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B.M., NYU, Jazz Performance
I'm a NYC-based musician, music transcriber, music prep guy, writer, bass and guitar teacher, and dad.
I began teaching bass and guitar back in high school. Over the years, my teaching experience expanded from private lessons to teaching classes of 2- to 5-year-olds at the Children's International Workshop, a pre-school in NYC, and then to conceiving and authoring a series of bass and guitar instructional books for beginners and intermediates. I still take on private students of all ages!
I start by simply assessing where a student is at, then go from there. I like my students to have a notebook with music notation paper so I can write out individualized examples and exercises to illustrate points covered in the lessons. And if a student can't read music, that's okay... I teach that, too! Also, much like a parent might sneak vegetables into meatballs, I like to sneak music theory into whatever we're working on. While it's important to learn the instrument, I feel it's even more beneficial to understand music itself.
Every student is different, from how they perceive music to how they physically approach the instrument, so I tailor the lessons to the individual; I believe that what works for one student may not necessarily work for another. When I was first learning how to play, my greatest leaps in progress happened from simply doing—playing along to music I liked, regardless of my skill level. If something didn't sound right, I sat and figured it out until it did. So, I view my role as being a guide to helping students unlock whatever it is they want to do, whether it's teaching basics to beginners or tightening up trouble spots for intermediates.
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