Christopher D. Cunningham

      Director of Guitar Studies
Herndon Guitar Boosters

Fairfax County Public Schools

Herndon High School

Herndon High School PTSA

Herndon Band Boosters

Herndon Orchestra Boosters

Herndon Choir Boosters

Herndon Drama Boosters

J & P Repair:  Jeff Ponder - Custom Guitar Repair @ 703-369-3001.  If you are in need of an excellent resource for a larger job or custom work, Jeff is a luthier who works out of his home workshop in Manassas.  A true luthier is in another category than the typical repair people.  Jeff is considered one of the finest (and only) luthiers in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Melodee Music in Sterling:  Call or stop in with questions.  Click on link above for site access.

Guitar Center in Fairfax:  This link will take you directly to information about the "guitar garage" 

Guitar Repair services
Private Studios

Shop around for the best deal. 

Guitar Center is a great on-line

resource to survey a wide variety

of acoustic guitars at very

competitive prices.  Gig bags often

are included with the guitar. However, a hard shell case is strongly recommended to protect the guitar from changes in temperature, humidity, and during transport to and from school.   Reputable local music stores are:

          Melodee Music in Sterling (;
          Music & Arts in Sterling (;
         Guitar Center in Fairfax (;
          Washington Music Center (; 
          or on-line at
          Contemporary Music Center                  

Please contact Mr. Cunningham if you have any questions or would like advice/suggestions on guitars.

An acoustic guitar is required for all classes.  Students enrolled in guitar must provide their own guitar.   Guitars are not provided by Fairfax County Public Schools.
Steel string acoustic guitars are widely preferred by Herndon students, but nylon string acoustic guitars are also common.  Recommended steel string brands  include Yamaha, Epiphone, or Takamine.  Finer brands include Seagull, Breedlove, and Fender.   The finest choices include Martin, Taylor, and Gibson.  The standard issue Yamaha C40 is a very common nylon string guitar. Also purchase medium picks, an extra set of strings (nylon and steel are not interchangeable--be certain to get the correct variety), and if possible, a hard shell case.  A hard shell case offers optimum protection of the guitar as it travels back and forth to school in all kinds of weather.   Hard shell cases are strongly recommended.  Guitar 2, 3, and 4 students are also required to either own a strap or footstool.

Guitar Buying Guide

Private lessons are strongly recommended.  Students who wish to reach their highest musical potential will couple their participation in the HHS Guitar Program with private guitar instruction from one of our local guitar experts.  Private lessons also offer our developing guitarists customized one-on-one instruction where they can explore and master the styles of music they love most.  While weekly lessons are ideal, any supplemental guitar instruction is an excellent idea.

Private Guitar Lessons


As well as a center or music school setting, there are some private guitar teachers who teach in our area.  These teachers currently work with Herndon Guitar students or have in the past.  Contact our guitar experts to learn more about setting up lessons and their teaching schedules and fees.   Consider requesting a trial lesson or two.   And feel free to request Mr. Cunningham's advice on which teacher may best suit your son/daughter.

If you currently study with someone who is not on this list, please ask your teacher if they are interested in being added to our list and then pass along their contact information.  Below is a list of all instruction resources (private & non-private) in alphabetical order.  Please contact Mr. Cunningham if you have any questions.

All Things Rock (Tyson's Corner)
Specializes in one-on-one lessons for guitar, electric guitar      and bass guitar.  Lessons available in-studio, in-home, and in your home/office via the internet.  Teachers come with years    of professional experience, as well as a lifetime of private study.  In addition to Mauricio Perdomo, there are two new instructors:    TJ Turqman & Justin Pitileski.
Website: or contact via 703-288-0022 or,

Contemporary Music Center (Chantilly/Haymarket)
"Where Music Comes to Life."  Offers music lessons of many types of instruments, sales, rentals and repair, and much more. Contact via email at, phone Chantilly store at 703-817-1000 or Haymarket store at 571-261-5000. Or visit the website at

