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Mark S In HomeHome In StudioStudio
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Instruments: Guitar, Saxophone, Flute, Bass Guitar
Styles: Classical, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Blues, Folk

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Mark S In Home In Studio
Instruments: Guitar, Saxophone, Flute, Bass Guitar
Styles: Classical, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Blues, Folk

Where I Teach:
In Your Home My Studio Online
Ages Taught: 5-80
Levels Taught:

EMAIL US OR CALL 877-687-4524

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ABOUT
Degrees / Training / Special Info:
BA in music (classical guitar) -St. Mary's College of Maryland (class of 1985)
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I've achieved a high degree of proficiency and knowledgeability pertaining to music in general and guitar in particular, and I have over 30 years of experience helping to quickly and efficiently help others acquire such proficiency.  While my musical skill is most advanced with respects to guitar and electric bass specifically, I'm also knowledgeable with respect to flute and saxophone, and am an excellent teacher with these instruments as well - although I don't teach advanced levels for these instruments.

Overview:
I became deeply interested in music as a teenager, taking up electric bass and then guitar when I was about 15.  I constantly practiced, learning as much as I could from everyone I could, working my way up to practicing 5-6 hours a day.  As a result, I progressed quickly and began taking lessons from a respected professional, learning a great deal before being accepted into the music program at St. Mary's College of Maryland. I can't overstate my love of music, and enjoy most if not all forms, including "classical" (especially J.S. Bach, Chopin & Debussy), jazz (especially Coltrane, Monk, Miles, Duke, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea and Weather Report), blues (especially Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and B.B. King), and much "rock"/pop (especially the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, and King Crimson). I've comprehensively studied music in great detail, and also studied systems for understanding and teaching guitar in great detail, developing a scientific and ecletic system that expands on the proven CAGED system.  I specialize in simplifying the complex, and (also in) teaching exercises that simultaneously apply/demonstrate/develop knowledge AND skill(s). As a teacher, my preference is to teach "highly-motivated" students who want to become"really good", and I specialize in helping students "get really good really fast."  I have considerable experience at doing this, applying proven sytems/approaches and techniques -while adapting to each individual student's strengths, weaknesses and needs.
EXPERIENCE
As a youngster, I had many negative experiences learning in government schools, resulting from teachers who in retrospect were clearly knowledgeable, but lacking in skills at communicating their knowledge to a wide range of individuals. This led me to spend a great deal of time thinking about the dual subjects of teaching and communication, and to learn how to simplify complex subject matter and effectively communicate it, learning to identify what various individuals know, and use that knowledge as a bridge of communication to use what they know to define and communicate that which they don't know. In short, learning from my experiences with bad teachers enabled me to become a good -and eventually excellent- teacher. My approach stresses a thorough understanding of "the basics"... thoroughly defining the essential knowledge and skill(s) upon which everything else depends, and is built. In general, this approach emphasizes utilizing the language and concepts of "classical", jazz and blues -as these provide a very comprehensive "toolbox" of knowledge and skill(s) that enable students to gradually master their instruments while acquiring a broad range of musical knowledge that enables them to "go whereever they choose."
METHODS USED
Again, as stated above, my approach is based on the proven CAGED system, and stresses mastery of the basics, using the language and concepts of "classical", jazz and blues -in particular. I begin by establishing what students (already) know and don't know about music and their chosen instruments, making connections between pre-existing knowledge and concepts, and "filling in holes" -while teaching these basics. Then, as soon as students are able, we begin applying this knowledge -these concepts- to their preferred musical mediums -in addition to "branching out" to apply basic knowledge/concepts/skills to increasingly more advanced applications.
LESSON STYLE
As already stated, my approach stresses understanding a mastery of "the basics" of musical knowledge and instrument-specific knowledge and skills -while adapting to the individual strengths/weaknesses and interests... of the individual students. Among other things, my approach emphasizes empowering students by quickly and efficiently imparting essential and useful knowledge and "real skills" that enable students to know and demonstrate, at will, music knowledge and ability. My students tend to become knowledgeable and skilled rapidly, having a clear understanding of the basics of musical knowledge and instrument-specific skill, imparting confidence in their knowledge and ability, while providing them with the knowledge and skill(s) to solve musical problems and achieve musical goals.
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