Jesse Christen is a lifelong guitar enthusiast. Since his toddler years, nothing has moved him more than the sounds of music. He was the only kid at his elementary school who could tell you all the names of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
And since he was 12-years-old, there’s been a guitar in his hands. From his humble beginning fumbling his way through a few chords to playing in jazz legend Alphonse Mouzon’s band, Jesse continues to improve his musical knowledge and skills on the instrument. Even as an established musician, he still continues to work on his craft and has recently studied with jazz guitar legend and musical innovator Larry Coryell.
“Music is a lifelong passion,” he said. “No matter your age or skill level, there’s always something new to learn.”
His patience, enthusiasm and positive temperament makes him perfect for the beginning student while his vast knowledge of musical theory and mastery of musical styles makes him the perfect choice for advanced students. He’s taught students ranging in age from five-years-old to 70-years-old.
As a child growing up in rural South Dakota, where quality musical instructors are few and far between, he understands the importance of quality musical education. So whether you’re interested in jazz, rock, blues, folk or country, Jesse will have something to teach you.
As a performer, Jesse has shared the stage with many musical greats like Kenny Wayne Shepard, Edgar Winter, Boz Scaggs, Chris Duarte and Magic Slim. He’s played at numerous Sioux Falls Jazzfest festivals include three times as a featured Main Stage performer. He’s a regular guitarist at the Sioux City Tommy Bolin Festival each summer, recreating the music of guitar legend Tommy Bolin.
But rather than drop names, he would rather let the music do the talking. Here are a few clips of Jesse in action:
Guitar, Mandolin & Ukulele Instructor
I have been playing music since I was five years old, when I learned to play piano with my mother. I believe that the musical foundation that was instilled in me at a young age has made it possible for me to learn and teach any instrument and style of music. As your music teacher, it is my goal to build fundamental skills as well as inspire and guide you through your musical journey. My favorite styles of music to play are bluegrass, folk, country, jazz, and some rock, though I have played most styles of music. My greatest guitar influences are Django Reinhardt and Doc Watson.
I have been playing guitar for over 17 years, which is more than half of my life. Playing music is my passion and I would love to pass on what I’ve learned to people who wish to learn an instrument for the first time, refine old skills, or learn new styles. When you start learning a new instrument, remember to be patient and enjoy the journey that is becoming a musician. Set goals for yourself such as playing your favorite songs for friends, writing your own songs, learning a favorite guitar solo, performing at an open mic night, or setting up performances.
I look forward to starting this journey with you! I will be here along the way to help you learn, answer questions, and let you guide your own musical process. Remember, this is your time - I’m here to help you get where you want to go. I look forward to working with you!
Viola and Violin Instructor
Kortney teaches violin and viola with Harmony South Dakota, a Sistema-based after-school music program in the heart of Sioux Falls. Through Harmony, she shares her love of music and passion for teaching with students from all backgrounds. Kortney also teaches private lessons and serves as Orchestra Chair for the South Dakota Music Education Association.
Kortney previously taught 4-6 grade Orchestra with the Sioux Falls Catholic Schools, where she raised the program to a new level of excellence and advanced opportunities for Orchestra students through creating chamber ensembles and summer camp. In her free time, Kortney enjoys spending time outdoors, watching reruns of The Office, and embarking on road trips with her husband, Max.
Thank you for choosing lessons at J. Rieck Music! Below you will find our lesson cancelation and payment policy. Please read over the policy and let us know if you have any questions.
Cancellation of a lesson should be made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled lesson time in order to receive a make-up lesson. This includes text message, leaving messages on the answering machine, or email to either your instructor or the shop.
In emergencies or with less than 24 hours’ notice, make-up lesson must take place within 4 weeks or when illness/emergency situation is resolved, otherwise lesson fee is forfeited.
Make-up lessons will be scheduled at a time that is convenient for both the student and the teacher. In some cases, this may mean an hour-long lesson, a lesson on another day, or if no workable time is found the lesson will be credited toward the next month’s lessons.
If the teacher needs to cancel a lesson, a make-up lesson will be scheduled as described above.
In the event of a no-show or cancellation at the time of the lesson, the student will be required to pay for the missed lesson with no opportunity for a make-up lesson.
If you know of dates ahead of time where you/your child cannot make a lesson, please notify your instructor or Josh when booking/paying for your lessons.
Should you decide to stop taking lessons altogether, please give your teacher 2 lessons notice.
Payments can be made via Debit, Credit, Cash or Personal Check.
Lesson fees for the entire month are due at the beginning of each month.
If other payment arrangements are required please speak to Josh prior to the lesson taking place.
There are no refunds on unused or canceled lessons.