Private Instruction for Bass, Piano, Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Banjo

If you are thinking about taking music lessons or you are already playing and want to improve, private instruction one of the best way to learn and most effective.
An experienced teacher can make learning enjoyable and get you playing up to speed in no time. The teacher, Barry Sahagian, is originally from Boston. He was educated at the prestigious Berklee College of Music and has decades of teaching and performing experience. Students of all ages are welcome to study and experience the joy of learning and playing music. No one is too old or too young to learn.

Call or email for a free consultation or to book lessons.

Contact – Phone/Email
802 334 2437

See below for rates…

Music Courses

Comfortable waiting room in view of the student during the lesson for parents of our younger students.

Spacious studio with bookcase of music books, computer and tablet for additional resources.


Hourly – Weekly Lessons
$40 per hour – 4 lessons a month
Payment in advance $160

30 Minutes Weekly – 4 lessons a month
27.50 per hour – (or two one hour lessons bimonthly)
Payment in advance – $110

45 Minute Weekly Lessons
$35 per – 4 lessons a month
Payment in advance – $140

Learning Music

To play a musical instrument the music student must first learn the technique of the instrument, the fingerings, posture. The ultimate goal in learning a musical instrument is for the student to be able to play songs. This is where it becomes most enjoyable, to play songs for personal enjoyment and to play with other musicians. This is the reward for the practice that is necessary to learn a musical instrument. The rewards provide inspiration to practice and become a better player.

Not only for the beginner student, study and practice to expand on a musicians proficiency is just as important and rewarding for a musician who is already capable. I have taught students of all ages and levels of ability for 40 years. Some learning for the first time and some who have been playing for decades. Teaching is learning. I have learned that each student is unique and teach with that in mind.
A beginner student for the most part is a blank sheet and for most teachers is approached the same way. Teach the basics of music and the technique of the instrument. All other students out of the beginner category are more challenging for the teacher. These students will have bits and pieces of music knowledge, experience, repertoire and technique. In order to accommodate all the
the students unique need, I have an indexed list of subjects for the students to choose from. The students can also choose multiple subjects to study or concentrate on just one subject to study. If a student is not sure what they need, I create the direction they have to go to accomplish their goals.

Bass Guitar Instruction

Slap Bass

All styles of slap bass are included for more info click below
Slap Bass Lessons

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Jazz Bass

Learning to play jazz bass could include, depending on the students interests and goals, study of bebop repertoire, walking bass, jazz soloing
jazz harmony.
For more contemporary jazz styles, a blend of funk and rock feel with focus on scale and arpeggio substitution. Jazz harmony of course. Style analysis of artists and styles suggested by the student or teacher.

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Funk Bass

First of all when I refer to funk bass, I am thinking of fingerstyle bass playing using the index and middle fingers. I consider slapping bass to be in a category of it’s own and teach this by it self .
This would include studying the styles of the pioneers of funk for instance James Jamerson, Jaco and others from the 60’s and 70’s. Getting tight rhythms is usually a challenge with students learning funk. Studying rhythm and using a metronome would be included
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Rock Bass

The first thing I do when teaching a rock bass player is to make sure the student has a basic understanding of Music theory. Chord Construction and Root Fifth Bass Lines. Although most musicians take this for granted, I find many beginners and other self taught musicians to lack in this. Just to understand a little theory can greatly improve a musicians ability to play better.
In 1985 I wrote and published a book “Essential Bass Theory” I have used this book with great success over the years.

Take a root fifth bass line which to most musicians feel is a no-brainer. As simple as it might seem is not so simple. To get a great feel, tasteful selection of notes and melodic smoothness may be lacking. Many guitar players I have taught learning to play bass realize a root fifth bass line not as simple as they thought. Then to start to add other chord tones scales while still maintaining solid accompaniment another challenge.

Also part of this course is style analysis of great rock players from 60’s to present. The student is welcome to bring cd’s, Youtube, printed music ,tab of favorite artists/music for study.

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Country Bass

In this day and age country bass playing is a blend of other musical styles. However there still exists traditional country styles in which are predominantly root fifth bass lines. Most musicians feel that root and fifth bass lines are very simple. They are as simple as they are challenging. To get a great feel, choice of notes, adding other notes of the chord tastefully is what I have found lacking in players that previously played guitar or other instruments and beginners of course.

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Guitar Instruction

Blues Guitar

Learning and using major and minor pentatonic scales is the probably the most important element of blues guitar. Variations of the 12 bar blues progression. Style analysis of the greats. BB King, Eric Clapton and the long list of other greats. Learning a variety of techniques such as bending and Tapping, vibrato, slide guitar, left hand damping, microtonal bending, whammy bar bends etc.

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Jazz Guitar

Learning jazz guitar is bit more challenging than some of the other guitar styles. Also there are two basic categories of jazz guitar playing traditional jazz guitar and jazz rock fusion.

