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Don brings over 36 years of teaching experience in Piano, Voice, and Guitar. His relaxed and humorous approach to music encourages students to embrace a love for the musical art.
With 2 American Idol finalists to his credit, along with numerous students who have gone on to professional careers in theater, television, and film. He also has 16 years experience as Musical Director for over 45 theatrical productions in Southern California, Oregon, and Washington.
He has received an award in Southern California for Outstanding Musical Direction in a theatrical production of "The King and I." He is currently the vocal coach for Magenta Theater and Musical Director for Metropolitan Performing Arts Academy, both in Vancouver, WA.
He has traveled the US with The Continental Singers, an international singing group, been a choral director in churches and various performing groups. He has worked as a recording studio engineer, live sound engineer, and theater sound designer.
Don strives to bring out the best in each student. Whether a beginner, intermediate, or advanced student, Don will expand your musical horizon and styles to new levels.
*** Lesson Details ***
All that I request from a student is a desire to learn. I will work with you at your pace to achieve the musical goals you have. Each student begins at a different level.
The first lesson will focus on your musical background. If you are a beginner, that's no problem. I specialize in working with beginning students to teach them all the joy and satisfaction there is in mastering an instrument.
I love to laugh and the lessons are very laid back and fun, but I desire that a student move forward and learn new techniques.
You will be playing simple songs after your first lesson. I'm asked many times by students "how long will it take until I'm good." My answer is: that is in direct proportion to the amount of time you dedicate to practicing. After a month or two, you will know how to read music and have a basic understanding of music theory.
I use various curriculum depending on the student's need. For piano, I generally use Alfred Methods. For guitar, Hal Leonard or Mel Bay. For voice, the curriculum is individually tailored to the students level and goals.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in theatrical performance for actors/vocalists.
· Piano · In studio Being a Senior, I felt that a person who was close to my age would be better for me. I feel now that we would have gotten along even if I was 10 years old. Don brought me to a comfortable level from the outset with his style and knowledge.
· Piano · In home Don has been a great instructor so far! We're excited to see the improvements our daughter has shown. His positive nature has built up her confidence immensely. Would highly recommend ☺️
· Guitar · In studio This was a great first class. Don was very friendly, patient, and full of jokes. I can't wait to go back for my second lesson
· Guitar · In studio Love it! Easy going, easy to understand, great tips and techniques I can use to get stronger more quickly. Looking forward to next week!
· Singing · In studio I was quite nervous trying to sing after many years away from the choir. Don makes your first class friendly and comfortable. I left feeling like he will know exactly what I need. Was great!!!
· Piano · In studio I really enjoyed my lesson with Don. He was very professional, but laid back. He helped me with exactly what I had asked for. I felt comfortable making mistakes. Also, while practicing in between lessons I'm able to contact him with questions.
· Guitar · In studio At 60,, I was unsure what to expect,, Don has been so patient, and going at speed I can handle, I am only an advanced beginner,, so it sinks in slowly.... and Don is directing me the way I need to go,, it's only been 3 lessons,, but can tell I will stick with him for awhile,, only complaint,, is the tiny room we are in,, banging guitars together sometimes,, lol,, Great Teacher...
· Singing · Expanded my range and strengthened my voice.
Don has a lot of experience, worked well around my schedule, and is very professional.
From day one he gave me exercises and study material to take home. Due to his experience he could pinpoint my weak points and give me something to work on for next week. If I couldn't make it on my lesson day Don was very open and helpful with rescheduling.
Don is friendly, punctual, and can I say experienced one more time :) I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to expand there music knowledge.