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Neal J In HomeHome In StudioStudio Teaches OnlineOnline
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Instruments: Bass Guitar, Double Bass, Keyboard, Electric Guitar
Styles: Jazz, Pop, Rock, Blues, Country, R&B, Gospel, Musical Theater, Latin, Funk, Hip Hop, Salsa, Showtunes, Reggae, Latin Jazz, Swing, Samba, Bossa Nova, Soul

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Neal J In Home In Studio Teaches Online
Instruments: Bass Guitar, Double Bass, Keyboard, Electric Guitar
Styles: Jazz, Pop, Rock, Blues, Country, R&B, Gospel, Musical Theater, Latin, Funk, Hip Hop, Salsa, Showtunes, Reggae, Latin Jazz, Swing, Samba, Bossa Nova, Soul

Where I Teach:
In Your Home My Studio Online
Ages Taught: 12-80
Levels Taught:

EMAIL US OR CALL 877-687-4524

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ABOUT
Degrees / Training / Special Info:
BM, Millikin University, Commercial Bass (2008)
Awards:

2008 Millikin University Merit Scholarship

2013 DownBeat's 36th Annual Student Music Awards 2013 Winner for Undergraduate College Outstanding Performance

 

Overview:
I work both as a freelance musician and bass instructor. I graduated from Millikin University in 2012 with a degree in Commercial Bass Performance. After I graduated I worked with a wide range of musical groups. I have performed in showbands, latin groups,musicals, jazz quartets, neo soul groups, and have even played contrabass in guitar ensembles. I would say one of the greater experiences I have had as a musician was when I made an album with the Millikin University Latin Jazz Project, which won Downbeat Magazine's 36th annual Student Music Award for the category of Undergraduate College Outstanding Performance. 
EXPERIENCE
I gave my first lesson when I was a sophomore in College, and during college I gave weekly lessons to about 5 students, each of different skill levels. During my time with these students I noticed that what I really enjoyed about teaching them was their passion for their instrument. I have also noticed that I would learn something from each student regardless of their level of musicianship, whether it be the recomendation of a new band or something that I picked up from their thought process when learning, such as how they go about learning a new concept or what they listen when they try to figure out the characteristics of a new groove or genre.
METHODS USED
I don't have a concrete syllabus or lesson plan, because each student is at a different point of their musicianship. My goal is to challenge the student to where they have to put in effort to improve, but at the same time not overwhelm them so they do not lose interest or become discouraged. However, regardless of their abilities I do have a few common themes I stress in each lesson. For one, I focus on the importance of your ears, whether it be listening to your fellow musicians, being able to hear a common chord progression or basslines in a genre, transcribing basslines, etc. However, if we do end up using bass literature I will provide that, you will not have to acquire that on your own time. Another important element I encourage is good practicing techniques, and that means practicing with a metronome, transcribing, developing a good feel, performing as authentically as you can in the genre you are playing, tips on how to develop versatility, etc.  
LESSON STYLE
I believe that with teaching any subject, especially music, the most important thing for a teacher to do is to inspire the student to become a better musician and have him or her practice because they want to, not to just simply fufill a requirement for the lesson for next week. That is why when it comes to teaching I try to be as fluid and adaptive as possible and set a lesson plan depending on the student's desires/abilities. If a student has something specific they want to work on and are focused on that, I will guide them along, helping them with technique, feel, or anything else. However, if what they want is more broad, (e.g. they want to be a better musician in a certain genre), then I will take a more hands-on approach. For example, to help them improve on playing within a certain genre, I would give them transcriptions from the musicians in that genre, but also have them choose their own musicians to transcribe in that genre. I would teach them common techniques, grooves, fills, and feels associated with the genre. My overall goal with every student is to encourage them to keep playing music and improve as a musician.
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