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BA, Oklahoma Christian University, Music
2003 - Distinguished Performers Award Scholarship
I'm a guitar instructor from the East Texas area who began playing at the age of 13 years old and have been playing now for about 20 years. I've always enjoyed playing solo guitar (mainly fingerstyle), although I have also been in several ensembles during my time in high school and college. Starting out as self-taught, I decided early on that if I wanted to progress I should probably take lessons, so I took lessons for a year or two at a local music shop. At the encouragement of my parents I tried out for the jazz band in high school my junior year and continued playing in the jazz band throught the remainder of my high school years and throughout my college years. My senior year in high school is the year that I began taking a course in classical guitar at the local junior college. Classical guitar really piqued my interest and the course is what made me decide to pursue music as a major in college. I've always kept my playing as a hobby.
As noted before, I have had experience in performing throughout high school and college in the jazz band, often performing as a soloist. Other ensembles include performances with a jazz combo, jazz guitar ensemble, classical guitar ensemble, classical guitar quartet, flute and guitar duet, as well as a performance with the orchestra as the featured instrumentalist. I have also been involved in numerous solo performances, such as student recitals, and also as a featured soloist providing entertainment for a dinner party.
My experience in teaching lessons has been with students who are at the beginner level progressing towards intermediate. I'm open to teaching all ages, but especially like working with teens, as it seems there is a real excitement of learning the instrument at that age. I know when I first started taking guitar lessons I couldn't wait to have my next one, to show my instructor what I learned to play, or an original composition I had been working on, or in anticipation of what I would learn next.
When I begin lessons with a new student, I generally do not use a specific method book. Instead I put together a lesson from various online resources depending on what level the student is at. I never really used method books much in the course of my learning the instrument, although there are many various books that teach the same things in different ways for those at a beginner level. Instead, I like to use my own diagrams, charts, tabs, sheet music, etc. There are various method books however, that I may work out of with the student which are helpful in learning to sight-read notes. Also, in addition to the basics, I try to introduce the student to solo repertoire, that is suitable for their level and that they would be interested in learning to play.
Personally, I am more of a visual learner than I am an auditory learner, and that is reflected in my teaching style. I like using handouts when I teach guitar lessons, and I often refer back to them. It helps me personally to see something on paper in order to better understand it. In the case of online lessons I would probably email handouts to the student prior to a lesson. Also, I will sometimes during lessons use a portable speaker which is bluetoothed to my phone, if I want to introduce a piece of music that the student may be interested in learning to play.
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