Brian Rivers - Quality and Excellence in Music Education and Performance
Fill out the Student Registration and Teacher - Student Agreement form below and be sure to scroll to the very bottom and hit submit to get started learning to play!
NEW - Summer Group Workshops
I am excited to offer group workshops for the first time. In order to participate you will need to purchase a summer workshop pass.The summer workshop pass gives you access to 18 hours of drop-in group workshops. (Think of it like a pool pass, come as little or as much as you like!) The workshops are designed to be fun and engaging group musical activities for all ages and levels and will meet on Tuesdays from 3:00-4:00 and Fridays from 11:00-noon. The group workshop pass costs $270.00 and is subject to minimum enrollment. The pass allows you to participate in as many or as few of the workshops as your schedule permits. The minimum enrollment for the workshops is four students.
Workshop topics and schedule:
Finding Your Inner Songwriter – An introduction to songwriting (60-minute workshops) – June 4-14, Tuesdays @ 3:00, Fridays @ 11:00
Beginners Jam! Beginning guitar, bass, uke and piano for people who play these instruments or want to try a new instrument. (60-minute workshops) – June 18-28, Tuesdays @ 3:00, Fridays @ 11:00
I don’t want to work, I just want to bang on the drum all day! (60-minute workshops) – July 16-26, Tuesdays @ 3:00, Fridays @ 11:00
Finding the Magic – Improvising on any instrument (60-minute workshops) – July 30–August 9, Tuesdays @ 3:00, Fridays @ 11:00
Listening and Sharing (60-minute workshops) – August 13-16, Tuesdays @ 3:00, Fridays @ 11:00
For more detailed information click here: Clinics and Workshops
Summer 2019 Pricing information
Full summer session sign-up (schedule priority)
30 minute lessons x 9 x $30.00 = $270.00
60 minute lessons x 9 x $60.00= $510.00
Drop-in summer rate
30 minute lessons = $30.00
60 minute lessons = $60.00
Group workshops pass
18 - 60 minute group workshops = 18 x $15.00 = $270.00 (Subject to minimum enrollment of 4 students)
Registration and Payment Information
Payment is due with your registration request. Complete the registration form asap to get the best schedule placement.
Payments can be made by cash, check, credit card or e-check. Checks should be payable to: Rivers Music, LLC.
Summer 2019 Schedules
The Rivers Music Weekly/Daily Schedule below (grey) is mainly for the benefit of my current students so they can see when there might be openings for make-up lessons. The calendar defaults to the current week, so please be sure to use the arrows in the blue buttons to scroll to the correct week.
Here is the daily lesson schedule availability.
If none of the open times work for you, I recommend you contact me to get your name the waiting list! I will contact people from the waiting list if and when openings become available. During the registration period for the next session, current students get priority, then returning students who took a break, then waiting list students. Once all those students have had a chance to get on the schedule, I open enrollment to new students not on the waiting list.
- Frequently Asked Questions -
Q: How old should my child be to start lessons
A: Most any age is OK, as long as children have basic motor skills and can hold the instrument.
Q: What do lessons cost?
A: See the "Pricing Information" section above.
Q: Do I get a refund for missed lessons?
A: See the "Rates and Policies" section above.
Q: Where are you located?
A: In my home studio, 471 Wood Ave. In the Clifton Gaslight neighborhood of Cincinnati OH.
Q: Do you teach home-schooled students?
A: Certainly. I welcome all students.
Q: I am an adult with not much music background. Can you start me in lessons?
A: Absolutely. You are never too old to learn, even if you have never had music instruction before. Adults usually learn music concepts quickly, the real challenge is finding the time to practice, not age.
Q: I am a college student with a changing schedule, can I change lesson times when needed?
A: Absolutely. If you are a college student and can make a lesson time before 3:30, it is not a problem to change lesson times if needed.
Q: I got bored with music lessons when I was young. Can you teach me the kind of music I want to play and sing?
A: I welcome the opportunity to work with students with a wide range of musical tastes!
Q: I am stay at home parent, can I change lesson times when needed if my child is sick, or it's a school holiday?
A: Absolutely. If you have a regular lesson time before 3:30, it is not a problem to change lesson times if needed.
Q: Does there have to be an instrument at home to use for practice?
A: Yes — you must have an instrument to practice on between lessons.
Q: Do you rent or sell instruments etc.?
A: No, I will be happy to suggest a music retailer. (See the home page or side bar here) This is what they do, and they do it well. Rivers Music is not a retail music store.
Q: How long are lessons?
A: Weekly private lessons can be 30 or 60 minutes .
Q: What is better, 30 or 60 minute lessons?
A: It all depends on the student. If the student has the ability to focus for 60 minutes, then the 60 minute lesson is by far the best value because the ratio of instructional time to transition/set-up time is much better. The 60 minute lesson is also good for the student that simply needs more time or guidance. It also allows for a deeper exploration of a new concept. For most students who often have limited practice time, the 30 minute lesson is more than enough time to keep a student busy all week.
Q: When can lessons be taken?
A: Weekdays during the day as well as some evenings.
Q: Do you give lessons in people’s homes?
