Jeff began playing guitar at the age of ten. His very first performance was in the fifth grade, performing in a rock band. In high school he sang in the concert choir, chamber ensemble and studied music theory piano and classical guitar. After high school, Jeff obtained a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Music Composition from Virginia Commonwealth University and continued classical guitar studies with Jesus Silva who studied with Andres Segovia. After graduating college, he directed the guitar program at J Sergeant Reynolds Community College for nearly a decade, receiving a faculty recognition and achievement award for five or more years of outstanding service. Jeff currently performs with his own group called the Jeff H. trio, specializing in contemporary jazz performing at various venues and occasions.
Jeff’s music theory and teaching ability is extremely varied and ranges from classical to rock, blues to jazz. Some of his top skills are improvisational guitar techniques, which include sight-reading, understanding chord theory, and how to improvise melodically over various chord changes. Teaching by example and coaching students through performance is not only good practice, but a great confidence builder for the student.
Over the years, Jeff has developed a specific method of teaching that has proven to be extremely effective regardless of age or skill level. Jeff uses a three-pronged approach that focuses on music knowledge, method, and skills training. Through this method, students not only learn their instrument, but enjoy their lessons. This is key aspect for students to achieving their goals. Lastly but important is making the lesson fun and enjoyable for both the student and teacher.
*** Lesson Details ***
As a teacher, recognizing a students goals and creating a strategy to reach them applies to all levels of guitar playing. Jeff will evaluate each student’s abilities and skills and tailor the lessons appropriately. In general, Jeff has at least four approaches on how you may learn and process information: by example, analogy, hypothetical, and by written instruction. In addition to teaching things to students, another primary task of the teacher is to develop the strategy that will get the student where they want to go. The student will establish the goals and together student and teacher will stay focused on the result they want to achieve.
Jeff has been dedicated to music and the teaching of music at all educational levels. Teaching music teaches you to be human; it helps you recognize and appreciate beauty so you learn to be sensitive; music gives you something to cling to when all else fails; music helps you to have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good, in short more life. That is why Jeff teaches music.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Amps, stands, upright piano, lessons in front living room w/ seating for parents.
*** Specialties ***
My teaching methods are three pronged, to teach, coach and mentor all in one lesson. I take each student at whatever level they are at to assist in setting their goals and achievements. For example, as part of the mentoring segment i do encourage students to perform for each other, open mics and other performances to help give the student positive musical self esteem. I do teach in the areas of classical, jazz and blues with a concentration in contemporary jazz, jazz arranging, jazz theory and jazz transcriptions.