Tomás Vela,
Guitar Teacher

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210-697-7111 or 210-490-1500

Tom Vela photo

North West


Student Levels: Beginner to Advanced

Student Ages: Eight to adult


Tomás Vela is a classically trained guitarist with 15+ years of experience. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio where he earned a Bachelors and Masters degree in Music Performance under Grammy Award Winning Composer/Guitarist, Matthew Dunne.

With over 6 years of teaching experience in many different levels, Tomás has taught lessons through N.I.S.D., The University of Texas at San Antonio as a private instructor and as a professor of Class Guitar. Among his studies as a graduate student at UTSA, Tomás was Director of the guitar division of UTSA’s String Project (3rd and 4th grade guitar ensemble).

Tomás has performed and competed throughout San Antonio and South Texas with a guitar quartet, winning several awards at the University of Texas at Brownsville International Guitar Ensemble Festival and Competition. In 2011, Tomás received 1st prize at the 2011 University of Texas at San Antonio Concerto Competition. He has also performed in master classes for internationally known guitarists including: Judicael Perroy, Manuel Barrueco, Denis Azabagic, Jason Vieaux, and Ricardo Cobo.



Testimonials for Mr. Vela

My name is Emmanuel Ramirez and I was a student of Tom Vela for two years
When we first met I had virtually no experience with classical guitar technique or repertoire. However, in the two years I studied with Tom he helped me develop the skills and knowledge required to seriously study the instrument. Tom is an insightful instructor who readily identified my weaknesses as a player and gave me exercises to improve in those areas. He was always patient and fully dedicated during our classes. He was also able to find pieces which would be challenging but not discouraging.

Today I am currently studying Jazz performance at the Berklee College of Music. I feel safe saying that I was accepted to the school in large part thanks to Tom Vela’s instruction. To this date I still practice all of the exercises he taught me, every day. It was Tom who really pushed me as a player and helped me improve more than I ever had.

Most importantly, Tom helped me develop a love for classical guitar which keeps me practicing the instrument everyday.

I feel safe recommending Tom Vela as a guitar instructor to my friends and family.


Playing the guitar... a passion in my son's life

During the 5 years Tom taught my son, Liam, he was reliable, patient, insightful, dedicated and focused all the while exceeding my expectations.

Apart from Tom’s professionalism, as a person and an instructor/mentor, I remember a session that defined Tom’s influence in my son’s music. Liam shared a couple of ideas/chords with Tom, and over time they both worked together to create Liam’s first original and complete song.

Throughout the years, Tom has inspired my son to be creative and taught him skills which were necessary to write original music.

It makes me happy to know that what started out as just being “cool” to play the guitar became one of Liam’s passions in life.

-Yumi Alteneder (Liam’s mother)-