Mark Simons has been professionally engaged as a teacher since 1984. He has run private guitar studios in Boston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Baltimore, Santa Barbara and San Francisco as well as provided classroom and individual instruction, in a variety of styles, at numerous colleges and music conservatories throughout the United States. He also offers educational outreach activities and holds master classes.

Mark provides students with private instruction focused on their individual goals, interests and abilities. His group instruction is also consistently popular and enthusiastically praised.

Please contact Mark to discuss private lesson opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area. Time slots are limited and prospective students should check in advance for availability.


Reviews of Mark Simons by students and colleagues:

Mark Simons is an incredible guitar teacher. He is efficient with his time and very professional. I would highly recommend Mark. He is incredibly talented with a vast repertoire of style abilities. Mark teaches theory along with technique giving the student a well rounded education in guitar. Mark can take a beginner and train all the way up to a professional level. I was both impressed and surprised how Mark was able to take students who were all thumbs and bring out abilities, through quality instruction, that seemed impossible for such a short period of time.

If you are going to learn guitar, don't waste your time with a mediocre teacher. Learn from the best in musical ability and teaching ability. Mark has both in abundance!!!

—Alana, H San Francisco, CA

Mark Simons is a fantastic guitar instructor and performer. He has been a helpful and patient guide as I learn to play and he seems to have an avid following among his other students. I didn't want to pick up any bad habits through self-teaching or a crummy instructor, so I looked for the best that I could find.

Mark helps me to understand not just the mechanics of technique and good form, but the theory behind much of the music that we play. He is generous with his time and he occasionally extends my lesson if another student is not waiting to begin theirs. I am confident that I am building good technique and these lessons are making learning the guitar much easier and faster than I thought possible.

I found him through the San Francisco Guitar Quartet with which he tours and records. Mark also teaches at a number of universities and music schools in the city, Marin and the east bay. But he also gives private lessons in his studio in San Francisco where I find him each week.

He is teaching me classical guitar and I am loving it, but he also teaches other varieties of guitar including rock, pop and jazz. In fact, despite a mostly classical instruction with composers like Bach and so forth, he borrows from other styles to help drive home certain techniques - thus, the music sometimes includes Dylan, KT Tunstall and AC/DC.

Mark also has an impressive resume - he has a four degrees in music and was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to study classical guitar in Germany. I learned all this after I started my lessons when I discovered his website ( and was looking for his upcoming performances. He is definitely the real deal: a serious and professional musician and educator. That said, he is very easy-going and my lessons are always fun and amusing.

With his experience and demand, you'd assume that his lessons are very expensive, but I found his price reasonable and he charges on a sliding scale based on a student's ability to pay... He comes highly recommended. In fact, when I went to buy my guitar from the shop in San Francisco, the guy behind the counter had a masters degree in music and had taken lessons from Mark, too. So, there you go. If you're interested in picking up guitar, you can't go wrong with Mark.

—Dan A, San Francisco, CA

I am a musician with the San Francisco Symphony who has performed with Mark for 25 years. He is an incredible musician, teacher, and human being. In addition to his extraordinary skills as a guitarist, Mark is kind, patient, caring, and helpful. He is an extremely thoughtful and insightful teacher. I cannot recommend him highly enough.

—Cathy. P, San Francisco, CA

I've known Mark for over 20 years. He's a nice guy, wonderful guitarist, patient and effective teacher, just a great all-around musician and person. I'm a professional classical pianist and teacher myself, and anytime I'm asked for a guitar teacher recommendation, Mark is always at the top of my list!

—Dale T. Alameda, CA

Mark is an excellent guitar player as well teacher. He caters to one's ability very well and tailors the lesson plan so I get the most out of it. My technique and interpretation of music has drastically improved in only about 12 lessons with Mark. I highly recommend him.

—Ken W. San Diego, CA

Mark got me back into enjoying guitar after a long hiatus. He could immediately understand my skill level, listened to what i wanted, and we then had a 5 year run of great playing. Mark is able to take anyone from beginner to professional and give them great instruction. He is one of the 2-3 teachers I have had in my life that i felt was worth the time energy and money. You will not be dissappointed.

—Dr. Charles MMill Valley, CA

I have been working with Mark for a year. As an intermediate student, I had picked some bad habits over the years. Mark helped me adopt good habits just by pointing out the fundamentals in a way that was easy for me to follow. Mark has me concentrating on using proper techniques and always listening to my tone. If the tone is off, then I now usually know what to do to correct it.

Mark knows how to get to the root of issue so I don't waste time on peripheral stuff. The key to improvement is expert instruction and practice. My technique is better, my tone is fuller, my skills are improving, and my knowledge is deeper. This a pretty good deal, given that I've been playing for more than a few years. There is nothing like professional instruction. This is what Mark provides in a fun and easy way.

—Rod C, Concord, CA

Please click here to contact Mark.