GUITAR, SONGWRITING, MUSIC LESSONS
COVID 19 Update March 2023: I hope you are all safe an healthy during this stressful time. Over the past few years, all my teaching has been moved online (Zoom) using a unique strategy that is both convenient and highly effective, with great success! I encourage you to ask me for references. I have many enthusiastic students of all ages and abilities who would be pleased to chat with you. Recently I received a very encouraging text from a relatively new adult student who's been studying with someone else for the past 2 years. It reads:
"I want to tell you how happy I am with your lessons and method. I had no idea that different guitar teachers could be that much better than others. I like learning songs front to back, and your videos help a lot. Thanks!!."
If you find yourself with some extra time on your hands and a desire to learn guitar or work on songwriting, I am available and set up to do it effectively online. Please get in touch. Online lessons are $50/60min.
More about me below, and contact form at the very bottom:
Glad to find you here. My name is Todd Elsliger (416-484-3708). I’ve been teaching guitar lessons in Leaside, Forest Hill and the surrounding areas for 20 years. (NOW ONLINE with no travel/distance boundaries!) If you are interested in learning guitar or expanding what you already know about music, finding the right teacher can be a daunting task. Different guitar teachers have varying levels of ability, education and teaching experience and can charge vastly different hourly rates. Some musicians are gifted, talented and enthusiastic teachers while others teach out of financial necessity. A good teacher will inspire you to reach your goals, and the wrong teacher could turn a beginner off of learning an instrument forever. Let me tell you about myself, and what my experiences have taught me both as a teacher and a student of music for the last 35 years.
I have a music diploma from Vanier College and a Bachelor of Music in Performance from The University of Toronto. For 30 years I have taught private guitar lessons, group lessons and rhythm section clinics at the Kincardine Summer Music Festival, Bayview Music, University of Toronto, Guitar Girl, Greenwood College, Cawthra Park Secondary School and many others. As a performer, for the past 20 years I have been a guitarist/songwriter/producer/arranger for many pop, rock, and jazz groups. Owning a guitar does not a guitar teacher make; be sure your guitar teacher has credentials and TEACHING REFERENCES (see below).
A talented and committed music student is likely to have some success regardless which teacher they end up with; but the average 99% of guitar hobbyists need a talented teacher to succeed. I pride myself on the ability to break down and communicate the fundamentals of guitar and music into lessons that the average person can process quickly and see performance results.
I am always amazed at students who come to me after years of lessons elsewhere who still cannot strum chords in time, play along with songs, find basic bar chord shapes, or demonstrate basic picking, finger-style or fretting techniques. These are fundamental to learning even the easiest songs. My lessons are tailored to each student’s ability, dedication, and goals. Though individuals may have different ambitions, all my students will have the opportunity to learn:
-basic guitar maintenance, (string changing, truss rod, action, intonation etc..) how to choose the right guitar for you (rent, buy, brand, size, electric, acoustic, amps etc..)
-fundamental guitar technique as it relates to playing your favourite songs.
-a variety of chord voicings and the ability to read from sheet music if desired.
-various strum and finger-style techniques (with steady time feel) as it relates to playing your favorite songs.
-scale techniques and the ability to learn and improvise solos in rock/blues/jazz styles.
-basic to advanced repertoire in pop/rock/folk/blues/jazz styles.
-ear training and the ability to learn songs by ear.
-singing and how to sing and play simultaneously (you’d be surprised how many guitar players/teachers can not do this themselves let alone teach it!)
-how to write songs (including lyrics); and arrange/record/produce music at home or in a studio. (you’d be surprised how many guitar players/teachers have never written a song!)
-use your home computer to greatly aid guitarists of ANY level.
I've had (and have) a variety of students you might relate to; children under 10, teens, adults, weekend pickers, singer/songwriters, blues enthusiasts and university level jazz students. I would expect that any reputable teacher has good references and I strongly encourage you to contact any of my current students (ask me for their contact info, I will find you someone who matches your ability and goals). Private guitar teaching is an unregulated profession…do not be fooled by some dude with a guitar under his bed that charges $20/hour just because it is cheap; or think you are getting quality lessons just because you’re at a music store or someone has a fancy website. Trust only someone’s reputation and their references. ASK FOR MULTIPLE REFERENCES AND USE THEM!!
Many of my past students have contacted me through the years to say hello and thanks for the lessons. These unsolicited compliments are probably my best advertising. Here are some of the letters/emails/messages I occasionally receive:
Let me once again express my gratitude to you for being a part of this life changing experience for me, playing an electric guitar!!!
I would have never chosen on my own to switch to an electric guitar + looper + who knows what… if it wasn’t for you. Thank you! it’s been so much fun, and so challenging, and I just can’t get enough of it…
You are an amazing teacher, I’ve learned so much from you, and looking forward to more and more.
Happy holidays to you and all your family 😊
Thursday, May 24, 2012
I just wanted to thank you for being a super solid guitar teacher back when I was in high school! I was at a funny little blue grass gathering in Victoria (where I live) the other night, with a whole bunch of really old people. They let me have a little solo, and I pretty much rocked the socks right off of those old island folks, I guess they were expecting a bluegrass break, not a blues break. I think I need to learn a few things about bluegrass jam etiquette. I thought to myself where would my guitar playing be without Todd, so I thought I would thank you. Hope you’re doing well over in the big city.
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 1:03 PM
Subject: Re: Former Student
Just found your card in Turner’s folio from Kincardine Summer Music
I just wanted to say that your teaching was the best there, teaching him to
do it for himself to continue to improve.
He is with the Mustard Seeds Band through church and involved in
performing youth rallies and conferences graduations etc.
P.S. Just wanted to say thanks for what you did, ‘cuz without that first year of being able to teach myself, I wouldn’t have been where I am today, and I am very grateful. The other teachers methods were not as effective. Just wanted to say thanks again,
1 Feb 2007 12:51
Hey Todd, dig the tunes. That Steely Dan influence still runs through your blood! I don’t know if I ever thanked you for everything you taught me back when you were my first guitar teacher when I was the ripe age of 13. Well, if not, I’m thanking you now. Keep in touch.
PS-I’ll be playing out your way at the Rivoli in mid february with Patrick Watson. You should swing by if you get a chance.
I hope you an excellent summer. I just wanted to say thanks again for your lessons and instilling confidence in me enabling me to be able to perform in front of people. This summer I played guitar and sang almost every morning for the dining hall at my camp. I know its been a couple years but I really appreciated your lessons. I’ve discovered that my favourite songs to sing are norah jones type songs which is cool. Also! Landslide has become my staple song at camp and I think of you and jen every time I play it!
I really grew into my voice this summer and realized how much I enjoy singing and playing. I’m going to keep at it and maybe even try some open mic nights when I get back to queens.
Anyway, I hope your band is doing well (I bought your cd and rated it 5 stars of course!) and if I’m in toronto when you have a show I’ll definitely be there.
Thanks again for everything and hopefully I’ll see you one day soon!