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Drexel University, Music Industries
I'm an energetic and passionate guitar/bass instructor who belives giving the gift of music to another is one of the greatest gifts in this world. I started studying guitar in 1992 and in 2002 attended Drexel University for Music Industies, before leaving in 2004 to tour the country with my Philadelphia based band, "The Brakes." I've had the opportunity to preform with acts like, Dave Matthews Band, John Fogerty, Live, Willie Nelson, Moe., Disco Biscuits, Dark Star Orchestra, and Trey Anastasio. I've also served as lead guitarist and vocalist, in "Travel Lanes", fronted by Philadelphia singer/songwriter, Frank Brown. Playing all over the country in venues like Philadelphia's Electric Factory, Chicago's Fox Theatre, and New York City's Bowery Ballroom, and festivals, like Wakarusa, High Sierra, and Allgood, have been some of the highlights of my life.
My teaching experience started in my high school years, as I got a summer job working as a "Band Instructor" for a rock summercamp called "Harcum Summer Music Programs." I attended the same institution as a camper, and it was also owned by the same school in which I received private lessons. I also started teaching private lessons in the same timeframe, taking on some students in my neighborhood and slowly building up a group of students over the next ten years. Enthusiasm and shared experience usually helps me encourage a strong practice ethic in my students. I also have worked with my students bands, and encouraged them to play with others in school and private groups. I have a passion for songwriting, so I also help and encourage my students in that facet as well.
For beggining students, I start with fundamentals, holding the guitar/pick, posture, and then start with some tremolo (up and down) picking patterns, a few basic open chords, a basic scale, and then pick a simple song to learn. As, we progress, I try to evolve with the student, getting more specialized in whatever genre they are leaning towards, all the while teaching songs and helping them to learn what they like. Ear training, sight reading/tab and theory come after some basic fundamentals are solid, and then it's off to the races!
Like i said before, giving the gift of music to another is one of the greatest gifts in this world. That being said, I try to be enthusiastic and as fun as possible, because when I learned, it was fun! My teacher let me guide him in the direction that I wanted to go all the while making sure I was fundamentally sound. He encouraged me to do the work and figure things out for myself. That's the most important thing that I try to stick to in my teaching style, letting the student do the work and figure things out for themselves. For example, bringing a song to a lesson and wanting to learn it, but instead of just figuring it out and writing it on paper for them, I let the student work on it, and maybe give them little nudges in the right direction here and there. I find that the personal pride in working something out themselves is what makes the difference in most students sticking with it for the long haul.
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