Photo by Tim Kraus
- About Rivers Music -
Rivers Music is a private lesson studio in Hyde Park, Cincinnati. The instructor, Brian Rivers has many years of experience as both a private and classroom music instructor. Brian takes pride in striking a balance between fun and quality education. Brian is a very warm and relaxed teacher who has a strong commitment to musical excellence, education, and having a personal connection with his students. He tailors the lessons and methods to the individual student; child to adult, beginner to advanced. He plays a wide variety of styles, Rock, Jazz, Blues, Country, Folk, Reggae, Finger Style, and Latin. Brian has appeared on many recordings and performed at numerous music festivals throughout the United States.
The facility and teaching environment contributes to the quality of instruction. It includes a library of guitars, books, handouts, recording equipment, and internet. It provides a quiet and focused environment for learning. The studio waiting area has complimentary WiFi and there is a coffee shop next door. The studio is conveniently located within two blocks of Hyde Park Square and Rookwood shopping center for the quick shopping errand!
Where is Rivers Music?
In Hyde Park almost at the corner of Wasson Rd. and Edwards Rd., two blocks north of Hyde Park Square.
- 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
• "As a student of Brian Rivers for 6 years at Natomas Charter Performing and Fine Arts Academy. Mr. Rivers was an inspiration to me and all of his students. He helped to teach each of us about the many sides of the music business and encouraged everyone to find their own path and interest within the industry. As a teacher Mr. Rivers helped nurture each of us academically and musically as individuals, even in larger classes. Mr. Rivers took the time to give individual attention and instruction to each of his students. I greatly enjoyed the many classes that I took with Mr. Rivers and benefited greatly from his teaching and also his professional experience and mentoring."
Amanda Warner, Natomas Charter Performing and Fine Arts School graduate, current theater major - UCLA
• "As a singer in the "Showband" at Natomas Charter School, I was lucky enough to have an incredibly dedicated and passionate teacher. Brian Rivers taught me what it takes to sing with a band, and showed me how important it is to connect to your band-mates. It's not enough to be one of those singers who just walks onstage without even knowing who's behind them. Mr. Rivers has a fire inside him that comes out when he shares his love for music with others, and it inspires every student he comes across. I have taken the lessons I learned from him in that year of high school with me and applied them to all my musical experiences, and I will continue to do so throughout my musical career.
Thank you Brian Rivers!"
Molly Pease, Natomas Charter Performing and Fine Arts School graduate and current Vocal Jazz Music Major - Sacramento, California
- Private Lesson Rates -
Private 30 minute lesson once a week = $25.00/lesson
Private 45 minute lesson once a week =$35.00/lesson
Private 1 hour lesson once a week = $45.00/lesson
Semi-private 1 hour lesson (split it with a friend) = $25/each person per lesson
- Lesson Policies -
Payment is by the month, due at the first lesson of each month.
• Lesson Times
Lessons are scheduled at the same time every week. Unless you have scheduled a make-up lesson there should be no variations.
• Missed Lessons
Lessons that are scheduled after 3:00 pm, and cancelled 24 or more hours in advance, are billed at 50% of the normal fee. Lessons cancelled 24 or more hours in advance are eligible for a potential makeup lesson within the same week as the cancellation (billed at the normal rate) depending on schedule availability. If you know you will be missing a lesson, let Brian know as soon as possible because often he can often arrange to swap lesson times with another student or schedule you into another open slot for that week to avoid the 50% cancellation charge. Same day cancellations are also billed at 50% of the normal fee but are not eligible for a same week make-up lesson. Students who do not cancel lessons in advance but simply "no-show" are billed at full price and do not qualify for potential make-up lessons. If you know you will miss a lesson please call and let me know as soon as possible.
Lessons that are cancelled 24 hours or more in advance because of school holidays or religious holidays are not billed.
Lessons that are scheduled before 3:00 are ideal for students who need the flexibility to cancel without penalty 24 hours or more in advance. Same day cancellations are billed at 50% of the normal fee but are not eligible for a same week make-up lesson. Students who do not cancel lessons in advance but simply "no-show" are billed at full price.
• Bad Weather
If lessons due to severe weather conditions (Snow Emergency) you will receive 50% lesson credit.
• All students (minors and adults) need to fill out an enrollment form which includes emergency contact information. While it may seem unnecessary (and hopefully it is!) I feel better having the information in the unlikely event of a medical emergency. Having immediate access to emergency contact information can be very important in a real medical emergency.
• Parents and children attending lessons:
Parents are always welcome to observe their child's lesson. If you are waiting for your student in the waiting area, you may bring other children. It is never appropriate to leave the sibling of a student unattended in the studio or waiting area.
• What to bring
Be sure to bring your music, instrument, pencil, flash drive and any other items you may want in the lesson. Many students like to use a video/audio device (smart phone etc.) to record all or part of a lesson for their personal use. Please bring a spiral three ring notebook with some paper and plastic sleeves to write down notes and file handouts.
- 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 "Rates and Policies" 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, 3648 Michigan Ave. In the Hyde Park 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 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 on different kinds of music!
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 1/2 hour or one hour.
Q: What is better, one hour or half hour lessons?
A: It all depends on the student. If the student has the ability to focus for an hour and the available practice time and commitment, then the hour lesson is by far the best value because the ratio of instructional time to transition/set-up time is much better. The hour 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 students with limited attention span or very busy lives, the half-hour 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?
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.
If you looking for guitar lessons for yourself or child, you have come to the right place.
I will help you become the player you always wanted to be!
I offer the very best in quality instruction in an excellent facility that is spacious and quiet. I teach guitar, bass, songwriting, computer recording, music theory, and will work with any instrumentalist on improvising or general musicianship. If you are looking for experience and value, this is the place! Your satisfaction is my best advertising. The “testimonials” say it all!
All the information is on this page, it’s a bit of a scroll, but it’s all here, and if not, let me know and I will add it!
The main thing you can do is to fill out the form below, and get started now!
You are only "one click" away from having your music sound the way you always dreamed it could be! If you want lessons, a guitarist for your group or recording, fill out the form below, or call 513-335-0624 to get started now!
The "Buy Now" button above is for lesson payments and other payments to Brian Rivers. Do not use this button for equipment purchases!
Do you need musical equipment?
I always like to support local businesses. When I spend my income, I make an effort to "keep it local". I always check the label to see where it was made, grown, distributed by etc. If you want to do the same, here are some links and contact information for local music stores:
Locally Owned Music Store Links...