Red Leaf instructors provide lessons for Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Bass, Voice, Piano, Drums/Percussion, Violin, Music Theory, and more. Our teachers are seasoned professionals, frequently performing in Texas, around the U.S., and internationally.
Geno Stroia II
Guitar & Bass
Geno co-founded Red Leaf School of Music in 2007 with fellow Austin musician and producer Daniel Barrett. Geno has toured and played with The Gene Pool, The Damn Torpedoes (a tribute to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Tyrone Vaughan, and also as a solo artist.
His practical guitar teaching method stands as the cornerstone of his instruction to this day. He describes this approach as "laid back yet ambitious". In his words: “I never want students, adults or children, to feel like they are at a ‘job’ when they are at Red Leaf…This is a getaway for them to nurture their artistic side away from daily obligations and distractions.”
Geno is very passionate about Red Leaf School of Music, and is committed to developing a strong relationship with each new Red Leaf student in order to help them realize their potential both in music and in life!
Ty’s approach to teaching guitar is to share his 40-year passion for the instrument, and for music in general, with the student. This excitement is contagious, helping to foster the student’s new-found interest and serving as the spark that inspires them to progress and realize their goal of becoming the musician that they want to be. Ty focuses on letting the student progress at his or her own pace, without the common tendency to overwhelm or intimidate.
Whether it’s young people who are just starting out and are excited about playing music for the first time, or folks later in life that always wished they’d learned an instrument, Ty finds and uses that motivation to get the most out of his students.
Drums & Percussion
Garrett Ross started playing the drums 25 years ago, fell in love, and never looked back. He has played, recorded, and toured with numerous bands including The All American Rejects. Garrett has had the privilege of sharing the stage with Thin Lizzy, The Presidents of the United States of America, Fastball, Seether, Krist Novoselic (Nirvana), and many more.
Garrett believes that everyone's passion for music and drive to play is a very unique and special dream. Its cultivation is an endless source of inspiration and discovery that can be realized by following one's heart and staying true to oneself.
Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, & Banjo
The Farr Guitar Studio's mission is to teach excellent craftsmanship and to inspire creative growth through private guitar lessons in Austin, Texas.
Jake Farr’s unique approach allows students to play music they are passionate about, understand musical concepts, and develop healthy technique. The Farr Guitar Studio curriculum encompasses the student’s preferred style of music, studio-original compositions, and opportunities for creative expression.
Piano, Keyboards, & Accordion
Stefano has 20+ years experience working internationally with artists such as The BoDeans, Jason Mraz, Christopher Cross, Patty Griffin, Cristian Castro, David Grissom, Chuck Rainey, and Pat Green.
Versatile in most genres, from classical to rock, soul, r & b, funk, gospel, etc., Stefano will guide you through the foundations and further development of your skills on piano, electric pianos, organ, synths and accordion.
Stefano's lessons are offered online only.
Guitar, Bass, Piano, & Music Theory
Vance Hurd is an eclectic musician, versed in Metal, Classical, and Jazz. He holds a degree from Schwob conservatory where he studied classical guitar performance and composition. This includes music theory, counterpoint, and voice leading. He teaches guitar (electric and nylon-string/acoustic), bass, and piano.
His students with interest in Metal learn the skills of palm-muting, tremolo picking, sweep picking, riff construction, and general songwriting/composition as well as soloing. Knowledge of scales and chords is helpful even here. For example, many of the styles of Metal soloing that sound chaotic and dissonant can be explained and broken down so that the student can “take what they like” from them for their own playing.
Since school he became fascinated with improvisation as a way to learn the art of composition, as well as its potential for accessing the feeling of natural expressiveness in one’s playing. This is a skill that has been totally ignored by most classical guitarists- a vital one that would do wonders for their musicianship. Vance also is skilled in improvising in the classical music tradition from the 17th and 18th centuries, covering areas such as figuration preludes, suites, and imitation or fugue. Unbeknownst to many, improvisation played an important role in the generation of Baroque and Classical music, the former taking an almost Jazz-like approach.
Jazz players, as well as Fingerstyle and Country players have also benefited from Vance’s instruction. The use of ergonomic right hand technique on the guitar (when played with the fingers) is unknown to most musicians of these genres. In Jazz comping this can be quite an advantage, as there is a level of sensitivity and dynamic contrast that is much more difficult to achieve with a pick. The use of arpeggios can allow the jazz guitarist to take an approach more similar to that of a pianist as well.
He teaches his students with an integrative approach, helping them discover their own voices as artists.
Guitar, Bass, Violin, Voice, & Ukulele
Lennie Nesby is a young and upcoming musician in the Austin music scene. Born with a natural love of music, she strives to use her sound to bring people together. With experience in giving private and group lessons for kids 5-17, Lennie takes an enthusiastic yet stress-free approach.
Graduating with high ranking in classical guitar and violin in A.I.S.D, Lennie has shared the stage with the Austin Symphonic Orchestra as well as David Russel. She also specializes in vocal performance with a background in modern indie, musical theater, and opera.
She is currently attending Austin Community College for Music Performance and hopes to share her strong desire to learn with all students.
“Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit and never dies.” -Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Drums & Percussion
David Swanson has been playing drums for over 30 years with 20+ years of studio and road experience. He has traveled the country and played in multiple bands, from rock, to hiphop, heavy metal and country.
After moving to Austin, Texas with his band in 1999, he quickly realized that there were many talented people to learn from and began to absorb from some of the city’s top players. In 2009 he decided to start giving back by instructing children and adults on drums. Dave enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge with others and helping them achieve their drum goals.
Piano & Voice
Annabeth Novitzki offers one-on-one, fully personalized Vocal Coaching and Music Lessons in Austin and on Zoom. Holding a Masters degree in Vocal Performance and certifications in Relateful Coaching and Circling (interactive meditation), Annabeth brings depth of expertise and breadth of skill to sessions. Calling herself a "midwife for the voice," sessions with Annabeth are rooted in collaboration, mindfulness, and personal development.
Annabeth graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004 with an Honors BFA in Vocal Performance, and received her Masters in Vocal Performance in 2004.
She was the Director of Music and Art for 7 years at First Congregational Church of Memphis, and on music staff for 5 years at First Unitarian Universalist of Austin.
Annabeth has taught private music lessons since 2004. She has been learning contemplative practice, meditation, and circling throughout this time, and those practices have steadily infused into her teaching and singing along the way.