Meet Mr. Armetta

Faculty Profile
by Daniel Mollenkamp

Photography by Emily Jordan

Please use Professional bio for programs and publications

Joseph Armetta is a professional guitar player, composer, and arranger. He has composed for television, radio, stage, and film, and regularly performs live in Warrensburg and the surrounding area.

As a very young child, a fire was lit inside Joseph when he saw the Beatles perform on Ed Sullivan. He knew then he wanted to play the guitar. Growing up in Queens, New York, he began taking lessons every Saturday at the age of nine.

Joseph noticed that fellow musicians often trained others, and it seemed that teaching naturally evolved from being a performer. By the time he was eighteen, he was giving guitar lessons in music stores, and has taught ever since both privately and at college.

Mr. Armetta guides his students by reducing complex ideas into their simplest, easiest to understand form. He wants them to be self-critical, to hear what they are really playing rather than an abstract ideal. When they self-monitor, they are on their way to becoming self-correcting, and making that leap is truly exhilarating and satisfying to watch.

Mr. Armetta received his B.A. in Music from the Aaron Copland School of Music, CUNY. While continuing to play rock and classical guitar, he began to focus on composing and obtained an M.M. in Music Composition from the University of Montana where he taught guitar for eight years. He has subsequently become a performing jazz guitarist, a researcher of music theory and technology, and joined the UCM faculty in 2006. Not one to limit the possibilities of future musical or academic interests, he believes that growth is always being in a state of becoming.

Mr. Armetta highlights the importance of practice to this students, majors and non-majors alike. After years of his own dedication, being “on” during a performance gives him a feeling of complete freedom, like being able to fly. Joseph Armetta loves what he does, and in return, it loves him back.

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