- Teaches students:
- Ages 5+
- Teaching since:
- May 2008
I have been playing music since I was about 13 years old. I initially started out on guitar but I quickly picked up mandolin, banjo, and ukulele thanks to the great theoretical tools I'd learned from my first teacher! I started studying alto saxophone around the same time I picked up guitar and began extensively studying violin a few years later.
I quickly began writing songs and at 15, I recorded my first album of original material with production help from Grammy award winning producer/guitarist Joe Reyes. Joe and I would go on to make four other records together and I would wind up doing string arrangements for one of his albums as well.
While still in high school, I began playing with a number of bands in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas as well as a few groups in Austin, Texas all while still playing in my high school's orchestra! At 18, I got to tour the country playing violin/saxophone/musical saw with the Austin band Moth!Fight!
I earned my Bachelor's degree in music composition at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. At Trinity, I was able to fully explore my love of composing while honing my technique at classical violin and classical/jazz guitar. During this time, I was voted Best Instrumentalist by San Antonio's alternative weekly (the San Antonio Current). I also saw many of my compositions performed at many classical/new music festivals such as Seamus,ICMC, Spark Festival, and EMM and by ensembles such as the SOLI Chamber Ensemble.
In college, I also taught a "School of Rock" class at the Magik Children's Theater. In these classes, I taught young beginning instrumentalists how to play a number of pop/rock songs in the span of two weeks.
I moved to Valencia, California in the fall of 2012 as an MFA candidate in Music Composition at the California Institute of the Arts. Since moving to LA, I've had the opportunity to perform with internationally renewed pop bands such as Faust and Vinyl Williams in addition to performing/collaborating with well known composers around the city. I also have the wonderful job of co-teaching a musicianship skills class at CalArts!
As you can see, music is my life! I have experience playing a number of genres and I want to help you find your musical passion!
*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons together will be laid-back and fun but also challenging. I truly believe that one of the best way for students to learn is for them to work on music that they enjoy. Therefore, I approach lessons by learning the interests and goals of my students and then teaching them the techniques they need to achieve their musical ambitions. If students aren't sure what they like yet then we'll try out a number of different styles until one or more stick! I am experienced playing lots of styles so feel free to bring anything in!
Beginning students can expect to learn a number of fun songs/exercises in order to familiarize themselves with basic techniques and reading practices. Once a student feels comfortable with basic technique, I work with them to find songs/pieces that interest them but also reinforce and develop their technical skill sets. Within a few weeks, you'll be able to play all sorts of songs! And within a few months you'll understand the basics of improvisation and theory!
I teach all of my students the basics of music theory. Understanding, the music you're playing is just as important as technique! I integrate this in a way that makes it relevant to whatever pieces or techniques we're working on at a time.
Students can expect to take home a small handful of exercises to practice after every lesson. For half hour instrumental lessons, I'll assign a song or piece (usually of the student's choosing) and a technical assignment/piece of some sort (these will be scales, improv exercises, or etudes of some sort). For 45 minute-hour long instrumental lessons, I'll assign the same material plus an additional song or exercise. Students studying recording programs like Ableton or Logic will have assignments that examine technical/musical aspects of the program every week. Students studying music theory or songwriting will usually have assigned readings and written assignments! Don't worry all assignments will be FUN and designed to fit your interests! Practice assignments can always be designed to fit the student's schedule as well.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Students are welcome to try various instruments during their first lesson but should be able to provide their own instrument for subsequent lessons
*** Travel Equipment ***
Students only need to provide their instrument. I can bring an amplifier if the student is studying electric guitar. I'm also happy to photocopy book pages/pieces for students.
*** Specialties ***
Pop/Rock (all kinds!), Jazz, Blues, Folk/Country, Classical, Music Theory, The Recording Programs Logic and Ableton, Songwriting
I teach multiple instruments at this school in addition to an intro to music class for students ages 5-10 years old!
I teach private lessons on multiple instruments at this school emphasizing music theory and technique in the process!
I travel to students' homes and teach them violin and guitar!
I co-teach four musicianship skills classes at CalArts. I teach everything from entry level theory/skills to the most advanced levels of theory/skills.
I was independently put in charge of teaching a one semester intro level score reading class specifically designed for theater majors. I taught students the basics of music theory and each class we listened to/followed the score of at least one classical piece and/or musical theater piece.+ Read More
I taught a School of Rock class to beginning teenage musicians where students put together a set of songs for public performance over a two week time period. I also led the music rehearsals for a number of children's plays and taught a singing class for 5-7 year olds.+ Read More
I received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. I studied Music Composition and performed with a number of respected composers/performers during my time at CalArts.
I graduated with honors with a Bachelors of Music from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX in 2012. I also minored in English while at the university.
Great instructor. Flexible. Enthusiastic. Inspiring. Love him!!
marcus was familiar with one of the songs and was able to break it down to learn easily. very nice person. he prefers to keep you on the right track with learning and gets all the mistakes cleaned up right away. validates you as a person and your experience so you find acceptance. first lesson was impressive for me. he did not let anything pass by him while he was getting to know me. was a very good instructional class for the first class. i was glad i met marcus.+ Read More
My 11-year-old daughter is loving her fiddle lessons with Marcus. He is patient, flexible, and encouraging. He manages to infuse the lessons with humor and fun while also facilitating serious technical progress. We recommend him highly!
Marcus is great! I have been working with him for over three months. I am 37 and did not consider myself to be a musician at all when I started working with Marcus. I set a personal goal to learn to play something, and I can do that now. Marcus is friendly, communicates well, adapts to my learning style and pace, and has been really patient in helping me learn the basics.
He has been super-flexible with scheduling. I was a little apprehensive about going to a stranger's home, but it's not weird at all. His place is comfortable and inviting.
Excellent instructor-Highly recommended
Marcus has been an excellent instructor. He is friendly, patient, and professional. He does a great job of explaining concepts. If I need to reschedule a lesson he is always willing to work with whatever times are best for me.
He is very knowledgeable about different music styles and bands.
At our first lesson, he asked if I had any music I was specifically interested in learning. I appreciated his focus on making the lessons more personal instead of just following the instruction book.
Great violin teacher
I sadly just found out Marcus will be moving to another state and will no longer be able to teach my daughter violin. We will miss Marcus greatly! He has been an amazing teacher. He is patient, kind, hard working and honest. He sets a great pace and achievable goals. My daughter is 7 and looks forward to her violin lessons with Marcus every week. She started the last day of January this year and can already sight read fairly well, bow and pick her way through simple songs. As a musician myself I know teaching others to play can become frustrating,but with Marcus he actually enjoyed the process of a student evolving. I've never seen a negative emotion from him and my daughter-who normally has attention issues-listens attentively to him and when she gets antsy he works with it beautifully. He is a great teacher and I highly recommend him.