"I'm in awe of how well you teach us, managing to challenge the most experienced with new ideas while nurturing the beginners. I love playing uke, and look forward so much to my Monday mornings. It's had a great side effect, also, in that my husband has taken out his keyboard this summer and is playing again. And better yet, we have started working on some of the Daily Ukulele Book pieces together."
Jane S. - Ukulele Student
I really like taking guitar lessons from Ray. He’s an excellent teacher to say the least. He’s very in tune with my skill level and has an intuitive sense of my preferences in music. Always seems to have the perfect piece to work on next. They’re challenging, but not overly so and he is very patient even when progress is slow. For me, this keeps the fun factor front and center. That’s sort of why I started with Ray…. I love music, I love the guitar, and I wanted to have some fun with it. What I’ve gotten back over that last year and half is the confidence to play not just for myself but for/with other friends. I definitely had a lot of shyness to overcome, but if I keep going like this I just might try showing up at a local open mic night soon. I highly recommend Ray Forton.
Michael A. - Guitar Student
When I was looking for a teacher, I knew I needed someone who would be patient and who had a sense of humor. Ray's got both! His years of teaching kids have enhanced his ability to work with adults who are new to their instrument, and his own significant skill, talent, and versatility as a professional musician means that he has more and more to offer as you become a better, stronger player. He doesn't have a cookie-cutter approach. No Mel Bay Way Volume 1 here! Ray listens carefully to what it is that you want to learn, and then he teaches you that - with some nice fun surprises thrown in from time to time. I recommend a partnership with Ray.
He's great, but I should say, he's not magic.You'll still need to practice....
Jo T. - Ukulele Student
I've been a student of Ray since April 2016. I've loved the guitar for most of my life and had lessons one summer, 25 years ago, and group lessons last year at the college. I decided to do private lessons again to change things up a bit. Having a teacher you are comfortable with was important, and I felt that from Ray the very first lesson. I especially appreciate his patience when I just seemed a little slow to get a chord shape, or a strumming rhythm. Some of the things I've learned are chord progressions, finger exercises, how to practice difficult measures, some music theory, and music history, and simplifying songs- all geared to my level and interest and adding complexity when I've become bored.
Ray is also a gifted singer, and his mind is like a jukebox -and at times will demo very old tunes on the ukulele or guitar, that were buried in my psyche for many years. I get inspired and curious - "Do you think I could learn that?" And the answer is of course, yes, and then I am gifted with an email with the tabs to get started the very next week. Ray has been a tremendous influence in my skill development and I never am made to feel bad if for some reason I didn't get enough time to practice that week. If you are thinking about taking up lessons you will be amazed at how fun it is and how much better you will be with private lessons in a relatively short period of time.
Donna W. - Guitar and Ukulele Student
I had been dabbling with the guitar ever since I was in high school. But never serious. Now in my late 50s, I bought a nice acoustic and tried to teach myself - whoops. Working with Ray has been great. I started seeing results right away. He is patient, understands there are weeks where I don’t get any practice time, but at the same time he keeps me motivated by challenging me with new material each week from a wide variety of genres. His love of guitar and guitar music is infectious. I’m rewarded not only by my learning from him, but also the joy of sharing a common interest on a personal level.
Brian N. - Guitar Student
I came to Ray with some self-taught prowess on the guitar but I lacked a technical understanding of my instrument. I wanted to learn the foundations of folk and blues theory to build off of. Originally I had planned to take two months of lessons and be done, but my mom heard me playing a simple blues tune Ray had taught me and she liked what she heard so much she told me to keep taking lessons and she paid for another three months. Ray is a great teacher, very skilled with communicating, provides excellent study material, and knows the mistakes other teaching methods may have imparted to you and how to help you unlearn them. The time you put in will equal real results.
James B. Guitar Student