I majored in music at Berea College, then went on to The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where I completed a Masters degree in guitar performance and served as the graduate assistant to the guitar department.
For the past ten years I have earned a living performing and teaching guitar. I am a certified Suzuki instructor, and I've held teaching positions at Winston Salem State University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, along with at least half a dozen other schools and institutions. I've been featured on other artists' records, and received a grant to release an album of my own songs. I regularly perform in a wide variety of bands and ensembles.
I love to teach, and over the years I have taught hundreds, maybe even thousands of lessons. Having learned something from each and every one of my students, I am now at a point where I excel at honing in on the individual interests and learning styles of whoever comes to me for help. There are many ways to learn guitar. The best one is the one that engages and inspires you the most. That said, there are also music fundamentals that we all need to know. My joy as a teacher lies in finding a way for you to master the fundamentals while at the same time following your personal bliss and intuition. We plot the course together, combining your curiosity and enthusiasm with my years of experience.
I also love working with kids. While they are having fun jamming, I discretely provide them with the technique and musicianship they'll need to excel in any musical environment, whether it's conservatory study or playing in a great band.
*** Lesson Details ***
Your enthusiasm is the key to your success, so my lessons are tailored to the interests and abilities of each student. That said, my classical background and dedication to effective teaching inform everything I do.
All of my students learn Music Fundamentals:
-Technique (habits of movement)
-Theory (how music works)
-Aural skills (hearing pitches, chords and rhythms clearly)
Many of my students use books. There are hundreds of great books these days, and I will work with students from any book they choose. Listed here are the books I regularly use. They all deliver great results:
-Aaron Shearer "Leaning The Classic Guitar"
-Will Schmidt and Greg Koch "The Hal Leonard Method"
-Joe Pecoraro "Read This First"
-David Oaks "Music Reading For Guitar"
-William Leavitt "A Modern Method For Guitar"
-Mateo Carcassi "Melodic and Progressive Studies, Opus 60"
-Leo Brouwer "Simple Studies"
Many of my students prefer to work without a book, and that is a great option too. These students learn scales, chords and theory and develop a repertoire of songs. I will show you how to play any song you'd like to learn. You can also work on writing your own songs or compositions, or improvising in any context, be it jazz, blues, Indian raga or flamenco.
Singing is also encouraged!
*** Studio Equipment ***
Home studio: music stands, extensive library of all kinds of music, great sound system and ability to stream any song, several guitars, recording equipment, footstools, keyboard and percussion instruments.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I'll bring my guitar and books, accessories as needed.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in versatility. I regularly play gigs doing classical, jazz, blues, rock, pop, and world music. All of these genres have a place in my heart, and I've devoted years to learning to play and teach them well.
I am equally polyamorous when it comes to the various things musicians do. I love to sing pop songs, dissect jazz lines, delve into expressive groupings with classical pieces, drill scales and arpeggios, you name it. Reading, improvising, composing and notating, transcribing and playing by ear, memorization, classical technique, blues technique, bluegrass technique, theoretical analysis... hit me up for any of that, or whatever else interests you.
Working with talented young students on all aspects of artistic development, including technique, repertoire, memorization, interpretation and performance.
Offering private lessons to the community that honor the legacy of great artistry and arts education associated with UNCSA.
In this two or one week intensive, students are immersed in the wonderful world of the nylon string guitar. They attend courses and workshops on technique, reading, performing and many other aspects of music. I teach classes, give private lessons, coach ensembles and assist in a variety of other ways to ensure a happy and education experience for all attendees.
Teaching private guitar lessons to students of all ages.
Creating and teaching a course for non-majors interested in learning to play the guitar. Also, teaching private lessons for majors. Covering all areas of musicianship as related to the guitar.
Teaching students according to the Suzuki method, individually and in groups.
A proven method of music instruction pioneered by violinist Shinichi Suzuki, the Suzuki method is used all around the world to train classical musicians on various instruments. The method emphasizes learning by ear, peer reinforcement through use of standardized repertoire and involving students in groups, enlisting the parents as additional teachers, and many other components.