- Teaches students:
- Ages 5 to 16
- Teaching since:
- May 2010
Ever since my mother played the Beatles on her stereo when I was very young, I have always been attracted to music. This attraction morphed into a passion when I started taking piano lessons at age eight. I soon moved to Cello and then Guitar, which I consider my primary instrument in terms of proficiency and expression. In high school, I expanded my musical boundaries even further by playing guitar in one of the school’s jazz bands as well as playing percussion in the symphonic band and playing both snare and bass drum in the marching band. I decided that I wanted to pursue music as a career, so I majored in music education at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University. I not only learned many methods and strategies involving music learning theory, but I also improved my overall musicianship and understanding of musical theory. I also sang in the Pappert Chorale and played guitar in the Jazz Guitar Ensemble. I studied guitar under both Ken Karsh and Mark Koch
After college, I decided that I wanted to teach the music that inspired me and most importantly, I wanted to teach it in my own way. While there are numerous fundamental ideas about music that I feel that everyone should learn (basic theory, technique, improvisation), I feel that the student should be guiding the lesson as much as the teacher, since it does not matter how the teacher knows if the student is unmotivated and unwilling to fully participate. However, if there is a certain song, piece, genre, passage, or standard that you want to learn, I can certainly help you!
I am fluent in many genres including Rock, Jazz, Blues, Classical, Folk, and Funk. I have been playing guitar for over ten years, and am very familiar with the instrument in terms of both its advantages and limitations. I also play guitar in an electronic musical project called Tingo and I play electric bass in rock/metal band Vengeance and the Feral Dogs.
*** Lesson Details ***
My attitude towards our lessons largely depends on your attitude towards learning and playing music. If you come to lessons prepared (having practiced beforehand) and eager to learn, I will do my best to provide not only a quality musical education, but also a great time learning and playing music! If you come unprepared and are resistant to trying new things, its hard for me to be as engaged in your musical progression when you aren't invested in it. While I am open to using whatever method books or repertoire you have used in the past, I also have an assortment of materials to start with if you are a beginner. I do have a few expectations from my students when they are taking lessons with me.
1) practice practice and practice. You are not going to get better at your instrument by simply playing it with me once a week. You need to practice 10-20 minutes a day for 5 days a week at the very least if you want to improve. Not practicing leads to boredom and frustration not only from you, but from me as well. Stagnation is never good in music, so make sure to practice so we can progress at an acceptable pace
2) Attitude. I understand that everyone has those bad days sometimes, but I ask that you keep those kinds of issues out of our lesson, as I will do the same. It is important to have a positive attitude towards all of our lessons, even if we are working on something that might not be quite so exciting. With the right attitude, these lessons will fly by and you will progress much faster!
3) Keep an Open Mind. The truth is that there are many different types of musicians making music with different timbres, different structures, and with different goals in mind. In order to become a better and more well rounded musician, I ask that you keep an open mind about listening to and/or playing a piece a music that might not be “up your alley.” Like with other pursuits, music is about putting yourself outside of your comfort zone in order to gain new perspective and insight.
If you meet these expectations, this is what I can promise you:
1) Quality Education. I have been playing music for most of my life so I am confident that I can bring you a high quality musical education. I may not be perfect, but I will help you become a better musician.
2) Friendly Environment. I have taught students of all ages, and while I want them all to improve, I also want them to enjoy their time with me. This is why I promise to be as friendly and encouraging as possible during our lessons so that you feel more comfortable to take musical risks to improve.
3) A Great Time! Music should be fun for everyone, so I promise to educate you in the most entertaining way possible. While I do focus on improving your playing, you should be engaged while doing so, I promise not only to keep you engaged but enjoying your time with me as well!
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide music stands, amplifiers, and additional musical material not present in the books. I expect the students to provide their instruments, their respective books, and all materials to play the instrument comfortably and effectively (picks, sticks)
*** Specialties ***
I try to play music from every genre, but my specialties include rock, folk, Jazz, and "independent" music
Great teacher who makes learning the guitar FUN!
Bill was recommended to us by our local high school's band director shortly after we moved to this area. Our middle school-aged son has been taking lessons from him for almost one year now. He has already progressed from "never having played ANY instrument" to playing recognizable songs on his guitar. Bill has fostered in our son such an enthusiasm for his instrument that we rarely ever need to remind him to practice. Not only has Bill taught our child HOW to PLAY guitar, he has also taught him how to CARE FOR his instrument. In addition, Bill has opened our son's eyes to different types of music. We have had a great experience with Bill!
Bill is dependable and encouraging
Bill has been giving my son guitar lessons for a year. My son loves Bill. Bill is great at incorporating basic instructional books, improvization, and fun material. He was very supportive when my son tried to write his own music and Bill gives him nice feedback when he works hard. Bill has never missed a weekly session and is always on time. He came to us based on strong recommendations from our local high school band director.