Learn about our guitar instructors below.

You can register for lessons here.

John Cardoni

John Cardoni is an Adjunct Instructor of Guitar at Belmont University, where he teaches commercial guitar lessons and guitar class.  He came to Nashville from the Midwest, having been born in Indiana and spending most of his formative years in Central Illinois.  He earned his M.M. in  Commercial Music with an emphasis in guitar performance from Belmont University in 2013.  His graduate recital and research focused on exploring  the music and playing styles of some of Nashville’s most prolific guitarists.  He received his B.M. in Commercial Music from Millikin University in 2004.  His undergraduate studies centered on both classical and jazz guitar, music theory, arranging, and recording studio work.  In 2008 Mr. Cardoni  joined the Millikin faculty as an adjunct guitar professor.  He taught classical and commercial lessons, directed the secondary guitar ensemble, and led a pop/rock combo.  He also composed and arranged multiple pieces for classical guitar ensemble.  His arrangement of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” featured as the title track for a 2010 Christmas album by the Millikin Guitar Ensemble.

Mr. Cardoni is currently the lead guitarist for touring country artist and American Idol alum Josh Gracin.  He has also shared the stage with or   opened for Little Richard, Amy Grant, Craig Morgan, Amber Carrington (from The Voice), NEEDTOBREATHE, Maynard Ferguson, Chuck Day, and Blue Rodeo among others.  So far he has recorded nine albums with four different bands, along with various session and demo work.  For six years he helped lead a 9-piece funk/fusion band out of Normal, IL called Public Display of Funk.  The band recorded three albums that featured many of his original compositions and arrangements.  He recorded four more records with an original alt-country group called The Micah Walk Band while living in Springfield, IL.  Mr. Cardoni believes much can be learned from all varieties of music.

Lessons Offered: Guitar

Nick Palmer

Nick Palmer earned both his Bachelor of Music and his Master of Music from Belmont University in 2008 and 2012, respectively. He was the first guitar major to receive a Master’s degree in guitar performance through Belmont. While attending school, he performed with the Belmont Jazz Ensemble directed by Dr. Jeffrey Kirk. Since then, he has performed and recorded with Michael Henderson, Joe Osborn, Rex Allen Jr., Vince Gill, Brady Blade, The Jones Family, Chris Allen Trio, Daniel Lee Martin, Josh Gracin, Doug McCormick, Larry Beaird, Liana Conway, Belmont Jazz Faculty Group and various artists and performers around the Nashville area. Mr. Palmer has toured extensively in the U.S. and Europe with recording artist Paul Bogart.

Nick Palmer’s performing credits include recording sessions, touring, television productions, and theater credits. Theater credits include Nashville Ballet’s production of Borreguita and the Coyote. He has performed with The Circle Players and Street Theatre Company in multiple productions.

Lessons Offered: Guitar

Francis Perry

Francis Perry began playing the guitar at the age of six, and his lifelong love of the instrument has provided the foundation for his career as a performer and teacher.

As a classical guitarist, and specialist on the Renaissance and Baroque lutes, he has appeared at colleges and music festivals in the United States, Italy, and Spain. Along with his duo partner, Timothy Broege, Mr. Perry was a featured performer at the American Recorder Society’s concert series at the Boston Early Music Festival. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Rutgers University, both in Guitar Performance.

Legendary Spanish guitarist Andres Segovia wrote that Francis Perry is “an excellent guitarist,” after hearing him play in a rare private session while Mr. Perry was Artist-in-Residence at Duke University.

A program of his playing has been broadcast nationally on PBS, and he appeared as a lute player in the CBS network mini-series “Double Take”.

Having served on the music faculties at Fairleigh Dickinson, Kean, and Monmouth Universities in New Jersey, Mr. Perry currently teaches at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, where he has lived since 2005. He regularly performs on lute with Music City Baroque, which includes members of the Nashville Symphony. SOUNDBOARD magazine, the international classical guitar journal, recently published his article “A Recipe For Learning A New Piece of Music.”

Lessons Offered: Guitar

Jeff Rogers

Jefferson (Jeff) Rogers is an adjunct instructor of guitar at Belmont University and has been a part of the faculty since 2001.

Mr. Rogers earned a Master of Arts in guitar performance from Middle Tennessee State University and a Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music from Belmont University. He also teaches at Columbia State Community College. Mr. Rogers has won numerous performance awards, including the Beethoven’s Club Young Artist Contest, WZIM Guitar Solo in the Newsroom, and East Tennessee Guitar Wars. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Chi, Gamma Beta Phi, and has been a member of the Middle Tennessee State University Guitar Quartet. He has performed with various country, rock and latin bands in the Middle Tennessee area and in 1997, he received the honor of Outstanding Achievement in Guitar Performance from Middle Tennessee State University.

Lessons Offered: Guitar

Robert Thompson

Robert Thompson works as a performer, recording artist, teacher and guitar faculty member at Belmont University and Middle Tennessee State University. Thompson serves as the Director of the Belmont University Guitar Ensemble, teaches Advanced Classical Guitar Seminar, and private lessons. He began his classical guitar studies at the age of ten. Thompson completed his Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degrees in classical guitar performance at Ball State University and Southern Illinois University. He has performed at guitar festivals and for guitar societies, concert series, cultural events, and universities throughout the United States. Thompson has performed over 300 formal concerts during his career.

As one of Nashville’s most active nylon-string guitarist, Thompson maintains an extensive repertoire of solo and duo music and performs as a freelance musician. Thompson made his New York City debut at Carnegie Hall Studios in 2001. His solo repertoire includes music by Albeniz, Sérgio Assad, J.S. Bach, Barrios, Bonfa, Brouwer, Corea, Bennett, Desmond, Domeniconi, Gismonti, Giuliani, Granados, Jobim, Koshkin, Mertz, Metheny, Piazzolla, Reis, Rodrigo, Scarlatti, Sor, Tarrega, Torroba, Villa-Lobos, Villoldo, Walton, Weiss, and York. As a gifted performer and teacher, Thompson’s students have performed on National Public Radio, have been accepted into prestigious graduate programs, and featured as concerto soloists and competition winners. Many of his students have found successful careers in the music business as performers, university teachers, touring and recording artists.

Lessons Offered: Guitar