Guitar Lessons

If you  are considering studying the guitar, here are some of my credentials as a teacher and some of my thoughts on teaching.

I have been teaching and performing professionally for over thirty years.

I am a graduate  with honors of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. I have a Bachelor of Music degree in classical guitar performance.

I received the Mark Kyrkostas Award for composition from Queens College

As a teacher one of my  strong points is that I have a very well rounded and eclectic musical  background. I studied classical guitar for many years with Fred Hand. Before that I was studying jazz and doing club dates with the Lester Lanin orchestra.I have also played with a large assortment of rockers, folkies, bluesmen, jazz singers and country pickers. This wide range of knowledge and experience helps me to keep the lessons interesting in that I am able to introduce students to many different styles and  techniques.  

Another of my attributes as a teacher is that I am a very patient and supportive person. When it comes to teaching I like to accentuate the positive. Each student is different and each student requires an approach that is tailored to their personal goals on the instrument. Playing the guitar is something that is very close to my heart. To pass on my knowledge and see a student progress gives me great satisfaction.

As to what I actually teach my students, I start with technique. The hands need to be conditioned and strengthened for the student to see significant progress. This means finger exercises and scales. Having said that, I do strive to make studying the guitar enjoyable. I like to get my students playing real songs almost immediately. I have a large repertoire of fun and challenging music that I share with my students. Once the student has progressed passed the basics I encourage them to choose music that they would like to work on. I also teach improvisation, music theory and reading as time goes on.
Above all learning to play guitar should be a fun and rewarding experience. I strive to create that kind of experience with all my students. See you at the lesson- Peter

Lessons are available in your home if you are on Long Island or in New York City. If you are not in the NY area lessons are available via Skype.


I've been taking guitar lessons on and off with Peter Kanelous for many years now. He is a gifted guitarist versed in many styles and exudes pure love for his craft. He is a dedicated teacher and I can honestly say that my level of playing has improved every time I've returned to Peter for lessons. He knows his stuff! He is patient, kind, encouraging and thorough in his teaching approach. He respects me as a student and I so appreciate that he does not dumb his lessons down. Whether you're a beginner or returning to guitar because it's something you've always wanted to  do, Peter Kanelous is hands down the one to go to for lessons.  

Annie Mark
Professional singer, songwriter and guitarist

As the Training Coordinator of the Adult Career and Technical Programs at Western Suffolk BOCES, I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Peter Kanelous for the past eight years. He has been a tremendous instructor and an asset to our school.  Peter is a dedicated instructor and his evaluations are exemplary.  In class, he has proven to be a take-charge person who is able to successfully develop plans and implement them.
Kristine M. Lincon Shanteau
Training Coordinator
Western Suffolk BOCES
Adult Career & Technical Education

I started studying guitar with Peter never really believing that I could learn to play. It was always a childhood dream. Now, I am playing Bach, The Beatles, Crosby, Stills and Nash and Gershwin. Even I have to admit- anyone listening to me would say I can really play the guitar. Thank you Peter!

Jennifer Gebhard  ANP/HNP

After attempting to learn guitar in my early twenties, I became discouraged and put it down for over twenty five years. I have always loved music but felt that I lacked the ability to learn how to play well. I couldn't have been more wrong. Under Pete's tutelage, over the past five years, I have learned that music can be challenging, frustrating and fun. But mostly, I have learned that it is a journey that is it its own reward. Peter has taught me to play all forms of music and I have seen myself improve steadily over the years. Pete's patient guidance has opened up creative pathways in me that I didn't know I had. As a result, I have now written over fifty original songs and am in the process of making a CD. If you want to see how far your musical dream can take you give Pete a call.

Robert Simone