The Brian Roberts Guitar Academy (B.R.G.A.) is a private guitar training institution specializing in attentive, hands-on, and individualized attention. Known for its unorthodox and effective teaching method, it has been ranked number one for "guitar lessons" in Hawai'i on Yelp since 2015.
BRGA was founded by Brian Roberts and unofficially started in 2004 after performing at a school's talent show when he found himself teaching fellow classmates from his garage in Kapa'a for a nominal fee. In order to pursue a serious career in music, Brian relocated to Seattle in 2008 and subsequently began teaching from home there. After many years, Brian returned to Hawai'i in 2012 where BRGA as it is known today was then established. In 2016 BRGA held it's first recital in Honolulu, followed by it's second recital in 2019.
"I feel like a total fraud," says Brian, the entirely self-taught guitarist from Kaua'i. He points out that there's nothing officially certifying him as a music educator. He chuckles: "any day now, the music police are gonna come bust down my door." Brian began playing guitar as a kid in the 90's. His mother took notice that he was messing around with some of the older kids' guitars, so she bought him his first guitar on his 10th birthday. Using the newly invented dial up internet, he began to teach himself to play.
"I kind of fell into teaching," Brian explains. After performing in a high school talent show, classmates began to ask him for lessons. "I was in disbelief. I can barely play, and these guys want me to teach THEM? It was the blind leading the blind. I didn't know what I was doing. I guess that's when BRGA was founded though. Some time in 2004 at my mom's carport" he laughs, shrugging his shoulders. Brian has been opening "practices" and taking on students in whatever communities his career has taken him.
"Everything I teach is stuff that I wish someone had taught to me as I learned the instrument. I learned everything the wrong way." In the age of instant access, knowing what to learn isn't the dilemma, it's knowing why to learn it. "[My teaching method] has evolved over the years, but nowadays I find myself giving students a road map, a sense of direction and feedback. Things you can't easily find by yourself. So please, come as you are. Everyone's a rockstar at the Brian Roberts Guitar Academy."