also enjoys teaching acoustic guitar to beginning and intermediate players of all genres - folk, fingerstyle, pop, rock, etc. For adult students, Leah arranges a flexible curriculum that follows the student's interests. She typically dedicates half the lesson to topics of technique and theory that apply to student's interests, and the other half to learning songs of their choice. Leah relates well to children and adapts her teaching to give individual students what they need to learn best. She moves patiently and thoroughly through the fundamentals and lays out very clear goals both within the lessons and for practice time between lessons. Along with learning the essentials, lessons include fun songs and games to keep music exciting.
(1) Flamenco Guitar Curriculum: what to expect from beginning and intermediate flamenco guitar lessons
(2) Flamenco Guitar Essentials: basic vocabulary, flamenco history, and listening guide
(3) Playlist for Flamenco Newcomers: a youtube playlist I have put together especially for beginning flamenco students, as it can be tricky to know where to start listening. The list features four common flamenco palos (musical styles) in a variety of contexts (solo guitar, flamenco singing, and flamenco dance).
My curriculum for classical guitar students varies considerably depending on a student's musical background and objectives. While I do have my favorite method books and repertoire sources, I need a couple of lessons to assess the most appropriate course of study. Beginners need not worry about having books and music on hand for your first lesson, we will get to it soon.
If you already have some playing experience in classical guitar, check out this series 'Build Your Own Classical Guitar Warm-Up'. Choose a few exercises from each of three core technical areas and work them into your warm-up routine. Part One - Ligados .... Part Two - Arpeggios .... Part Three - Scales
Practice Tips for All Students
Perfecting Your Repertoire: How to Practice Until You Can't Get It Wrong - tips for perfecting your music and getting ready to perform
Practice Like a Pro (even if you're not!) - tips on making the most of your practice time for students of all ages, levels, and styles
Music Learning Styles - make the most of the way you think about music
Resources for Adult Students
Advice for Adult Beginners of Guitar - you don't have to start young to become an excellent musician and to really enjoy your instrument
Managing Your Music Lesson Nerves - why you get nervous, and how to let go of those nerves in order to enjoy and get the most out of your lessons
Resources for Young Students and their Parents
Giving Your Child a Strong Start on the Guitar - how to give your kid a guitar and get them to keep playing it
Guitar 101 for Parents of New Guitarists - advice on very young learners (ages five to eight)
Encouraging Your Young Professional Part One (ages 9 to 13) - nurture your child's interest in music as you encourage their independence and self-discipline in their musical study
Encouraging Your Young Professional Part Two (high schoolers) - tools and tips to help your high schooler continue advancing on their instrument and prepare for university music study.
Twenty Composition Prompts for Young Guitarists - fun ideas to inspire young composers
Miscellaneous Articles and Resources
Tips for Music Teachers - how to cultivate a fun and successful lesson environment for your students
To Read or Not To Read - when to embrace written music and when to get away from the page
Why Does Our Musical Alphabet Have 12 Tones? - a beginner's guide to the physics and culture behind musical language