Q: Do you offer group lessons?
A: Yes (Please contact me to discuss a specific plan)
Q: How can I help my child learn?
A: Be supportive. Even if you are not musically inclined, you should encourage your child’s efforts. Find ways to praise your child and give occasional rewards. Do not threaten or use practice time as a punishment. Such actions make music study unpleasant, unrewarding, and — almost always — unsuccessful. Encourage regular practice sessions. No one can "cram" for music lessons. it’s best to have regular, daily practice sessions. Someone who doesn’t practice will not learn the material. Practicing each day will guarantee success. Quality practice time is important. It is okay to break up the practice into smaller periods of time for students who have a hard time practicing for longer periods of time. Some children profit from two or three (shorter) practice sessions a day.
Q: Should I attend my child’s lessons?
A: Parents are always welcome to attend their child’s lessons. However, doing so sometimes inhibits the child. This is especially true with adolescents. On the other hand, young children are sometimes more comfortable if a parent is present. If you do attend your child’s lessons, please let the teacher do the teaching. Be attentive.
The Guitarist Dilemma
Tristan loves to sing and always wanted to learn to play guitar. Tristan’s dilemma was, “Do I take private lessons, or do I teach myself?” Initially, Tristan tried to learn online, but couldn’t progress and knew that it would be a good idea to take private lessons. However, the idea of going to a suburban music store chain or institutional lesson center wasn’t appealing. What Tristan really wanted was to be able to walk to a Gaslight Clifton home lesson studio and study with an experienced and well-respected instructor.
What Tristan didn’t realize is that Rivers Music had relocated from Hyde Park to Gaslight Clifton!
Then one day while reading the Clifton Chronicle, Tristan saw an ad for Rivers Music and decided to call. Tristan asked, “Can a beginner take lessons?” Brian explained that, yes, individualized lessons are available for students of all levels and ages! Tristan was concerned about finding a lesson time on the schedule because Brian often has a waiting list, but after visiting http://www.brianrivers.com/lessons.html to view the online calendar, Tristan saw it was possible to start today!
Now, Tristan comes to Rivers Music for lessons every week, and says, “I can’t believe the progress I’ve made! Brian provides me with the tailored feedback and innovative strategies that I was missing from online lessons.” Tristan is also discovering that playing guitar relieves the stress of work and school. “When I go to my lesson, it’s a 30-minute escape. Brian is so supportive and helpful, and I consistently leave my lesson feeling recharged and looking forward to practicing the new skills that I have acquired. I never thought I would be able to play guitar, and now listen to me!”
And the moral of this story? Don’t procrastinate learning to play guitar any longer! Quality guitar instruction is right here in our beautiful neighborhood of Gaslight Clifton! Contact Brian at Rivers Music and solve your own guitarist dilemma!www.riversmusic.com or email@example.com 513-335-0624.
~ Tristan is a fictitious composite character based on the comments and experiences of students at Rivers Music. Tristan could be you! ~
- Testimonials -
• "I have been playing violin, piano, and guitar since I was 10-11 years old. As a professional musician/music therapist, I have the great opportunity and joy to play music everyday in some capacity (area orchestras,a songwriter's group, a Celtic trio, in music therapy sessions and in churches). I feel fairly proficient on violin and piano but sought out Brian Rivers to deepen my understanding of the guitar with the goal of becoming a better rhythm player and a better songwriter.
To date, I have taken 20 lessons with Brian Rivers. I am hooked. I thought with my experience and background, that my approach to music/ music theory was adequate, confident and secure. I know my scales, keys, chord voicings,etc and use them regularly... or so I thought, until I met Brian.
It has been an honor to study with Brian Rivers, a brilliant soul. Brian's teaching approach is masterful. He is helping me unlock the secrets of the guitar with his unique methods, handouts, and demonstrations. Moreover, his teaching style is kind, patient, serious, humorous, and he shows genuine interest in my abilities to learn.
Brian is excellent at teaching and helping me expand upon a single concept, and at showing me how to use it in multiple ways (scale patterns and chord shapes to be specific).
I have always loved playing music, but now I find myself especially craving the guitar. Needless to say, not much housework has gotten done since I started guitar lessons, as my guitar calls to me. Got to practice. Got a lesson."
Jude Jones: female guitar student, age 54, professional musician/music therapist, Cincinnati, OH
• "Brian Rivers is my first music teacher. I have learned so much from him and always love going to my lessons. Sometimes when we get tired of working in the workbook I get to pick out a song or two that I like which makes my lessons more fun and interesting. My lessons are so much fun that when they are over, it feels like I just started and I don't want them to be over. Brian Rivers may be one of the best teachers I have ever had.
Zanna, age 10, Cincinnati, OH
• "We found out about Mr. Rivers by sheer luck and I am still thanking the Internet for coming up with his name by googling "guitar lesson Cincinnati". Our son had been struggling with language arts and a friend recommended to start the guitar for a fun way for the brain to learn another "language". It's been more then a year and simply great. Mr. Rivers has a wonderful demeanor that puts even nervous children at ease and he never fails to get them smiling when they struggle through a piece. He teaches the children to take pride in their achievements but also that achievements need to be worked for. When he asks the kids "What do you do after you practice?" they love to yell back "Practice some more, Sir!" Mr. Rivers is truly a world class teacher and we feel lucky that his path brought him to Cincinnati. Thank you, Mr. Rivers!!
