Lessons with Ben Schenstead

We are now accepting registrations for the Fall 2022-23 season. We will be back to face-to-face lessons locally, but Zoom lessons are also available regardless of where you may live. Please book early for best times as Ben's schedule fills up quickly and there are limited spaces.

Thanks to the many students who participated in our "Guitar Twang" talent showcases over the past several years! These exciting events are open to all of our students and feature solos, duos, and bands with singing! Here are some photos from Guitar Twang.

Ben enjoys working with students of all ages, from children through seniors. Lessons with Ben are value-packed with a good balance of fun songs, music theory, and tips on technique. Lesson are tailored to the individual student's learning profile which results in optimal progress and enjoyment. Many of Ben Schenstead's former students have went on to become successful performers and teachers in their own right, and a number of notable players and teachers in Saskatoon and area have studied with Ben at some point.

Why take music lessons?

The main reason for learning to play a musical instrument is for the love of music, which can enrich our lives and provide us with endless hours of enjoyment. There are, however, many secondary benefits to music lessons. There is overwhelming evidence that learning to play a musical instrument especially at a young age enhances brain development and the acquisition of many important cognitive skills. Children who take music lessons tend to do better at school, have higher grades, and better social skills than children who do not. The enhanced self-esteem that children experience from learning and playing a musical instrument also benefits them academically and socially. This article published in the Star-Phoenix points to the many benefits of early musical training. For older beginners and adults, music lessons provide opportunity for personal growth, satisfaction, and enhanced enjoyment of music.

Where are lessons and how long are lessons?

Lessons are held in Ben's modern and professional studio located at 110 Thain Crescent. Zoom, Skype, Facetime lessons are also available. Click here for pictures of the studio and location.

Most students take half-hour weekly lessons. Longer lessons of 45 min and an hour are also available. For rates and information, please see the Calendar & Policy Sheet. Our "Open Door" policy means that parents are encouraged to attend lessons with their minor children on a regular basis. Children benefit from this in several ways: parents can better monitor their child's learning and practice at home, and the increased parental attention can enhance children's self-esteem and progress. Teens and adult students are welcome.

For further information on Guitar Lessons and available time slots, please call or text 306 220-8424 or email via the Contact link.

Here is some information on the different types of lessons and services available:


Classical Guitar

Why play classical guitar?
Classical guitar is a great choice if you enjoy and appreciate classical music and would like to play guitar solos that are full sounding and complete in themselves and do not need accompaniment by other instruments. Some players also play jazz and pop styles using the classical guitar. You will need a nylon-string classical guitar to play this style as it utilizes the fingers to pluck the strings, rather than a pick. The result is an intimate and a highly expressive sound that fascinates audiences. RCM Grades in classical guitar are also available as an option. Let Ben Schenstead guide you through the basics and beyond as you explore the exciting and growing world of classical guitar.

Steel String Acoustic

Most popular way to play the guitar
Steel-string acoustic guitars are perhaps the most popular type of guitar to start lessons on. Most players start by using a flat pick, and are introduced to fingerstyle as a later module in acoustic guitar. You will learn how to read music and tab, play well-known tunes, learn chording and accompaniment styles, and some musical theory, including scales, rhythms, and fingerboard patterns. The acoustic guitar also serves serves as a great foundation for other types of guitar including electric guitar and bass. We don't see the trend toward acoustic instruments lessening any time soon, with many popular artists and bands featuring acoustic guitar along with banjo, ukulele, fiddle, etc.

Electric Guitar

Rock on-n-n-n!
There is something magical about playing an electric guitar and having the sound come out of an external box. You can shape the sound with tone controls on your electric guitar and amp, or explore the many effects units available. Electric guitar has a wide appeal due to the many styles that it can be played in, including rock 'n' roll, rock and heavy metal, jazz, rhythm and blues, pop, etc. Usually, it is best for youngsters to begin on acoustic guitar and learn the basics of chording and melody playing before taking up the electric guitar. Many of our older students continue to play both acoustic and electric, as they complement and reinforce one another. Your lessons on electric guitar will include power chords, riffs, soloing and improvisation, left hand techniques, picking techniques and other essentials that will have you playing the coolest electric guitar riffs and songs in no time.

Piano, Bass, and Drums

Variety is the spice of life...
Though specializing in Guitar, Ben also teaches introductory courses in Piano in both classical and popular styles. In some cases, Ben has been asked by guitar students for lessons in bass guitar and drums, which can broaden their musicianship, hone their sense of rhythm, and enhance their enjoyment of music.

Also available:

RCM Grades Preparation
Ben is well-qualified to help prepare students for Royal Conservatory  Exams in  both Guitar and Theory. RCM Grades are recognized by Sask Ed for high school credits. See RCM Accreditation  for more information. RCM grades are an excellent way to set goals, and the sense of achievement upon receiving a diploma can do much to enhance young people's self-esteem. Ben has also helped students successfully prepare for auditions and placement tests for admission to various music programs and colleges.