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Professional Certificate: Berklee College of Music
I am a fun-loving, passionate instructor who loves watching students experience the satisfaction of making progress and feeling accomplished. I have toured all over the U.S. performing with many great musicians such as Alasdair Fraser, Hanneke Cassel, Mari Black, and many others. I'm both proud and fortunate to have been featured numerous times on WGBH for "A Celtic Sojourn" with Brian O'Donovan. A regular night for me consists purely of doing what I love: playing music with friends at local bars or my own living room.
I first taught private lessons back in 2008 when I was around 16 years old. Since then, I have met some of my dearest friends and acquaintances through both teaching and performing. For 7 years, I was the primary Guitar instructor at Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School until its closing in 2019. I have been flown out to Northern California every summer for the past 3 years to teach at Alasdair Fraser's Sierra Fiddle camp, a week long Celtic music program. I teach several private students regularly and am the guitar/banjo/mandolin instructor as Boston's Comhaltas Irish Music School branch.
I always start with what the student is interested in. I find that learning music comes much more naturally when the student is inspired and entertained by what they are trying to learn. I come from a long tradition of learning music by ear. I believe this is the best way to develop true musicality. While I very much see the value in sheet music, I believe that reading music without being about to play it by ear is like being about to write and write but not speak and understand English. In my opinion, being able to learn by ear is the most important factor of being a good musician.
I always start by asking the question: Where would you like to be with your instrument? What kind of music do you see yourself playing? If the student can't find an answer, I make suggestions and guide them until they find what resonates with them. I then go on to pick a piece of music that the student wants to learn or that I suggest based on their tastes and focus on learning it with them part by part. I love working together on a piece until the student and I can play it together. Being able to play music with others is a critical part of learning to play music, so I integrate that fully into my lessons by learning every piece I teach in depth.
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