Testimonials from students of the Rafael Cañizares School of Flamenco Guitar
Here you’ll find opinions about the experiences of students of different levels at different times.
The “Intensive Course” I took with Rafael Canizares is one of the most important things I have done in my musical life, nearly as important as the first day I picked up the guitar or the day you realise your love for the instrument. Why? It is because Rafael finds the way to get your playing to the next level, he searches for ways and strategies, and with targeted exercises he facilitates the process. That is what I experienced with my time with him. The way he teaches is with the care and warmth of an uncle, with patience and generosity. It is also ultra clear the many years he has been playing professionally and the time he has been teaching, with the materials he gives for further study, and the ease at which he can problem solve issues in playing. For me personally, it was more than just simply another guitar class, the were beautiful moments shared together and fully recharging in the inspiration department. Gracias Maestro!Alejandro Florez
Maestro Rafael I admire your humanity, the intensity with which you express the emotions in the notes, the strength, the naturalness and the mastery of the guitar and of the musical expression. Currently, my monthly class at your school is one of the most intense and most anticipated events in my life.
Rafael knows how to prepare individual materials and theory to immerse me in music and understand its fascinating rules. And in this way I’m moving “slowly and rhythmically” (well, the compás is still not very internalized, but I’m constantly in it).
I’ll probably have to leave Barcelona soon. However, wherever I am, I will always go to my monthly class with you, Rafael. My dream is to decently play some concert bulerías in six or seven years and have a flamenco repertoire to play in the streets of Europe. It is a very ambitious project and my reason for being in this last stage of life, so, Maestro, I will do everything possible so that you do not retire.
In the next life, Rafael, I ask to meet you at five years old.
Thank you for your patience and your immense mastery.Jorge Seca
To unleash the deepest sonorities of flamenco on the guitar, with the necessary precision, speed, and compass, it is essential to have a correct posture and pulsation of the instrument. The Maestro Rafael Canizares observed and recorded in a video (of a few minutes) my execution, detecting my failures to execute the different contraptions necessary for the correct touch and what he had to correct. In just a few weeks I’ve noticed the improvements in my performance (we’re already on the heels of Maestro Paco de Lucía, heh heh!) And I’ve also received a background in music theory to build chords and understand the structure of cante, as well as the most important technical resources to accompany the dance. You can not ask for more for an intensive course with Maestro Cañizares, who does not hesitate to share the most precious and hidden secrets of flamenco; In addition, if they come to deal with it outside of the academic seriousness of the classes, they will realize that it is also a great teacher, a human being full of kindness, good gastronomic taste and above all loaded with a refined flamenco humor of strain without place to doubt!
Congratulations Maestro Cañizares for contributing to preserving and spreading flamenco art in the world!Sergio Pointier
My dear friend Rafael and how can it not be so!! Master of Teachers.
For me it has been one of the experiences that will forever form part of my life, sharing moments of your great wisdom and method of teaching “Despacito y a Compás”.
Thank you for being like you are: humble, simple and such a good person, with a big heart that shows in the depth of your music. You are one of those people that we can count with the fingers of our hands.
And I want to let you know that I stay with all the good things we have done in the past and the way you have guided me.
Thank you!!Jose Tarrias
Dear Rafael, thank you very much for the quality of the intensive course week.
As you could discover in the first moments, I love the flamenco guitar ,but I did not know how to study.
Having no access to a flamenco guitar teacher who could guide me, I developed bad habits that affected both my evolution and my personal satisfaction.
In just one week, you managed to give me study guidelines, make me aware of what I was neglecting and, above all, gave me the saving perspective that I can play well with the right amount of effort, dedication and time on my part.
All that, in a week, to compas of your patient experience, love and your sense of humor that has no equal ?
I do not know how to tell you who impressed me the most, Rafael the teacher, or Rafael the person.
What is clear is that you won my esteem and admiration, and that I want to take classes and coffees with you again.
And when I get to play well, I’ll dedicate you some Alegrías, which is the least I owe you.
Taking the intensive course with Maestro Rafael Cañizares has meant a crucial step in my training as a guitarist. Rafael has a great ability as a teacher when analyzing each student, to get the most out of each one according to their needs. The course was very complete, addressing all the techniques of the flamenco guitar, applying them also in falsetas for different styles, and also delving into the harmony of flamenco and the importance of rhythm. All this carried out with an exquisite human treatment and a sense of humor that made me immediately connect with him. I am very grateful to Rafael and I hope to return soon to study with him.Juanjo Belchí
I’ve had in Italy, for many years, a school of classical guitar and I wanted to get close to the flamenco guitar since I thought it could be and important enlargement for the professional formation.
