I fell in love with the guitar when I was ten years old, and it’s been one of the most satisfying, long-lasting and healthiest romantic relationships of my entire life. I am still in love.
When I began to play AND sing, the magic multiplied. Through performing solo and with bands, I discovered that other people also enjoyed the magic that was being channeled through me musically.
Then I found that I could teach. This was a surprise to me. I found that I am the kind of person who can explain concepts and demonstrate technique in a way that makes the new information fun for a student. My students enjoy learning, and I enjoy the fact that they are enjoying it. It is SO MUCH FUN for me to see a student’s face light up because something suddenly makes sense to them, and they GET IT. I love adding one person after another to the club of people who love to play and/or sing.
If you want your child to have more balance and a way to soothe or express strong emotion in a healthy way – and in a way that pleases them – I would like to help you to give him or her that gift. As a child and a teenager, I spent countless hours in a room with my guitar, and it really helped me to stay on an even keel. It also taught me about discipline: practicing on a daily basis brings satisfying results. I was able to make music that was beautiful to listen to, and as long as I kept practicing, it got better and better. It proved to me that regular focus on something I wanted to be good at would bring results. That’s true of most things in life. I make a point of telling my young students that practicing an instrument is just like doing homework: you get out of it what you put into it. And the results can be joyous.
Perhaps YOU, an adult, are the musician or prospective musician. It’s never too late to fall in love with a musical instrument! It’s a joy, and a meditation, a sedative or an outlet, and it’s all YOURS. There is always a creative element to playing an instrument – when two different people play the same music, it never sounds exactly the same, because a person’s personality always shines through. The creation of music or the re-creation of music is, as I said before, magical. And I would like to give you a guided tour of that wonder-world.
If, by chance, you should find that you want to play with other people, I will prepare you to be able to do that and have a BLAST. There’s a reason that the word for what you do with an instrument and what children do with toys is “PLAY.” Fun is always the objective, and I’ve never had more fun in my life than when I was playing with other great musicians. The collaborative effort multiplies the creative results beyond all understanding. This is not just fun, it is BIG FUN! I love to give people the tools they need to be able to experience that. I’ll teach you how to play and sing easily and comfortably, and give you the foundation you need to play any style of music you desire, well. I've been privileged to have really amazing teachers as I learned and developed, and I've stolen from them all the best techniques for sharing musical knowledge. I’ve made music my life’s work, and I have so much to show you!
*** Lesson Details ***
I am very relaxed in my approach, and use humor to lighten up the situation. Most people are initially tense and self-conscious with a new instructor -- my job is to make a student relaxed and happy so that we can focus on the work at hand. There is a way to be disciplined and focused about learning how to play an instrument and about your practice time, but it should be enjoyable. Stress makes it harder to immerse yourself in the music, and that's what's necessary for satisfying development. I've got lots of helpful hints about how to relax and get the most out of your music time. Musicians NEVER STOP LEARNING, no matter what their level, so with music, it's doubly important to learn to enjoy the moment.
I like for my students to be able to read music, at least on a basic level. The ability to be able to decipher musical notation allows for so much more access to all kinds of music, that I really want my students to be able to learn any music they want to by looking at a piece of paper, or a post on the Internet. I use a beginning classical guitar book for my guitar students, and a generic basics book for bass students. I also like to use music of the student's choice for teaching. If they like the music they're learning, it's much easier to TEACH.
For guitar and bass students, I also teach tablature (or "Tab"), since that's become a popular and easy way of notating music.
I like to find out where a student is in his or her development, and then start their instruction from there. If it's a beginning student, we'll start with parts of the guitar, tuning the guitar, and explanations about rhythm and melody. We'll go on to basic chords, easy bass lines, keeping time, and easy melodies. If a student is more advanced, we might start with a song that the student wants to play, but is having difficulties learning. We may work on music theory so that the basic framework can help them to learn music faster, and remember it more easily. We may focus on playing technique so that the student plays more easily and efficiently. I like to identify the things that will take a student to the next level NOW, and then focus on those things until the student feels confident and comfortable with them.
Voice students get the same kind of personalized lessons, and we focus on creating sound easily and without strain, as well and pitch, timing, and tone quality. I want you to like your voice, and to feel good about singing. I want you to sing easily, and happily. The right technique allows a singer to do that, and also protects the voice from damage over time. We'll explore the ways that you can learn a healthy way of singing that sounds great to you and your listeners.
*** Studio Equipment ***
There are two Roland cube bass and guitar amplifiers available for use. Also, there is a drum room with a kit in it if I want a student to play along with a drum groove to help improve their rhythmic abilities.
*** Travel Equipment ***
*** Specialties ***
Classical guitar, R&B, reggae
I worked (for a living -- that was all I did for work) for nearly 2 decades as a freelance lead and rhythm guitarist in reggae bands, and played gospel in a church for 3 years.
I attended an intensive year-long program in which I studied guitar: sight-reading and ear-training, music theory, composition, playing technique, performance, jazz improvisation, and styles (blues, country, fusion, & rock).