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Bachelor of Music, University of Missouri - St. Louis, Music Education
Co-Writer and Guitarist for Thirsy Ear recording artists Small Ball Paul. Performed a one hour classical guitar recital covering a span of classical periods. Have performed with several cover bands throughout Southern California as well as with the St. Louis band - ColdShot. Performed on String Bass with the University of Missouri Symphonic Band at Powell Symphony Hall. Made the Dean’s List for 7 consecutive semesters.
I started playing guitar at the age of ten. Inspired by numerous classic rock musicians, I began to develop an immense passion for the guitar. However, I was only able to play guitar by ear early on in my development. So although I had a basic technique, I had no real understanding of how to create music or what is often considered the “language” of music. Finally at the age of 16, I took lessons from a local teacher who introduced me to scales and theory. At this point, I was able to develop very rapidly and also implemented various guitar styles into my playing. I would eventually discover a passion for classical guitar and pursued studies with Alan Rosenkoetter at Washington University. During this formal stage of my musical development, I graduated from the University of Missouri – St. Louis with a Bachelors of Music Degree, with an emphasis in Music Education. I play and teach the following styles: rock, blues, metal, classical, funk, pop, country, alternative, and folk/acoustic.
I first started teaching private guitar lessons while with Eberhardt Music Corporation. I taught students ranging from 7 to 25 for a period of one year. My next teaching experience consisted of teaching Class Guitar at Buerkle Middle School in the Mehlville School District. Next, I taught a guitar class of ten students while employed with the Inland Valley Performing Arts Center. And most recently, I have about six months experience teaching guitar students out my own home studio.
I feel it’s important to take very basic elements and build upon them. I always like to keep things interesting and fun, yet challenge my students at the same time. Students have different needs, wants, and goals. It’s important to consider those things when structuring a music program. If a student wants to be a metal guitarist, I’m probably not going to spend a great deal of time teaching them standard guitar chords. However, I also feel it’s important to incorporate certain musical elements that may be uncomfortable for the student. This is where the challenge come into play. I typically create my own lesson plans. However, if a student has a desire to read music – I will choose an instructional book and we will progress through the book together.
I consider a number of variables when determining what and how to teach guitar to a student. First, I have to know what kind of music the student enjoys. Next, I need to know what level guitar player they are. If I’m teaching a beginning guitarist, I will typically spend a majority of the lesson utilizing fun methods to build basic technique. If a student doesn’t have a technical foundation, it may not benefit them to present them with music theory in the beginning. That is, until they actually possess a certain level of technique. I really enjoy seeing a student experience success on the guitar. I constantly strive to motivate and encourage my students in order to build a sound foundation of knowledge and technique. Music is fun and exciting. That's the way a guitar lesson should be as well.
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