Testimonials from Susan Palmer's Guitar Students
Eric Sorensen - 2009
Susan is one of the most dedicated people I've seen in any field. She brings a complete passion to her work, conveying a deep appreciation of music, musical technique and the effort required to get better. She is consistently positive, professional and personable. It's all a great formula for the success of her students.
John O'Halloran - 2009
Susan is an extraordinary guitar teacher. For starters, she developed her own very thorough course material - book, MP3, and YoutTube videos - that provides a solid foundation for her lessons. I'm amazed at how detailed and complete this material is. There's nothing else like it! More important, Susan is a great teacher. She always comes up with creative ways for me to learn a new aspect of the guitar. 'If this isn't working, then try this . . . ' Inevitably, she finds a method to help me along this journey of learning the guitar. For me, in particular, Susan has been very patient and supportive. I have to say, learning the guitar at my age (and I won't say what that is) has been difficult and slow. Susan has kept me motivated and helped me to continue the journey. It's only a matter of time before I realize this dream. I know she will help me get there!
Matt Hitchman - 2009
When I started playing guitar I was proud of the fact I was able to play without ever taking lessons. I ending up playing in a few bands and was able to get by as a good guitarist, however the more I played the more I realized I knew very little about the guitar. I could follow a few patterns/scales and knew a lot of chords but didn’t understand why these patterns worked. I became stuck playing the same things over and over and not being able to expand my playing.
I’ve been studying with Susan Palmer for a little under a year and am amazed at the amount of progress I’ve made. In the beginning I was wary of having to learn to read music but Susan made it a very enjoyable process. Within a few of months I was able to sight-read using all 6 strings. Being able to read music is integral to playing and understanding jazz, folk, rock, and blues as well as any other type of music. The Guitar Lesson Companion is a great way to start reading music because it offers very realistic sight-readings Susan has personally written for all levels, each of the readings logically leads to the next adding new elements. This method also involves chords and scale structures so you can begin to play music right away.
I’ve talked to friends who are taking lessons with other teachers who avoid these basic starting points and consequentially avoid a deeper understanding of the guitar. In my experience this type of understanding is vital to anyone who is serious about learning the guitar. I strongly recommend choosing this method of learning the guitar; you’ll be thanking yourself later and will be learning from a teacher who dedicates herself immensely to helping her students learn.
Susan is an excellent instructor. She is passionate about helping students of all ages reach their full potential. Her mastery of the guitar and her dedication to teaching make Susan one of the best professional music educators available. She gets my highest recommendation.
Peter C - 2009
I started playing guitar about a year before I started lessons with Susan. My previous teacher taught me the basics, like the note names on the bottom two strings, and the basic chords. Eventually though we just started playing whatever song he felt like teaching that day. It was fun and I learned quite a bit but looking back I could have learned much more.
Lessons with Susan were much more demanding and with time much more rewarding. The note reading exercises aren't the most fun in the world, but they are very effective. The packaged in backing tracks were well produced and made the exercises as fun as possible.During lessons she made sure I played intime. This improved my rhythm alot and made it easier to play in the jazz guitar band she set up for people that have gotten most of the way through her first book, and are taking lessons with her.
The immense amount of information to be learned about jazz techniques can seem incredibly overwhelming at times, but Susan is able to break it up into manageable chunks. She is very passionate about music, and always full of energy and has a positive attitude during every lesson. Every lesson that I prepared for I left feeling like I learned something useful.
Lynn Hepler - 2009
Susan “rocks” - literally! She is a phenomenal teacher. I took lessons from Susan for a year and learned more than I ever dreamt possible to learn in such a short period of time. (I am taking the summer off from lessons but will resume in the fall.) First of all – Susan developed her own teaching material – A Guitar Lesson Companion – as well as her own teaching/learning methodology. A Guitar Lesson Companion is a book that one could use on their own; however, working with Susan while working your way through this book is the way to go – in my opinion. She is able to help all of her students to learn and grow – despite the fact that we are all at different junctures in our personal journey. I was brand new to the world of guitar music and knew nothing about the strings or chords or frets or anything. Within three months – I was playing fun tunes. When I struggled with a particular thing (eighth note rests for example) Susan figured out a fun and easy way for me to grasp the “rest” concept. She always finds a way to help you through when you feel stuck. She is personable, professional, interesting, knowledgeable and best of all – always positive. One other thing that is a gift – in addition to learning music – is she helps you – the student – stay positive and to keep the negative thoughts (“oh I can’t do this”) at bay. I always walked away from a lesson feeling better about myself and found that I could apply that to other areas of my life – not just music. I recommend Susan hands-down and can’t wait to get back into the groove of lessons shortly!
Paul Swortz - 2009
I am a hobby musician who was leery of formal instruction -- I am not patient enough to spend three-four months playing "Row Your Boat" while learning scales and chords. Susan got this immediately, and after my first lesson, had me playing a blues riff that made practicing the scales and chords a lot of fun. She is a phenonmenal player herself, and her instructional approach belends just the right amount of "vegetables" (e.g. counting, sight reading, etc) with ample "desserts" (e.g power chords, blues riffs, easy rock numbers/tabs) to keep me motivated, inspired, and practicing. I'm a player for life because of Susan.
Susan Palmer’s book “The Guitar Lesson Companion” does an excellent job at teaching beginning guitar with a multitude of useful and helpful material. It provides straightforward sight reading, theory, chords, improvisation - not to mention tons of helpful warm-up exercises. This book is jam-packed with knowledge that can help make any guitar player better. It’s a comprehensive and well written piece of work, complete with a CD. Her free online lessons and instruction only service to compliment this already thorough and awesome tool.
Susan Palmer, as a guitar teacher, is no average bear. She goes way above and beyond in her efforts to transmit her knowledge and obvious love of the instrument to students. Lessons with Susan are demanding, but are well worth it. She embeds every aspect of music in your mind. Insisting that students learn the fundamentals of music, she sets us up for nothing but success later on. Susan wants students to work hard and won’t accept less than a 100% effort. I would be fearful to darken her door without having done my previous week’s assignment. That being said, Susan Palmer serves as a teacher, mentor, and friend. Because of all she offers, you will find that Susan Palmer is one of those few people we run across in life that we will never forget.
Chris - 2008
I have taken lessons with Susan Palmer for twelve months now and I am here to tell you that her book "The Guitar Lesson Companion" is worth every penny. The book itself is very well organized, comprehensive and has enough content to keep an aspiring guitarist engaged for quite a long time. The CD tracks are fun and exciting to play along with and short of having Susan Palmer at your side, her online videos are exactly how she approaches the content in person during private lessons.
If you are in the Seattle area and are interested in getting started, Susan Palmer has my highest recommendation. She holds a high standard for her students but is very supportive during the entire process. Always generous with her compliments and words of encouragement, Susan Palmer is a true ambassador for musicianship.
Thank you Susan.