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“I help each student learn the music they are most excited about”

John Lake Music Lessons Iowa City guitar lessons resized

Lessons Incorporate

Voice and guitar coordination • Custom music transcriptions
Music arranging • Rhythm training • Music theory • Guitar solo training

My Approach

Lessons are student-centered and hands-on. I play and sing with students from the first day so they develop rhythm and confidence. I value building a repertoire of songs that can be performed with competence, even if the songs are simple. Each lesson is essentially a performance for a two-person band—the student and myself!

The more I teach, the more I learn about breaking music down and putting it back together. I help students master the individual elements of guitar and then bring those elements together with the right feel and attitude.

I often hear people say they always wanted to play guitar, but they think it’s too late. It’s never too late! I have worked with students from age 8 to 80. Whether strumming chords for the Beatles’ Love Me Do, playing a dazzling Eric Clapton solo, or learning Taylor Swift’s latest hit, playing music gives us the feeling of poise, mastery, and satisfaction—at any age.

Beginner Lessons
  • Open chords in 1st position
  • Simple songs, starting with a 10-song list the student creates
  • How to read music from a method book (not required)
  • Proper pick technique
  • Guitar maintenance and tuning
  • Core repertoire (instructor’s choice)