Multi-instrumentalist, John Kramer teaches classical guitar. He has over fifteen years of experience teaching and performing classical guitar and has a Master of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with world-renowned teacher and performer, Professor Adam Holzman.
Before college, John took a lot of music lessons. “I took piano lessons in elementary school, then guitar lessons in middle and high school and kept going up, then I went to college and grad school for music.” In addition to classical guitar, John also plays piano, electric bass, keyboards, baglamazaki and charango, but that’s not all. “A master’s degree in music education basically means you have to learn to play every instrument, plus conducting. It prepared me for a classroom setting in all levels of school.”
John first got into teaching music when his guitar instructor from college asked him if he wanted a job (at a private music academy). “Prior to that I was performing at any type of gig people would hire me to do.”
John enjoys both teaching and performing. Teaching, because it’s more of a stable gig. “I had gigs where I’d perform a few times a week then teach during the day to support myself. Teaching was somewhat competitive, I felt like there was a steep learning curve so I had to learn super-fast and get better at teaching. So, I took a lot of teaching method classes.”
He considers teaching rewarding, challenging and engaging. “It’s not cookie-cutter at all. Every student is different – they have different abilities, styles, goals and everyone brings something new. I really learn a lot about myself as a musician and student as I teach others. You are with them for long periods of time. Taking lessons develops a sense of community with other people, musicians, and a connection to culture.
“Some of my students have been with me from ages eight to eighteen. I get to see their progress and some of them turn into professional musicians. I keep in touch and when I’m in town I’ll go say hi. One former student is a jazz musician in L.A. I just went out there and saw him perform. I keep in touch with my teachers too. When I make a cd I’ll give them a copy.”
When he’s not teaching he enjoys listening to all types of music. “Classical, jazz, rock, bluegrass, electronic, hip hop, R&B, soul, gospel, pop, Latin, gypsy. I’ve gotten into every genre and really appreciate them. The more I listen to music, the more music I listen to. For classical guitar it’s Julian Bream, Davis Russell and John Williams. Davis Russell was in town recently, one of the greatest musicians in the world and I got to see him. Everything about him makes you feel inspired and you feel the love of music.”
John moved to Denver from Austin, TX in 2018 and discovered the Denver Folklore Center by word of mouth. “I refer students to the store to get quality instruments instead of going to a chain.” And he teaches all ages and all abilities. “My youngest student was around four years old, my oldest was mid-70s. but the majority are high school age.
“I teach in-person at my home studio in Littleton, CO, or online, individuals or group classes. I focus primarily on classical guitar and have had students go on to study in college and win guitar competitions. Some of my former students are professional musicians now. I have been teaching professionally since 2007. Classical guitar is what I’m really qualified to teach – beginner to professional level.”
Want to contact John for a lesson? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website, which should be live mid-2022 “with a lot of resources for anyone interested in classical guitar in Colorado. It will be a general resource site for all things classical guitar in Colorado. If someone wanted to hire someone to play classical guitar, concerts and events in the area, lessons. It’s in the early stages of development.”