My Teaching Philosophy

Dustin Sebes on a bass guitar at a performance
Dustin Sebes
Orange County, Virginia

Hi, my names is Dustin and I teach music.

I’ve been teaching music lessons for 25 years now while playing and performing in original bands in the NJ/NYC area for over 30 years. I mainly teach guitar lessons but I also teach bass guitar, ukulele, and piano.

My philosophy for teaching is keeping things fun while striking a balance between the more regimented academic side of music vs. the more spontaneous and creative side of music. Having a foot in both camps, early on I learned traditionally with private lessons while taking advanced placement music theory courses in high school and in college. I also spent a lot of time rehearsing, recording and performing live with different music groups while also writing my own compositions and songs.

Bridging the conservatory and the garage so to speak gave me a great start in my musical education. What I found most helpful was firstly listening to and enjoying music from an early age and later on as a teenager with lessons and classes having an emphasis on music theory and improvisation with proper technique and proper practice habits to boot. At the same time I was also free to explore and experiment with instruments and singing in the basements, garages, and stages with the original performing bands.

Putting the ball into play, so to speak, really allowed me to better understand and process the academic lessons from the classroom. Just like learning a foreign language (and music is a language itself), it’s always best to take the classroom teachings out into the world in real conversations and interactions for a deeper and more immersive understanding.

With all of this said, I believe there is a musician often yet to be discovered inside of everyone. Allowing that musicianship to develop and flourish is often a different process for the many different types of students who are out there wanting to learn how to play music. I custom tailor my lessons to suit the individual needs, goals, temperament and abilities of each of my students. I encourage all my students to have fun but also to put in the necessary time and effort into practicing.

I am passionate about the importance of and the playing of music and am continually inspired within my own musicianship, playing, practice, and interaction with other musicians and students.  It sets the tone for my lessons and that is something that my students have really enjoyed about working with me.

Early on I had no idea how rich and deep my own personal musical journey would get with every passing year of progress and growth. I love to help others achieve that same clarity and joy as their own musical lives begin to blossom and grow. It’s an amazing blessing to be able to do this with others and to make a living through playing and teaching music.

I am so lucky to have gotten to meet and know so many such wonderful people in my life through teaching and performing music. In addition to spending so much of my time devoted to the world of music, I also enjoy being with my family and friends in addition to finding the time to draw, take photographs, and play chess.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns that I might be able to address. Upon request, I am also happy to supply references and contact information from my other students and parents.