Music Instruction

I began teaching music professionally in 1989, and it has been my full-time job since the late 1990’s. With over 3 decades’ experience as a musician, I draw upon the range of experiences I have had in the wide span of my own work to fine-tune lessons to each student’s needs and interests. I strongly encourage students to ask questions. Your lessons will be tailored to your specific needs and interests as a musician.

As student and teacher we are a team. Each of the challenges I will present you with will be approachable. I have learned that students succeed when the process of learning is rewarding and fun, and that challenges must be appropriate to the student and the moment. Success is fun and invigorating. When you study with me you will learn at a pace that will be comfortable and appropriately challenging.

Beginning with the very first lessons, while learning music you are interested in, you will learn the basics of instrumental technique. All of what you hear comes from hands, and that is where we begin. Intermediate and advanced students that come to me often benefit from these fundamentals lessons also. Musicianship also requires understanding how things relate to each other and how they fit together. You will learn to listen as a musician does.

Here are some One-Liners that will help to guide you as you practice.

You will learn:

Essential technical skills:
In your lessons you will learn to touch the instrument you choose with strength and grace. As a part of the process you will learn the technique-building exercises I learned in lessons with master teachers and on the bandstand. During this process you will also learn to hear more aspects of the music you listen to and gain more control/understanding of the sounds you make.

How to build the music you are inspired by:
When you study with me you will be invited to bring the music you want to learn to the lesson. We will build your lessons around that specific material to enable you to play in the styles that are most inspiring to you. Your theory lessons will be focused directly on the music you are interested in playing; there will be absolutely no unnecessary book work. If you are truly interested in a more general course of study, I can create one for you.

What to actually do during your practice time:
You will learn to practice effectively, making the most of your time, learning quickly and solidly. You will be given highly specific and effective practice techniques to use in your time between lessons. The lesson time will be used to model these. I will suggest ways to structure your practice time and ways to support establishing practicing as a beneficial habit.

About Materials:

I teach in tablature or standard notation, depending on the goals of the student. I recommend books as my understanding of the student’s goals and strengths develops. Beyond paper-based materials, I strongly encourage students to develop their ability to play by ear. Improvisation is an essential musical skill that you will learn through exercises I will tailor to your abilities and your strengths as a player.