Dr. Smoot is a masterful teacher. I’ve studied with him for over 12 years and his musical knowledge is vast. In my time as a student, I’ve studied music theory and history, ear training, arranging, and classical guitar, and I know of no private teacher that can match his expertise. I’ve seen three of his works premiered by internationally known performers, and I love his music. As someone who took up music as an adult, Dr. Smoot has helped me discover my hidden talents and made me feel that my talents were valuable. I’ve studied with other musicians over the last 12 years, and while good, none can match Dr. Smoot’s skill as a musician and teacher. He continues to be a wonderful mentor and an inspiration.

— Daniel Payne, Payne Behavioral Services, LLC


Working with Richard has profoundly helped me grow as a guitarist and a musician.  I think about music in different ways since working with him, and it has only deepened my enjoyment of the music.  My playing feels much more free and fluid.  Perhaps most importantly, Richard has taken my musical development seriously — no matter that I have no professional aspirations in music.  This is not an easy quality to find.

— Professor Joe Tien, Mathematician, The Ohio State University


I took lessons from you in the early 90’s…I didn’t know how to play… you encouraged me and taught me how to play….I thank you!!   Thanks man. Joe
–Joe Debow, Joe Debow Experience (band), Louisville, Kentucky


I have been a student of Dr. Smoot’s for nearly six years. I came to him as an older student (54 at the time), with no musical background; just a desire to learn to play the guitar. His teaching style has been remarkable, challenging, encouraging and fun! To learn from a master, such as Dr. Smoot, who is willing to work with a student such as myself, and watch me grow, has been a true blessing.

 –Barry Fonarow



Dr. Richard Smoot welcomed my lost musical soul and helped me work toward having a wonderful musical life. Coming in with limited experience, Richard has guided me over the past 12 years to develop many musical skills such as sight reading, classical guitar technique, performance skills, practicing skills, musical theory, ear training and much more. Beyond these skills, Richard has guided my growth musically to not only play music, but to be able to listen and relate to music as an artist. Richard is very professional and a wonderful mentor. His teaching methods and music are inspiring.

— Trey Fortner


Dr. Smoot is an accomplished classical guitar teacher. His lessons focus on a student’s overall technical development, giving students tools to become educated and creative players with minimal wear/damage to wrists and joints.

“Dr. Smoot was recommended to me by many different people as the preeminent classical guitar teacher in Columbus. I have studied guitar with him for 4 years now and have seen steady growth as a player and musician. His guitar teaching approach is eclectic- his roots are in discipline of the Segovia tradition, but he has expanded his methods to include using relaxation and energy flow techniques, with an emphasis on using the fingers like a brush to creatively color the music one is playing for maximum expression.
Dr. Smoot plays and teaches guitar in effective, balanced, and nuanced fashion,  (he also teaches composition) to all kinds of people with various talents and/or skill levels.
As a teacher myself, I have noted how well Dr. Smoot relates to and encourages his students, whether they be children, adolescents, or adults. As part of the program, his students get to perform pieces we have been working on at a yearly student recital that showcases our progress in a relaxed and cordial studio setting.

Bottom line- if you want to explore the guitar as a real instrument, and grow as a musician, I recommend you contact Richard to get in on his unique and personalized instructional program.”

— Mike Pettibone, Gifted Specialist at Columbus City Schools