I have moderate banjo experience. I am comfortable with scruggs style and some clawhammer. I tend to do well with beginners and people who have been playing for a few years.
One unique thing about me is that I've have experience in MANY different musical situations ranging from performance and education to arranging, band leading, touring, recording, and writing. I began as a punk rocker as so many people my age did. Learning the songs of the bands I listened to. As I got older and more proficient at my instrument, I began playing for the high school jazz bands and choirs in the area I grew up, beautiful Bremerton WA. When I was 16 I began my formal training at Olympic College where I played bass in several of the school ensembles as well as studied Theory, ear training, and history courses. At 18 I graduated with an AAS degree, took a year off to tour with a vocal jazz group called Jazz line, then applied to Cornish College of the Arts the following year. At Cornish I was exposed to many different world music styles and cultures as well as many different local Seattle musicians. From the time I got to Cornish in 2004 until now, I have been performing in Seattle at least once a week with different groups and usually 3-6 nights a week. Since graduating from Cornish in 2006, I have toured the US,Canada, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas. I am an adjunct Jazz theory instructor at Cornish College of the Arts, Jazz director at Holy Names Academy, Have given workshops and clinics at CAL ARTS, University of Alaska, University of Nevada, CWU, and many high schools and middle schools all over the country, taught on average 30-50 students per week in and around the Seattle area. In a nutshell..... music is my life, I love it, and I love sharing it's beauty with others.
*** Lesson Details ***
The way Lessons work with me is that I will start by asking you questions to get an idea of your musical background (if any) and an idea of what music you like to listen to. I will then ask questions about your musical goals (if any) to try to cater a lesson plan to what you with to accomplish. My first rule is that music should be enjoyable, I believe that the only way to improve is to want to improve. Depending on the length of the lesson there will be different activities and points of focus each week. Some things I focus on no matter what your goals are.....
Rhythm decoding, subdividing, and general understanding.
Ear training (chord quality, pitch matching, easy transcription)
History (how has this instrument been used before?)
Techniques specific to the styles you want to learn.
I always attempt to introduce students to new music and to get them excited about writing their own music through various exercises. (some students are more interested than others)
I never get angry or frustrated when students don't practice, I just walk them through an organized practice session so that they can see how much improvement in possible in 20 minutes (it's actually amazing)
My goal is to inspire people to play their instrument because as all good music teachers know...
The Only Way to Get Better is to Play Your Instrument..I Swear.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano, 3 guitars, electric and acoustic bass, banjo, ukulele, mandolin, paper pencils, computer, amps.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I bring my guitar or bass depending on what I'm teaching. I expect the students to have a spiral notebook, their instrument, any books or other materials we are working from, and a desire to learn.
*** Specialties ***
Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass, Guitar, Piano, Banjo, Ukulele, Beginning Mandolin, Jazz Mandolin, Music theory, ear training, song writing, performance skills.
My specialty is anything having to do with electric bass. I also teach theory and "lead sheet" reading, improvisation, transcription, and "jamming" skills. in addition to regular curriculum (reading, technique, memorization) I also focus heavily on rhythm.
I direct and arrange for a high school Jazz band
Professor of Jazz Theory at Cornish College
Taught guitar, bass, piano, etc... 40+ students weekly