Michelle Nelson

B.Mus.(Hons. Composition, Melb.) L.Mus.A Classical guitar, A.Dip.A Contemporary guitar

Michelle Nelson - guitar teacherMichelle is a teacher/assessor, composer performer, equally at home on both classical and electric guitars. She has extensive live playing experience in a wide variety of performance situations ranging from full-time Rock covers bands and original Rock groups in the 80s/90s, to vocal & guitar, classical guitar and guitar & flute duos, plucked string ensembles and classical trios since 1999. She was 1st guitar & guitar section leader in the Melbourne Mandolin Orchestra from 2001 - 10 and with the Australian Mandolin Orchestra in 2005 – 06.  In 2013 she took up this role with the plucked strings ensemble 'Concordia', also contributing compositions and arrangements to their repertoire. She is also guitarist and composer for Melbourne’s 'Birrarung Trio' (violin, cello & classical guitar).

A professional musician since 1983 and a fully accredited member of the Victorian Music Teachers Association, Michelle specializes in Classical guitar (especially Classical era to Modern) and in Rock and Blues styles (old & new) on Electric guitar.  Her favourite instruments are a beautiful custom-made classical guitar by the master Australian craftsman Dan Kellaway and a trusty 1980s Ibanez RS530, well maintained and still played every day. Her guitar influences range from Ritchie Blackmore, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Joe Satriani, Al di Meola, Wes Montgomery, Barry Galbraith through to Mauro Giuliani, Matteo Carcassi, Augustin Barrios, Carlo Domeniconi & more!


Michelle is a highly experienced guitar teacher & assessor. As well as maintaining her own private practice at Modern Guitar Tuition, she has taught at Caulfield Grammar School (2006-10) and Carey Baptist Grammar School (2005 - current). She is keenly aware of the need to develop technique before tackling demanding material and that children need a completely different teaching approach to adult students.  As an assessor she is well aware of the problems caused by giving young students material they are not physically ready for.  She is equally happy teaching electric guitar as well as classical (but only teaches electric as a serious musical instrument ! ). 


Guitar lesson music sheet

Michelle is an award-winnig composer, and has had many works performed, in Australia and Europe, recorded and broadcast on radio. The Melbourne Mandolin Orchestra recordings of her pieces Brolga Dances, Capricorn Light, Amorevolezza, and Pacifica have received frequent airplays on the national ABC Classic FM, the MBS Classical network (eastern states) and many community radio stations. As well, she has also written many excellent arrangements of known works; her plucked string version of Peter Sculthorpe’s Little Suite won praise from the composer himself as well as multiple radio plays. She has had compositions played throughout Australia including at high profile events like the Melbourne Festival, Sydney International Mandolin Festival, Port Fairy Spring Festival, and multiple performances in Germany and Britain.

In February 2016 MOVE Records has released Michelle's new disc of solo guitar compositions 'Return to the Dance'.  This follows the 2013 disc  'After The Fire' - a disc of new instrumental works that showcases a range of original compositions for varied instrumentation. From this set, both 'Harmony on Lyttleton Street' and the Birrurung Suite have recieved good airplay.

For more information Michelle's work and about Return to the Dance and After The Fire please visit michellenelson.com.au

For sales information about these discs, or for recordings of Michelle’s work with Melbourne Mandolin Orchestra go to: www.move.com.au

Guitar Books

Learning classical guitar

Combining composition with extensive teaching & assessing experience has been a natural progression for Michelle; she has authored many highly regarded titles for Modern Guitar. Principally these are the ANZCA series of Technique and Sight Reading handbooks & Grade Examination books, the Guitar Steps tutor series (available through ANZCA), and the comprehensive rhythm guitar series Modern Guitar Chord Styles series (available on this site under guitar music BOOKS).


The ANZCA Modern Guitar books are a series of articulate guitar education titles that provide a well constructed graded system of pieces suitable for students age 8-9 year up. These books treat the subject of Modern Guitar as a subject worthy of more structured and detailed content than do many other Electric Guitar publications. They range from preliminary to grade six levels and feature both arrangements and original compositions composed specifically for plectrum and finger-style modern guitar. For more info about these go to www.anzca.com.au


Guitar books by Michelle Nelson