Bachelor Degree: New England Conservatory of Music
2019 - Pi Kappa Lambda Honors Society - New England Conservatory
2018 - New Music On The Point Composition Student
2017 - Silk Road Global Musician Workshop Student - Guitar
2016 - Acoustic Music Seminar Attendee - Guitar
I'm a dedicated teacher, interested in teaching a variety of guitar styles (jazz, rock, traditional folk, etc) to students at all stages of musical growth. I recently graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music, where I studied Contemporary Improvisation and Music Theory, and received Pi Kappa Lambda honors. I emphasize an aural approach to music making, based on developing a relationship between one's ear (as expressed through the body - the voice, clapping, even dancing) and the guitar.
I have performed in jazz combos, rock bands, acoustic folk groups, and free improvisation ensembles; my teachers and mentors have included guitarists Joe Morris, Julian Lage, Paul Bollenback, Bob Ferrazza, and Lenny Breau student/fretboard harmony guru Bob Thompson; improvisors Carla Kihlstedt, Eden MacAdam-Somer, and Hankus Netsky; and composers Anthony Coleman and Stratis Minakakis. I maintain an active performance schedule, and am currently at work writing, recording, producing, and engineering a record of songs and instrumentals, entitled (t o r s o). I am also active as a composer of contemporary classical music, having attended New Music On The Point in June 2018 as a composer.
I am fairly new to professional teaching. I've been giving very occasional, informal lessons to friends for at least 5 years now. However, I am passionate about moving forward as a teacher, and sharing my twin loves of music and learning with students at any level of ability. In my past informal lessons, I have taught left- and right-hand guitar technique; fretboard logic; scales and scale patterns; chord-voicings (and how to develop your own); harmony; melody; modal theory; and repertoire, including such songs as the jazz standard "All Of Me", and Red Hot Chili Peppers "Can't Stop". I am excited to work with musicians at all levels, including beginners, in helping them discover, work towards, and, with regular effort, achieve their own goals.
The first lesson will be as much a conversation as an applied lesson, functioning as a way to get a sense of the student's interests, experience-level, and personality. I ask that for the first lesson, the student bring in a recording of something they'd like to learn in the near future - or, if they have a longer-term sense of what they'd like to do, two recordings, one of which they would like to learn in the near future, and another of which they'd like to work towards learning as a longer-term goal. After the first lesson, I will break up lessons into warmups (stretches and fretboard exercises), the study of repertoire (learning melodies and chords), and the relevant technique (scales, picking approaches, etc) for which the music calls. Time spent discussing theory will likely emerge from the teaching of the song, but can be approached with a variable level of depth - students less interested in theory will still come away from a lesson with some awareness of what's making the music work; students more interested in theory are welcomed to dig deeper - with the awareness that theory may function as a useful tool to understand a piece of music, or even generate new material, but that the end-goal, ultimately, is to produce a piece of music; not a theorem.
I also believe in the development of basic vocal and keyboard skills, to better understand the musical materials which we are learning to play on the guitar. Long-term goals are developed with students, based on the students' interests. For one student, it might be writing enough songs to play a set, or to record as an album or EP; for another, it might be learning a repertoire of jazz standards; or transcribing enough solos by a master - Jim Hall, Wes Montgomery or Django Reinhardt, for example - to begin to understand their style; it could be learning to make rock riffs really sound rocking; or developing a strong enough sense of time to groove on funk music with a drummer.
I am a firm believer in encouragement, positive reinforcement, and the importance of a sense of fulfillment. I believe in the importance of daily practice, both on repertoire (learned by ear) and on basic proficiency with the instrument - scales, chord-voicings, etc. I encourage students to try writing their own music, to listen adventurously, to seek performance opportunities, and, generally, to explore their own relationship to music - as a listener and maker - so that it can deepen and become ever more meaningful, ever more satisfying.