Michael Bonner

Michael Bonner

Bass & Guitar Teacher in Canterbury

Email: [email protected]

Teacher Info

I have been teaching guitar privately since 1996. I have taught in various schools: secondary schools, including a Grammar school; a special needs school; and at University.

I’ve taught all ages from 4 to senior citizens as well as teaching dyslexics (I’m a bit dyslexic myself), a dyspraxic, a blind person, and someone with only one arm. Whatever your level, total beginner to advanced, I can help you.

I have been teaching guitar for a long time and I’ve helped people across a wide range of abilities to realise their dreams of playing guitar. I’m very patient, because I know how hard and confusing learning music can be. But it doesn’t matter how much talent you have (or think you don’t have) you can still enjoy discovering this instrument.

Music Qualifications & Achievements:

  • I am currently doing a PhD in the ergonomics and physiology of playing guitar.
  • I have a Master’s Degree in classical guitar performance and a Bachelor’s Degree in music.
  • Additionally, I have a diploma in contemporary and popular music.
  • In 2001 I won the Canterbury Festival Composer’s Prize.
  • During my Master’s Degree I was awarded the Larissa Lovelock Memorial Scholarship.


1/2 hour£20.00
1 hour£40.00


I teach my lessons from a teaching space located in Canterbury, CT2 8NX, UK. My full teaching address will be provided upon your first lesson booking. I also offer online music lessons. For more information about my music lessons simply get in touch.


To book your first lesson with me, or to find out more about my music lessons, don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing me on [email protected].

Rated 5 out of 5
April 3, 2023

I am Secretary of the Canterbury Guitar Society (writing in my personal capacity) and have been playing for 63 years: I started off with a few lessons from teacher who had had lessons from Segovia, which ceased when I moved away, and I have had very few lessons during the last 55 years till I went to Michael Bonner. Lacking discipline for decades, my playing had deteriorated insidiously, and I got fed up with it. I have now been with Michael for several months – we’ve had our ups and downs getting used to each other, but with rigour and perseverance from both teacher and pupil, I am now playing with a sound, modern technique better than I ever did, an extraordinarily satisfying turn of events for a 77-year old. The Classical Guitar is a uniquely worthwhile, uniquely difficult instrument that uniquely suffers from a very large number of poor and/or self-appointed unqualified teachers who might put people off the instrument and queer the pitch for the professionals. Michael is definitely NOT one of these rogues, indeed he is probably the best guitar teacher, in qualifications and ability, in and around Canterbury! If you are a beginner you are lucky, because he will advise you on choice of instrument and start you off with a sound technique, essential for beauty and musicality. A chain is as strong as its weakest link, and the three mainstays of the guitar are body of the instrument, which has to be evenly resonant across the range, without wolf notes. The strings have to be well chosen and changed before they have worn significantly. The third, severely neglected component, is the fingernails, and Michael will coach you into shaping and polishing the end to actually achieve a mirror finish across the edge! Proper – and varied – use of the mails (with occasional use of the flesh) is essential to produce the extraordinary and infinitely varied timbres that this intimate instrument has available. You won’t get any of this from the rogues. Michael is excellently qualified in music theory, and won a local composition prize many years ago. Thus he can and will point out structural features of a piece that enable the performer to realise and express its subtleties. Musicians often suffer from repetitive strain injury and problems arising from poor posture, and the commonplace guitar footstool is often a cause of this, though many players survive unscathed. Michael has made a significant study of this issue, and will strongly encourage you to play standing, with a guitar strap. But that’s not for everyone and a few his pupils (including me) sit, using a support attached to the guitar, that raises it several inches above the thigh. For me, this is much better than the footstool I myself used to use.

Rated 5 out of 5
April 3, 2023

He’s such a great teacher! He shows me how to play in the most relaxed way which is great because I keep tensing up with concentration. He’s so patient and explains the most complicated things so clearly.

Rated 5 out of 5
April 3, 2023

I’ve been having lessons with Michael for a few months and would highly recommend him. He teaches you what you can’t learn on YouTube, or from a book or an app: technique. In other words, he focuses on showing you how to train your hands to work as efficiently as possible and get the best sound out of the guitar possible. This takes patience, but it’s essential to playing anything at a reasonable speed. It also takes constant feedback and insight, which is what Michael excels at.

Rated 5 out of 5
April 3, 2023

I have been having lessons with Michael for just over 2 years, on the recommendation of my son. I have many years of on/off attempts at learning to play classical guitar. For the first time, I feel I am making progress. Michael is very patient and will think creatively about how best an individual will learn. He is very skilled at teaching technique, and is dedicated to gaining the most efficient way of playing, thus reducing the risk of injury or long-term problems associated with posture or positioning. Michael’s approach has allowed me to relax and improve the way I practise, which in turn is resulting in a more musical and satisfying experience for me. I would definitely recommend Michael to anyone who has a serious intention to learn to play the guitar. He is a very good investment!!

Rated 5 out of 5
April 3, 2023

Michael is a great teacher – very detailed, thorough and patient. He goes at my pace, understands the kind of music I want to play, answers all my questions (however dumb I think they are, he never does) and he understands the problems. He recommends exercises to get my fingers moving and stretching and is excellent at teaching how to practise – vital for progress. We often have a laugh as well so that lessons are both real learning periods and very enjoyable. I would absolutely recommend Michael to anyone wanting to learn to play guitar or improve technique.