- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate
If you have experience with ukulele, I will probably ask you to demonstrate your skill level by playing a song you know. If you are picking up the ukulele for the first time, the first lessons will be devoted to learning correct posture and technique, and you will begin playing your first scales, exercises, and open chords. After a few lessons, you will begin to learn to learn your first melodies and repertoire.
After a few weeks, our lessons will likely take two parallel trajectories, playing the lead melodies to songs and playing the rhythmic accompaniment. This will involve learning the scales or collections of notes that make up each song, while also learning the various accompanying strumming patterns.
As you progress further, I will begin to incorporate music theory into our lessons. For my own study, I have always found it helpful to know how things work—how certain chords and melodies move and resonate with us and why others don’t. Therefore, in addition to learning repertoire, we will begin dissecting the pieces you are learning and analyzing the style of each genre. I also invite students to write their own music!
My goal is to help my students reach their musical potential and to come away with a greater love and appreciation for the art. I teach in a structured but fun atmosphere, and I always strive to keep lessons positive and encouraging!
- Teaches students:
- Ages 5+ and special needs
- Teaching since:
Thank you for visiting my profile and for your interest in studying music! Some of my greatest privileges have been studying and performing with master musicians from around the world in various styles, and I hope to be able to pass on what I have learned over the years.
My history with music
My lifelong love of music began early. Coming of age in the early 90s grunge rock era, I began letting out my teenage angst and adrenalin as a rock, punk, and metal guitarist in high school. While I became interested in jazz and classical midway through high school, the real turning point for me was seeing Leo Kottke play live for the first time. I was greatly inspired by his ability to play melody, bass, and chords all at the same time on one instrument, and it broadened my horizons as to what the guitar was capable of. I promptly went home and spent half the night practicing finger-picking and getting my hands to move across the fretboard. Fast forward years later, I devoted my education to the study of music education and classical guitar at the University of Vermont. I have always believed in the value in improving myself holistically as a musician, so in addition to classical guitar, I also studied jazz guitar, classical and jazz piano, performed saxophone in concert band, sang in large and chamber choirs, played in percussion ensembles, and routinely performed bluegrass, Appalachian, and Celtic music with an old-time music group. I am currently finishing a master’s degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, where I have been studying various Asian and Polynesian music traditions from Japan, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Hawai'i. I have also done fieldwork in Japan, studying traditional Japanese koto, shakuhachi, and ichigenkin music. Drawing wisdom from so many places and people I feel has helped me develop strength and versatility as a musician and as an educator.
As part of my undergraduate degree, I worked at Burlington High School in Burlington, VT, teaching and conducting concert band, leading small jazz ensembles, and teaching music theory and composition. I have over ten years of experience teaching private lessons with students ranging from five-year-old beginners to advanced adults; from children with special needs, to non-native-English students. I always develop each day’s lesson and each student's curriculum to fit the needs of each student.
My inspiration and philosophy
Early in my musical training, I studied guitar with Phil Sargent, a phenomenal jazz guitarist in the Boston/greater New England area. In one of our lessons, he detailed his daily practice routine. This involved scales, arpeggios, chord practice, ear training, solo transcribing, repertoire building, and more—all totaling six to eight hours of practice each day. I asked him why he spent so much time practicing, and I will always remember his answer: “to have the ability to play whatever I imagine on stage—to me, that is freedom.” I was awestruck by this seemingly counter-intuitive concept—that true freedom takes a lifetime of discipline. Of course, I don’t ask my young students to practice that much! But I do make it my purpose as a music teacher to gently guide students to developing the discipline to achieve their individual musical goals.
Discipline aside, I am greatly inspired by the power of music to bring people together, to foster passion and creativity in individuals, and to nourish the body and soul. It is my dream to pass on the many music traditions that have inspired me and brought so much meaning and wonder to my life.
If I seem like a good match to help further your musical goals, then I would love to hear from you!
Teaching beginning, intermediate, and advanced guitar, bass guitar, and ukulele in various styles of music including classical, jazz, rock, blues, soul, folk, bluegrass, Celtic, Hawaiian, and more
Developed lesson plans and taught kindergarten through sixth grade
Taught and conducted concert band
Taught intermediate and advanced jazz ensembles
Taught general music class, theory, composition, history, ear-training
Private lessons for guitar, bass guitar, woodwinds, voice, percussion
I've had two lessons with Bill now, and they've both been great! I came in already knowing some guitar stuff (like chords and whatnot) but never having studied classical guitar before. Bill was easily able to tailor lessons to my skill level and ability. Both lessons have been fun, and filled with lots of practical tips and techniques that have already improved my playing by lightyears! At first I wasn't quite sure how an online guitar lesson would play out (pun intended), but it actually went really well.
He also suggested several great resources for me to check out as to where to get music to learn and practice with (I'm focusing on Renaissance lute music). Bill is a very versatile player and teacher though, so I'm sure he could coach me in a variety of styles besides Renaissance music. I'm excited for many more lessons!