Community, Students and Friends




Andre' Hetu started studying with me in 2011 at First Flight Music School, East Village Downtown New York City, at first on Acoustic Guitar and soon also on to Electric guitar. Staying onboard for 6 years ( until 2016 ) and in the process also attending ensemble classes at Downtown NYC's Third Street Settlement as well as the 2015-16 NY Jazz Academy summer intensives. He auditioned, and was accepted to the Youth summer Jazz workshop program at Manhattan School of Music, but opted to attend NY Jazz Academy's summer intensives instead. He is currently a student at the prestigious High School Music program at Kaufman Center NYC, 'The Special Music School' - New Yorks only ( along with Fiorello La Guardia ) high school program for music, and was just awarded a scholarship for the 2018 summer Jazz Camp at Eastman School of Music." - Sten Hostfalt, NYC 2018,

Recommended enthusiastically! I started as a beginner 6 months ago and am amazed by how much I've learned - and by the variety of music we have worked on, from finger-picking Delta blues, to folk and country, rock, altrock, jazz and even baroque music. You'll start playing songs right away, which is immediately a lot of fun, and you learn from there. And it's always a challenge, to say the least ; there is so much info to absorb in each session! Sten knows his stuff and is a dedicated teacher, flexible with teaching whatever you want to learn but also shapes lessons to keep challenging and advancing your skills and knowledge. Sten is a great teacher - Jennifer. M - Acoustic Guitar ( Folk, Fingerstyle Delta Blues and Classical styles & beyond ) Student, Manhattan. 2012.
Teachers update, 2017: Jennifer's consistently impressive creative contribution has over the past six ( 6 ) years helped immensely in building and formulating a strong fingerstyle acoustic guitar ( folk as well as classical ) program. Here is a recently recorded performance of her playing John Fahey's classic "Revolt of The Dyke Brigade".


Henry trying out new and vintage Jazz guitars at
Rudy's Music in Soho, Manhattan New York City.

I wanted to let you know that I just found out that I got into my schools jazz ensemble on guitar. I could not have done it with out you. My guitar skills have improved significantly during the time I have worked with you. I have really enjoyed jazz, and I am thankful that I will be able to keep playing it in school. Thank you for all the ways you have helped me. I look forward to our next lesson.- Henry ( 13 yrs old ) Jazz Guitar student via NY Jazz Academy Manhattan New York City 2013

Teachers update 2018: Enrolled through the New York Jazz Academy network, after 5.5 years in the studio, Henry got accepted into the Jazz ensemble program at the prestigious University of Chicago, where he is a College freshman. We look forward to be hearing more from this fine, young talented multi-instrumentalist Guitarist, Vocalist and Drummer, stylistically open-minded and with a personal, imaginative, creative musical outlook . Here, his recorded vocal and Freddie Green rhythm guitar solo performance of the Jazz standard Fly Me To The Moon.


Thank You for the sessions. They had a lot of information and opened my eyes to a new world. - Hideaki Y. Jazz Guitar student, Tokyo, Japan via New York Jazz Academy.

Prior to founding Sten's Guitar Studio, initially known as NYC Guitar Studio, Sten Hostfalt was a 2001-05 teaching faculty member of one of the world's oldest conservatories, the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden KMH Kungliga Musikhögskolan, where he due to simultaneous Trans-Atlantic occupancy in both Brooklyn New York and Stockholm Sweden, held a part-time adjunct faculty employee position, and taught and worked closely with some of the most talented young Scandinavian jazz guitarists. Notably so, the following three who all since have gone on to international recognition and success.

' The material presented by Mr. Hostfalt as well as the rememberance of his intensive and inspired pedagogical approach and musicianship is a continuous influence and inspiration that I imagine most of his alumnis carry with them for a lifetime !' - Steinar A. The Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden 2004.

Steinar Aadnekvam is a technically blazing nylon-string acoustic guitarist, usually heard with his own trio with bass and drums, in original compositions that draws heavily on brazilian influences and a fair share of post-fusion.

Read about Steinar Aadnekvam on Wikipedia

Hans Olding one of Europe's most active young guitarists in Jazz and Improvised music, has for the past 15 years led his own bands featuring leading European improvisers, performing original music at prominent venues and stages in France, Spain, Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Sweden.

