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MM The Ohio State University, Music Composition Studied modern orchestration under pianist/composer/conductor Bela Selage
Youngest Recipient, at age 13, of a Gloria Eisen Foundation Award of Merit Palm Beach International Film Festival- Best Original Score for an XL-Length Documentary , 2009, Under Fiji
I was fortunate to have been chosen early in my life to receive a wonderful and very comprehensive musical education as the result of a foundation grant awarded to me as one who had displayed a much higher than average aptitude for music. The result of that musical education and training was that I was able to have a most fulfilling and distinguished musical career. For nearly 14 years I toured an average of 300 days/yr with over a hundred major-label acts, including musical superstars of widely-diverse genres and styles. Whereas typically, particularly in pop music, musicians don't cross genre styles , but specialize in one particular style. I was equally comfortable playing classical, jazz, R&B, funk, soul, rock, or metal because , understanding music as I do, I understand that , no matter what style or genre you play, you are going to be using the same 12 notes, but just in different ways.
This comprehensive understanding is what I strive to deliver to my students. The difference between a musician who can play a bunch of songs ,and a musician who can play any song that he/she can get into their head, is simply this: The persons ability to identify , in musical terms, the music that they hear-either from a recording, or in his/her head. That is where my students have an advantage-because that is exactly what they learn. Most teachers teach music as a succession of mechanical events in a given order, or as interpreting notes on a staff into performed music. Although I firmly believe that being musical literate is an important thing, My immediate focus with regard to teaching is to take the mystery out of music itself-how scales, modes, chords inter-relate into a seamless fabric in interconnectivity wherein one can identify, in musical terms, everything one hears. And -this is important---If you can identify, in musical terms , what you hear, you'll have no trouble playing it-on any instrument on which you know the notes. If you can't identify what you're hearing, that becomes impossible. If you are a player seeking to rid yourself of limitations based on a lack of musical understanding, I am waiting to help you blow -up. If you are looking to not only learn to play guitar, but to understand how music works so you can learn to be musically creative, I am your guy. If you are a mom or dad wanting lessons for your child , I will not only teach your child music, but in doing so I will consciously work to build neural connections that will not only facilitate a higher level of musical performance, but also raise his/her IQ by 10-15%, and increasing his/her performance level in math and science.
I began teaching private guitar lessons while I was attending Ohio State University. I was a teaching assistant while in graduate school. During my school days I thought of teaching music simply as a way to earn some money. After completing my college work I became a touring freelance musician, performing with widely-varying artists and an extremely wide range of style and genres. I noticed that, because of the excellent understanding of music I was given, I could easily go from one genre to another effortlessly, while most of the musicians with whom i played seemed to stay within one particular style or feel. I determined that when i would finally get off the road, buy a house, and raise children, the i would afford other young people the type of musical understanding that i was given, outside of the school/conservatory environment. And thats what i do. As a result, many students of mine have been given scholarships and grants equal to, or exceeding the cost of their education at such esteemed places as Juilliard, Berkeley School of Music, Peabody Conservatory , Capital University, Cincinnati Conservatory, andthe University of the US Virgin Islands.
My program is one that I have developed over the last 18 years. I use no method books. I ask my students to bring a blank manuscript book that I will fill up as we go forward. I also highly encourage all of my students to have a keyboard of some kind available to them, IE: a piano, organ, or even one of those battery-powered little CASIO keyboards that one can buy for $15-25 at a Salvation Army or Goodwill store. The most important thing that a student should get out of any kind of music lessons is the understanding of the relationship of scales, modes, and chords. We will typically talk about scales the first week . Then we will assess where we go, dependent on the level of proficiency of the student.
Everybody has a different reason why they want to take music lessons, and I, as the teacher music be responsive to that. Since the student is the one hiring the instructor, his/her needs should be considered . However, in my years of teaching I have come to understand that the student needs direction from one who understands more clearly what his/her needs are. Credibility and trust is the key to success . In my case, credibility is pretty automatically gained by making sure my students have been to my website and have checked out my professional history. It is also important that an atmosphere of trust is established, wherein the student will enable me the ability to do the job of teaching , understanding that they will get where they want to go faster and more easily by trusting that. To that, I am very sincere about my motives with regard to teaching music. I sincerely love to share the life-enhancing ability of self-expression through music-not just the ability to play songs, but having the understanding of music to be able to become a formidable creative musical force.
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