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I've loved music since I was able to walk. When I was 5 or 6, I would listen to my mother's stereo system, with Jim Croce playing on the 8-Track tape deck.....(ok, so I'm aging myself a little bit). I would lay on the floor in between the speakers which were turned inward toward my ears. I could lay there for hours, tapping my toes to "Bad Bad Leroy Brown", "Roller Derby Queen", "You Don't Mess Around with Jim", and many others. I would also listen to the Beatles, Seargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", and "Revolution" and be completely taken away. I didn't realize it then, but what captivated me were the songs that were written to tell stories, and the music that brought the stories to life. As I grew into my early teens, I got into Kiss, Alice Cooper, Rush, Ted Nugent, and Jimi Hendrix. (His version of "All Along the Watch Tower" was much better than Bob Dylan's original version)
During my high school years I got more into Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, because of it's energy, and decided to start learning how to play the bass guitar. As the '80s music scene was going down hill with music from Boy George and Pet Shop Boys, along with so many LA "Hair Bands", I turned off the radio. I would spend hours in record stores picking out albums from my favorites, and would go see them in concert when I could. But when I saw Sammy Hagar during his "Three Lock Box" tour, and Ted Nugent promoting his "Wango Tango" album, I realized that I wanted to be a rock star. I wanted to play guitar with such heart and soul, and write songs that inspired and excited audiences! So I bought my first guitar for $300 at a pawn shop, which was a Gibson Sonex - 180.
After playing bass guitar for the high school jazz band for a couple of years, I wanted to learn more about song writing. I was 17 when I started taking lessons. What I noticed most of all is that my instructors were trying to teach me how to play songs on the guitar, not HOW to play the guitar. I then decided the only way to learn to play the guitar is to figure out the "why" of chords, and scales, and why certain tones when payed together instill a certain emotion when heard. This way, when someone asked if I could play guitar, I could honestly say, "Yes". I would pick out certain songs to learn as a study reference, and then figure out different ways of playing them. I only wanted to play the guitar so that I could play my own creations, or improvise with a band.
In my college years, I lived in Switzerland, studying the hotel business. During my off days, I would take my guitar out into the town, and play for extra money. It was a great experience, and a way to meet a lot of different people from around the world!
Ok...enough of the biography. When I got back to the states, I decided the hotel business was not for me, and went in search of my calling. I started going to the community college, and discovered I wanted to become a music teacher! I was working full time in sales, selling telephone systems to businesses, and going to school at night. I learned the art of public speaking, and giving presentations. I gained teaching experience through giving sales training seminars, and through teaching martial arts. (I was a 2nd degree Black Belt of Aikido at the time)
As the years past, I joined the contemporary praise and worship band at my church, which allowed me to play in a band in front of an audience. I was also recruited into a local band called Covenant, formed by a couple of people from my church. Over 10 years, we toured and we recorded 2 Cd's and a live video concert!
I was still in the career of Telecommunications sales, but then the bottom dropped out of the economy, and I got layed off for the 3rd time in 2 years. So, I decided to change my career direction. I opened up my teaching practice full time, and developed a special curriculum that can be tailored to fit the individual students' personal goals, and learning ability! I've been teaching for over 16 years now, and specifically music for almost 5 years. I've taught beginners, intermediates, and advanced students from the ages of 7 to 65. My favorite students are the ones that have the desire to play. and dedication to practice.
*** Lesson Details ***
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar and Bass Guitar Lessons.
BEGINNER - INTERMEDIATE - ADVANCED
*Techniques for playing solos, and other fun stuff
*How to learn to play songs
I cover various music styles: Classic Rock / Heavy Metal / Blues / Country / Jazz / Classical / Folk / Praise - Worship
The customized lesson curricula are provided to fit the exact learning style of the student. I specialize in working with all student types; lefty, righty, beginner, intermediate, or the pro that is trying to learn something new. The focus is on how to play the instrument, and how to apply music theory to create music, not just learning songs. The first lesson is a brief interview between the student and teacher to customize the lesson plan. The second lesson focuses on goal setting and how to have a productive practice. Then the lesson plan is designed, and I create a personalized lesson binder for the student with the course material for the first year, along with the practice guides to go with each lesson.
*** Studio Equipment ***
12x14 studio / music room: 36 guitars, amps, basses, computer, recording software, and a comfortable chair for the parent who wants to accompany the younger students.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide each student with their own personalized binder with the lesson program, and practice items. I also provide music stands. If the student doesn't have their gear yet, I can offer my expertise in finding the right instrument / equipment to fit the student.
*** Specialties ***
I focus on teaching how to play the instrument, and use songs as study guides or references for the music theory part of my lessons. The genres that I cover are Classical, Folk, Country, Rock, Heavy Metal, Blues, and Jazz. I teach fingerpicking, and standard picking styles, as well as intermediate and advanced techniques. The foundation of my method revolves around inspiring creativity, and how to present emotion in the music.