Meet John Ambrose Music
Music Lessons and Performance
About John Ambrose
John studied saxophone with Wayne Demsey at Gordon College. John also graduated Summa Cum
Laude with a degree in English Literature from the University of Connecticut. He believes that music
theory, history and appreciation is an essential part of every musician’s education. This has guided him since he began teaching music lessons in 1998.
In addition to the saxophone, John plays many other instruments. As a teenager, a theater gig had John
starting flute lessons, to be able to cover not just saxophone, but all of the parts in his reed book.
As John continued to perform in pit orchestra’s and jazz bands, he quickly added clarinet as well.
John also began playing guitar as a teenager, and has as much experience playing rock and blues as he
does classical and jazz. John enjoys singing as much as he enjoys playing whatever instrument he can
find. Part of the joy of being a musician is being ready to adapt to many changing environments. Playing
many instruments well keeps John in high demand on the stage, in the recording studio and in the
teaching studio. Watching John perform in a wedding band, such as Timerider, you will see a juggling
act, as John may be playing harmonica on one song, and then flute or clarinet on the next. John plays lead
alto sax in the Leo Liddle Big Band. You also can see John play guitar and sing with Rob Carter and the
Road Greys and as a member of the worship team at Northwest Hills Community Church in Torrington.
“People often ask me what my main instrument is,” John says. “To me, the instruments are just tools.
My passion is for making music. I work hard to use each of my tools well, but at the end of the day, it is
about the painting, not the paint brush.”
John has been teaching music lessons in Litchfield since 2008 and likes to stay involved in the community, bringing students to perform at nursing homes and at local
community events. In addition to organizing recitals here at the Litchfield Community Center, John has
brought students to perform in Litchfield Night Out, the St. Jude’s Telethon. John teaches music clinics
locally, such as at Minds in Motion at Litchfield High School.
John takes the greatest pride in the achievements of his students. “Watching students go on to study
music in college, play in pit orchestras in community theater productions, win scholarships for excellence
in music and perform outstandingly at regional competitions are all a source of great pride, which I have
been privileged to experience many times. Not just these, but I take joy in all of my students successes.”
John teaches woodwinds (saxophone, flute and clarinet), guitar, bass, piano, ukulele, harmonica and
music theory, in a variety of styles. John is well equipped to aid any student through beginner band
method books on any school band instrument. When not playing or teaching, spends his time with his
wife Lisa, and their two boys, often using his time off from teaching music to teach bicycle riding and
I have wanted to learn guitar for a long time and a friend finally talked me into taking lessons. My first teacher retired shortly after I started and right away I signed up with John so that I wouldn't give up on it. I'm so glad that I did. John is an awesome teacher and is always upbeat, positive and patient. He makes sure that I understand before moving forward and goes at a pace that fits my needs. I look forward to my lesson every week. His love for teaching and playing are evident in the way he interacts with his students.
Courses of Study
My teaching style focuses on fundamentals, reading, understanding rhythms, harmony, to enable the student to create in any style.