Andreas Hourdakis is perhaps best known as a member of drummer
( and ex founding member of one of Europes' most celebrated Jazz
acts, Esbjorn Svensson Trio, EST ) Magnus Ostrom's band. On Ostroms' 2011 CD 'Thread of Life' ( ACT) Andreas share guitar duties with Pat Metheny. Hourdakis second record as a leader was 4-star rated and chosen as one of the best releases of 2018 in the world's #1 Jazz magazine Down Beat. Below a track from his first album 'In A Barn'


Thanks for being a great guitar teacher
- Anson C. ( 8 years old ) Queensborough Youth
Conservatory, Bayside New York 2010



While a 1989-92 student at Berklee, Sten Hostfalt found himself as a member of the legendary Berklee 'Recording Band' which notably have nurtured famous improvisers and arrangers like Quincy Jones, Branford Marsalis and Joe Zawinul. Consequently, due to requests Hostfalt quickly also became a Boston, MA local private music instructor.

Boulder, CO based guitarist Gabriel Perry is a dear friend and colleaugue who I had the great fortune to meet back in 190-91 during our days as students at Berklee College of Music in Boston. This longhaired dude always with a smile on his face, would regularly come hear my trio or quartet play live at this little cafe' across from Berklee. Eventually he introduced himself and asked if he could take a couple of lessons from me. Although I was there to study myself and at the time didn't consider myself an authority of anything really, we ended up having a bunch of truly great sessions together. I remember him passing me cassette tapes of his 4-track recordings, that at the time were heavily Syd Barrett influenced. This is some of his more recent always beautiful ambient guitar landscape instrumental music.


Just like so many guitarists before me and after, including modern guitar prominents Bill Frisell, Lionel Loueke, Mark Whifield, Jeff Parker, Leni Stern and Kurt Rosenwinkel, Professor Jon Damian's Creative Workshop at Berklee College of Music, had a profound impact on me as a young player developing my own music. A decade after graduating from Berklee, it was a dream come true to have Mr. Damian invite me back in his Workshop, to hold a lecture on microtonal music and to yet another decade later introduce me to the world by featuring my work in his book FRESH MUSIC Explorations with the Creative Workshop Ensemble, For Musicians, Artists and Educators.


One of the atendees during the aforementioned 2006 lecture at Jon Damian's Creative Workshop, was then Berklee student Az Samad, who I soon got to know as a fingerstyle acoustic guitar wizard from Malaysia. Az came to my gigs whenever I played in Boston and I came out to hear him play when he hit New York City. A musical exchange based on mutual admiration was established and shortly thereafter he moved to California and then back to Malaysia where he operates his own teaching studio, most recently represented by his first educational publication,a digital e-book. We've enjoyed staying in touch over the years and always keep an eye and ear on each others musical work.

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Guitarist Mark Trewella ( left ) came in for lessons in 2006, back in the studio's Brooklyn days. Over the next few years we played gigs (me on bass) on the New York scene with electronica composer Collin Palmer, AKA 'Calmer', sharing events with Travis Stewart AKA Machinedrum ( Azealia Banks ), Theophilus London ( Kanye West, Rihanna, TV On The Radio ), Jesse Boykins III, Praveen ( Percussion Lab, Braille ) Keith Murray ( DEF Squad ), Addiquit and MOBY. Collin later joined New Villager ( iamsound / Columbia records ) and Mark nowadays runs his own Full Circle Mastering facility in Philadelhia PA.


During the early Brooklyn days, in
Park Slope, Williamsburg and Bushwick, some great musicians stepped in for one-offs including NY heavy rock guitar ace Phil Ortanez, subsequently of renowned NY metal bands La Otracina, Polygamyst and Mirror Queen. Drummer Cully Symington ( of Afghan Whigs and Okkervil River ) came in for a Mississippi John Hurt fingerstyle blues guitar primer. Amy Klein did a one-off session while she was a member of Titus Andronicus. Brian Collingsworth, longtime member of the Barnum and Bailey's Ringling Bros Circus, stepped in for Jazz guitar sessions.

Mr. Hostfalt is one of the best NYC teachers of all time ! He's patient, dedicated, knowledgeable, plays a mean guitar, and pays a great deal of attention to his student's development. Before studying with him, I had reached a musical plateau in my development as a guitarist and singer / songwriter. He took all of the smoke and mirrors away when it came to jazz and guided me with material that I wanted to learn. In a sense, I learned how to make music all over again, instead of just "playing" music ( I had forgotten that making music takes time.) It was as if I was playing the guitar for the first time, when in reality, I have been a guitarist for over 15 years. He has been a tremendous benefit to me and to anyone who studies with him. - Megan K. LIC NY 5, May 22 2009. Sten's 2018 update : Megan plays regularly in New York, both as a solo performer and with her own band. Her professional engagements have included being house guitarist at New York's premier Comedy Club, Carolines on Broadway. This is a track from her band Zriku's just released full length debut album titled 'A25'.