Traditional jazz guitar requires a good foundation of jazz harmony as well as a decent handle on jazz standards, bebop repertoire. A copy of the Real Book would is most popular with jazz musicians for this repertoire. Another important part of jazz guitar are chords. So many inversions substitutions. Studying chords and usage on the standards is a constant for the traditional jazz guitarist. Also style analysis is included
on jazz legends.

Jazz Rock Fusion or Smooth Jazz is less demanding on learning jazz harmony, substitution and other elements needed to play traditional jazz but still more demanding than other styles such as blues and rock.

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Rock Guitar

Learning Rock guitar usually requires a bit of the blues guitar style mixed in. The harmony and chords used in rock guitar range from simple 3 chord similar to blues progressions to more complex harmonies typical of jazz. So when a student comes to me and wants to learn rock guitar I would really need to know what the students goal in music is to get them where they want to go.

For instance traditional classic rock from 60’s and 70’s I would have then study the icons and how they approach their music. 80’s to present music has changed and if that be their goal In would explore the music they like to get the study in the right direction. Another part of this course available is effects. I am wondering there is an electric guitarist in existence that does not use stomp boxes. It has become an addiction to some guitarists. I can not deny I border on this addiction. I have at the studio a Marshal Code Amp in which hundreds stomp box sounds can be explored to get the student aware of what this stomp box madness madness is about

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Fingerstyle Guitar

Fingerstyle Guitar is a technique used in a few genres of music. Folk music, country music and classical music. Classical music would be the most challenging. Folk and Country are less challenging with some exceptions.

I offer study on all these which a student can devote entirely on or mix in with other courses during their lesson.

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Acoustic Guitar

Learn chords, strumming techniques to play with others in a group or solo with vocals. Learn how to use a capo to change keys. Tuning the guitar. Music theory, Chord chart reading.

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Piano, Banjo, Group Lessons

Popular Piano

Learn to play chords and melody of your favorites songs. Learn music theory, rhythmic training , reading music, accompaniment techniques.

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Classical Piano

Learn the music of the masters – Bach, Beethoven, Dvorak, Brahms and more. Use this course in conjunction with any others during your lesson.

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Jazz Piano

Learn jazz voicing, solo techniques, jazz repertoire, Real Book.

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Learn the basics – tuning, intonation, using finger picks or bare fingers. Learn the claw hammer technique, Earle Scruggs Style with chords, alternate tunings, rolls, hammer on’s.
Learn to play songs, licks.

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Group Lessons

After a student gains a a little skill I sometimes I may be able to offer a group lesson. It may be possible that I might have another student or two on the same on the same level that I could match up. I would also include myself on the group playing a an instrument as well as directing the group. In past I have had two students, one student on guitar, one student on bass and myself on piano. Another possibility is that a student may have a friend they play with that is not my student to be on the group lesson. I make sure that the music is in time and correctly played and work out any problems.

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Theory and Improvisation

Jazz Improvisation – All instruments

Learning to improvise carries over to all styles of music and can boost musicianship substantially.

More information:

Jazz Improvisation – All instruments

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Music Theory

Learning music theory can expand a musicians skill to be able to absorb and play music quickly, practice with better results, be a better composer, communicate with other musicians. Understand how keys work, cycle of 4ths and 5ths. Very very beneficial. I often hear musicians boast of playing by ear is how they learned. If they already have a great ear, add brain to your ear will increase your skill tenfold.

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Ear Training

This course is based on a curriculum used at Berklee College of Music. It uses the movable do solfege. You learn to hear music you can read from a page by singing the syllables do, re , me etc. You also learn to hear and identify music by relating in the same way to the syllables

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Recording Studio

We have a professiona level recording studio on location. It includes professional lighting, backdrop and pro recording equipment to record a student that has reached a point where thay can play their music to show the world. Includes full recording a song, upload to Youtube. Pricing by quote.
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Music Notation

In the 80s I started a publishing company to publish music books that I had written. At that time there was no software. It was quite a struggle to get my music written well enough so it would look professional enough to sell. I studied and tried all kinds of methods and tools. I opted to learn to write music by hand using calligraphy pen in my right hand and small triangle in my left hand. I studied several books on all phases of music notation. There are so many things we just take for granted when we look at a piece of music. One thing I see when I look a hand written chart is the spacing is most always terrible.

When notation software became available I thought , where were you when I needed you? But, yes you can accomplish great looking music with the new notation software but handwritten music still has it’s place. It is quicker and you do not need to stop and look for a command when you go to write a symbol or something that you might need. or when you are at a rehearsal and you need to write something out. A pencil with an eraser and piece of manuscript paper is all that is needed. Plus the skill to create decent looking notation and spacing and some of the other rules of notation.

If you learn to write by hand you music, you do not have to give up your software. You will just have another option to communicate or compose when you need it quick and or there is not computer and printer nearby

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