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Acting, Banjo, Bass Guitar, Drum, Fiddle, Guitar, Harmonica, Mandolin, Music Performance, Music Recording, Music Theory, Percussion, Singing, Songwriting, Speaking Voice
I play music full time - anything from touring with bands to studio session work - and love to fill my home life with teaching lessons. I began studying percussion at age 6, and mostly learned jazz and classical until late high school, when I also became interested in American roots music. I dug deep into guitar, mandolin, fiddle and banjo, and loved checking out old recordings to see where the new stuff comes from. In college I was a percussion performance major until switching to English education and teaching high school for 3 years. Since then I've stayed busy with music, but I also teach and perform improv comedy on the side. It's a little more than a hobby and a little less than a career.
I have performed and recorded with groups as diverse as MIT's Balinese Gamelan and Ensemble Robot, old time stringband Stoop Singers, cellist Ben Sollee, jazz trio Gryn Gryn, and artists like Evan Ziporyn (Steve Reich), Sara and Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), Sean Carey (Bon Iver), and Dean Granros (Happy Apple, Lee Konitz). I've learned traditional fiddle and banjo in the homes of masters Lee Sexton and Clyde Davenport, taught courses in West African drumming and American roots music through the Exploration School at Yale University, and I'm a former member of the Eau Claire Music School faculty. Currently I tour with Field Report, Kalispell, and The Ericksons, playing drums, guitar, fiddle, banjo, and singing.
*** Lesson Details ***
My approach to teaching is welcoming and encouraging, but I also set [reasonably] high expectations for students. I believe everyone has potential to become skilled at whatever they're passionate about, but it takes diligence, patience, and practice to get there. I make sure to supplement that process with plenty of inspiration, whether that means listening to great recordings, suggesting certain live performances, or learning to play like the artists a student admires. Any meaningful learning experience is accompanied by curiosity, joy, struggles, and ultimately, fulfillment. I strive to provide my students with a balance of these elements.
Methods-wise, I use a combination of books, ear-training, and fully participatory student involvement. Through my experience teaching music lessons and high school English in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Boston, I've developed an understanding of motivation, relevance, and clarity in the teaching process, and I also look to learn as much as possible from the student in turn - everyone has something to share. As time goes on, students can count on the following results: improved confidence, broadened understanding of musical styles and techniques, increased technical ability, and heightened awareness of their own strengths/weaknesses.
*** Travel Equipment ***
At my apartment I can supply all equipment necessary; however, if I am traveling, I ask that students supply their own instrument.
*** Specialties ***
I regularly teach, record and tour with groups/musicians who play big band jazz, small group jazz, Appalachian old time, bluegrass, and folk songs. Theatrically, I have training in both stage acting and improv comedy.
Method-wise, I favor the student-centered teaching model that utilizes backward design, Constructivist Theory, and an interactive rather than one-sided approach to instruction.
Bass Guitar, Drum, Guitar, Harmonica, Music Recording, Music Theory, Songwriting, Ukulele
I play, write, record and perform a variety of American popular music forms
including rock, folk, blues, funk, bluegrass, country, fingerstyle
guitar, and jazz.
I began my musical training learning drums as a 12 year old and a year later began private lessons on guitar as well. In the following years, while playing in rock bands and focusing primarily on guitar and continuing practice on drums, I became interested in learning other instruments: I took harmonica lessons and taught myself how to play bass guitar and keyboards. As a teenager I also began writing my own songs and teaching myself how to record music. I also play Spanish flamenco guitar and studied with master flamenco players while living in Madrid, Spain.
Today, I play guitar, harmonica, sing and write songs for my own group, while also working on a variety of other recording projects that reflect my various musical personalities. I love everything about music, and there's nothing I enjoy more than sharing music with others, whether that be playing in a group, going to a concert with a friend, or talking about music with one of my students. One of my greatest joys is seeing others get involved in the world of music by learning to play an instrument, so I take great pride and responsibility in teaching my students and I hope to make that experience as positive and rewarding as it can be for everyone I work with.
*** Lesson Details ***
I am happy to work with students of any age regardless of prior experience or ability. Music is the universal language. Everyone is welcome.
Check out my new song samples for a taste of what I do. All instruments, vocals and production done by me at my home studio.
