I have been singing and playing music since childhood -- over 20 years -- and teaching various instruments for over ten years.
In high school (1999), I started a punk band with close friends, in which I sang, played guitar, and wrote songs. We recorded and released several short albums and played at many all-ages venues in Miami. The band was together for about five years, during which I also took up the drums.
In 2004 I began my studies in music at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Though my focus was on classical guitar, I also studied piano, punk, jazz, Irish and American folk music, and Russian composer Igor Stravinsky. It was during those years that I began my career as a music instructor, teaching private lessons on guitar and drums, to students of all ages (4 years old to adults). I also worked as a violin teaching-assistant with A Gift For Music (third grade students); a rock-music-camp counselor and band coach (students aged 11-17); and a volunteer teacher for all-ages group music classes at a community center in Apopka, FL.
The following year, I moved to New York City and began my career as a folk singer-songwriter and recording artist. By the pseudonym GioSafari I produced one full-length album of original music, several other live and studio albums and EPs, a tribute album to John Lennon, and a few music videos. I also took up harmonica, bass guitar, clarinet, mandolin, banjo, djembe, and orchestral percussion for my recordings and performances.
In addition to my solo performances and recordings, I have performed drums and percussion with many bands (including pop, rock, ska, reggae, and hip-hop), the Manhattan Wind Ensemble, musical theater productions, and church worship groups.
I also continued my teaching career with Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation (2009-10), group lessons at Word Up Community Bookshop in Washington Heights, and volunteering with the WHIN Music Project.
I currently work as the band director at a middle school in the Bronx, but I have several students that I meet with after school and I'm always looking to expand my roster. If you'd like to schedule lessons for yourself, your child, a friend or other loved one, please e-mail me today to get started. Thanks!
My son Joseph just completed his 5th lesson with Gio and he LOVES his piano classes. Gio is very patient and dedicated to Joseph. Glad that my son is taking lessons from him.
Julianne C. (Piano)
My son has learned a lot with Gio so far. He is very patient, professional and wonderful working with my son who is now 8 years old. I look forward to many more lessons.
Nancy E. (Guitar)
Gio is priceless! [He] has been working with our 3 year old teaching him the mandolin for 6 months... We find his commitment, expertise & personality impeccable. I would advise you to take lessons from no other. He is a star!
Cynthia X. (Mandolin & Ukulele)
Gio is great. He knows his stuff and makes the lessons fun while teaching.
Rich P. (Harmonica)
Gio has been wonderfully patient with my efforts as a total beginner. His instructions are clear and helpful, and he has provided a good mix of motivation and encouragement. Highly recommended!
Charles W. (Clarinet)
Gio is a great teacher I would definitely recommend. He does a great job of relating to my daughter and thinking out of the box to encourage her learning the guitar.
Kristina T. (Guitar)
Gio truly focuses on the student's needs. I've met too many self-absorbed musicians in the past, but Gio really pays attention to details in the student's playing. He is excellent at teaching technique and was the first guitar teacher to help me fix physical problems regarding posture and arm tension. His kind, easy-going manner makes a student comfortable. He has a wealth of musical knowledge to share.
Mary V. (Guitar)
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