Located around the corner from Charlie Parker's E10th Street home, not far from where Astor Piazzolla spent 10 years of his childhood, and one street over from where Lucky Luciano grew up on-for 20 years, First Flight Music store was a fixture in New York City's Greenwhich Village, a music community that had become legendary for hosting everyone from Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, Velvet Underground, Jimi Hendrix ( who performed at Cafe' Wha crosstown and whose Electric Ladyland studio is still in the West Village ), The Ramones and Talking Heads ( CBGB's was a few blocks south and Max's Kansas City up northwest by Union Square ) to Bruce Springsteen and Sonic Youth.

Via the initiative of veteran New York Punk / Rock N Roll drummer, come music school director Paula Spiro, First Flight offered music instruction through First Flight Music School. In 2007, taking over after ECM recording artist Raoul Bjorkenheim, Sten Hostfalt was hired as the in-house guitar, bass, mandolin, ukulele teacher- a multi-faceted, multi-genre demand involving constant in-session requests for real-time speed transcriptions, and an assignment that would last nearly a decade, until the store closed in fall 2015. The neighborhood was packed with creative energy. Everybody either lived here or was passing through. Among those checking out the store's collectible guitars were Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins. And Albert Hammond Jr. of the Strokes was just one of the many professionally touring / recording players / musicians who stepped in at First Flight Music for one-offs with Sten Hostfalt during this time.

Thank You for being a great guitar teacher ! - Helen K. East Village

One of the most energetic rockers we've seen/heard, Helen was a longtime regular with Sten at First Flight Music School before enrolling in studies at NYC's Third Street Settlement and Willie Mae Rock Camp For Girls.

Thanks for great lessons - Bruce. B
guitar student with Sten Hostfalt at First Flight Music, East Village NYC 2010-11 ________________________________________________________

UPTOWN MANHATTAN Washington Heights
From 2009 a Washington Heights studio location was employed, coupled with Midtown teaching at Funkadelic studios. During this phase, the studio was briefly located on the upper most section of Broadway, thus earning the tongue-in-cheek nickname of Sten's-Guitar-Studio-on-Broadway. Among the many really great musicians to step in for one-offs during this time was guitarist Amy Klein ( Titus Andronicus, Hilly Eye ) and drummer Rosana Caban ( Psychic Twin ). Then just 15-year old young guitar wizard Christian Realmuto ( Steel Paradise, Paragnosis ) was a regular, studying the styles of Slash and Steve Vai as well as classical guitar techniques.

It's very funny reading the other reviews, because I've had a very similar experience. I played tons of piano / 11years of lessons as a kid, so I can read music but just knew a few chords when I came to Sten. I race home to play my guitar, practice all the time, and haven't been this excited about something in years. A great teacher, a cool guy, and it changed my life and how I think about my old piano lessons and music in general. - Judy B. Manhattan NY, 2015.

I have been studying here for almost a year, started as a complete beginner, knew a few chords, but couldn't make a song. I went home from my first lesson playing Lou Reed's "Sweet Jane". I told him I wanted to play " Your Touch" by The Black Keys-next lesson he had a transcription ready and I learned it. Next week 12-bar boogie then Johnny B. Goode ( Jimi style ). What ever songs I want to learn, he teaches me. I can play J.S. Bachs Bm Partita. I can also play bluegrass on Mandolin. I'm working on Beethoven's #3 Sonatine for Mandolin. I can sight read standard notation now. I can play anything written. Now I'm learning technique and how to play what I hear. He has been trying to teach me that since the beginning. You get that little by little and by playing. These lessons have been one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I asked for Rod Stewart's "Cut Across Shorty" This week I learned Eddie Cochran's (who wrote it) and Rod's too. I'm dying to go play my guitar. - Kenny Y, Brooklyn 2009

Teachers update : Started out with Sten Hostfalt at First Flight, East Village, and continued on at the studio's Uptown Manhattan location, visual artist Kenny Young has since ventured further into Americana and become a fine, well-rounded performer and multi-instrumentalist on the guitar, mandolin and violin .. reportedly now also with an eye on the piano.


