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BM, Berklee College of Music
2004 - Compositions performed by the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra
2000-2004 - Berklee Achievment Scholarship
2000 - Louis Armstrong Jazz Award
2000 - New Hampshire Jazz All-State, highest audition rating in state
I'm a passionate and laid-back instructor who loves sharing my knowledge with others and seeing students progress. In 2004, I graduated from Berklee College of Music as a guitar principal with Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Composition. Since then, I have been playing and teaching music full-time. I have played in various rock bands including my own original band, Kave Kraft, and as a sideman in various jazz combos, R&B groups, and wedding/GB bands in the Boston area.
I began teaching private guitar lessons while I was still in high-school. After I completed my degree at Berklee in 2004, I began teaching six days a week. Since then, I've consistently maintained a roster of 30-40 weekly students in addition an active gig-schedule. Seeing students gain a love and understanding of music and do things that they never thought possible has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. Over the years, I've honed my methodolgy for approaching a wide variety of techniques and subjects, from the best way to practice a simple melody, to advanced jazz improvisation. My years of experience has allowed me focus on what works for a particular type of students and eliminate what doesn't.
My lessons are organized around a few core elements: fundamentals, technique, note-reading, and repertoire. For all students, grasping the fundamentals of pitch and rhythm is essential, so exercises that continually reinforce these fundamental skills are a typical first order of business for each weekly lesson. Simultaneously, I guide the student through proper posture, form, breathing, and mental preparation. For children, and any adolescents or adults who are truly serious about music, I encourage the development of sight-reading skills for musical literacy. To that end I typically use the Hal Leonard guitar method, or one of Berklee method books for more advanced students. Working out of a method book is certainly not the end of the lesson, however; each week we'll focus on a particular piece of music of my or the student's choosing, and work towards a complete performance of that piece.
Having fun is a necessary condition for learning, so I try to cultivate a fun, laid-back, no-pressure atmosphere in my lessons. Every student has their own particular set of strengths and weaknesses, goals and time contraints. I take the time to understand what each student is looking to get out of their lessons and custom-tailor a unique lesson plan for each student accordingly. I am a very patient teacher, so students will always have as much time as needed and as many repeats as needed to master a particular passage or concept. I also love answering questions, so ask away!
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