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BS, George Mason University, Information Technology (in progress), Fairfax Academy's Two-Year Music and Computer Technology Program, Berklee Guitar Summer Sessions, National Guitar Workshop, 15+ years private lessons (guitar and piano) (in progress)
Lead guitarist for my high-school band, Less Than We Knew. Performed at venues such as: Jaxx Nightclub, Ottobar, Jammin' Java, Flint Hill School, and various house parties, Performed 10+ recitals organized by private teachers, Wrote a composition that was performed by the The NOVA-Annandale Symphony Orchestra, Completed an in-depth shadowing program with Blake Althen of Human Factor
I am an easy-going, light-hearted, passionate musician and instructor. Nothing in my life compares to the joy of creating music and sharing that joy with eager students. I have 15+ years of experience in nearly every aspect of the music creation, education, and performance process, from composing, to performing, producing, mixing, and teaching. I am well versed in both music theory and the physics behind what our ears perceive as sound, as well as their applications to each of the various aspects of music creation. I thrive upon the challenge presented by each new student's unique needs and desires for their musical edification, and constantly seek new and improved methods of identifying and conveying exactly the right information for the student's present understanding.
My teaching experience began as sophomore in high-school (2009) when a friend of mine came to me and asked if I would be willing to instruct him in the areas of guitar playing he was most interested in. After our first lesson, he imparted to me his surprise at the fact that I had never formally taught anyone before him. He was extremely grateful for the efficient, pragmatic, and straightforward approach I took to teaching, something he had yet to experience with his previous private instructors. I recall him saying something like, "Wow, man. I wish my teachers had shown me what you did from the beginning. I learned and solidified a greater understanding of the guitar neck in the 30 minutes we spent than I did in the past two years of private lessons." This gave me the confidence I needed to continue teaching and accept more students, and I have received similar feedback from each of my subsequent students. I have taught multiple students of all ages, with experience levels ranging from complete beginner to an accomplished professional musician (pianist/composer) who was more than 10 years older than myself.
I take a very practical approach to guitar instruction. I listen carefully to each individual student's needs and desires, and work diligently to create a custom-tailored educational experience. I have many guitar instruction books to choose from, but do not have a regimented "one-size-fits-all" program that I impose on each of my students. If a student just wants to be able to play their favorite tunes around the campfire and has no interest in music theory, I won't force them to read Bach and practice scales for the first 3 months. I take the student's goals as well as my understanding of what is necessary for them to achieve those goals, and streamline their experience to provide exactly what is needed to accomplish them. I also take ergonomics, warm-ups, stretches and body-healthy guitar habits seriously so the student can continue to play injury-free for the rest of their life.
I believe it's extremely important that the student sees and understands the value in what is being taught and how it relates to achieving their musical goals. For this reason, each student receives a custom-molded, individualized lesson structure that strives to bring them to their goals as quickly and efficiently as possible. I also believe that being comfortable, relaxed, and having fun are of utmost importance in motivating the student to put in the hard work necessary to master their instrument. As a result, I do absolutely everything in my power to create a comfortable, laid-back, safe space for the student to come out of their shell and be themselves. No one absorbs information well when they are in a stressful, high-pressure environment, so I strive to eliminate these and any other discomforts associated with taking the first steps of the exhilarating, magical experience that is learning a new instrument.
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