So, looking in Internet, I found Rafael’s school and I clearly saw that taking his intensive summer course would be a good opportunity for a foreigner like me.
When I first met him, I was overwhelmed by his warm welcome, and I immediately knew that this excellent climate would be just right for my learning.
Rafael has a special sense to recognize the need of each student, and besides his incredible ability with the instrument, demonstrated from the first moment, he also has a great passion for teaching and great knowledge of what he teaches.
His way of teaching is very articulate and precise, and he knows how to transmit to his students in a way that is clear and effective. The different techniques, styles, harmony, rhythm and vocal accompaniment, together with his transcribed score from his personal method “Despacito y a compás” and his PDF, audios, and videos in the Campus Virtual of the web help the learning in a more solid way without leaving out any relevant concept.
The entire course has enriched me tremendously professionally, and if before I hardly had any knowledge of flamenco, I can now say that I have the necessary resources to be closed to that fantastic world which is the flamenco.Claudia Schwarzer
In the years I took classes at the Rafael Cañizares School of Flamenco Guitar I received a rigorous and methodical education in an environment that was always cheerful. The way the content was adapted to the needs and skills of each student was especially good. This is something Rafael is able to do in a friendly and fun way. Thanks to the way he teaches and his in-depth knowledge of the guitar I was able to combine the classical and flamenco guitar techniques and enrich my understanding as a musician. I can now say that the two disciplines have a lot more in common than people generally believe.Javier Martínez
Dear Rafael, the time I spent with you in class and on the stage are some of my most vivid memories, as well as some of the most fun! Along with gaining so much knowledge at your side, I will never forget that it became a part of me always accompanied by a good dose of humour and laughter. Thank you so much, Maestro!.Daniel Figueras
Studying with Rafael Cañizares opened the door to a dream. I was able to discover and understand flamenco guitar, flamenco, and music with the help of your thoughtful method. It’s not only what you see in his hands, but also what you hear in his words that lead you to deep structural changes in the way you see the art and in your personal attitude towards perseverance and hard work. I took these words to heart: ‘Music is not a surprise; it is consistency.’ Thanks, Maestro.Dani Silva
I remember my first class with Rafael when he said to me, ‘You really don’t know much about flamenco!’ It was a bit hard, but he was absolutely right. Now I’m not sure how much closer I am to flamenco, but Rafael definitely helped me to love music, to play from the heart, to love the guitar much more, and to demand a lot more from myself. I would do the four years again, from the start… a million thanks to my teacher!Marta Robles
For me, Rafael Cañizares and his school played a very important role in my professional career and my personal life. He not only has a profound understanding of the instrument, he also knows how to transmit it to his students in a way that is very clear and effective.
He also adapts to the abilities of each individual and gets the most out of each one. I’m very grateful for the more than 10 years I’ve spent learning with and from him.
He has played a decisive role in my musical career. I can’t praise him enough because behind this great guitar professional is an even greater person.Rubén Lorente
For me Rafael Cañizares was the light I needed to find in my study of the flamenco guitar. It was he who taught me technique, theory, and to find myself.Jorge “el Chato”
I’ve been playing guitar for 10 years and although I have always been interested in flamenco guitar, I never delved into the world of flamenco because the techniques were so different from my style. With Rafael I got a general idea of the concept of flamenco and have started, after nearly a year of study, to enjoy flamenco and to have a better understanding of this universal art. Rafael is an excellent teacher with an impressive CV. He’s able to transmit his passion and intensity quickly.Artur Martí
For me it is an honour having had Rafael as my teacher. Thank you for teaching me to play flamenco guitar. Thank you for your guitar advice as well as your personal advice, for your patience, for your professionalism, for your humour, and for showing me sensitivity and love for this instrument.Tomás Lorenzo
Rafael taught me how to learn and not what to learn. He taught me to think and not what I should think about. This helped me to develop my intelligence and not just my memory, as a musician, but also as a person. He pointed out my good qualities and recognised my skills.