Mirja Zeilstra, Mother of Justin (10), Cincinnati, OH
• "Brian Rivers establishes great rapport with his students through his humor and warm relational skills. He truly INSPIRES them to love music and to work hard to develop their skills. My son (Elias, age 11) asked for guitar lessons from Brian as his birthday present after hearing Brian play and hearing testimonies from other students. Elias and I both still feel that those lessons from Brian were the best gift he's received. Brian gave him skills that built his self-esteem and inspired him to practice lots and to LOVE playing guitar. I am deeply grateful to Brian for the contribution that he made to my son's personal development and to his development as a musician. We recommend him most enthusiastically!"
Lonna Hampton, mother in Davis, California, where many of us are mourning the loss of the best music teacher ever!
Elias, age 11, former student of Brian Rivers
• “Brian Rivers was the greatest influence on the early development of my son’s love for music. Through Brian, he was encouraged, supported and pushed beyond the limits of simply learning to play the acoustic bass – to explore and discover what makes music so special. As an 11 year old Aleczander was composing and performing his own music especially which for me was absolutely amazing especially given the short time that he had been playing. Brian was able to draw out from others the same passion that he possess – that is the true test of a great artist! We very much miss working with Brian but know that his interest in my son’s continued growth still remains”
Dr. James Young, Davis, California
• I had the privilege of having Brian Rivers as a teacher for three years during middle school and high school. Let me just say, Rivers knew just about anything. You name it, he taught it. He was my orchestra conductor, songwriting and guitar instructor, CD project producer and everything musically in between. But most of all, Rivers showed great interest in every one of his students and worked with them specifically so that they could find ways to apply music to life. He taught me the importance of putting my heart into the music I played, and the importance of making it relatable to others, so that it could inspire and motivate. He put so much time and energy even to see just a small step towards improvement. I have truly learned to use music to make a difference everyday.
Stefanie, age 17
• "I originally began taking Music Theory right out of high school and found it daunting and uninspiring, so I discontinued. Much later on in life, I came upon a listing for a class in Music Theory in the community college extension catalog taught by Brian Rivers. Having known Brian from his involvement in Mumbo Gumbo as well as throughout the local community, I felt encouraged to take another crack at this long-time desire. From the moment I stepped into his studio for each lesson, I felt inspired and encouraged, and had regained my confidence that I could learn this very complex system. He's everything you would want in a music teacher and more."
Robin Walton, Davis, California
• " I worked with Brian Rivers for more than ten years at Natomas Charter School Performing and Fine Arts Academy in Sacramento, California. We worked in adjoining classrooms for most of that time. I feel I have an in-depth knowledge of Brian’s musical and pedagogical abilities in the classroom working with students of all ages. He has an incredible depth of knowledge concerning such diverse kinds of music as jazz, world, folk, blues, country and pop. He knows the ins and outs of these genres including their performance techniques, history, and theory. He also has a vast knowledge concerning digital recording. His passion for music and learning transfers to his students, many of whom continue to pursue music after they take his classes. Brian’s commitment to students and student learning makes him an inspiration for educators. His ability to connect with students and meet them where they are is a critical part of his—and his students—success.
Matt Spiva, Percussionist, Composer and Music Educator – Sacramento, California – M.A. Music Composition, Sacramento State University
• "Brian Rivers is an amazing musician and an even more amazing music teacher. I happily shared a stage with Brian Rivers for 10 years in the funky, California roots band Mumbo Gumbo. I enjoyed his playing, his versatility, his energy, and his fun factor so much on every gig. Brian has deep music knowledge. He is such a patient guy, he can make you glad you asked even the stupidest questions! His kindness and amp-side manner are wrapped around years of accumulated knowledge and skill. He is one of the teachers I modeled my own teaching practice after. I flat-out love him.
Tracy Walton, Vocalist/guitarist - Mumbo Gumbo, Songwriter, Music Educator - Sacramento, California
• "The recordings Brian made of my string trio were the best of those we own. His generosity and expertise and skills should be apparent to those who work with him. His professionalism as a teacher, and his patience as a director were wonderful to see in an age where we need a pied piper to lead our children with joy and positive direction. I would recommend Brian Rivers as an instructor, director, performer or organizer in aspects relating to quality music activities."
Chuck Kenney, Retired music teacher, 38 years, San Juan Unified School District - Sacramento, California - B.A. Music, Sacramento State University, - M.Ed with emphasis in Music, LaVerne University
• " Mr. Rivers was an inspiration to many students who learned from him while teaching at Natomas Charter School, myself included. His obvious facility to play the guitar was the first thing that made me aspire to learn to play the guitar. Beyond that, he showed such an immense passion for playing that influenced my own love for playing. Mr. Rivers showed me how to be a true musician: both in technique, and in playing from the soul. I am immensely thankful that I had the opportunity of taking a class from such an amazing guitar teacher."
Samantha, age 15