My eleven-year-old son Sean became fascinated with the baroque guitar (an obscure precursor to the modern guitar) and wanted to learn how to play. We decided that he should try to learn to play classical guitar first, and if it went well we would consider the baroque guitar. We couldn’t be more pleased with how much he has learned with Thomas. Thomas is a talented teacher and musician, capable of explaining the most complicated music theory or technique with patience and good humor. He is very tuned in to his student’s strengths, weaknesses, and ambitions, and he tailors their lessons to their individual needs. For example, he guided Sean along building technique, and then surprised him by showing him how he could use a capo to get his classical guitar to sound more like the period music he loves. Thomas works hard to share the skills and understanding he worked hard to acquire. His knowledge and love of music have been an incredible inspiration to my son. Lisa B.
I have just been notified that I was accepted into the Music Department and the Sound Recording Technology program at SUNY Fredonia. When I started taking guitar lessons with you, I actually thought that I would never be able to pass the audition, which would be held only three months later. However, you turned impossible into possible. You changed my life. I totally admire your ability as a guitar teacher. Dr. Tom, thank you so much for your huge assistance and support. Tom Yamane
You are a great teacher. You changed my point of view about classical guitar. I’m practicing a lot! Gracias! Carlos Pavan
Thomas Millioto not only takes music seriously- he takes teaching seriously. He is able to individualize his teaching style to fit each student’s particular needs. He takes the whole student into account- strengths, weaknesses, and even cognitive style. Our son began taking lessons from Tom in November 2003. He was nine years old, and it was the first time he had a lesson of any kind. We didn’t expect much. Our son is autistic and has always been a challenge to teach. He had obvious musical talent, but it did not show up in his two years of chorus. He often thought that he was singing when he wasn’t. Our son requires special consideration in teaching. He learns most easily from a top-down approach and then re-approaching the information bottom-up. He also tends to fail to understand what a person is talking about if they skip logical steps. Tom immediately understood how to translate this into a wonderfully methodical approach to teaching our son. If left to his own to pick out music, our son would most likely end up with a very limited repertoire and a highly circumscribed area of expertise. I asked Tom to create lessons and choose music with the goal of making our son into a well-rounded musician. Our son has learned how to read music, play chords and notes, to improvise – all within months of his first lesson. It is a pleasure to hear him play, and often his brothers gravitate toward him when he’s practicing. Our son is not only progressing at an extremely rapid pace- he is having fun. His lessons are one of the highlights of his week. His self-discipline has improved, and he enjoys practicing each day. Tom has gone beyond teaching for our son. He is like that doctor who does house calls. He always is available for questions- and has helped us with the impossible, like picking out a guitar, and taking the time to explain guitar care and options. He has done an amazing job with our son and has made it so that the only effort we need to make is to take him to his lesson. I am thankful that we have Tom for guitar lessons. The gains that our son has made, and Tom’s mentoring have made a great difference in other areas of our son’s life. It is unusual to have a teacher who truly knows how to teach. June Shapiro, Ph.D.
I studied classical guitar with Thomas Millioto from 1998 to 2008. When I began private classical guitar lessons with him, I was a beginner. My love of the instrument grew through these lessons and so did my love of music in general. The increase in my musical interests and abilities lead to my application and acceptance to Hunter College as a 60-credit guitar performance major. I completed my undergraduate degree in guitar performance with Professor Thomas Millioto as my guitar teacher. Thomas has a wonderful rapport with people of all ages, especially children. He is precise and knowledgeable. He also has a great love of music and an extensive knowledge of all types of music. His stellar musicianship is evidenced in his performances on the lute, classical guitar and 19th century guitar. He has the ability to connect with his students on a personal level and his talent for communicating simple concepts, as well as for breaking down more advanced topics into understandable pieces, is truly superior. Thomas has excellent verbal communication skills and is extremely organized and reliable. Professor Millioto has a talent for choosing music that is appropriate for each student's skill set. By having music that was at once challenging but still within my ability, I was able to grow as a musician as my confidence grew. He would encourage me to perform in the recitals he scheduled for his students. His philosophy is that performing is a skill as much as practicing scales. Therefore, a person becomes a better performer by performing in front of people, not merely by practicing alone. As a teacher, Thomas has been a tremendous influence in my life. Now, whether I am teaching private lessons or teaching in the classroom, I often find myself recalling the lessons he taught me, and passing them along to my students. Professor Thomas Millioto is an outstanding educator with the gifts of communication and caring. Sincerely, Amy Holderness