What can we say? We have some of the best guitar students in the universe!!





Students and parents like our style of guitar, piano and overall music instruction, and had the following to say about South Bay School of Music, the Guitar School and our various instructors:

  • "I like how my instructor lets me choose my own music. The recital was fun because I got to play in front of an audience." - Emily Bergen (13)
  • "I went from knowing barely how to play anything to playing my favorite songs in just a few weeks." - Nick Jones (17)
  • "I started intermediate lessons with Mark (Fitchett). Now, two years later, I am writing and arranging my own music. Mark's talent and enthusiasm has both broadened my musical interests and helped me to become a better musician." - Chuck Wilson, South Bay Real Estate Broker for Remax (www.ChuckandMary.com) (Chuckwilsonmusic.com)
  • "Now that we've finally found a good private piano teacher, we're not going to waste any time with group lessons. As soon as the younger kids are old enough, I want them to immediately start lessons with [teacher Lisa Michiko Kato]." - Daisy Hom

The following testimonial is from Brent Canter who is entering the UCLA jazz program (full scholarship) Fall 2004:

  • "As a student with Mark Fitchett for over seven years I have grown as a musician and enhanced my knowledge of theory and technique in a number of styles. From my early days playing the blues and Green Day to my present jazz studies, Mark has always challenged me and kept me interested as he introduced new ideas into my musical vocabulary. From chicken pickin' to Coltrane substitutions, I have never had a dull lesson which is why I have continued to see Mark every Sunday for as long as I can remember. Mark has helped me foster a work ethic and an open mind which helped me in my school jazz band and in various other performance groups. Even when I began playing with my own group at the various clubs on Sunset Blvd, Mark instructed me in how to best run rehearsals and work in the music business. I would definitely recommend Mark Fitchett to any individual interested in picking up the guitar and learning something new."
  • "I really enjoy my lessons each week and my instructor always knows how to adapt to my interests and keeps me motivated to playing! I'd highly recommend the school to anyone that wants to learn to play guitar." - Rob Sherman, Velocity Interactive (www.velocityinteractive.com)
  • "The lessons have helped me get into playing after so many years. It has also me to understand further in detail how things are put together." - Sergio Terlato (44)
  • "Now let me throw a sales pitch at you for music theory. When I first started in the 7th grade I taught myself mostly, and made some progress. I got down hammering and pulling from guitar magazines and eventually tapping. The first two years were physical conditioning. Then I began taking lessons from Mark Fitchett in Redondo Beach and that's when it all came together. Not only did I learn what I had been playing for the past two years, but how to organize it, add to it, and combine it. Man, I'm telling you, once you know theory, there's no end to what you can do. I might not know all the names for everything, but I see how its fits together in my head. And once it comes time to prove yourself in an improv jam or something, you start using everything you've learned subconsciously. Also, take any music classes you can if you're in school. I took a high school music class and it taught me how to read music, understand modulation, and all sorts of things. " - Eric Hagen (www.guitartricks.com)
  • "It's very difficult to find a piano teacher who teaches both standard classical repertoire and jazz. That's why we were interested in (Lisa Michiko Kato). . .Jacob has made huge progress in a very short amount of time. . ." - Jordan Clay
    " I went from knowing barely how to play anything to playing my favorite songs in just a few weeks." - Nick Jones (17) (David Green - Instructor)
  • [Guitar teacher] Ryan Faye is "a guy who is in my friend's band (Too Rude) and rips anyone I know on guitar and is a good people person. - Jeff Emerson (17)
  • "Good atmosphere and instruction!" -Tom Nisbet (Tim Wingate-Instructor)

About Ford Timberlake, 11 years old. As of 8/24/04 he had been taking lessons for six months:

  • "Ford started from nowhere, and now he can play-pretty well. Tim has been really good. Sometimes Ford has a lot of stuff going on and can't practice, but Tim has been understanding and professional and goes with it. This is a great little operation and the staff, all of em'-are just too cool. I would recommend Mark's Guitar School to anyone.Especially if they are just starting out. - Scott Timberlake 8/24/04

About piano teacher Lisa Michiko Kato:

