Flippin is a highly accomplished classical guitar instructor. He holds two degrees from the Yale University School of Music, and a 40-hour pedagogy certification (Suzuki) from the University of Hartford. He has lectured at Juilliard, Yale, St. Louis University and more. On multiple occasions, his students have received the highest scores in the nation on their Royal Conservatory Music Development guitar examinations; winning National Gold Medals and numerous invitations to perform at Carnegie Hall. On the N.Y.S.S.M.A. (New York State School Music Association) guitar examinations, his students have received perfect scores (28/28) and "Outstanding" medals.
His students have gone on to be admitted to many of America's top guitar programs, often with merit scholarships, including: Manhattan School of Music, Mannes School of Music at the New School, Berklee College of Music, Johns Hopkins University, The Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, The Univ. of Cincinnati College Conservatory, S.U.N.Y. (State University of New York), C.U.N.Y. Graduate Center (City University of New York), Ithaca College & Carnegie Mellon.
Flippin is available for lessons (all ages) in Westchester County NY at Concordia College Conservatory; in Manhattan's Upper East Side at the Diller-Quaile School of Music; and at his private studio near New Haven, CT. Lessons involve technique, practice habits, sight-reading, theory & analysis, tone production, ear training, and learning how to express oneself in a fun, personal, and lasting way through the medium of guitar.
"This was one of the best assemblies for our students in my 23 years as an administrator here."
Logos Therapeutic School Administrator, St. Louis, MO
Since 2008, Duo Noire has been touring the U.S. to bring high level classical music to low-income areas. This began when Yale awarded one of its inaugural Alumni Ventures Grants to the duo, which allowed them to perform 15 concerts in New England, reaching over 2,000 students. This work has continued since 2011 through artist residencies with the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society. Each visit to St. Louis had Duo Noire working with local communities, and performing for a broad spectrum of economic and racial backgrounds, with the guitar's versatility and worldly heritage acting as the gateway to all peoples.
"I just wanted to thank you both again for a wonderful Duo Noire performance on Wednesday. I saw the kids yesterday who were in the first group, sixth graders. They were so excited still and enjoyed talking about it all over again. I don't think any of them had ever had the opportunity to hear anything like it. It made it so special for them to be up close and personal. I'm glad we kept the intimate setting, but sad that more kids did not have the chance to hear you. I also thought you were incredibly relaxed and easy with the kids. It was a very gentle style, punctuated with humor, and it really touched them. I would love to have you back again."
- Chris Patella, Music Director, Thomas Hooker School. Bridgeport, CT.
"Thank you very much for both Duo Noire presentations made today at Hamden High School. I felt that the students enjoyed the music and learned a lot. The music you played and the concepts you talked about were very appropriate and in line with what I try to teach my students in my classes; not to mention your professionalism along with your ability to relate to and connect with high school students. It might sound simple but it is not always easy to accomplish especially in such a short period of time. The work that you do with the Yale Music in Schools program is fantastic."
- David Syzdek, Band Director. Hamden High School, CT.
"We started this program after taking Chris Mallett and Thomas Flippin – Guitar Duo Noire – to visit nine St. Louis City schools. Both students and teachers responded with terrific enthusiasm! We found three music teachers who told us they’d love to start guitar programs in their schools."
- William Ash, Former President of the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society.