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The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

6752 reviews in the archive.

Chuck Levy Teacher Reviews

Submitted by Tomasi1949 (see all reviews from this person) on 8/26/2014

Overall Comments

I have experienced Chuck Levy as a teacher in group lessons at the Suwannee Banjo Camp, the Stephen Foster Old Time Music Weekend and as a personal one-on -one teacher. Simply put Chuck is a great teacher.   

At the banjo camps and workshops you can count on Chuck to be well prepared and to be responsive to the class as a whole and the individual abilities of the students. His teaching method during class involved learning the tunes by ear in a "call & response" format. At the end of class Chuck provided tabs, cd's/mp3 music and historical references.

In spite of the workshops I attended, I struggled to learn clawhammer banjo because I lacked the guidance of a teacher in my community.  As a  result my timing and melody was erratic and my technique was not what it should be.  My personal quest to become a better clawhammer player lead me to form a neat relationship with Chuck. Every other week I drive several hours to take extended one-on -one lessons with Chuck.  As my foundation build we will decrease the frequency of the long drive and focus upon other tools like Skype.

The net result is that my playing is improving through Chucks patient, methodical and challenging  guidance. My progress with Chuck is best framed from a quote from my wife Cheryl - "Tom is now making music with his banjo".

If you want to learn clawhammer banjo, at any level, I recommend that you contact Chuck Levy.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by DoubleDang (see all reviews from this person) on 2/10/2014

Overall Comments

I have taken several lessons form several different people and I have to say Chuck Levy is the best teacher I have ever had.  What makes a great teacher?  Definitely PATIENCE, and Chuck is well equipped with that attribute.  He also has a system that works well with getting new techniques and songs into your head securely.   I am very shy about playing in front of people, I am slowly getting over that fear with his help as well. 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by DoubleDang (see all reviews from this person) on 2/10/2014

Overall Comments

Overall Rating:

Submitted by CLAWTINTHEACT (see all reviews from this person) on 7/12/2013

Overall Comments

I have attended Chuck's classes at the Florida Old Time Weekend in White Springs, Fl. and at the Suwanee Banjo Camps. At the Old Time Weekends the classes were half day affairs and Chuck managed to give all the attendees personal help so that everyone in the class could really play the tunes by the end of each session. Chuck also introduced some concepts to the class that opened new possibilities to my playing, especially when making my own arrangements that include breaks up the fret board or just playing back-up. Thanks Chuck!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Jaxman (see all reviews from this person) on 5/8/2013

Overall Comments

I floundered with a few banjo teachers for about a year before I found Chuck. I've been taking lessons for 6 months from Chuck and during that time I"ve grown to love the banjo and Old Time clawhammer. I think I've found my niche and look forward to many more years to expore this great style and its history with Chuck's help.

I was ignorant to both Old Time and clawhammer. Chuck's knowledge and dedication to his craft is impressive and it's evident he loves teaching it also. He's very involved in the Old Time community and uses much of his energy to help keep it alive.

I've gone through bouts of insecurity and worry over my progress and Chuck is always encouraging. He's very patient and takes as long as necessary to help me feel comfortable with a song I'm learning. We even play together at times (Chuck on the fiddle). It's definitely helping me overcome my inability to concentrate and will help me play with others in the future.

I highly recommend Chuck as a teacher. He's a great guy and friend.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by pg60 (see all reviews from this person) on 5/7/2013

Overall Comments

I have been taking lessons with Chuck for over 1/2 year now. Chuck is incredibly patient and truly does know how to teach. He takes pride in putting lots of effort into his teaching.

He adapts to each individual student, listens closely to what you play, and gives meaningful feedback. He encourages you to focus on the positives and any corrections are provided in a constructive manner.

Chuck will give you chunks of a song that you can handle. Then repeat, then circle back to previous measures so you don't forget the wider context. The end result is that I'm learning to play Clawhammer without Tab, and feel like I'm learning to play by ear.

On a more practical note I appreciate Chuck's flexibility in scheduling. You don't have to commit to weekly time slot, he will schedule lessons at mutually convenient times with no pressure to stick to rigid schedule.

He has gotten me off to a great start playing Clawhammer Banjo, couldn't have done it without him!

Beyond being a great teacher Chuck is a great guy who truly cares about his students. I'm proud to have him as a teacher and as a friend.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by David Moore (see all reviews from this person) on 5/6/2013

Overall Comments

I met Chuck at the 2012 SWBC when at that time I could identify a banjo most of the time. There could not have been a more rank novice than I so my nervousness about instruction and guidance was high. How would I fit in with all the experienced players there? would I even want to continue learning and working on a new instrument? Chuck immediately put me at ease. Since that first meeting I have taken classes with Chuck and even slow jammed with him on banjo and fiddle and while I am a bit more advanced now I hope to take more classes from him. Chuck's relaxed method of teaching is rather subtle because at the end of the session I was comfortable but realized he had pushed me to stretch myself and continue to learn new techniques and not rest but grow. I hope to meet him again soon and I hope he doesn't get too busy !!!

