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BA, Siena Heights University, Electronic Music Production
MA, University of Toledo, Orchestration
MA, University of Denver, Classical Guitar Performance
Ph.D. Los Angeles Development Church & Institute, Gospel Music
2008, Pro Tools Operator Certificate
2010, Suzuki Method Teaching Certification
2002, Rome Festival Orchestra Featured Solo Artist
2003, Adrian Symphony Featured Solo Artist
2004, Aspen Music Festival Featured Solo Artist
Students should have fun!!! Learning how to improvise and create your own music is a skill every child can learn. I create play-along videos so that you can practice at home... I present information in an educational and entertaining way for a living. A high achiever from a young age, I performed in Carnegie Hall at age 19, and was professor at two Universities by age 22. I've studied privately with the head of both Julliard's and Yale's guitar departments. After 13 years of success teaching at Robb's Boulder Music, my guitar teaching studio swelled to over 72 students per week. Four of my child students have become national and international acts.
I take the great things about the Suzuki Method and use them (fun, creativity, by-ear learning, group jams). Then I take the things I don't like about the method and disregard them (pre-established repetoire, no composition or improv). I teach kids how to concentrate, how to teach themselves, how to ignore distractions, and the philosophy for joyful performance without nervousness. The result has been that I have trained hundreds of children to have fun playing music well, plus four of my child students have become national acts.
I create play-along videos, so that kids have something specific to practice at home. I use "Read this First" as a note reading book. Students play along with me and also by themselves at lessons. Eventually kids can gather together and play as a group if they wish to do so. I start with memorization, and easy ways of writing down the songs... and eventually kids will learn to read music, after they've secured a basic technique. All my students tune their own instruments. I teach music as a self-exploration, there is never pressure to "play it for ME".
I have a passion for music, and I play a lot of gigs, and I can see that it inspires students. I work on student's strengths first, to give them a sense of accomplishment. I use audio recording during lessons to make an actual creation that students can share with friends and family. This also helps the student hear what they sound like, and to track their progress from week to week. I excel at taking the most self-motivated students to the highest level, and I don't hold anyone back in order to stay with a pre-determined method. All students learn to count the beat in a FUN and entertaining way. I save the last few minutes of every lesson for "musical games", which are usually ear training. All of my students, even young children, can name strings, notes, and even chords by ear, all from playing this game.
Andy is an absolutely wonderful music instructor. My daughter is 10 years old and has taken Ukulele lessons with Andy for about 6 months. He is always patient and encouraging and has a real gift for communicating with kids. If a lesson or song becomes boring, he moves on to something else. I have seen my daughter's skill and confidence grow tremendously. Andy encourages my daughter to think outside the box and take risks in composing her own songs. We have worked with other instructors in the past that made lessons and practice a chore that sucked the fun out of it. Not Andy- he's fantastic and I wholeheartedly recommend him.
Andy has been great for our 7-year-old daughter, who has been taking ukulele lessons for the past year. She has some trouble with focus, and instead of fighting her tangents during a lesson, Andy masterfully and patiently let’s her take the lead with questions and song requests, skillfully redirecting her back to the lesson at hand. She has grown tremendously under his tutelage and is now moving on to study guitar. We just started our 5-year-old on violin lessons with Andy, and I myself have been studying guitar with him for the past few months. He is equally nurturing as a teacher for adult students.
Andy has been an amazing teacher to both of our boys (6yrs & 9yrs) -- they've fallen in love with guitar and piano and made very quick progress thanks to him. He's got it!
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