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Associate in Arts, Everett Community College, music Pacific Lutheran University, church music, did not complete degree
Music is a central part of my life and I enjoy teaching and guiding students into having music in their lives. I have played professionally since 1976 and have supported myself as a performing musician and teacher since 1988. I am currently a church musician; primarily on piano but also on guitar, mandolin organ and hand-drums as the occasion demands. On piano I enjoy playing eighteenth century classical, early country rock and New Age styles. On guitar: classical, folk finger-style, bluegrass, bossa nova, western swing and gypsy jazz.
I have been teaching for thirty years and find it very rewarding. I like to use classical studies as a core for development and then bring in music of other genres for a diverse background. I also like to use music that the students are interested in. I believe it is important to be a literate musician as well as training to play by ear; to understand theory for improvising and to understand standard performing practice. My goal for students is to be able to play from the head and heart to the best of their ability.
On guitar my goal is that the student can read in first position, play chords for five major keys and three minor, and to be able to improvise with a pentatonic scale. I start with the Noad beginning classical guitar book and the Guitar Workshop finger-style book (Hal Leonard). I also use various Hal Leonard and Mel Bay books depending on the genre the student is interested in. I use similar methods when teaching mandolin or bass.
On piano I use the John Thompson method and supplement that with appropriate performance pieces in either classical or more popular styles. For adults I focus more on what their goals and desires, musically, are. I have had many adult students and know that there are different challenges than with children but that there are also advantages.
In my teaching style I have specific skills in technique, literacy and interpretation that I believe are important; these are drawn from traditional classical values and the folk elements I learned between ages fifteen and twenty-five. After addressing performance practice in these areas I like to bring the students interests and inclinations in and use the afore-mentioned aspects to help them achieve skills to play music in their individual voice. I also like to have a variety of ways to explain a concept because there are a variety of learning styles.
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