Philadelphia-born Susan Mazer now calls Connecticut her home, where she lives, performs, and teaches students of all ages. Her intricate fingerstyle playing of the acoustic guitar and dobro has led to a life that revolves around her passion for music. Her skilled technique and distinctive style resulted in her being selected as the first female guitar instructor at the renowned National Guitar Workshop.
Susan began playing at eight years old when her babysitter let her borrow her guitar. She immediately knew she had found her calling. I learned, “Go Tell Aunt Roadie” and I played it until my fingers bled,” Susan recalls. By junior high school, she and her friend had a duo and they wrote a song for their fathers, which they performed on a local TV show, “AM Philadelphia.” “From that point on I knew that music was the thing that brought me the most joy in life,” she says.
While still in high school, she studied with Benji Arnoff, a protégé of Doc Watson, and attended Berklee’s college-prep summer program. She received her Bachelor of Music degree at Hartt School of Music. Her insatiable thirst for learning inspires her to continue experimenting with - and mastering - many different styles and techniques. She is also pursuing an advanced degree in theory pedagogy.
She has been featured on many CD’s including a special bonus track in Guitar Player magazine, which also highlighted her original composition, “Burghers of Callais.” She is the author of seven popular instructional books, videos, and CDs for Alfred Publishing, including, “Guitar for the Absolute Beginner.” She also teaches guitar privately and is on the faculty of the Hartford Conservatory where she teaches music theory, ear training, sight singing, and pedagogy. She also is an instructor for continuing education guitar classes at Naugatuck Community Technical College.
Her newest project is on-line interactive music lessons with “Workshop Live.” This is a ground breaking educational program. It combines streaming video with printable graphics in both standard notation and tab.
Susan finds inspiration in her students. “They come in wanting to learn so many different artists and styles that I find myself exposed to new things,” she says. She listens to a variety of artists across the decades including Chet Atkins, Johnny Winter, Guy Van Duser, and Patti Griffin. Her next dream? To learn to play pedal steel guitar and possibly, cello.
For more than 20 years, Susan has traveled throughout the region playing and singing with various acoustic duos including Laura Coyle, and Anne Donohue. She currently performs with Megan Keith of “Eight to the Bar.” “Sometimes when I play with my duo partner, everything just clicks together and the perfect sound comes out. When that happens, you remember why you chose this career. Not too many people can get a natural high from their work.”
Copyright 2006-2014 by Susan Mazer, All Rights Reserved