Reviews & Testimonials

“Just keep doing what you’re doing, man” — B.B. King

“You can play with us anytime, anywhere” — Big Jack Johnson

“A very good producer” — Diane Tubb

“Moments of brilliance” — Stanley Jordan

“Amazing guitar playing. Fantastic songs. Wow, super impressed. Wonderful energy. Great to know you.” — The Sophe Lux Family

“Best guitar playing I ever heard” — Pete V.

“He is gracious, flexible and professional at all times… very thorough and detail oriented.” — Jenn A.

“The best teacher I ever had!” — Cornelius P.

“I’m glad to have known you and especially to have had you as a music teacher.” — Chris P.

“I’m proud to have had you as a music teacher.” — Gary P.

“The best guitar playing I’ve ever heard” — R.A.


“Dr. D lives and breathes music.  If you’re a musician with even the smallest kindling of desire to learn, he will light a fire under you and you will grow as an artist, musician, and writer.  I’ve worked with him mostly in a band setting where he worked as our band director.  I’ve also witnessed his vocal lesson work first hand with a friend of mine.  Within a year the student he was working with went from being a beginner with no theory knowledge to a jazzy sort of Gene Autry with a style built on a foundation of music theory.  With his encouragement, raw enthusiasm, and know-how she gained what seemed like a lifetime of music knowledge, performing ability, and confidence in the matter of a year.  I’ve also worked with Dr. D in a recording and producing setting.  He has the equipment and the ability to make professional and marketable recordings, and his artistic input on these recordings has been invaluable.  If I wasn’t touring all the time, I’d be working with him every chance I got.  I still do whenever I make it back to Austin.  Dr. D is quickly becoming an essential figure in the live music capital of the world.” — hobo r.

“Darrell is hands down a phenomenal coach and teacher. I was looking for a vocal coach, but was hoping to find someone with expert knowledge in a diverse range of instruments, theory, song composition and arrangement, and audio production. Darrell does all of this and more. Moreover his approach is direct and encouraging, with an emphasis on pushing to you to become your best. I look forward to every lesson. Recommend 100%.” — Brian T.

“Doctor D. has an intimate knowledge of music theory, as well as a tried and true method that allows students to learn quickly while having fun in the process. He sincerely strives to bring out the best in his students, and that effort is reflected in his results.” — Jackson S.


“‘Dr. D’ has been an instrumental (pardon the pun!) part of my musical journey over the last few years.  Originally, I came to him to improve my guitar playing.  But along the way, his role morphed from that of a guitar instructor to one that included producing, voice instruction, song writing partner, and more.  Prior to working with him, I’d never performed in public.  But, with his guidance and support, I overcame life-long stage fright and am now singing/playing regularly in front of an audience.  If you’re serious about becoming a better musician and want to be challenged to reach your goals, Dr. D is your man! — Mark F.

“Darrell is A-Maz-Ing!  He demands results from his students and therefore results come quickly.  The time he spends teaching is intense and packed with great instruction.  He is a tough teacher but offers lots of valuable instruction that is applicable for music as well as life in general.  I highly recommend Darrell if you are ready for results!” — Nancy M.

“I agree with previous reviews.  He definitely knows his stuff.  He’s not going to let you slack.  I was really impressed particularly that music theory, which I’d previously loathed as boring/pointless, is now absolutely applicable and makes SENSE.  If you’re serious about learning, understanding, getting things right, and improving, he’s your guy.” — Britney Knowlton

“Darrell taught me that there is a BIG difference between playing an instrument and playing music. As both a student and parent of a student I can tell you that no matter how little or how much you think you know – Dr. D. will take you to the next level and way beyond. You want to be in honor band? Or if you have the drive and desire to be first chair then you need an instructor that will provide the technique AND the theory in a practical manner – and accept NO slop along the way.” — Dan M.

“Dr. D teaches guitar to both our kids.  He is well versed in music theory, styles and has functional knowledge of other cultural styles.  He has demonstrated time again the ability to refocus our two teens who can be easily distracted during teaching sessions.  They have shown progress over the last year and half that is twice that they had previously achieved in over 3 years of learning.  While being direct in artistic feedback he is able to connect with the kids at their level to push them to a higher plane of finesse in using music theory and applying this to compositions they are undergoing training in.  He does not compromise on quality of learning and does not hesitate to put in additional runs at practice or extra time till they get it right.  He always starts with “what’s the progress and do you have any questions?” this essentially covers adequately the gap between learning sessions and the chance for the kids to pause and pick up anything they have not yet mastered.  A unique touch was a duet that Dr. D got the kids to master over several weeks of patience with them, which now is an admired piece in our family gatherings (showing off their talents to the relatives/friends).  He is very reasonable with time off requests for summer/spring vacations as well.  We are very fortunate to have made his acquaintance as a teacher for our kids.” — p.r.

