Testimonials and reviews

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Parents of year 10 and 11 students at St James in Exeter who have taken lessons over this last year:

"Just wanted to write a quick message to express our thanks for all the wonderful work you've done with Elliot. It's a joy to hear him play and it's clear just how much progress he's made from hearing recent pieces he's played.

Elliot explained, with some pride, how you'd given him some really great feedback the other day and it's fantastic to see him so engaged and focused, doing something he loves and seems to have a real talent for."


"Just wanted to say thank you as ollies music lessons end - after 9 years in total! He has really enjoyed his lessons with you in this last year - more than any others he has had over the years. Playing guitar is so much part of his life now and i hope he will continue to love it and use it to play in bands in the future."


"Many thanks for everything you have taught him, he loves his guitar and at these times, finds it a great way of coping with all the stress of exams!"


Holly Morwenna Rawlings:


I'm Holly Morwenna Rawlings, nearly 16 (2014) and I've been having guitar lessons from Rupert since I was 8/9 years old. 

I started by learning basic chords and As I progressed Rupert would introduce me to different genres and teach me songs from across the decades. I also learnt tablature and scales to give me more of a solid background to my guitar playing. Rupert has also taught me how to play both acoustic and electric guitar to help me find my own style!

When I had found my own style, (acoustic singersongwriter), Rupert stretched me within that area and has helped me develop my skills further, such as expanding my knowledge of chord progressions, sequences, inversions, and general music theory. I now busk and perform regularlythanks to the support and inspiration Rupert has given me over the years, he has really built my confidence!

Rupert is an excellent teacher, who will support and believe in you in whatever you want to do, whether it's learning tablature from a book or songs from the charts!



Dan Donnelly, The Wonder Stuff:


'As someone who has worked as a music industry professional for 20 years, I cannot recommend Rupert McDonald highly enough. The most important asset he has is his intelligence, wit and easy going nature. He is a guitar player that is technically capable of shredding in a manner that would show up Satriani, but more importantly he has a taste and tone that Ry Cooder would envy. A natural showman, he is comfortable playing styles ranging from heavy rock to gypsy jazz with panache and presence. More importantly Rupert is a natural communicator, be it in a venue, or the classroom, everyone goes home understanding the message. I have had the privilege of watching this guy perform live and teach.  My Dad played guitar and I've been playing since I could talk, but I've often thought of asking Rupert for a lesson or two.  If my children wanted to learn guitar I would trust Rupert would do at least as good, if not better job than I would.'

Martin Harley, international performing artist

'Rupert is a menace to society with his teaching program . If we're not careful they'll be no one left to run the country........We'll all be at home jamming."b>

Arya Goggin, drummer with skindred, international touring band:

'I've known Rupert for 15 years. His musical knowledge is incredible and his feel for playing guitar is awesome. We used to jam together a long time ago and it was always a privilege.   His want to create and pass on his knowledge is an amazing thing. I would love to jam with him again. Whatever the style he brings it!'

Phil Smyth, performing musician and tutor:

'Having worked with Rupert for a long time I can say he is a great teacher. He has vast knowledge of the guitar, knows many styles and has a great ear for music. He has a knack of communicating his thoughts with students very well and coupled with excellent technique and genuine patience, students thrive when being taught by him.'

Seth Baccus, guitar maker:

'I've known Rupert for over 10 years professionally, and would highly recommend him as a great guitar teacher. He is a fantastic musician himself and enjoys playing all styles of music. He has a patient nature and is very able to teach all age groups and all levels of ability.  He is professional, honest and reliable, and I think any prospective student would benefit from what he has to offer.'

Dave Jones, session guitarist and tutor

'Throughout my time at the Academy, Rupert was a constant stream of inspiration upon myself and my playing. His ability to play and teach such a wide range of styles (from Rock and Blues all the way through to Lap Slide and Gypsy Klezmer!) so crystal clearly, inspired me to pursue different techniques and new styles, benefiting my playing massively. As well as teaching, Rupert is also a working musician, which makes him a invaluable source of knowledge on the music industry and how to utilise skills to enable you to earn a living through music, something most teachers will never touch upon in lessons. If it wasn't for Rupert's guidance, I think music would have merely remained a hobby for me!'

Jamie Beale, performing musician with "Bare Knuckle Parade"

'Rupert is a truly inspirational teacher, he introduced me to various different styles of playing and various techniques which gave me the freedom and the tools I needed to start finding my own way as a musician.'

Jamie Trump, private guitar student:

'Having lessons with Rupert improved my guitar playing massively. Sessions are relaxed and friendly but completely tailored to what I want to learn. Between sessions the audio recordings and personalised sheet music help me make the most of practice time. I'd recommend him to anyone looking to improve their playing.'