SEE BELOW FOR LIST
OF LESSON TOPICS
Apart from his teaching at New School University Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, New York Jazz Workshop and numerous guest artist residencies, Richard maintains a robust teaching studio dedicated to private and semi-private study in a wide scope of music disciplines and levels.
An internationally acclaimed educator with forty years of university teaching experience and mentoring individual musicians of all ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds, Richard designs a custom-tailored course of study to serve each musician's unique interests and plot a solid path to higher levels of creative expression and technical mastery.
Richard teaches all musicians: professional, college, pre-college and college and adult enthusiasts.
He is fluent in Portuguese and conversational in French, Spanish and Japanese.
Usually musicians have more than one area of interest they would like to explore in the same lesson. For example:
• any instrumentalist or vocalist interested in studying improvisation, sight-reading, theory, solo transcribing
• a guitarist interested in Jazz or Brazilian music who wants to work on their improvisation, ensemble comping skills, repertoire development and sightreading
• an acoustic chamber musician who wants to work on choral music of the Renaissance or Baroque eras.
• a vocalist interested in studying jazz scat improvisation, Brazilian repertoire, Early Music choral singing, classical vocal technique to improve their sound, stamina and virtuosity
• a composer interested in expanding their composing, arranging and counterpoint skills, and studying masterworks of different composers
• a musician who would like to become proficient in guitar as a second instrument
All lessons are enhanced with musical handouts, scores, recordings, practicing exercise routines and select audio files (see LESSON DOCUMENTATION below).
To accomodate multiple areas of study (and economize on traveling time),
IN-PERSON LESSONS ARE TWO HOURS LONG.
ONLINE LESSONS ARE NINETY (90) MINUTES LONG.
For optimum continuity, LESSONS and LESSON BLOCKS are scheduled at minimum every two weeks on the same day and time. See below for more details on BLOCK DISCOUNT RATES.
Musicians who are visiting from abroad or outside the New York City area for a finite period of time can arrange special study intensives where lessons are scheduled with greater frequency (ex. weekly).
Prior to the first meeting, Richard requests background input from the student(s) by e-mail, identifying their short and longterm creative/technical goals, stylistic interests and self-assessed skill levels in different musical disciplines. Materials are then carefully chosen and organized so that the first lesson is a substantive, focused session with a high degree of specificity and individualized attention.
Richard is very proactive in maintaining contact with students between lessons by e-mail. This additional contact between sessions promotes essential continuity and forms a dynamic mentoring relationship. Such contact includes answering lesson-related questions, reviewing assigned work, sending digital print, audio and video links as supplementary materials.
LESSON DOCUMENTATION and MATERIALS
All lessons can be video recorded on ZOOM and downloaded by the student shortly after it is rendered.
Alternatively, the student is welcome to record the lesson as a voice message on their smartphone.
To archive any digital materials (PDF handouts, audio files)
Richard sets up a private Google Drive folder for the student.
NOTE: All private lesson digital files and Google Drive links are for the exclusive use by the student ONLY, and are NOT for public distribution or dissemination.
In addition to sessions in his private studio, Richard offers Distance Learning via ZOOM (preferred), What's App and FaceTime.
As with all his in-studio teaching, online lessons are supported by
musical handouts, scores, practicing exercises and online critiques of student work.
Payment is processed primarily through Venmo (@Richard-Boukas) on mobile devices within the U.S. or by PayPal. Please note that for international and certain types of PayPal payments, fees of 3.1% apply. This cost is added to the lesson fee.
For more information and to schedule a Distance lesson:
SEMI-PRIVATE and GROUP LESSONS
can be arranged for TWO and up to SEVERAL participants. Rates vary accordingly.
Do you have a group of fellow musicians interested in the same musical topics?
You can coordinate your own MASTERCLASS with Richard via ZOOM.
Participants can live anywhere in the world!
During the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, this is an economically viable and fun way to study.
The more musicians who enroll, the per-student fee is reduced.
