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I have been teaching since 1985 and have had the good fortune of getting to know over a thousand individuals as my students. I help people find their own musical voice and create using the medium of sound.

My Teaching Philosophy:

To assist and help an individual learn and have fun while creating their own musical reality through the study, practice and playing of music. I employ basics such as reading, technique, learning songs, solos, theory, improvisation, composition/song writing, ear training and many other mediums. I like to work in numerous musical genres to give students as broad of a range and understanding of music as I have the capability to furnish.

Everyone has the ability to create; this is innate in all of us. My goal is to connect, create a relationship with and foster, through the education of musical basic and fundamentals, a consistently greater ability for my students to express themselves and experience the joy of playing the guitar and creating music.

Student Testimonials

I grew up in a household of music but I give David Joel the credit for the expanding my understanding and appreciation of music to what it is today. I took guitar lessons under David for almost two years and in that time I learned not only the fundamentals of music (theory, reading, skill) but also an appreciation for all things music related (old and new, culture and genres) that I still carry with me years later. He is a very talented instructor/musician whose knowledge and passion for music comes through when he’s teaching his students. He teaches with patience and motivation that drives you to keep striving for that next level. I highly recommend him as an instructor for anyone that has always dreamt of discovering their inner musician. He will help you find it!

Gina Baldino

When I started studying with David Joel I was not sure where I was, or where I needed to go musically. Years of lessons from incompetent teachers at music stores had left me frustrated and confused about learning to really play music. Before I even began my lessons, David first got an assessment of my goals, abilities, and musical interests, which he used to develop a plan of study that would suit my individual needs. His teaching experience and formal education really shined through from the very first lesson, where he explained the steps I could take to reach my goals, and then began putting me on the right path. Over the two years that I studied with David Joel, I have grown more than I could imagine. With his help, I learned how to play the things I wanted to and take part in multiple musical groups that might have left me embarrassed and confused before. He also helped me successfully audition for Rowan University’s music program, and has given me the preparation that I need for an optimal college experience. I recommend David Joel to anyone with the desire to play music and I am confident that he will be just as patient, helpful, and inspirational for you as he was for me.

John Lipartito

I studied with David for a year and found him to be a patient and very thorough teacher. I highly recommend him!

Bob Kasprzak

My time with David has been truly incredible. Prior to our first lesson, I was at the point where my playing had reached a plateau. My growth was a flat line, mostly because I kept stumbling over the same obstacles and I had no direction or purpose for my playing. That all changed when I began my studies with David. After the first phone call with David, I was convinced that he wasn’t just focused on getting another customer but was really interested in my needs as a student. David takes great pride in his teaching and really relishes the accomplishments of his students. His attention to detail is something that separates him from other teachers I have worked with in the past. He doesn’t skip or skimp on material, which would otherwise leave gapping holes in one’s development. Instead it’s a brick by brick building process where he leaves no stone unturned. As a result of his teaching methods, I underwent a complete turnaround in a very short period of time. My playing abilities rapidly improved over a few short months and more importantly I had established goals and a direction for my playing. He always keeps things fresh to spark the student’s interest and is willing to do whatever it takes to help that student achieve their goals. Working with David has been such a worthwhile experience and investment. I only wish that I had more time to study with him. In fact, he is one of the best teachers I’ve ever had and I’m truly grateful for everything he’s helped me to accomplish. Thanks David!

Craig Kasper

One item on my bucket list was “to learn to play the guitar”. Fortunately for me, I found David Joel. I have been taking lessons from David for over 18 months. I have learned more than I ever expected – about music, the guitar, and myself.

David is an excellent teacher. He has years of experience playing and teaching. He also has talent, knowledge, skill, and understanding, not to mention patience and a sense of humor.
By teaching his students to read music, as well as to play, he gives them the tools to continue learning indefinitely. In addition, to learning to appreciate all kinds of music, and the guitar as an instrument, I have learned to enjoy the process of learning.
Thank you, David.

Mary Young

I first took guitar lessons with David about 6 years ago. At that point I had been playing for about 5 years, and my playing was certainly not where it needed to be. I came to David with an open mind and an absolute desire to learn the instrument my hands had awkwardly gripped for half of a decade. I remember he asked, “Well what are your goals, what kind of music are you leaning towards?” I answered David by saying, “I just want to learn the instrument.”At that point I never knew how to read music, and six years later, I swear by learning to read, no matter what instrument one plays. Aside from the exercises and theory, just learning to read music took my playing to a brand new level.

The phrase, “pays attention to detail” is somewhat trite. However, David is the epitome of that notion. When striving for perfection, it’s absolutely necessary to have someone other than yourself to push you to be better at what you do, and provide support and encouragement when you have things right.Lastly, I’ve found that David is an excellent mentor, whether he means to be one or not. As musicians and human beings, we all go through tough times. Aside from being life for some of us, Music is a medium for life. An instructor with vast life experience like David, who is willing to share his thoughts and his ear, is very difficult to come by, and this is what sets him apart from any college professor I’ve ever had.

