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BA, Macalester College, Guitar
I am a guitarist who loves nothing more than making music. I am primarily self-taught, and have been absolutely hooked by the guitar since I was 15. I majored in music in college, where I learned music history, theory, performance, and recording. Since graduation, I have been recording and performing original music all over the country.
I have little formal experience, but I believe that instrumental to the success of any aspiring musician is encouragement and guidance. I have been giving casual lessons to friends and acquaintances for years, and my experiences have taught me that virtuosity alone cannot teach; one must be able to articulate the methods and processes that have been in place for years in one's own musical practice to someone approaching it fresh. Additionally, learning the guitar is almost always challenging, and so teaching the guitar must also be a fun and rewarding experience for the student. If a student doesn't enjoy learning and practicing the guitar, they will never improve, and it is my job as a teacher to make sure they have fun!
For any new student, I believe the starting point must be why they are choosing to learn the guitar, or what excites them about trying to play. If a student wants to learn to strum chords to folk songs, than that's where we'll start, incorporating along the way the proper finger and hand techniques, as well as the appropriate level of theory knowledge needed to make the guitar an accesible system. If they want to play guitar like Jimi Hendrix, than we'll start with electric guitar fundamentals, focusing on classic R&B styles, blues lead, and the overlap between scales and chord voicings up and down the neck. The point is, with an instrument as widely and diversely employed as the guitar, there is no single right way to teach it; it must be taught to the interests and passions of the student learning it!
I am a kind, patient man who believes that learning to play music is it's own reward. I struggled frequently while I was learning the guitar, and I don't believe that there is a right or wrong pace to learning. Each student is different, but all students should feel excited about learning, and rewarded by the work that they put in. My style is simply to encourage students as they progress and address difficulties in a positive and and constructive method.
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