Neill Castro

neill2016Instruments Taught: Guitar (beginning through advanced), Piano (beginning & intermediate), Bass (beginning through advanced), Drums (beginning through advanced), Ukulele (beginning through advanced)
Hometown: Danville, CA
Years playing: 18+
Teaching Since: 2012
Musical Influences: Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Steely Dan, Frank Zappa, John McLaughlin, George Benson, Steve Lukather, Joe Livoti
Education: California State University East Bay, California Jazz Conservatory (formely the Jazz School), Private Lessons with Joe Livoti & Mike Williams
Musical Projects: Oakadelic, J-Soul, The Illiance, Super Soul Bros.
Key teaching concepts: Technique, Applied Theory, Reading, Improvisation, Repertoire
Book/Methods Used: Alfred’s, Ernie Ball or Mel Bay Methods (for Guitar, Ukulele & Piano), Progressive Steps for Syncopation for the Modern Drummer (Drums), Complete Scale & Chord Theory, Mickey Baker’s Complete Course in Jazz Guitar
Teaching Days: Mondays

As a well-rounded musician, skilled and educated in a variety of instruments, Neill teaches guitar, bass, drums, piano and ukulele. Joining the Music Time Academy staff in 2016, Neill has been a friend and colleague of ours for many years prior (like most instructors on our close-knit team).We are thrilled to welcome Neill on board, now accepting weekly students on Mondays, in addition to substitute teaching.

Neill, much like many of the students enrolled in lessons here, was fortunate enough to begin guitar lessons at age 10. He clearly took well to the musical experience, allowing it to have a profound, positive effect on his life ever since. In pursuit of deeper musical knowledge and experience, Neill later enrolled in college-level music courses, and also began to play bass (in addition to continuing with guitar studies under local guitar gurus Joe Livoti and Mike Williams). As a student at both Cal State University East Bay and California Jazz Conservatory (formerly the Jazz School), two of California’s most highly-regarded music programs, Neill received a top-notch, formal education on not only guitar performance, but also in general music theory, music history and music production.

A professional guitarist since 2009, Neill has performed in a wide variety of settings, including dozens of musicals at some of the largest Bay Area theaters, like Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Neill has played countless jazz and rock gigs over the years, currently on a weekly funk/soul residency with Oakadelic at Berkeley’s Starry Plough. He has had the honor to share the stage with legendary artists such as the Escovedos, Thomas Pridgen (Mars Volta), Michael Wolff (Cannonball Adderly, Sonny Rollins), and Jay Lane (Primus, Phil Lesh & Friends)


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Free weekly class, Mondays at 8pm. Email us for details (