David will lead you through your musical studies, but one’s success almost entirely depends on their effort, time, and willingness.

Jeff Sheerin

For seven years, I would look forward to every Tuesday night when I would have my bass guitar lesson with David. Over the years, I have come to know David very well and I have learned so much from him. Kind, patient, and supportive, David would always assert his unconditional encouragement as I would drill lines or pieces of music that I would be struggling with. David would accompany the music I was studying by playing other selections of music that related historically or theoretically to the piece I was working on. I have learned so much about music theory, music playing, and life during my time with David. With all of his music education and experience from playing around the world, it only makes sense that he could supply this additional support and knowledge. He is an excellent teacher, a brilliant musician, and an inspiring mentor. I would not have traded my experience with him for anything.

Jon Aronchick

I have been taking guitar lessons for 5 years; David has been my instructor for the last 2 years. David has the right amount of structure and flexibility in his lessons to keep a student moving forward yet allowing the student to control some of the direction. I am extremely happy with my progress to date and would recommend him to anyone that is serious about music/guitar. You can get a Berkley quality education in Northeast Philly; that is hard to beat.

Brian Skinner

The passion and intensity that emanates from David Joel’s playing and teaching can be felt by his students. Though I’ve been with him only a short time, I’ve already made drastic gains in regards to theory comprehension, soloing, and improvisation. He has expanded my musical horizons as well as increased my love for the instrument. Somehow, he was able to tailor a teaching style around my individual goals and method of learning. David Joel is willing to take me as far with the guitar as I am willing to work and go. I am lucky to have found him.

Eric Woods

As a beginner guitar player and an adult student, I am fortunate to have found David Joel as a teacher. Courteous professionalism, a personable nature and an obvious love of sharing his musical talents make taking lessons with David the highlight of my week. During his lessons, David teaches with years of experience, marked by an unparalleled patience and sincere encouragement, which have helped me steadily progress in my musical skills beyond what I thought I was capable of. Far from the static use of rote memorization, David’s lessons are dynamic and full of life. He often illustrates the more difficult concepts with lessons he himself has learned from his higher education in music, as well as his exciting career and life as a professional musician. After every lesson, I am made to feel proud of the accomplishments David guided me toward that week, and want to practice even more for the next lesson. As he often says, we are professional music students to him.

Gerry Dungan

I had reached a point in my playing where it felt like I was treading water. I’d been playing for about 10 years, been in a few bands, gigged all over Philadelphia but felt like I was stuck in a major rut. David helped me get out of that rut. His knowledge of the instrument is uncanny and his teaching style is so easy to understand and laid back that picking up the concepts and ideas he showed me was effortless. David is a great guy and an excellent teacher and I would enthusiastically recommend him to any level of player, from beginner to pro

Gray Papa

As a music major in college with a vocal concentration, I came to David with hopes of learning guitar so that I would be able to accompany myself while I sing. Prior to taking lessons with David, I had received beginner instruction from various sources. Throughout the year that I studied with David, my technique improved significantly, my ability to play in different styles expanded and I gained confidence in my playing ability. I have had many music teachers throughout my life for various instruments and I can honestly say that David is as good as they come. He takes his teaching extremely seriously and gives his students his undivided attention, with a particular emphasis on detail. If I was ever unsure on a technique, David explained it thoroughly until I understood it. Throughout my time with David, he was always extremely supportive and encouraging, but also knew when to push me harder. David’s musicianship is also phenomenal, which helped give me the motivation that I needed to become a more disciplined musician myself. David has a very professional teaching style, but is also extremely approachable and finds ways to relate to his students. He always focuses on the goals of the students and will tailor the lessons to address those goals. I would gladly recommend David to anybody who is serious about committing to practicing and looking to receive thorough instruction on the guitar.

Lydia Westle

I took summer lessons with David after having played mostly on my own for a year. Initially, I was capable of doing the basic strums, barre chords and a few neat riffs. After three months of lessons, David pushed me to develop my technique, starting with proper whole note strumming and ending with pentatonics and blues scales. I went from being just another college kid who could strum Wonderwall and Dave Matthews to a journeyman guitar player with a good grasp of the instrument’s fundamental techniques and more importantly an understanding of how to study guitar.

Stephen Kernytsky

I started guitar lessons with David Joel in my Junior year of high school, with the hope that I would gain knowledge of the guitar and reading music. I took lessons to prepare me for my music classes in college and I believe he did an excellent job at preparing me for what I am now about to face going into my freshman year. Out of everything he has taught me I think my best improvement would be my technique. Before I was a mess and he taught me the proper way to play the guitar. Now that I know that, I have been passing on his words of wisdom to my friends. He is a phenomenal teacher and I would recommend him to any of my friends.

Jaimie McLaughlin