(The Music School at) Jammin' Java (Vienna)
The Music School at Jammin' Java is the most unique music school in the area, with lessons taught on all skill levels and for all ages.  Instructors are both degreed professionals and experienced performers, providing a fun and challenging atmosphere and are ready to help fulfill any musical aspiration.  Contact Rebecca Brindley via email, phone 703-371-5618 or website

Melodee Music (Sterling)
Specializes in one-on-one lessons for guitar, bass and mandolin.  Lessons available in-studio, typically 1/2 hour, private instruction, with one lesson per week on the same day & time.  Contact via email at, phone 703-430-8242 or visit the website at

Music & Arts (Sterling/Oakton/No. Va)
Offers one-on-one guitar instruction right in their stores, seven days/week with professional teachers who are degreed instructors &/or experienced performing professionals.  Access via website at click on "lessons" then "locations" -- following lings to Virginia centers.  (From HHS, Sterling store is 2.7 mi. and Oakton is 13.5 mi.

The Music Loft (Herndon)
This new resource in our area provides many services to students and educators, as well as a wide variety of private and group music lessons.  All guitar genres are taught by well-trained teachers in a professional setting.  Our focus is education, geared toward giving kids a well-rounded music education.  We want to be a place where kids and parents WANT to go every week, so we are very family-friendly.  Visit their site at, or contact Leanne Flama at   or  703-956-6563. 

School of Rock (Ashburn/Vienna)
Exploring a different approach to music lessons.  Private lessons combined with supervised group rehearsals to present new challenges and drive faster learning.  Cover all aspects of formal music education - theory, skill development, performance and music appreciation with a focus on rock music due to its enormous range of artistic styles and technical challenges, and because kids love it!  Visit us at or call 703-850-2100.

external Links

Jeff Bragg
Mr. Bragg has played guitar for 40 years and has been teaching successfully for 25 years, specializing in beginners and intermediate players. In addition to a career in guitar performance, he has been a studio musician and has served as Director for the University of Virginia's Electronic Music Studio. He has recorded and produced 12 albums; his latest can be found on iTunes. A member of the American Composers Forum, Mr. Bragg is also endorsed by Blueridge Guitars, Eastman Mandolins, and Stetsbar Vibrato. Contact Mr. Jeff Bragg to schedule guitar lessons.  703-406-3323.

Kevin Butler
Kevin is a graduate of HHS and has taught in the Northern Virginia area for more than five years. He focuses on theory-based instruction, sound fundamentals, improvisation, and rock and jazz applications. Contact Kevin @ 703-473-1604, by email:  His website: .

Dr. Matthew Dunlap
Stunning resume! Highlights include: Doctor of Music Arts in Guitar Performance, Florida State University; Master of Music Arts in Guitar Performance, Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University; Adjunct Professor of Music, Florida State University; Adjunct Professor of Music, Troy State University.  850-339-4740.

Adam Phillips
Currently a Guitar Major at George Mason University.  Substituted while Mr. Cunningham was on paternity leave from HHS in Spring 2010  or on his cell 703-401-7703.

Al Robertson
Mr. Al teaches from his home-studio in Herndon, Va. He studied guitar at VCU and has toured and performed regionally with such artists as Carter Beauford and as a solo artist. A versatile guitarist, Mr. Al is fluent in classical, rock, jazz, funk, and pop styles. He has composed music for the stage and film. Mr. Al currently devotes a great deal of time to guitar teaching. Visit his website: , or contact him via email at  or call 703-481-2215.

Gary Rodriguez
Gary is currently a senior at George Mason University with a concentration in Jazz Performance.  His is able to teach beginner finger picking.  He can be contacted via email or on his cell.  571-765-0361.

John West
John works with a variety of styles -- rock, blues, country, jazz, etc., with considerable focus on theory.  571-434-9275.

Music instruction schools / centers