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My Life In Nelson

My name is André van Berlo and I am the father of 2 awesome kids and husband to my amazing wife Renée. We love our life here in the Kootenays and I’m grateful my children get to grow up here. In April, 2015, we moved straight to Nelson from the Netherlands. Some of the reasons for moving here were skiing, hiking, lakes, good summers, fishing, great community, etc. At the time I didn’t even know what a great music and art scene the town has! 

I try to spend as much time with the family as possible. Reading stories to my 3yr old son, practicing the violin with my 7yr old daughter, hikes, camping, you get the drill. Here, everything seems so much more pure and simple. It wasn’t always easy for us though. When we just moved here, all I heard from people was: “I hope you brought your job with you”. We’ve had some interesting months in our first 3 years in Nelson. The birth of our son came in a time where we were trying to survive and we were living one day at a time. But, much has changed since then! I founded the Nelson Guitar Academy and I have many wonderful students now and all four of us have found our place here in the community. Nelson has so much to give and I hope to add my share as well! 

Nelson Guitar Academy

Even though I teach how to play music,  I believe my classes at the Nelson Guitar Academy are about more than that. I try to connect with my students and bond with them. I want them to be just who they are and I try to create the environment in which they can express themselves freely. To me, these are essential elements for growth in any field!

With the immense world of internet and online instructional videos, this is a great time for you to be learning anything. But maybe:

Whatever it is, you probably have something you’d like to achieve! That’s why I start with a few basic questions before I teach a single technique/lick/song.

Interested? Email Me!

Private Student Testimonials

Quotes From The Redfish Music Program

"André makes the learning into fun games and makes me work hard" “He really knows how to play and now I love the electric guitar!” "I feel pretty cool with my guitar, even though I am just a beginner"

Some Things I Did

Education & Experience

Main Instruments

Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Ukulele, Bass Guitar

Other Instruments

Some experience on Piano, Percussion, Drums

Bachelor Degree

Graduated 2003, Bachelor Of Music, Rotterdam Conservatory

Master Degree

Graduated 2005, Master Of Music, Rotterdam Conservatory

PIDP: Delivery Of Instruction

Passed 2018, Certificate, Vancouver Community Colege

Selkirk Music College

Auditing Courses: Ear Training, Recording Techniques, Advanced Midi, Mix & Edit

Teaching Experience

Wonderful People I've worked With!

On a personal level I’ve known André as a highly intelligent and competent person and guitarist. Teaching with him, writing music with him and even, with over 20 years personal experience playing guitar, 6 of those as a guitar teacher, learning many things from him. He has a knack for explaining things in a slow methodical manner. He really has a natural skill for it.

Gareth Evans

His drive to make things a success is something that I love in him: always enthusiastic and positive to make things happen.
All his students had their own program. He wrote music, arranged compositions they loved for electric and acoustic
guitar, organised band coaching evenings and was above all a nice and open person to work with for students and colleagues.

Pieter Jan Den Hartigh

Coordinator Education and Music, ToBe Music Foundation

André is a highly educated professional with an amazing variety of qualities in teaching, leading, arranging, and composing. Due to his open,reliable and charming personality and the before-mentioned qualities, I’m convinced André is an enrichment to any music department and an inspiration to any student that he will teach!

Matthias Haffner

Would you like to meet in person?

There’s only so much you can get from a website and I’m much better at informal talk than I am at building a website. Would you like to get together and talk about your ideas, inspiration, and more?

My History

First chords

I started playing when I was 16-17 years old. Learning the chords to “Hotel California” from a friend really changed where I would be going and what I would be doing later in life. Even though I had been surrounded by music and instruments all my life, I never really considered playing anything until I started strumming those first chords. It’s a passion that is still here today!

In those first years I absorbed just about anything guitar related, of course filtered by my own music preferences(Rock and Metal at the time). One of my first teachers taught me to be openminded about music and introduced me to new music on a weekly basis. He would give me a tape and say:

"Listen to this, at least 5 times. You can like it, dislike it, but I want you to listen."
René Vermaes
Music Instructor

The first tape he gave me was “Friday night in San Francisco” by Al di Meola, Paco de Lucia, and John McLaughlin. I must have played that tape a thousand times over. I was amazed by their improvisations, technical skills, passion, and musicianship. Whenever he would give me another tape, I would listen!

Studying at the Conservatory

About 4 years after I played those first chords I started studying Jazz at the conservatory of  Hilversum. A year later I switched to Rotterdam for their world music department where I’ve spent many happy years playing Jazz, Argentinean Tango, Brazilian music, Latin, Latin Jazz, Funk, Pop, Rock, etc.

I’ve never really specialised in a specific style but rather absorbed as much as I could of all styles! After graduation I started to broaden my horizon even further by delving into fingerpicking, classical music, and specifically learning all about Barrios and Tommy Emmanuel who’s skills became a new goal.

nelson bc guitar lessons and music academy

The beginning of Your Guitar Workshop

Since the age of 19 I’ve been giving guitar lessons to students of all ages. After graduating for my Bachelor Degree I started teaching at ToBe, a large music school in the Netherlands. There I taught private lessons, group lessons, and did band coaching, workshops, and music projects. Since 2006 internet has been becoming increasingly more important in my lessons leading to the foundation of Your Guitar Workshop. Though I have to give credit to Karsten (one my my students) as he jumpstarted my debut on youtube.

Moving to Canada and teaching at Selkirk College

Since my 30s I knew I wanted to move to a different place. I love mountains, snowboarding, mountain biking, climbing, all the outdoors activities. In that regard (as lovely as Holland can be) we used to live in a boring place with little to offer. So, in 2015 we moved from the Netherlands to Nelson BC. By coincidence (if there is such a thing in a small town like Nelson) I learned about a job opening for a position of Guitar Instructor at Selkirk College. I went for it and since then I’ve been lucky enough to teach with some of the most wonderful colleagues I’ve worked with over the years.

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