“… able to reach students who were struggling socially… strong leadership skills and went beyond expectations… organization and thorough feedback… a serious work ethic, which he modeled for his students… He was both demanding and nurturing; his students felt comfortable trying new things and pushed themselves to become better musicians. He demonstrated flexibility and patience working with both beginning and advanced students. The students respected him and worked to meet his high level of expectations… Darrell formed many positive relationships with many of the faculty and staff. One music teacher even sought him out as a mentor. He worked very closely with the arts faculty and it became clear that he understood the complexities of being an arts chair. Darrell quickly understood student, faculty and parent dynamics and worked to contribute positively to the school. He took initiative in many areas and made constant strides to help improve the music program.  I recommend Darrell fully and without reservations.” — Dana DeYoung

“From the first time he entered the classroom, he was in charge.  Darrell had the respect and cooperation of his students throughout his time with us… Darrell is a very talented musician and shared his talent and enthusiasm with his music classes…  I recommend Darrell without reservation.” — David McGuire

“When I started with Darrell, I didn’t know anything about music. Nothing. We started with basic music theory & moved into scales and reading. It hasn’t been very long at all, but my confidence is growing quickly. He does ask a lot from you and he expects you to keep up. But I can honestly say that if you are willing to work hard and spend the time at home doing what he asks, you will see the results. He wants you to succeed and takes pride in watching you grow. If you want it as bad as he does, you will see the result very quickly.” — John A.


“My middle-school aged son did a two hour session with Dr. Darrell one day where I would venture to say they covered a month’s worth of music theory material.  After a while I got tired listening to it, but my son didn’t.  Darrell is patient yet firm, tough but caring.  The pairing of Darrell’s deep knowledge with a student who wants to learn is a powerful combination.  He is committed to the success of his students.” — Andy G.


“When I was third trumpet Dr D was the Drum Major.  Our marching and field show bands under NY legend David Bournazian won many local and state competitions.  I was just happy to be part of it, but Dr. D was leading it.  He has deep knowledge of music theory and is equally expert at improvisation.  His ability to communicate theory to beginners or higher level learners is amazing.  He has the unique skill of being able to make complex concepts seem simple with illustrative examples until you find yourself starting to ‘get it’.  Highly recommended.” — Rick A.

“Darrell is doing a great job getting me back to my piano journey (after 20 years!). The exercises and theory he is teaching me have helped me getting a deeper understanding of music and looking at piano from a different perspective. I’ve learned a lot just after two lessons. The daily practice was challenging and fun. Looking forward to my upcoming sessions.” — Maggie Z.

“I was amazed at how much Darrell knew and was able to impart in just 45 minutes. He assessed my level in less than 5 minutes, then used every second to incorporate and expand what I already knew into organized concepts.  It seemed like a staggering amount of information, yet I never felt rushed or overwhelmed. I’m really looking forward to next week!” — Margaret L.

“The musical went off without a hitch and my solo turned out better than expected, thank you for your help!!” — Apryl K.

“Darrell is the right man for my kids!  He is tough… and demands results, which is what I am expecting from my kids too!”  — Sarah Knopf

“Darrell- Has great mix of business professionalism and a wonderful manner with both children and adults. He has worked with our family on schedule and had taught a range of ages (5 to45) and instruments. Piano and Guitar.” — Michelle H.

“Great teacher.” — Micah A.

“When I had my first lesson with Darrell, I was a complete beginner. Being a beginner is never easy, in fact it is usually quite discouraging. Bearing this in mind, Darrell is an outstanding teacher. He is one of the most encouraging teachers I’ve ever had, which speaks volumes knowing I am a high school graduate and a rising college Sophomore. Darrell is the kind of teacher that wants to see you succeed in your learning more than you probably want to see yourself succeed, which is exactly what you need when you get frustrated or doubtful. Darrell keeps a serious focus in the classroom, whilst keeping the lesson fun and lighthearted. I can truly say I am very happy picking Darrell as my teacher, and look forward to the many lessons yet to come.” — Elliott R.

“Yesterday was my first vocal lesson with Darrell.  He is definitely one cool dude.  My first impression is that he is very thorough.  I like that we are starting from the ground up learning fundamentals.  It is noteworthy that I am blind.  I only say this because from the get-go he was open-minded to adapt the session where we needed.  I look forward to my upcoming lessons.” — Keith P.

“Darrell was amazing with how much he knew, was able to impart and successfully teach me and appropriately for my level was staggering. He used every second but I never felt rushed or overwhelmed. I’m really looking forward to next week!” — Margaret L.

“Mr. D does a good job of explaining and demonstrating.  Violin lessons are fun.” — Mia M.

“You have proven to be a great match for him and I couldn’t be happier with his progress.” — Wendy T.

“I have noticed a big difference in [student’s] ability.” — Andrea W.

“The gig this morning was a big success. [Student] was really pleased to be in front of his buddies and he played the melody through twice, flawlessly… the kids started singing and it was a perfect transition to getting the audience involved. He is the “rock god” of his classroom now and loving it…” — Mark D.

“This man has patience!” — Anonymous