His confidence and professionalism made me feel valued. Rafael, I would like to thank you for your trust, your support, your expertise, for the opportunity to have someone like you at my side for so many years, and most of all THANK YOU for teaching me to play guitar.Alberto Marín
I studied with Maestro Rafael Cañizares for six years. The way he treats his students personally and professionally was superb, thanks to the Maestro’s many years of experience.
The material we worked on in class was really good and tailored to the level of each student. I encourage everyone to study with the Maestro.Fran Díaz
When I play guitar, I am simply happy. It’s my greatest passion. I have the good fortune to be a student of Rafael Cañizares. Since I’ve been at the school, my technique has improved a lot and I’m learning a lot of things about flamenco from the ground up.
It is really gratifying to see progress, for which perseverance, a good method, and practice are really important. Rafael’s extensive experience as a teacher is a guarantee for success. I think his method is perfect for adapting to the level and pace of each student.
I also think the scores he writes for us are really helpful. Together with the recordings, they really help to assimilate the material. My goal is to be able to compose my own pieces, although to be able to do it, I am going to need a lot of knowledge and a strong ability to play. For me Rafael is a guitarist with great talent who knows how to project his role as teacher onto his students.Joaquín Teruel
My name is Daniel Blanco and I have been a student of Rafael Cañizares’ for two years. Rafael is a teacher with an impressive amount of knowledge about the guitar, and my lessons are the highlight of my day. I remember when I started I had my right hand completely backwards. In two days he corrected my bad habits and put me on the right track. I am really happy to study at the Rafael Cañizares School of Flamenco Guitar. I recommend the school to all guitarists because you really gain a lot of knowledge about music, harmony, technique, rhythm and the different styles or palos of flamenco.
Rafael also teaches you about scales, chords, knowing what position you’re in when you play improvisation, etc. I think anyone who signs up and applies themselves will learn a lot in a short time.Daniel Blanco
I’ve been studying with Maestro Rafael for three years. I am very happy with the magnificent personal and professional treatment I have received. One of the things I like most about Rafael as a teacher is that he knows how to find the good and strong aspects of every student, and more importantly, he knows how to encourage his students and get them to learn as much as they can. I would encourage any guitarist to study with the Maestro. ALL THE BEST, RAFAEL!Jonathan Maqueda
Rafael is a teacher with great technique and rhythm, as well as a level of knowledge that would be hard to surpass. His teaching method, which is rigorous, enjoyable and exemplary, gave me passion for the guitar and flamenco, and led to such a strong bond with my guitar that I fell in love with it, and especially with the melodic whisper that comes from each of its strings.Ernesto Darías
Rafael was the best teacher I’ve ever had for transmitting the essence of what flamenco guitar is. His musicality, his ‘flamenconess’, and his personality inspire me. He helped me to realise what I needed and how to work to get it. This is why Rafael has been the best guide I could hope for to show me how to become a guitarist. Thanks a million, Rafael!Paul Bosauder
I met Rafael after taking classes with some of the great guitarists in Barcelona and Seville, after working in some tablaos and being in a few other flamenco shows. Even with all these experiences, Rafael helped me discover the excitement and the joy of someone discovering a vast and thrilling world.
Rafael shows you how to learn, how to critique, how to listen, and how to make good use of your time… and to always take what life gives you with a good sense of humour!
His teaching method is very meticulous and precise. He’s not only one of the best flamenco guitar teachers around today; he’s also an incredible guitarist and musician as well! I’m very lucky to continue learning with him.Toni Porcal
I think Rafael Cañizares is one of the best Maestros out there now because he gives you all the knowledge a flamenco guitarist needs as well as the self-critical awareness needed to play the guitar well, and besides all this, as a person, he’s a phenomenon, so you couldn’t ask for more. I wish you all the best, Maestro!!.Juan Antonio López
Thanks to his patience and dedication I was able to learn to appreciate and get to know the fabulous world of flamenco guitar. Rafael Cañizares is a great teacher who imparts the values of perseverance, musicianship, and good taste to all of his students.Helena de Castro
I had been playing the guitar badly for many years and after only one year with Rafael I found that for the first time I was able to play the flamenco guitar ‘sonanta’ sound.
Rafael taught me technique and, above all, rhythm, beat, and the flamenco feeling so I can play everything from a simple rumba to brighten up a dinner party with friends to a complex falseta.
