Our teaching philosophy.

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OUR PHILOSOPHY IS TO FIND JOY IN BOTH THE PRACTIcE AND PERFORMANCE OF MUSIC. 

Our goal is to foster a positive relationship with musical practice and performance. If the student is inspired the practice will follow naturally. By cultivating a fun attitude you are laying the path for a great life-long relationship to music. 

THE ROLE OF A MUSIC LESSON DEPENDS PARTLY ON WHO IS STUDYING. 

A student studying for a university audition will have different musical goals than another student hoping to master a few songs for the campfire. As such, the nature of the lessons need to change, too! The Haliburton Guitar Studio acknowledges this and seeks to support students of all skill levels and aims. Our lessons are structured on individual abilities and interests, with encouragement to explore new techniques through songs that they themselves choose. We provide repertoire and exercises that are appropriate for the student to help expand their scope. 

We believe MUSIC IS COMMUNITY BUILDING. 

Music brings people together! As such we encourage students to share their music as well as experience music played by others. We help facilitate this through promoting concerts, performance opportunities and networking likeminded musicians. 

Music study can PROVIDe SUPPORT FOR personal GROWTH.

Playing and sharing music with others can have a profoundly supportive impact on self-esteem and confidence. These qualities come in part by achievement, too. So we provide musical goals for students of all ages to pursue and accomplish. Setting, striving and accomplishing a goal gives students a focus and purpose. 

A Typical Lesson May include...

-tuning up
-warm up exercises
- working on repertoire chosen by student or teacher
-song analysis
- songwriting
-music theory/reading
-learning about the instrument
-music history
-listening and sharing music


Nick has been a fabulous guitar teacher for my daughter. His enthusiasm is infectious and motivating. He takes interest in her as a person, and tailors lessons and songs to her individual interests, not only just using a cookie cutter curriculum. His skill as a musician and understanding of music theory is infused in his lessons from very early on. Nick’s familiarity with many guitar playing styles, his experience as a performer, as well as music history really add to the value of his lessons.
— Maria Matsuda
Lessons with Nicholas Russell are very useful and helped me a lot for college. These lessons taught many various things such as how to improvise using different scale tones and chord tones. He has taught me how to properly substitute chords and taught me different voicing for chords. He has also helped me expand my knowledge of music theory and understanding of chord progressions and how to improvise over them. His teaching methods are spectacular and he has developed my ear training to a level that I did not expect. His lessons got me into one of the best programs for music in Ontario, so I thank him for that.
— Alix Fridman

Facts about the study of music

  • “Musical activity involves nearly every region in the brain that we know about, and nearly every neural subsystem”. - Daniel Levitan, This Is Your Brain on Music

  • Music improves language abilities, empathy, attention span and focus. - E. Glenn Schellenberg, Music Lessons Enhance IQ (Psychological Science, 15)

  • In a 2009 Canadian study, young children taking music lessons showed dramatic improvement in their verbal intelligence scores after only four weeks of training. - Sylvain Moreno et al, Musical Training Influences Linguistic Abilities in Eight-year-old Children: More Evidence for Brain Plasticity, Cerebral Cortex, (Volume 19, Issue 3, 2009)