  • "What I like about your method is that you provide the girls with specific assignments that are very clear. Whereas the other teacher had them working on things from all over the place, you give four assignments that they can focus on during the week. They put down their tally marks when they are practicing and are keeping track of their own work."
    . . . my older daughter says she feels like now she is learning real piano." -
    Eunice Choi
  • "Tim (Wingate) is a great guitar teacher. We are so happy to have found him. He has a wonderful way about him that's good for kids. It's very impressive that he finds out the songs Matt (age 9 and studying guitar for 8 months) likes and makes the effort to write hem out for him to play. He's a nice guy, and Matt likes him a lot." - Gretchen
  • "Great fun. Learning a lot of cool stuff with David Green." - Kelly G. ("old guy")
  • "I think it's fun because you get to pick which songs you want to learn. Also, it's kind of easy to learn the guitar. - Ryan Silva (14)
  • "I've been taking lessons with David Green for about four months now and I have to say that he's very knowledgeable in guitar, and very good at teaching it. He also has a lot of patience. I would recommend David Green and Mark Fitchett's Guitar School to anyone. - David Inman (43)


  • "Ryan is the coolest guy ever. He's always showing me stuff and cracking jokes, and thatmakes learning guitar enjoyable." - Ryan Louie (14)
  • "My 13 year old son has been a student at the Fitchett Guitar School for almost a year. His experience has been nothing but positive, with Tim Wingate, his teacher being an amazing role model. Tim is talented, patient, encouraging, and works to the level of my son. Rather than walking around the house saying he is bored, my son now spends his idle time working on suggestions made by his teacher. Two years ago, we had enrolled Jake in another guitar school. We see the difference between the love of art and relaxed atmosphere displayed at the Fitchett Guitar School, and highly recommend this studio to anyone interested in learning guitar." 

          Respectfully Submitted, Lisa Larson (Parent of Jake Larson)

  • "Ryan Faye has always been a very open-minded teacher with an eager attitude towards teaching. I've always felt comfortable at the school, everyone there has always been very friendly and easy to get along with." - Christina Jack, Three year student.
  • "We have had a wonderful experience with your method of instruction. The boys have had the freedom to choose the songs and type of music they wanted to study and it has made all the difference. Playing and perfecting familiar tunes has given them the desire to practice regularly. They are eager to learn more of what they choose and have gained much confidence. Thanks" - Barbara Proudfoot
  • "I think this is the best guitar school ever, because I've learned so much and my guitar teacher is great! I would encourage everyone out there to start playing an instrument." - Megan Stokes (12)
  • "Excellent teaching skill. Mark has helped me enjoy my guitar playing more with customized lessons from theory to helping me figure out my favorite songs." Thanks Mark. - Joaquin Santana (Adult student)
  • "Tim inspires Marshall (age 11) to learn and practice. In two months Marshall is playing several chords, reading music better, understanding rhythm and tonal quality and having fun while attending the lessons. When Marshall played his first song it boosted his confidence and encouraged him to practice more! Tim and the Guitar School have provided Marshall with a highly attentive, focused and enjoyable learning environment. Thank you for your shared skills and support." - June Conrad 9/21/04
  • "Over the years (4) that Mark Fitchett has taught me, he has been patient and vitally helpful in pushing me through frustrating plateaus. I consider myself a person without much musical talent, however, Mark has instilled me with strong skills that we continue to work on as we go. It has been very rewarding for me." - Stan Barankewicz (39)
  • "I liked the fact that my daughter (Sierra, age 9) would learn the style of music she enjoys. This has kept her interested and committed. She feels comfortable because of the asual, no pressure atmosphere. She's able to learn at her own speed. Mark Shark gives her lots of positive  feedback, which leaves her anxious for the next lesson. I am very impressed with my daughter's progress. " - Melissa Marbut
  • "Love my lessons.  I amazed my wife by lulling to sleep a very fussy 6 month-old with a little Pink Floyd that Mark Shark taught me." -  Burke
  • "Mark Fitchett is an excellent teacher for both beginners and long time players. He keeps challenging you to get better and to develop new techniques. Practicing is fun because he focuses on what you like to listen to and enjoy playing. I've been taking lessons for years and find it the best motivation to keep learning and improving."- Jim Becker
  • "Brandon has made great progress and looks forward to his lesson each week." - The Pritzkats
  • "So far I have enjoyed my lessons and have gained a lot of experience from my teacher. The environment is friendly, and I am learning new things every lesson." - Andrew Ratley
  • "Jenny Oetzell really likes her guitar teacher and taking lessons at the Guitar School.  Everyone is very friendly, patient and interested in MUSIC!  Jenny doesn't feel pressured.  She wants to enjoy taking lessons and she does.  It's relaxed and fun.  Thank you for your great school!" - Jenny's mom


2003 Copyright Guitar School
  Velocity Interactive