Our Teachers

Trained in Suzuki and traditional method
Scott Gossage - Classical-guitar-teacher

Scott Gossage

Scott Gossage began playing guitar at age ten, after his father bought an old guitar at a pawnshop, intending to learn to play it himself. There was also a record of the great Andres Segovia. When he heard this music, Scott thought it was really cool, and started bugging his parents about lessons. Scott had his first guitar lessons at The Peabody Institute, in the preparatory department, mostly because his sisters went there for their ballet lessons on Saturdays. It also turned out that Peabody was one of the country’s most important centers for studying the classical guitar, so that was kind of convenient, as it turned out, going forward.
Scott has performed extensively as a soloist throughout the United States, in locations ranging from Seattle to New Orleans, Washington D.C, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. He has appeared in venues covering the entire spectrum of prestige and respectability, from the humble and scruffy to the exalted and sublime.
Scott has been teaching privately for over 20 years, in Baltimore and in the SF Bay Area. From 2001 through 2009, Scott served on the teaching staff at the Longay Conservatory of Guitar in Santa Clara, California, a school which is known throughout the world as one of the most important centers for teaching the Suzuki method for guitar. In 2008, he completed his apprenticeship working with legendary Suzuki guitar guru Frank Longay. As a result, he is among the most highly trained and experienced Suzuki guitar teachers working in the world today. Scott is trained through Book 9 and Practicum of the Suzuki Method for Guitar, and is currently working on becoming a Teacher Trainer.
Scott is known for his infectious enthusiasm, supportive and upbeat demeanor, professionalism, and expert teaching ability. His students have wowed audiences, and won major competitions. Scott is an impeccable player, having studied at Peabody with Ray Chester and in master classes with Manuel Barrueco.

Rob Watson Classical Guitar Teacher

Rob Watson

Rob Watson is a classical guitarist from Oakland, California. He began his guitar studies at age 8, and has a BM in guitar performance from UC Santa Cruz under Mesut Ozgen, and a MM from Yale School of Music with Benjamin Verdery. Rob has performed in masterclasses for David Russell, Roland Dyens, David Tanenbaum, and William Kanengiser, and studied privately with Marc Teicholz. He has performed in Maui, New Haven, Berkeley, and Santa Cruz.
Performances include the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, performing works of John Dowland with noted tenor Brian Staufenbiel, and in duo with Marc Teicholz at the 50th anniversary of the College Preparatory School in Oakland, CA.
Rob has been teaching privately since 2003. From 2006-2009 Rob apprenticed with Frank Longay at the Longay Conservatory of Guitar.
Rob is known as a player of technical ability, deep tone, and musicality. As a teacher, he is extremely devoted to his students, professional, enthusiastic, and focused. He loves the guitar deeply, and is a lifelong devotee to the art of teaching. Rob is trained through Book 4 of the Suzuki Method for Guitar.

patrick oconnell Classical Guitar Teacher

Patrick O’Connell

While still a student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Patrick O’Connell began his professional performing carer with a solo appearance at Carnegie Hall. Upon graduating with a Masters degree, he joined the San Francisco Guitar Quartet with whom he has recorded an album entitled “Chasing Light” which features many new works dedicated to the ensemble as well as Patrick’s own arrangements. He has been a featured performer with the SFGQ in numerous festivals and concert series around the country, and internationally. Notable performances include La Guitarra California festival in San Luis Obispo, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Dresdner Gitarrenfest in Germany, Second Sundays Classical Guitar Concert Series in New York City, the Monadnock Music Festival in New Hampshire, and the Festival of Contemporary Music in San Francisco, California.
In 1998, Patrick entered the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University under merit scholarship. During his undergraduate studies his teachers were renowned guitarist Manuel Barrueco and guitar department chair Ray Chester. He received a Bachelors of Music degree in 2003. In 2004, Patrick attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he was awarded a merit scholarship to study with world famous guitarists David Tanenbaum, Dusan Bogdanovic, and Mark Teicholz. Mr. O’Connell received a Masters of Music degree in 2006. Patrick is a registered Suzuki Guitar instructor.
As a young man, Patrick O’Connell traveled the country participating in master classes held by artists such as Christopher Parkening, Manuel Barrueco, Frank Koonce, Antigoni Goni, Scott Tennant, Aniello Desiderio, and Tilman Hoppstock.
“Simply sensational” – Colin Murdoch, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, President
“An exceptional guitarist! His precision, accuracy, clarity, and control rank with the best I have seen” – Ray Chester, Peabody Conservatory of Music, Guitar Department Chair

