BFA, New School University, Jazz Performance
Hello! My name is Chris. I am a full time professional performer. My instrument is the bass (both double bass and electric bass). I have been playing the bass for about 20 years now. Before that, I had sung in choirs from a young age, and I continue to sing to this day. I also studied piano from age 8, which I truly believe helped my musical development immensely. The genres that I perform within the most are jazz, avant-garde, rock, and folk. I studied jazz performance in college, earning a BFA from New School University.
I have been teaching bass lessons since I was 17 years old. It can be extremely gratifying when a student and teacher are working together in a focused way, especially once the student begins to truly grasp what they have been taught. In addition to private bass lessons, I also have extensive experience running workshops and leading ensemble courses. I have taught all over, domestically and internationally, through colleges and jazz workshops. I have also written two bass method books for Mel Bay Publications; "First Lessons Upright Bass" and "Killer Technique Upright Bass".
I like to let a student learn at his/her own pace, as long as they are focused and putting in the effort. If somebody is a complete beginner, we'll likely begin by learning about basic elements of music (pitch, rhythm) as well as basics of the instrument (tuning, right hand/left hand placement and technique). If the student has some experience with the instrument already, we can talk about what music they are interested in and what they hope to gain from taking lessons. I like to challenge students in a fun and encouraging manner.
While some teachers may be very strict or hard on their students, I try to take a more inviting approach. I like to cultivate an atmosphere of openness and encouragement, but I do also believe it is important to maintain focus and make sure students are practicing sufficiently. I believe that at least a basic understand of music theory is important for learning any instrument, so from time to time we will discuss theory in relation to the bass. Improvisation is a big part of what I do in my performing career, and I love to encourage students to improvise if they are at all interested.