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Hi! I'm Asher. I'm a lifelong musician. It's who I am; playing guitar is a language to me, and one in which I often feel more fluent than my native tongue. I've been teaching private and group lessons for over ten years. I've been fortunate enough to perform, both solo and with bands, all over the world. I've led groups of talented musicians to perform original music from Jerusalem to Tokyo, toured the United States multiple times, and have recorded and produced over 1,000 songs in my lifetime. If I could spend the rest of my life just playing, writing, and performing, I'd want for nothing else. I believe that to share the joy of understanding and creating music with another is the greatest gift I can give them. Teaching is how I give back what I feel to be an enormous karmic debt I owe the world for allowing me the delights of acting as a vessel for music. I also DJ weddings and divorces.
At fourteen, dismayed at my high school's total lack of musical education, I formed an extracurricular and creatively-titled Music Club. For an hour after school each week, and sometimes biweekly, we'd bring our instruments to an empty classroom and play. I'd float around offering one-on-one guidance, mostly covering fundamentals, sometimes providing more advanced direction to those who were ready. The peers I'd previously thought to be relatively atonal surprised me time and again by bringing in guitars, basses, hand drums, even the occasional trumpet. Music Club was where it all started; from there, I branched out into private lessons, starting with my peers, and later working with references and other community members who heard I was making rounds. In college, in addition to private lessons, I also began teaching grade school classes at a nearby school. These classes were more focused on understanding the basics of rhythm, harmony, melody, and how they interact - what makes music sound good to our ears, and how to use those things for creative self-expression. In private lessons, I've helped budding guitarists learn how to shred like their personal rock heroes; taught the nuances of fingerpicking to folk and Americana players; guided growing musicians to develop a deeper understanding of chord theory and intervals; and worked with already-established career songwriters on phrasing, melody, chord changes, and that hard-to-pin-down je-ne-sais-quois that is simply how to make a song feel the way one hears in one's head.
I believe the single most important part of a musician's work begins in the ear. Building a foundation in aural training, and understanding what you're hearing, will allow any student to then approach an instrument with clarity and patience. For most students at beginning or intermediate levels, I'll use a dual-curriculum approach to develop ear training/theory understanding alongside technical skill and practical ability. I create my own lesson plans with each student's needs in mind, in order to help them follow their personal path to musical success. I assign homework for students to complete each week, which can range from ear training (interval recognition, key matching, melody matching) to manual dexterity (practicing scales, developing physical ease with one's instrument).
I teach with the approach that the zest for music can grow into a lifelong passion for any person if their interests are nurtured and challenged. I like to work with each student to set personal goals based off what inspires them. For many budding musicians, working on a song that they love can make all the difference between practice feeling like a chore and practice becoming something they take up of their own accord. That was certainly the case for me! My parents started my violin lessons at the young age of four; by the time I hit twelve, I was no longer content to play classical music. Discovering funk and rock & roll, picking up a guitar, and falling in love with the instrument meant that within months, I was spending more time voluntarily practicing my new instrument than I'd ever spent on the Suzuki Method. This informs my approach as a teacher: make it personal, make it a direct exploration of the things the student is already interested in, and worlds will open up.
Asher’s technical guitar skills are inarguably extraordinary, but it is his caring nature and attentiveness that sets him apart from other teachers I’ve had in the past. He is not there to show off his abilities; he comes to lessons with the intention of helping his students achieve their goals and making a plan to do so. He is also a strong proponent of learning music theory rather than mindlessly playing chord shapes and patterns—I never thought I would be able to learn theory since I didn’t start when I was younger, but Asher is able to present theoretical concepts in an approachable and digestible manner that makes me feel much more empowered as a musician. Whether you’ve never picked up an instrument, or you’re looking to the connect the dots after years of running through the motions, I highly recommend giving Asher a call.
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