As a teaching faculty member ever since the 2009 inception of NY Jazz Academy, when I was enlisted by founder / director Javier Arau to teach guitar, bass as well as ensemble, now on my 9th year of explorations with jazz enthusiasts from the whole world, at what Down Beat called 'one of the fastest growing schools in New York', Job-assignments have included sharing duties with some of the planet's greatest bassists, Jonathan Toscano ( Omar Hakim ) and Ron McLure ( Blood Sweat & Tears, Quest, Wes Montgomery ) and appearing in concert at legendary Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium.

As the old saying goes : How do You get to Carnegie Hall ? - Practice Practice Practice ! this is exactly what guitarist Nick Curcio did, and here we are backstage at Carnegie Hall in January 2011, waiting to perform at the legendary Stern Auditorium with the New York Jazz Academy Orchestra. After this glorious event, we shared a great run of focused studies of the inner workings of the Jazz Guitar together.

I started learning mandolin as a total beginner. In just over a year I've played all kinds of things from Bach to Bjork, and the lessons are always fun ! Highly recommended ! - Kat H. NYC 2012

I'm really loving this stuff. I'm curious about symmetrical scales in this context. This extended tonality based off of secondary modes is awesome. I Think I'm getting the hand of this stuff. So far I've learned them by your examples that you wrote down. I can't wait to take this lesson further next time I see You. I'm really excited about learning all I can from you. Phil O. Advanced Harmonic Improvisatory Concepts 2008.


Incredibly talented Brooklyn NY native Guitarist / Vocalist Greg Pasqua, then a student at NYU, came in for lessons during the Park Slope Brooklyn days of the Studio back in 2006-07, shortly thereafter got his band organized, played concerts around NYC and produced an EP with all originals. Gorgeous stuff .. can't wait 'til the full-length album is out.


I'm amazed by your commitment to your students and am really glad to have found someone who would help me out like this - You're one in a million. I can't even begin to tell you how much I apprecaite this. Very helpful. Thanks for your time and effort. - Mike S. Kew Gardens, advanced techniques and concepts guitar student 2007

You're a great effin' teacher
- Jeff G. Bensonhurst BKLYN NY 2007

Just being in the presence of a master like Sten taught me so much !
Alfred Yanone, 2006-08.

Thanks so much for the sessions. I had a lot of fun and look forward to playing more and more ! Thanks again for everything. - Erin H. Guitar, Brooklyn 2006-09

Thank You for all you've taught me-You are a wonderful teacher.
- Rebecca H. classical guitar Manhattan, 2010.

Thank You for amazing lessons and for having trust in my learning abilities.You are a great teacher - you knew so fast exactly how to help me. - Harper M. Uptown Manhattan, beginner guitar 2009-10

Great Teacher ! - Feven. A, Uptown Manhattan NYC

Thank You for amazing lessons and for having trust in my learning abilities.You are a great teacher - you knew so fast exactly how to help me. - Harper M. Uptown Manhattan, beginner guitar 2009-10

I recently took my first lesson. I bought a ukulele and thought I could teach myself using YouTube videos, but that was an immediate fail. I played the sax in high school, but never touched a stringed instrument. After one 30 minute lesson I had learned to play (slowly) a song. I/m now obsessed with practicing, and I've put in at least an hour every day. My next lesson is next week, and I can't wait. It's relaxing and challenging and I'm probably making my neighbors nuts. Highly recommended. Rachel K. May 28 2010

I was applying to a jazz guitar program at Western Illinois University. I had almost no exposure to jazz guitar, as I had really only played the blues blues, not the jazz blues. Luckily for me my research paid off and I found Sten and NYC Guitar Studio. Sten is a great teacher and maintains an incredible focus throughout each session. I was exhausted by the end of every lesson, but man, oh man did I learn a lot of stuff in a hurry ! I got into WIU and the program is very good, but I do wish that someday I could continue with Sten. Perhaps someday I will. Thanks Sten. - Kevin M. Macomb IL, 2009

All Rights Reserved © 2018 Sonus Rex.
Sten's Guitar Studio, AKA NYC Guitar Studio is the educational division of Sonus Rex, a New York City registered sole propietorship in the name of musician, composer, producer and educator Sten Hostfalt, professionally affiliatied with Broadcast Music Inc. ( BMI ) and Local 802, Associated Musicians of Greater New York, American Federation of Musicians.