I just turned 49, and have been playing electric bass and guitar since I was 14, and took up flute a few years, later, and eventually saxophone as well. I graduated from St. Mary's College of Maryland in 1985 with a Bachelors degree in classical guitar, and have been teaching guitar and electric bass for over 25 years. I'm an eclectic player who has studied and integrated many concepts from varying styles including classical, flamenco, jazz, blues, and rock, and I've developed a unique and highly effective teaching method that draws from and builds upon the CAGED system and other established successful methods. My approach to teaching emphasizes simultaneously learning musical concepts, knowledge and skills, and is a highly analytical approach that stresses simplifying, understanding, and mastering "the basics" of musical and instrument-specific knowledge and skills. I specialize in teaching ambitious and highly-motivated students who want to learn as much as they can, go as far as they can, and are prepared to commit to diligent study and practice, and I've developed a system that makes doing so as easy as possible -while utilizing the strengths and adapting to the goals of the individual student(s).
*** Lesson Details ***
My lesson approach is disciplined yet laid-back and supportive, emphasizing identifying and understanding the most basic musical and instrument-specific knowledge and skills upon which everything else is based. My approach is holistic, and emphasizes understanding the connections between everything; with new students who know nothing, I of course start from scratch; with students who do have some knowledge and/or skills, I'll emphasize reinforcing their knowledge and skill and "connecting" "puzzle pieces" -knowledge they already have- to increase that understanding they already have. Early lessons emphasize acquiring knowledge of the CAGED system (especially chords, arpeggios and scales), knowledge of basic musical concepts (especially intervals and chords), tuning the instrument, and proper playing/practice technique.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Upstairs in loft or living room with bass/guitar amp, keyboard and seating for parents.
*** Travel Equipment ***
Students coming to my home can use my amps & cords (if applicable). I provide paper & printed lesson info. I expect students to have/use their own instruments. Of course, I also have a keyboard, for reference & use.
*** Specialties ***
Jazz, classical, rock & blues -with a strong flamenco influence. My approach emphasizes learning/practicing knowledge & skill(s) at the same time, using many exercises to facilitate this. I prefer teaching advanced and/or highly-motivated "serious" students. I play/teach electric, steel-string, classical guitar -both fingerstyle & pick- and electric bass. I'm also a highly-competent flute and saxophone instructor.
I strongly emphasize learning the basics of music and the Western musical alphabet, the basics of music theory, and eventually, more complex elements/aspects of music -such as advanced harmony, counterpoint, and composition.
Verified Student · Saxophone · In home
His personality is well suited for teaching mo matter the age of the student.
Very, very satisfied. Thank you Mark...
Verified Student · Bass Guitar ·
Mark is a musical genius in my opinion. His patience level is far beyond any teachers in any learning environment I have encountered. He is very connected with my progress and puts 100 percent into every session with me. I feel very fortunate to have crossed paths with Mark and appreciate his time and knowledge he shares with me in a craft he is very passionate about. Fantastic straight forward honest individual. Won't find a better teacher in my opinion!
Verified Student · Guitar ·
Mark is a great teacher and is easy to work with. I have been a musician for many years(different)instrument and Mark has made it easy to make the transition from drums to guitar.
Verified Student · ·
Mark S. is a great teacher that understands his students and knows exactly what to teach based on the students ability and goals. He is patient and encouraging. I have learned a lot in a short time.
Verified Student · ·
Mark really does care about his students and the way he teaches the guitar makes it feel easier to learn. He gives great explanations on the fundamentals he's teaching you and tells you how it relates to your overall understanding of playing the guitar. He has great communication and posts very helpful detailed lesson notes. He goes above and beyond to make sure you're understanding and getting the most out of each lesson. I highly recommend this teacher!
We went through several instructors before Guitar Mark. He is reliable and great with my son who really doesnt want to practice or play on a daily basis. Highly recommended! My son looks forward to his weekly meeting with Mark.
Excelente teacher make student feel confident