Levels taught:Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Levels taught:Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Note, Due to a death in my family I will not be able to accept any new students for the rest of January. But if anyone is interested in starting lessons with me I should be free in February. I have been teaching guitar for 25 years in the Washington DC metro area. I work with students 12 years of age and up, but I am especially experienced at teaching adult students regardless of whether they are beginners or have previous guitar experience. I have performed in acoustic Celtic, new age, funk, progressive rock, fusion and contemporary jazz groups and am currently performing regularly as a solo acoustic guitarist. I have composed over 40 works for solo guitar as well as numerous pieces for small jazz bands. I have played on numerous CDs including my most recent solo CD 'DARK MATTER'. *** Lesson Details *** I tailor the lesson materials to suit the interest of the student but I am dedicated to teaching students at any level to learn to better understand the fundamentals of the language of music. My teaching focuses on critical fundamentals of guitar technique including chords, scales and rhythm guitar playing as well as the art of improvisation. A significant amount of time in the lessons is spent actually playing with the students so that the technical concepts are put to use in real music situations. To further the student's understanding of music I frequently teach elements of music theory to those who are interested. *** Studio Equipment *** I have guitars and amps available for student use although I prefer that the student bring their own instrument. I also have all the needed accessories, cables, stands etc. *** Specialties *** Adult students (and older teenagers ) whether beginners or experienced are a particular specialty of mine. Adult learners want to be treated as adults and often times benefit greatly from a more mentor oriented approach to teaching. I like to describe myself as both a teacher and a coach so as to emphasize that the student and I are on the same team sharing the goal of improving their guitar playing and musicianship. We are both on the same path of musical discovery. I am probably just farther along on that path with insights and knowledge that will hopefully help them along their way.
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I've been taking weekly online guitar lessons with Dennis for a little over a year now and I have nothing but good things to say. Dennis brings decades of playing and teaching experience to the table and it shows in each lesson. Dennis is particularly great at tailoring the lesson material to the abilities and experience of the student. I had been self learning guitar for about 2 years before signing up for lessons with Dennis. In our first lesson, he got an idea of my skill and interests and built the lessons off of that. I am personally interested in jazz guitar and Dennis holds a wealth of knowledge in that department as well as many other genres and styles. Ultimately, the greatest thing about Dennis' teaching method is that he helps you pursue your interests and goals and provides you with the tools and information to do so. You won't be spending any time practicing anything you don't feel is relevant to your interests. Another note I'd like to add is that I have never felt looked down on or judged by Dennis throughout my year of lessons. I know this is common concern among adult beginners like myself (I am currently in my late 20's). I can assure anyone reading this that Dennis is a true professional and conducts his lessons in a stress-free, peer-to-peer manner.
Dennis has been a wonderful guitar teacher and mentor for me over the last 18 months or so. I am in my mid-50s and was starting essentially as a beginner when I signed up to work with Dennis. Thanks to Dennis' patient and individualized approach, I have made great strides and am pleased with how I have progressed. While he is a very accomplished guitarist, he is also a very experienced teacher. Dennis' teaching approach is not to ask the student to follow a rigid learning plan or replicate the journey he took to mastering the guitar, but rather focuses on tailoring the lessons to the student's abilities, musical interests, time constraints, learning modes, etc. The bottom line is that I enjoy working with Dennis each week and practicing what he has taught me. The pandemic has obviously thrown a big wrench into the giving of guitar lessons. Before, Dennis was teaching me at his house. We now meet online using the Takelessons platform. Online lessons took some getting used to and are clearly not optimal, but I think Dennis has become more and more adept at making it work as well as possible. I heartily recommend Dennis as a guitar teacher.
Dennis is easygoing and great to work with.