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My name is Tommy. I've been playing bass and guitar since I was 11 years old. When I was in high school, I won my school's Duke Ellington Jazz Performance Award my junior year. Around this time I began to work at my neighborhood's local lesson shop Let's Play Music! off of W Broad Street in Falls Church, VA. Following high school, I attended the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, studying jazz bass performance with players who have played and recorded with John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Bobby McFerrin, among others. I received my degree in Jazz Bass Performance and since returning to the DC area have taught at Let's Play Music, Bach 2 Rock, and Music and Arts. Outside of my academic accomplishments, I play in and record a number of bands. I play out at different venues from Richmond to Baltimore regularly and have gone on tour twice before. I specialize in electric bass and music theory, but am quite comfortable teaching beginner to intermediate guitar.
Bach 2 Rock is a chain of music educators dedicated to teaching not only how to play music, but how to play music with others. Here I teach beginner and intermediate guitar and am the go-to bass instructor at the McLean, VA site. I've had students as young as 4 and as old as 70 at this location, and each one grew by leaps and bounds in their playing. Bach 2 Rock is unique in that it offers kids the opportunity to play in bands we put together. I've been a band instructor since I've started as well, coaching kids on how to properly play with one another and eventually leading them to our seasonal battle of the bands. Another key opportunity I am given here is the chance to record different bands when they are prepared to do so. This has given me a proficient knowledge of the recording process, something I'll gladly share with my students.
Another national chain, I've been teaching at Music and Arts as a guitar and bass instructor for 3 years. Here I've taught kids and adults alike while they began their foray into music. This experience is unique as well since I have the opportunity to talk about musical gear and equipment out on the floor and discuss the subtle differences between instruments and amps so the student can get the tools that are right for what they want to do with their music.
Let's Play Music! is the locally owned lesson shop I've been teaching at since I was in high school. In fact, I was taking lessons there until my Senior year, when my instructor (and friend and current boss) asked if I would like to start teaching some of his younger bass students. I would like to think he was impressed. Since then, two of my bass students have gone on to play in the Virginia All State Jazz band. I've added beginner and intermediate guitar lessons to my job as well since returning from New York in 2014.
While this might not seem to be pertinent to my musical ability, I think having experience in the record industry is invaluable to musicians who view their art as more than a hobby. Starting in England in 1983, Earache Records is one of the oldest Heavy Metal record labels still in existence. While working here, I was in charge of managing the label's Pinterest and Spotify accounts to reach the maximum amount of people with new releases. Aside from the social media work, I was privy to meetings with bands and familiarized with contracts and licensing agreements that ended up garnering large profits for both parties involved. To sum up my experience, I am very familiar with the business aspect of music, as well as the performance part.
· Bass Guitar · In home We were so lucky to have been referred to Tommy. Our middle school son wanted to branch out from playing the upright/classic bass, to electric bass and acoustic guitar. Tommy worked with our son for nearly 2 years. Tommy was always reliable, always prompt, always polite and 100% committed to the music and to our son's personal progress & improvement. He was always flexible, upbeat and easy to work with...with the patience of a saint...esp. for the parent who knows nothing about guitar. A huge talent!
· Bass Guitar · In home Tommy is a phenomenal teacher. He is able to explain advanced concepts related to music theory in a way that is easy to understand and teaches you how to apply it to your own playing. Easily the best person to learn from if you want to improve your bass technique.
· Bass Guitar · In home Tommy is a unique teacher in that he knows his craft very well and he also wants to teach it. He has tremendous empathy and patience and I grew as a musician under his leadership.
Tommy taught me bass for about a year and in that time I learned more about my bass and amps, how to play better and read and interpret music better, how to play better with others and even music theory (especially as it relates to bass playing).
And I thought I was just going to get bass lessons!!
· Guitar · In studio Great teacher! Tommy covers music theory and playing technique in a way that's easy for inexperienced players to understand. He also follows up with the progress of his students regularly.