Testimonials

Write a
Testimonial

"In playing my role as Josh on TV LAND's YOUNGER, I knew I'd be asked to perform as a bluegrass musician. Miming wasn't going to cut it because the scenes are shot live with live musicians. That's when I was introduced to Eli. He's the man!

The show scheduled a couple of sessions with Eli so he could coach me up as a musician. I'd like to think that I wasn't completely a fish out of water, but Eli made everything simple. We worked on the technical approach to the instrumentation as well as the performance. Eli's knowledge of the music was clear from the start. He understands how to explain even the smallest nuance with clarity.

The studio was a perfect place to concentrate and comfortably get the work in that I took with me on set. Television shoots move quickly, and Eli was just the right blend of fast information and positive encouragement. Since our first shoot with the bluegrass band (which includes Eli killin it on banjo!), Josh's musical skills have become a recurring part of his character and I'm so happy about that!

I hope to get back to the studio sometime, pull my banjo out of storage, and hit Eli up for some more fun times! I'd recommend Eli as a teacher, coach, or all-around musical guide to anyone looking to improve their craft and have a great experience."

Nico Tortorella

TV/Film Actor starring in "Younger"

"Since the age of 5 I have been in and out of music lessons. Most of my instructors, while valiant in their efforts, found it difficult to teach me as I would fight through reading the music once and rely- successfully- on my ear every other time I played the music I was given. From our first session, Eli made every effort to know what would best improve my skills and knowledge of theory. He quickly ascertained what my strengths already were and figured out a way to 'teach me backwards' or explain the theory behind a lot of the techniques I was already employing in my music in terms that were not difficult or frustrating to engage so that I may call on that knowledge for future compositions and be able to share my choices with other musicians. He has worked hard to develop a lesson plan that I would enjoy, and where to best focus my attention. After having made it to the final round in the famous Apollo Theatre Amateur Competition, it was clear that my abilities as a performer and playing technique had greatly improved and my knowledge of the more theory-driven elements of playing had expanded from our work together.

Since then, my performances for various private media companies, the legendary New York stage The Bitter End, and various concert venues in my home country, The Bahamas, have all been improved by my work with Eli. I'm a better guitarist, a more knowledgeable musician, and a more focused performer thanks to Eli's dedicated coaching.

I'm thrilled to be opening for the famous recording artist Tarrus Riley in March 2016 and my coaching with Eli have been a major part of my preparation. He is an ideal one-on- one coach, professional, prepared, and genuinely concerned that I continue to enjoy my music. "

Kamilah Gibson

Singer/Songwriter, Opens for Tarrus Riley, Apollo Finalist

"Eli Zoller is not only one of the most talented and highly skilled musicians I have ever known- he is one of the greatest people. Eli is a true role model for his students. Not only can they look up to him as a guitarist, songwriter, music director, and musical expert, they also feel great being around him. Eli is exudes the ideal energy that you want in a top-level teacher. He is positive, deeply caring, passionate, patient, funny, knowledgable, professional, and extremely committed to every single one of his students. Eli indeed gives his entire being to his work and to his students and it shows!

Having worked with over a thousand singers myself as well as dozens and dozens of music teachers at all levels, I know what a special teacher looks like. Eli is one of these rare and gifted teachers. I hired Eli to my staff without even having to think twice. He is the ideal person to help guide any guitarist (beginning or professional) into a spectacular instrumentalist. He has an ease and warmth about him that make kids, beginners, and young musicians feel right at home. But, he has the depth of musical knowledge and the experience to take professionals to the next level of their craft. Most importantly, though, Eli has the ability to make music a more potent and powerful force in a student’s life because of his enthusiasm, integrity, and ability to help bring out the vivacity in the music-making of others. Many people can teach music, but few can teach this. Eli is the teacher that parents, beginners, and professional musicians all dream of finding."

Justin Stoney

One of New York’s Leading Voice Teachers and Vocal Coaches
Founder of New York Vocal Coaching Inc.

"Eli Zoller served as music director and bandleader for a bluegrass musical of mine. Since I am a piano-based songwriter, I was very lucky to have someone with Eli’s particular skill set. He was able to take my musical ideas and translate them into a guitar-based idiom, creating arrangements for a 5-piece band. In working with singers and musicians, Eli held them to a high standard and was very detail-oriented, but he always maintained a fun, energetic leadership style. As a player, Eli is extraordinarily versatile, with a great ear for nuance. And as a collaborator, I had a great experience working with him: he listened, he understood, and he delivered what I asked for--and yet made the songs his own."