 

Two years later I am updating this review.  I went to the Suwannee Banjo Camp 6 weeks ago and made certain I took a class from Chuck.  All I can say is don't miss an opportunity to learn from him. He is most generous with his time and skills and knows how to teach. 

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by pcollings (see all reviews from this person) on 5/6/2013

Overall Comments

I and my 16-year-old daughter have been taking lessons from Chuck for about 18 months now. Over that time, Chuck has been not only an excellent teacher, but he has become a good friend as well. There are a few things that stand out about his style as an instructor. The first is that he is extraordinarily flexible when it comes to what he teachers. His method has been to instruct by teaching a tune (as our abilities have improved, lately it's been two tunes) in a session. What is impressive is that the tunes he teaches in any given session are very flexible -- he presents several possibilities, and, when my daughter invariably declares them lame, he casts around until he finds one she likes, and then we go with that. It is one thing to prepare in advance to teach a particular tune, but to recall an unprepared tune on the fly and then actually teach it is pretty inspiring. And we're not talking suggesting Old Molly Hare and Mississippi Sawyer and then settling on Spotted Pony; We're settling on the Virginia Reel, Pigtown Fling/Stony Point, Last Night's Fun, or Sonny's Return -- tunes that are more Celtic-y, and, by his own admission, on the edge of Chuck's comfort zone.

In reflecting on 18 months' worth of lessons, what also stands out is that Chuck has been doing far more than teaching isolated tunes; over the course of time, he has steadily introduced and taught a number of concepts and techniques -- ASPOs, galax licks, and other techniques whose difficulty and utility seem to periodically engender debate in the forums -- without making them seem particularly difficult to master. And, despite my daughter's declaration of various sample tunes being "lame," he has an excellent sense of our musical tastes and sensibilities.

Finally, he has been outstanding with my daughter, his demeanor and patience just perfect for encouraging a young player to grow as a player while recognizing the limits of her time and the state of her development, in addition to her somewhat different (compared to most clawhammer players) musical sensibilities. I feel fortunate to live in Gainesville, so that I can see him regularly. I highly recommend him.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by majikgator (see all reviews from this person) on 5/5/2013

Overall Comments

I took my first clawhammer banjo lessons from Chuck and have taken several workshops with him since then, Not only is Chuck a very talented player but he really does KNOW HOW to teach. He has a definite grasp on how it is that people learn. In addition Chuck is very active in the promotion of Old Time Music and offers his valuable time and energy to that community. He's also a very easy guy to get along with. I highly recommend Chuck Levy as a teacher.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by AJ3 (see all reviews from this person) on 5/5/2013

Overall Comments

I took Advanced Banjo from Chuck Levy when he was attending Mars Hill Old Time Music Week. Located in Mars Hill NC. I found Chuck to be a patient instructor. with a great knowledge of Roots Music. That coupled with his very distinct style of Clawhammer playing makes you want to take more lessons from him. Unfortunately I live in Connecticut, so it is a haul to Florida. Perhaps some day our paths will cross again. When I was at Mars Hill I did purchase several CD's by Chuck which I listen to on a regular basis.

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by Pam Monfore (see all reviews from this person) on 5/5/2013

Overall Comments

Although I had for years seen and heard of Chuck Levy through the internet, I first met him in person at banjo camp last year. Because he has been one of my banjo heroes I felt intimidated, but Chuck immediately set me at ease by being so human, down to earth and easy going. During the last year at various banjo camps, I have learned a remarkable amount of music through Chuck and I haven't even had a chance to take a formal lesson! Chucks teaching style is so easy to grasp, a large portion of my new repertoire over the last year has come from him. Between camps, he has been kind enough to take the time to occasionally correspond with me via the internet and is incredibly informative when I ask a question or seek further info on a particular tune. I consider myself to be very fortunate indeed to consider Chuck Levy a mentor and friend and I look forward to the day when I can take some actual lessons from him; imagine how much more I can learn then! Thanks, Chuck, for being there to share your banjo knowledge!

Overall Rating: 10

Submitted by vdiazleroy (see all reviews from this person) on 4/27/2013

Overall Comments

I live 2 1/2 hours way from Chuck (ChuckJo), but I make these trips for lessons because he is such an amazing teacher. I take clawhammer lessons with Chuck, but he teaches so much more (minstrel, ekonting, etc). Chuck somehow just gets what I can handle in each lesson and gives me just a bit more to digest. I am learning clawhammer through songs and song history. I appreciate his minimal approach to music, never overpowering the melody, only highlighting it. I am inspired each time I leave a lesson. I would highly recommend Chuck if you are looking for a kind, patient, and knowledgeable teacher. http://www.banjourneys.com/

Overall Rating: 10

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