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BM, Berklee College of Music, Guitar Performance BS, University of Missouri, Physics
2012 - Berklee College of Music Deans list
I first picked up a guitar when I was 13 years old. I played and took lessons from a great teacher all through high school, but didn't think it was a viable career option, so I went to college for physics. Eventually, I got very serious about my guitar playing, and ended up moving to Boston to study jazz performance at Berklee. While I was studying physics, I always had a part time job teaching guitar lessons, and really developed a passion for it. I always loved that while I was teaching I constantly learned new things!
While I taught some guitar lessons here and there in high school, I got my first steady gig teaching at a music store at the age of 19. Now, at the age of 25, I have taught hundreds of lessons, and had jobs teaching at a few different locations. I am constantly looking for better ways to explain things, ways to get students more motivated, and most importantly, ways to make learning music more fun!
I don't teach out of method books. I will write notes during the lesson and give them to the student, and sometimes give them websites to look up or other resources I feel would be helpful. I like to teach the student how to play songs from bands that they like, or whatever else they are interested in. I find that not having a book allows us the freedom to take the lessons in any direction that we want, without having to follow a set path. To me this is much more exciting!
When I first sit down with a student, my number one goal is to figure out what they are excited about. I personally never spent much time practicing music that I wasn't excited about, so I don't expect my students to either. Whether it ends up being rock, classical, jazz, folk, or maybe a specific band or artist, I feel that students learn best when they are excited about the music they are learning. After that I will introduce concepts like theory, technique, rhythm, ear training, sight-reading, improvisation, and whatever else I can find to help my students play the music that they want to play! One of the ways that I learned the most was by playing with other musicians who were more experienced than me, so I like to play something with my students each time I see them.
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