Peter Mills

Award Winning Composer

"I have had the privilege of working with Eli in many capacities: guitar audition coach, musical director, and co-performer. As a coach, he helps make clear choices on how to prepare as an actor and a guitar player. He can help declutter your playing in order to let your acting shine through... or vice versa letting your playing come to the forefront when it's called for. The best part is, he has music directed and sat behind the casting table many times, so the coaching comes from someone who has seen what sends sparks to a director's eyes. Also, Eli is a great performer. That informs his ability to communicate with a student in order to create a performance unique to the actor that he is working with."

Chris Ware

Equity Musical Theatre Actor

"I just began taking guitar lessons with Eli and I am hooked! Eli is more interested in what I want to accomplish in the lessons than in imposing his ideas onto me. He was able to break down the fundamentals into information that I could understand and absorb. And the exercises he gave me to work on are completely in line with I want to learn and what he feels will challenge and support where I am as a player at this time. I'll say it again: I'm hooked!"

Leah Miles

Musical Theatre Writer and Teaching Artist

"Having worked with Eli on multiple projects, I'm always more than impressed by not only his abilities as a musician, but his ability to take a piece of music and bring out the details that really make it sing. He's able to make musical choices that are not only bring the most out of a style, but move a story along and help the actor as well. As a music director and teacher he is detailed, encouraging, patient, and most importantly excited about the music he is making with you. His ability to accompany on multiple instruments and dedication to his craft make him a musician that any musical project or student would be lucky to have."

Matthew Duré

Professional Actor/Musician/Singer

"Eli Zoller is a true professional that understands the art of teaching. His knowledge as a musician and performer translates beautifully to actors and students of all walks of life. His is able to apply the lessons to your strengths gives each student confidence, chops, and an avenue to grow in any direction they chose. Eli cultivates this environment by truly taking time for each student and to give them the best tools and skills for becoming better musician, player, and to accomplish any goal you have set for yourself on the guitar."

Colin McAdoo

Professional Actor/Singer/Recording Artist

"I've known Eli for years and have become very familiar with his wide range of musical abilities. As a player, patient and clear teacher, and an accompanist, he is always one of the first people I think of. He met with me personally to work on an arrangement of a contemporary rock song for an audition and attended the audition with me to accompany me. It adds a whole new level of authenticity auditioning in the contemporary rock Musical Theatre world to be able to sing with guitar instead of piano. He has a broad knowledge of music genres and adapts easily. I would absolutely recommend him as a musician, accompanist, and teacher."

Megan Reinking

Broadway/International Actress/Singer (HAIR, LESTAT)

"I've worked with Eli as a performer and as a music director, and he was outstanding in both arenas. As a performer he's sensitive and nuanced, and utterly motivated by the essence of the material. He is generous and collaborative, and brings out the best in his fellow performers. His skills as a music director are formidable as well. Visionary, detail-oriented, patient, all things required to take a score from first draft to polished performance. Backing up all those skills is his every-sunny approach to music making. Such a pleasure!"

Aaron Gandy

Producer/Music Director/Conductor

"Eli Zoller is one of the most versatile guitarists I have ever worked with. From Country & Bluegrass picking, to Jazz comping, to straight ahead Rock & Roll, his proficiency and attitude are top shelf, both on stage, and in the recording studio. As co-producer with me on the Original Cast Recording of Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge, Eli's dedication and vision always reinforced my confidence that we were creating a musical recording of the highest quality. Any student would be fortunate to benefit from Eli and his musical expertise."

Dennis Michael Keefe

President and Owner, Tumble Dry Music, Inc.

Having worked with Eli on multiple projects, I'm always more than impressed by not only his abilities as a musician, but his ability to take a piece of music and bring out the details that really make it sing.  He's able to make musical choices that are not only bring the most out of a style, but move a story along and help the actor as well.  As a music director and teacher he is detailed, encouraging, patient, and most importantly excited about the music he is making with you.  His ability to accompany on multiple instruments and dedication to his craft make him a musician that any musical project or student would be lucky to have.

Matthew Duré

Professional Actor/Musician/Singer