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2007 – 2010 Masters Degree in Composition at the Manhattan School of Music 2004 – 2007 Bachelor of Music from the University of Florida 2001 – 2004 Associate in arts, Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus
UK guitar quartet competition winner 2014 Carnegie Hall performance of a duet for guitar and cello 2015 Recorded Bach's duets with Matthew Hough Published a guitar sonata and a collection of studies and etudes in Italy by Musicare publishers run by Cristiano Porqueddu
New York city composer and guitarist Juan is a native of Ecuador raised in Colombia. He immigrated to Miami at age 20 to escape the political climate of the late 90’s, and resides in Manhattan since 2008. Juan’s music blends elements from his unique life experiences, having been raised as an only child by a single mother in a bohemian environment. He was a recording and touring rock guitarist in Colombia, and he has studied East Asian music extensively, inspired by interaction with musicians and artists in China, Japan, and Indonesia.
His latest accomplishments include a performance of his composition “Reino Incierto” at Carnegie Hall (2015) and Sounds of the City, as well as a performance of his guitar quartet composition “Rising” by the UK guitar quartet. Juan currently studies classical guitar with Mark DelPriora, chair of the Guitar Department at the Manhattan School of Music, where he earned a master degree in composition. His mentors include composers Susan Botti, Reiko Fueting, and electronic music pioneer Joel Chadabe. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Florida, where he studied jazz guitar with Tom Lippincott, and composition with Susan Epstein-Garcia. Juan is also an avid cartoonist, collector of rare books and little cars, food adventurer and runner.
My job is to bring out talents that my students did not know they had, to develop their awareness of the elements of music performance, and to lead them to discover and expand their musical taste by introducing them to different styles of music, such as Jazz, Classical, and Rock. And if they already possess a measure of musical ability and taste, I advice them and encourage them to develop it to the fullest. Musical education is not only for future musicians, the skills that are gained in my class will enhance the student’s understanding of music in general and give them a degree of confidence that will place them at a higher social standing later in life. Knowledge of music and the mechanics of it will expand their pool of social activities and provide them solace in times of idleness or difficulty.
I generally begin with Alfred's Guitar Method for very young students or adult students who are interested in learning the rudiments of music. For intermediate students we work on polishing technique. I also use the Royal College of Music series for young students who are interested in taking the ABRSM placement exam. I have adult students who also want to learn songs they enjoy listening to, so we work with tablature (numbers). I wrote a beginning guitar book as well from which I draw various exercises. I have had all kinds of students and I also run a couple of rock bands for teens and we cover various rock bands such as Green Day and Black Sabbath.
I am very focused when teaching but I try not to bore the student with repetitive exercises, varying the material constantly, depending on the student. Some students are more focused than others and they're able to endure greater amounts of effort into a single task. In the beginning there is a kind of audition to determine wether the student will follow through a theoretical way of teaching, by using musical terminology, or a more intuitive kind, by using tablature and listening. More often than not, a student will find at some point they need to learn some rudiments of music in order to get ahead, so in the end it all leads to the same result which is to bring the best on each student.
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