I take a multi-disciplinary, multi-instrumental approach to teaching music. I feel that today's students are very interested in learning more than just one instrument, style or discipline. One of my greatest assets as a teacher is that I can play and teach guitar, bass, drums, harmonica, keyboards, songwriting, and audio production/engineering, or any combination thereof, to a student that is interested in becoming more than just a guitar player.
That being said, my musical experience centers primarily on the guitar, and that's where I prefer to start teaching my students. And if you only want to learn guitar, we'll just stick with guitar. However, if you want to learn other instruments too (guitar and drums; guitar, bass, and harmonica; guitar, keys and drums; etc.) we will work together to create a program that allows you to achieve all of your musical goals in time.
No matter what, the bottom line is this: you determine the direction of your musical education. The first time we meet, we will talk about your musical interests and goals, and from that conversation I will design a curriculum that fits your personality, needs and desires. I work with each of my students to determine and constantly refine his or her path, and as we follow your path I will work to give you all the tools needed to pursue your goals...and if I can't give them to you I'll help you find someone who can. I know my limits as a musician and teacher and I will always be honest with you about those things. For example, if you decide you want to be a jazz guitarist, I can get you started on that path, but once you advance beyond my limits (I love jazz, but it's not my forte), I will help you find a teacher who better fits your needs and goals.
Finally, I have always felt that music should be fun and there's no reason that learning to play an instrument can't be fun too. That doesn't mean it won't be hard work, because, like anything else in life, as you get deeper into music it will not only become more rewarding, but more challenging too. Still, it should always be fun. I understand that each student is unique and what "fun" means for one student may be different for another, and so we will work at your pace and according to your goals and desires to create a program that is ideal for you.
I use a variety of teaching techniques and tools in my lessons and will cater those tools toward the needs of each student. You don't need to read music to learn how to play an instrument, but I do use a number of simple, easy-to-learn written methods in my teaching. More importantly, I encourage my students to learn how to "hear" music so that as they advance they can begin to teach themselves how to play the things that they hear. Therefore, much of my teaching method focuses on seeing, hearing and feeling the music...this is the way almost all popular music has been taught and learned since the beginning of time, and with the right supplement of written methods I think it still comprises the most effective way to become a complete musician.
I can also record every lesson for my students and make the recording available as a CD or mp3 via email so that you can listen to the lesson as you practice on your own at home.
Additionally, if you are interested in songwriting or audio recording, we can incorporate lessons on those subjects into your curriculum as well. Understanding both is an essential part of being a well-rounded musician in any genre these days and both fields can open up wide worlds of expression and artistry to those willing to delve into them. I am passionate and knowledgeable about both songwriting and recording.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Guitars, Bass Guitar, Amps
*** Travel Equipment ***
Guitar, Bass Guitar, Amps
*** Specialties ***
*Teachers marked as a Student Favorite have taught a minimum of 25
lessons and have received the highest feedback rating from students.Electric guitar, Acoustic Guitar, songwriting, bass, Harmonica, drums, music production, audio recording
Rock, Folk, Blues, Funk, Country, Bluegrass, Fingerstyle Guitar, Jazz
Acoustic Guitar, Audition Prep, Bluegrass Guitar, Blues Guitar, Classical Guitar, Country Guitar, Ear Training, Guitar, Harmonica, Music Performance, Music Theory, Songwriting
My primary goal for my students is to cultivate a love for the instrument every step of the way. I know I have become the guitarist I am today because my former teachers kept me inspired and having fun from the very beginning. Passing this on to my students means that each lesson entails a balance of playing, listening, technique, stories, and laughs! The best way to learn is to create an environment where you, the student, looks forward to picking up the guitar, and smiles every time you do. If you enjoy playing, improvement will come with more facility than you could ever imagine.
"Steven is very professional and extremely helpful. He always has a smile on and is serious about helping you phrase the music. I would highly recommend him to anyone."
"It's been really exciting so far! Jordan has been so helpful, so knowledgeable. I could not have found a better instructor and I'm getting better and better every day."
"My daughter's wedding was weeks away and I had never been able to dance a step. With Jenny's help, I came further than ever before in such short time in any subject."