Guitar lessons in Victoria, BC, Canada, with Bradford Werner. All ages and levels are welcome. I aim for lessons that are positive, productive, and well-rounded. Lessons take place at two locations, a private studio and at the Victoria Conservatory of Music located downtown Victoria. I regularly teach a studio of 30 one-on-one students as well as chamber music groups and masterclasses. I mainly teach classical guitar but also accept a number of students from other styles/genres. In additional to guitar lessons, I teach music theory, history, and musicianship.
I enjoy teaching a variety of students from youth, post-secondary, to hobbyist adults. I’ve been teaching at the Conservatory for around 13 years and have been playing guitar for 27 years. I’ve adjudicated festivals and given exams and masterclasses for a variety of organizations including The Alberta Provincial Festival, Mount Royal University Conservatory, Calgary Guitar Society, Camosun College, Medicine Hat Rotary Festival, The Northwest Music Festival, and many more. Although I specialize in classical guitar I love popular music from rock, folk, metal, and jazz. Outside of teaching I also perform regularly and have recorded with financial assistance from the Canada Council for Arts. Learn more at my About Page.
Benefits of Guitar with Bradford
- Weekly private lessons, masterclasses, and workshops
- Ensemble playing opportunities
- Performance opportunities (optional) for youth and adults
- Friendly but productive lessons for all ages and levels
- I’m a qualified teacher (AVCM teaching and performance certification)
- My blog helps students during the week (over 1 million visitors a year)
Classical & Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons
I primarily teach and perform on classical guitar. The classical guitar is a nylon string instrument played with the fingers and has a musical history ranging from the Renaissance era to modern times, Latin and Spanish music, and many cross-over styles. Students of the classical guitar learn all the same things that pianists, violinists, and other orchestral musicians learn. It is likely the most versatile musical instrument in terms of styles and eras of music. My classical students also learn some popular music, chords, and improvisation as well. In the end, the classical students learn everything. I don’t require my students to focus on “classical” music necessarily, once they have the skills of a good musician they can choose what styles or genres they wish to pursue. The educational benefits of the classical guitar teaching route create solid musicians that can read, perform, and tackle a variety of musical styles and situations.
Popular Guitar Styles
I teach a number of students who wish to learn popular styles (rock, folk, jazz, metal), chords, melodies, and fingerstyle guitar arrangements. As long as the student is interested in learning about how music works, basic reading skills, and is willing to play some set educational material on top of their own interests then I enjoy teaching them. I also really like for my popular style students to learn solo arrangements so they can perform solo if they choose. So many guitarists are left out if they don’t play in a band or sing so learning some solo arrangements ensures they have something to play for others if they choose.
I teach using progressive methods that ensure the student successfully completes one goal before moving onto the next. This creates happy and productive students. I’ve created my own books and materials to ensure that both the student and teacher can clearly track progress and achievement in an enjoyable and educational environment. This is common practice in piano and string lessons but more rare in guitar pedagogy. It’s important that both the student and teacher can see completed goals and progress because that is what makes lessons exciting and successful. Another major element in my teaching is to ensure the student develops positive and successful practice habits. Students need to practice well but they also need to enjoy practicing so the experience is rewarding, enjoyable, and encouraging. These are life lessons that can help students in many other areas of their life from study habits, schoolwork, and employment. I’m also particularly proud of how all my youth students present themselves in respectful, positive, and confident ways during lessons and public performances.
Adjudication and Exams:
I regularly act as an examiner for the Conservatory as well as adjudicate festivals such as the Alberta Provincial Festival, Mount Royal University Conservatory, Medicine Hat Festival, Northwest Music Festival, and many festivals in Western Canada over the past 10 years. Also, many of my students take both VCM and RCM exams between the levels of Grade 1 to ARCT. My students have, on numerous occasions, come in 1st place at the Victoria as well as the BC Provincial Festival competitions.
“Brad’s smile of confidence, calm presence, and congratulatory word says it all. He quietly mentors, giving our intrepid now-teenage daughter inspiration in both in a creative and practical sense. What would we do without him? He knows how to steer the ship, without appearing at the helm!” – Susan Donnecke (Parent)