For more details on organizing your MASTERCLASS:
• IN-STUDIO PREPAID LESSON BLOCKS are TWO HOURS in length and grouped as follows:
• EIGHT HOURS (4 Lessons) discounted at 10% OR
• TEN HOURS (5 Lessons) discounted at 15%.
• ONLINE LESSON BLOCKS are NINE-HOUR BLOCKS (6 x 90 minutes) discounted at 15%
Before committing to a LESSON BLOCK, you can schedule a SINGLE LESSON at FULL RATE.
If you decide to purchase a LESSON BLOCK within TWO WEEKS of the TRIAL LESSON,
your TRIAL LESSON FEE is DEDUCTED FROM THE DISCOUNTED cost of the BLOCK.
Topics for Private Study
Below are some main topics for private, duo and small group study.
Students may combine two or more areas of interest into one two-hour session.
These areas can be addressed along separate tracks and also integrated together if the context is appropriate. For example, a guitarist may want to work on Brazilian comping styles, Ear Training, and Sightreading in the same lesson.
• Solo Brazilian Guitar Masters: From Garôto to Guinga
• Composing for Solo Brazilian Guitar
• Brazilian Guitar Comping and Percussion Sourcerhythms
• Right-hand independence exercises
• Arranging Brazilian Standards for Solo Guitar
• Adapting Brazilian Solo Piano Music for one or two guitars
• Brazilian Guitar Duo Workshop
• Jazz Guitar improvisation, comping and solo styles
• Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar:
single line soloing and solo guitar arranging
• Principles of Fingerboard Harmony and Voiceleading
• Sightreading for the Contemporary Guitarist: all styles
Brazilian Repertoire and Interpretation
• Choro Performance Practice: repertoire of master composers
• Specialized Choro instruments: 7-string, cavaquinho, bandolim
• Brazilian Jazz Workshop: Improvising approaches
• The Brazilian Northeast: baião, forró, frêvo, xôte, maracatu
• MPB (Popular Brazilian Music) Workshop:
Jobim, Chico Buarque, Djavan, Guinga, Sérgio Santos
• Survey of Brazilian Vocalist Styles
• Portuguese Diction, phrasing, lyric interpretation,
vocal timbre and technique
• Scat-Singing Improvisation in Brazilian Styles
• Jazz Scat-Singing:
Techniques, Classic Solos and Transcriptions
• Interpreting the American Songbook
• Arranging and writing charts for small ensemble
• Sightsinging for the Contemporary Vocalist (non-solfeggio)
Brazilian Repertoire and Composition
• Composing for small jazz ensemble, chamber ensembles
• Insights into Boukas's Compositional Process
• Hermeto Pascoal and his "Árvore" (tree) of composers:
Jovino Santos Neto, Itiberê Zwarg, André Marques
• Hermeto Pascoal's Universal Music:
Analysis, Harmonic Concepts, Chord Symbol Notation
• Music from Minas Gerais:
Toninho Horta, Sérgio Santos, Milton Nascimento
• Guinga, intuitive genius, guitar-as-laboratory
• Compositional Techniques Across Stylistic Disciplines
• Finding Your Compositional Voice
• Contrapuntal Writing: Classical and Contemporary
• Richard Boukas compositions as models for study
• Instrumental and Vocal Jazz Improvisation:
Principles of Linear Construction, learning from Transcriptions
• Solo Transcribing and Dictation Skills
• Repertoire Development: Working on and Memorizing Tunes
• Ear Training Practicing Techniques
• Constructive Listening: What to listen for in music
• Jazz and Contemporary Music Theory and Harmony
• Fast-Track Sightreading and Sightsinging
"Richard is a wonderful teacher. First, he is a master musician, tremendously knowledgable across genres and styles. Equally important, he is passionate about helping students acquire the skills to improve their overall musicianship. Not only has he taught me ear training and compositional techniques, but has helped me learn new methods for approaching music– both in critical listening and original composition that I will use for the rest of my life. I've never had a lesson with Richard where I did not leave knowing more about music than when I walked in."