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I am a professional guitarist with a background in jazz and classical music. I was born and raised in Springfield, IL where I studied piano, violin, and guitar from a young age. In high school and college I played in several rock and folk bands in addition to my classical and jazz studies.
After earning my Bachelor of Music in Classical Guitar Studies in 2005, my wife and I moved to New York City. Since then, I have taught and performed regularly and earned my Master of Music in Jazz Performance. I have taught a wide array of students ranging in age from 5 years old to 70 years old.
I have a great passion for music and music education and love sharing it. I have had parents tell me that their children have become more social at school and showed drastic improvement in their grades as a result of our lessons. It is further evidence that music has the power to enrich lives and make us better people.
Therefore, whether you are an adult who has always wanted to learn guitar but never took the first step, a teenager who wants help writing their own songs, or a parent of a child who is interested in learning guitar, I would love to help.
*** Lesson Details ***
My approach to lessons varies based on the experience and age of the student. For beginners ages 5-11, I typically start very simple. The student learns elementary rhythms and note reading as well as some basic music theory. I also incorporate exercises to help strengthen the student's muscle memory. I believe it is very important for the student to learn songs they are familiar with and connect to, therefore, the optimal goal is that after three to six months, each student be able to play several familiar songs.
Every student is different and some naturally progress faster than others. However, I've found that the rate of progress greatly depends on the quantity and quality of the child practice routine. As a teacher, it is my job to encourage and inspire the student to practice. With that said, I unfortunately cannot be alongside each pupil 24 hours a day. For this reason, I love when parents are included in their child's practice and strongly favor their involvement. With young children, I see far more success when the parent is present during the lesson than when absent. With these children, my approach is, as always, friendly and inviting, but have found through experience that younger learners respond better to clearly set boundaries than free-for-all sessions.
For students 12-18, I use a more relaxed approach. I have found that most of my teenage students are disciplined enough to practice sufficiently on their own. Therefore, here I also start with the fundamentals, but the lessons move quickly into learning chords and the focus shifts towards playing songs they are interested in studying. I also love helping my teen students write their own songs and I strongly encourage them to seek out other kids their age who play instruments. As in young children, music can play a noticeable role in brain development and basic motor skills, whereas additionally in teenagers, I've found that music can also be an invaluable tool in developing vital communication and social skills.
For my adult students, lessons are geared very differently. Many of these students are taking time from work or family to accomplish something they have always wanted to. I have great respect and appreciation for their sacrifice and work ethic. Variously, I've also tutored adults students who have played for years and simply wanted to brush up on some of their skills. In either case, I act as more of a guide than a teacher and base the lessons on what the student wants to learn or achieve.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Living room with guitars, piano, music stands, amp, books and plenty of seating for parents if need be.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide a music stand. I expect my students to provide their own instruments and books.
*** Specialties ***
I founded an alternative hip hop band called Sibling and I use all types of styles in our music. I can play and teach rock, metal, blues, slide guitar, jazz, folk, and classical.