- Teaches students:
- Ages 6 to 80 and special needs
- Teaching since:
- January 1994
I was born in California but raised in the sleepy town of Beaverton, Oregon, enmeshed in massive groves of pine and poplar trees and long, cool rainy days. I entered into the world of creativity and music when I was just thirteen by composing poetry and song lyrics, and began dabbling with my sister's used classical guitar when I was 15. From there, I taught myself simple songs by composers like Neil Young, America and Crosby Stills and Nash and developed an interest in rock and blues. I began taking lessons in guitar and voice and was completely dedicated to the guitar never missing a day of practice for over 6 years.
I began performing in my teens playing at parties, small clubs and coffee shops. I specialized in songs with strong vocal parts and worked diligently at perfecting my singing voice and my ability to accompany myself smoothly and precisely. I started getting more involved with harder rocking bands such as Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters and prided myself with the ability to match the vocal parts in both accuracy and intensity. I raised the level of professionalism up on my own writing skills as well and publishing a lyrical device in a poetry publication known as “In Dappled Sunlight.” I also enjoying some radio airplay for one of my songs and was fortunate enough to open for the illustrious Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship in an acoustic set in Denver, Co.
Although my formal education was in Psychology and Counseling, I continued taking lessons in guitar and voice while simultaneously refining my sound and my skills. I also began teaching during this time working with students from 5 to sixty-five and focusing on acoustic guitar skills as well as vocal training and most of all, finding enjoyment in music. To me, teaching is an integral part of music as I truly believe that the gift of music is wasted unless its shared with others. Seeing a student realize his or her musical dreams is one of the greatest joys that I have experienced as a musician and I'm dedicated to the teaching process for life. I'm also dedicated to performing and to this day I have done over 1000 shows, playing the coziest of street corner pubs to big festivals with thousands of people present. I feel that this performance experience in combination with over 20 great years of teaching has made me the highly qualified instructor that I am today.
Although there are many singer/songwriters, I feel I am unique in that I strive to incorporate power and passion into the simplest of musical pieces and have learned how to teach this process to others. I feel that finding the passion in music, whether it be rhythm or lead guitar or voice, can make the difference between being a mediocre musician and a great one regardless of your skill level. I feel I have the insight and patience as well to work with anyone who has the desire and dedication to become a great musician.
I now live in the beautiful town of Fort Collins, Colorado where I both perform and teach with regularity and also operate my counseling practice where I specialize in helping children and adults work through anxiety and depression. I hope to work with each of you in the near future and help you to achieve the lofty musical goals that you have set out for yourself. Mark
*** Lesson Details ***
Simply stated, students can expect what they're willing to contribute to the learning process. At least half of learning is done before or after the lesson during the student's practice time so the time in between lessons is extremely important. Although I am a laid back instructor, I also have high expectations of the student and will define those in the first lesson. The curriculum is based on years of teaching experience and will be tailor-made to your current age, development and experience level. The word "dedication" is an important one here as well because if you're dedicated, then you 'll become a life-time learner and musician rather than a part time participant. So, after 3-6 months you may learn almost nothing or you will become a proficient player, it's all up to you!
*** Studio Equipment ***
loft 400 sq feet open, airy multiple instruments seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can bring instruments although I would hope they also have some of their own as well.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in manifesting powerful dynamics in voice and performance, specifically in blues, rock, alternative and folk music. I also incorporate some of the Alexander technique into some of my teaching (no, I am not certified in Alexander but have participated in some of the classes).
I've played in over 100 venues in Colorado including the Fox Theater, the Boulder Theater, the Soiled Dove, Herman's Hideaway, Avogadro's Number as well as many others.
Mark is awesome and has a lot of knowledge if you're willing to put in the effort and listen.