Learning to play an instrument can be difficult, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun. Here at Riffs our lesson program is designed to inspire. The fastest learners are not necessarily the "naturals," they are the ones who have the most fun playing and therefore practice most often. Whether it is starting from scratch, or learning a new advanced style or technique, we have the right teacher to get you where you want to go!
Please call 858-456-2477 to sign up or for more information!
Riffs teachers are now available for booking! Click HERE for more information about booking our musicans for your musical needs!
Riffs Teaching Staff
Mira Parfitt- Guitar
Mira is a singer/songwriter originally from Santa Cruz, California. She currently plays a mixed set of her original work and covers of her favorite acoustic artists at local
restaurants and coffee shops. For the past couple years, she has found happiness in combining her love of working with children and her passion for music.
When Sarah heard the sounds of the ukulele in 2006, she was hooked. She took a group class with Frank Leong, and later studied with him privately. Since then, Sarah has recorded two albums, performed at ukulele festivals, and taught ukulele. Though her specialty is Jazz, she can teach a wide variety of styles to both adults and children.
Matt Bruno-Guitar, Mandolin, Bass, Banjo, Ukulele
Matt is our most versitile teacher. His deep understanding of music theory and years of experience playing and teaching, he can teach a variety of instruments and playing styles. He has been teaching in the San Diego area for years and currently plays with several different bands around town.
Wayne Preis- Guitar
As a guitar instructor Wayne has been developing his own teaching methods since the late 70’s. With a background deeply rooted in the blues, jazz and finger style, his teaching style
stresses the importance of musical deconstruction as well as an emphasis on improvisation. Wayne feels that the job of every music instructor is to first assess the student’s musical ambition and to
then find the quickest path to joy and perhaps most importantly, guide that student along the path to finding his/her own musical voice.
Russell Ramo- Guitar
Russell is a dedicated guitarist with an eclectic style drawing influences from some of the greatest and most respected musicians. Blues, Jazz, Classical, and Folk are only a few of the musical territories he explores. Although playing the guitar is a personal hobby close to Russell’s heart, his main goal is to share the gift of music with anybody who is willing to listen. He has been teaching for many years and can cover most styles of play.
Steve DeVries- Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Harmonica, Bass
After 40 years of teaching, touring, performing, composing and recording have enabled me to present the complexities of music in a way that is not only instructional but also completely clear and fun! I am adept at taking entry through performance level students to the caliber of musicianship desired. My formal education includes music theory and composition studies at Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas. I take pride in my successful track record of bringing out each student's inner potential, regardless of age or experience. I firmly believe that one of the most important components in learning and advancing within your musical life is to genuinely enjoy the experience! My passion is teaching and I believe the bond between student and instructor is paramount in becoming a life-long student in the art and beauty of music.
Every student progress at various rates and time spent practicing does enter into the equation. Utilizing students' musical preferences supports their desire to learn and enables efficient advancement of skills. I customize the curriculum to suit your musical tastes, time available to practice, needs and aspiration. Within a brief period of time, you will experience success in your skill level, understanding your instrument and the music process. Rapidly, you will be playing and enjoying music! My teaching strategy incorporates positive reinforcement and logical curriculum in a relaxed learning environment, achieving the results you expect. Any and all questions are always addressed, appropriate to age/ability level, and lessons are always enjoyable!
Edward Fishwick- Flamenco Guitar
Edward first became fascinated with the guitar at the age of fifteen. Before long he was putting bands together and looking for gigs. The music was heavy rock like the songs featured on Guitar Hero. As time went on, his influences grew to include everything from classical to hip-hop to bluegrass, but the one genre that that made the strongest impact was flamenco.
His passion led him to Spain where, after subsequent trips, he studied with some of the greatest guitarists in the business including David Serva, Emilio Maya, Paco Cortés and Rafael Santiago “Habichuela”. Between trips Edward studied classical guitar at Grossmont College and San Diego State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in music performance in 2008.
Edward regularly performs as a soloist and with various ensembles ranging from pop groups to flamenco troupes. His comprehensive studies in music history and theory coupled with one-on-one, ‘old world’ style lessons from flamenco masters gives him a great foundation for teaching.
Drew Taylor- Guitar
Drew's passion for the guitar started at the age of fourteen when a friend introduced him to the Allman Brothers Band. He learned his first chords from his father who taught him a simple finger
style pattern, which is one of the main styles he still plays today. One of his favorite things about music is the softer and more delicate side of what the acoustic guitar has to offer. He also
enjoys songwriting and is fascinated with the process of fusing harmony and melody. He is excited to use teaching to ignite a similar passion in his students.
Sam Hosking- Guitar
For the last decade, Sam performed all over the east coast, from NYC to Miami, as a solo artist and in different bands. His musical talents have led him around the world, aquiring new techniques and skills everywhere he went. Landing in San Diego this year his voice, guitar playing skills, and experience will surely get him well ingrained in the local music scene. He has a unique approach to teaching that has proven successful in helping beginner and gigging musicians alike to advance their playing.
Matthew Smith- Percussion
Matthew began performing at the age of 10 in and around San Diego, including Sea World, The World Famous San Diego Zoo, and Lego Land. Never turning back from that desire, Matt continued down that musical journey performing as both a percussionist/drummer, trombonist and earning his BA in music performance from California State University in Fullerton in May 2012. Currently Matt performs with his own ska band "The Skank Agents" and has recently incarnated his jazz project known as "The Matt Smith Neu Jazz Trio." Matt also has recently joined the local steam punk legends "Steam Powered Giraffe." Matt can teach the percussive techniques of the cajon, djembe, congas, bongos, and full drum kit.
Dr. Cliff Oliver- Didgeridoo
The didgeridoo is played with a special breathing technique called circular breathing . This involves breathing in through the nose while expelling air out of the mouth using the tongue and cheeks. Vibrating lips will produce a continuous drone that a skilled player can sustain for as long as desired, with the supply of air constantly replenished.
Dr. Oliver has taken the complex subject of healthcare and, through his unique ability to simplify it, has created very effective treatments and workshops that address the underlying causes of disease and the multi-dimensional factors that stimulate healing and facilitate restoring harmony and balance in the mind and body.