Robert Caballero may be new to the Shelburne area, but he’s certainly making his mark on the community. As a guitar teacher at Advance Music in Burlington, he helps Vermont musicians hone their skills and discover a deeper passion for the art of music.
Born in Hoboken, N. J., Robert grew up in Union City an only child. He moved to Boston in 2000 to attend Berklee College of Music and from there, moved to Hollywood, Calif. where he lived until 2009. “Southern California felt like home while I was there,” Robert said.
In 2009, Robert moved across the country to Burlington, thanks to a connection with his father-in-law who had grown up in the area, and began working at the Shelburne Museum with the Passport to Learning program. Robert and his wife Nancy were married in 2011 and moved from Burlington to Shelburne. “People are laid back here,” he said. “I really love it. Here, you can just be yourself.”
Robert has a passion for jazz and classical guitar. At Advance Music, he has been teaching students from all over Vermont for over a year. “Everyone learns differently, so part of the process involves me getting to know my students,” he said. Robert instructs students of all ages. “My first student of the day may be six,” he said, “and the next one could be 40.” He continued on to say that flexibility and patience are key values to remember during lessons.
To keep lessons engaging, Robert incorporates theory and ear training to help students become well-rounded musicians. “Music gives people a sense of identity. I hope to help my students develop a deeper appreciation for music.”
Having grown up near New York City, Robert remembers being inspired by hearing graduate students at Manhattan School of Music play at a high level of mastery. He is also inspired by Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Ken Burns’ film “Jazz.”
A move from Southern California to Northern Vermont is quite a change, especially weather-wise. Robert said he was used to snow after living in Boston for three years, but was still a bit wary of the famed Vermont winters. “It really snows here!” he said. “I’m still getting acquainted and easing my way into the community. Maybe one day I’ll open my own music studio in Shelburne.”
To get in touch with Robert about guitar lessons, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interests/Hobbies: Music, teaching, hiking.
Favorite book: “Effortless Mastery” by Kenny Werner. “It’s geared toward performing musicians, but I think it can be adapted and applied to other people as well.”
Favorite movie: Batman
Favorite food: Cuban. “I grew up with that as a kid.” Robert said he also loved the Mexican cuisine in Southern California.
Favorite Shelburne haunt: “Definitely the Shelburne Museum.”
Most memorable concert: “When Sonny Rollins played at Berklee in 2001.” Robert said he was disappointed that he missed Burlington Jazz Festival. He would enjoy performing at the Festival in the future.
Bucket list: “I haven’t traveled outside the States in a while. I’d like to do that.”