My name is Robert Larison, or Chip Larison as my friends, family, and students know me. I have had had a long career in music. I began studying guitar at age 9 learning the basics of music and playing technique. At age 13 I began working on the instrument on my own and was mostly self taught through high school. During this time I was in a band that performed live at school dances, parties, and concerts. This gave me valuable onstage experience that would help me later on. I also had a friend who had a recording studio, and I learned a lot about working as a musician in that environment.
I attended Berklee Collage of Music in Boston MA and learned a lot more about my instrument and lots about Jazz theory, chord construction, and improvisation. One of the most important lessons I learned there was how
NOT to teach. Later I attended and graduated from Musicians Institute in Hollywood CA which was created under the directorship of Howard Roberts and Tommy Tedesco, two of
LA’s most esteemed studio musicians. It was a one year guitar boot camp with some of the finest players on the west coast as instructors. That is were I really learned how to teach, because I learned from the best. At that school there was a strong emphasis on live performance, and every student was required to do several performances in a quarter. Howard Roberts had some incredible insight as to how we learn. That has gone a long way to help me in becoming an effective and successful instructor.
On my return to the NY area I took a position at a music store where I was teaching between 40 and 50 students a week. I later moved on to another store where I took on a similar number of students. I taught the children of Johnathan Demme, the famous director, as well as the son of Mikhail Baryshnikov. In this place I had to manage my schedule, and take care of things on the financial end. In recent years I have become a totally independent instructor with students of all ages and abilities.
During all of this time I have been playing live professionally. I have been a performing musician for 52 years. I continue to do so with the 11 piece ‘70s Disco band Dancin Machine.
Below I have included several reviews by some current and former students.
I have been taking lessons with Chip for over a year now. He is a very patient and helpful teacher. He will go over things until you understand, and can pretty much teach you any song you’d like to learn. Definitely a great guitar teacher.
I have been taking lessons with Chip for over 8 years. I look forward to my lessons with Chip because he is knowledgeable in all the techniques on the guitar. He is patient and thorough. I have gone from playing Folk to Rhythm and Blues. He makes it fun and adds some history about the artists as well!
Juliana Jones Brown
I have been taking my seven year old son Oliver to Chip for ukulele and guitar lessons for a little over a year now. Chip truly loves music…his enthusiasm and his knowledge along with his years of experience make him a fantastic teacher and mentor. He is also one of the best musicians I know. As a teacher, Chip takes the time and makes sure his students understand what they are learning and that they progress each lesson…He has a lot of patience and is great with Oliver. We look forward to seeing Chip every week for Oliver’s lesson!
I had the pleasure of learning guitar from Chip during my whole high school career. The knowledge I gained from him is still utilized to this very day. He taught me how a simple blue scale could be used in such an intricate and versatile way, and much more. He was easy to work with and was open to new ideas. I started out not knowing anything about the guitar to creating my own songs. This was amazing to me. Who would have thought that one lesson a week could lead to such progress. He truly made me appreciate music. I would recommend Chip to any guitarist, whether beginner or experienced.
When I started with Chip I barely knew how to tune the guitar. His patience and ability turned me into the player I am today. I was hesitant to take lessons; I’d tried other teachers who seemed to not understand the way I learned. Chip instinctively knew
how to motivate me and before too long the mystery of the fret board had been solved. Most importantly, I can never thank him enough for the invaluable live performance experiences he gave me. The constant jam sessions we had gave me the confidence to get on stage with him and play in front of a live audience. No other teacher would have gone the extra mile like Chip has and I would recommend him to anyone serious about learning the guitar.
Guitarist, Recording Artist w/ The Pipeliners