"There are many guitar teachers. There are many classical guitar teachers. However, there is only one Helene Rottenberg. During my years of study with Helene, I have learned how to play the classical guitar. However, I have also learned discipline, concentration, enjoyment of classical guitar music and other skills that have translated into my life. Studying with Helene requires commitment but you will be rewarded four-fold over."
Carolyn J. Christopher
Student of Life and Classical Guitar
"I have known Helene for a long time, in and out of the University community. I have studied guitar with her for seven years and have had the great joy of getting to know her family and her friends. Everyone will tell you-- Helene doesn't just teach music; Helene leads a life of music. She doesn't so much teach what she knows; she teaches what she is-- a musician.
That is a rare thing-- a musician. A rare thing for a University to have among its faculty, and a rare thing for students to experience in the classroom.
Add to that, Helene's other qualities-- wit, charm, compassion, understanding and selflessness-- and you have everything you would want in a colleague and more than you could hope to have."
Will Horwath, Ph. D
Adjunct Professor of English
Rottenberg has worked at the Herb David Guitar Studio since her college days at
the University of Michigan. Not only has Helene been an exemplary teacher
who can draw talent and ability from her students; she then helps shape that
talent and combine it with enthusiasm. . . the result is a lifelong gift of joy
in making the music. . . and a confidence set in solid manual skills.
Helene is a person who exudes love and warmth; encourages and draws those things from the people she meets."
Owner of Herb David Guitar Studio, Ann Arbor, MI and President of Musicorp Inc.
"From the beginning of my time with her, I have found Helene to be a very kind and patient teacher. She relates well with students of all ages- with young children, with pre-teens and teens as well as with young and older adults (like myself). I have heard parents state how well she does with their children and have observed the continuing interest of adults in taking lessons. Although I can still recall the awful experiences of childhood music recitals, I have found her studio group lessons and recitals to be fun and stimulating. The atmosphere that exists is one of support and encouragement (as well as humor).
I have appreciated her teaching style. She focuses on technical issues from the beginning so that good technique becomes automatic early on, rather than a problem when speed of play increases.
In summary, Helene is a teacher who cares about her subject and students. She is able to convey the beauty of music in her own playing and is able to help the student in learning its complexity."
Patricia Campbell, M.D.
"It was really a fluke that I even started classical guitar 2 /12 years ago. My husband thought he would learn to play as a retirement project, but with no music background or teacher, he gave it up. So I decided to try it out. Of course, my first lesson from Helene was the fact that I needed a classical guitar. I have had many teachers for other instruments over the years, but my 2 hours a month with Helene are really special. She keeps me working, encourages me when I feel hopelessly all thumbs, and has shown me the rewards of regular practice. My timer and metronome are holding up to her demands! Helene is dedicated to teaching and sharing the beauty of this wonderful instrument."
Mary Anne Nirdlinger
"I have studied classical guitar with Helene for over four years. During this time, I have found Helene to be an outstanding teacher; she is one of the top five teachers I've had in my entire academic career including those in graduate school.
Playing the classical guitar well is difficult; teaching how to play it is even more difficult. Helene, however has the ability to clearly and effectively teach the myriad of complex issues, both technical and musical, involved with playing the guitar. This ability comes from a natural talent for teaching and a well-conceived pedagogy. She certainly has helped me to become a better guitarist than I thought possible.
I have also found Helene to be very motivational. Her enthusiasm for the guitar is contagious, to which many of her students will attest. She also does things for students that go beyond what is normally expected of a teacher. For example, she organizes student recitals three or four times per year, is willing to adjust her schedule to fit student needs, and seems to always be available to answer questions.
In summary, it is hard to imagine a better teacher."
William Birmingham, Ph.D
University of Michigan