This is all thanks to the academic rigour and cordial closeness of the good Maestro, who knows how to motivate students and help them discover their potential.Ignacio Abinzano
Being able to devote a few years to the study of flamenco guitar at this school has been an unforgettable and very special experience. This became especially apparent when I noticed that apart from growing musically, he had given me the opportunity to understand the true meaning of friendship. Cheers!Miguel Nicolás
After several years of enjoying my love of classical guitar, I had the good fortune to meet Rafael Cañizares. His teaching, his method and our personal relationship gave me extraordinary insight into the instrument and the musical concept.
My introduction to the flamenco guitar was under the guidance of Rafael, which enabled me to grow in my understanding of music, in my overall knowledge and in my appreciation, giving me great personal satisfaction.
The method of instruction used by Rafael for all of the different concepts of flamenco guitar as seen from the point of view of a student, in this case my point of view, I believe provides unique benefits that really set it apart and that would be difficult to match.José Ramos
I’ve had a lot of experience with different guitar schools and different teachers and teaching methods. For me, the Rafael Cañizares School of Flamenco Guitar and its Maestro, Rafael, is without a shadow if a doubt the best school I’ve been in. Rafael’s ‘Slowly and in Time’ method, as its name describes quite well, for me is the best way to learn and understand all of the different facets, technique, rhythm, harmony, etc. of this wonderful instrument, the flamenco guitar.Julián Vázquez
Rafael’s method is clear, concise and very practical. He adapts easily to the pace of each student and offers unparalleled personal treatment. He uses materials that are very clear, and his virtuosity makes every class unique. I highly recommend him for his many years of experience as a teacher and as a professional. His personalised and enjoyable classes have made my admiration and interest for the flamenco guitar continue to grow.
I will always be grateful to Rafael for his patience and friendship.Juan Miguel Arco
Having belonged to the Rafael Cañizares School of Flamenco Guitar as a student has been one of the most important things that happened to me, especially given the importance flamenco guitar has in my life.
Rafael’s playing ability, his discipline and above all the individual attention he gives each student when he teaches make this school one of the best in Spain in the area of flamenco guitar.
Here’s to you, Rafael!Juan Moreno
For his personal attention, his patience, and his good humour, learning with Rafael is learning with a friend. Thanks, Maestro!Adrián Delgado
Rafael Cañizares made me fall even more in love with flamenco and the guitar. I feel very fortunate to have taken classes from a Maestro like Rafael. His knowledge, his sensitivity when he plays, his way of understanding flamenco and how he transmits it fill me with passion and feeling every day. Thank you, Rafael! You’re a great Maestro and an even better friend.Marc Agustí
For me Rafael Cañizares is an excellent instructor. His method was perfectly suited to my level of playing. You don’t just learn what he transmits; you can also see it reflected in the scores, which helped me a lot to understand the very complex world of flamenco guitar from a broader perspective.Christian Rodríguez
After trying several times to learn to play flamenco guitar, I had the good fortune of stopping by your school. A magnificent Maestro, an exquisite guitarist and a better person, thanks Rafael.Fernando Pelayo
I just recently became a student at the school, my school, but I’ve been here long enough to see great skill, knowledge and experience of Maestro Rafael Cañizares. Our motivation and interest as students continues to grow class after class. The method is really easy to understand, it’s interesting, fun and adapted to your level, no matter how well you play.
Getting to know Rafael has been one of the best things that has happened to me. It’s been really important for me to have the opportunity to learn to play flamenco guitar. So, I’m in good hands. Thanks Rafael! 🙂María Monserrate
Thanks to the ‘Slowly and in Time’ method, in a month and a half I’ve learned to play tangos, arpeggios and the rumba rhythm, to read scores and to improvise.Alejandro Castellano
After finishing my superior studies of the classical guitar, I found a way to approach flamenco and decided to begin with the maestro Rafael and take his intensive flamenco course. The experience couldn’t have been better. Rafael understands the virtues and the defects of the classical guitar and he has been able to adapt to my necessities and has satisfied my doubts totally. Of course, always supporting of this with his profound knowledge of the technical, harmonic, and esthetic ways of the flamenco guitar. The classes are very intense, full of joy with inexhaustible material and with all the passion and heart that the Maestro puts in it. This makes him stand out from the rest. I will definitely repeat the course as soon as I can, without a doubt. A big hug Maestro, till we see each other again!Pablo Castro Nieto