Mike Murphy

Certified Private Instructor

TEACHING AT MOZINGO SINCE: 2003 YOUNGEST AGE: 6 Mike has a Bachelors degree in English/Communications from the University of St. Mary’s in Winona, Minnesota where he also studied Classical Guitar, Music Theory and Jazz Improvisation. He later earned a Masters degree in Communications from Illinois State University. He has been teaching private guitar lessons for over 20 years and has been at Mozingo Music since 2003. Mike has taught at other schools and has come to realize Mozingo Music is a unique place. It is rare that a place can attract and maintain such dedicated, talented, and sincere staff, teachers, and students. Mike offers beginning to advanced electric/acoustic guitar/bass instruction. This includes rhythm guitar, soloing and improvisation, sight reading, music theory and composition. Styles he commonly teaches include: Rock, Metal, Funk, Folk, Classical, Beginning Jazz and Fingerstyle. His career has been defined by a love for classical guitar music and a passion for rock music, songwriting and recording. He has performed in several bands over the years and in several cities: in the Chicago area—Torpedo Pie, Wow. Minnesota—The Connection, Real to Real. South Dakota—mainly did acoustic rock in clubs and coffeehouses. St. Louis so far he’s played with Greenhouse, Belladona, Sudden Impact and Dave’s Not Here.Mike has recently written two eBooks that are available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com online bookstores: “Grow Teach Repeat” and “Choosing Notes.” He also maintains a music blog where he writes on a wide range of music related topics. The site is called Twilight Guitar.Several of Mike’s original compositions are being performed regularly by The JSK Band (long time colleagues of his) in Denver, CO. These include “Hey Angel” and “Way”. One instrumental recording, “Solar 8″ was awarded “Song of the Week” on garageband.com in 2004. Songwriting and composing original music is another one of his interests because it combines so many elements of music. It demands creativity in so many areas, that you wind up a better all around musician just for having tried to write a song.Mike’s early musical influences tend to be “British invasion” type players: Jimi Page (Led Zeppelin), George Harrison (the Beatles), Eric Clapton (Cream), Pete Townshend (The Who), and Jimi Hendrix. Later he started listening to progressive rock bands like Yes (Steve Howe), Pink Floyd (David Gilmour), Rush (Alex Lifeson), Genesis (Steve Hackett), Joe Satriani, Robin Trower … and then came the newer wave of bands like Van Halen (Eddie Van Halen), The Police (Andy Summers), US (The Edge). Somewhere in his late teens he began listening to classical guitarists like Andres Segovia, John Williams, Julian Bream and Christopher Parkening. He is constantly discovering and re-discovering music both new and old. There are so many guitar styles to consider and each one has different technical requirements.


Mike tries to see where the student/parent wants to go and take it from there, customizing the curriculum to keep the student inspired and seeing progress. Playing a musical instrument is one of the most demanding skills a person can aspire to, and respecting that fact is the first step in understanding the required commitment. Mike also believes that studying a musical instrument has benefits well beyond just the music. The discipline, confidence, creativity, camaraderie, and sense of achievement that comes from practicing and performing can overflow into other areas of your lives. Mike sees his main role is to inspire, motivate and encourage students to hang in there and enjoy the ride.