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Ottawa Jazz Guitar/Bass Guitar Program
I am an enthusiastic teacher who loves passing on my passion for music to my students. I started playing guitar at a young age and then picked up bass in gigging bands in Texas and Kansas City. I received my education at Ottawa University, where I was a part of the performing jazz program. After graduating I began teaching in Kansas City and had the opportunity to play around the country in and acoustic alternative band. I currently play bass in a gigging band in Denver and sit in for a Journey tribute band.
I began teaching guitar lessons while in college. I taught to friends and family of friends who were interested in learning music, but too nervous to reach out to a teacher that they were not comfortable with. This experience really allowed me to hone my ability to teach students who had an interest in music, but lacked the experience level and confidence to step out of their comfort zone. This was a huge breakthrough for me, I really enjoyed the feeling of helping these people achieve their goals that may have otherwise been unrealized. After leaving college I began teaching private lessons in Kansas City, expanding my clientele slightly. This gave be more experience with a broader range of students with different experience levels and confidence levels.
I tailor each lesson plan to specifically fit the student that I am working with and to build upon their interests and skills. My main goal during our initial lesson is to find out the students true interest and true passion in relation to their bass and/or guitar. This can be anything from a genre of choice, and artist of choice, or simply wanting to learn music in general. After figuring out what drives them and excites them then I will start working with the student at their individual skill level, all the while incorporating what interests them. I believe in teaching a strong fundamental base and working from there. Every student benefits from a strong foundation. After this technical base is implemented, I believe in building on this foundation, this is where the individualized lesson plans are crucial. Not every student is the same, most are not, and every student will need to follow a unique path to achieve their musical goals.
My teaching style really came about from my experience teaching students who didn’t have the confidence to reach out to instructors that they did not know. In working with these students I found out that above all else the true driver in a student’s success is their passion and excitement level. So it quickly became my mission to make sure that that never faded. My teaching style is 100% positive and I work to make every student know that during their time with me it is a “no judgment” zone. This means the entire goal of each individual lesson is to lead to improvement, and this cannot happen in an overly critical environment. Every lesson is wrapped up with a homework assignment that is something the student wants to learn, something that is within the student’s current capabilities, and something that addresses a specific technique or learning point covered from their lesson. In addition, each student is given a “recital” goal. This gives them something to work towards from a performance standpoint. Even if it just playing for their parents, friends, and/or family, there is a huge benefit in implementing what is learned lesson to lesson in planned recitals.
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