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Brian discovered his talent and passion for teaching while still in college, and has been teaching guitar and piano in Southern California for over 20 years. Gifted at teaching students of all ages and abilities, he combines patience, creativity, imagination and boundless enthusiasm with solid professional training and experience. Brian also has over 10 years experience teaching piano and guitar to blind and autistic students.
A lifelong musician, Brian received his first musical training at the age of 4 and 5 years when his actor/singer Dad and musically talented Grandma taught him to sing and play the mandolin. He began piano lessons at age 5, and formal guitar instruction at the age of 10 years.
By the time he was a 14-year-old high school student, Brian was performing as lead guitarist in rock bands around Southern California, developing mastery of rock guitar and blues performance and improvisation. Brian went on to complete a Bachelor's Degree in Classical Guitar Performance from California State University, Los Angeles.
Passionate about all kinds of music, Brian's studies include choral music and conducting, Gregorian chant (at the Monastery of St. Pierre de Solesmes, France), and Master Classes with AndrÃ©s Segovia and Christopher Parkening. In 1984, he participated as a member of the Honor Choir for the ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, which included recording of original music by Philip Glass for the Olympic Games under the direction of David L. Wolper and Mr. Glass.
As a jazz guitarist, Brian continues to grow musically in association with his colleagues of the Naomi Jazz Group, and other close musical friends who include students of the late, great Ted Greene.
*** Lesson Details ***
FOR PIANO: Faber & Faber Method Series
Dozen A Day Technique series
STEEL STRINGS: Mel Bay, Alfreds Method Book
CLASSICAL: Fredric Noad
Julio Segraras Method
JAZZ: Stanford Jazz Workshop
The National Guitar Workshop's Jazz Guitar Method Series
Real Easy Books: Beginning & Intermediate Levels
I focus on four areas that I think are essential to being a good music teacher:
â¢ the uniqueness of each student;
â¢ the fact that enjoyment (fun!) maximizes learning;
â¢ the importance of proper technique and an understanding of music theory to build self-confidence;
â¢ the development of musicianship through performance.
EACH STUDENT IS UNIQUE:
My first interest with each new student is to discover how he or she learns, and then to apply appropriate teaching techniques to maximize their potential. I gear my lesson plans to the individual and strive to optimize the learning potential of the student.
ENJOYMENT MAXIMIZES LEARNING:
In a lesson with me you can expect to never be bored, to laugh a lot, learn a lot, be positively engaged emotionally and challenged intellectually. I believe that learning is maximized when the student is enjoying the experience, and is faced with challenges appropriate to their skill level. I aim to make learning music fun, choosing musical selections to learn in the style and genre that relate to the student's interests and aspiration.
TECHNIQUE & UNDERSTANDING OF MUSIC THEORY TO BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE:
When my students perform in concerts, recitals, juries, auditions, recording sessions or simply for friends and family, they have self-confidence because they know precisely the "how" and "why" of everything required to perform well. My goal with students is to build a solid foundation in instrumental technique and thorough understanding of Music Theory at their appropriate level.
On a monthly basis, all my students practice performing pieces they are working on during the lesson time, with family/friends as an audience if desired and appropriate, and/or using digital recording to help the student develop a critical ear for their own playing.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Music stands, guitar/s and guitar stands, Dynarelle cushion, footrests, Korg 88 fully--weighted digital keyboard, Zoom H4 digital recorder.
As well, I have guitars and equipment both for teaching and performance of various styles, as below. Students will have the opportunity to learn about, play and become familiar with any of these instruments/equipment according to their interests and skill levels.
CLASSICAL: Ramirez Model 1A Classical (professional concert level instrument)
Cordoba (teaching/practice instrument)
Hohner Acoustic (electric)
ROCK: Fender Stratocaster (pre-CBS)
Shechter Elite Series C1
FOLK: Martin (steel string)
JAZZ: Oscar Schmidt by Washburn (hollow body electric)
Gibson SG (electric)
AMPS: Fender Twin reverb
Pevey practice amp
Boss GT8 Effects Pedal
*** Travel Equipment ***
Guitar stands, guitar/s, Zoom H4 digital recorder. Generally I do not transport my Korg 88 keyboard to the student's home for lessons, but I can if necessary. However, I do require that piano students have their own piano/keyboard or at least reliable access to one for practice between lessons.
Guitar students should also have their own guitar. I can advise on appropriate instruments and can help students find a suitable guitar for their learning level and price range.
· Piano · In home I have approximately taken ten or twelve lessons. I started from scratch, and Brian's input and guidance has helped me to move along pretty fast in my learning. My ear is becoming more selective. My fingers are more and more flexible. My idea of learning piano was to do so, in order to play for me and maybe one or two more people. I've learned with Brian that even if that is the case, I must still handle myself, as if I am going to be part of a band. This is teaching me the importance of counting and keeping the rhythm for me and for others. It basically helps me to have a structure. Thank you Brian
· Piano · In studio Undoubtedly Brian has a deep and extensive knowledge of piano. I feel motivated by his hands-on approach to teaching.
· Guitar · In studio Brian is extremely patient and very Kind manner
· Piano · In home Brian is a great teacher. He is very patient, accommodating, and open to meeting his students halfway. His teaching skills work well for all ages. He's wonderful at helping his students achieve their goals, even if they are at a later age and stuck in old habits.
· Piano · In home Brian is an amazing, fun, professional, skilled piano instructor! I have been able to very quickly move into pieces that I had not even considered a possibility. He listens, cares about your goals and has a great ability to assess and determine what work and exercises will get you to where you want to be. Highly recommend :)
· Guitar · In home Great first lesson -- looking forward to next one!
· Guitar · In home Great first lesson. As an absolute beginner he made me feel comfortable and set a framework to move forward.
· Guitar · In home Very good first lesson...great way of teaching. Very clear and patient.
· · Guitar Teacher
Brian's teaching approach is concise but very relaxed. His lessons are easy to follow and relevant to life encounters. As a member of the super seniors and a first time guitar students his teaching has given me hope of become a good guitar player.
· · Patient and Caring
Our experience with Brian as piano teacher to our two children has been incredible. He has brought each of them along at their own pace and they have learned to play very well. Brian has always been patient and kind.
This has been particularly important with our (now) 8 year old son who is autistic. He can get easily distracted, frustrated, bored, or just plain ornery and uncooperative. Mr. Brian has always exhibited great patience toward him, taking breaks when necessary and generally bringing our son along at his own pace--and our son has shown remarkable progress.
We highly recommend Brian as a piano teacher.