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Associate of Arts Degree Madison Media Institute, Audio Engineering
2008 - Set up microphones for Arlo Guthrie on his Lost World tour at The Stoughton Opera House in Stoughton, WI
In 2001 I was 14 growing up in Southern Wisconsin and developed a want to play guitar. I saw one for sale in a holiday catalog and asked my parents if I could get it. Luckily they said yes! I began lessons, and regular practice from there on. This new interest in music stoked a fire in my dads soul to begin playing drums again. He'd played regularly in a band til he was 18. After picking up an old drum set that was sitting by a curb waiting for trash, we began a regular music jam. What an anomaly to have a father and son bonding over music! We still gratefully play together regularly when I visit. I went to College at Madison Media Institute in Madison, WI and graduated with an Associates degree in Audio Engineering. I moved to Austin in 2009 after hearing much about it's thriving music scene. I play in a group regularly in Austin named The Gallows Drifters.
I began teaching guitar when I was 17 in my hometown. I am a drummer, but can say I have limited experience teaching drums. In the last few years I've taught a drumming appreciation class as well as a gardening 101 class, both for ages 4-11 as part of Austins Camp Indigo. I've also led nature walks and outdoor games for children for Camp champions in Marble Falls, TX. In late 2015 I began work as an assistant aftercare teacher at an elementary school in Belmont, MA. I have ambition to teach guitar there as well.
I like to start my lessons with basic introduction to the guitar as an instrument and its components. String names, how to tune, and how to change your strings are included. Scales improve finger dexterity and teach the students about moving up and down the fretboard of a guitar. Learning basic chords is crucial for learning most modern day music. (unless it's avant garde, or experimental) We will go through basic chords one by one and chord structures. A weekly homework assignment of memorizing the chord or chords learned in the days lesson will be given. After three chords or so are feeling good, we can move on to learning a basic song! Many songs are just three chords. (my first was knockin' on heavens door) Pace of learning is respected and different for each student. I am fully open to pace and speed of learning. It takes time! It is also encouraged and fun for a student to think of a handful of songs that they enjoy, that we can focus on learning together.
A class once or twice a week is beneficial I believe for keeping up the continuity of practice. We will work on first the guitar as an instrument, basic chords, chord structures, some basic scales, and over time making chord changes happen as the minds memory/muscle memory for remembering chords grows! This is crucial for making the basic song happen. I encourage my students to find a handful of songs they really enjoy and may want to learn, so that we can learn them piece by peice.
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