Teaching philosophy

I know from first hand experiences of both learning and teaching that the exchange between student and teacher can at its best become a sacred bond that has potential to transform the lives of both parties.

I see teaching as part of my own musical dharma, which I deeply enjoy and value as a way to be of service to others and as part of my continuing artistic and personal development.

After nearly ten years of offering guitar lessons, I strive to continually deepen and refine my approach, but my overall objective remains fundamentally the same, which is to help students connect to music, culture and themselves through the study of songs, technique and applicable theory. As a teacher, I aim to provide a safe, welcoming space for learning and the exploration of creativity, which at times can be a vulnerable process.

I currently work with a base of students that range in age from 5-75, each at their own stage of musical development. I am glad to be in a position to support aspiring musicians, just as others have done and continue to do for me.

Lesson format

In lessons, I often draw from my own musical journey, which has included periods of focus on acoustic and electric blues, folk, country and singer/songwriters, classic guitar rock from the 1960s-90s and pop music. Years of production experience that have included working with multiple instruments, genres and mediums in the recording studio also inform the point of view which I bring to lessons whenever beneficial. In general, I look for opportunities to offer what I have learned in ways that will be helpful and inspiring to the student, which may include learning songs note for note, principles of music theory and improvisation, ear training, singing while playing or songwriting.

Lessons are generally taught one on one in the greater Boston area, usually in the student's home for 30 or 60 minutes. I also teach online and in workshop settings, as well. Contact lessons@ryanleecrosby.com for rates and more information.

“I had literally never held a guitar in my 57 years when I asked Ryan to teach me to play the acoustic blues. He is an amazingly skilled and empathetic teacher, with a deep knowledge of blues tradition and music. It has been a total joy and eye-opener working with him; he is great both at maximizing the impact of one-on-one lessons and at structuring practice exercises that help me improve between sessions." - D.B., Cambridge, MA

“Our daughter has taken guitar with Ryan for several years and really enjoys the lessons. Ryan is incredibly calm and patient with students. He always listens and my daughter feels at ease asking questions. Ryan provides so many good tips for working through challenges and he is very supportive. We feel lucky to have him as her teacher!" - A.W., Cambridge, MA

“Our 13 year old son has been taking lessons with Ryan for many years and we have been absolutely delighted with Ryan's teaching skills, his enthusiasm, and his wonderful kindness and generosity. Ryan has established a fantastic rapport with our son, instilled a real love of playing the guitar, and fostered an intellectual interest in music.  We so appreciate the positive and productive student/teacher relationship our son has with Ryan -- it is a joy to work with him." - J.B., Boston, MA


Singing in tune isn’t just a talent some people have and some don’t. It’s not something others do that you can’t. Singing in tune is an awareness, infinitely refinable, of that something that IS - is in nature and in you as a part of nature. You wake up to your nature. Sometimes slowly, sometimes with a start. Some people seem (to us) to be born awake to music, and maybe some are. But everyone who tries can be awake to it. It’s part of the deal.
— W.A. Mathieu