Matthew Fish Classical Guitar Teacher

Matthew Fish

Bay Area guitarist Matthew Fish is known as both a skilled performer and enthusiastic teacher. He has participated in numerous competitions throughout the United States and earned top prizes, including First Prize at the 2012 Sierra Nevada Guitar Competition.
Interested in both solo and chamber music, Matthew has experience playing with many different instrumentalists, singers, and ensembles. He has performed throughout California, playing at such venues as the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, the Davis Arts Center, the San Francisco Scottish Rite Center, and the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton, where he played with the Pacific Masterworks Chorus. He was a featured artist in the Classical Guitar Project in Chico and earned himself a spot in the “Evening Showcase Concert” at the 2012 Guitar Foundation of America’s Regional Symposium in San Francisco.
Matthew studied Guitar Pedagogy at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with renowned guitarist and teacher Lawrence Ferrara. He is a registered Suzuki Guitar Teacher and has studied the Suzuki method with veteran Suzuki teacher trainer David Madsen. He has experience teaching all ages and skill levels in both Suzuki and traditional methods. Matthew is officially registered as a Suzuki Guitar instructor.
Matthew received his Bachelor’s of Music Degree from CSU, Chico where he studied with guitarist Tobin Roye. He later went on to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to study with Latin Grammy award-winning guitarist/composer Sérgio Assad. He received his Master’s of Music Degree from the Conservatory in 2012 . He has performed in master classes with some of today’s greatest guitarists, including Zoran Dukić, Judicaël Perroy, Marcin Dylla, Ricardo Cobo, Allan Neave, Jérémy Jouve, and Johannes Möller.
“Matthew’s integrity, kindness, and intelligence shine through him and his music. He has the enviable ability to absorb music at an incredibly fast rate and his playing is clear, balanced, and uplifting.” – Marc Teicholz, GFA Competition First Prize winner
“Matthew plays the guitar with imagination and good taste!!!” – Sérgio Assad, Latin Grammy award-winning guitarist and composer

Jon Mendle Classical Guitar Teacher

Jon Mendle

Classical guitarist Jon Mendle has performed around the country since his Carnegie Hall debut at age 19 and has drawn widespread praise for his virtuosity and musicianship. Soundboard magazine called his debut album L’Infidele “a beautiful disc.” Yo-Yo Ma, who in 2010 invited Jon to join him and the Silk Road Ensemble on a 10-concert tour, calls Jon “a beautiful talent and a sensitive musician,” adding, “It is a joy to play with him!”
Based in San Francisco, Jon has performed throughout the United States, as well as in Canada and Europe. Highlights include solo recitals at the 2015 Loyola-Marymount University Guitar Festival, the 2014 Guitar Foundation of America annual convention, and for presenters such as San Francisco Performances and guitar societies up and down the west coast. On tour with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Jon performed at the Tanglewood and Ravinia summer music festivals as well as at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall and other major venues.
Recently, Jon’s focus has turned to exploring lesser known guitar works of the 19th century and performing these works on period instruments. His programs of 19th century music typically include rarely heard solo works by composers such as Antoine de L’Hoyer, Felix Horetzky, and Soften Degen, alongside works by legendary composers from the era, such as Napoleon Coste, Giulio Regondi, Johann Kaspar Mertz and others.
Jon’s debut recording L’Infidele, which includes transcriptions of 18th century lute and keyboard music, received critical acclaim following its 2011 release by In A Circle Records. The Huffington Post described the album as “stunning and textured,” while Northwest Reverb praised Jon’s “incredible artistry and deep musicianship.” Soundboard wrote, “Mendle’s playing is a wonder.”
Jon earned his Master’s Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory under the tutelage of Latin Grammy winner Sergio Assad, and is currently pursuing postgraduate studies with Judicael Perroy. He also received his undergraduate degree from the Conservatory, studying under Lawrence Ferrara, Marc Teicholz, David Tanenbaum, and Dusan Bogdanovic.